Like most of you that lived through the vinyl > cd > streaming > vinyl+streaming epoch, I have, as surely you do, a good to decent to great DAC for your streaming listening. And probably somewhere you have hundreds or thousands of CDs packed away somewhere. Maybe you have a basic CD player and you use it occasionally but find it somewhat lacking. So, it doesn’t get first-line status in your system. Maybe you have connected it, or a DVD player to your DAC and… meh, it’s OKAY.
But now the time has come when CDs are staging a mini-comeback. And the reason is folks getting rid of the old CDP/DVD players and adding yet another piece of gear – the dedicated CD Transport.
There are a number of good $600 to $1,200 Transports on the market now that connect up via 75 ohm digital (not audio) cable to that very good DAC you have in your system.
When you take this step – sort through those old CDs and pick the ones that are still relevant, you’ll be shocked how good those old shiny discs can sound.
I post this because I had an Onkyo 7030 CDP and thought it was supposedly cheap and good. But the sound did nothing for me. I read some posts on various forums about the Transport option and found a $600 Cambridge Audio CXC Transport for sale used for under $300. And, WOW, the difference is amazing and got me “shopping in the Attic” picking through my 15 boxes of CDs looking for some good music.
I haven’t compared the sound with my Qobuz streaming, though reviewers everywhere are claiming the CD sounds better, but I’m enjoying the 40 or so CDs that made the trip back down to my listening room from the attic storage graveyard they’ve lived in for the past decade or so.