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  • Writer's pictureWeng Fai

CDT2-MK3: A Fully Immersive Soundstage



About 2-1/2 years ago I began major upgrades to my home entertainment system. I ran all new wire in my attic to upgrade my surround speakers and install front and rear height speakers, moved my existing front floor speakers to surround and replaced them with hi-res floor speakers, upgraded my center with a hi-res speaker, and upgraded my subwoofer. During the course of the upgrade I took the plunge into separates with a 3-channel 400WPC amp for the front and center speakers and a 150WPC stereo amp for the surround speakers leaving just the height speakers driven by my AVR.


All in all I was very pleased with the outcome. As much as I enjoy HT it was my love of music that initiated the overhaul of my entertainment system with my first purchase being the hi-res front speakers and initially the 150WPC stereo amp to drive them, then quickly followed by the sub upgrade. I had spent countless hours researching speakers and amps (and TVs and Blu-ray players) but had paid little to no attention to my music source; I was using a consumer-grade CD player to spin my CDs.



Being an amateur in the realm of hi-fidelity I had overlooked this critical component of what I use the system for the most – listening to music. Fortunately my son, who is also an avid music lover, turned my attention to outboard DACs. Following my son’s input regarding Delta-Sigma vs. R-2R, and after much reading on the subject not the least of which were the highly complementary reviews/blogs regarding Denafrips, I contacted Alvin at Vinshine Audio and purchased a †Pontus II DAC. My concerns over potential diminished-return were immediately alleviated when I heard the enhancement the Pontus II contributed to my system.


As luck would have it the tray on my CD player stopped functioning recently so I began my search for a CDT. In truth there was not much research involved in my decision making process as upon discovering the Jay’s Audio CDT2-MK3 with its highly rated reviews and its interconnected-relationship with Denafrips DACs I knew this was the one, but once again my diminished-return red-flag popped up. I guess it is a reflex for me. Suppressing my reflexive red-flag I contacted Alvin at Vinshine Audio and made the purchase (via Tek Audio Specialties in the USA) and could not be more pleased with my decisions to purchase both the Pontus II DAC and the CDT2-MK3 transport.



The positive impact the synergy of these two components have on my stereo system is truly remarkable. All of the audiophile vernacular apply: the resolution, the breadth of the soundstage, the detail, the imaging, etc., all came together to bring my hi-res speakers to a performance level that truthfully I did not know was possible. During my reading of innumerable reviews and blogs over the past few years I have on occasion read statements describing a listening experience whereby the speakers disappear and there’s just the music.



Thanks to the Pontus II DAC and the CDT2-MK3 transport I now understand what those writers meant, namely, a fully immersive soundstage. My compliments to Denafrips and Jay’s Audio on these exceptional components at their respective price points, and many thanks to Alvin with Vinshine Audio for his customer service oriented straight-forward expertise in assisting audio amateurs like me.



My impressions of the addition of the Pontus II DAC can be found at the Vinshine Audio website.


Credit: Ron from Louisiana, USA



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