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Red Book Transport Recommendation (Read 3743 times)
ihmeyers
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Red Book Transport Recommendation
07/13/13 at 00:40:38
 
Just bought a Taboo 3/CSP2+ and now it seems as if my transport is failing.  It's a very high quality piece, a Sonic Frontiers SFT3 but its quite long in the tooth and its been glitchy lately.  It has already been to Canada to be repaired by the Parts Connection techs but I know its on borrowed time.

I use that with a W4S Dac-1 (black gate upgrade) and it sounds pretty good driving my LCD2s.  I'd like something that's at least as good, or better yet a step up without breaking the bank.  Having not auditioned transports in well over 10 years I'd think that improvements in technology over that time would allow me to get something at least as good, or better for ~$2k.  Then again, maybe that's not the case as the original price of the SFT3 was $7k (1998).

Can anyone make a recommendation?  The PS Audio transport looks pretty good but the reviews on it are pretty scarce.  They're about $1600 or so used if you can find one.  I've seen some vintage Levinson's for $1800-$2400 but I would be trading one 15 year old transport for another....

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.  :)

Ian
Florida, USA
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« Last Edit: 07/13/13 at 02:13:26 by ihmeyers »  

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Lon
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #1 - 07/13/13 at 02:04:11
 
I have the PS Audio, and it's awesome. I love it. I think your WFS will accept it's i2S output(?) If so I'd say it's a natural choice. With the digital lens inside (and the ability to read hi-res on DVD-R) it makes great music.

I haven't really tried many other transports, but the I2S connectivity would steer me to that with your DAC.
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ihmeyers
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #2 - 07/13/13 at 02:43:06
 
The W4S DAC doesn't have I2S capability.  

Now I'm thinking maybe I want both the PS Audio DAC2 and the Memory Wave Transport.  It's 50% off for the combo at PS Audio for another few weeks (which leads me to believe they are introducing a new DAC/Tranpsort).  I think the wife will kill me if I spend another $4k on the combo plus that still leaves me with the W4S DAC and the transport I would have to sell.  I guess the W4S DAC will sell pretty quickly...

If I am right about a DAC/Transport 3 being introduced (I can't think of why else they'd be 50% off), the DAC2/Memory Wave pair will probably trade at ~3k by end of year...

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Lon
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #3 - 07/13/13 at 03:47:04
 
I'm not sure about a new DAC or Transport from PS Audio. Maybe, but they're pretty good at building up a buzz for new things and nothing has been mentioned from them as would be their modus operandi.

The Duo is amazing imo. And that 4000 dollar deal is one not likely to be seen again.
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beowulf
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #4 - 07/13/13 at 19:15:16
 
Yes, the buy a PrefectWave DAC MKII and get a PerfectWave Transport for FREE is a great offer!  I don't use CD players however as I prefer ripping them to my hard drive and playing back on my PC using JRiver and my DAC.

Have you thought about the Oppo BDP-105?  Pretty good bang for the buck, not only is the drive mechanism really good, but you get a universal disc player (that plays SACD and Blu-Ray), network player and DAC as well.  It can still be used with your DAC and preamp of choice though if you prefer one DAC chip over another.
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Lon
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #5 - 07/13/13 at 19:27:52
 
It's precisely because I don't like computer audio and playing with ripping and files Cheesy that I love the Transport, plus it does all the same things as EAC and has a digital lens in as well, it's really something else.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Oppo's sound and wouldn't recommend them but I seem to be in the minority and I'm comfortable there. Wink
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« Last Edit: 07/13/13 at 21:58:48 by Lon »  

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beowulf
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #6 - 07/14/13 at 20:22:58
 
Quote:
Lon said,
Personally, I'm not a fan of Oppo's sound and wouldn't recommend them but I seem to be in the minority and I'm comfortable there.


If you look at it strictly as a redbook transport, all the parts are high quality, but's its a lot more than that ... SACD + Blu-Ray + Networking on top.  I think a lot of people are kind of "iffy" with the DACs Oppo uses though, but that's what the RCA outputs are there for.

That's why I mentioned that (if you prefer a different sound) you run the output through a DAC of your choice it will change the sound more to one's liking. Cool
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Lon
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #7 - 07/14/13 at 20:44:00
 
Well, I've played around with one of the SE ones a friend has in Texas. At his place and he brought it over to my place, we tried it feeding the PWD and we tried the analog out and I just didn't like it's character either way. I've heard others in others' systems a few times and there's just something about the sound, a sort of upper mid sound that I just don't like, even when used as a transport. SACD sound as well. And I have no interest in network stuff, I know that makes me a Luddite but it's just neither fun nor "better" for me, I don't find the so-called convenience a plus for me, etc.

Anyway, that's just me, many love them, they're an incredible value for money but I personally would not recommend them.
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« Last Edit: 07/14/13 at 21:37:23 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #8 - 07/14/13 at 22:47:12
 
After adapting to my tweaked Mac Mini as a file server, and my Tranquility DAC, I could not go back to a transport. I have become addicted to EQ, and using it from within a great sounding, and very adjustable audio player app, like Pure Music, or now Audirvana... this is an amazing thing. The ability to tame and fix cumbersome room issues with transparent EQ is priceless for me. And with noise shaping and quality dithering to taste...great stuff.

I do miss being able to easily reference CDs for player information at times, but then my main thing is the music, and a hard drive loaded with error free CDs is mighty convenient.
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Donnie
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #9 - 07/15/13 at 00:00:25
 
I'm with Will on this one.
It is time to realise that in the future music isn't going to be in a physical medium anymore. I don't like that fact, but it is inevitable.
The kids want convenience over everything .
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Lon
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #10 - 07/15/13 at 02:30:01
 
I can fully realize that, and not care or embrace it. I don't even have to face it if I don't want to, and it doesn't have to be a part of my future. If I were 13, okay. . ..

I'm not after the ultimate sound and I'm tired of always futzing and tweaking whether it's hardware or software. I just want to enjoy my music and I do so with my physical objects. I'm outside the mainstream and probably won't rejoin it, I can establish the parameters of my own musical entertainment world and I am NOT intrigued by computer audio. eq software, etc. I can understand why others are, maybe even more than others might understand why I do not. It's not for me, I don't need to go there, I'm not going there, it's a waste of time for me, time I don't have.

I tried it, I didn't like it, I'm not forcing myself to like it, I'm okay with not being on the "state of the art cutting edge." I'm happy with the Torii, I really love my transport and DAC combo (it's awesome!) and I don't need a "mystery amp" or a network..

I can imagine it's a lot of fun for some, but I'd rather spin my discs, and save my exploratory learning and excitement for something else (like making music, or writing, or building personal relationships, etc.)

Now back to the regularly scheduled transport thread.
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« Last Edit: 07/15/13 at 02:33:00 by Lon »  

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Doorman
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #11 - 07/15/13 at 03:41:42
 
I'm in agreement with Lon, in that there is life (before, during & ) after
computer based audio.
I can certainly understand why folks choose to embrace a computer based system, there's many valid reasons for doing so.
It wasn't so many years ago that anyone (still) spinning vinyl was being told that it would soon disappear.
Now we hear the same predictions for the cd format. It's still here, sounds great, and will likely continue to be around.
I won't hesitate to buy another player when necessary.
Happy listening!
Don
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will
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #12 - 07/15/13 at 04:42:18
 
I really don't think a whole lot about the future relative to my audio decisions. I mean, I still use all redbook and a NOS DAC, and the sound is awesome! But I just like my sound and file access (Redbook CD data) better with what I can do with my little Mini. I can comfortably say, that in this system/room, a traditional transport, no matter how good, in front of my DAC, could not sound as good as my system does now.

The cold reality is: though I have treated my room in numerous ways, and it started with many excellent traits, it still has issues. With the help of appropriate EQ and other sound shaping tools that the computer and software easily offer, I can really dial the sound in, both for greater accuracy, and for my preferences...my musical pleasure.

I really don't care if one prefers a normal transport...this is clearly a totally valid choice. The thing is, they are both options that can be good. The only reason I responded to this thread about transports, is that I prefer my "transport" ...the Mini transports the CD data to DAC beautifully while offering me a lot of versatility toward efficiently and aesthetically making my system/room much better than without. After all...room is a huge part of our sound!
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« Last Edit: 07/15/13 at 05:00:32 by will »  

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Lon
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #13 - 07/15/13 at 11:19:52
 
Well, moving into room correction is essential if you're seeking ultimate audio playback.

I'm turning in my audiophile card. I've gone the distance up to becoming the ultimate audiophile and addressing these final frontiers, and my life has changed and I don't have the time to dedicate to the final yards nor the temperament. I found a very good sound that works across the breadth of my collection--and ultimately listening comfortably to my collection is more important to me than getting the best sound out of some of it. I'm going to park myself here--especially after I receive my new Torii that has the feature I lacked before.

In my new life I can't dedicate the time that I did before to listening let alone to futzing and improving my system. It's a huge challenge and change for me but I've had to move my "heart" elsewhere and I'm trying to meet the new battles with real vigor. I don't spend enough time in my room to dedicate to room correction, I don't even get a bare minimum of enough time to just relax and listen. So that aspect of exploration I see as unnecessary for me and maybe something for the distant future.

And ever since computer audio became a possibility I've just laughed at the huge waste of time ripping my collection would be. Major! I could spend the rest of my life ripping my collection, and what a sad waste of time that would be. I laugh just thinking of the absurdity of it. If one were starting a collection, sure. But for people with decades of collecting I just don't see it.

Anyway, to each their own. I've long marched to the beat of a different drummer and with this supposed inevitable shift towards computer audio I'll be offbeat again. I'm cool with that. I'm cool with anyone who headed off in that direction, but I won't be nipping at their heels.
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will
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Re: Red Book Transport Recommendation
Reply #14 - 07/15/13 at 14:30:37
 
I doubt I would convert either with your collection Lon. I just slowly add CDs, but I have many 100's on my drive compared to your many 1000's. I just see no reason to convert a lot of my collection, discs that I have not listened to in years. Every so often I will pull an old disk, but mostly adding new stuff at this point and it is easy to add say 10 at a time over a couple mornings. I even gave away three or four hundred discs a couple years ago, and more 5-6 years ago when I moved.

And of course there are other ways to get EQ. It is just efficient and easy in the computer, and I think quite clean...sort of like adding a mastering EQ at the source.
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