What CD transports people use into their DSD?

Hey folks. I’m intrigued to know what CD transports people use into their DSD? I know the PST is top of the pile, and Jay’s audio get’s some love, but is anyone using something like an Audiolab or a Cambridge via coax?

Oppo 105D via coax. Realize they’re no longer made but if you’re keeping score…

Edit: On 2nd thought you might not want to count it because about 98% of the time I’m streaming from the Oppo to the DS DAC and it’s only rarely being used for shiny discs.

Thank you. any answer is appreciated! I can’t afford a PST (or a jay’s!) so was wondering whether a low end CD transport into a high end dac would still reap benefits.

The Audiolab 6000CDT is quite good. I have tested it out into the DSD via coax, and I have used it with a Stellar GCDAC as well. It’s not in use right now, but has been an excellent performer.

In the past I’ve also used a Cambridge Audio CXU, a Denon DCD-A100 and an Oppo UPD 205 but the Audiolab was a bit better.


Thanks that’s good to know. I’m mulling over whether a £400 transport into a £4000 dac is better than splitting the budget 50/50. The former option would of course allow future upgrades of the transport, whilst the dac could be kept for years.

I also have a DMP and a PST. They are significantly better than the Audiolab, mainly because they allow the playback of DSD from SACD discs, something I really do enjoy. But the Audiolab takes you considerably along the way to similar sound from Redbook. Not all the way, but quite a ways for 3500 less.

Just to an innocent bystander I would spend the large sum on the DAC.
The difference in the low end to high end transports may be noticeable but as you say the DAC is a long term investment and will also decode streaming service music or locally stored music to a higher standard.


Love my Audiolab 6000CDT into my Directstream Sr via coax.
So much so I’ve just upgraded my digital cable for it.

…I STILL don’t know how good this transport is, everytime I make a change it just keeps stepping up. :slight_smile:

For CD playback it beats my heavily modded Oppo 203 with i2s output board into the same Dac.
Its that good, seriously.


That’s great to know! I have an aversion to slot loaders, but will consider the audiolab!

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I am using an 9 year old Perfectwave Memory Transport I got with my Perfectwave Dac MkII. I’ve since updated to the DSD and I am using a Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 HDMI cable between them. I will be getting an Audioquest Dragon 48 HDMI cable soon to replace the Wireworld. I think the transport works well and have not yet been itchy to upgrade the transport.


Running Oppo 205 via DH Labs rca coax to DS…wonderful

Best wishes

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I got a NuPrime CDT8-Pro in the spring of '21, and since it promised pin-compatibility with PSA’s I2S HDMI prorocol, I plugged it in that way, set its sample rate conversion to DSD128, and I was off to the races. It was my go-to for Redbook until I got a Marantz SACD 30n, which sounded at least as good as that when using its own DAC and analog outputs. Often it was even better, depending on the recording.

But I just broke the box seal on my new PST a few minutes ago, and I fully expect it will replace both of those units in the system. They’ll most likely be up for sale soon.

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Tried the Audiolab 6000CDT and the Cambridge Audio CVX and both are great units. Sold them both after picking up an Oppo BDP-103 - it is without a doubt the better unit for me. Now waiting on an i2s card to tie it into a GCDAC to make it even better.

That’s good to know re the Marantz - I have a denon sacd ready to try, which shouldn’t be a million miles away sound wise.

Musical Fidelity M1 transport using coax. It also has XLR but was cautioned about its not being as good as coax by several people, but I am too lazy to compare (and don’t have an XLR cable on hand).

I too am using an Oppo 105D as my transport. It feeds my Bryston BDA3 via HDMI for true DSD and coax for everything else.

+1 on the PS Audio PWT (Perfect Wave Transport). These can be had for around $1k or less used and they sound excellent via I2S/HDMI cable interface to DS DAC. Also, the optical drive can be user replaced (not too tricky) for around $25. I just replaced my PWT with the Jay’s Audio CDT2-MK3 (which as @aangen states “punches way, way, way above its price point”). I’m on the fence as to whether I’ll sell the PWT or continue to use in a second system. This transport is extremely good and they are usually available in the used market.

Good luck,

P.S. I’m also not a big fan of the slot loading mechanism.


Sell the Jay’s and keep the PWT it is a better transport and a REAL memory player!

Until you’ve heard the Jay’s Audio transport you can’t fully appreciate the sound quality improvement over the PWT. The PWT is excellent, but the Jay’s is better in every way (IMHO). I’ve been an electrical engineer for almost 37 years and some audiophile “magic” is confounding but I’m not imagining the better sound of the Jay’s. Probably partly due to the lower power supply induced noise because of the unique type of optical mechanism and perhaps better power supply regulation and isolation. Not sure, but it’s no B.S. much better.

EDIT: The Jay’s also uses a very low jitter OCXO (oven-controlled crystal oscillator). This likely contributes to the wonderful sound as well.


I say sell the Jay"s and get the PST. Oh…forget I just said that, I forget there are many out there who do not believe in the superior sound of SACD’s. :grin: