Audio Aero Capitole vs. Audiomeca Enkianthus

Can anyone compare these CD players with particular concentration to the differences in sound?


Ray Hall
Ray, Capitole, I say -- on account of natural timbres. For dynamics, the meca -- maybe. BUT I listen to classical that has dynamics anyway, however efficiently the sound engineers work on killing them!

Gregm is absolutely right re: the natural aspect if the tonality of the Captiole. In my opinion, it is a magnificent CDP- it will never leave my system...
Ray, the Enkianthus is a DAC. The Mephisto 2 and the Enkianthus share the same 32/192 chip. Both the Mephisto and Capitole are outstanding CD players (and they too share the same Anagram DAC chip) - In my view these are the ONLY CD players out there worth listening to. If you opt for the Capitole, use a preamp - CD players always sound better with a preamp.

The Capitole is a bit more dynamic than the Mephisto and the Mephisto has much better delicacy or inner detail.
Thanks Bwhite. I was aware that the Enkianthus is a DAC and the Mephisto is the transport/CD player. I owned the Enkianthus for a short while, but have never heard the Mephisto either as a transport or the full-fledged CD player containing the Enkianthus DAC, so I wanted to give those who could contrast the Enkianthus with the Capitole the opportunity to do so, as this would be the most helpful to me. I did find the Enkianthus to be very smooth, airy, refined and delicate, but it didn't have the dynamics I was looking for in an all-around digital set-up. Thank you for letting me know that the Capitole improves on this weakness that I perceive with the Enkianthus.
The Capitole improves on that weakness... although there are ways to make the Mephisto 2 more dynamic. There is a thread on Audiogon somewhere about the subject.

I own the Mephisto 2 after auditioning the Capitole - having owned the Marantz SA-1, Wadia 860, and Electrocompaniet EMC-1 Mk II, I can say that for me, the Mephisto 2 is a keeper!

Hybrid SACD's sound better in "redbook" on the Mephisto than the SACD layer on the Marantz! It truly is a fantastic CD player.

Either way, you cannot go wrong between the Capitole and the Mephisto 2.

could you please describe the differences in sound between the Electrocompaniet MKII and the Capitole a bit more ?

Badwisdom, That is a tough question. Both players are extremely detailed. I feel the EMC-1 is a bit more dynamic and lively than the Capitole but the Capitole is more natural (the Capitole being even more dynamic than the Mephisto).

I found the Capitole to be more coherent in its presentation than the EMC-1 whereas the Capitole easily presented a clearly defined center image. On the EMC-1, there was a bit more haze and less definition to the image - but outstanding nevertheless!

Both players are among the finest available today. I believe the Capitole and it's Anagram DAC really take digital as close to analog as its ever been - but this is where the Mephisto wins out over the Capitole.

Again.. it's a tough decision and musical preference comes into play heavily when chosing between the Capitole, EMC-1 MkII and Mephisto.