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!
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.
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.