Resolving CD Transports Crowd Sourcing

Hi everyone! A couple of years ago I purchased my endgame CD transport- a Pro-Ject CD Box RS2T. Loved almost everything about the unit--highly resolving presentation, dead quiet background, balanced placement of instruments in a believable 3 dimensional soundstage, and  the synergy it had with my components. In fact I loved the transport so much I had two of them because Pro-Ject quality control and customer service is the pits. After almost a year of hassles, I'm swearing of Pro-Ject.

I'm in the market for a replacement CD transport that has the same qualities of the Pro-Ject minus the quality issues and customer service.

PS Audio, Jay's Audio, CEC, Audio Research (which are CD/DAC units) come up in my search. What are your thoughts? With all the bells and whistles the Pro-Ject was around $3300, so that gives you an idea of my budget, though I could go higher.

Thanks in advance!



You are correct. The CD drive units do not operate in isolation. They are a major contributor to the overall sound one ultimately hears. One has to judge the entire package as all aspects of the component matter. It is possible I could be placing too much emphasis/importance on the CD drive unit/mechanism.

My outlook/perspective could be a bit biased for that reason. I have the Pro-Ject RS2T transport that utilizes the Stream Unlimited drive and the sound quality is freaking excellent!!


@lalitk    My point in referencing the refurbed CD Pro 2 was that for less than $500 I could buy it and have it replace the current drive in my AA Drive 1 if the original drive were to crap out. Therefore, unless the Aqua smokes the fully functional AA Drive 1, the value proposition is squarely in the corner of the AA. I do suspect the Aqua will perform at a higher level but it will have to be more substantial than just "incremental" for this retired car salesman to consider it.

I had the opportunity to hear the Denon DCD-A110 Anniversary Edition SACD/CD Player last night. It was in a system with a Musical Fidelity M6SI integrated amp, and Spendor A4 speakers. 

Physically, the CD player is a 40 lb beast--nicely machine gun metal/graphite grey all metal exterior, including the CD drawer. It also has a great remote. Outputs are both balanced and RCA.  I did not hear the unit via XLR because the owner has many SACDs and they only play via the RCA jacks. The sound characteristics of the CD player are detailed and not clinical or harsh because it has a warm sound. It projects a bold, but not fatiguing sound.

For me, while the warm sound is appealing, it comes at the expense of imaging and soundstage. Beyond the first layer of instruments and vocals there is a noticeable drop-off, or recess in drums, bass and music that is in the background. So, it loses some front-to-back three dimensionality as a result. Nonetheless, I liked it, but would not own one.

I'm still waiting for the opportunity to hear the TEAC 701T. BUT, the clock is loaner goes up for sale on 12/1, and I have first dibs. The owner says purchasing it, and getting a replacement CDPro2, just in case, from ARC ($500 with S/H) is a no brainer with my ARC components.