Schiit Urd CD Transport

Schiit’s CD transport is now available.

Includes USB out.


They work really hard to bring a quality product to market with a very good price to performance ratio.


Seems like this product has been almost ready for release for years. Frankly, I had given up on ever seeing it come to market. I really don’t care about the USB hub feature. Seems like a very limited need for anything like that. Seems rather pricey though unless it sounds exceptionally good. They have a strong reputation for good value so- fingers crossed.

Neat project/product…

I expect there will be a healthy amount of interest in this kit.

Thanks for posting.

A used, good condition Maranz Reference SACD player (2010ish version) will run just couple hundred above this unit, and it was build like solid block of AL and CU, and the sound is on par with DSD MKII with the same album.

If purely judging by sound quality… I’m not sure. Wish this was annouced a year ago…

@wudai_e Good point and I would take the used Marantz but Schiit has dedicated so much into USB so their customers may really want this.

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Looks like Darko got the pricing reversed. According to Schiit’s website, it’s the silver box that’s $50 more expensive, not the black one.

Anyone know how it is doing it?
i.e. is it:

  • reading a synchronous stream from the CD, deconstructing it into data chunks to send over USB for the DAC to reassemble into a synchronous stream (in which case, why)? or
  • doing real-time audio-data-extraction, and then sending those resultant data chunks over to the DAC to assemble into a synchronous stream (in which case, is it more sensitive to damaged discs)?

(note the above is a block-diagram level description only).

Anyone any idea on this question? I didn’t see any info on Schitt’s website to indicate either way :slight_smile:

Upon further delving:

CD Transport
Formats Supported: Redbook CD only
Gapless Playback: Yes

This suggests to me it is the audio-extract method.

Streaming tech but with a CD drive / extract / buffer instead of a network stack etc.

Brilliant idea - want one, or I could plug a USB cd drive into my LMS server and do something similar of course, be a lot cheaper :wink:

Nevertheless, once again this company have made something that looks like a great idea and I’d get one if I could and had the need :slight_smile:
(see also the Loki Max remote control eq).

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What’s to not like? Interesting designs made in the US and sold at very reasonable prices.


Exactly my view too.

To be fair PSA have done it a couple of times too (even without me being interested in amps or preamps):
the concept of the Nuwave Phono Converter was spot on (especially since the strategy was DAC direct to power amp at the time), and, the DMP was a great concept too. Had the Airlens been a bit sooner and a bit more flexible with software stack, that looked a good 'un.

Can’t comment on the actual implementation of any of these since I’ve not used them, so I’m just talking b*&l*&*s here really, but design concepts are a lot of fun to throw around :slight_smile:

Jason Stoddard has a chapter for Urd over at his blog on Head-Fi, worth reading if you haven’t already.

I wonder how people will like it once the honeymoon phase is over. It lacks a few niceties that I’m used to with PST such as the remote with a keypad for track searching, shuffle/repeat, etc.

I don’t get it. What’s the point of this USB conversion business? Is there supposed to be a sonic benefit? I don’t think there are many DACs with just a USB input.

Well Schitt go big on USB DACs, and there are plenty of cheaper (i.e. not full-sized “audiophile” DACs) that are USB only.
I’m not a fan of the USB bus in theory, but it is very flexible, and has high data rates.

But in terms of a reason to do this for a CD player in particular:
if you want to avoid the inherent jitter of clock recovery from an SPDIF or AES link, or indeed the jitter of a transport itself, one good way to do it is to send it over to the DAC asynchronously, and let the DAC itself assemble it into a synchronous stream, using the DAC’s own clock, that way the timing of the data in the CD transport doesn’t matter and the timing of the eventual synchronous stream assembled in the DAC will be that much closer to “correct”.

This latter point does in theory allow better quality of conversion, although every method always has inherent tradeoffs - in this case with USB you get the noise of a chatty digital bus injected into the DAC.
How well the DAC handles that is another matter…

Me - I like TOSLINK - free electrical isolation, but TOSLINK is prone to jitter, so I need a DAC that is very good at rejecting jitter on SPDIF/TOSLINK inputs.

I just think it’s about time someone started playing with this concept, since USB is now so, well, Universal and Schitt seem to be the only ones so far :slight_smile:

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I’ll take my Marantz SA-10 over this anytime. Built like a tank and made to last.

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If your DAC does USB well then I can see how this might actually have some sonic advantages then. Hope this is a aspect that potential reviewers will delve into.

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You would hope :slight_smile:
I suspect it’s main audience will be existing schitt users, but the idea may spread :slight_smile:
Meanwhile I’m busy building a (more software based) functional equivalent with a spare raspberry pi :slight_smile:

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Intriguing podcast by Darko.

He interviewed one of the Schiit co-founders and they cover optical transports, music industry, MQA, spatial audio, remastering and more.

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