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Are CD transports obsolete these days?

post #1 of 144
Thread Starter 
I have an Ack Dack 2.0 DAC and looking for a transport. I've heard you can get much better sound with a PC / HDD based "transport". Is it unwise to buy a CD transport these days? Any thoughts? Thanks!
post #2 of 144
I think so.
post #3 of 144
I don't think so. I'll actually be looking into CD transports again whenever I have the money for a new source. There's the noise of the computer, which also comes with the need of a lot of harddisks, since you need quite some space depending on your collection. Then there's the thing of transferring every single CD you own into lossless, which can be quite annoying, and once you've done that there's the risk of losing everything due to hdd crashes.

What's really an obvious advantage to me is the convenience that a PC-based setup has to offer.
post #4 of 144
I use a Theta Data basic with my Ack DaCk version 1 with great results.
I think a dedicated transport is the way to go.
post #5 of 144
I've never had a cd player give me the blue screen of death, so no.
post #6 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senn20
I've never had a cd player give me the blue screen of death, so no.
Amen to that.
post #7 of 144
I've never seen a blue screen of death on my computer either.

I just don't see spending a lot of money on a dedicated transport. Any CD player will spin the disc just fine. Sure there is jitter, but a DVD player can be a transport.
post #8 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by a529612
I have an Ack Dack 2.0 DAC and looking for a transport. I've heard you can get much better sound with a PC / HDD based "transport". Is it unwise to buy a CD transport these days? Any thoughts? Thanks!
That one from "Computer as Source" sticky
http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue22/nugent.htm

Quote:
Contributors to Jitter

There are a number of key components in typical digital audio systems where contributions to jitter is significant, including:

1. The pits in the CD

2. Reading of the pits by the optical read-head of the transport

3. Jitter in the master clock in the transport and Jitter in the asynchronous re-clocking in an upsampling DAC

4. Transmission of the S/PDIF signal

5. Dispersion of the signal in the S/PDIF or AES/EBU cable

6. The electrical-optical-electrical conversions in a Toslink interface

7. Conversion of S/PDIF to extract clock and data

8. Noisy power supplies and ground-loop noise

.......

Computer-driven audio usually eliminates jitter contributors 1, 2 and 3. In some cases it also eliminates or minimizes jitter contributors 4, 5, 6, 7, and even 8.
post #9 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alu
There's the noise of the computer, which also comes with the need of a lot of harddisks, since you need quite some space depending on your collection. .
Quiet PC's and wireless servers take care of that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alu
Then there's the thing of transferring every single CD you own into lossless, which can be quite annoying, .
This one time labor is much preferable to me than the act of walking over to my CD case, looking for that ONE CD I want, taking the CD out of jewelry case, putting it in the CD drawer, walking back to my seat, then doing the whole thing again after the 2 decent songs on the CD are done.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alu
and once you've done that there's the risk of losing everything due to hdd crashes..
I just bought a brand new Western Digital 320Gig hard drive for $100 at Best Buy and an external USB HD enclosure (SATA inside) for $20. Back that sucker up!
post #10 of 144
Thread Starter 
What's the best CD transport under $500 (new or used) that works well with Ack Dack 2.0?
post #11 of 144
USB and SPDIF are both pretty crummy interfaces, therefore my top choice would be a cd transport with i2s.
post #12 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by a529612
What's the best CD transport under $500 (new or used) that works well with Ack Dack 2.0?
I'm using a Music Hall CD25.2 CD player (around $550 shipped) as a transport for my dAck! 2.0. I think the combo sounds superb to my ears. I was previously using a cheap Sony DVD player as a transport and it also sounded good. I briefly A/B compared the Music Hall and Sony as transports to the dAck! and don't really hear any significant differences. The Music Hall sure looks and feels more expensive.
Here is a pic...
post #13 of 144
I2S is definitely the way to go; just cut the crap and leave out the digital receievers and SPDIF / Optical cables. There's a lot of information out there about it, and in general, SPDIF and optical just induces a lot of jitter. If you think about it, SPDIF is a horrible idea (from an audiophile perspective) because you're sending three information streams through one, unified interface through a cable, and then you unpackage it with the digital receiver. It's just difficult to get better results than that of direct I2S. Optical is the same way, only worse. There's lots of stuff about it in the diyAudio forums, such as here:


It's definately worth while to wire in an I2S DAC, it's simple, less crap in the digital path, less possibility for things to go wrong, and it's pretty cheap.

It doesn't get much better than that. CD transports all the way!

~Tom
post #14 of 144
And to expand on that since there's no unified standard for I2S out. CD's as sources all the way. Using them as transports suck IMHO.
post #15 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L
Quiet PC's and wireless servers take care of that.
I have a quiet PC (profile), but it's never good enough to me. Wireless server can't be done due to financial an spacial restrictions right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L
This one time labor is much preferable to me than the act of walking over to my CD case, looking for that ONE CD I want, taking the CD out of jewelry case, putting it in the CD drawer, walking back to my seat, then doing the whole thing again after the 2 decent songs on the CD are done.
I usually listen to complete albums. And I guess I can walk that meter and change a CD once every hour or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L
I just bought a brand new Western Digital 320Gig hard drive for $100 at Best Buy and an external USB HD enclosure (SATA inside) for $20. Back that sucker up!
I give you that one. A RAID5 server would make the backup thing even easier, but more expensive of course.
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