I've never been a fan of juggling CDs - I rip mine to the hard drive then store them out of harm's way - but various companies are still selling CDPs for thousands of dollars, so clearly the rest of the world hasnt followed me lead. Trawling through 6Moons, I came across a review of Stello's CDT100 / DA100 combination, and it got me wondering what had happened to the dedicated CD transport.
On the surface, it seemed like a good plan - separate the moving parts in the transport from the DAC - but I guess that opened things up a little more than some manufacturers would have been happy with. Nothing to stop me hooking your 1K CDT to my $300 DAC using a cable from Tandy/Radio Shack and pronouncing the result to be less-than-stellar. No I2S connection and no control over what came after those pretty gold RCA (or black XLR) connectors on the back of my CDT, not to mention forgoing sales on 2K CDPs in favour of 1K CDTs.
We also had a period here where new Head-Fiers were routinely told to just go out and buy any-old-DVD-player as a transport - the DAC was the most important link in the chain and it didnt matter what you put at the transport end. Just as we realised that the USB and Toslink outputs on most motherboards arent exactly ideal mechanisms for audio, the el-cheapo DVD route seems to have run its course.
Of course, all is not lost for those with deep pockets:
None of this will fix my CD version of DSOTM, but I guess pockets that deep extend to the shelving for vinyl.