CD transports for a Bartok

I am a new Bartók owner. I would like to get a Cd transport that can fully leverage the DAC performance. What are you using and what’s you preferred connection?

Hi, i use a Metronome T5 with an AES digital cable. I dont liste to often CD but when i do I really enjoy it.

I think you can find this transport at a good price

Your question has been asked before:

Thank you. I will check it out. I didn’t listen to CDs much but want to have something that can get be close to the DAC sound quality when streaming. My current cd transport (Audiolab 6000 cdt) seems to be lacking somewhat.

Hi Zia. I hope that you will enjoy this community forum and will find it useful.

Like any request for advice on purchasing we really need a budget from you to especially as transports range over a very wide range of costs, new or used.

You ask for one that will “fully leverage” your Bartok but I have to say that this would probably require something like the Rossini Transport as this offers a performance that exceeds anything I have heard aside from the dCS top of the range Vivaldi model ,yet will still not be excessive regarding Bartok’s abilities. However may I guess that this may lie beyond your budget limits? If so you may still get something that sounds very good albeit not at the cutting edge.

If my guess is right and you are looking for a cost effective used unit remember that these mechanical/optical devices do wear over time, especially the Optical Pickup unit. So when seeking what to buy check that spares are available as for many legacy units none are available any longer or are difficult to source. It may be worth buying a spare now even if you do not have an immediate need as when you do find that a new OPU is needed ( and you will eventually) it may no longer be around.

As for connection that is easy. All transports have S/Pdf ( coax) digital outputs. Few have alternatives and the only ones I can think of offering USB or others are new, costly and/or not yet available used.

I would add that to do this properly so that the Bartok gives of its ultimate best you will need to synchronise the timing of Bartok and transport. This requires a wordclock input to the transport so that Bartok is the timing reference. Frankly outside of dCS and maybe some Esoteric models this is not all that likely.

Thank you for your response. I have several hundred CDs but don’t play them that often to warrant spending big money. Having said this I would like to have a decent transport that is not a huge limiting factor for what the Bartók can deliver. In my mind a transport that can get me 85-90% of what the Bartók can deliver could be a reasonable target.

I wish that you had given us soem idea of ypur budget. It may also help to know where you are as prices differ internationally. For example if you live in the UK or EU and buy from China ( you mention Jays Audio elsewhere) you need to add shipping costs, VAT @ around 20% and duty.

Turning to that Jay’s transport ,unfortunately it cannot be synchronised with Bartok. It has clock inputs but these are for a 10mHz reference clock and not a wordclock which runs at 44.1. 48 KHz or multiples and is the input that you will need.

So my first choice is a used dCS transport , preferably the last generation, say, a Paganini. Best alternative will be an Esoteric transport but check that the wordclock input is BNC 75 ohms and not 50 ohms. Some Esoterics allow switching the two but you will need to check the user manual.

As you have an Audiolab transport which you are dissatisfied with, many transports may not improve on this. Without experienced guidance it will be luck of the draw. I do know that the current Marantz SACD 30n is a very good player and hope that its digital output retains this. It actually uses the same transport mechanism as the current dCS ones. You would also get SACD into your preamp :slightly_smiling_face:.

I’m very satisfied playing CDs with my Marantz SA11S3 via coaxial to the Bartok, very good transport mechanism in this Marantz