JAY'S Audio CDT-3-MK2 or PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player

Looking for a CD transport. I will be playing redbook CDs only and would be using the SPDIF output to my DAC. 
I was thinking to get the JAY'S Audio transport, but now that PS Audio discounted their DirectStream Memory Player, I can't decide between the two. Has anyone compared those two?
The reason for the discount is competition from the far superior.........Jay's Audio CDT2 Mk2 (and CDT3) :)
I haven't heard the Jay Audio CD12 but  6 Moons gave it an excellent review. I also respect the opinion of Teajay. I can say that I've owned the PS Audio PWT for over 7 very happy years. It mates beautifully with my Yamamoto YDA DAC and sounds very natural and emotionally engaging. I have no reason to doubt excellent results with the Jay Audio. Seems that you couldn't go wrong with either choice. Redbook sounds fabulous through my system. 
My only concern would be is Jay Audio going to be around in a few years? PS Audio is a very well established company. Makes one pause to think.
I’ve onky had in-house the Jay’s Audio CDT2 MK2 and the NuPrime CDT-8 Pro transport as possible replacements for my CAL Delta transport. In terms of ranking SQ: CDT2 MK2 is far better than both CDT-8 Pro and the Delta transport, and the CDT8-Pro was on par with the Delta transport. 
I was also looking for a transport to replace my Musical Fidelity M1 and my April Music CDT100 transports, and was thinking of the PS Audio transport. 

I decided to go with the Jay's Audio, based on feedback here and a few other places. It is a wonderful transport that sounds much better than the transports it replaced, and is built to a very high standard.

My only issue with it is the remote. While heavy and relatively well made, it isn't purpose built, and so I many buttons are unused (like display off, which is disappointing).

Otherwise, I recommend it every time I see someone talking about wanting a new transport for their cds. 
I saw a bunch of pictures of (6moons review?) Jays factory looks very impressive. The PS has the digital screen, which MIGHT eliminate the need for a laptop, and, of course free software upgrades. As I recall, Jays lacks the output options like toslink or coax

I would love to evaluate both, but that's not likely anytime soon. In the meantime, I am very happy with the Marantz HD CD 1 as a transport: MSRP $600. It's so inexpensive, it's easy to overlook, but a real solid performer
Thank you for all the feedback. It looks like I will be getting the Jay's Audio per all the comments. It does not have a toslink, but I don't need that. I would be using the coax output. 
Please provide some specific comments about the Jay relative to the April Music transport; I have the CDT 100 . Txs
teajay said..."I have and the Jay’s Audio CDT2 MK2 out performs the PS Audio."

The DMP has received tons of top flight reviews from the audio press from around the globe since its inception. And for what it’s worth,I own one and it is an awesome sounding transport. I have not heard the Jays Audio or read much about it. Can you explain why the Jays outperforms the DMP?
Hello aolmrd1241,

The Jay's transport does three things better in my system then the PS Audio: 1) It soundstages with a more accurate sense of space and layering in that space.  2) The individual images are more 3D with air around them.  3) There is a more overall sense of liquidity and dynamics/aliveness.
Have you installed the new firmware 3.10 for the DMP ? What you describe can be said for the DMP as well. And I must agree with your statement "in your system". Everything in this hobby is... without doubt... system dependent. 

In my system the Musical Fidelity M1 CDT sounds better than the April Music transport, to me.

The Musical Fidelity has an airier, more illuminated, more like music sound. Slight, but there. I went back and forwards on them, one day one would sound better than the other to me. But after the dust settled, putting the April Music back into the chain was not as satisfying as the Musical Fidelity. Though I could live with either and would have been happy. Until I heard the Jay's.

The difference between the Jay's Audio and the April Music or the Musical Fidelity, is not slight. More weight, more information, more dimensionality, more everything. It just sounds as though the signal was better preserved before it hit the DAC.

I'm sure there are better transports. I imagine the CEC TL0X is better, and the Audionet Planck might be better. But I doubt they are so much better that it would make sense to switch. But I haven't listened to either, so I could be very wrong. And let the record show that I would gladly take a CEC TL0X over the Jay's. However, I see no reason to want a different transport for redbook replay.
I tried a used PS Audio PW transport and an older base model CEC transport.   The PS Perfectwave did not sound good in my setup (connected via coax to Luxman DA-06 dac).   Music was bland and lacked transparency.   The CEC was notably better than the Perfectwave, but still nothing to celebrate.  

Could be system dependent, given PS Audio is a successful company with a strong following... so your mileage may vary.
I think  it was in the 6moons review that the reviewer said the Jays was better than the CEC
I do use the DMP [newest 3.10 firmware] with the DS dac [newest Snowmass firmware] connected together via PS Audio's proprietary hdmi connection option [using Wireworld platinum 7 ] ...in this setup it does make for one heck of a formidable digital playback system. When using one machine without the other...things could have a different outcome all together. As always...ymmv depending on system synergy.   
I have directStream DAC with bridge and JAY'S Audio CDT-3-MK2

I am connect Jay's CDT  via AES directStream DAC and compare the same track from a music server via bridge.

Jay's CDT sound much better than bridge. it is more musical, relax, real, believable.

I remember the PS transport don't sound better than bridge
I also compare the terminator DAC to directStream DAC with latest firmware. both feed from the Jay's CDT3-MK2, from the very first 30 second, the comparison is over, terminator sound much better. musical, musical.

I then brought a very well build musical server, still, Jay's CDT3 beat the musical Server easily on 44.1Khz format. however, with 88Khz, 24bit sound tract, the musical server beat the Jay's CDT3. the musical I play is holly cole "don't smoke in bed" since I have CD and 88Khz downloand

Here goes my 2 cents worth. I posted my response in another thread regarding the Jay’s Audio transport and my old Metronome C1A transport. My ears I found the Metronome more musical with a deeper soundstage. The owner of the Jays transport felt it had a little more dynamics and something else I forget. I prefer dimension to the soundstage as the Jays sounded a little flat to my ears. By I also like a musical sound with digital which the Metronome had. Sometimes people hear depth as less dynamic but to me you have to really listen and compare those soundstages to understand the total sound. I want backing vocals and instruments sounding more in the back of the soundstage. I have owned CEC transports in the past and own a CEC TL5100z but it was not working at that time. A friend of mine owns a CEC TL3N transport and I wanted to compare that to the Jays but it was not available then so I was only able to compare it to the Metronome in my system. The CEC was a better sounding transport than the Metronome in my system. Deeper bass and a little bigger soundstage. It has a sound that was just sweeter, vocals and piano were simply better, with better overall texture. It was more musical sounding. I just finished my CEC TL5100z so I will compare it my Metronome probably next week. Big price difference between my CEC and the CEC TL3N though. If I had to pick a transport right now it would be the CEC new TL 3 3.0. CEC has a reputation of being a excellent transport and the company has been around for many years with good product support. To me if the Jays was close to the Metronome and the CEC TL3N was better that the Metronome, so that is were my opinion comes from.

BTW I have heard the CXC, NuPrime and Sim Audio transports and to me my old CEC TL5100z was preferred by a group of people who heard it. I have also used a Rega Apollo and Saturn as a transport with excellent results so that would be an option for an inexpensive transport option.

Also the person with the Jays Audio transport I believe also owned a PS Audio transport so maybe he will comment on the differences between those two transports.

Happy Listening.

Also the person with the Jays Audio transport I believe also owned a PS Audio transport so maybe he will comment on the differences between those two transports.

Now that would be some useful info!
Maybe you could coax this member to comment... 
Beware of people making false claims that one is better than the other
unless you have them side-by-side in a system that
is the only way that you can tell the difference. There are just too many people jumping in with opinions on these forums
and they have no idea or valid facts to back up what they're talking about
 It's not fair to the manufacturers of the products.

@aolprodj And still the comparison may not translate to another system. As stated above... "In my system..."

All good information regardless.
I have not listened to any of the Jay Audio transports however I did listen to PS Audios senior dac and Direct Stream Memory player combo in two completely different systems with other competitively priced digital front ends .
The PS Audio combination new in 2017 came in 3rd place behind a Esoteric KOx1 SACD player and CEC TLN 2 transport with  Denafrips Terminator dac.
The comparisons were done over a few weeks in the fall of 2017 switching the PS Audio dac senior for the Denafrips and the CEC transport with the PS Audio dac. The Denafrips with the Direct Stream memory player was immediately liked seconds into the first cut. The CEC combined with the PS dac senior wasn’t so obvious at first listen however what stood out right away was in the sound stage with better layering .
The CEC transport was preferred over the PS Direct Stream player and the Denafrips Terminator was preferred over the PS Audio senior dac.
Using exceptional recordings like Tonian Labs Drums & Bells sounding even more realistic presence with the Esoteric player and CEC Denafrips combination.

Hearing the recording Drums & Bells for the first time that bass drum on the first track scared ever living crap out of me .
Speakers used were Magnapan 20.7 with Rel subs and the Focal Utopia.

Finally , chatting with an owner of the Jay Audio transport last year I have high confidence in what he says about it .

following up on garrards' 11-18 post, PS Audio is going direct. My guess is they are forced to discount by the amount that dealers were getting.

I imagine plenty of recent buyers through dealers will be pissed
I had both. The Jay's CDT-2 Mk.3 is better sounding and built better for less money. If only looking to play Redbook the Jay's transport is better hands down. 
@snopro you've already heard/owned the brand new (2021) MK3? Did you also happen to hear the MK2 from the past couple years? 
Sorry misprint I have the mk.2 . Which is better then the PS Audio Transport.
I purchased the Jay[s Audio CD2-MK2 late this year (with the Holo Spring 2 DAC) to replace my CDP.  I have no other useful comparison, but am so far very pleased with the transport.  I, too, just learned about the new MK3, which leads me to feel disappointed, since so far the price on the their transport hasn't changed and the charge for upgrade is $900.  This is off topic, but if anybody has information about elements offered in the upgrade, I'm interested.  I assume the most significant part is the new crystal oscillator.  
If there's a notable increase in sound, I would like to upgrade my CD2 MK2 as well and is that new crystal the reason for its improvement in sound quality?

@wig , or anyone else, is the CD2 MK2 warm or thick in any way, that in turn, translates to any level of lack of detail? You know, the trade off with warmth sometimes masking detail or loss of openness (air/space) to the sound? I’d like a new transport to replace a PS Audio PWT but would prefer a ‘normal’ neutral and open at the source. I think I remember reading back when this one came out, that it leaned to warm and full bodied?? Also read people preferring the Denafrips transport for this reason, but that one has not been available for many months... Maybe this is what the new MK3 changes are going for. 
@ jriggy

My CD2 MK2 replaced a PS Audio PWT and it was no comparison as the CD2 was much more refined in sound quality and sound staging/imaging and I find the CD2 as being neutral with no bloat or thickness.

I will be purchasing the upgraded board as it’s suppose to have even better detail retrieval and imaging...

@wig , thanks, great info for me and that that you switched from the same PWT. 

I decided to purchase a new MK3 for my main system and moved the MK2 to my secondary system as I was already searching for transport and the timing was perfect...

If you are on the fence on whether to upgrade your MK2 to the MK3; I can tell you without hesitation the difference is quite startling and this is just with 2 hours use and 400 hours are required to fully burn-in the unit.

So what are the differences between the two versions? Soundstage width/depth/layering drastically improved and images are locked in with pin-point precision. Resolution is also improved with delicate nuances and ambiance retrieval are easily discernable...

These upgrade are quite impressive but the musicality, the flow of the music has taken on an unbelievable and immersive listening experience and my speakers have totally disappeared! This upgrade has literally placed the performers in your listening space in a 3D perspective.

My older CDs still sounds good but the revised MK3 reveals the flaws in the recordings...

Can't wait to hear what it will sound like after complete burn-in.

Just received a CDT2-MK3 a week ago.I am enjoying a very deep open full and robust sound with this transport in my system. It is a quite excellent addition and I am very pleased.

I looking at possibly moving from my CDT2 MK2 to a CDT2 MK3. (I had a P S Audio Perfectwlave Transport prior to the CDT2 MK2). I’m pretty happy with my MK2 and how musical it is, especially how the MK2 is very detailed and yet vocals are reproduced with a less grainy quality - almost smooth.
I read in your initial impression, "My older CDs still sounds good but the revised MK3 reveals the flaws in the recordings..."
I’m wondering if you could please expand on that statement. Is the statement still valid? Did the newly revealed flaws diminish your enjoyment of some of your CDs? How do you feel now?
I’m at the point now, where I don’t want to change/mess with my overall sound, but if I can get a little more clarity and refinement without a huge change in my sound,,,,, I’m all for that.

If anyone else wants to weigh in, please do.



FWIW, a friend of mine had owned the Mk2 for a time and then bought the user-replaceable PCB (from Alvin Chee @ Vinshine Audio) which upgrades this to the MK3, and he says it is a noticeable and worthwhile improvement.

Very interesting points of view. I am currently looking for  NEW CD TRANSPORT. I was interested in the new Denafrips Transport and emailed Alvin, he responded by saying, I believe, that due to production issues, they are not making it any longer??? Has anyone directly compared the CEC TL5 to the Jays Transport. Going to buy one or the other. To be mated with my Meitner MA1 V2 DAC. Thanks as usual. Robert

There's a very favorable review of the CEC TL-5 over at parttimeaudiophile that should pique your interest. What gets my goat is the price increase since around April. Before I got my Technics SL-G700 SACD player, I was seriously considering the CEC and back then, it was going for around $1850 (before options) but now the price is hovering around $3,000, give or take. 

Until I saw the major price increase, I was considering getting one anyway just to see how a dedicated red book CDT would sound compared to my SACD player. Just before I sold my old TEAC PD-H600, I hooked it up to my Technics SU-G700M2 and was floored by what I heard from that half sized CDP.

Good luck on your search.

All the best,


From what I’ve gathered anecdotally those who’ve heard both consistently favor the Jay’s Audio CD transport compared with the CEC TL5. I hope you are able to assess both and determine for yourself.


The Audiophilia website has a review up now in which they liked the Jay's 3-3 a lot.

Still researching my decision between the jays CDT -2 Mk3 and the CEC tl5. Going to look at some of your guys suggested websites and articles. Got a response from the jays audio website. I asked about repair issues, should they occur, and response was, most all are modules that can be owner replaced. I think that's good news? Don't know about CEC unit yet.  But, Yes according to one post, CEC PRICE INCREASE!!!  Thank again to all for your help  Robert TN

As a heads up, copied from the Jays website directly..


”*** Redbook CD transport only. Doesn't support HDCD/SACD/DSD***




As a heads up, copied from the Jays website directly..


”*** Redbook CD transport only. Doesn’t support HDCD/SACD/DSD***

Yep! It’s intended to be a true dedicated single purpose Redbook CD transport. Same with my Pro-Ject RS2T. Aqua HiFi, Audionet, Accustic Arts etc. They adhere to the belief that exclusive focus on CD yields better sound quality than following the multi format availability. This seems to be the approach of most of the upper tier CD transports.