Suggest Transports that can be Demo'd at home

I'm quite happy with my system (Silverline 17.5 monitors/Wells Majestic integrated/Aqua La Voce II/Jolida JD100 (as transport) but am wondering whether I ought to purchase another transport before they're no longer available.
$3000 would be my limit, budget-wise and longevity is a big concern. Used is OK, as long as unit is M. 

I have two caveats which make this tough-- 1) as a rule, I don't purchase any gear I can't first demo at home and 2)
I'd ideally prefer something made in N. America. Of these two qualifiers, the second is negotiable, but not the first.

I could demo a Bryston BCD-3 from Audio Advisor, but I'm not sure it makes sense to pay for a unit that includes a DAC I won't use. Also, I came across a comment in the Forums that the Bryston has fatiguing highs-- a flaw I particularly abhor. And, it's considerable over my budget. 

The Moon Neo 260D is not, as far as I can tell. possible to audition at home and I read on one of the AGon transport discussion threads that the drawer is flimsy. 

The Jay's Audio products look to be very good but I didn't see anything on their site about a trial period. 

A used PS Audio is a possibility, I guess, although I read that they used Oppo transports, which are no longer being made, so that's a concern from the longevity stand-point. 

 Any other units I should be aware of ??????????????



I had been using an Oppo-93 SPDIF out to my Yggdrasil Analog 2 with a Jorma Digital cable (RCA at Oppo, BNC at the Yggdrasil). I was never quite satisfied with the sound. It seemed to be somewhat mechanical, bleached, or lacking tonal densities, with the mid-bass sucked out, and an emphasis on the treble. From memory, I seemed to recall getting better overall quality sound when I was using a CAL Delta transport with a lesser DAC (CIA VDA-2) and cabling.

The Atoll DR200 Signature gave me a fuller tone, with better timing (PRAT), and fluidity. The images are more defined and fuller bodied. The soundstage widened and deepened. The mid-bass is back. The sound is more relaxed, non-fatiguing, but still with good drive. 

So, basically everything improved.

There’s a review by Edouard Hendrix for AV2D (in Dutch, but can be translated), that pretty much spells out what I’m hearing.   If you search for “Atoll factory” (Son-Video blog) , you can find some interesting photos and story of the factory in the Normandy area of France. The Atoll is a fine unit. I’m sure some of the other units mentioned here are also quite good, too. 

 But, I suspect once you get to the level of the Sim Audio or Atoll ($2K-ish units), any additional refinements are going to be smaller, and at a significantly greater cost. Atoll also has a higher end, top loading unit ($4k-ish?), but that was more than I wanted to spend.

Yeah, the Primare CD-35 looks to include a DAC.

The Atoll CD transport was a significant upgrade to my system. But, that could also be because the Oppo 93 was so bad as a transport. I don’t know how good your Jolida works as a transport. 

If you have access to some other CD or DVD players to try as transports, you may want swap them around and see what you hear. That will give you an idea of the sensitivity.  I’m pretty sure with your gear the sound quality will improve with a better transport. How much? Hard to say, but I’m pretty sure you will hear it.


I auditioned the Primare CDT 35 transport only, but was so unimpressed that I took a chance on the Jay's CDT Mk2 (bought blind, same price in South Africa) and have been in audio heaven since.
Mooglie: thanks for providing your sonic impressions of the Atoll. They are apparently available from a store in San Francisco by special order but even if they were in stock, I happen to know that particular store will not allow an  in-home demo. I already asked them about it re: the Sim Neo 260D and they turned me down.  

I was able to demo a friend's Heed Obelisk transport and was quite underwhelmed. 

itzhak1968: not sure how I'd be able to demo the CEC. 

garrard: Glad to hear you're pleased, having taken that gamble.  What is your system? 

I’d expect you would hear a difference with the Heed Obelisk. Perhaps the Jolida is not too bad? What type of connection and cable are you using?