Are Transports Obsolete?

It surprises me in this day and age that transports continue to be developed, and presumably sold. I know this has at least been in part to the physical media aspects of spinning one's CD library. Also, Transports, particularly of the cost no object variety, can be more 'sexy' than servers.

We 'know' that server technology has, for all intents and purposes, eclipsed transports in the last few years, but the best of the best transports continue to garner enthusiasm if not raves from some reviewers that I really respect.

Are there any out there that, having bought a server, have recently been drawn back or towards the world of transports?
What is your server and why and what transports have you or are you reconsidering?
 
Last edited:

Comments

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,667
1,142
453
Greater Boston
Did you try it with the Oppo ? The quality of the Simaudio Moon should no longer be important ;)
I heard the transport comparison in a friend's system, I don't have the Oppo myself. Would be really interesting to know; I suspect the transport still makes a difference, but perhaps not, and the reclocking takes care of everything.
 
Likes: Lagonda

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,421
1,266
525
Denmark
I heard the transport comparison in a friend's system. Would be really interesting to know, I suspect the transport still makes a difference, but perhaps not, and the reclocking takes care of everything.
I think it also upsampels , what frequency does the YggY show ?
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,667
1,142
453
Greater Boston
Likes: Lagonda

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,421
1,266
525
Denmark

MadFloyd

Member Sponsor
May 31, 2010
2,518
102
520
Mass
Interesting development, Al. When we heard/compared that external clock on Saturday I/we could not hear a difference. It was one of those situations where you think *maybe* I'm hearing something but I could be fooling myself as well. We ended up concluding that the Yggy's internal clock was good enough that the external clock wasn't really bringing anything to the table.

Can you now detect the differences on more complex music or does it really shine on solo and chamber music?
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,667
1,142
453
Greater Boston
Interesting development, Al. When we heard/compared that external clock on Saturday I/we could not hear a difference. It was one of those situations where you think *maybe* I'm hearing something but I could be fooling myself as well. We ended up concluding that the Yggy's internal clock was good enough that the external clock wasn't really bringing anything to the table.

Can you now detect the differences on more complex music or does it really shine on solo and chamber music?
Yes, Ian, we had a hard time hearing a difference, and it was *maybe*. It was frustrating so far until I finally figured out what to listen for and to "lock into" that. Once I did, there was no turning back, and the differences became more and more meaningful and distinctive.

I will listen for differences on more complex music, in terms of separation of instruments and spatial information. The latter is supposed to be effected by jitter as well, but so far a superficial check hasn't yielded much. That may well change with a more systematic approach. As you know, my system should capably reveal differences in soundstage and spatiality.

I guess now that my decision is clear, I'll relax more with just listening to music, and sprinkle in a few comparisons when I enjoy to do so.

It definitely was an exciting day yesterday when it "clicked". Finally I could hear differences in a reliable, reproducible manner. That was what I had been waiting for in order to be able to reach a verdict.
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,421
1,266
525
Denmark
In other words you had a Marc epiphany ;)
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,492
2,349
603
E. England
Um, Milan, we don't use that word around these parts anymore. You dig?
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,421
1,266
525
Denmark
Um, Milan, we don't use that word around these parts anymore. You dig?
Marc, you and Ron are creators of new use of descriptive wording in audio. How are we to describe our systems without Ron’s “hyperbole “ or your “epiphanies” ?;)
 
Likes: bonzo75

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,492
2,349
603
E. England
Well, just be glad I chose not to use my stock of original phrases
Paradigm shift
Cognitive disconnect, etc
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,667
1,142
453
Greater Boston
In other words you had a Marc epiphany ;)
Well, the fun part is that I thought pretty quickly that there was more energy in the sound, and that thus subjectively some material sounded louder.

I just couldn't put my finger on the details. I guess I must have tried too hard, which is where differences get lost. BTW, this is also the psychological reason why double blind tests often don't work; you put yourself under stress.

As I reported, yesterday I finally relaxed myself into listening to entire 5 minute pieces from that CD, going back and forth between reclocker and transport only, and then things became clear. After that, I could also reliably hear differences on snippets.
 
Last edited:

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,421
1,266
525
Denmark
Well, just be glad I chose not to use my stock of original phrases
Paradigm shift
Cognitive disconnect, etc
Don’t forget “ tonal density “ and “ midrange shove” ;)
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,421
1,266
525
Denmark
Well, the fun part is that I thought pretty quickly that there was more energy in the sound, and that thus subjectively some material sounded louder.

I just couldn't put my finger on the details. I guess I must have tried too hard, which is where differences get lost. BTW, this is also the psychological reason why double blind tests often don't work; you put yourself under stress.
Personally i don’t judge til i have tried a couple of weeks alternating between setups, sometimes just noticing what makes me want to listen more to music, to often “different” will be equalled with better in a short trial period( also called the “Marc effect”). I tend to buy my trial gear, and get rid of it again if it has no staying power, or i put it on a shelf :rolleyes:
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,492
2,349
603
E. England
Don’t forget “ tonal density “ and “ midrange shove” ;)
Oh, don't take credit for those.
100% ownership of Zu's head honcho Sean Casey.
I'm just a parrot.
 
Likes: Lagonda

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,667
1,142
453
Greater Boston
Personally i don’t judge til i have tried a couple of weeks alternating between setups, sometimes just noticing what makes me want to listen more to music, to often “different” will be equalled with better in a short trial period( also called the “Marc effect”). I tend to buy my trial gear, and get rid of it again if it has no staying power, or i put it on a shelf :rolleyes:
Good choices. Something in that vein happened to me too yesterday: I listened to the Rautavaara track that I mentioned and was transfixed, both by the music and what I was hearing in the performance on one hand, and by the fact that my system could actually reproduce that on the other. I thought it was just sublime. It made me want to listen more to the music, as you say.

Then I switched to transport only, and the magic was gone. But *this* time I knew why, and going back to the reclocker confirmed it. From there, it all became reproducible.
 
Likes: Lagonda

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
1,421
1,266
525
Denmark
Good choices. Something in that vein happened to me too yesterday: I listened to the Rautavaara track that I mentioned and was transfixed, both by the music and what I was hearing in the performance on one hand, and by the fact that my system could actually reproduce that on the other. I thought it was just sublime. It made me want to listen more to the music, as you say.

Then I switched to transport only, and the magic was gone. But *this* time I knew why, and going back to the reclocker confirmed it. From there, it all became reproducible.
Hey i’m crossing my fingers and hoping. A inexpensive improvement that makes a positive impact is always on my wishlist, and i have learnt to trust you Boston guys , you all seem to choose on merit, not just price ;)
 
Likes: ack

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
603
438
75
60
Washington State, US
So I can confirm what Steve says about jitter. It's really important.

My Simaudio Moon 260 DT transport is much better than an Oppo for example. I heard the difference Oppo vs. my transport myself on my DAC. The Oppo had more grain, grayer tone colors and less separation of instruments -- more muddle. It was a difference that could easily be heard within seconds, and after a minute it was crystal clear.

The Oppo has jitter of 800 psec, as measured by Steve:

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=154408.0

The Simaudio Moon transport has about 115 psec jitter from CD, probably quite an engineering feat:

https://www.moremusic.nl/reviews/moon/Moon_neo_260d_HiFiNews.pdf

Recently I got Steve's Empirical Audio Synchro-Mesh reclocker with Dynamo LPS (Linear Power Supply) and his Empirical Audio digital Reference cables. Jitter: 7 psec. It also has a fast rise time of 700psec. Steve says that most transports have rise times of 2nsec, about 3x slower.

I thought perhaps the lower jitter of my transport compared to typical transports is enough for the internal clock of my Yggdrasil DAC to do the rest, whereas it can't quite correct something like the Oppo. I say this because in the beginning I didn't hear much difference. I guess I had expected large differences, but they are more subtle. Certainly more subtle than the difference of my transport vs. Oppo, and between my MIT AES/EBU cable and another, even more expensive one (which turned out to be no good, and now confirmed by hearing what the Synchro-Mesh reclocker does).

Yet my initial hunch turned out right: there is more energy to the sound with the Synchro-Mesh. Today my ears tuned into the differences, and now I can hear them easily. A great CD to demonstrate what is going on is Hilary Hahn's Encores (2-CD set):

https://www.amazon.com/27-Pieces-Hilary-Hahn-Encores/dp/B00EPD3B2W/

with back story on the often super-exciting music:
https://www.npr.org/2013/11/03/2420...ary-hahn-in-27-pieces-the-hilary-hahn-encores

It was best to listen to the Synchro-Mesh reclocker performance by playing one of the 5-minute pieces for violin and piano in its entirety (initially I made the mistake of mostly checking the reclocker performance on snippets of music), and comparing the same piece in its entirety on just the transport -- and going back again. Then you can see that the envelope of energy and dynamics changes. Sharp transients in the high register of the violin are faster and cleaner; in fact overall the sound is cleaner. There is more energy, tension and excitement to the musical performance.

Sound is more transparent, as if a veil is lifted. This is readily audible, for example, on the soft violin sounds in the slow, subtle beginning of Rautavaara's "Whispering" (track 11, CD2). There you also hear more micro-detail of sound from the friction of the bow on the strings.


(Caveat: the YouTube sounds lame, but it gives you an inkling of the music. There are many much more energetic pieces on the CD than this very beautiful piece.)


Now returning to the Simaudio Moon transport via my expensive MIT AES/EBU cable (which did make a good difference compared to other AES/EBU cables) seems simply boring. That's totally funny to me because I had loved my energetic and very, sometimes explosively, dynamic sound, and so had my audiophile friends. But once you hear the difference, you can't go back.

Interestingly, in direct comparison the transport alone with the higher jitter sounds more like vinyl, or shall we say, sub-optimal vinyl, which seems to be loved by many: the sound is "rounder", more "cozy" and "nicer". Yet with the Synchro-Mesh reclocker the sound is more real (I've heard close up live violin). I prefer real.

Solo piano also benefits. Again more energy and associated dynamics, and hard-hit treble notes are just faster, with removal of a hint of unrealistic "thickness". The low end of the piano also sounds better: less woolly.

I'll find out more about the Synchro-Mesh reclocker performance in other areas, but the above things alone suffice for me.

If you want a great transport, take the one you have and buy the Synchro-Mesh reclocker with Dynamo LPS. You can always return it if you don't like it, it comes with a 30 day return. But if your system has the resolution and dynamics, you won't make use of that policy. It's a keeper.

PS: Steve is nice to deal with.

http://www.monarchy-audio.com/DIP_Combo_Main_frame.htm


I had bought used one which is similar to Empirical Audio Synchro-Mesh reclocker at 200$ 3 years ago.
It had more effect on Cocktail Audio x12 but less on Jay's audio CD transport.

After reading your statement, I had put this back on Cocktail Audio x30.

It sounds slightly more clean and musical.

Definitely I prefer to have reclocker after X30.

Funny thing is that I need one more digital cable which cost me more than 200$.;)

It is good to have reserve of cables just in case you want to experiment on something.

I can not tell which one is better between Monarch and Emprical since I had not tried latter yet.

I may try Empirical someday for comparison.
 
Last edited:

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
6,171
680
610
Boston, MA
Hey i’m crossing my fingers and hoping. A inexpensive improvement that makes a positive impact is always on my wishlist, and i have learnt to trust you Boston guys , you all seem to choose on merit, not just price ;)
This is why we are ruthless, because music is all that matters, and no one cares how much money people spend. Black Box.
 

Alpinist

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2014
443
62
233
USA
But when you consider that the USB Pro package with Pro ISL is only 2k....... ;)

Matt
In my opinion, the Pro USB/Pro ISL is the best performance for the money of all the MSB inputs and second only to the Select/Reference Transport in overall performance. The Renderer V2 would likely be third but I’ve continued to use it because of the volume control through the IPad via Roon.

Ken
 
Last edited:

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing