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Small cd transport

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by microcuts, Jan 31, 2012.
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  1. Microcuts
    Hi all,
     
    I'm looking for a cd/dvd transport to connect to my DAC.
     
    - Small, á la Little Dot CD Transport.
    - Preferably BNC or AES/EBU audio output.
    - Separate digital video output, HDMI at minimum.
    - No multi-channel audio support necessary.
    - Budget: cheaper is better, absolute max $500
     
    Is there something like this available?
    Would a cheap-ass dvd player with coax out do? Would save me lots of money I guess, but what are the cons? Really bad CD audio?
     
    It is also an option to look for the same but without the DVD part, if nothing like it exists. I would just use a computer with digital audio out for dvd's.
     
    Thanks
     
  2. priest Contributor
    I've been searching for something like this for quite some time and have never found anything satisfactory, I'm sorry to say.
     
  3. Microcuts
    That's too bad.
    I will then rephrase my question: what small cd transports are out there?
    So far I've only found the mentioned Little Dot, but it is very slow at responding.
    The main requirement is a digital out, with BNC or AES/EBU being a big plus.
     
  4. Bazzman
    Not as small as the Little Dot and has coaxial and optical outs and also comes in silver.
    http://www.richersounds.com/product/cd-players-recorders-dacs-cassette-decks/cambridge-audio/sonata-cd30v2/camb-cd30v2-blk#
     
  5. liamstrain
    Spendy, but there is the new Woo Audio Transport. (way out of budget, sorry)
    http://www.wooaudio.com/products/wtp1.html
     
  6. project86 Contributor
    I've been vaguely interested in a device like this for years, though never got around to buying one yet. Here's the small list of options I've found:
     
    Cambridge Audio makes the Sonata Series CD30 and DV30. They are both around $300, with the DVD model being slightly cheaper for some reason.
     
    Shanling makes a small unit, you'll see it called the PCD300 or PCD3000, sometimes with an A or B in the title. As far as I can tell they are all the same thing. Under $400 from eBay, built in headphone amp.
     
    Napa Acoustic makes a compact player called the NA-208c. I suspect it is just an imported item from some OEM in China but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Not much info about it available, but it goes for $400.
     
    Parasound has a new model in their compact Z series of components, called the Zcd. I think it will go for $400.
     
    Teac and Onkyo have made some smaller models in the last few years. They aren't as easy to find but it's something to consider.
     
    Unfortunately I don't recall any of these having a BNC or AES/EBU output. It's almost always coaxial SPDIF, and sometimes you'll get Toslink as a second option. 
     
  7. project86 Contributor
    I don't really understand why more companies have not done the small form factor CD player thing. It seems like a natural fit to the headphone world - we are used to dealing with components that have a smaller footprint, such as Benchmark DAC-1 size or so. With a full sized CD player, you can usually stack either a DAC or amp on top, but not both side by side. So it gets awkward to fit them all together. 
     
    I like what Music Fidelity has done with the M1 series of DAC, headphone amp, and CD transport. Unfortunately they priced the CDT at 2-3 times what it should have been, so I don't think it will get much use around here. Rega has their Apollo-R which is a small player, but again the price is rather high. At least the Rega should have good quality output so you are more likely to use it alone instead of as a transport only. 
     
    I know music servers are the way of the future. But if someone brings over a CD and wants to try it in your system, it would be great to have a small CD transport there. 
     
  8. DaveBSC
    The Bel Canto CD3t ticks all of the boxes, but it retails for $1500. You're just not going to find BNC or AES outputs on a $500 CD player. Even balanced analog outputs are rare below the $1K level. There are used transports in your price range with AES outputs (Theta, etc), but those are all full size. Cyrus would likely still be too expensive used (and almost all are 220V), and those old Proceed and Esoteric mini players I think were all unbalanced and RCA output only.
     
  9. priest Contributor
    The Cambridge Audio Sonata was interesting, but it's not really that small. I've been looking for something more the size of an external disc drive or slightly larger. The Pro-Ject CD Box SE would do it for me, but it's not available in the US. And it might not be that much smaller than the Sonata. The non-SE is a little wider than the SE.
     
  10. liamstrain
    Out of curiosity, since we seem to be failing on the DVD level, why not the Little Dot? CD with BNC output. 
     
    Edit - never mind. I didn't read up. 
     
  11. project86 Contributor


    Quote:

    Forgot about the Esoteric players - you're right though, single ended, coaxial SPDIF output, and won't play CD-R either. 
     


    Quote:


    Teac has a really interesting product coming out - the PD-H01:
     
    1Teac.jpg
     
    It's the perfect size for what you want. It has coaxial and toslink digital outs, and analog RCA outs as well. Control is through the remote only. Interestingly, it also has a USB port for use as an external CD-ROM drive with a computer. It would be cool if you could get Async streaming to the matching Teac H01 series DACs, but I suspect you'd need a computer in the mix to accomplish that.... so the USB connect becomes far less exciting. 
     
  12. priest Contributor
    ^ That Teac looks perfect, and gorgeous! I will be on the lookout for that one. Thanks.
     
  13. liamstrain
    Here is more info on the Parasound ZCD - half size CD transport.
    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PAZCD
     
  14. pigmode
    When did a transport become a player, or vice versa?
     
  15. liamstrain
    I think if you are using an external dac, it is considered a transport. 
     
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