Pro-Ject gears up for compact disc revival with precision CD transport
When it comes to music consumption, streaming continues to be the main source of revenue for the music industry. Sales of physical formats like CD and vinyl are generally declining, although the latter has slowly picked up in recent years. High-end audio brand Pro-Ject is clearly hoping that the Compact Disc will also see a makeshift recovery, with the release of the CD Box RS 2 T transport.
Although CDs still accounted for over half a billion dollars in sales last year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, and generated over $ 250 million more in revenue than vinyl, unit sales were still down over 40% from 2017. So this may seem like precisely the wrong time to invest in a new CD player … but Pro-Ject doesn’t think so.
âWe’ve always been crazy and make products and investments that aren’t particularly common,â Pro-Ject’s Heinz Lichtenegger said in a press release. âAs everyone was turning to CDs, we started with the turntables. Now that everyone is streaming, we are investing in a revolutionary new CD player.â
The company acknowledges that many music lovers may have relegated their CD collections to the basement and now spend much of their daily lives listening to music streaming. But some people can keep valuable favorites on hand in case the urge to physical reading seizes them. And Pro-Ject believes that such listeners should afford a âgood CD playerâ.
The top-loading CD Box RS2 T is described as a first-class CD transport, which means that the device was designed for one purpose – to play compact discs – and builds on the conversion prowess. digital-to-analog of the hi-fi system to which it is connected rather than risking a built-in preamp and converter potentially interfering with operation.
This transport-only approach also means that users can choose to connect the device to a preferred high-end digital-to-analog converter, rather than just a converter selected by the manufacturer.
At its heart, the CD Box RS2 T has a BlueTiger CD Pro 8 player and a CD-84 servo system from StreamUnlimited. âThe whole body is suspended from a proprietary anti-vibration system, which allows us to control the level of external vibrations reaching inside the device,â said Pro-Ject. “The mechanism of the CD is stabilized, unaffected by external influences.”
Pro-Ject included a CD clamp made from a new aluminum alloy to ensure “perfect contact between the record and the player, allowing smooth rotation and perfect playback of the record.” The system plays Audio CD, CD-R, CD-RW and Hybrid SACD discs, and the promised jitter-free signals are found on the digital outputs on the rear, which include AES / EBU over XLR and I2S + masterclock via HDMI.
The recommended retail price of the CD Box RS2 T is â¬ 2,499 (approximately US $ 2,825).