M-192 CD Transport - A True HiEnd Reference Unit
The Model 192 CD-transport is a Top Loading transport based on a Philips CD-PRO2M mechanism, used in hi-end CD-Player. This metal mechanism is decoupled from CD frame by a heavy duty suspension.
The CD-transport features a solid sliding door that is opened manually by moving it to the left. This allows easy access directly to the CD tray where the disc is inserted. A small magnetic disc is provided to clamp down and lock the CD in position.
The CD-transport has multiple digital outputs including S/PDIF, AES/EBU and I²S:
- On the standard coaxial 75 ohm output a classical 16/44 stream can be retrieved, so to use this transport with the majority of the DACs in the market. The 16/44 stream on this output is fed directly by the Philips CD Pro 2.
- On the AES/EBU (110 ohm balanced) output you can choose to retrieve a 16/44 (upsampling switch in the rear OFF) or a 24/96 format (upsampling switch in the rear ON) instead.
- The I²S digital connection allows to separate clocks and data in the transmission between Transport and Dac without clock reconstruction problems. When used with a Northstar DAC (Model 192 or Extremo), the transport upsamples the signal up to 24/192 and then uses the outboard DAC to convert it into analog via the RJ45 connection (I²S standard). This way you can JUMP the receiver of the DAC (that can cause jitter) and feed the 24/192 DAC directly!
From 2006 there are some important improvements on the CD-Transport. The metal frame is changed with another one more rigid and more heavy (1,5kg more), the CDPRO2 power supply is improved, the display is turned to blue and the sliding door moves smoother.
The improvement in the sound is more stability, a better 3D reconstruction, more precision on all the frequency and in particular bass frequency as an effect of a error-free reading of the CD Disc.
For customers with the old version we offer the possibility of an upgrade.
Top loading mechanism
Heavy metal frame for a very high resonances damping
Rubber insulated aluminium feet
High quality mains filter
Separate Toroidal transformers for CD-disc mechanism and digital audio signals
Hi End CD-PRO2M mechanism
Low jitter digital audio reclocking
96/24 and 192/24 digital upsampling
S/PDIF and AES/EBU digital output
- I2S digital audio connection
Some quotes from the review in the:
"Well, whatever you think of the swish styling, the most important aspect of the £1,249 Model 192 transport is that it features a proper heavyweight Phillips PRO 2 CD transport (typically only seen in exotically priced, high-end designs, like the £4.195 Chord Electronics BLU transport and the new £8,000 Audio Research CD7 player for instance), complete with compliant suspension in its chassis. The second interesting specifi cation which differentiates the Model 192 from most CD players/ transports - is the option of using a 12S digital output."
"Considering this is a totally unknown brand to me, and I suspect to much of the hi-fi world, I have to say how (pleasantly) surprised I was at this transport/DAC combination. The layering of the violins and stringed instruments from ‘String Quartet 1 ‘Metamorphoses Nocturnes’ by György Ligeti from his 1997 release ‘String Quartets And Duets’ was most impressive, as the North Stars ably handled the rather demanding and dynamic music with aplomb. Resolution of the stringed instruments was excellent, very similar in quality to the £6,190 Chord Electronics BLU/DAC64 transport/DAC I reviewed last year. "
"The North Stars will provide a fatigue-free music making experience. To my ears, they have almost all the redoubtable ability of the £6,190 Chord Electronics BLU/DAC64 combination but at approximately only half the cost and therefore, in a high-end context, represent superb value. "