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!


ghdprentice brings up a great point I hadn't considered in mentioning using it mostly for its DAC.  It would be nice though to have a spare laser assembly in a cabinet somewhere.   Just like I will now buy a spare remote for my electronics to have on hand as spares.

I would agree with your assessments of Vermeer and Sargent. You have a good eye!

David, you are a kind gentleman .😊

Lee Morgan and Jackie McLean did some collaborations on the early 1960s “Blue Note”. However knowing you it’s likely  you are probably already aware of these recordings. They work very well together.



Good question. I should check as I am considering purchasing the CD player.


I can see that. The DAC on the CD 6SE is terrific. I haven't made the effort, yet, to listen to HI REZ. I have TIDAL, which has MQA. People on A' Gon boards regularly have back and forths about the superiority of Qobuz and TIDAL. 


I would agree with your assessments of Vermeer and Sargent. You have a good eye!

I agree about Lee Morgan. I always "liked" him. Sidewinder was one of my first jazz purchases. And then one afternoon I was listening to Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers-First Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings on an Art Blakey birthday celebration radio broadcast (WKCR). I was blown away by the trumpeter-Lee Morgan. Deeper listening helped, me really appreciate his expressive lyricism. "Here's Lee Morgan" is a terrific CD. Morgan as a 21 year old is playing with Morgan with Clifford Jordan, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Art Blakey. 



Thanks for your impressions. I use my Ref CD as a DAC 99% of the time streaming with my Aurrender. The higher resolution of much of the material from Qubuz sounds better and the CD is there as a backup in case the network goes down.

Regarding the ARC CD6SE, are replacement lasers available from ARC or eBay/other, or is it destined to be an expensive boat anchor when the current laser goes bye bye?


I have returned to look at those pictures of art several times now. The Vermeer painting is more detailed, vivid and nuanced. The Singer Sargent is also appealing but more subtle and suggestive of mood perhaps. Hey, I’m no art critic for sure. Thanks for the artistic introduction.



Very interesting analogy! I am not surprised by the outcome of using CD6SE in your system, given the synergy with other ARC pieces. Looking forward to your impressions with other players. And thanks for sharing the art, I loved them both! 

@wharfy Will be auditioning an Audio Research CD6SE this coming weekend.

Curious how you were able to secure an audition.  I was under the impression that the CD6SE was discontinued two or three years ago after a two-year run because Phillips (IIRC) discontinued making the laser it uses.  Makes you wonder why ARC didn't just source another laser vs quit making CD players altogether.  

BTW-Art Blakey and his classic Jazz Messengers, with Lee Morgan and Sonny Rollins sounds fantastic through the CD6SE.

Oh boy, I bet that it does. Of all the tremendous trumpeters who had stints with the Jazz Messengers, Lee Morgan may be my favorite with Blakey.

David thanks for the artists links. I have to say that I really like both pictures. As I’d very likely feel the same comparing the RS2T and CD6SE. 😊



Vermeer paintings and Pro-Ject CD Box Rs2T analogy (YMMV)

John Singer Sargent and CD6SE analogy (YMMV)

I'm giving the TEAC 701 a listen when it ships to one of my local audio shops. I'm going to listen to a Denon dcd-a110 110th anniversary edition sacd at the beginning of the week. The URD is on order, with an opportunity to return if I don't want it. WRT, Jay's CD transports and CEC-This will be difficult because they are purchase with no return option. With that said, I'm really liking the CD6SE.

BTW-Art Blakey and his classic Jazz Messengers, with Lee Morgan and Sonny Rollins sounds fantastic through the CD6SE. 



Hi David,

Thank you very much for taking the time to present your listening impressions. I was very curious about what your outcome would be. Your results did not surprise me. I had a strong suspicion that the ARC CD6 SE would fit beautifully within your ARC audio signal chain. Also fell that the unit itself is very high quality. As we both have acknowledged the Pro-Ject RS2T is a superb CD transport but there is certainly very viable competition available.

Given your experience and keen listening skills I’d really look forward to your impressions of the TEAC 701/Jay’s Audio CD transport/Schitt URD. Easier said than done I recognize. If you decide to just stick with the ARC CD player that would be perfectly understood by me.😊 You’re in a can’t lose scenario in my opinion. David I must confess I don’t know enough about art to appreciate the artists analogy.😊





I was up late last night, and early today, after adding the ARC CD6SE to my system. I’m impressed. Since I already have ARC (upstream/downstream?) the synergy is what you would expect with the ARC house sound-spacious, dimensional, for the most part organic. I listened to a variety of jazz, classical and rock CDs. Bass is very present, great midrange with extended highs. The CD6SE definitely presents a full and instrumentally defined sound palette. Vocals sound terrific, also.

Since the CD player’s DAC uses Delta Sigma PCM1792 dac chips, I was concerned that the highs and accented music notes would have digital glare, which is something I have encountered in lesser (cheaper) digital equipment. This isn’t noticeable with the CD6SE. I think because of the signal tubes in the ARC linestage, and power/signal tubes in the ARC power amp.

So, how does it compare with the Pro-Ject CD Box RS2T? While not using the same DAC, both units share a 3D palpability and realism. I think the Pro-Ject (sadly RIP) has greater PRAT and transparency, while the CD6SE projects a weightier presentation. But, it’s only a matter of degrees, and for me, both are equally satisfying. Not to get too esoteric with regards to degrees of realism, but here it goes-The Pro-Ject presents music like a Vermeer painting and the CD6SE is closer to John Singer Sargent.

Additionally, something I like about the CD6SE is that it has a terrific on-board DAC. What’s funny in a way is how the plethora of really good DACs have steered me away from onboard DAC/transport players. I am able to run my Aurender music server, via USB, through the DAC without losing any of the resolution and clarity I had with the Musetec MH-DA005 Sabre chip set DAC.



Take a look at the Nuprime CD Transports, I've been very happy with the CDP-9, the best CD playback I've ever had.



For a little perspective, I owned a Sim Moon 760D CD / DAC with the Sim Moon 820 power supply ($18K together) for a number of years. My dealer brought over an Audio Research REF CD9SE without me asking. Holy cow, it is sooo much more natural and musical without loosing detail, it took me all of about 10 seconds to suspect and 30 more seconds to open my iPad and send a message to my audio dealer to order me one… I would have to figure out how to pay for it later… it just completely blew away the Moon for me.


Transport search update-Will be auditioning an Audio Research CD6SE this coming weekend


Looking forward to your  listening evaluation thoughts.


I happily own a Audio Research Ref CD9SE. An absolutely wonderful DAC and CDPlayer. I compared it with a Berkeley Reference Alpha DAC ($22K) for a couple weeks and the difference was miniscule… the ARC was a tiny warmer and the Berkeley a tiny more detailed. I was prepared to buy the Berkeley… but surprisingly the ARC sounded better to me. 

Transport search update-Will be auditioning an Audio Research CD6SE this coming weekend. While I have been specifically focusing on transports, the CD6SE has an onboard DAC utilizing PCM1792 dac chips (which are Delta Sigma), that can stream my Aurender N200. I It is a top loading CD player using a CDPro2R drive. I already have an ARC power amp and line stage and the ARC house sound leans towards neutrality with a bit of tube warmth.


I'd suggest you try the Urd via the USB connection.  Mike Moffat, the designer, says "it's the best I ever heard".   Listen to his Youtube video "Schiit Q&A Mike Moffat", streamed live on Jan 13, 2021, "CD Transport" chapter.

My understanding, which could be wrong, is the Schiit Urd Unison USB uses the USB Word clock to synchronize the flow of data from transport to DAC.  That would probably mean the DAC Master clock is used and the Urd is the Slave.  Though the roles could be reversed.  Use of the Word clock in the transport-DAC control scheme is significant and allows for lower levels of jitter.  I gleaned this information from listening to several of the Schiit Audio podcasts with Moffat.  I don’t know why Schiit doesn’t advertise or promote the transport data synchronization scheme.  It’s quite unique from what I can tell.

Most DACs use input receiver chips such as CS8416 and AKM AK4113 to recover the clock data from the input signal from the spdif and AES/EBU connections.  These connections can't be used as a control loop back to the transport.  So, in theory, the Urd Unison USB connection should sound superior. 


I use an Urd with an Yggdrasil LIM connected via USB with a a Kimber Select Cu USB-C to USB-B cable.  To me, the Urd USB connection sounds superior to the SPDIF, even when I used a more expensive Jorma SPDIF cable.  Imaging is a bit more precise, tonal densities are better, and the sound is more liquid through the USB connection.  I have not listened to the Urd via AES/EBU, so I can comment on that connection.

If you aren't using a Schiit DAC, I'm not sure if the USB function with the Urd  is the same.

Inexpensive USB cables can be used, just make sure they are USB 2.0


Have you heard Jackie McLean, Nature Boy? Cedar Walton on piano. Billy Higgins on drums

I have a fair amount of his recordings but not that one in particular. I will seek it out. Thanks as always for the tip.


If you're worried about transport issues.....Just narrow your search to Jays and CEC. Period.


Could be...

Have you heard Jackie McLean, Nature Boy? Cedar Walton on piano. Billy Higgins on drums.

More images

Label: Blue Note – 7243 5 23273 2 4

CD, Album

Country: Europe
Genre: Jazz
Style: Bop
1   You Don’t Know What Love Is 7:47
2   Nature Boy 9:30
3   I Can’t Get Started 7:57
4   What Is This Thing Called Love 6:31
5   I Fall In Love Too Easily 5:09
6   Smoke Gets In Your Eyes 5:51
7   Star Eyes 5:31
8   A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square



Given that your DAC is optimized for USB then it seems the Schitt URD could be just the ticket. It will be very interesting to learn what you think of it sonically. You have an established reference point per the RS2T.


@facten -

That's good info. TY! I'm auditioning the 260DT at the end of the week. My DAC has AES/EBU capability.

@wharfy -  Regarding the 260DT, the AES/EBU output is the optimized one (confirmed via email with SimAudio). It takes the SQ up a notch over the SPDIF ; I've used it both ways and settled on the AES/EBU


Congratulation on ordering Urd. I hate to bring this up now but I can’t believe no one has brought up the Ayon CD Transport. Maybe out of your price point but it deserves a shoutout to anyone considering a top notch CD transport. Check it out!


I am going to audition the Simaudio 260DT. The fit and finish looks fabulous. As mentioned previously, I am concerned about the transport mechanism failures that others have reported.


I ordered the Schiit Urd transport. Schiit will let me return up to 15 days, so it’s a good place to start auditioning. If decide to keep it, the unit has up to a 5 year warranty (2 years on the drive mechanism).

Like the Pro-Ject CD Box, the Urd uses the Stream Unlimited CD PRO-8 with the integrated Blue Tiger servo. Another thing/feature I like about the Urd is it is optimized for USB, which is what my DAC manufacturer recommends (Musetec Audio (LKS Audio) MH-DA005 ES9038). And yes, both the DAC and Urd are UAC2 compatible. Additionally, I currently have my Aurender N200 running to the DAC via USB, and the Urd has an additional networking feature (Unison USB Hub) that will let me keep this connection.

As others have said, it ships,"sometime in October."


I have a Jay's-Audio CD2-MK III transport.  It replaced a 47-Labs Flatfish/dumpty psu and it was certainly an upgrade sonically.  The CDT2 is a well-built and put together transport and after some break-in has been great.  I wanted one last product so that despite my having a great music-server, I do love on occasion to spin up some of my old favorite CD's, or if an audiophile friend brings over a CD that I don't have.  The CDT3 was not yet released and while I may have waited for it if I'd have known, I really couldn't see spending much more for occasional CD listening.  All this said, and after break-in and extensive listening, I prefer music played from my Innuos ZENith MK-III to the same DAC that I feed from the CDT2., and that includes streamed music from QoBuz from the ZENith server.  I have not heard CD's played from the Jay's CDT3 and I'm sure it would be better sounding than the CDT2, however I'm pleased with my digital system for my needs as is.  If I had to choose one digital source, I would definitely choose the ZENith music server over a CD transport.  Good luck in your hunt for a great CD transport !  

After my Theta Data Basic burned out and Theta could not provided a replacement mechanism, I investigated a large number of transports. I was disappointed to find that most transport/player manufacturers rely on outsourced mechanisms (mostly from Philips and Sony) like Theta did and have the same issues with non-repairability in the future. I couldn’t find a manufacturer who was willing to retrofit new mechanisms into their older transport/players, so in my mind, they became disposable units. I bought a used Simaudio 260DT (transport only) in part because I was led to believe that they make their own mechanisms. My hope is that if they change their mechanism they would make them backward compatible (time will tell).

I have really enjoyed my Simaudio 260DT. No issues after 2 years. It is so much better than my old Theta that the burnout was a blessing in disguise.

It is interesting how is a new Schiit Urd compared to Jay Audio, Teac VRDS 701T and Project RS2T transports.

I know it sounds crazy, the sound I'm after is what the CD Box delivers. I go back and forth.

You go back and forth how? By listening to other CD transports or by “research”?



I had a terrific conversation with an audio dealer who carries Pro-Ject. They said the failure rate of the CD Boxes since 2022 was 70%. Wow!!

That does qualify as a wow!!
I received my RS2T in November 2021 and as I have said previously, no operating/ reliability problems with very frequent and heavy usage. It seems that other owners who purchased theirs around that time or earlier have had similar outcomes as mine. Obviously something changed in later production (2022) batches/runs.

No question I feel quite fortunate. I am glad that Pro-Ject has put a hold on things until they get this sorted out thoroughly and once and for all.

David how much is the TEAC 701 retail? If you are able to hear it, the CEC or a Jay’s Audio model I’m very interested in your listening impressions. BTW I strongly suspect that the ARC CD6SE would be very good.



Wishing you best outcomes! Do let us know what's happening. TMR is a stand-up audio dealer, for sure.

My comments about wanting another CD Box have elicited some strongly-opinionated responses! I know it sounds crazy, the sound I'm after is what the CD Box delivers. I go back and forth.

With that said-I contacted Pro-Ject N.A. and they indicated the CD Box is being redesigned to eliminate the disc recognition issues and squeal noise that many users encountered. They don't know when their redesigned product will be back on the market. Meanwhile, I had a terrific conversation with an audio dealer who carries Pro-Ject. They said the failure rate of the CD Boxes since 2022 was 70%. Wow!!

So, what does that mean for me? I'm going to take some time to listen and learn. If anyone around Northern NJ has Jay's Audio transports, or CEC transports and is willing to invite me over for an audition, I'm happy to bring some snacks and spirits.

The TEAC mentioned at the beginning of this thread is available in October. Happy to seek one out for a demo. I'm also interested in ARC CD6SE because I have ARC upstream, and suspect there will be synergy with my rig. Will it best the CD Box? Only one way to find out. 


Just to offer my 2 cnts. There are 2 reasons I took a flyer for a third RS2T. As it has already been stated the first 2 were not workable. I sent them back to TMR, with a through explanation. They were great to deal with. If it were not for TMR, and their customer service, return policy,  I would not made  a third purchase. Charles and I had posted back and forth several times, and  agreed the sound of the unit just cannot be beat. Once heard you will always remember its sonic attributes.

I asked TMR if they would open and thoroughly test the new unit before shipping, they had it for almost a week. Maybe I'm as lucky as Charles with this unit now, I HOPE!   Having TMR as a dealer was very reassuring. Hopes this helps someone. Robert

@thyname +1


I can’t believe that the OP is considering buying another Project after having 2 previous failures and complaining of inadequate CS.  This is like trying to counsel an abused woman who yet again is contemplating returning to her abusive mate because he keeps promising to change 

I have made in-roads to learning about the sonic available from streaming over the past few years, where demo's have been had in carefully selected systems to help with the assessments and evaluation.

I have not had a demo' of streamer as a Source using my own system.

I have heard my own CD Source used in a System I am very familiar with that has a Linn Akurate + expensive upgrades.

The Linn Streamer was great, it was a really good way to be presented music, it actually changed my thoughts on streaming, I become an advocate of the idea, the ease of use and sonic produced were in conjunction a worthwhile experience.  From previously sought out demo's, I had formed a view of not being too impressed, after hearing a few Sources on other systems of which one was a £6K Streaming device used in a £100K system.

The Linn Streamer + expensive upgrades was not a match in being able to create a sonic that had a undeniable attraction, that was near parity to the systems Vinyl Source, CD Source or my own CD Source. 

I would still have a Streamer, I will be interested in discovering one that can present a sonic similar to the Linn, but come in a t a cost that is quite a a bit more pocket friendly.


Do you think that Pro-Ject North America might advise you not to try the third time?😁

I have to say as I'm doing research the CD Box still comes out on top wrt sound quality. 

So you are doing “research” on this, but never bothered to listen to other CDTs recommended on this thread? Whatever research you are doing I want to smoke some. What’s the point? I am terribly sorry for speaking my mind. I know bad idea.


As they say, fool me once, it’s on you. Fool me twice, it’s on me. Fool me three times… (yet to be explored)




The 3rd time was the charm for Rob as he mentioned earlier. I’d only consider it if there’s a clear snd definitive return policy. It would be wonderful if you can finally enjoy the RS2T trouble free as other very happy owners are. Particularly in your case as you well know its sonic capabilities. What ever you decide I wish you the best.


@robshaw -

Many people think Jay's MK2-III transport sounds fantastic. I've done quite a bit of research and have considered getting one. I think the thing that makes me hesitate is the no returns policy. Charles1dad has an Abbas 3.2 se DAC and is very satisfied.




Agreed with your quality issue assessments! I have to say as I'm doing research the CD Box still comes out on top wrt sound quality. I've actually wondered if I would be crazy trying to get another one. I've reached out to Pro-Ject North America to get a better idea if it's worth a third go-around.