Tonality of Jay's Transport?

Having demo'd the Pro-ject RS2 and compared it to my Sim260DT, I'm well aware that transports differ in terms of their capacity for reading data off a disc. 

I returned the Pro-ject (I found its small size and light weight impractical) before it was burned in and therefore garnered little sense of how it affected the overall tonality of my system. Furthermore, it was demo'd before I acquired my current integrated. 

Now I am considering purchasing the Jay's and am wondering if anyone can comment on its tonality. I'm particularly interested in how it might affect the mids in my system. 

Although my Aqua La Voce 2 DAC and Silverline SR17.5 monitors are typically regarded as warm, I've found my Hegel H390's neutral character has a greater impact on the sound of the system, overall. I often turn up the mids to 2 - 0 - clock on my Schiit Lokius and would not want a transport than would impart any sense of lean-ness. As I cannot return the Jay's, I feel a need for caution, here. 





I have both.  Jay's for sure is built like a tank compared to the Project.  In my reference though they sound different, the choice of which one u like will boil down to personal preference.  In my best system, I like the Jay's a bit better.  It gives you a liquid voluptuous sound with nice tonal colors.  To my ears, the RS2T is a great sounding transport that is less voluptuous and more on the analytical side.  I liked the RS2T more in my slightly less resolving exercise room system.  Get the Jay's and be happy.


Many thanks for your on-point response.

I am seeking the type of presentation you ascribe to the Jay's and will therefore order one.

Best wishes,





@jaymark , Nice dissection of applications there, my friend. 👍
And refreshing, to boot.

All the best,

@stuartk @Nonoise 

I try and describe what my ears hear and my brain prefers with an accurate characterization as to why I prefer a certain audio presentation.  I also prefer to stay away from some of the toxic interchanges that occur in this forum.   I have been an Audiophool since college.  One person's preference no matter how informed will not be uniformly preferred by other listeners. So I can offer my opinion but would not fall on a sword defending it.


My aim is to balance the two presentations (voluptuous vs. analytical).

I've tried gear in my system that has pushed it to one extreme or the other, on various occasions. I believe it's just as worthwhile to hear, first-hand, what we don't enjoy as it is to hear what we do enjoy. Otherwise, we have no real benchmark-- merely a mental concept. 

I demo'd the Pro-ject with a tubey-sounding Wells Majestic integrated and my initial impression was very positive although I could not get used to the Pro-ject's ergonomics. 

While I would not describe the Hegel as analytical, it is much more resolving and clear than the Wells, so, based upon your comments, I imagine it will pair well with the Jay's. 

At the same time, I fully appreciate the subjective nature of the hobby and recognize there is still a possibility I may not like the Jay's. Be assured, in such a case, I will not expect you to fall on your sword!  

@stuartk I struggle with the ergonomics and sturdiness of the Project transport, at least the RS2T.  I have their slot loading transport in another system and while small I like it better from a functional use standpoint.  You hit on another important point that you can guess at but can truly only figure out by experimentation.  That is, the interaction between components. 


One person's preference no matter how informed will not be uniformly preferred by other listeners. So I can offer my opinion but would not fall on a sword defending it.

Well put and agree 100%.


I believe that you'll be thrilled with the Jay's Audio CDT2 MK III. I can't envision how this would not be a good purchase decision. 



Good to know I'm not the only one who's had issues with that aspect of the RS2.

As for synergy, it's been my experience that we can never really be sure how components will behave together until we actually hook them up, press play/drop the needle and hear for ourselves. 




Good to read that you ordered a Jay's Transport.


Happy Listening!

I just got my Jay’s CDT2-Mk3. It’s built like a tank and is quiet. I don’t think it ads any color to the sound that I can tell. But there is a lot of factors at work here. Not just the transport. For me so far I am either playing direct via I2S/HDMI to my Terminator Plus or via SPDIF to a GAIA DDC then via I2S to the Terminator Plus to my amp(s). I can tell you that I am happy with this unit and the excellent support from Alvin Chee at Vinshine Audio. 

Just a couple of additional observation with my unit.

After upgrading my unit to Mk3, the transport sounded dull and two dimensional the first 100 hour. However it opened up after an extensive burn-in with XLO disc track #8. During burn-in, the top end harden up with a touch of grain, the midrange was flat, and bottom was somewhat bloated. But do be patience and hold off your judgement until you have at least 500hrs on the Jay. In my humble opinion, it will take a high-rez system to fully exploit the capability of this transport. The Jay sounds rich and full of detail, dynamic and transparent. Staging and imaging is outstanding and outweighs transports twice it’s price. Comparing to my resident Esoteric, the Jay is more articulate and musical. Where the stage depth isn’t as deep as the sterile Eso, but overall presentation is more three dimensional. However, be prepared to reposition your speakers as the system will gain low end extension and weight. If not tended to, it may excite room nodes you didn’t realize existed. Now that my Jay is burned in, it will only take an hours of playing to weak up. 


What Esoteric unit are you currently using?  Some have described this brand's digital components sonic signature as leaning toward analytical and sterile while others say this is simply transparency and neutrality. Different opinions and experiences as one would expect. 

I've read that the current generation of Esoteric digital components are more organic and less sterile.  No doubt as alluded to in above posts, this is very much audio system and listener preference dependant. I'm not at all surprised that you're 'very happy with the Jay's Audio CDT2 MK III transport. This certainly would have been my choice if not for the existence of the Pro-Ject CD Box RS2T.

Terrific options are available for those of us who love spinning Redbook CD playback. 



Thanks very much for your comments, including the warning about its sound prior to burn in.

I don't have much flexibility in terms of speaker placement so I hope that's not going to be a sticking point. This is not an issue I've encountered in reviews of this unit or other transport threads here. Don't mean in any way to refute what you say-- only to say your observations in this regard are unexpected. 

Not sure how you define hi-rez. My Hegel integrated is pretty resolving but no-one would likely describe my my Aqua DAC as "analytical". 


"I don’t think it ads any color to the sound that I can tell. But there is a lot of factors at work here."

Agreed-- it's never merely about one component but how it behaves as part of a specific system. 

Yes I should have quantify my observation that the Esoteric I was using is an older SA-50 clock linked with G25U as transport. Far from latest. It is in my humble opinion in my modest system that it’s more analytical and sterile. Latest and greatest ESO may and should sound different. Whatever you or I read here should be taken with a grain of salt. BTW, I will not quote anything that I have no direct experience with.


Life is full of choices regarding DAC/Transport(s). Enjoy the music.


Happy Listening!


High-Rez is relative to ones perspective. Unfortunately I’m unfamiliar with Hegel or Silverline. I’m sure they are great to capture a fellow audiophile’s ears. So I can’t comment on these pieces.

Using the Jay in my secondary system, I perceived a slight improvement over my Avatar in area of micro dynamics and few others. Both transport shares similar characteristics. Furthermore I experienced no room node problems due the fact that my Kharma CRM2.3FE doesn’t reach that low.

But in my main system, the twin servo-sub-towers excited my room with new found authority which caught me by surprise. My system measures flat to 18hz but never did I need to retune my system due to transport swap. I cite this as a testament to the Jay.

So if your system doesn’t reach that low, you’ll have no concerns. As jafant sez, enjoy the music.


Many thanks for the clarification.

While I've not measured the bass extension in my room, I'm confident it does not remotely approach 18hz. 

I would like to know if Jay’s Transport will play downloaded Flac files.
I download a lot of concerts from NUGS or Munck Music then burn them to
a disc with great results. When I asked Jay’s about this he claimed redbook
only. Has anybody here had success playing Flac Files on Jay’s Transport?

My Jay's transport plays FLAC files from JRiver that I burn without problem.

Thank you Jaymark

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't most files on JRiver aren't they 

originally Redbook files ? My old CEC Tl2 would not play 

burned CD"s until I swapped out resistors with the advice of 

Nick Gowen in San Jose ,Ca. True Sound .I have This CEC TL2 that won't die

and I have this erg to upgrade! I would like to get Jays latest Transport

However Alvin says it won't work! I am not convinced by his comment.

Just short of sending Jay's some  CD's of these downloaded shows.

Flac files to try out!  Does anybody here do  download off NUGS

FLAC files That will play on Jay's Transport?

There is a lot of great live music that is available today without

over processing and engineering?

Thanks for your Time! 

Does anybody here do  download off NUGS

FLAC files That will play on Jay's Transport?

Jay's CDT plays Redbook CDs. 

The confusion lie on whether these FLAC files are burnt to the disc as a 'Data Disc' or an 'Audio CD'.

A Data Disc may content mixed files types, i.e. FLAC/mp3/AIFF/etc.

Audio Disc, often known as Rebook CD, is a standard disc with audio content medium digitized at 44,100Hz. 


Hope this clarifies!


Alvin @

Rep of DENAFRIPS, Jay's Audio, Kinki Studio



Thank you  for clarifying that!

They are all burned as an Audio CD.