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ctkrohn
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Why does a CD transport affect the sound?

I'm a little puzzled at all this talk of fancy CD transports, fancy digital cables for connecting a transport to a DAC, etc. It seems to me that only the DAC should affect the sound of a CD player. After all, a 1 is a 1 and a 0 is a 0, right? If a transport exhibits a "warm midrange" or something like that, wouldn't it have to be somehow altering the bits on the CD? I'm sure that never happens... after all, your computer's CD-ROM drive reads programs perfectly from CDs all the time. I don't see why an audio CD player would be any worse.

For example, in a computer the hard drive (analogous to the CD transport) has no effect on the clarity of a photo stored on it -- that is determined by the video card. Likewise, your Word documents are always the same, regardless of the digital medium on which they are stored. Computer builders in general don't buy fancy hard drive cables or vibration control systems to preserve the quality of digitized information on the hard drive. Bits are bits... the only thing that affects our perception of them should be the component that translates the bits into some sort of an analog signal.

But this doesn't seem right -- why then would people be willing to spend thousands of dollars on fancy transports? Why do people claim to be able to hear a difference?

What am I missing? Why does the transport affect the sound?

Jeff Wong
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Re: Why does a CD transport affect the sound?

This thread sort of explains what you're asking:

http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=4016&page=3&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1

In a nutshell, the timing of the delivery of those 1s and 0s determines the accuracy of the reconstruction of the waveform.

CECE
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Re: Why does a CD transport affect the sound?

Then how come it doesn't effect the delivery of a photo image? It's utter nonsense that's why. Why not vibration feet for a computer when it displays an image? Why not Mapingo balls and circles, and trangles, and trapezoids for a computer drive? Again, audio is filled with more BS than most consumer lines. Why doesn't the plastic insulation affect the image coming from a hard drive, but it affects the sound coming of a SACD/CD player...which one's and zero's get bothered? How come HDTV runs for miles and miles down the cable system lines, and comes out PERFECT, it be one's and zeros. Cus' it's not CONsumer audio nonsense.

Pjay
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Re: Why does a CD transport affect the sound?

Isn't the read an 7 bit word with a check digit? So if the word is off, it re-reads? So either the words are flowing or they are not.

I know if I store my Cds on end, all the top bits are .8 and the bottom ones are 1.2 :0)

P

Ronm1
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Re: Why does a CD transport affect the sound?


Quote:
What am I missing? Why does the transport affect the sound?

I'll bite! But 1st, Do you think CD media makes a diff! CD vs. remaster's vs. xrcd's, etc?

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Why does a CD transport affect the sound?

Robert Harley/Stereophile

Check out this great article from the "Phile" archives. I am a former broadcast engineer and I had to read it more than once to really get it. I still think there is much to learn. When CD was first born who even thought about jitter?

Robert points out some other issues. JA has even heard differences when driving high quality DACs with different transports. This is not snake oil.

I have had a couple of transports that had trouble reading some CDRs when others would play just about anything I put into them.

Enjoy.

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