Any Good SACD Player Plays CD Well

I'm using Sony SCD555ES and wanna upgrade to a better one. For the range of USD10000, any good SACD player can do well at red book, which close to the grade of Wadia 861, Mark 390s, or Metronome T1-i Signature?
The EMM Labs is the best I have heard on SACD as well as CD.

I am the distributor for this product and that being said, it is in a class of it's own.
In my 35 years of audio experience (and madness), and in MY system, based on MY tastes, My preferences and MY room, the EMM Labs is BY A VAST MARGIN, the best digital source I have ever heard. But what REALLY makes it so special for me with 1300 Redbook CDs, is that its Redbook performance is better than ANY other Redbook or SACD player I have ever heard (and I have heard almost all of the top shelf players -- e.g., Accuphase, DCS, Marantz, Burmester, Wadia, Audio Aero, etc). I am NOT a dealer or connected with EMM Labs, just a lover of music, a devotee of good analog and astonished at how good digital has become.

EMM Labs should be good but there is no one piece player. Learn the EMM products from other post here, DCC2 can suit me well. But the DAC itself can emply my pocket in one go! The MSRP is USD10000. And I need some extra $$$ for the Meitner transport. Is there any outlet selling the whole set under my budget?
I have heard the new Musical Fidelity Tri Vista player, and it sounded great. Its about $6000. See a review in the recent Stereophile.
I love me Marantz SA-1. Just ordered the Superclock II, which should really bump it up another notch. These are out of production and can be found at great discounts on Audiogon.
I have ordered the EMM Labs Dac6 for myself, but for
my younger brother, I have bought a Sony SCD XA777ES.
My reasoning is this; I am a nice brother, but I am
not going to buy my brother a Dac6. For 1,600 [used],
I bought him the Sony SACD player on Audiogon. This
way, he has a great CD/SACD player -- AND -- he can have
it modified to sound even better. David Robinson of
Positive Feedback has said that a modified high end Sony
SACD player, while not in the same league as the DAC6,
is the closest thing he's heard to it. If one does not
have the 15 - 20K for an Emm Labs Dac6, I would recommend
getting a used Sony SCD XA777ES [For multi-channel] or
the Sony SCD 777ES [for two-channel]. It is a one box
player, will provide a nice listening experience in the
short-run, and can be modified in increments when you get
the urge and the $$ to upgrade.

I also bought him a Denon 1600. Now, in two boxes, he
has DVD-A, SACD, DVD -- most all 5" discs can be played
in one box or the other. So, in two boxes, he has it all.
It cost me less than $2,000 [used] on Audiogon. He will
have better CD/SACD play-back than any one box Universal
Player, a DVD player that is free from the "Chroma Bug"
and he can still upgrade.

So, I would recommend this avenue to anyone else who wants to participate in high rez digital, doesn't have the $$$
for the DAC6 [Or Trivista for that matter] -- or who isn't satisfied with the current batch of Universal Players.
Emm labs or bust! I have mine on order, having heard it at the show in Montreal I was blown away with out a doubt the best digital sound I have EVER heard. Not to mention the rave reviews from all of those whom have heard it in there systems(most of which I know and trust implicitly), needless to say I am looking forward to the 2 channel set up showing up.
Thanks lady and gent.

Actually, my Sony 555 is modified with LClock and Zapfilter from LCAudio. A similar tweak as in Vacuum State, which feeding the DSC output directly to the Zapfilter and bybassing the opamp module. After-mod 555 is comparable with the Sony SCD-1.
I'm now itchy and finding a reason for upgrade. The EMM labs is so tempting that I may wait a longer to save up more $$$.
get Marantz SA1, sounds good on both CD and SACD. Personally, I think Sony SCD1 shall lose to it, it beated SCD777ES already.
Wally -- If you can get the $$, Go for the Emm Labs.
I find that in the long run, you end up saving money
when you upgrade in larger steps.
The Classe Omega is in your range. Joesph Audio used it in last year's HEC show and it sounded unbelievable on both cd and sacd. Definitely try one if you can before making your decision.
Tireguy--no one's mentioned the Switchman which can be used with DAC 6.
Yes, the combo can include the switchman. I am not sure whether it is a must for DAC6 as most of the people do have a pre-amp already, or in my case, an integrated one. Actually, I am thinking in other way - could I get rid of the switchman from DCC2 in order to drive down the price a bit? :) Anyway, I still want to know what kind of pre-amp it is.

Regarding classe omega, what I knew is about USD15000. I will think about it if it is within my range. Thanks.
The Switchman is part of the DCC2.
The DCC 2 is both units; if you want separates, and to pay more, you get the DAC 6 and Switchman. Though obviously you can use any preamp with the DAC 6.
Thanks for all of your responses. It is impressive to me indeed as this is my first post here... :P

If I go for DCC2, does it mean that I have to by-pass my pre-amp part (of the Gryphon 2200). Any ordinary anlogue CD output from DCC2? If not, I will choose DAC6 (at the same price) as it can plug to my Gryphon directly. Also, I have the potential for 6 channels expansion and upgrade to switchman later.
Why not just pick up a good redbook CDP and wait for the dust to settle on this DSD gear.

IMO, there aren't enough true DSD SACDs to justify the cost
of the EMM equipment at this time.

If more major recording studios start using the EMM Labs gear, other manufacturers will be pushed into licensing the EMM Labs chip set and we'll see lower cost gear.

If you want more from your current system, upgrade your speakers or your amp.
Kana813: The EMM Labs does redbook better than anything I and many others have ever heard. SACD is just a bonus!

The EMM Labs equipment is used by Telarc, Sony, Philips, Abbey Road, EMI, DMP, Universal, Pentaton, Chesky, Opus 3, Acoustic Sound, Virgin, Waterlilly, Buzz, Right Track, Denon, Linn, Mobile Fidelity, Audio Quest... need I go on.
Jtinn- rich guys/dealers like you can afford to spend $10K + to listen to a couple of dozen EMM Labs DSD SACDs.
The rest of us we'll have to wait for the tickle down effect to take place....need I go on.
Wally --

Here is the info I compiled while shopping for the
Emm Labs equipment ---

The EMM Labs DAC6 set-up involves:

A transport -- either a modified Philips SACD 1000
[$1,050 for modification -- you supply the Philips --
this may have been discontinued -- check with your
dealer] Or a unit from Meitner [$5,000 MSRP].

The DAC6 -- $9,950 MSRP [6 Channel DAC]

The Switchman II -- $4,500 MSRP

Total MSRP -- $19,450 with Meitner Transport

or ---------- $15,500 + cost to secure Philips Transport

The DCC2 set-up involves:

A Transport -- see above.

The DCC2 -- $9,950 [2 Channel DAC -- The DCC2 includes an internal two channel Switchman].

Total MSRP -- $14,950 With Meitner Transport

or ---------- $11,000 + cost to secure Philips Transport.

**The Philips modification may have been discontinued --check with your dealer!**

The DCC2 is a two box set-up.

The DAC6 is a three box set-up.

The Philips SACD player will still play DVD's, but not through the EMM Labs DAC. You still need a Surround processor for DVD's. The EMM Labs cannot process Dolby Digital or DTS. However, the Philips SACD 1000 was a poor DVD player anyway, so if one has been able to get a Modified Philips for the transport, it is your call as to whether you want to use it for DVD's. The EMM Labs Transport does not play DVD's. The best way to integrate Home Theatre with the EMM Labs SACD Player is to connect your DVD player to your surround processor and your surround processor to the EMM Labs SwitchmanII pre-amp that can be ordered with the DAC6.

Your DAC6 goes from the Transport [Either Modified
Philips or EMM Labs] to the DAC6 to the Switchman II
to your amps.

Your DCC2 goes from the Transport [see above] to
the DCC2 with internal two channel Switchman pre-
amp, to your amplifiers.

With a DAC6/SwitchmanII set-up, your home theatre [DVD player and Surround Processor] goes through
the Switchman II, which outputs to your amps.

The Switchman II has a LOT of inputs!

The DAC6 will play CD's, two channel SACD's and multichannel SACD's.

The DCC2 will play CD's and two channel SACD's.
Both the DAC6 and DCC2 are said to be fully capable of accepting future updates. No updates are foreseen at this time.

**All of this information has been compiled to the best
of my ability to remember and to take notes -- check with your dealer to verify!**
I have about 1,000 CD's.

For me, the first reason I am buying the Emm Labs
Dac6 is to listen to Redbook CD's.
Kana813- What is it that you don't understand about it playing more then just DSD SACD? The emm labs gear not only plays SACD's incredibly well it is THE BEST redbook player I have ever heard. Your point is moot and dully noted, your opinion seems to be motivated simply by money.
Kana813's misunderstanding is due to my subject of this thread. It's my fault :)
Wally- Mahalo nui loa. I wish you all the best in your
quest for the best.

Tireguy- Yes, it's about the money, but based on your past
posts/system, and Jtinn's being a dealer, I'll reserve my judgement on the EMM Labs' redbook performance until I hear one.
Just a curious note here: If you got to Richard
Kern's Web-Site, he admits the Dac6 bested his
fully hot rodded Sony SCD-1 and he also says the
Dac6 is the best he's heard. Since it is not exactly
in his best interest to make these comments, I
think it lends something to the statement.

Just thought I'd pass that on.
Rob- Needn't pay no mind to kana813, he often listens with his wallet and not his ears. Its best just to humor him and move on. BTW thanks for the info above! I sometimes get confused and need to see it laid out in plain English :o)
Kana813: Just because you are not in the position to buy a current "state of the art" digital setup, does not mean that you should give those who can a hard time. I am sure you are quite happy with your "CAL Delta Transport" and "Custom DAC from 1993", but the EMM Labs equipment is a quantum leap over what you and just about everyone else currently has.

As soon as someone on the island buys one, I will let you know so maybe you can go listen. I really think that when you listen to it playing "CD", you will recognize what those of us are talking about.

What's with da stinkeye all da time?
Kana813, if you need a fellow Hawaiian to confirm the performance level of the Meitner emmlabs DAC6 and modified Philips SACD 1000; last weekend i hosted Ronald Yee, who goes by the moniker of 'Oahuan' on Audiogon, in my room. Ronald had seen my system and posts on Audiogon and contacted me to arrange a visit while he was visiting his Son here in Seattle.

we spent 3 or 4 hours listening to my system last weekend and Ron was very impressed by the Meitner and characterized it as the best digital he had yet heard (he also liked my turntable). he also said he had a few friends back in Hawaii that were particularly interested in his report on the Meitner. i'm sure Ron would be glad to relate his impressions to you personally if you have the slightest doubt as to the performance level of the Meitner.

your skepticism regarding the Meitner is understandable, but if you were to listen for yourself the huge performance leap it represents for both cd and sacd would be easily evidant.
Jtinn- thanks for taking the time to look at my system.

Please don't try and use Hawaiian phases.

FYI- Stinkeye= Frowning at someone, using facial expression to show displeasure. We've never met and never


Kana813: Having lived on both Oahu and The Big Island, I am very familiar with the meaning of "stinkeye." Your response was very clear and showed in your post. My description was accurate.

Let's face it: the EMM Labs is said by many to offer the bery best CD performance available, better than the Linn CD12 at a lower price. What more can you ask for? Viel Spass!
I've just emailed to the distributor in Canada for DAC6 enquiry, it need to wait for 2 months.
Wait. I did.
FYI: HP mentions on p.111 of the June/July edition of TAS that the Philips DVD-963SA (modified by Meitner) could be used as the SACD transport if you can't find a Philips 1000. You can buy a discounted new 963 for $400!
Oops! But the transport from Meitner will be available in few months as well as the DAC2. Ummm... $400 for a 963SA is very attractive but the quality can't compare with SACD-1000. Not sure how will the Meitner transport looks like...
Gladstone, how long will it take?
I ordered mine several months ago and should receive it in a few weeks. I can't say for sure, but it seems like they're ramping up production now. In any case, I feel like it's the player I'll be using for a long time since it's upgradable in future. So I haven't been too frustrated by the wait.
Gladstone, wish you will be crazy for the emm labs :) BTW, let us know your comment once you get the combo.
will do.
Bruce_l: You have been misinformed. The 963 has never will never be modified for use with our DAC's.

Yes, I though so, as 963 is not really in the same league. For me, I intend to wait for the Meitner transport as I was told that it should be better than the SACD1000. That means I can only get the combo end of this year, and this follows my plan in stacking up more $$$.

As you are also a distributor, what is the current lead time to obtain the combo?
Are there any plans for any other players to be used with this DAC, or will anyone ever be able to do mods to players to allow it work with this DAC?
Wally_li: This next production run is pretty much sold out. I am hoping we will have another production run ready to ship in about three months.

Jposs: I do not think we will make the DACs accessible to other transports for SACD. However, they are usable with almost any other transport for CD through the AES/EBU connection
I merely reported what Harry Pearson wrote in TAS about the 963. Apparently he was misinformed. So, are the EMM Labs own transports the only ones that will work with your DAC? Any plans to market a single unit player?
Hey Bruce: No problem. Harry may have been reporting on some early possibilities since it was the replacement for the SACD 1000.

As I stated earlier, any transport with an AES/EBU connection will work for CD processing, but not for SACD. Only the EMM Labs transport will output SACD.

Are you near SF? If so, come to HES and give it a listen in rooms 520 & 521.

Currently, we are not considering releasing a one box player.
I believe the SACD connection is proprietary because of the issues surrounding SACD copyright that haven't been resolved yet.
Perhaps Meitner would like to license out their technology to other manufacturers who could build a one box player???
Does any one order or get the DCC2? The information from the distributor is that it (DCC2 or DAC2??) will only be available end of this year. I wonder if someone has one now.
I think the first ones are being delivered in June. Apparently, that group has already sold out so I suppose they are going to have another production run towards the end of the year. Meitner is primarily a pro audio manufacturer and I get the impression that the consumer market is not a priority, at least not right now. That's why I'm hoping they will license their technology to other manufacturers who do focus on the consumer market.
Agreed. Meitner's product looks too pro. for a home user :)