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
TL3N also uses another belt drive for moving the laser back and forth (the picture
of the mechanism below shows the construction in more detail).
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 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 match through other means.
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.
The TL3N is now also available in black as well as silver.
-CEC TL3N CD Transport: £2,750.
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 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 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-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