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Why do CD transports cost more than CD players?

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Posted on March 9, 2017 at 05:42:36
Tra708
Audiophile

Posts: 7
Location: FL
Joined: February 25, 2017
I want to get a "budget" transport, and I can't seem to find very many. :)
thanks in advance for answering.

 

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RE: Why do CD transports cost more than CD players?, posted on March 9, 2017 at 06:24:33
fantja
Audiophile

Posts: 10237
Location: Alabama
Joined: September 11, 2010
which brands/models are you researching?

 

Because only audiophiles buy transports, posted on March 9, 2017 at 07:28:40
AbeCollins
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Location: USA
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  Since:
February 2, 2002
and they are made in relatively small quantities, and they are marketed at audiophiles rather than mass market consumers, and the old-school perception was that separates are always better, so the manufacturers charge a lot.



 

RE: Why do CD transports cost more than CD players?, posted on March 9, 2017 at 09:41:39
bare
Audiophile

Posts: 562
Joined: April 14, 2009
Buy a Computer DVD player ? V cheap (~30$) and often surprisingly good.

 

RE: Why do CD transports cost more than CD players?, posted on March 9, 2017 at 14:23:21
Tra708
Audiophile

Posts: 7
Location: FL
Joined: February 25, 2017
I just spent a lot of money on new speakers, and wanted to start playing my favorite cd's again. But not every day. (I usually stream music thru a BlueSound).
It's pretty easy to find a used CD player for little money, but I realized that my BelCanto has a DAC already in it, so I thought it might be cool to just get a transport.
It turned out to be much more difficult to find a cheap one.
I wanted to know why they cost more, with what I thought was less stuff inside.
That's my story! :)

 

mass market blu-ray players, posted on March 9, 2017 at 16:59:51
dave789
Audiophile

Posts: 476
Joined: September 21, 2001
Mass market blue ray players are transports in the sense that they do not have analogue output.

My experience is below.

1. Some do not send de-emphasis flag to DAC. A Samsung model was so. A Sony and an LG model to the same hi-fi DAC resulted in proper de-emphasis.

2. Some are more inconvenient than others if you want "program" function for a music CD. (The absence of "program" function can be found in some current audiophile music CD transport, too.)

3. Often, low cost blu-ray players make more mechanical noise while playing a music CD than some dedicated music CD players.

 

Abe answered the question, but, posted on March 9, 2017 at 17:53:54
E-Stat
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April 5, 2002
there was a time that relatively inexpensive Toshiba DVD players were highly sought as transports. I had an SD-3960 back in the day and those can be found on ebay quite cheaply.

Just add your DAC.

 

Theta Data Basic, posted on March 9, 2017 at 18:09:28
Des
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Posts: 1835
Location: Great Barrier Reef
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  Since:
August 2, 2000

If you can find one--they do come up

Good Luck anyway

Des

 

RE: mass market blu-ray players, posted on March 10, 2017 at 04:24:26
PAR
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Location: South London
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January 12, 2014
" The absence of "program" function can be found in some current audiophile music CD transport, too."

I wasn't aware of that. To me that is a crazy omission when I think of e.g. early Blue Note CDs where the "alternative take" versions are placed sequentially with the originally released tracks and need to be avoided. Or the operas where use of the programme facility allows one to insert alternative arias ( e.g. with Mozart where the Vienna and Prague versions of the same opera may differ in this respect).

Please give me a clue as to which brands may omit this feature so that I can avoid them.

 

RE: Why do CD transports cost more than CD players?, posted on March 10, 2017 at 05:32:07
rogerh113
Audiophile

Posts: 94
Location: San Francisco
Joined: October 20, 2014
I went through the process a short time ago, and this is what I found.. Could be right or wrong, but my experience.

There is a split at the mid price range. The upper price transports are purpose built, with unique circuit boards and parts, and are designed for performance. The quality of sound (and price) of the upper end units can be quite stunning, for example a Levinson 37.

The lower tier are often built with standard 'low end' CD player pc boards and parts (often Pioneer). Often they have fancy enclosures with thick fancy faceplates, but better not to look inside (I found out when I peeked inside the EDA T-1000). This is not to say that they play badly, but seem to be leveraging the transport allure to get a high price for CD player bits. Check out some transport reviews on Lampizator - both amusing and frightening......

Pretty stunning results can be obtained from a good transport and DAC. I do not stream, so I have no comparison to what you can do with digital streaming. I would suggest that if high fidelity is what you seek, then the components you get have to be up to the task. Get a poor transport and you are likely to get somewhat less satisfying results.

 

RE: Why do CD transports cost more than CD players?, posted on March 10, 2017 at 15:16:49
Cut-Throat
Audiophile

Posts: 11484
Location: Minneapolis - St.Paul Area
Joined: September 2, 2000
If you are already streaming music through a Bluesound, rip your CDs to disk and stream them to your Bluesound..... Problem solved for zero expense.

Cut-Throat




 

RE: mass market blu-ray players, posted on March 10, 2017 at 15:27:56
dave789
Audiophile

Posts: 476
Joined: September 21, 2001
I went to some manufacturers' web sites, and read the owner's manuals.

I was surprised.

Some explicitly state that "program function" is now enabled. Some do not even have "program" or similar button on the remote control or front panel, and there is nothing about "program" function on the manual.

 

RE: mass market blu-ray players, posted on March 10, 2017 at 16:26:49
PAR
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Just so I get the sense of it : should your sentence " Some explicitly state that "program function" is now enabled". Read "not enabled" ? If so, who?

 

RE: Why do CD transports cost more than CD players?, posted on March 10, 2017 at 16:38:10
HighEndWire
Audiophile

Posts: 1520
Joined: August 2, 2002
Looked at this?

 

RE: mass market blu-ray players, posted on March 10, 2017 at 20:42:45
dave789
Audiophile

Posts: 476
Joined: September 21, 2001
now enabled

->

not enabled


Creek Evolution 50 CD, 100 CD Instruction, V1.4

The remote has program button.
In the manual: PROGRAM is not yet enabled.


Cambridge Audio CXC dedicated CD transport

The picture of the remote on the manual shows no program (or similar such as memory) button.



Roxan K3

The picture of the remote on the manual shows no program (or similar such as memory) button.
There is no instruction about how to program tracks to play.
However, the manual has following trouble shooting tip.

SYMPTOM: Programme play inoperative
LIKELY CAUSE: Programming accidentally erased
SUGGESTED REMEDY: Re-programme memory

 

RE: Because only audiophiles buy transports, posted on March 11, 2017 at 05:29:45
PeterZ
Audiophile

Posts: 164
Location: texas
Joined: November 8, 2003
Eye jewelry and open wallets.

Some wonder if many audiophiles are really in their right mind.

I will say the psychological effect of all the price and beauty does result in what is perceived as better sound so go for it.
PeterZ

 

The same reason as tuners were more expensive than receivers. nt, posted on March 11, 2017 at 11:23:04
Quadzilla
Audiophile

Posts: 2078
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Joined: July 31, 2003
.


Prehistoric 4-Channel Lizard

 

RE: Because only audiophiles buy transports, posted on March 11, 2017 at 14:29:52
dave789
Audiophile

Posts: 476
Joined: September 21, 2001
Since you came to this web site, you are also called an audiophile by ordinary people.

 

I work for a small manufacturing firm, posted on March 11, 2017 at 14:47:53
mr.bear
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Contributor
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February 18, 2003
...fabricating and finishing mostly metal and exotic mterial prototype objects and fine artwork. A BIG run is 15 objects. We have the finest craftsmen and a loving happy engineering department (the Bearish 50% of that department speaking here...) To make stuff that's full of heart and soul, not meant for mass markets, uses the finest components and materials, not cutting corners, not farming work out to China, etcetc is a challenging, delicate tightrope act. And it is expensive. Our clients come back for the GOOD STUFF, stuff that really matters to them.

It must be very similar in fine audio gear, which mostly encompasses unique units like transports . Share the vision? Bend over and cough up the dough. For every really fine audiophile manufacture that's been in business foe 25 years there must be- I don't know- 50 or 100 that have gone down the tube. Support them for that good stuff- that really matters to you. Will a BluRay player work as a transport? Sure- and it will give you 90-something% of what an audiophile CD transport will. But maybe you want the feel of fine machine, smooth, pretty, made to last. Your choice.

 

RE: I work for a small manufacturing firm, posted on March 11, 2017 at 15:48:35
Tra708
Audiophile

Posts: 7
Location: FL
Joined: February 25, 2017
Dear Mr. Bear, Thank you for your thoughtful post. It was never my intention to use a DVD or BluRay player for this purpose. No offense to those who do. I just wanted to get something very simple that I could pop a CD into when the mood hits me, and have it sound amazing. :)
Before I started researching, I was not even clear about the role of a DAC in a system, and that my integrated has one, so I don't necessarily have to get a CD Player.
When possible, I acquire things that are made with love and care, one at a time. It's ideal. The speakers I just bought are Meadowlark Ospreys, which seem to exemplify this. The sound that is coming out of these and into my life is my reason to revisit all my music, some of which are pretty obscure CD's. I know I can put it all on the computer, etc. But I'm feeling nostalgic. :)

 

RE: Why do CD transports cost more than CD players?, posted on March 11, 2017 at 15:49:56
Tra708
Audiophile

Posts: 7
Location: FL
Joined: February 25, 2017
Just wanted to say thanks for all the suggestions and info!!

 

RE: mass market blu-ray players, posted on March 11, 2017 at 20:15:14
PAR
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Location: South London
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Thanks. What a mess. I see that the Creek instruction actually asks the user to check with them to find out of the program for this " little used facilty" has been written yet. Doesn't inspire my confidence at all ( not that I am in the market for one). Imagine buying a new car and being asked to find out if the odometer or rear window heater has been fitted yet or ever will be.

So, for the Creek at least we know that it is not a finished product. Why did they put it on the market then?

I am also sure that all Roxan K3 users have all the means needed to reprogram the memory. I mean it's just coding isn't it :-)? OK maybe there's a download.

 

RE: The same reason as tuners were more expensive than receivers. nt, posted on March 11, 2017 at 20:43:20
hahax@verizon.net
Audiophile

Posts: 3070
Location: New Jersey
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Not if the tuners were equivalent, only when the separate tuners were more complex than the unit in the receiver. But they always cost a bigger percentage of the cost of the receiver than one would expect. But a lot of that is because a large percentage of the cost of any unit is the chassis.

 

Some do some dont, posted on March 11, 2017 at 20:55:01
Awe-d-o-file
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even a cheap CD player can be used as a transport. Why dont you tell us your goal, budget and associated gear especially the DAC.

ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

Buy the CD player. Use it as a transport. No problem., posted on March 13, 2017 at 07:38:00
3+4=5
Audiophile

Posts: 625
Location: Midwest
Joined: December 24, 2016
I use several five disc CD payers just as transports.
Bought them cheap on eBay.
True a few brands are way better as transport than others.
Don't ask ME which ones..

 

RE: Why do CD transports cost more than CD players?, posted on March 14, 2017 at 04:08:46
samurai7595
Audiophile

Posts: 339
Location: Canada
Joined: November 1, 2007
Check out the Cambridge Audio CXC CD transport, it's very affordable & sounds great!

 

RE: Buy the CD player. Use it as a transport. No problem. Other than SQ, posted on March 15, 2017 at 10:07:23
Jeff Starr
Audiophile

Posts: 1554
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Joined: March 4, 2000
CAL Audio was the only company that I personally am aware of, that made a high end 5 disc carousal.

They show up once in a while, but I would want to verify that someone could repair them. That parts are available.

Once you have heard the differences in transports, you won't want to use a cheap player, for anything but background music.

I just looked at your system, very nice, and I imagine you favor your vinyl, if you ever get a DAC that competes with your turntables, I think you would then appreciate the differences in transports.

 

My experience with transports..., posted on March 15, 2017 at 18:14:19
3+4=5
Audiophile

Posts: 625
Location: Midwest
Joined: December 24, 2016
I find your presumption odd: ""Once you have heard the differences in transports, you won't want to use a cheap player, for anything but background music.""

When I acquired a new Sony SCD777ES, I owned a Adcom DAC, and a Rotel transport.

As soon as I tried the Sony as transport, with the DAC.. I realized what a POS the Rotel was..
I felt sorry for the buyer a bit when selling the Rotel! (lol)

Anyway. I still use the Sony, and the Adcom DAC.

Now with my current five disc changers..
I use them most of the time.
The sound of one of my carousel to my DAC, then to a tube preamp, is slightly inferior to my Sony SCD777ES which is direct to my main preamp. BUT! Not enough to look for some other setup.(actually the tube softness is more noticeable than the difference in the digital sound. I do prefer the DAC via the tubes. and the Sony via straight up)

In the past I did buy an expensive very highly rated (BOTH TAS and Stereophile raved it) DAC, which I discovered was no better than my current DAC. So I returned the new DAC.

At this point I have no desire to search for something I have no need for. (ie a better DAC.)

I have noted huge differences in various five disc as transports. That is why I do not mention which ones I use. As in other things, just saying xxx is a great device creates a demand for them. And I prefer to be able to buy them myself in the future. I do like a particular series and models from xxx years. I already own eight of them, all bought off eBay from $25 to $80 bucks.. So I am ready for the future.

I have no problem listening to music critically with my five disk players as transport. (though I agree most sound like crap)

 

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