TL5 is CEC entry level cd transport with single belt drive. The belt can be replace by the user. The US version has 120 mm stabilizer upgrade available which covers the entire cd and improves the performance of the transport. Read more about the stabilizer. CEC transports only play “Red Book” cds, they will read the “Red Book” part of hybrid SACDs. An Aluminum remote upgrade is available. To learn more see dealer page and select a dealer.

CEC TL5 high performance CD transport - Audio Union

Why use a belt drive CD mechanism

CEC leads the industry in high performance CD transport development. In 1991, CEC introduced of the belt drive CD mechanism. 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. 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.

Read more on CEC Belt Drive system

CEC CD transport belt drive mechanism patent

The patented belt drive mechanism design is a ground breaking design with many positive features. The design, uses a heavy-duty CD stabilizer to increase the mass of the turntable and use the force of inertia to achieve extremely smooth disc rotation. The belt drive uses a motor smaller than a direct drive design. 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. The belt can be replaced by the owner as needed, just like many high end analog turn tables. You can fully enjoy your favorite CD listening without worrying about changing belts.

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. Audio Union is the only place to buy CEC TL5 cd transports 120 volt!


  • 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


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’.”

CEC TL 5 – Review HIFI Plus 2019

“…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!.”

CEC TL 5 – Hifi Stars – Review

“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.”

CEC TL5 and TL2N – The Audio Beat

“My expectations on playing the TL5 left me overwhelmed. This was a CD transport on a grand scale but requiring minimum expenditure.”

Hifi Pig – Review CEC TL 5 -01-2017

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