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Thread: transports....

  1. #1

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    Default transports....

    So this may sound really stupid but what makes a transport a good transport and superior to another?

    Is it the use of a better reading laser, ect?

    Also how much of a change would you see from moving from a true dedicated transport than say a CDP or universal player used as a transport hooked up to the same DAC?

    I know that the Source matters but in terms of transports I didn't see how "big" of a difference it would make seeing that the DAC would be doing the D/A converison which to me would seem like one of the biggest steps in the whole process.

    The only one thought that comes to my mind is the better the transport the less jitter? is that correct or am I just totally lost. :o

    I mainly ask as a lot of times I see people spend a lot on a nice external DAC but then are using a universal player or a cheaper transport, then you have transports like Wadia ect that are very $$$.
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    Unfortunately, I cannot point you to the article, but a year or so ago, either stereophile or the absolute sound reviewed a transport at around $20K-$25K, and they swore it absolutely sounded better than other transports.

    I too was/am skeptical about what improvement a transport can provide when using a good DAC, but after hearing improvements from using brass footers and MIT cable upgrades I would not bet against a transport making an audible difference.

    Of course, if I were to spend $20-$25K on a piece of gear it would be on Wilson Sasha W/P speakers, not a transport. :)

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    Everything matters, but in the grand scheme you're chasing your tail trying to pin down difference in transports. Use what ever your comfortable with at a price point or convenience factor. Some have been able to detect difference. I never have but I have always used a decent transport. Now I use a wireless system and a computer HD. I haven't been able to detect any differences.

    There are other area's you can obsess about that will give you greater results.

    Enjoy the music.

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    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    I was just asking more as in terms of gaining knowledge. At this point I would focus on other things, but just didn't know if there was a huge difference between choices is all.
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    Look for solid construction, well executed laser mechanism, good dampening, good power supply, and low jitter output.

    Its possible that some 25k transport is better than one of the Sony XA series with the fixed laser and the puck, but I doubt any of us could hear it with a reasonably priced consumer DAC.

    Personally, for a transport, I'd stay away from universal players. They have more circuits inside (creating electrical noise), the laser is asked to do more things (which invariably makes it less reliable), and they are not usually as well built as a good stand alone player.

    In terms of stable playback of redbook, I don't think much has improved (more likely its worsened) since some of the TOTL mid/late-90s units. Yes DACs have gotten better, but the transports have not. In fact, most have gotten worse.

    XA5ES, XA7ES, XA20ES, XA50ES. All were some of the best consumer grade transports. Well built and reliable lasers.

    Only one thing to worry about with the older transports is if the laser goes bad, some of them are no longer available.

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    You can use Universal Player as Transports if you have a better sounding or preferred external DAC stand alone unit.

    But if the external DAC SPEC is not much difference from that of the internal DAC comes with Universal Players, you might not hear much difference at all.

    All depends on how well the External DAC is designed. Now about the transports, it is a creature of different colors. Usually, people buys the whole DAC and Transports package since it's how it's intended to use. But some people venture out and tried different DAC and they found it better sounding.

    It's really try and true approach here. But a few advantages of a good CD and SACD transports are : reduce vibration, read almost everything you throw at it including all kinds of CD-R media, read and scan the disc faster than almost every multi-players out there, reduces jitter, shields itself from unwanted noise from power supplies paths, shields itself from all kinds of electrical and magnetic interferences, and provides a wide variety of connectivity such as AES/EBU (balanced type) to the DAC which is less prone to external interference.

    But all in all, CDT and DAC are source units which is the first in chain so it shouldn't be taken lightly. Not all expensive CDT and DAC are better units. There are budget friendly CDT and DAC in the market so ask around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billbillw View Post
    In terms of stable playback of redbook, I don't think much has improved (more likely its worsened) since some of the TOTL mid/late-90s units. Yes DACs have gotten better, but the transports have not. In fact, most have gotten worse.
    +1. Agrees about the newer Redbook CDT laser pickup and assembly. Most of the newer CDT don't read scratched CD-Rs as the older ones could. Some newer redbook transports read the scratched CDs but takes a hell of time to load. It's usually the case with SACD+CD transports.
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    Thanks for the info.

    I personally have not heard a set up with a true dedicated "transport" but have heard them normally with either a CDP or universal that is using an external DAC. I use an external DAC with my pioneer that I have now and enjoy it.

    I just didn't know how much of an improvement people could see from using a true transport from like a CDP being used as one seeing to me, they would both have the same type of build just minus the DAC in the true transport so I didn't know if the extra cost made the transport portion "just that much better"

    Just wondering as I see often a lot of system on like audiogon ect that are using transports but didn't know if there was a true sonic superiority of doing that compared to a CDP being used in the same way (of equal build and spec quality).
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    I went from an adcom GCD-575 to a theta data basic and heard a huge difference.The adcom was old, but then again so is the theta.
    If I were ever to get another transport I wouldnt spend more than 800.00.
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    To OP,

    Transport and DAC matters just like everything else in the chain.

    You may or may not hear a notice from a good transport but a good transport likely will give you an additional small details.

    How that small details are carried to the last of the chain (to speakers) depends on every other aspects of a sound reproduction system. You may get it to the last nuances of recording or you may lose it all depends on the rest of the gear and the synergy between them.

    In the rig with a good matching of components, a good transport and a good DAC will improve what you hear dramatically.

    For fbm211, I hope you get pass that $800 barrier for a good transport.

    Here is a teaser....

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls..../Esoteric-P-01
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    I saw that transport.Too much but a nice transport.I was considering the northstar but it went quick.
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    i'm using my Bada 22SE CDP as a transport with an ext DAC.. sounds good to me.. and i'm the one the thing needs to impress. ;)

    a well built CDP can work very well as a transport.
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    I'm using a Cambridge 550C with their new server transport technology. http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summar...550C+CD+player
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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    I'm using a Cambridge 550C with their new server transport technology. http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summar...550C+CD+player
    and? how does it sound? would you change anything ?
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    Sorry, that is supposed to read as "Servo".

    It sounds good as a transport. I like how it also displays the song title on the display.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by fbm211 View Post
    I saw that transport.Too much but a nice transport.I was considering the northstar but it went quick.
    I was browsing Agon and found the Northstar CDP. Thought you were looking for one but I don't know if the price is good or not. Do your own research on the pricing ,etc. Just a head up to let you know there is one on Agon.

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....-Star-Sapphire
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    In my own experience, I would rate the "signifigance of change" factor to be about 1/2 that of a cable swap. In a word, miniscule--and then that would be dependant on what you're comparing.

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  18. #18

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    I think you are right, Steve! But I think it's all depends on what CDT and what DAC and what cables, etc.

    Just my $0.02.

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    I would read about the Esoteric transport, they are quite the bees knees with there clamping mechanism, jitter and so on. I read where OppO is making some nice gains in this area as well, my little oppo sure does read discs very well, I have a few sacd my fancy dancy players spit or have trouble with, the OppO moves through them like the ever-ready bunny. The jitter spec does seem to matter in my rigs.

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    Default Transportation

    In my experience the DAC is the key and can make even a mediocre transport sound good. Just sayin.
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    My favorite" BARGAIN " transports are Sony reference players - DVP-S7000 or DVP-S7700.

    You can usually find them on Ebay for $50-$100.00 . Built like a tank.

    Nice isolation and weight. They were reference players to show off DVD quality. Google them.

    I believe they also used Sony ES Dacs for audio section....so ain't half bad as stand alones.

    Great starting point for very little $$$$.
    Last edited by dee1949; 09-03-2010 at 05:29 PM.

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    A quality transport definitely make a difference and improves SQ.

    A few years back I had purchased and Oppo, I think 960?, due to all the raving about it being a giant killer. I'm not a big believer in giant killers but for the price it was worth a try. I had the Oppo connected to a Timbre (when new the MSRP was in the $4k vicinity) and it sounded good.

    Rich (SCompRacer) had sent me his ModWright Sony 999ES to try out in my rig. After listening to the Sony CDP I decided to do a head to head with the transport of the Oppo vs. the Sony transport connected to the Timbre DAC. . . Night and day different Chris.

    The Sony's imaging was better, not a hint of digital glare , the music had more weight to it among other things. So yeah a flimsy transport compared to a solid good transport makes a definite improvement in SQ IMHO.

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    Thanks for the info.

    I guess I'm still confused as to say what one looks for in a good transport...

    would you look to see what kind of laser it would have? The jitter rate and factor ect?

    Is this something that one could look at and say ok these would be nice and pair with a good external DAC it will make a nice unit all together or is it more like well lets just try and see and then more based on the synergy of the two.

    because I look at it like this.

    you could spend 4K easily on a used CDP, that would normally cost you around 8K new. Say now others I've read recommend getting a transport around say a 1000 player (used) and then buy a 2-3K DAC (used). Same money spent but really what would then be the best thing? are you compromising quality in the transport section doing the DAC/Transport, or are you doing that when just using the CDP as a whole unit?
    Last edited by cstmar01; 09-05-2010 at 02:48 AM.
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    $4K will buy a nice used SACD/CD player. A DAC/transport won't get you into SACD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    $4K will buy a nice used SACD/CD player. A DAC/transport won't get you into SACD.
    Plus, it will probably have a digital input so that you can use it as a DAC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    $4K will buy a nice used SACD/CD player. A DAC/transport won't get you into SACD.
    Indeed and exactly.

    When I sold my DAC and that Oppo almost 3 years ago, I was looking at an Esoteric SACD/CD player and was talked out of it because SACD was a dead format. I ended up buying a really great tubed CDP which I'm not sorry that I bought. However rolling the dice I came up snake eyes and should have gone with my gut feeling about the Esoteric so I could have a great SACD player too.

    Someday owning a great SACD player will come to fruition . . . Someday!;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    Plus, it will probably have a digital input so that you can use it as a DAC.
    I don't you would need to unless you have in the back of your mind a music server. I know that what you are thinking, right BF?;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared View Post
    Someday owning a great SACD player will come to fruition . . . Someday!;)
    Or a collector's item... :D
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    LOL!!! I hope it doesn't take that long.:p

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    How about a Cary SACD/CD player? I've heard/read good things about the 303T and the 306 SACD/CD players. Anyone heard either of these players?

    Greg

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