CEC TL5 CD transport, 120 volt Base product


CEC TL5 high performance CD transport, choice of Black or Silver

SKU: TL5-2 Categories: ,


The CEC TL5 CD transport 120 volt is one of the top high performance CD transports in this price range, adding the upgrade further improves the performance of the transport. The Larger TL2N stabilizer upgrade enhances the performance by improving the constant velocity read rate of the TL5 raising the performance level to new heights and is preferred by many audiophiles. The TL5 with the upgrade TL2N stabilizer is only available at Audio Union. All upgrades can be purchased through this link to the Customize order page.
     The belt drive CD mechanism reduces the effects of vibration and electromagnetic noise by moving the motor away from the disc rotation axis and connecting it with a belt. The CEC TL5 CD mechanism employs a groundbreaking design that allows the condition of the disc drive rubber belt to be visually checked at any time. The belt can be replaced by the owner as needed, just like many record players. You can fully enjoy your favorite CD listening without worrying about changing belts.

Belt Drive CD Mechanism

     CEC has been leading the industry in high performance CD transport development since 1991 with the introduction of the belt drive. The Constant Linear Velocity (CLV) data read rate is controlled by the rotation speed of the CD turntable. In order to read signals from a music CD at a constant linear velocity, the rotation speed must be gradually reduced as the laser pickup moves to the outer edge of the CD. Normally, this linear velocity adjustment is handled by the spindle motor. Ordinary CD players and transports employ a direct drive system in which a motor is placed directly below the disc turntable. The turntable is directly driven by the motor shaft. However, in order to obtain controlled and stable rotation, it is necessary to use a relatively large motor. The large motor makes it impossible to avoid signal distortion caused by vibration and electromagnetic noise generated by the motor.
     In order to solve this problem, the unique belt drive system design uses a heavy-duty CD stabilizer to increase the mass of the turntable and use the force of inertia to achieve extremely smooth and stable disc rotation. The CEC TL5 uses a motor smaller. The motor is  located it away from the disk’s rotation axis and drives turntable from a distance with a belt. The belt absorbs the vibrations from the motor. The electromagnet interreference is reduce by locating the motor away from the turntable. This creates an ideal environment for reading and transmitting music signals stably and accurately. With the TL5 design the belt can be reached at any time, making it easier to handle such as maintenance.
These fundamental advances create the ideal environment for the reproduction of music with the industry leading low jitter and high signal to noise ratio. These advances yield a transport with a rich musical sound.


  • Digital outputs: AES/EBU, COAXIAL and TOSLINK
  • The shortest possible signal pass and stability of signal quality have been maintained by direct mounting of all terminals to the single circuit board.
  • Fluorescent display can be dimmed or turned off
  • A new power supply introduction in 2021, designed specifically for the American market
     Test reports in international magazines as well as the testimony of our satisfied customers worldwide confirm that we have achieved our musical objective: music reproduction on its highest level. The word about the musical cohesion, the rich detail and emotionally gripping “analogue-like“ can be found in many industry reviews. No other CD transport has sounded so analogue to this day. There has seldom been higher quality compact disc playback in this price class! See News and Reviews below for more information.


The TL 5 and the DA 5 are in the Part Time Audiophile “The Best Digital Players | Buyers Guide Summer 2022” and received the Reviewer’s Choice award.

Marc Phillips, Part Time Audiophile 6/11/2022 wrote “The CEC DA5 DAC and matching TL-5 transport represent my new favorite thing in the world of high-end audio—a product that makes you rethink how you want to proceed in this hobby. …. Here’s a tip—people are still into playing CDs. And the CEC TL-5, mated to the CEC DAC5, took my CD collection to a whole new level of listenability. If I had the CEC combo in my home, I would stop worrying about what I’m going to do with all these CDs everywhere.”

CEC TL5 Reviews

“CEC’s TL5 transport is living, breathing proof that less really can be more. This is good old Red Book, with the emphasis on the ‘good’.”

“…Among the four CD transport by the Japanese manufacturer CEC, the TL 5 is at the lower end of the price range. In view of the very high playback quality, this solid device offers an outstanding price/performance ratio. Combined with an appropriate DA converter, a digital pre-amplifier and power amplifier, this opens up a highly interesting as well as recommendable entry opportunity in the upper quality regions of CD playback. An addition plus in the TL 5, is the belt-drive principle that is used. As a buyer, you cannot do anything wrong!.”
“In fact, the performance of the new mechanism is so impressive that it has forced a major update in the twin-belt design
— hence the new TL2N. But the best news of all is that the new TL5 comes in considerably cheaper than the TL3N it
replaces – around €1000 less, depending on country. With both Marc Mickelson and Roy Gregory using CEC transports on
a regular basis, you can be sure we’ll be keeping a close eye on these new, more affordable models.”
“My expectations on playing the TL5 left me overwhelmed. This was a CD transport on a grand scale but requiring minimum expenditure.”

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Additional information

Weight 9 kg
Dimensions 43.5 × 33.5 × 10.9 cm

Black, Silver


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