Can Someone Explain This?

I just got my new EMC-1 24/192 about a week ago and absolutely love it. As a relative 'newbie' to this hobby, I have little experience or frame of reference in high end gear, and did not really fully understand how or why someone could describe a CD player as having an 'analog' sound. Now I do.

However, last night I experienced something that had me experimenting for hours and finally left me scratching my head in bewilderment. I was listening to one of my favorite CDs and a particularly beautiful acoustic track on it. For some reason, it didn't sound quite right. Something seemed to be "missing." After listening to this track over and over, I determined that part of the "plucking" of the guitar (specifically the higher notes) WAS missing. Just to be certain that I wasn't cracking up, I plugged in my old CD player, the Ultech (which sounded harsh and strident next to the water smooth EMC-1), and--sure enough--the information was restored.

I have not noticed the EMC-1 doing this with any other CDs, although I am obviously still getting acquainted with it.
I confess I am completely baffled with this turn of events. Does anyone have a clue what I might be experiencing or why?
Do I have a defective player? If the same CD plays perfectly on another player, the computer CD-Rom drive, and my car CD player, shouldn't it also play on the EMC-1?

I will send a box of chocolates to anyone who can help me solve this problem.:-)

Happy Valentine's Day to all.
The only thing I can offer is perhaps the EMC uses a form of digital processing to smooth out very sharp high frequency transitions. In most cases this would create a more "analog" sound--smoother and warmer. It would get rid of that high frequency harsh (or is it hash) sound. However, you may have found a disc that is on the threshold of the EMC interpreting that sharp gradient of the string pluck at a high frequency to some form of digital noise--and it's therefore filtering it out--to protect you from that cold harsh digital sound.

I really have no idea about how the EMC actually does their digital processing--so I could be entirely wrong--but the concept seems plausible. And I'll pass on the chocolates--even if I'm right--but thanks.
I may not be able to answer your problem but I am real cute and like chocolate ;) Bah it was worth a shot!

Hi Walter

I had the same bad experience with my Accuphase DP-65V(compared with my old Pioneer PD-91),but after two weeks all the details(without harsh),come back.Your EMC-1 is great!Wait and Enjoy!
I'm not sure what filtering Electrocompaniet uses in their player. I am using Perpetual Technologies P1A/P3A, and I had to send the P3A back for service because it was seriously cutting off high frequencies. Like you, when I compared it to another player, I got all my high frequencies back. The explanation I received from Perpetual Tech was that the upsampling was "Mistracking" for lack of a more approriate term. When the unit came back from service shortly afterwards, high frequencies were restored.
My advice is to go to the nearest dealer, friend, show, audiophile club and pop that disc into another EMC player. If you don't get the same results, I'd assume the player was defective, and I wouldn't sit on my hands procrastinating about returning it. Of course, why not return to the place you purchased it from and find out there?
At any rate, don't wait too long. The ship to Norway leaves in two days and won't be back until Spring, if you know what I mean...............
walter: you've already gotten a number of good suggestions. permit me to attempt an ordering of possible fixes, including a couple of my own. first, i agree with famaraca that you should give your cdp a bit more time to break in. when i got my boulder 1012 pre/dac just before christmas, i ran it continuously for >200 hours before doing any critical listening. since then, its run at least another 600 hours while i’ve listened and broken in cables/ic's/pc's. it continues to improve. if the sound of your emc-1 doesn't improve after longer burn-in, you might try some different ic's and/or pc's; these can greatly affect the sonic presentation, even rolling off some frequencies, as you may be experiencing. third, send your unit back while it's still under warranty, particularly if the first two "fixes" don't work. fourth, live with the fact that your player's dac uses sampling algorithms as abstract7 describes, which may not be optimal for your tastes. finally, do not, under any circumstances, give into the pathetic ploys of the tireguy and send him any more chocolates; my sources say he already eats on average 8 pounds per day of m&m's (blue only). -cfb
I have an EMC-1 with MK11 upgrade and although probably not much of a help, my player seems fine. I think cornfedboy is on to something telling you to give it time to break in. I don't know about the chocolates, but I wouldn't mind some of Tireguy's M&M's.
Oh my now the cat is out of the bag, we're all in for it, Kelly you said you wouldn't tell! ;)
Thanks, everyone. I think I am relieved mostly because this scenario seems plausible to those of you in the know. I suppose I should have mentioned that I am burning in two new amps (Bel Canto EVO 200.2), new ICs (Homegrown Audio Silver Lace), along with an almost new pre-amp (First Sound Presence Deluxe MK2), in addition to the EMC-1. I realize now that this is an idiotic approach to upgrading one's system, but I just decided I needed more from my system and got a little carried away. I still have speaker cables on the way.

I have been playing the system more or less constantly for the past few days (except when I'm sleeping) waiting for it to burn in. I did consider the relative newness of the components as a possible reason for the problem, but then thought it must be something else since all the other CDs SEEMED to be playing all right. I mean, it is clear that the overall sound of the system is improving by the day, but I haven't had any similar experiences of completely losing details in the music until last night.

I am considering buying a CD from Purist Audio that is supposed to significantly speed up the burn in process and tune up the whole system. Does anyone have any experience with or opinions about such a device?

I've been so preoccupied pondering the thought-provoking theories you've so kindly provided that I've eaten half the chocolates already. Sorry, Tireguy.

try experimenting with different upgrade AC cords; each model will sound somewhat different. You may be able to tune the system via this approach; it usually works for me. Also play around with cones, shelving & isolation footers; all of these tweaks can affect your results. Go into the forum archives & start reading up; you'll find a LOT of info.
Hi Walter; If you bought the EMC-1 from a dealer, you should certainly discuss your observations re high freguency losses with him just to make sure that he's "in the loop" should something prove to be defective. And he may also have some advice/experience regarding your observations. But getting all that new stuff broken in is probably the first order of business as those above recommend. I love chocolate, but can seldom have it. Good Luck. Craig
Well, it now appears, after yet more experimenting tonight, that the problem may not be in the CD player after all. I am still missing information from the same disc, but now I appear to be missing it in the old player as well. But the same disc still plays fine on my computer and in the car. Good grief. Needless to say, I'll spend the weekend experimenting with different interconnects and configurations until I believe I've figured something out. I'll try some of the tweak suggestions as well.

Sorry for the confusion. Last night I would have bet my lunch money that the problem was the CD player. Now I would bet that it isn't.

In the meantime, The Band's 'Music From the Big Pink' never sounded better, ever. So life is good.

Thanks again for all the help.

walter: take some advice, please, from someone who's no doubt older than you and probably been into audio longer. stop listening to your main rig 'til sunday. just keep it goin' non-stop on "repeat all" at the highest volume you can stand until, say, noon on 02/17/02. then listen. and have someone ready with a camera to catch the grin. trust me, i'm a lawyer. -cfb
Your room may eating up HF info. Try near field listening or headphone.
How's the bass ?? I have found the bass takes the longest to "appear".6&1/2 days on repeat seems to be "when"it starts to give you what its got.
"Trust me I am a lawyer" I can't see from all the tears in my eyes. My stomach aches from laughter. IMO, this is your finest moment CFB.
Cornfedboy's burn in suggest is no doubt a good one, but be careful with "repeat-all."

On some players, the laser mechanism does not shut off between plays. When one puts such a player on "repeat-all" for days on end, the laser mechanism can become warped.
Walter...what's in those chocolates you've been eating?
All beter now? The EMC-1 MkII takes a good 300+ hrs to break in. I like mine best with Discovery Essence, as previous time with Siltech, Red Dawn and Harm Tech Pro-Silways were a bit fatiguing due to flatter highs (brightness). Maybe your IC is too rolled off? Are you using the balanced outputs? They DO sound better....
Enjoy. Ern
Cornfedboy, this is a true story. I saw a lawyer walking down the street the other day and he had his hands in his own pockets. :)