McIntosh Labs

MCT500 CD Transport

Be transported into your music with the MCT500 SACD/CD Transport! 

What is a CD Transport?  A CD Transport is not a CD player, but rather a device which only spins your cd's, reads the digital music information from them, and sends that digital information to an accompanying Digital To Analog Converter(DAC). A CD Transport only has digital output while a CD Player has analog output*.  A CD Player basically is a CD Transport and DAC one box. 

For CD playback, a Transport/DAC will generally be a better sounding solution because you are separating the noisy motors and transport electronics from the delicate Digital to Analog circuitry in a DAC.  

The MCT500 is a digital only unit and features 4 digital outputs: industry standard balanced, coax and optical outputs plus our exclusive MCT connector. To enjoy your CDs, it can be paired with any product that has standard digital inputs and a digital-to-analog convertor (DAC). This includes select McIntosh home theater processors, integrated amplifiers and preamplifiers.

For SACD playback, the MCT500’s proprietary MCT output needs to be connected (via the included cable) to a McIntosh product with an MCT input. This includes the D1100, C53, C2700, C49 and D150 preamplifiers, MA9000, MA8900, MA7200 or MA5300 integrated amplifiers or MAC7200 receiver. When the MCT500 is connected to one of these devices, a secure digital connection is created, allowing for the playback of the high definition audio found on SACDs. Regular CDs can also be played over the MCT connection.

All common disc types can be played on the MCT500, including SACD, CD, CD-R/RW and DVD-R. A twin laser optical pickup assures optimal disc reading. A USB input is conveniently located on the front panel for easy access. In addition to store bought CDs and SACDs, popular file formats such as AAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD (up to DSD128), FLAC, MP3, WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz) and WMA can be played from user generated CD or DVD Data Discs and USB flash drives.

*Many CD Players also have digital outputs and can server as CD Transports, which is something you would do if you for example bought a very high end DAC that sounded better than the analog outputs of your CD player. We often see people using their older CD players to feed their newer and better sounding DAC's - a nice future-proof tactic.