Parasound C/BD 2000 Belt Drive CD Transport

Good evening all,

I am using the above CD transport and am very happy with it. My question is, what determines if I can play more than just Red Book CD's? Is it the transport of the DAC? Would I need to add anything to the transport plus an appropriate DAC to play some of the esoteric CD's? Thanks for your response.

Thank you for taking the time to research this information. It has given me what I need to move forward. I really love the sound of my Parasound belt drive but understand I will need to purchase a more moderen transport and DAC if I want to play something other than Redbood CD's.

I want to thank all who contributed comments and thoughts. They are all very much appreciated.

By the way,

Does anyone know of a DAC (under $1000 dollars) that will permit my Parasound Transport to play HDCD's? I understand there are many classical and jazz HDCD's that are great and sound as good as the latest CD technology. Of course I will appreciate all comments. Finally, what output hookup from the CD player provides the very best sound reproduction? Thanks all.

I still think you need a different CD player to play HDCDs, I don't think getting a new DAC will allow your Parasound to transport the HDCD signal. The transport first has to decode the digital compression of the HDCD file on the disc, then send that signal to the DAC to be converted to analog. It is the transport that will grab the HDCD bits and bytes, not the DAC.
Getting the signal from a disc transport to the DAC is a matter of some debate. General consensus is that optical is not a great way to do it. Digital coax is the preferred method, if you are using wires. Get a decent cable (spend some $$$) and make sure it is at least 5 feet long, from what I've read shorter digital cables create internal bounce-back reflections that affect sound quality. You can also get into the impedence ratings of the cables vs. the connectors vs. the DACs internal circuitry, but these discussions go over my head.
There are also products out there that you can place between your DAC and your transport, these are called re-clockers. These products, like the Pace Car, can convert the signal from one format to another, like optical to digital coax, or USB to digital coax, and they also apply new timing to the signal, removing any timing errors that are produced by your transport. These products can drastically improve the sound, some would say they are more important than the DAC.
In my research I have to say that the Benchmark DAC1 or DAC USB is probably the 800 pound gorilla around the $1000 price point. It re-clocks the signal and does a decent job.
I have also read several posts by folks in the know that say SACD and HDCD recordings have good and bad quality, just like some Redbook CDs have good and bad recording quality. If I were you I'd spend the dough on the DAC, the cable, and a good re-clocker, that will raise the quality of your Redbook collection to heavenly levels. And you don't wind up re-buying all your music in a different format!
Good evening Realremo,

Again thanks for taking of your precious time to respond at length. Actually, when my CD transport was developed, there was a DAC that was produced to mate with it. Together they are able to decode HDCD's. The owners manual supports this. I've spent some time looking on Audiogon for this very DAC and have missed at least 2 chances to own one. Presently, I am using a digital cable that is 6 feet long, but I must admit I had no idea the length of the cable had anything to do with the sound. That's great information and I thank you for it.

I decided to get the 72 Lite tube DAC to get a more warm sound. Plus I can roll the tubes to vary the sound which I have done. I have a fairly large collection of Jazz and Classical CD's, all Redbook. Some better than others I might add.

I do wish there was a list somewhere that post the best sounding Redbook CD's. There is a listing of HDCD's that I can order from to include some based on the listening of HP of Absolute Sound. I've not seen any Redbooks on his listing. Again thank you sir for this great information.

The DAC is what decodes HDCD, not the transport. So you can use the same transport to read the HDCD and run that signal digital out into a HDCD Compatible DAC.