Schiit URD CD Transport SOON?

A non-working model of the long rumored Schiit URD CD Transport has started showing at hifi shows. The device was shown in the Schiit Booth at T.H.E Show in California a week or so ago.

Here’s the article:

New photo from the T.H.E. Show display:

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The parts/boards (even wires if it has any) need break in to sound their best

I am at the 70 hour mark with my URD break in.  Only the URD was changed in my system (same coax cable - SPDIF).  The unit did not sound too good right out of the box, but has settled in significantly at this point.  The major thing I am hearing (compared to the previous transport) is that there appears to be greater resolution, clarity, and a sense of greater illumination in the presentation of the music.  My previous transport evoked a more "burnished" sound quality that had a slightly softer focus, and a presentation that had less illumination (as if the lights were turned down a bit in a room).  I was very accustomed to the previous sound quality, so this change, though not great, was initially mistaken for a sense of "digital glare", but continued listening convinces me that this is not what is happening.  There may be further change in the sound as I approach 100 - 150 hours of break in.  Would love to hear other's impression on their URD.

I have two transports - an Atoll DR200 Signature and now the Schiit Urd.  I’ve used the Atoll transport the past few years, connecting to an Yggdrasil OG (now Yggy+ LIM), with a Jorma SPDIF cable.

I purchased the Urd as it is my understanding is that this is Mike Moffat’s attempt at creating an improved interface – the Unison USB which uses the USB Word clock to synchronize the flow of data from transport to DAC.

For the Urd I am using a Kimber Select Cu USB-C to USB-B cable.  I believe that people are going to find out that different USB cables sound different.  I would caution the use of adapters, as I believe they would degrade the sound.  I tried another USB cable that uses silver plated copper, but it sounded a bit lean to my liking.  And ,I did not want to wait through a long burn in period for it to open up.  The Kimber USB cable broke in quickly and is a very nice sounding, coherent, cable.

The Urd through USB sounds better than the Urd or Atoll SPDIF.  The soundstage is stable and natural sized.  Imaging is a bit more precise than the SPDIF connection.  Resolution, pitch, dynamics, PRAT, noise level and decay are all very, very good.  The sound is fluid and effortless.  I can’t find any real faults.  The Unison USB definitely sounds “more analog” than the SPDIF connection.

I also briefly listened to the Urd SPDIF using the Jorma cable.  Compared to the Atoll, the differences are less than the Unison USB.  I didn’t critically listen to compare the two, but noted the PRAT jumped out as a difference.  The Stream based Urd sounds a bit more relaxed than the somewhat more energetic Teac based Atoll.  With SPDIF, these two transports are closer in performance, and one might prefer one over the other.

The build quality on the Urd appears to be very good.  The functions on the Urd are very, very basic – Play, Stop, Eject, Forward and Reverse.  The remote works well.  I found the Urd to be somewhat quirky about having the function buttons pushed too quickly, and can lock up, causing the need to toggle the power switch.  Once I learned this behavior, I have been more deliberate, and no longer experience this problem

I believe the Urd represents a very good value for the performance level it achieves.   I’d highly recommend an audition to anyone considering a new transport. 


I now have about 120 hours on my URD.  No problems reading CD disks (or CDRs).  It did not sound too great right out of the box, but now is sounding really good.  I have so far been using the SPDIF coaxial output exclusively, feeding a Denefrips Pontus II 12th.

This transport needs between 100 and 150 hours of burn in before making any serious observations.  I have not noticed anything that sounds out of balance, or an emphasis in any particular aspect of the sound.  At this point I like what I am hearing.  This looks like a very solid transport, and I will eventually begin listening via the USB connection to see if there are further sonic gains.