Differences the Project RS2 Transport and the (newest) Jay's Audio CD2 Mk 3

@jaymark and @charles1dad are owners of the Project PS2 Transport and loving it.  I am between the Jay's Audio CD2 Mk3 and the Project.   However, did anyone compare the NEW 2019 Jay's Audio CD2 Mk3 rather than the prior model Mk2?  Steve Guttenberg reviewed them both and found significant improvement in the Mk3 version sonically.   How close are they now as the Jay's is $2500 and the Project with LTA power is closer to $4,000 (with taxes)?   



$2500 and $4000 for a transport? LOL! The old analog ideas do not apply to digital playback. Any cheap DVD player using digital output will send the same digital bits out to a DAC as any expensive transport. Confirmation bias increases with price!

Flescher, someone did compare and wrote about it in one of the recent Project or Jays threads.  They preferred the Project as I recall.  I have the Project and like it very much. 


Any cheap DVD player using digital output will send the same digital bits out to a DAC as any expensive transport. Confirmation bias increases with price!

This is patently wrong. I seriously doubt that you have any actual listening experiences with either of these two highly regarded CD transports.I owned the terrific P.S.Audio PWT for years. Definitely one of the better transports available.

The Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 is a clear level above in sound quality from one end of the sonic spectrum to the other. To try and attribute this all to "confirmation bias" reflects an ignorance of the true sonic performance differences that are the reality.


If you’ve heard either of the 2 CD transports under discussion would you kindly share your listening impressions.


Jason, you are somewhat misinformed. I agree that $2K+ transports are too rich for many (including myself), but the following review holds great promise at a sensible price:

I had been using my moded Oppo 105 (LPS, Furutec IEC with silver tail to the power supply and jumper to bypass the 110/220 switch). I play SACDs direct to my Audio Alchemy DDP-1 + PS 5, but I use a Pangea XLSE digital coax ($169 from AudioAdvisor) to the DDP 1 internal dac for redbook. I have/had a Marantz HD CD-1 as a backup, but recently decided to reinsert it as redbook transport. It is/was quite a it better, but quickly started making a scratching sound. I took it apart and located the problem, but it isn’t a simple fix, requiring a new mechanism @ $150+ shipping. No bueno


I started investigating reasonably priced transports and read the attached review of the Audiolab 6000. I found a slightly used one on Agon (at a great price): it should arrive this Thursday





I started investigating reasonably priced transports and read the attached review of the Audiolab 6000. I found a slightly used one on Agon (at a great price): it should arrive this Thursday

I believe that you’ll be happy with this transport and have no doubt it is better than the cheaper DVD options mentioned above. With regard to the Pro-Ject RS2T keep in mind it utilizes the very latest Stream Unlimited CD Pro-8 drive mechanism and Blue Tiger-84 SERVO all in one aluminum -carbon fiber enclosed unit. This is a huge factor responsible for its sound quality.




Im sure there are sonic reasons to spend a lot more, and I did before I retired. The point I was trying to make is in the case of the transport is, according to the linked review, it serves up a lot of quality sound @ ~$700, allowing better dacs to reveal their goodness

@jasonbourne52 - you obviously don't know what you are talking about but your trolling skills are beyond reproach.  Congrats on crapping on another thread.



You're shopping wrong. You can still get the P-J delivered for about $2500 all in. I got their 4-way LPS for $200.


3,540 posts

You're shopping wrong. You can still get the P-J delivered for about $2500 all in. I got their 4-way LPS for $200.


Do tell.......


I have not head the Jay's player, but I do have the Project and it is wonderful, especially after adding a linear power supply (I got one from Mojo).  I had the PS Directstream before the Project and thought it was really good - and I still think it is - but the Project was a step up in every way.  It isn't cheap, but I think it gets you into or close to the ranks of the reference players out there (Gryphon, T & A, etc.) for a whole lot less.  Project products really seem to punch above their weight.

Just waiting for my Jay's cdt2 mk3, told it arrived in customs in Cinci from Hong Kong today. Excited to get it is an understatement. 

Regarding the Jay's cd2 mk III, I just ordered one last week from Alvin Chee at Vinshine to mate with my Pontus II. I researched and read all the pertinent  reviews and owner impressions about both units. Yes, the consensus is the Project Audio RST is a step above in sound quality. Ultimate sound quality is a fleeting concept to me and I am hopeful the  Jay's Audio cd2 mkIII isn't too far behind. If it isn't close  so be it. I am settling on the Jay's cd2 mk III because I wanted to have access to the I2s connection to mate with my Pontus II  and also having a IEC. Accordingly the Project 
Audio has a I2s but mates with the Project Audio Preamplifier/DAC.  I didn't want to pony up for the extra LPS because this would have increased the expense of owning the Project Audio RST. Also, I understand from Alvin Chee that another model called Jay's Audio CD3 Pro mk III is being released at a price around $4995.00 with the CD Pro drive. It much more than I wanted to spend. 





Ditto about the I2s connection, a must for me. Alvin told me my Gustard x26 pro DAC I2s connection would work with the Jay's. Bingo. Tried the PS Audio pwt cd transport and no go with the Gustard on the I2s connection, so I sent it back.


Anyone with the Project know its height when top tray is open?  Looking at my shelf spaces but never found that spec.  

I have the 6000CDT and have been quite impressed with it. I read the review that was linked and I'm not sure I would give the detailed accolades he did(I lack the audio vocabulary for sure😏)but my experience has been very good. As the reviewer pointed out, upgrades are one new DAC away. I have it paired with the Schiit Gungnir MB and the internal DAC of my P6. I can toggle between both DACs for a decent A-B comparison. In addition to sound quality, the physical construction appears to be very good. It feels solid,the buttons feel solid, the internal relays are quiet but still audible with each input selection. No regrets.

I wonder how either of these transports would compare to my CEC TL 1? I have had it serviced and it still works great. AES/EBU Kimber Orchid to my Dinafrips Pontus II DAC. I plan to run it into a Hermes DDC and I2S to the Venus so I can also clean up the clock on my streamer before the Venus.

I went from a Marantz 2K = sacd player to the CEC TL5 Belt drive cd transport an the clarity and soundstage improved dramatically ...almost like I upgraded every component in my system.. Belles...Tekton Pendragon (7 speaker tweeter aray)..Schiit....U- turn audio...Lounge Phono ....just avoid Tokyo _ Center for your purchase....I'm using it with the Denafrips Ares2 which I also highly recommend. Was going to get some CW4's but that's on hold...My system sounds fantastic. I spent alot more time now going thru cd's and albums that I have played in years...I love rediscovering "new" music and extracting info I never knew existed. I make lousy recordings Enjoyable !

I have neither transport but had considered both models plus the PS Audio model (which is 6.5K!). In the end could not justify the cost.

I did purchase the Audiolab CDT6000 to connect to an internal DAC on my pre-amp. It substituted for my Marantz C6006 and I can testify the results were amazing hearing my CDs. The Audiolab is limited to red-book CDs though. I have no SACDs.

A salesman in Maryland did state the Pro-ject had a history of failures out of the box but not sure that is accurate.. You will not regret upgrading to a dedicated transport to enhance your CD playback.

The project is levels about the old CEC TL1and the CEC TL5.  It was not even close.  That being said, we also use a reference DAC in our system.  Happy Listening.

Cheap DVD player - you have us peeing in our pants we were laughing so hard!

Happy Listening. 



A cheap DVD player sounds exactly like a cheap DVD player.

For many listeners this is true.  Apparently not so for jasonbourne52 via his audio system. 



A CD transport and good DAC can change the sound of your system like changing your speakers. The sound difference is dramatic between the different DACs and Transports. The Project it seems has quality issues . It's all over the forums. Sounds great when it's working correctly. The people knocking the CEC TL5 haven't ever heard one. They're made in Japan...High quality...built like a tank ..and their "belt drive" system cuts vibration and is the most Holographic and musical presentation you can get under $3,000.

For many listeners this is true.  Apparently not so for jasonbourne52 via his audio system. 



Yeah, I'd really like to hear that "system"...

I not aware of ongoing quality issues with the Pro-Ject RS2 transport. I know there’s been a mention by one user that the transport did not read the final tracks of a specific CD. A few reports of a noisy spinning disc, I've had neither.   Any component can have a problem here or there and this includes the Pro-Ject. Overall the feedback from owners is very positive regarding sound quality and trouble free use day to day.

CEC is definitely a good sounding transport (Particularly their upper models) and has an excellent track record of reliability. On the numerous Pro-Ject threads listeners familiar with the CEC have compared it to the Pro-Ject RS2 transport and preferred the latter. We all recognize that these listening impressions are subjective and formed by various individual factors.

Certainly their is room for both and other high quality CD transports in the High End audio marketplace. So to each their own. I can report 2 observations as an owner of the Pro-Ject.

It sounds fantastic and thus far I’ve had no functional or operational problems.


I don’t post too much on the forum discussions, but I’m a long-time reader.

I purchased a new Jay’s Audio CD2 MK3 (through Alvin Chee at Vinshine who shipped out the player mega-fast using DHL) a few weeks back to replace a Cambridge Audio AZUR 550C & a Mcintosh MVP-861 that I toggled back & forth with when playing CDs. Both of those CD players offered what I thought was great sound as stand-alone players and as transports once I started to use the on-board DAC on my Mcintosh C2600 Pre. Making the change to use the C2600’s DAC allowed for notable sound quality improvements. From there, I added Jay’s Audio DAC and the sound quality was further enriched with an overall smoothness that stood out to me as the primary gain with that DAC. Enter the Jay’s Audio CD2 MK3....the improvement of the sound quality was like cleaning your car’s windshield with your wipers after having driven behind a truck or van on the highway during a snow storm....the music is much more alive, real, clearer, vivid, juicy, liquid-like and the sound stage is far more deeper and wider. I was really blown away at how much of an improvement switching out the CD transport had made as I didn’t have those expectations. (I’m still toggling back and forth with the RCA & I2S outputs of the transport) I too considered the Pro-Ject RS2 transport for a bit, but kept myself on the Jay’s brand for matching and in some respects the physical appearance...something about the Pro-Ject’s entire top opening like a car hood didn’t sit well with me, but then the Jay’s CD load/ upload process is different too. I have absolutely no regrets with my decision on the Jay’s transport and get excited when my day/ night allows for my next listening session. I’m sure the Pro-Ject transport is awesome, but I could only choose one.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share my timeline of experiences with the decisions I’ve made within my system. Big thumbs up on the Jay’s Audio CD2 MK3.

Hello S4patrick

Awesome and congratulations I am enthusiastically waiting for a tracking number for my Jay's Audio cd2 mkIII . I purchased it last week in hopes of not coinciding with the Chinese New Year. It was a unusually tough decision between  the Project  Audio  rs2 and the Jay's .I am glad to hear I wasn't the only person agonizing on which one to purchase.  It's great to hear the Jay's audio  cd2 mkIII is meeting your expectations.  I  researched reviews and owner impressions and decided the Jay's cd2 mkIII was the one for me because of the I2s to mate with my Pontus II and IEC socket . I also wanted a reliable durable transport that proved itself over the years with good ergonomics.  It's a sexy beast . My system is down and I won't be able to give listening impressions for some time. My house was damaged in hurricane Ida last August. 

@s4patrick and  ​​​​@chuckie Congratulations to both of you with your Jay’s Audio transport purchases. I have no doubt that both of you will be enjoy long term satisfaction. Chuckie I hope your housing situation resolves for you in the very near future.


Hello Charles1Dad

Thank you so much for your welcomed and warm wishes regarding my home.  You're one of the most sincere and thoughtful gentlemen on Audiogon and very insightful.  Your posts are very well written with a philosophical nature. I always look to read what Charles1Dad has to say. I am sure your words of wisdom and knowledge has touched many over the years  on Audiogon myself included. 

Yes, it was a close decision on which transport would serve my needs and the Jay's audio cd2 mkIII was my choice.  Seemingly there's not a bad choice regarding either product.  I am also happy to hear of your excitement during the break-in period with the Project audio rs2 and LPS. I hope and wish you many years of pure enjoyment with your Project audio rs2 also. 

All the Best



I really appreciate your very kind comments. I just do not believe that you can go wrong with either of these CD transports. It was teajay (Terry London) who brought the Pro-Ject  RS2T to my attention via his thread on this forum. Otherwise the latest P.S.Audio  CD transport or Jay’s Audio CDT MK III would have been my choice.


Hellllloooo fellow audiophiles.

I too have purchased a Jays audio mark 3 transport and are waiting for delivery fron DHL. I cannot comment on its sound yet but there seems to be a disbelief in the fact that transports make a audible difference from one brand to another. We need to remember that one of the most important parts of a transport is the quality of the clock. Digital audio reproduction is a complicated series of events to reproduce the audio waveform and because of that complexity leaves its conversion processes hard to pinpoint which is the best method to implement. I will update this thread on my impressions of the new transport after I spent some time with it. I am not a believer in first impressions because when you get something new and shiny you tend to acoustically fool yourself into a inaccurate evaluation. 

Great thread.I'm using a CEC 3.3 and couldn't be happier but the addiction of pursuing excellence has a hold on me.Considering Jays MKIII and the Project at this time.Chuckie and Charles you guys rock.

@ akgwhiz

The Pro-Ject RS2T CD Box transport, with its top lid fully opened to its upright position, where it will stay open whilst you load/unload a CD, the upper edge of the opened top lid measures 9 3/8" (nine and three-eighths inches) above the top of the surface the transport is placed upon - so if the underside of a shelf above your transport is 9 1/2" or more above the top of the shelf below it, your transport’s top lid will comfortably clear the underside of the shelf above it. (I very carefully measured my own RS2 T, using a quality Stanley carpenter’s tape measure.)

While I don't own either the Jay's or the Project transports I can state without a doubt different transports do indeed make a difference. I currently have an Oppo 203, an Emotiva ERC-4 and just recently acquired used but in new condition Audiolab 6000CDT transport. Each of these components sound quite a bit different too. The ERC-4 has by far the most digital outputs which includes everything but I2S with the other two coax only. Everything else being equal I much prefer AES to coax and in that vain I recently purchased a 110 ohm AES cable from DH Labs but this one has a traditional RCA connector on the source end with XLR connector on the DAC end. Works perfectly!

Apparently AES connectors do not have the same emphatic impedance connector specs as 75 ohm coax. Regardless I've tried several different AES cables and much prefer the DH Labs, so it was a no brainer when they told me an RCA > XLR cable was available. To those other 6000CDT users in this thread I can only highly recommend this approach assuming your DAC has AES inputs. 

No doubt the Jays CDT and Project CDT are awesome if you have the budget and associated DAC with I2S inputs but for now its just too rich for my blood and the Audiolab with modified AES will have to do.

Hope this helps

@ stevenmarchesano

Yes, you’re right about not judging a new piece of audio equipment right away, especially if it’s brand-new from the factory - not only for your "shiny new object" reason, but also because your new electronic gear needs some genuine "break-in" time during which all its inner components "get to greet and know one another," and from there "learn" how to get along and work their way into a synergistic whole, after which your music will be free to make its way through your new gear from start to finish, unscathed, without tripping over obstacles in its path.

Apologies for changing the topic a little.  I have the MSB UMT V which is an Universal Transport together with the Dual power base.  Has anyone compared this unit to the above ?  It connects to the DAC with I2S cable.   Has anyone found a superior brand of I2S cable ?


You are absolutely right about the clock and data jitter affecting the sound quality of the D/A converter. The data coming  from a CD transport has to be reformated to the clockless data transmission of the AES/spdif format. A re-clocker such as the Mutec MC3 can make a huge difference in the sound stage and overall clarity of the converter, especially with a DVD player. Most have a lot of data jitter.      

    Maybe a new can of worms here but the otherwise wonderful Project transport with it's proprietary I2S only plays the redbook layer of a Hybrid SACD?  Why would they limit the very best playback (original, well recorded SACD). Does it even happen with their DAC?

   Chuckie and baylinor are on to this going with the new Jay's and a Pontus Dac...real SACD thru your choice of DAC.    

For those desiring SACD the Pro-Ject RS2 transport wouldn't be for them. Pro-Ject has clearly stated their singular objective was to provide the best quality Redbook CD playback they could. I'm in that category of listener and they hit a homerun with superb Redbook performance.

So as is always the case it depends on what  one is searching for. There are definitely very good choices available for those seeking SACD capability.



Well, my Jay's Audio cd2 mkIII arrived last week undamaged and very well packaged.....Thanks Alvin /Vinshine. Only 14 days transit time to arrive which seemed like an eternity. I am totally relieved as I am a worry wart until my merchandise arrives. Unboxing the Jay's cd2 mkIII and falling in love with the  beautifully constructed and meticulous neatly packaged unit I figured its best to check the manual. To my amazement reading the manual I noticed the "break-in" time stated "400" hours. I am not doubting that amount of time and was just wondering if those who sold their Jay's cd2 mkIII for the Project RS ever read the manual and didn't realize it would take that long to get the best sound. Is it possible that their Jay's cd2 mkIII wasn't even broken in yet?  Just a thought....