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!


+1 TEAC recommendation. I believe either Sparkler Audio or 47 Labs use TEAC drives in their machines. After reading good reports (here) I use a small form factor TEAC PD H600. It was compared to an Ayon valve player by other users —which I had owned for years before, a beautiful natural sounding machine— and sure enough, feeding an Abbas DAC 2.4SE, this little TEAC helps present potent rich music with air and wide soundstage. Available used for around $400 dollars.

I think I would try the TEAC. Buy it from someone, like Music Direct, that has a solid return policy (verify the policy first).

If your DAC has an I2S input, that could easily narrow your search down as a majority of available transports don't output I2s. Last I heard, the new Shanling ET3 has been on backorder for months.


Just for old times sake, (😊) a few CDs I think that you’d like.

Chet Baker, “The Touch Of Your Lips”

Nicholas Peyton, ”Fingertips “

Jimmy Cobb/Roy Hargrove, “Jazz in The Key Of Blue”

Excellent trumpeters accompanied by excellent jazz guitarists.



Two comments re: the Jay’s CDT2MKIII:

1) You can buy a spare drive from them if you’re concerned about longevity.

2) I found it a bit forward sounding in my system, with my existing IC’s and footers. Once I swapped them out, everything came back into balance. I’ve been extremely happy with it. 


Although not exactly the latest in CD Transports, the Sonic Frontiers unit may be of interest if one is available on the used market. The Parts Connexion in Canada continues to support and repair this brand along with others. Recently, my SFCD-1 began not reading the table of contents of CD’s at times. The unit was sent in and the optical laser doo dad was replaced. Works like new. Quick turnaround. No complaints.

This is an important point to consider after reading some of the horror stories on here regarding manufacturers refusing to repair or replace a unit after a few years. 

The Audio Note UK transports are worth a look although a bit pricey.

I would consider the TEAC but the limited number of digital outputs put a stop to that. I appreciate TEAC CD transport mechanisms. Good looking unit too and with more outputs I probably would have purchased.

The Pro-Ject audio Transport.  Have not heard the Jay's MKIII but overall the Pro-Ject was just as you said.  I have not found anything that worked as well in our search since I gave mine to a friend a f3ew years back.

CEC makes a very good transport not the TL-5 but up the line.  We use an Audiomeca Mephisto and Metronome but the are very old now.

Closet thing to the transport and our DAC was the Cary SACD 306 player.  BUT not in stock form.  We installed over 100 parts in that sucker to get it to sound like reference players.  Close to the best we have ever heard.

Anyone saying that they have a server that could compete is not using our DAC  LOL!

Best o get something you like and have it modified with better parts quality.

Happy Listening.


BTW if you are looking to sell one PM me.




I second (or third?) Jay’s CDT3 MK3. Although it sounds like not in your budget. In that case, the CDT2 should do. Full disclosure: I have never heard the CDT2, but judging by the “house sound” of my CDT3, and the specs, it should be pretty close.


BTW, your jazz recommendations, sometime back, have brought hours of great listening pleasure in the wharfy household

Hi David,

I am happy that you are enjoying them. You share a deep passion for jazz and appreciate the outstanding musicians that make it possible.

My comment/recommendation concerning the TEAC transport has to do with there highly regarded VRDS mechanism over the years. I have a 1990s era Esoteric/TEAC CD transport that still functions well to this day. They have certainly improved from my very early model. I suspect their new transport is quite accomplished.

David it’s a shame your RS2T was was faulty x 2 models. I really wish you could have gotten a good one like I did. I believe that much of the exquisite sound quality can be attributed to the superb Stream Unlimited top load drive and servo integrated unit. Same as used in the above mentioned Aqua HiFi La Diva (And Gryphon).

Jay’s Audio uses the highly regarded but discontinued Phillips drive mechanism. Personally I have never heard of any reliability issues with their CD transports.

You have an excellent audio system and great music taste. I’d take a thorough look at their CDT3. I believe it uses better parts and a better quality Phillips drive mechanism compared with the highly praised CDT2 model. I haven’t heard either, just going by what I have read. In reality, I don’t think you could go wrong with either transport.



Yes, in a system with AQUA Formula xHD. Goes without saying, the synergy between them were the key that got me toe-tapping. Since then, it has been on my list to consider, if I were ever go down that path. 

@lalitk -

Much appreciated. I’ve done research and the Aqua La Diva M2 regularly shows up as a transport with the characteristics I appreciate. It has the CD Pro-8S CD transport, which is the same one in the Pro-Ject CD BoxHave you heard the original Aqua La Diva?



If you can swing it, also consider AQUA La Diva. Maybe you can find a used bargain for around $4500. I am inviting @thyname to share his thoughts on CDT3 MKIII. He’s got a fabulous system that does full justice to a player like CDT3. 


I think you would get all what you listed as your requirements. My first impression, after the switch, was soundstage expansion, some performers are at the reach of my hand, almost eerie. Later on I kept discovering nuances I had not been aware of before.

CDT3 was over my budget, have not heard it.

@knock1 -

I went from the CXC, which is a decent transport, to the Pro-Ject and it was audio nirvana.

How would you compare/contrast the CXC and your Jay's Audio CDT2 MKIII? It's on my radar, for sure. As I mentioned I'm looking for highly resolving presentation, dead quiet background, balanced placement of instruments in a believable 3 dimensional soundstage.

Tekaudio is recommending the CDT3 MKIII, at almost 2x the price. Have you heard it?


@charles1dad -

Glad to hear from you! When the Pro-Ject worked it was glorious. Glad you are enjoying yours. Reputation/reliability is definitely important.

BTW, your jazz recommendations, sometime back, have brought hours of great listening pleasure in the wharfy household.

Question-When you recommend the TEAC, what are you basing that on? Can you tell by looking at specs that the TEAC is going to be highly resolving, dead quiet with balanced placement of instruments in a believable 3 dimensional soundstage? 

Jay's is on my radar, as is Audio Research CD6SE, even though that has a DAC. 



Having Jay's Audio CDT2 MKIII I might be biased, but its performance and physical solidity is really impressive. I have not listened to ProJect so can't compare, came from Cambridge CXC and it was very substantial upgrade in every aspect.


Sorry about your poor experience with the RS2T. Fortunately I’ve had excellent sonic performance you note without the reliability/customer service issues you suffered. It’s been brilliant for me.  I assume that if you were seeking a music server you’d have inquired.

Based on reputation:track record  I’d look into latest TEAC CD tray loading transport. I really like top loading CD transports and strongly encourage you to consider the Jay’s Audio offerings. 
Best wishes 


Op asks about CDTs and the usual suspects counter with something else...

All the best,

Yep its time to move on and purchase a DAC/server combo or a all in one unit, it dosent make good sense to stay in the physical media realm anymore. Hook up with a streaming service that offers HI-Fi or better (studio) quality sound like Tidal or Quboz. Companies like Auralic, Aurender, Cambridge, Oppo are just a few you could check out.


Matt M


+1, @twoleftears Teac is a solid recommendation


Also look at Shanling Transport along with Jay’s and CEC (both great choices).

You may want to lookat a server in our tests a good server outperformed even the best cd transportsand you get streaming as well