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Compact Disc Transport


Price (in Poland): 49 990 PLN

Contact: Combak Corporation
4-20| Ikego 2-chome
Zushi-shi Kanagawa 249-0003 | Japan


Provided for test by: MOJE AUDIO

COMPACT DISC TRANSPORT is a device used to read an audio signal from a Compact Disc and send it to an external digital-to-analogue converter. The CD transport includes two main elements: a drive (mechanical part) and transmitter (electronics). Many engineers believe that with a proper oscillator a CD transport should not affect the sound. I do not need to say that they are wrong, so wrong!

he coming end of a given technology is determined by replacing it with a newer one, sometimes by its natural demise. Both cases are a result of a change in time. We observe it every day, because few people today make horseshoes, there are few coopers and tailors are not as popular as they once were. In electronics, this regularity is probably even easier to observe, because it has constantly been undergoing changes in the most recent times.

However, there is such a thing as a “cultural buffer” which causes us, even though we are tempted by new ones, to be reluctant to abandon old solutions, especially if they work. Because such “buffer” exists we can still enjoy both vinyl records, Compact Discs and music files.

| It's not dead yet!

Compact Disc technology is a relatively primitive - from today's point of view - method of transferring musical material; it's about transferring it from the recording studio to our homes. Today there are much more technologically advanced and more elegant methods, above all streaming, where we get an almost perfect copy of files that came from mastering studio.

Why, then, do we deal with this outdated technology? The answer is as simple as it is worrying: because still through it we can get the top sound, usually better than through streaming. Why, then, do we even still deal with this outdated technology? The answer is as simple as it is worrying: because using it allows you to get the top sound, usually of higher quality than the one achieved with streaming.

The coming end of the Compact Disc has been anticipated for many years. I remember that some ten years ago a representative of Cambridge Audio, so a company that kept an eye on the pulse of the mass market, told me that they were preparing to extinguish this category of devices, although they would produce them until as long as there would be a demand on the market. Today, Cambridge Audio still offers CD players, CD transport and prepares for the premiere of the top Edge series CD player. Which mean – there is still demand for such products.

Symptomatic for this way of thinking about the CD's end was the premiere of the Hegel CD player in 2017, which was named Mohican. Its name speaks for itself - it was supposed to be the last player of its kind in the company's history, signaling the dusk of a certain era.

How much the Norwegians rushed the end of CD is clearly demonstrated by the fact that Cambridge Audio is active in this field, and even more strongly by the information we received just a few days ago, namely that Pro-Ject prepared a brand new CD transport whose mechanics were build as a result of cooperation of this brand's engineers with their counterparts in the Austrian company Stream Unlimited. Something tells me that the rumors about the death of the Compact Disc format were premature:) Again!

| CDT-777 TOKU

At the time of writing this test, there is virtually no information about the CDT-777 Toki transport from Reimyo. Search engines offer maybe two records related to it, and they are rather useless. Also, Mr. Kazuo Kiuchi, the owner of the company, doesn't want to talk about, suggesting that I should listen to it myself. So we have to collect the little information that is available.

Reimyo, in Japanese 'miracle', is a brand belonging to the Combak Corporation, which offers electronic devices: CD transport, D / A converter, line preamplifier, power amplifier and power conditioner; the preamplifier and power amplifier are tube devices.

In 2016, Mr. Kazuo Kiuchi, after two years of work, presented a new version of the DAP-999EX Limited DAC additionally designated as TOKU (current price: PLN 63.990,00). This device was inspired by texts from "High Fidelity", as well as the RED Fingerprint award, which is why this version is also called DAP-999EX Limited Toku High Fidelity Edition.

The changes compared to the previous version were significant and concerned almost exclusively the digital signal conversion. In TOKU, the signal is converted synchronously, in the K2 JCV8009 chip, to the 24/176.4 form; conversion of 16-bit words to 24-bits in the K2 system is performed by interpolation, not by adding "empty" zeros.

The Toku plate on the front of the CDT-777 Toku transport means that it too has been modernized. The manual does specify any particular changes and it differs from the earlier versions only with a red stamp. This is a Top-loader Compact Disc transport. The disc is placed directly on the motor axis and a CD stabilizer is placed on top. Closing the transport - manually - initiates reading the TOC, ie the table of contents.

The elements that we know about are: a Philips CD-2M transport with an in-house-made, large-sized disc stabilizer. This one, however, has the usual fixing, i.e. a plastic element with a trapezoidal shape. The device features an excellent chassis made of aluminum plates and stands not on straight feet, but on aluminum flat bars, to which the cones were screwed in; the whole is placed Harmonix pads, products of another of Mr. Kiuchi's brands.

Mr. Kazuo Kiuchi's Digital Audio Processor Toku did just one thing: it converted the digital signal from the Compact Disc to analog one, accepting only the 16-bit signal. The CDT-777 Toku transport is equally minimalistic: it only reads CDs (CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs) and features one digital output: RCA S/PDIF. There is no upsampler, no link to clock synchronization between transport and D / A converter, no external clock input. This is a “pure” CD transport.


It just so happens that I listened to the earlier version of this transport with the DAP-999EX TOKU High Fidelity Edition DAC. For comparison, I had at my disposal - this was in 2016 - my CD player, also with the Philips CD Pro-2M mechanism, the Ancient Audio Lektor AIR V-edition. Since then, a lot has changed in my system, because the source of the signal today is the Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition player, powered by the Siltech Triple Crown Power cable, I also have new speaker cables - also Siltech Triple Crown model.

Reimyo's Transport and D/A converter were placed on the shelf of the Finite Elemente Pagode Edition rack. In the device's manual, Mr. Kiuchi points out that the best results are to be achieved using his cables including power ones. So for the transport I used the 聖 Hijiri SMT ‘Takumi’ Maestro, anf for the DAC the 聖 Hijiri SM2R ‘Sound Matter’. I also used a new digital cable 聖 Hijiri HDG-R1-Harmonix HS-102 to connect transports with DAC.

The Reimyo system was placed in the same place where I listened earlier to its version with older transport, and also the CEC system - TL0 3.0 transport with DA0 3.0 DAC and the Métronome Technologie Dream Play CD: Kalista. The test was an A / B comparison with A and B known. The musical samples were 2 minutes long. I also listened to full albums using both, loudspeaker and headphone systems.

REIMYO in "High Fidelity”
  • AWARD | SPECIAL AWARD 2016: Reimyo DAP-999EX TOKU High Fidelity Edition | DAC
  • TEST: Reimyo DAP-999EX TOKU High Fidelity Edition | DAC
  • TEST: Reimyo DAP-999EX Limited – DAC, see HERE
  • TEST: Reimyo CAT-777 MkII – linestage, see HERE
  • TEST: Reimyo KAP-777 – power amplifier, see HERE
  • KRAKOW SONIC SOCIETY, meeting #77: Reimyo KAP-777 – power amplifier, see HERE
  • KRAKOW SONIC SOCIETY, meeting #72: Kazuo Kiuchi (Combak Corporation) in Krakow, see HERE
  • INTERVIEW: Kazuo Kiuchi (Combak Corporation), see HERE
  • TEST: Reimyo CDT-777 + DAP-999EX - CD transport + D/A Converter, see HERE

  • Recordings used for the test (a selec- tion)

    • Polish Jazz Quartet, Polish Jazz Quartet, Polskie Nagrania „Muza”/Warner Music Poland, „Polish Jazz | vol. 3”, Master CD-R (1965/2016);
    • Aquavoice, Silence, Zoharum ZOHAR 168-2, Master CD-R (2018);
    • Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto, Verve/Lasting Impression Music LIM K2HD 036, K2HD Mastering, „24 Gold Direct-from-Master Edition UDM”, Master CD-R (1964/2009)
    • Voo Voo, Za niebawem, Wydawnictwo Agora 5903111492953, CD (2019)
    • MAP feat. Krzesimir Dębski, Groovoberek, AC Records ARC 012, Master CD-R (2019)

    The listening sessions were divided into two, or rather three sections. During the first of them |#1| I compared Reimyo with transport section of my Ayon Audio Player – both were connected to Toku DAC using RCA-RCA digital cable. I wanted to check how the Reimyo transport compares to a regular, not specialized SACD/CD transport.

    During the second part |#2| I connected the CDT-777 Toku using the same digital cable to a digital input of the Ayon player. Any signal in Ayon is converted firstly to DSD256 and only then to an analogue form. In this part I also compared SACD discs played using Ayon to CD layers of the same discs played by Reimyo. I wanted to assess the differences between them.

    | Comparison #1

    The comparison of the Reimyo transport with the transport being part of the Ayon Audio CD-35 HE Edition connected to the former's brand's DAC can result in a small heart attack. Or at least in serious palpitations. Reimyo is a much, much better system to read data from CDs. Not "a bit" better, not "to some extent", and certainly not "maybe" – the CDT-777 Toku outclassed the reading system in Ayon, pure and simple.

    This is, of course, not a fair comparison, because the real advantage of the Austrian device is born in its digital section and it results in an outstanding performance, however, it confirmed something that I suspected for some time, namely that the transport used in the Ayon is not the best. However, this comparison is still valuable because I compared the transport of my player with other brands' transports in the same way before. So I know its strengths and weaknesses, and only in one case the effect (the difference) was similar, when I compared it with the CEC TL0 3.0.

    The thing that I immediately notice was a subjective difference in volume level. The Reimyo seems to play louder. This is a subjective feeling, because the level of digital signal is the same for all CD transports, and yet - Reimyo played "louder". I think this is a result of flattening the sound by Ayon's transport, as well as its dulling. These are probably two elements that objectively change the most.

    All the discs I used during my listening sessions, starting with the beautiful, new album of the Voo Voo group Za niebawem, the CD-R master version of the Polish Jazz Quartet and master CD-R with Getz / Gilberto, to the master CD-R of the unpublished MAP's Grooveoberek album, the Adam Czerwiński's group that plays with Krzesimir Dębski - they all sounded more real, stronger, dynamic, in a much more open way with Reimyo.

    This is probably the most important advantage of this device - opening the sound, while maintaining the character of the recording itself. Poor transports often dull the sound, and often - as in the case of Ayon - falsely warm it up (I am still talking about the transport, not about a complete player). They dull the treble, making the sound warmer and more "analog". In fact, the sound is of lesser quality, not "analogue". The true, not-falsified "analogue" sound, or completeness of sound, was presented by the CDT-777 Toku.

    I could hear it perfectly when listening to the Grooveoberek album. It includes a jazz, ethereal version of Godzinki, old Polish liturgical songs. It is extremely moving and incredibly well-recorded album - it's just a killer and a future hit on all audio show for the next several years. Interestingly, it was recorded "by the way" as a supplement to the album.

    But to the point - I listened to it from the analog master tape, the "varnish" from which the matrixes were made and from the test pressing, and finally from the CD. And? And the CD version tonally and with its ambiance was closest to the master tape! The vinyl versions were excellent, but they modified sound in a different direction. I heard very similar differences when comparing the transports of Ayon and Reimyo. The latter was closer to what I heard from the analog master tape.

    | Comparison #2

    Listening in a system where the Ayon Audio SACD player worked as an integrated player, with the Reimyo CD transport connected to its digital input, brought less emotion. This is because the performance of both systems was at a similar level, differing only in the way of music presentation.

    Reimyo as the source sounded a bit harder, with a more pronounced bass. Sound was less saturated in the treble, with slightly smaller elements in the midrange. But it was also energetic, lively. Ayon sounded softer, more pastel.

    Interestingly, also in such a comparison the same discs played by Reimyo seemed a little louder. This time it was caused not by a better definition of information by this transport, and by providing information closer to a listener. Ayon shows a deeper scene, also the foreground is a bit more distant with it.

    It seems that the advantages of running a digital signal through the I2S link inside the player - and so the mechanisms are connected with D/A converters in integrated players, offered some advantages that allowed Ayon to counterbalance advantages of a much better in mechanical terms, Reimyo transport.

    But, as I say, these were not differences that would eliminate one or the other drive. Until it came to playing SACDs. With Ayon they sounded in a deeper, stronger, more saturated way - they were simply more sophisticated. The same CDs, but played by Reimyo from CD layers, were a bit simpler and not so "analog".

    | Comparison #3

    The last comparison I made was listening to the full Reimyo Toku system and then to my reference player. With CDs both systems sounded fantastic. The Japanese player presents everything more tightly, more clearly and closer. The bass is better extended, and it is tuneful and very well defined. In turn, Ayon fills the midrange better and offers a softer, more "spatial" treble.

    The music reproduced by the Reimyo system sounds somewhat more similar to a vinyl record, while Ayon is closer to an analogue tape. Both interpretations are equivalent. The more so that Mr. Kiuchi's player presents musical events with spontaneity and tangibility, which I know from XRCDs, and I like this way of presenting music, it's just the same "family" of emotions. The bass is nicely controlled and goes down low, which gives the presentation a feeling of a live event - the instruments have proper dimensions and are not a small dot in the "image".


    Ultimately the comparisons proved, that both systems offered a similar level of performance. They sounded a bit different, but both delivered an equally high level. Which leads straight to the conclusion: the new Reimyo transport is one of the best CD transports on the market, best of the best. The Philips mechanics have their own "sound", it has not changed, but it is now more versatile and going in the direction of what SACDs have to offer. So if your primary source of music are CDs it will be difficult to find a better source than the Reimyo system.

    I have not listened to all the top CD and SACD players in the world, but on the other hand I have heard most of them. The Reimyo CDT-777 Toku CD transport combined with the DAP-999EX TOKU High Fidelity Edition DAC could be my system. I value is as much as the full set of dCS Vivaldi, as the Spectral HDCD player, as aforementioned CEC system, and last but not least, as my Ayon Audio player. The GOLD Fingerprint award for the Reimyo's transport, as well as the company's full Toku system, is therefore indisputable..

    Reimyo CDT-777 TOKU is a Compact Discs transport; CDT = Compact Disc Transport. Its only task is to read information from a CD and send it to an external digital-to-analogue converter. This device combines the world of mechanics and digital electronics, to some extent repeating what a turntable with a cartridge does.

    Chassis | Mechanics require a solid, well thought out structure. That is why the CT-777 chassis is very heavy. It is build from aluminum, thick plates combined with steel elements. The top cover is bolted with a dozen or so screws and additionally reinforced by two "bars", which also “hide” the screws. The whole stands on four aluminum cones screwed into thick plates widening the outline of the device, thus lowering its center of gravity and improving stability - a similar solution can be found in loudspeakers.

    Front and rear | The front features a small, poorly visible display, which is part of the Philips CD-Pro 2M transport kit. I think it's worth to think a nice large LED display, for example in red color, would be a nice upgrade. A disc is placed in a manually-operated chamber and an aluminum stabilization disc is placed over it. The signal is sent out through a high-class RCA socket where the mass contacts first, which prevents damage to the converter. There is also an IEC power socket on the rear panel.

    Inside | The inside has been divided into several chambers using thick aluminum plates. On the left side there is a very large power supply, and on the right a drive servo. In the power supply there are as many as three, large R-core transformers, favored by many Japanese manufacturers, in this case outsourced from Kitamura Kiden. One of them sits right next to the power supply, and two more, which did not fit there, were placed behind the drive. There are a lot of stabilized lines, and at the IEC socket there is a double Pi filter and an element by the Enacom, one of the Combak Corporation brands - it is a noise filter.

    The drive itself has already been discussed. Here you can see that it is screwed "rigidly" to a solid metal element, and this one to the side aluminum plates. The servo on a circuit board, as well as the S/PDIF transmitter, were placed on the PCBs on the other side of the drive.

    Remote | The remote control could be used in the popular electronics museum as a representative of the late 1980s or early 1990s. It is not very ergonomic and quite ugly. Reimyo, however, is extremely conservative in this respect and I would not expect that it will ever change.

    Technical specifications (according to manufacturer)

    Digital output: IEC958/EUB Standard
    Signal's amplitude: 0,5 Vp-p (+/-0,25 V 0-p)
    Output Impedance: 75 Ω
    Power consumption: 15 W
    Dimensions (W x H x D):
    chassis: 430 x 325 x 88 mm
    with feet: 466 x 361 x 131mm
    Weight: 14 kg


    Reference system 2018

    1) Loudspeakers: HARBETH M40.1 |REVIEW|
    2) Line preamplifier: AYON AUDIO Spheris III Linestage |REVIEW|
    3) Super Audio CD Player: AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF Edition No. 01/50 |REVIEW|
    4) Stands (loudspeakers): ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom) |ABOUT|
    5) Power amplifier: SOULUTION 710
    6) Loudspeaker filter: SPEC REAL-SOUND PROCESSOR RSP-AZ9EX (prototype) |REVIEW|
    7) Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|


    Analog interconnect SACD Player - Line preamplifier: SILTECH Triple Crown (1 m) |ABOUT|
    Analog interconnect Line preamplifier - Power amplifier: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RCA-1.0 Absolute-FM (1 m) |REVIEW|
    Speaker cable: SILTECH Triple Crown (2.5 m) |ABOUT|

    AC Power

    Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - SACD Player: SILTECH Triple Crown
    Power (2 m) |ARTICLE|
    Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Line preamplifier - ACOUSTIC REVIVE
    Power Reference Triple-C (2 m) |REVIEW|
    Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Power amplifier - ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 |ARTICLE|
    Power cable | Power Receptacle - Mains Power Distribution Block: ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 (2 m) |ARTICLE|
    Power Receptacle: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE |REVIEW|
    Anti-vibration platform under Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE: Asura QUALITY RECOVERY SYSTEM Level 1 |REVIEW|
    Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RPC-1 |REVIEW|
    Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C |REVIEW|
    Passive filter EMI/RFI: VERICTUM Block |REVIEW|


    Speaker stands: ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom)
    Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|
    Anti-vibration platforms: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RAF-48H |ARTICLE|

    • HARMONIX TU-666M "BeauTone" MILLION MAESTRO 20th Anniversary Edition |REVIEW|


    Phono preamplifier: Phono cartridges: Tonearm (12"): Reed 3P |REVIEW|

    Clamp: PATHE WINGS Titanium PW-Ti 770 | Limited Edition

    Record mats:


    Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

    Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC