Comparing Electrocompaniet EMC-1 and Cary 306/200?


These products are similarly priced and I'm going to demo them both. A few comments have suggested they sound somewhat similar, but I would be very interested to hear more opinions. The EMC-1 doesn't have HDCD, but I don't have very many of them anyway. Is the EMC-1 DAC similar to upsampling on the Cary as they both are 24/192? General and specific impressions would be appreciated. Thanks.
andrewb450
Hi Andrew,
My suggestion is the Cary 306/200 CD player. If you would like to audition Elektrocompaniet EMC1 you should get MKII modified one (There is one in auction now) because it has 24/192 and modified by an audio expert. I have a 306/200 and it sounds awesome to me. Good luck.
What about the ergonomics of loading/unloading discs if placed on a shelf?
Hi, I had auditioned both units together EMC 1 MKII, 306/200 in my home system at the same time. My system is CAT MK III preamp, VAC 100/100 amps, Soliloquy Speakers, Cardas cables. The main impression of both units was that the Cary was more laid back, softer sounding, some of the music transients were slower, sounded little on the dark side. The Electrocompaniet revealed more information, but didn't sound bright or fatiguing, the sound was as they claim more analog. It was a sound comparable to my VPI/Benz turntable. The sound quality of both units was great. The ergonomics are different, since the Electrocompaniet is a top loading unit with slide drawer to insert the CD's, Cary is the standard drawer mechanism.
The cosmetics are different, the Electrocompaniet has a Plexiglas front, which looks cool, but if you use other brands pre amp the finish is different. I was impressed with the upgrade ability of the Electrocompaniet, local dealer can change the boards, with Cary need to send to factory and cost twice as much, Cary usually prefer to introduce a new model. Reliability is also important to me, in the past I have had a Cary SL-98 pre-amp, 805C amps, PH 301 phono amp and a I-75 intergraded, even though I bought each one new, all the component had to be repaired while I owned them, I don't know if this is common or I was just unlucky.
I just returned from auditioning the Cary and the Electrocompiet. They were both fine units, but I prefer the Electrocompiet. It has a transcendant, smooth sound that floats from the speakers and into a spacious soundstage. It was a bit slower than the Cary, but not sluggish by any means; just not as dynamic. The Electrocompiet sounded unlike any other CD player I've heard. It was fantastic on acoustic music, truly breathing life into the atmosphere. I also sampled some Peter Gabriel and it handled this with respect as well. It is dead quiet too and I fell in love with the space between the music as if I could see the musicians standing there waiting for the next beat. This quiet made it more alive, more real. There was also one song I heard, acoustic guitar from Africa, and the room literally came alive with the talented fingers of the player. Talk about filling a room with music!

The Cary was more dynamic, but sounded much more digital to my ears, at least after hearing the Electrocompiet. The upsampling made a difference on some recordings and not in others, and the difference wasn't necessarily better, just different. The Electrocompiet does not have HDCD and the one HDCD I brought along did sound splendid on the Cary while it sounded slightly less perfect on the Electrocompiet, but I don''t have too many HDCDs anyway (but it did sound really good and I wish the Electrocompiet had HDCD capability). The bass was tighter on the Cary, but the bass on the Electrocompiet felt more real, more balanced with the rest of the music. The drawer on the Cary also felt cheap after using the Electrocompiet's top loading system. It's too bad drawers have to be so cheap these days. I would prefer a front-loading design.

My understanding is that the Electrocompiet upsamples all the time. I also heard they are raising prices as of August 1. Comparisons have been made to the top Linn player... and the rest is history.

The Electrocompiet is a beautiful player. I'm always drawn to these unique black units. It might require top shelf placement though I intend to try one shelf below.
I'm not sure my wife wants something so visible.

This is a player that I intend to live with for a very long time (it will take that long to pay it off anyway). It's a player that makes me feel like music is something more than the sum of its parts and gives us something that satisfies the soul and makes us glad.
Ha! My wife voted our emc-1 mkII as the ONLY component she'd tolerate on top of our closed-rack system (Magnum Dynalab tuner too 50s sci-fi looking; Aleph Pre too austere;
Alesis Masterlink WAY too boy-toy-busy; Aleph monos fortunately under floor joists!
Aesthetics WILL differ, eh?
Ha! My wife voted our emc-1 mkII as the ONLY component she'd tolerate on top of our closed-rack system (Magnum Dynalab tuner too 50s sci-fi looking; Aleph Pre too austere;
Alesis Masterlink WAY too boy-toy-busy; Aleph monos fortunately under floor joists!
Aesthetics WILL differ, eh?