Cd player Vs cd transport and separate dac?


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Jul 22, 2023
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Hi again 👋👋
As some know I've tried upgrading a Marantz cd52 mk2 with the 6007 and a few others,
but being honest with myself like the cd52 mk2 best despite thinking a newer player would better the sound when updating to a newer amp and streamer.
I guess I fell for the false assumption that things have improved despite my experience with vintage kit from very early on in life against newer kit I've bought over the yrs.
My favourite amp is from 1991 😊

My question is as I like the sound of the dac I have (ess saber) would it be a good idea to try a cd transport instead of a new player?

My assumption is that using the same budget on a cd transport will secure a better machine rather than the money going on holistic player it would be more concentrated on the transport and analogue circuitry.

I realise the cd52 mk2 has a coaxial digital out on the rear turning it into a transport and will be trying that but what's your thoughts on the main question?

Will a cd transport be better than a cd player for the same budget when combined with an existing dac ?

Thanks and I hope everybody is enjoying the 1st week going into the new yr.
Ive still not fitted the new goldring cartridge to the system deck iix 🤣
Its needing a new belt and table height adjustment to stop the belt slipping off when set to 45rpm.

Once done it will be the first time it's played a note since 1992
To be honest a well fettled CD player will be hard to beat for the money.
Whilst a CD transport will be designed to do one thing well and allows you to add a DAC of choice, most modern amps include a dac these days anyway, I don't see it being worthwhile economically as a decent transport isn't exactly cheap these days and using an old CD player as a transport isn't ideal either as it's going to fail soon, laser and transport mechanisms don't last forever.....
From my little experiment with my Luxman cd player, I used the internal dac of the Luxman with an Arcam cd/dvd player. The Arcam sounded smoother and rolled off in the bass and treble extremes.
The Luxman offered greater detail and clarity which I preferred.
I don’t think just changing the dac is so cut and dry. There’s obviously a whole lot more to cd sound than just a dac and transport. Ime.
I’ve never been a great fan of DAC swapping, as I tended to believe that a CD player with DAC inbuilt was the best way. No extra boxes, cables, power supplies, just right there on the circuit board.

I made an exception about a year ago, as on the cusp of trying a transport, I bought a keenly priced Tascam CD-200 player. It has a built in DAC as all players do, in this case a modest one from AKM. But I mostly use it digitally into my Linn streamer. That way I get the same ‘flavour’ from CDs as streaming, which suits me just fine. If I want something different, then my Marantz SACD is right next to it on the rack!

I get the appeal though, as with a perfectly good but several years old CD player, one might imagine the ‘new broom’ of the latest DAC will be the finishing touch, especially at a modest cost. But I think there’s a lot of expectation riding on such a decision, so inevitably the new box will seem better, whether it is or not!
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