Would a CD transport still make sense?

Metatron

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Metatron, this is partly to do with Mrs BTA but if I knew I could get a transport that matches or betters my NAS then I would consider getting one for my pleasure too. However the scores on the doors don’t seem promising. 
I'd echo that sentiment. It seems logical. But there may be more to it...

Based on my personal experience, I'd not have a hang-up about trying a Naim CD5XS, when possible. I think you and your wife will be pleasantly surprised. I am sure somebody on the WAM probably has one and could visit you for a day of listening to tunes and set it up in your system, before you have to go find funds for one.

FWIW, I am on the lookout for a used Naim CD5XS at a good price myself. Not only does it have a transport mech (VAM1205)  I know is excellent and common to some of the best CD players I ever heard, but it also uses the same DAC chip that is common to CD players of old that I liked best, and often still prefer to modern DACs: the Burr Brown PCM1704K.

 

Hifimad1

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My Primare I35 amp is quite new and has a good DAC module. I am still using my 10- year old Naim CD5i-2 CD player as well as having most of the CD collection on Flac and stored on a Synology NAS drive. So I can access digital files from Tidal, from the NAS or from the Naim. I find Tidal quite variable in quality, the NAS is marginally better than the CD player, but is using the much newer DAC. My wife much prefers to use the CD player. I’m considering adding a new CD transport which I suspect will provide the most consistent high quality source. I’m keen to hear the views of the WAM on this. There is a little voice telling me I must be nuts.
No ...you are nuts for thinking a good cd transport/player is less capable than flac stored on a nas.Your wife must have better hearing than you !

 
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ramsden

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I am probably in minority of the opinions. I do use CD transport as primary source. I think there is no digital output signal perfection achieved yet. I use PS Audio older PerfectWave transport in main system. Then PC and Marantz CD85 in second system for background and late night listening. When time, I browse music on internet, when I like it, I buy it and download it in flac. If I like it a lot, then I buy it on CD instead (if available) or burn it on CD from downloaded flac and give it more dedicated listen through the CD transport. Touching the optical lenses, the PWT uses standard DVD Rom, so there is no problem to replace it in case of future laser failure. There are many ways to enjoy the music and this is mine. Whatever suits us.

 
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greygoose

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Bluesound Node2 is still supported. 
Well after buying a new transport at Christmas I went and bought a used Bluesound node2i today, I plan to Pimp it with a new power supply board and power supply as detailed in the Flashes thread to bring it up to the level of high end streamers at a fraction of the cost.(£1500 mentioned)

Reading into the OP'S origional post you detail that the music streamed into the Primare DAC is better than the Naim CD Player so the CD player seems to be outclassed by the modern DAC in your system.

Again as you did not mention a budget (mine was 2k before christmas), I  managed to snag a Brand new in Box Cyrus Signature for 1k , new model out and today now a bluesound node 2i for €400, the upgrade is about €300, now I should have the best of both worlds for under my initial budget and I am very impressed by the sound quality of both witha good user interface in the BlueOS app which is critical.

If budget is an issue and the main focus is for use by your good wife I would recommend the Audiolab 6000cdt 400 SLOT detailed in my list, from reviewson here it has very good build quality and the slot loader is not a concern , that was my fall back option to be honest (and if it was as good as I hoped I would have bought 2 at the price).

 
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greygoose

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Looks great Peter but much more than I need. I was wondering if there would be anyone firmly in favour of a quality transport over ripped flac files but it seems not. 
I have a pair of active ATC'S in my system which really reveal the good and the bad recordings through a CHORD QBD76HD dac which I use foR streaming from a NAS and now CD transport., Both can be excellent with the right recording but for me the CD still has the  edge for me on my system and sounds right to me and I have asked the question else where and many feel the same when it comes to high end players. (I also have an opus21 which is good)

I have never streamed Tidal or Quboz so I cannot comment, from reviews many have stated that the Bluesound 2I sounds better streaming than playing from a NAS...

 

Boris the Animal

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Well after buying a new transport at Christmas I went and bought a used Bluesound node2i today, I plan to Pimp it with a new power supply board and power supply as detailed in the Flashes thread to bring it up to the level of high end streamers at a fraction of the cost.(£1500 mentioned)

Reading into the OP'S origional post you detail that the music streamed into the Primare DAC is better than the Naim CD Player so the CD player seems to be outclassed by the modern DAC in your system.

Again as you did not mention a budget (mine was 2k before christmas), I  managed to snag a Brand new in Box Cyrus Signature for 1k , new model out and today now a bluesound node 2i for €400, the upgrade is about €300, now I should have the best of both worlds for under my initial budget and I am very impressed by the sound quality of both witha good user interface in the BlueOS app which is critical.

If budget is an issue and the main focus is for use by your good wife I would recommend the Audiolab 6000cdt 400 SLOT detailed in my list, from reviewson here it has very good build quality and the slot loader is not a concern , that was my fall back option to be honest (and if it was as good as I hoped I would have bought 2 at the price).
If you don’t mind me asking how did you judge the Cyrus to be better value or even better performance than the Audiolab?

 

simon g

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Also name a streamer that after 4 years is supported and still at the races regarding the latest firmware / service provider, CD still wins...... lol
Auralic.

Naim still supports 1st Gen streamers.

However much better you perceive CD to be; I just can't find space for the millions of them I'd need to compete with Tidal and Qobuz.

 

simon g

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I will be honest about my observations as mentioned below and i can assure you that iam not prejudicial to either sir :)

I have a esotric K-01 sacd player. And I recently tried a lumin T1 streamer cum dac. The lumin was streaming the same tracks from tidal, that i was playing via the esoteric. 

I will reserve the judgement as to sound quality via the 2 mediums for later  :)

Then i streamed the same tidal tracks with the lumin only acting as a streamer, feeding the esoteric as a dac, via high fidelity CT-R1 co axial cable. This clearly showed that the 8 parallel akm chips per channel in the esoteric were clearly more resolving, more revealing of smaller details and more dynamic than the internal dac of the lumin.

Now I will come back to my first point, when comparing tidal streams from lumin vs local cd playback on the esoteric, i heard same exact differences between the two, which actually boils down to the competency of their dacs. And i honestly feel that some tidal tracks properly ripped from the master track will match the quality of a locally played cd, though not all of their library. So a good quality tidal track can match cd playback, if the digital chain is properly thought out.

But why then do I still hold onto the esoteric,  and it is not definitely because of my perceived superior sound quality. But it is because of a tangibly  superior experience for me which comes from handling my favourite discs. Maybe for the same reason behind the resurgence of vinyl....just my 2 cents :)
Good post, which echoes my thoughts and experiences. I found that optimising the ethernet chain had the most positive effect on streamed files (as opposed to local network played files). I run Qobuz and Tidal with Roon, so it's very easy to compare the various versions. Qobuz nearly always comes out on top and it's that version which goes in to my 'library'. I may drop Tidal, but not for a while.

 

greygoose

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I have been on Cyrus unofficial for many years and I was aware of the Cyrus Signatures Servo evolution concept pulling more data from disc's than typical disc reading systems, they also produce a very large soundstage / 3d image but many find their sound a little thin.They also retail for 2k.

The audiolab is a good honest transport that does not do anything wrong and is well built that delivers a standard detail and soundstage, there are many reviews here from owners who have the sub 500 pound options and this is oe of the best options.

To be honest I was about to pull the trigger on a Debafrips avatar Transport with the i2s clocked output but they suspended orders (buy direct from vinshine audio in singapore for 1.6k) unheard but getting great reviews.

The Cyrus signature popped up in a local advert from a man with deep pockets but too many toys and I made a low offer that was accepted, It hasen't dissapointed, compareing it to my resolution audio opus 21 which is  a great player it its own right, it has the larger soundstage with micro detail, a different flavor that enjoy on electronic music .

Having purchased the Bluesound Node 2i , I also hope to pick up a Jolida DAC to play around with the Cyrus / Chord and see which combo I prefer, for me 1k was a lot of money but I have no regrets yet lol.

 

greygoose

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Bluesound Node2 is still supported. 
Auralic.

Naim still supports 1st Gen streamers.

However much better you perceive CD to be; I just can't find space for the millions of them I'd need to compete with Tidal and Qobuz.
I know Naim supports 1st Generation streamers, are these MQA compatible though or 24bit 192Khz capable? The point I was trying to make was that many earlier streamers were launched before Tidal /MQA and may only many cannot be upgraded to support  all service providers Tidal / Quboz Spotify etc and possibly new services in the future.

Also if a third party control app is used how long will that be supported  and how does it function in real life. (a cd player is a cd player).

 

hifinutt

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I have been on Cyrus unofficial for many years and I was aware of the Cyrus Signatures Servo evolution concept pulling more data from disc's than typical disc reading systems, they also produce a very large soundstage / 3d image but many find their sound a little thin.They also retail for 2k.

The audiolab is a good honest transport that does not do anything wrong and is well built that delivers a standard detail and soundstage, there are many reviews here from owners who have the sub 500 pound options and this is oe of the best options.

To be honest I was about to pull the trigger on a Debafrips avatar Transport with the i2s clocked output but they suspended orders (buy direct from vinshine audio in singapore for 1.6k) unheard but getting great reviews.

The Cyrus signature popped up in a local advert from a man with deep pockets but too many toys and I made a low offer that was accepted, It hasen't dissapointed, compareing it to my resolution audio opus 21 which is  a great player it its own right, it has the larger soundstage with micro detail, a different flavor that enjoy on electronic music .

Having purchased the Bluesound Node 2i , I also hope to pick up a Jolida DAC to play around with the Cyrus / Chord and see which combo I prefer, for me 1k was a lot of money but I have no regrets yet lol.
yes i had a cd8x which was delightful but sadly it packed up !!! you will love the jolida , running 2 of them here . next time you visit you can listen to them ! 

one of the good things about jolida is they are superb vfm and we have the ex importer on here who can pimp them to your hearts delight 

 
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greygoose

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Thanks Phil, I am coming around to the idea of tweaking perfectly good units and making them excel for a small amount of money, only took me 10 years to get here .

I still want a DCS Bartok though....

I have just spent a couple of hours listening to Radio Paradise, great quality so far through my Chord DAC, fuller sound presentation that the transport but transport has more soundstage / dynamics and detail.

How does radio paradise compare to Quboz / Tidal?

 
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StingRay

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I know Naim supports 1st Generation streamers, are these MQA compatible though or 24bit 192Khz capable? The point I was trying to make was that many earlier streamers were launched before Tidal /MQA and may only many cannot be upgraded to support  all service providers Tidal / Quboz Spotify etc and possibly new services in the future.

Also if a third party control app is used how long will that be supported  and how does it function in real life. (a cd player is a cd player).
MQA in my opinion is not worth having but some HiRes is. Bluesound Node is MQA and HiRes 24 bit capable. The Node2 was releases in 2015, I think, so it’s about 6 years old, I still get updates all the time.Bluesound use their own software so no need to worry about 3rd party but it is worth checking, I went with Bluesound partly because of the software, it is also used in the NAD streamers. Tidal started in 2014 in U.K.?

Bluos does support many other streamers unlike some others. Only Amazon is not very good. You can also use connect for some services such as Spotify and Tidal if you wish.

IBought mine used last May and not had any issues.

 
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StingRay

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How does radio paradise compare to Quboz / Tidal?
I have tried Radio Paradise and the sound quality is good but it does seem fuller than usual. I prefer Qobuz it Tidal but Tidal do many cheap deals. 

If you get a Jolida Dac then you won’t get MQA in full.

 

greygoose

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I have tried Radio Paradise and the sound quality is good but it does seem fuller than usual. I prefer Qobuz it Tidal but Tidal do many cheap deals. 

If you get a Jolida Dac then you won’t get MQA in full.
I know with both my Chord qbdHD and Jolida DAC that they are not MQA capable so by not getting MQA in full I will not get CD Quality / HI Rez.......

As I said before 10 years ago I built a Computer audiophile streamer so enable me to listen to HI-rez music that was better than CD playback , now 10 years later I need a special DAC to upgrade my HI-Rez to get level with.CD Quality  lol ( I know it is all about the mastering)

Tidal / MDA does not interest me, Quboz does and I hope to take the plunge along with spotify.

For the very reason above I will always have a CD player of some sort, as with SKY , Disney, Netflix Amazon and the Film Studios I can only see the Music Streaming platforms becoming more fragmented as the big labels launch their own streaming services and remove the middle men or just take them over.

 

dari

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I know with both my Chord qbdHD and Jolida DAC that they are not MQA capable so by not getting MQA in full I will not get CD Quality / HI Rez.......

As I said before 10 years ago I built a Computer audiophile streamer so enable me to listen to HI-rez music that was better than CD playback , now 10 years later I need a special DAC to upgrade my HI-Rez to get level with.CD Quality  lol ( I know it is all about the mastering)
I don't think MQA has anything to do with 'CD Quality' so you'll get CD Quality on Tidal without problem and don't need any special DAC for that. 

 

greygoose

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I was recently reading that Tidal are removing the CD quality options on many items and Just leaving the MQA version only, there are also many opinions on the MQA unfolding process not being lossless, either way my DAC's are not MQA ready tested, I could use the DAC in the bluesound node 21 for MQA if I go for a free trial though.

I have all my CD'S on a NAS so I will be starting there with the streamer and work my way up.

 

dari

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I was recently reading that Tidal are removing the CD quality options on many items and Just leaving the MQA version only
I wasn't aware of that, and what a strange move... they seems to be the only MQA advocates left. I have a feeling it didn't go well elsewhere. Why do they insist? unless they have some business/ money to make in the process of pushing the format? possibly. 

yeah, I've read about the MQA not being 100% lossless/not 'true' hi res.