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Audio Note CD Transport/DAC

Discussion in 'audio' started by Neil P, Oct 27, 2021.

  1. Neil P

    Neil P pfm Member

    Having read interviews with the Audio Note head honcho, his obsession and approach is fascinating. Even if you don't like the products or prices, I have to admire his strive for perfection.

    Has anyone tried the CD transports and dacs? What's a not too expensive way to get into that product hierarchy? Second hand ideally!
  2. chris@panteg

    chris@panteg pfm Member

    The trouble with second hand is that Audionote now have such a following that anything that comes up gets inflated beyond a reasonable price? So beware.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
    hifinutt likes this.
  3. kjb

    kjb pfm Member

    I have the entry level DAC ( 0.1). I play my Rega Saturn (v1) through it after being persuaded by Deco Audio to give it a go. It brought out the character of voices and instruments a bit (but a quite noticeable bit) more. Not night and day but worth the upgrade.
  4. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    I've heard the original Zero series CDT and DAC in the context of the Zero system shortly after it was released, it sounded pretty nice but nothing to write home about.
  5. brumjam

    brumjam pfm Member

    Not too expensive and Audio Note are not words you hear together very often. The DAC 2.1 Sig is a nice unit….after that the pricing turns stratospheric.
    Bettisdad and hifinutt like this.
  6. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    They do make naim pricing look very reasonable. The head guy there has a very singular vision & you either buy into it or don’t.

    If I was going to go valve, I wouldn’t go further than Tron which is far better value & genuinely well made.
  7. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    You do hear very good reports about their transports, would not mind trying one
  8. Euan

    Euan pfm Member

    I used to own a CDT One and 2.1x Sig DAC. I bought it at a HiFi show!

    It was very nice but it was bettered by my Marantz SA7-S1 which I still have.
  9. daytona600

    daytona600 Registered User

  10. naimnut

    naimnut Deep in the Mines of Soul

    You might try to audition an MHDT DAC. Something like the Orchid, for instance. It uses the Philips TD1541A chip to create a lovely, engaging sound.
  11. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

  12. Jono_13

    Jono_13 Duffer

  13. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    Thanks but Daytona posted links to swix transport.
  14. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    No, the Swix is just the DAC. Transports are from Project.
  15. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    Cd transports is a subject I follow very closely . Would be great to compare relatively expensive stuff like audionote transport with others . Used msb CD data 4 , bel canto cd2 , rotel 965bx, marantz sa8005 as transports .

    Currently using new marantz 6007 as transport which silky smooth in operation and fast loading. Can't quite get over the vfm but would be great to compare

    Got a 6000cdt coming soon to compare
  16. daytona600

    daytona600 Registered User

    hifinutt likes this.
  17. Salamander

    Salamander pfm Member

    You beat me to it Phil regarding the Audiolab, getting quite a few good mentions of late. Me, if I could afford £2k+, Jay's Audio CDT, I haven't posted a link since to look at it, you'll want it :D
  18. RichardAusten

    RichardAusten Member

    As noted earlier second-hand values are high - but then that also makes new units cheaper. It is the NET cost of ownership not the initial price that matters. Back in 2003 I was looking at the Audio Note J/SPe speaker and the Reference 3a MM De Capo I (my then front runner). I bought the AN J/SPe for $2,500 and 13 years later I sold them for $2,917. So I owned a speaker for 13 years that essentially cost me nothing. I say essentially because there is inflation. I can buy a second-hand MM De Capo - a lesser-sounding speaker - for $900 or less. IE; I got $2000 more than I would have gotten for De Capo.

    So when I saw the sticker price $2500 - 13 years later it turned out one speaker would have cost me FAR FAR more money.

    I have an Audio Note OTO amp from 2003. I can sell it for $400-$600 more than I paid for it in 2003. Most any amplifier that you paid $1800 for back in 2003 I am willing to bet would only sell for half (at best) today.

    Granted coming up with the initial price may be hard.

    With AN CD players - the above isn't as likely to happen - largely because CD just isn't popular now and being mechanical are prone to failure so I don't think they will hold value as well as speakers and amplifiers. The DACs perhaps but not the transports.

    Audio Note is expensive because the parts are costly - the Philips Pro2LF mechanism in the CDT2 transport and up have a cost of $500 - just for the part and you have not done anything with it yet - like modify it and put in the casework.

    The Zero and level one players used the Philips L1210 - this was used in the top machines from Sim Audio and Bryston. Bryston had a 5-year warranty on it so they felt it was a fairly robust mechanism - still, the L1210 isn't a Pro2. I elected to just go with a Cambridge Audio CXC for $350 because The CD Two/II was something like $5,000 and I'd rather spend the money on vinyl.

    I did listen to the new CD5.1x - their flagship One Box CD player and man oh man if CD sounded this good in the 1990s it may have hung around and fended off digital. I love this CD player - but it's something like $30,000.
    hifinutt likes this.
  19. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    Thanks for that Richard. Strangely there are still lots of threads about CD players on forums but as you say less popular
  20. Rockhopper

    Rockhopper pfm Member

    Would be interesting to compare the Jays transport with the top Project transport.
    I believe they are similar price range. Anyone any knowledge?

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