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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 - in no way thin and bleached as many other CD transports can be. Rhythmically it also scores very highly, getting toes tapping immediately, which naturally draws you further into the performance. At the time of writing I have yet to try the upgraded power supply, but there are no obvious shortcomings with the standard unit, so it will be interesting to see what improvements it can bring.

This transport has already become a firm favourite, don’t be put off by its small physical size, its 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-house custom modified Philips front loading CD mechanism, combined with a custom copper wired digital output transformer. It is available with either black acrylic or silver aluminium fascia.

-Audio Note CDT Zero/II: £POA at manufacturers request


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 - much like the one you’d find in a good turntable.

The TL5 has the motor drive belt mounted inside the CD compartment, making it incredibly simple to change the drive belt (on the very rare occasions when it is required) as no tools are needed.

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 the opposite in fact, the sound is incredibly involving. Much like the filterless DACs we champion, it takes digital replay to a level which seems impossible to achieve through other means.

It offers a very wide range of connection options including XLR (AES/EBU), coaxial S/PDIF (via a phono/RCA) and Toslink optical.


Finishes: Black or Silver

-CEC TL5 CD Transport: £2,750.

Audio Note CDT Two/II

The CDT Two/II is based around the Philips CDM Pro mechanism with a top loading arrangement and magnetic disc clamp. It features a large power supply and high grade componentry. Available with either a black acrylic (above) or silver aluminium (below) fascia.

-Audio Note CDT Two II: £POA at manufacturers request


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-VX silver wire and features Tantalum resistors as well as Black Gate capacitors. The complex multi stage power supply features 3 separate transformers. It is available with either a black acrylic or silver aluminium fascia.

-Audio Note CDT Three: £POA at manufacturers request


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 refinements 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-Springs) assembly. This floats the hexagonal assembly (visible in the internal picture below) which supports the laser and main bearing and minimises coupling to the cog-free low torque motors.

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.

-CEC TL0X CD transport: £17,500

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 - both firsts as far as we’re aware. Needless to say attention has been paid to all other aspects of design, from transformer design, through to its completely Black Gate equipped power supply, Audio Note Pallas silver internal wiring and its sprung sub chassis. This transport weighs a not inconsiderable 22kg and is available with either a black acrylic or silver aluminium fascia.

-Audio Note CDT Five: £POA at manufacturers request

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