All the Emmlabs dcc2/cdsd hoopla..

Is this real? I mean they cost big bucks but is the sound that great? what does the combo do to the Redbook CD sound?
How does it compare to equal cost analouge front end?
No intention to badmounth Emmlabs, but is the combo that good??
I own the CDSD/Dac6E combo and I say it's THAT good. Only a few brands may be better than that combo and I guarantee they will cost much more than EMM
I have heard just the EMM DCC2 dac section fed from a good cd player against VPI HRX turntable. It was THAT good.
Nil how've you been? Seems like your back on the roller coaster for another round, I knew you'd come back to the dark side :) Drop me a line when you get a chance, it would be great to catch up with you.

As a previous owner of a DCC2/CDSD it is as good as people make it to be, with the prices they are going for used right now it is a steal!

IMHO it trounced my already well regarded ML 360s-37 combo. I have not heard better digital.
Hi Tim, I have seeing your posts too when I got active again. How you been?

Lately I have gotten in to analogue and about spend big bucks on the analouge front end and wanted to make sure my digital front end does not left behind or may be upgrade the digital front end first. What with 1000s of CD and barely begun LP collection.
Does anyone know where to audition this combo in LA area?
thx, Nil
Spraglow - would you happen to remember the CD player used as the transport for the DCC2 you heard? I ask since I'll soon be the owner of a DCC2, but it will be a while before I can afford to partner it with the CDSD - in the mean time I will use it with a Sony SCD-777ES as my transport.

Many thanks in advance.

All the best,
Njp: it was Krell KPS cdp, I don't remember the full model number.
I had this combo. I am 45' from Los Angeles. If you like to listen please let me know.
Why are the units flooding the market used? Does anybody know? It seems like an unreasonable amount from one manufacturer of only a couple of products.
I have owned every high end digital available in the market today and IMO there is simply none that even come close to the Meitner. It is THAT good in fact that I see no reason to get back into vinyl

Nil...if you want to hop on a plane and take a 45 minute flight to the Bay Area for $59 I would be happy to have you hear mine and I will promise you a session like none other that you have ever heard.

As far as Meitner gear being dumped my take is that this is from peripheral dealers who recently lost their dealership due to some restructuring in the company and with Jonathan Tinn's leadership. Rest assured the company is strong and my suggestion is that this could be a great time to buy up some new or almost new Meitner gear because deals like this won't come around again.
Thanks Oanhu. Let me send you offline email to arrange time that is convinient with you.
Thanks Oneobgyn for the offer, but I have to respectfully decline since I do not approve of your Wilson's (sarcasm!). Oanhu seems to be in my backyard so I will check w/ him first. Thanks a lot though. Or may be I will take a raincheck and if in near future I am in the bayarea, I will give you a call...

Seriously though can emmlabs or ANY high end over/up sampled capable digital front end realistically read inbetween lines? All they can do is the best possible approximation that resembles the 24/96 master tape signal. So may be this is one of the best 'math simulation model' around.
I have owned every high end digital available in the market today and IMO there is simply none that even come close to the Meitner
Please list the ones you have owned.
Spraglow - many thanks for the information.
Nil, if you're ever in the Palm Springs area you are welcome to hear mine as well. I have the DCC 2, latest CDSD, latest APL 3910 and an APL/EMM/Denon transport (for the DCC 2) as well.
It is close to Analogue but IMHO Analogue is better. It really becomes a matter of flavors. I did some recent comparisons of the same recordings on CD on the EMM set compared to Analogue w. my friends. We all prefered analogue. That being said, the EMM was excellent and without analogue you can be very happy. Now on SACD it is a different story and the EMM is much closer to Analogue although not there yet. In the end it is a matter of the different flavors. If you remove the turntable from your house & don't listen to analogue for a while you will end up being happy. Just don't go to any friends houses w. analogue & a great system. Also, you need a very good well setup analogue system at the top level to compete w. EMM. The EMM is plug & play, and analogue is a ton of work. Analogue satisfies the hobbiest urge to tinker, while SACD is just listening. I am sure you know the rest. Enjoy!
How does the modded APL/EMM/DENON transport compare to the CDSD in sound quality?
Evita, does that list of ownership include the APL modified Denon 3910 or even the new APL modified NWO-1? If so, I'd be very interested to hear more about your comparisons between either of those APL modified units and the EMMLabs.

I like Frankg's suggestion best. Not to mention Palm Springs is almost right around the corner from La Marada. Well...., it's a big corner.

Thought I'd give a little different perspective. The EMM labs stuff IS very very good, no doubt. I owned it and enjoyed it. But I do not agree with Oneobgyn (who is a friend) that nothing comes close. Digital is always making advancements and I actually think that other players not only come close, but some exceed the EMM. Now remember, this is all about opinion and personal preference - not to mention system variables and component matching.

This said, because I am not a believer in the future of SACD and I KNOW that not all SACDS sound great, plus the fact that I have 30 times MORE redbook CDs than SACDs, I was willing to lose the SACD capability to go to a better redbook player. I, along with 5 of my audio friends (which included the guy who bought my EMM gear), sat in my room and compared the EMM (with both the DAC 6 and the DCC2) and the Reimyo CDP 777 side by side and all of them preferred the Reimyo.

Why? All said the Reimyo had as much or more resolution but sounded a bit less digital, richer and not as white or analytical. Now the difference was not night and day but enough to notice by anyone who is experienced in this hobby and appreciates those subtle differences.

I also have friends who are saying that some of the new players like the ARC CD-7, the new Ayre player and the real expensive Zanden combo (and others)are awfully good as well and give the EMM stiff competition.

Since you asked about redbook, I can assure you MY decision was based on the noticably better redbook performance. But, as always, YMMV.

Good luck.
Thanks for the offer Frankg.
Oneobgyn, none even come close? Per chance is the APL modified Denon 3910 included in your list of ownership? How about the new APL modified NWO-1?

If so, I'd be very interested to hear your opinion of direct comparisons of either of these APL modded units and the EMMLabs.

I think Frankg has a very good suggestion.

Alex lives very close to me and has offered to play his modded NWO-1 in my system. We just haven't been able to connect yet.

I still maintain that for my ears and in my system I haven't heard anything come close to the Meitner gear. Just my opinion of course

Fmpnd--we are friends? Not sure that I know who you are
Nevillekapadia, I can't speak for Frank, but I had an opportunity to listen to the latest Meitner combo compared to the latest version of the APL Denon, and IMO, the APL sounded better (on both redbook and SACD). The decay of the instruments sounded much more realistic, the sense of the acoustics of the venue was better on the APL, dynamics, bass, etc. On some recordings, it improvement was very obvious on others it was closer. They both sounded amazing and I would take either machine any day of the week, but IMO, the APL simply sounded better. As a result of that listening session, I had Alex add the latest upgrades to my APL Denon.
Fmpnd and Dgad, you make valid points. I have heard both the latest EMM and the Reimyo (which I own and sell), and to MY ears, biased as they may be, I prefer the Reimyo for overall musicality. That said, both respond favorably to proper power cords and line filtering, and mechanical isolation. In fact, as much as the Reimyo player improved with good isolation, the EMM gear showed even greater sonic improvement, which MAY point to differences in construction and internal isolation. One of my customers just about FLIPPED as he immediately heard the improvement with the CDSD. However, vinyl is still my reference, and I don't see that changing any time soon. I enjoy CDs but have a much larger collection of vinyl, a lot of which isn't available on CD, as do many other folks.
Oneobgyn, you seemed to speak very clear when you said,

"I have owned EVERY high end digital available in the market today and IMO there is simply none that even come close to the Meitner. It is THAT good in fact that I see no reason to get back into vinyl"

If you were stressing your point because of your obviously strong emotions for the EMMLasbs by using a hyperbola, I think it got lost in the translation and instead came across (to me) as though you were stating a fact.

I don't think living close to Alex Paychev (APL HiFi) and his generous offering to let you hear the new (and fantastic) APL modded NWO-1 in your own system qualifies as proof-of-ownership.

That being the case, it would probably make sense that you start your comparisons with the APL modified Denon 3910 rather than the NWO-1. You just might be surprised.

"Fmpnd--we are friends? Not sure that I know who you are"

It only takes a night of being on call in the delivery room for my brain to be scattered. Of course I know you. Sorry to make both you and I look like geriatric people with Alzheimer's
Evita, does that list of ownership include the APL modified Denon 3910 or even the new APL modified NWO-1?
I did not claim to own every high end digital player. The doc did. So I asked if he would list all of those high end players that he has owned.
Essentialaudio, thanks in advance: could you elaborate on what isolation device or other enhancements were used for the CDSD?
Does anyone even have a NWO-1? From what I have read, you would be nuts to give Alex a $9000 deposit to order one. Good luck. Alex may be a genius but he needs to greatly improve his business acumen or he will continue to scare off potential customers such as myself. OTOH, he probably has all of the customers he needs to fall behind and stay there for a while. It's a shame more people can't enjoy his talents and creativity.
02-08-06: Oneobgyn
I have owned every high end digital available in the market today and IMO there is simply none that even come close to the Meitner.

I thought Evita asked a pertinent question when she enquired about a list of digital sources oneobgyn has owned.

Without a foundation, Oneobgyn's statement rings hollow. We all have different perspectives based on equipment we have owned.

So, Oneobgyn, will you please list all the digital sources you have owned so we can put your Meitner comment into proper perspective.
Hi Rgs92, the CDSD was used with an SK Research shelf and two sets of Thorp Audio Group cones, one set above and one set below the shelf. There are other solutions which are probably quite effective, but the fellows who came up with these products took many years to do so and are meticulous. The shelves, which are part Baltic birch plywood along with Kevlar and lead pellets inside, are so tweaked they haven't found a stain or varnish that doesn't change the sound, yet they're straightforward to set up. The cones are the other part of the formula. I can't wait to try the combo under the turntable line I just added.
I was more interested to compare the EMM CDSD vs.APL modded Denon with the additional meitner optical outputs, both going through a DCC2. So the real test being between the two transports.
Would anybody else share some light on this too.
Essentialaudio--thanks! I will see if this is compatible with my Billy Bags rack. -Rich-
HI guys, thanks for the thread it is very timely for me as well. I just purchased (4 weeks ago) the new Accustic Art Mk4 and it is AWESOME. However I still have the urge to try some other high end DAC's. I have been looking at the DCC2 signature model. Does anyone have imput on the analog line stage (preamp) on the EMM labs DCC2? I am assuming it sounds good without a preamp but even better with one?????????????
Thanks, Guy
Cdw57, no, there are none NWO-1 out there simply because they were all upgraded to NWO-2.5 and NWO-2.5T (the latest). We have 20 units out and 12 in shop.

Nilthepill, I have sent you 2 emails to invite you to the listening session that took place in Hollywood several weeks ago. There was also a blind shootout in San Diego the day before. May be you were away because you did not respond.

The EMM Labs Signature (CDSD/DCC2) is very very good indeed. It is a major improvement over the old EMM combos, IMHO. It is so much more musical, balanced, effortless, refined and realistic sounding. It won against the latest dCS and Meridian units. Please be aware that you will need to use a well designed power conditioner or power re-generator in order to hear what the EMM Signature is capable of.

Playntheblues writes (04-07-07)

HI guys, thanks for the thread it is very timely for me as well.
I'm not sure I would use the word "timely". The post before yours was made 14 months ago.

Hi Alex, If you sent me an invitation/s I must have not gotten or not read (very rare). I have just bought Metronome Kalista and C2a signature combo that I am extremely happy with. With right output tubes , the digital combo is exceptional sounding. If only Metronome can figure out how to inject very very small amount of groove noise, it would be 99.99% analog from current 99.00% -:) I agree with need of well designed power conditioner. Drop me a note when you have another listening session/s in LA area.
Nil, I can re-send the two messages to you if you wish. I am sorry you did not get them!

As far as I know, the Metronome is a CD only (based on a Philips transport), no SACD, DAD or DVD-A. I do have a modest vinyl setup here at my place and will have to admit that vinyl recorded on CD (44.1/16) is good but not nearly as good as the vinyl on its own. Vinyl recorded to 96/24 DAD (LPCM) sounds very close but, if you want the “real deal”, you need to hit the 192/24 button. So while I'm sure the Metronome is great, just adding groove noise will not cut it. :-)

I will email you again when there is a demo in your area. You are also welcome to visit and hear for your self. If nothing else, I am sure you will get a reference point with the vinyl rig.

Thanks Alex.

Since I never got in to SACD or DVD audio, CD based digital was the only need I had.

I must have missed the messages. Next time around I will be sure to read the messages.