High End 2017 • Hot Product

One product that has almost disappeared from the market is the high-quality, dedicated CD transport. As the industry turns its attention to file replay, the number of companies offering optical-disc-reading options has been getting slimmer by the day -- until now. It seems that the listening public aren’t yet ready to give up on CD, and there has been a flurry of new players hitting the market, many from companies who, not so long ago, were predicting the imminent death of the optical disc.

By far the most interesting introduction in Munich came from a company that has resolutely kept the disc-replay faith. CEC launched a pair of new transports: the TL5 (top unit, €2298) and TL2N (€5498), along with the CD5 CD player (€2998). Of these, the one that really caught attention was the TL5. It's based on a new, single-belt drive transport mechanism, and CEC claims that it outperforms the TL3N it replaces, despite the older model employing a twin-belt drive.

In fact, the performance of the new mechanism is so impressive that it has forced a major update in the twin-belt design -- hence the new TL2N. But the best news of all is that the new TL5 comes in considerably cheaper than the TL3N it replaces – around €1000 less, depending on country. With both Marc Mickelson and Roy Gregory using CEC transports on a regular basis, you can be sure we’ll be keeping a close eye on these new, more affordable models.

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