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Any good CD player/transport around?

tokyo_blues

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I'm putting a Hi-Fi setup back together and I need a CD player/transport as I still have loads of CDs.

I will exclusively use its digital out into my existing DAC (a Benchmark) so I'm not fussed about internal DAC performance and analog outs.

I know I could theoretically buy any DVD/Blu-Ray player with a digital out, but I want a good user interface and good loading mechanism. It has to have a remote, a display, and load CDs quickly and efficiently. Front loader with tray is a must.

What are my options these days? The usual low- to middle- tier (Marantz, Yamaha, Denon) or is there anything else?
 

deniall83

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I went through this a while back after convincing myself that I need a transport. Honestly, there isn't much. The Audiolab 6000CDT was the one I was going to get until I started reading dozens of reports that it scratches discs. The Cambridge CXC looks OK but in Australia is $1300 which is way overpriced for the quality. I'm still deciding what I'm going to do but I'll probably end with a budget player from Marantz, Denon or Yamaha.
 

JeremyFife

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Alternatively, have you considered ripping your collection to flac or wav?
It doesn't take as long as you think, the mastering version of your CDs is preserved (arguably the reason for having physical media) and your music becomes much more accessible.
A basic cd/dvd with digital out will be fine and you'll need storage but nothing tricky.
Rip once, play and enjoy many times...
 

restorer-john

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The Audiolab 6000CDT was the one I was going to get until I started reading dozens of reports that it scratches discs.

Slot loading mechs make a mess of CDs, especially when the roller guides get dusty/sticky.

@tokyo_blues Maybe see if you can track down a NOS Denon professional player (19" rack mount)?
 
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tokyo_blues

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Alternatively, have you considered ripping your collection to flac or wav?
Thanks. I have done that. All FLACs ripped via EAC, tagged and complete with cover art for 1K+ CDs.

I do need to also listen to actual CDs in parallel though, both because sometimes I like the experience, and also because my wife prefers to listen to CDs rather than browsing via a phone app etc.
 
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tokyo_blues

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I'm still deciding what I'm going to do but I'll probably end with a budget player from Marantz, Denon or Yamaha.

Yeah.. I'm leaning towards this one


Half the price of the current Marantz/Denon crop. I just wonder if it'll be much worse mechanically. I just can't stand super slow tray loading and slow CD recognition. Wish I could test this somewhere close to me but I most likely won't be able to.
 

deniall83

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Yeah.. I'm leaning towards this one


Half the price of the current Marantz/Denon crop. I just wonder if it'll be much worse mechanically. I just can't stand super slow tray loading and slow CD recognition. Wish I could test this somewhere close to me but I most likely won't be able to.
I'll most likely get that one too. Seems fairly reasonable for the money. I'm also considering the Tascam CD-200.
 

JeremyFife

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Thanks. I have done that. All FLACs ripped via EAC, tagged and complete with cover art for 1K+ CDs.

I do need to also listen to actual CDs in parallel though, both because sometimes I like the experience, and also because my wife prefers to listen to CDs rather than browsing via a phone app etc.
I hear you!
 

chips666

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"Post 17" I remember that Ficus (Lampizator) was raving about this dvd player, Pioneer DV444, used as a transport
Still widely second hand available for peanuts
Enjoy...
 

tomchris

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How about the Pioneer DJ - CDJ-900NXS?

cdj-900nexus-main-pdj.png


Professional equipment, tons of features, can play multiple formats, fast frontloader, high quality wave display, digital out
 
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tokyo_blues

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How about the Pioneer DJ - CDJ-900NXS?

cdj-900nexus-main-pdj.png


Professional equipment, tons of features, can play multiple formats, fast frontloader, high quality wave display, digital out
Thanks. Seems like a top loader so it's out as per initial post.

Edit: I am wrong, and you did write it's a front loader. Sorry. Will look into this.

Edit 2: 2000$ so way out of budget. Thanks anyway
 
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sibi1865

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I dug out my CD transport after many years recently to help decipher a problem I had, and found that its LED display had faded somewhat. The last time something went wrong with it, the distributor wanted to charge me £400 just to look at it. Needless to say, it would have been cheaper to buy a new one, but I found an independent repairer who did the necessary work at a very reasonable cost. I'd now like to get the display fixed. Would anyone know of repairers in the Glasgow-Edinburgh area?
 

mhardy6647

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I like the aesthetics of the TASCAM.
I suspect its innards are uninspiring, especially for the price.
But it looks quite nice in a purposeful way.

Oh. In terms of the OP.
I would do what I did, if I were me. ;)

Old DVDPs (and even some CDPs) are cheap or free. Pick up one (or 10), find one (or two or three) that look good and work reliably, then add a good DAC. Done. Keep one or two spares.

In full disclosure, the DVDP I use as a "daily driver" CD transport (from the swap pile of the Harvard, MA, town "transfer station") was found sans remote control, so I bought one on eBAY for $20 (USD). EDIT: It loads quite quickly -- surprisingly so given that it's not a purpose-built CDP.
It's all plastic, all the time, though (although not junky in appearance nor in feel, IMO).



"Daily driver" since July 2013.
 
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RayDunzl

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What are my options these days? The usual low- to middle- tier (Marantz, Yamaha, Denon) or is there anything else?

There's barely anything left in production, as far as I can see.

I bought a Tascam 200 for digital duty seven years ago...

I'd just get whatever I could find now.

There are a few...

Overall, the listings are rather dismal...

 
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Timcognito

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Used Oppo on eBay BDP-103 or BDP-105 good dacs and disc mechanisms
 
OP
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tokyo_blues

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Update

Many thanks everyone for the tips. You guys rock. I think I might have found what I needed. Just purchased this one


Seems to have all I need and nothing I don't
  1. remote
  2. reasonably clean/simple to operate front fascia
  3. tray loader, front
  4. small display
  5. both coax and optical digital out to go into my Benchmark DAC
  6. Bonus: a headphone amp and headphone jack - this will be useful for when I want to continue listening late at night, I'll just plug in a pair of beat-up Beyerdynamics I have around. Hopefully this is good enough to drive them ok.
I don't have any use for those rack mount ears, but they seem to be easily removable.

This is turning up cheaper than the cheapest unit I had in my list (that Yamaha S303) and it has a headphone jack to boot, plus the CD tray looks larger and more robust than that on the Yamaha, which makes me hopeful it'll last a little longer.

So yes thank you again everyone for your input. Will report back in case someone else is in the same shoes.
 
Last edited:

dougi

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Update

Many thanks everyone for the tips. You guys rock. I think I might have found what I needed. Just purchased this one


Seems to have all I need and nothing I don't
  1. remote
  2. reasonably clean/simple to operate front fascia
  3. tray loader, front
  4. small display
  5. both coax and optical digital out to go into my Benchmark DAC
  6. Bonus: an headphone amp and headphone jack - this will be useful for when I want to continue listening late at night, I'll just plug in a pair of beat-up Beyerdynamics I have around. Hopefully this is good enough to drive them ok.
I don't have any use for those rack mount ears, but they seem to be easily removable.

This is turning up cheaper than the cheapest unit I had in my list (that Yamaha S303) and it has a headphone jack to boot, plus the CD tray looks larger and more robust than that on the Yamaha, which makes me hopeful it'll last a little longer.

So yes thank you again everyone for your input. Will report back in case someone else is in the same shoes.
Whoa that looks good value and pro look to boot! Great job. I remember i had this cheapish Teac in the 90s that had a look between a pro and the top end teacs (you could cue and the big buttons lit up). I loved it and sometimes supplemented the turntables for the DJ nights. It was almost identical to this one but without the strange feet.
 
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