Nuprime CDT-8 CD Transport
Jan 13, 2019 at 12:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

Sweetmeat

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I don't post much but there is usually a lot of interest on this forum about CD transports. I own 2000 CDs, lots of rare pressings and imports, and to me even a mediocre CD player sounds better than a hi-def streaming service. So I am always on the lookout for a premium-sounding, reasonably-priced CD transport with a small form factor that I can use at work. It's not perfect, but I think I found my holy grail with the Nuprime CDT-8.

First thing is, this thing is small but heavy, like one small solid brick of aluminum. Fits nicely on my bookshelf at work. It uses the Philips SAA7824HL reader which is Redbook only but it does read RW discs. It has a CD drawer although I prefer top loading like the Woo Audio WTP-1 I use at home. Unfortunately the Woo Audio is too big for work and kind of pricey, the Nuprime is only $795.

However the CD drawer is preferable I believe to a slot-loader like the CD transport my Nuprime is replacing, an Olasonic NANO-CD-1. It didn't damage any of my CDs that I could tell but I was always worried. No, I am replacing the Olasonic because it started acting very weird after using it 6 only months. The display turned sideways (that's right) and now the buttons stop working after it warms up. That's $600 down the drain.

OK the Nuprime is still basically from a "boutique" manufacturer so don't expect a slick operating interface. The important part is that it sounds glorious, full and balanced, smoother than even the Woo Audio which has some peaks in the top end. In addition to the Nuprime, my work stereo includes Burson Conducter SL with Sabre DAC and Audeze LCD-XCs. This is definitely the best my work system has sounded, I am so pleased.

In addition to the slow (but not that bad) operating interface, my only real complaint is the CD drawer is very loose and saggy, and the depression that holds your CD is very shallow. So when you hit "retract" sometimes the CD jumps out of its holder and jams the drawer open. This freaks out the Nuprime and you will need to cycle the power to get it working again.

But this is forgivable as it is very rare, most of the time the drawer works perfectly. My advice is don't expect a Sony interface on a boutique product. I do however like that the Nuprime can read and play discs that my Woo Audio cannot, for example Riverside's Love Fear and the Time Machine which I reordered twice but all copies seem to have the same flaw.

I have no affiliation with Nuprime but since I don't have any pictures or anything, here is a link to their site:

https://nuprimeaudio.com/product/cdt-8-pro/?v=7516fd43adaa
 
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Nov 13, 2020 at 5:23 AM Post #2 of 15

alekc

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@Sweetmeat thank you for your review of CDT-8. It helped me in selecting CD transport which isn't that easy those day. While theoretically the CD transport market has limited selection in reality it turns out that there are still many new CD transports and players to choose from and as always there are those small details and differences that really matters at the end of the day.

Mine just arrived yesterday and it is really great. I need to spend more time with it to get a better picture but I can already tell it does what a great transport should do: does not add any coloration and simply works. The upsampling feature is a nice or even great add-on (depends on what you are looking for) but it works great.

I am not saying that Nuprime CDT-8 is perfect without any design flaws. It has its own set of drawbacks, most were mentioned already in above review but it gives me a lot of joy so far :)
 
Nov 14, 2020 at 7:19 PM Post #3 of 15

Sweetmeat

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@Sweetmeat thank you for your review of CDT-8. It helped me in selecting CD transport which isn't that easy those day. While theoretically the CD transport market has limited selection in reality it turns out that there are still many new CD transports and players to choose from and as always there are those small details and differences that really matters at the end of the day.

Mine just arrived yesterday and it is really great. I need to spend more time with it to get a better picture but I can already tell it does what a great transport should do: does not add any coloration and simply works. The upsampling feature is a nice or even great add-on (depends on what you are looking for) but it works great.

I am not saying that Nuprime CDT-8 is perfect without any design flaws. It has its own set of drawbacks, most were mentioned already in above review but it gives me a lot of joy so far :)
Hello Mr. alekc glad you like the CDT-8. I am still playing mine every day at my workstation and it's been very reliable. You are right there are a lot of CD players out there but for me it's been tough to find a desktop unit with a quality digital output.

Lately I have been using the CDT-8 to drive my Sony TAZH1ES desktop amp and Focal Stellia headphones. This setup is capable of rendering an astonishing amount of detail and my best sounding input is CDT-8 optical. Noticeably smoother frequency response and better detail than the USB input. Pure bliss all day long.
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 5:33 AM Post #4 of 15

alekc

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@Sweetmeat great to hear back from you! I'm glad to hear there are no reliability problems after so much use. It seems to be build to last but that was just my impression. I consider it one of the grates add-ons to my setup so far.

I am using it with Mytek Brooklyn Bridge which can not handle highest upsampling frequencies but still the sound is amazing, especially when you consider Nuprime price range to other competing transports.
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 9:04 PM Post #5 of 15

Sweetmeat

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Well I opened my mouth too soon. All of a sudden the CDT-8 is no longer able to recognize the CD. I did not purchase the extended warranty so I'm screwed. I'm not sure if I will be purchasing another CDT-8 at this point. All day today I've been playing my Woo Audio transport which easily beats the CDT-8 sound-wise but at twice the price. However it does not fit on my bookshelf like the CDT-8. Definitely wish I had purchased the extended warranty.
 
Nov 16, 2020 at 2:18 AM Post #6 of 15

alekc

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Well I opened my mouth too soon. All of a sudden the CDT-8 is no longer able to recognize the CD. I did not purchase the extended warranty so I'm screwed. I'm not sure if I will be purchasing another CDT-8 at this point. All day today I've been playing my Woo Audio transport which easily beats the CDT-8 sound-wise but at twice the price. However it does not fit on my bookshelf like the CDT-8. Definitely wish I had purchased the extended warranty.
Very sad to hear that @Sweetmeat. I hope this is just a minor problem that can be easily fixed. Keep my fingers crossed.

Could you elaborate more on difference in sound in case of Woo transport please?
 
Nov 16, 2020 at 9:27 PM Post #7 of 15

Sweetmeat

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Most apparent for the Woo transport is a bit of additional separation both vertically and horizontally. Also I think there more energy in the subbass and lower treble, and slightly harder attacks/dynamics. In contrast the CDT-8 has a smoother frequency response and more centralized soundstage. On some music the Woo has a couple frequency spikes not evident on the CDT-8. The CDT-8 seems to have slight rolloff at frequency extremes compared to the Woo.

But I cannot recommend the Woo due to reliability issues, funny story about that. The Woo has always had difficulty recognizing a CD first thing in the morning, and now I think I know why. You see this thing is comprised of 30 pounds of solid aluminum, which is a major heat conductor. First thing in the morning when the chassis is cold, it prevents the laser from reaching operating temperature. I figured out when this happens I can fix it by heating the chassis with a heating pad, after that it works fine.
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 5:43 AM Post #8 of 15

beavertooth

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Hi @Sweetmeat and @alekc !

Phew, I'm kind of excited! This is my first post on head-fi after reading in the forum once in a while for many years now.

I'm currently in search of a small CD-transport to feed my Chord Hugo 2 + Focal Elear combo and my active digital monitors. I've read the according thread and am (amongst some of Pro-Ject's offerings) considering the Nuprime CDT-8 Pro.

I wanted to ask you Nuprime CDT-8 Pro owners how silent the drive mechanism is. I'm really easy to annoy by even small noises and the player will be within my arm’s reach in both of my setups (monitors and headphones). I’m listening to a broad range of genres, amongst them Classical/New Music with intermittently very silent passages. One of my old full size (noisy) CD-Players really drove me to the computer audio game but since recently I have that nostalgia to spin those silver discs again.

So, any feedback on the Nuprime’s mechanical acoustics would be very welcome!

Cheers,
beavertooth
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 6:03 AM Post #9 of 15

alekc

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@beavertooth it is quite silent, the question I can not answer right now is if it stays the same over time so maybe others will answer it. From reports I've read it stays this way over time. This was actually one of main reasons I've bought it.

To give you an idea about the noise level of the CD drive mechanism when listening in open back headphones within 50cm from the transport you could hear a very quite noise when reading disc TOC if you would really look out for this particular sound. You should no be able to hear much more during track listening unless you constantly skip tracks. My notebook fan is producing more/louder noise than the Nuprime. So the CD mechanism work sounds will not influence the music you hear :)
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 12:29 PM Post #11 of 15

jonathan c

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thank you very much @alekc ! that’s very helpful information! :):thumbsup:in the next days I will have the chance to audition some of the pro-ject players at a local dealer. nuprime pitifully is hard to find in my region.
If the size will work for you, the Audiolabs 6000 CDT may be an option. I have been using one for a little over a year. It replaced an old Rega Apollo R which died in the line of duty. The CDT, a slot loading unit, is extremely quiet, reads all my CDs without a problem (not true later in the Rega’s life), and retrieves immense detail. I feel that absence of vibration from a CD tray is sonically beneficial.
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 12:30 PM Post #12 of 15

alekc

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thank you very much @alekc ! that’s very helpful information! :):thumbsup:in the next days I will have the chance to audition some of the pro-ject players at a local dealer. nuprime pitifully is hard to find in my region.

You are welcome mate! One thing that kept me away from Pro-ject was poor quality of device I had in my hands. Maybe this was just this particular demo piece since I've seen only this particular one. Another thing was design - I honestly don't like it and find it unappealing. Nuprime maybe is not beautiful, but has some design work in it. Pro-ject is like... a box. While I haven't been able to compare Pro-Ject and Nuprime side by side I would think that Pro-Ject CD drive mechanics has been louder. Secondly it does not have upsampling option which together with quite CD drive makes Nuprime something very interesting, especially at this price range.

The weakest point of Numprime CDT-8 is remote, if you want to be able to select tracks from it using track number it is not possible :frowning2: Pro-ject offers such remote on the other hand.

If I remember correctly Pro-Ject also supports SACD (please check if I am correct here). Numprime does not.

If you like Hugo 2 sound signature I would focus also of neutrality of CD transport since H2 is quite revealing.
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 4:10 PM Post #13 of 15

beavertooth

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Oh dear. A LOT of things happend in the last six hours. Been out at the local hifi dealer and the combo of Black Friday plus November salary led me to a splash out as I really made the stretch for Pro-Ject's new totl transport CD Box RS2 T. Completely different price range, but it really appealed to me sonically and optically – even though it's just a… Box (you're absolutely right with that @alekc, its super minimalistic, but somehow it's that industrial slightly Bauhaus thing; but there’s no accounting on tastes, as they say).

It is not dead silent. Skipping tracks and reading the toc is definitively audible and if you're as close as 30 cm you might notice an ever so slight high frequency buzz. Then go to one arm’s lenght (I'm a tall guy) and its completely gone. So, perfect match in that regard. As regards sound, I'm not yet confident enough in my findings but I really liked what I heard so far via the Hugo 2 a lot. :L3000:

The remote without numbers would not have turned me away from the Nuprime, its just a tad more comfort. The upsampling feature of the CDT-8 Pro is super interesting, but I can't have it all, obviously.

In the end the Pro-Ject felt just like the perfect match and I was able to test it on location which (if possible) I always appreciate. The drive mechanism looks as it will last for ages. I guess i will get two replacement laser pickup units (they are quite cheap right now as they are from Sanyo) and hope to have many years of happiness with the unit. This at least is what I hope for, as this would justify the investment from my point of view. My neighbour has an old Nakamichi CD player (OSM 5, I think) that should be around thirty years old right now. And except for the fact that I change the belt of the pick up sled every once in five years for him its still working like a charm—on the first laser! And this guy is a heavy user.

@jonathan c thank you very much for pointing me to Audiolabs. Looks like a very sleek unit! But for my needs it would have been to large, both in width and depth. I recently changed my Book/CD-shelf and in fact I think it's good luck that did not ended up with my old Discman since its really, eh cosy, in these comprtments…
 
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Nov 28, 2020 at 7:09 AM Post #14 of 15

alekc

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Oh dear. A LOT of things happend in the last six hours. Been out at the local hifi dealer and the combo of Black Friday plus November salary led me to a splash out as I really made the stretch for Pro-Ject's new totl transport CD Box RS2 T. Completely different price range, but it really appealed to me sonically and optically – even though it's just a… Box (you're absolutely right with that @alekc, its super minimalistic, but somehow it's that industrial slightly Bauhaus thing; but there’s no accounting on tastes, as they say).

It is not dead silent. Skipping tracks and reading the toc is definitively audible and if you're as close as 30 cm you might notice an ever so slight high frequency buzz. Then go to one arm’s lenght (I'm a tall guy) and its completely gone. So, perfect match in that regard. As regards sound, I'm not yet confident enough in my findings but I really liked what I heard so far via the Hugo 2 a lot. :L3000:

The remote without numbers would not have turned me away from the Nuprime, its just a tad more comfort. The upsampling feature of the CDT-8 Pro is super interesting, but I can't have it all, obviously.

In the end the Pro-Ject felt just like the perfect match and I was able to test it on location which (if possible) I always appreciate. The drive mechanism looks as it will last for ages.

Congrats on your new toy :) as always it takes time to hear all the details.
 
Nov 28, 2020 at 11:08 AM Post #15 of 15

]eep

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Congrats on your new toy :) as always it takes time to hear all the details.
Exactly. I just shared my updated review of the Shanling/Tempo eC1B in the 'small transport' thread (where these comments actually would be better placed)

I found it hard to discern what now really happens between transport and dac, and why. The somewhat disappointing performance (tedbook over coax) compared to streaming/harddisk pcm 48 over toslink and mediaplayer sd/hd pcm and DSD over usb leads me to believe i shouldn't waste more money on a transport.

I also have a lot of cd's (1000) but I consider playing them cumbersome. The brittle plastic boxes, broken inserts, small booklets, inserting, slow toc reading etc. That opposed to switching to Kodi on my android tv, browse for genre, artist or album and press play and get the coverart over some wild visualisation. Or playing one of my 10k lp's some older than me, and still sound better than cd. Cd on my system has been a continuous series of disappointments and unfulfilled promises. The only real highlight was my Myriad when it was new and the MHZS CD33 when I fully modified the dac+output and when the transport still worked.
 
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