E&OE Copyright 2010-
Project CD Box RS
The CD BOX RS is a very attractive and diminutively sized top loading CD transport from Project. The chassis is beautifully made from thick aluminium panels (finished in either Silver or Black), and a large and clear colour display dominates the fascia and provides useful information including CD Text. A row of toggle switches are provided for the most common functions, with a remote control offering more functionality (direct track access and so on).
Around the back there are a wide number of connection options including coaxial (S/PDIF) and optical (Toslink), AES/EBU balanced, as well as Projects own I2S ‘Sonic’ output (with clock link). A small external switch mode power supply is included and this can be upgraded to a much larger linear design (which is housed in the same size casework as the CD BOX RS) by simply plugging it in.
The CD is held in place with a magnetic puck and a heavy ‘lift off’ aluminium lid keeps out light, reduces vibration and adds a rather pleasing ritual to loading and unloading discs.
Sonically it’s absolutely delightful and very difficult to fault at this price point. It has a sound that is substantial and colourful -
This transport has already become a firm favourite, don’t be put off by its small physical size, it sound has scale to match the largest rivals.
Above: The CD BOX RS in the black finish
Dimension: W x H x D (W/Sockets): 206 x 72 x 200 (240)mm
Project CD BOX RS CD transport in silver or black: £899.00
Project Power Box RS Uni 1way, power supply upgrade: £349.00
Audio Note CDT Zero/II
The CDT Zero/II transport features anin-
There’s something very special about CEC transports, and this is almost certainly attributable to their radical belt drive mechanism. Most CD players use a motor to directly drive the disc from underneath, this will couple vibration into the disc and rely upon the basic motor bearings to support the spinning disc. To solve these issues CEC use a belt drive assembly to reduce the transmission of noise from the motor, the disc is held in place with a weighty clamp and that spins on top of a very high quality bearing -
This double belt drive mechanism has only previously been employed in CECs dearer models, but now with the introduction of the TL3N it is a feature of all three models in the range.
The sound of these transports is very special, but quite difficult to describe on paper. Anyone familiar with a good turntable will instantly recognise the extra realism they reproduce. There’s a tremendous sense of flow, of musicians playing together and interacting, and a sense of analogue like freedom to the sound. That’s not to say the sound is lacking in dynamics or excitement -
Quite how the new model compares to its single belt predecessor, our old favourite the TL51X, will have to wait till we can get both together, but our gut feeling is that the TL3N represents quite a substantial improvement in almost all areas, but especially in the areas of resolution and the realism of leading edges of notes.
It offers a very wide range of connection options including XLR (AES/EBU), coaxial S/PDIF (via a phono), Toslink optical, and CECs own Superlink (for use with their own DAC’s) via BNC connectors.
Above:The TL3N is now also available in black as well as silver.
Audio Note CDT Two/II
The CDT Two/II is based around the Philips CDM Pro mechanism. It features a large power supply and Blackgate capacitors. These capacitors give it a rather long burn in time, but once it’s settled in the sound is wonderfully textured and natural.
Available with either a black acrylic (above) or silver aluminum (below) fascia.
Audio Note CDT Three
The CDT Three features a custom modified Philips CD Pro2LF CD mechanism, a silver wired output transformer and is internally wired with Audio Note AN-
The TL1N is the middle model in the CEC line and is beautifully machined from thick aluminium. Inside it uses a twin belt drive mechanism combined with a high quality bearing and a high mass (370gm) brass clamp. Outputs include AES/EBU, coaxial, optical and CEC's own Superlink.
CEC TL1N CD Transport: £8,770
Audio Note CDT Four
The CDT Four is a full sized top loading CD transport. The refinments over the CDT Three include a choke smoother power supply, even more high quality components and internal Audio Note Sogon wiring. It is available with either a Black acrylic or silver aluminium fascia.
Audio Note CDT Four: £POA at manufacturers request
The TL0X is the pinnacle of the CEC range of transports. As you’d expect from CEC is uses twin belt drive and this is combined with a very sophisticated suspension system, an arrangement that uses their three point D.R.T.S. (Double Rubber & Triple-
CEC have spent a lot of time with anti vibration measures extending beyond the suspension system mentioned above, throughout they have used techniques including combining dissimilar metals to damp one another and using 20mm thick slabs of aluminium. These also help screen the drive electronics from the mechanism itself, as does the use of a massive regulated power supply which is mounted in a separate box.
The attention to detail doesn’t finish with the design, each unit is hand made, then soak tested for a week and individually auditioned prior to dispatch.
Audio Note CDT Five
The CDT Five is a radical CD transport. It features both a valve rectified power supply and valve digital output stage -