Modern Day Good Transport

I am in the process of going back to a DAC (Electrocompaniet ECD-1) and Transport setup. Any suggestions of some newer or few year old options for a good transport?

Suggestions would be much appreciated..

have read good things about the northstar top loader & cec tl5100 for less than $1k

$1k to $1.5k - cec tl2x "belt drive", metronome ta-1, or a theta jade..

$2k and up - cec tl1x, accustic arts

there are some off beat brands out of china that look well built but no idea on sound or relaibility
I continue to use the Pioneer PD65 as a transport and it has performed incredibly well with a variety of DACs including the Counterpoint DA10 (awesome unit for the price), ARC DAC3 II (somewhat bright and fatiguing), ECD-1, VTL Ref and now the Manley Ref DAC.

I have since added the Genesis Time Lens which brings on a significant degree of clarity and added space between the notes. I had to struggle to hear differences between the PD65 and transports much more expensive, Muse and Audio Aero, and so I quit trying. But the Genesis was a marked improvement. Interestingly enough is that digital cables also show a significant difference in sonics.

From all of these experiences, I have yet to be convinced it is necessary to spend a fortune on a transport. My reference source is still the Clearaudio Ref TT.


I have an EAD CD-1000 mk III which uses the Pioneer stable platter. Can I add the Genesis Time Lens to mine?

Modern day huh? Well I would say a computer hard drive with uncompressed files.
Vman71: If your EAD has an RCA, BNC, TosLink or Aes/Ebu digital output, you can drive the Genesis from any of these. The Genesis has a set of the same type of outputs to accommodate pretty much any DAC of your choice.
the lens seem to be a very cool device but pricey when everything is added up..

lens $400 (used)
cables $350 (used orchid, need one more with the lens)
power cord $250 (used audience)

comes in at a extra $1000 (estimated) would the $1k be better served by adding the lens or by adding/upgrading the transport clock ?

has anybody gone this route before ? the bummer with upgrading the transport, you lose the roi when you sell vs good roi recovery of selling the lens & cables..
I should mention too that I am doing something pretty cool with the DAC. I am running an Apple Airport Express into it via Toslink and am getting excellent results. At this point, I am leaning towards a Theta Transport or even a Meridian 500 MkII...
If you got a Genesis Lens, you could run both your Sony (as transport) and the Airport Express through it--it'll improve them both.

You wouldn't need as expensive a cable from the transport to the Lens--use your better cable from the Lens to DAC (though a better cable to the Lens will have some effect).

I have a new-found appreciation of my Lens after recently removing it from my system. Didn't notice too much initially, but putting it back in surprised me by how much more engaging the music was.

Along the lines of Mikesinger's comments, I was thinking of selling the Lens, it's cables (digital & power) and buying a better transport, but after this little experiment, I'm going to pass and keep the Lens for now.
could do a new cac belt drive tl2mk2 and a dcs upsampler(has any one done a comparison to the lens?)
Jafox said:

"Counterpoint DA10 (awesome unit for the price)"

I picked up one of these a while back in a trade...a complete surprise to me, I agree with you 100%.

Kid...sorry about the somewhat off topic post.

You do not really have to buy an aftermarket power cord for the Lans and a super-duper digital cable (from transport to lens; the other one - from lens to dac - is another story). IMO it is a GREAT buy at 400$ (used).
Where did you come up with the 400$ used lens.They go for 450$ bottom price and up.In a 9/10 with the metal remote/manual e.t.c you looking at 550$-580$.At least that's what I paid for mines,(I got two lenses going)
Agree about the sonics with the lens in.
what about the GW Labs ? it would be cool to do a comparison to the lens...

btw, i was being a little conserative on the pricing of the lens....not to mention there are different verions and remotes.
Sogood: Yes, selling the DA10 was one of the two regrets I have made over the last few years....the other being the ARC VT130 which smoked the VT100 and sells for far less here on Audiogon. Both the DA10 and VT130 are absolute runaway steals in performance and price.

Elberoth: The Lens benefits highly from aftermarket power cords. Both the Purist Dominus and Kubala-Sosna take the unit as far as the unit itself does in the chain. Other PCs that I tried, NBS Statement and PS Audio Statement made very little difference. It is quite incredible what some PCs do to digital gear. Makes no sense, but a return to the stock PC and the ambience and life in the music is significantly reduced.

And yes, a super duper digital cable is the same improvement as the PC. I went from a cheapo cable to the MIT AES/EBU and this was quite a nice gain in clarity. I then changed to the Marigo 5.7 and wow, even bigger. So maybe it is not so much what these more expensive cables are doing but rather all the damage that the cheapo cabls are doing.

Yioros: I got my Lens for $450 a couple years ago. It has the plastic remote but who cares as the remote is used only to power the unit up when power goes down. It is too bad the unit does not have a power-on switch as I would never need to use the silly remote at all. And yes there are different versions but I understand this to be only the firmware.


I agree that the 2-nd digital IC has to be of high quality. I was talking about the first one (form transport to lens). It does make SOME difference, but it is nowhere near as great as the second one, and if you are on the budget, that is the place to save some $$$ IMO.

The best way to save money using GDL is going with ST cables - they are superior to electrical connections and are dirt cheap (you can get one for 30$). Talk about "value-for-money" here. The problem is, not many components sport ST ins/outs. But if they do - use them by all means.

As for power cords - I have tried Shunyata Diamondback and could not tell the difference. Maybe some more expensive cords would, but I was not encouraged to try.

BTW - get the GDL with plastic remote - it doesn't look as good as metal one, but it is easier to use (and it is cheaper). I had both.
Try a good computer-based transport. I just got myself a Red Wine Audio USB select and love, love, love it. $400 and it doesn't need a good power cable as it runs on batteries. It's the sound I've been craving but never could get from CD transports.
I bought a Sony X-707 and had it modded by APL-Hifi to work as a stand alone transport (same as the older highly regarded Accuphase models). These players can be found for around $600-700, add $450 for the mods and you get a terrific transport for around $1K. It replaced my CEC TL-1.
The marantz hd cd1 is a terrific machine. Great as a transport. Also the audiolab cdt6000.
the_kid OP

New Schiit Transport should be soon, rumor has it around a $1k and should be good knowing the designer of Theta digital designed iy Mike Moffat. there’s a thread on it somewhere here on the Digital forum 

 here it is

Cheers George