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CD Transports

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BackinBlack View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackinBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: CD Transports
    Posted: 28 Dec 2015 at 9:46am
My much loved Audio Analogue Maestro CD player has finally expired.Cry The plastic of the CD loading tray and mechanism has become brittle and just crumbled away, after several repairs there just isn't enough good structure left to repair. Replacement mechanisms are rarer than hens teeth.
Consequently I'm looking for some advice/suggestions for a CD transport or player to feed my Majestic. Although I have almost all of my CDs ripped, I still prefer to play them direct to the Majestic.
So has anyone any experience of what to try or avoid?

Just listen, if it sounds good to you, enjoy it.
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Ernie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ernie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2015 at 11:52am
Hi BackinBlack,
I'm using a Cyrus CDT. I got it as a factory reprocessed from eBay for £400. Nice piece of kit. It's connected to my Majestic with a Lautus cable. The sound is fantastic but I haven't compared it to much else, just a DVD player.

I bought it because I wanted a small CD player and the Cyrus unit at this price was nicer built than some of the other items I'd looked at. But at £300 Project make a small slot load CD player with digital out that plays SACDs too.

Not sure if the Majestic reclocks like say the Naim DAC does so maybe a quality stable digital stream is best. I really can't call that. I'm really pleased with the CDT though. I had to buy a new CD source as my Naim CD3.5 doesn't have a digital out. The combo definitely outstrips Naim (I've compared via the Majestic's analogue in).

I don't really know if you need to spend a fortune on the digital source. I've compared the CDT to an Apple Mac connected optically playing the same ripped CD. I'd find it hard to say which sounded better, they both sound great. The Mac edges away with higher 96kHz 24 bit material though. The soundstage extends beyond the speakers and that I really can't explain.
There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand binary and those who don't.
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BackinBlack View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackinBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2015 at 1:41pm
Thanks Ernie, I used to think the AA Maestro had a good DAC (for circa 2000 it was very good), but using it to feed the Majestic brought the sound to a different level. Interestingly the Maestro was able to up sample to 96kHz which brought a different, slightly brighter and wider soundstage to the sound. I've currently pressed into service an old (1987 vintage) Marantz CD 65. The SPDIF out fed to the Majestic has a very full warm sound, quite pleasing, but lacking attack.
This does, to me, bear out the supposition that transports make a difference to the sound, I'm just hoping that a more modern transport will bring true benefit.
Just listen, if it sounds good to you, enjoy it.
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Ernie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ernie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2015 at 2:46pm
Well all I can say is that the CDT sounds better than the DVD player which tends to support the theory that not all digital streams are the same and if you think about it the electrical characteristics of output/input stages and cables must be able to change the sound.

The timing of the digital stream I assume is crucial to the performance. I don't think it's as simple as counting every 16 bits to derive the voltage swing of the DAC.

From what I remember the digital stream is made of different length on/off pulses and not pulses of a set mark space ratio, ie its not binary, the DAC is not getting a binary derived number every 23uS. This makes the timing critical and I believe that changes to this timing are referred to as jitter and that it is this jitter that affects the sound.

Perhaps there is someone on the forum who can guide us through this.

I think the best way to decide is, as ever, go and have a listen. There are also the sceptics you'll say all digital streams are the same its just 1s and 0s so it doesn't matter what you use. I don't agree with this stance as the signal timing is critical factor in decoding the signal at the DAC and of course I wouldn't have bothered buying the CDT, I'd be using the DVD player.
There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand binary and those who don't.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CageyH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2015 at 6:01pm
I am tempted by the P******t CD Box RS transport.
It is supposed to be quite good.
Kevin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2015 at 6:27pm
Originally posted by Ernie Ernie wrote:

Not sure if the Majestic reclocks like say the Naim DAC does...


I'm not sure how the Naim works but the WM8804 used in the Majestic comes with this data sheet (this downloads the PDF)...

http://www.element14.com/community/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadBody/65688-102-2-288340/WM8804.pdf

It's called "clock recovery".

PS: We use it in hardware mode.


Edited by Graham Slee - 28 Dec 2015 at 6:28pm
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Aussie Mick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie Mick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2015 at 11:11pm
Hi all,
     I've come to the conclusion that sticking with a Mac is for me. My Air will only output up to 96khz so there's a part of my download library I'm not yet hearing at full resolution, but a new MacBook Pro is not far away, which does 24/192. I looked around for a new transport and came to the conclusion I'd need to spend Cyrus CDt money to make it worth while, which I'm bulking at due to kids' school fees! The MacBook Air playing 24/96 downloads into the Majestic is terrific and a vast improvement over any disc spinner I've used as a transport. I purchased a high quality USB/Coax converter for much less than a transport, and it sounds better than USB alone. PM me if you want to know the brand and model if the converter. I don't were posting those details on the forum, right?
Mick.
Rega RP8/Ortofon 2M Black/Rega Apheta 2 - Reflex M/Elevator EXP - C.E.C. TL5 CD Transport - MacBook Pro/JRiver - Majestic DAC - Proprius - PMC Twenty5.22
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