There was a post sometime in the last year or so that said that replacing the transport unit with the Slim Devices Transporter is even a bigger improvement...maybe worth a try?
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The Elgar plus stack in comparison to the scarlatti is a little more grainy and not quite as natural sounding or resolved. Not by a massive margin as the elgar plus is still very good, but played side by side quite obvious.
Both have very good resolution but somehow the Scarlatti has more warmth and harmonic richness when compared directly to the elgar plus. It also has a shatteringly low noise floor. This is something many may not notice, but due to my high sensitivity speakers, this shows up noise extremely clearly.
I have yet to hear a better digital front end. As for a transport maybe the days of getting 0s and 1s from a spinning cd are over... The upsampler allows you to plug your computer in direct, which then can send DSD direct to the converter.
The Biggest difference between Scarlatti and the prev generations of dcs is the "naturalness"...It removes the"digital" sound out of the way.......As a result,you could go on listening for hours on end without any fatigue and without praying hard for tube amplifications.
To my ears,Nothing better at the moment
I agree with Fafafion, having owned both Elgar and now Scarlatti - a "naturalness" which renders all other alternatives (heard and unheard) irrelevant. I, for one, care not if dCS themselves introduce a new line sometime down the road. For the manufacturer, such an extraordinary accomplishment is a mixed blessing.
Bryan, I spend just one hour listening DCS in my system in which I still have Emmlabs TSD1/DAC2 and can say that Scarlatti is in different league! It is 4 times more expensive, but this money you must spend if you can, to get really incredible live reproduction!
It is not just a little better in this or in that.
It is dramatically better in everything!
Usually I can explain the difference, but here it is just new reference!
Emmlabs, Berkeley, Empirical are very similar and Scarlatti I can compare only with very good vinyl setup!
I'm going to buy it...don't say to my wife:)
Murataltuev, thanks for your brief report.
On last Sat, I talked to a 2nd hand shop who did sell both Scarlatti & emm Labs TSD1/DAC2 before. The shop-owner swear that both users who bought the Scarlatti sold it after a short while and got back the emm Labs. He said he can find me a 2nd hand Scarlatti if I like but he warned me that knowing my taste he won't recommend me to do so.
Too bad I can't find a chance to have A/B test these two at the same time.
the thing with DCS is it is absolute. There is no sugar coating. I think EMM labs has a warmer presentation, and may be more forgiving of the rest of your system. However if you want the finest source I know of no other that comes close. The Scarlatti has a purity and the ability to let you observe any aspect of the recording or performance as opposed to a one trick euphonic pony. It is uncanny what it is capable of.
At this level of gear you will be fine whichever one you go for, but if you just want to listen to music and not get drawn into the ins and outs of each recording, go for the EMM lab or stick some tubes in front of the DCS.
Budt, I sad that going to buy, so I did it!
Yes, I'm that fast :)
Really I'm totally impressed!
After changing power cables from stock ones to good ones it is just another level of resolution and timbre accuracy!
With Emm I never was happy about midrange: voice and piano reproduction.
Berkeley is better in this and Scarlatti is much better.
And I never expected new level of resolution!
You know shakers in Rebecca Pidgeon's Grandmother?
Every shake must be different...
So, with Scarlatti I feel even the movement of send inside shakers.
I once used Esoteric P03+D03+G0s and found it have high resolution but at the same time clinical so I just afraid dCs go the same path especially dCs is using the Esoteric drive too.
I like the emm Labs sound, I just not satisfy with its reliability.
Congrat to your new purchase.
Esoteric combi 03 sounds dry to my ears, Scarlatti never
as said here, the resolution is incredible but always with some kind of "sweetness"
I own Puccini + clock and when I heard 2 hours (on other system) the Scarlatti I couldn't believe my ears ...
I also compared the newest Emm Lab XDS-1 to Puccini + clock ... maybe better bass with the Emm but on SACD the Puccini wins for definition, precise placement of the musicians on the stage
Did you compare on RBCD? The Puccini falls noticeably short compared to the XDS1 there ime (no opinion on SACD as that's irrelevant to me - software selection too limited).
Also, make sure you are using the 102_002 firmware (November 2009) on the XDS1 as anything before that isn't a good indication of what the XDS1 can do.
for classic music SACD is not irrelevant at all , it's almost essential I would say
and the choice quite large and expanding every day
personally I don't understand how is it possible to spend so much money in our hobby and renounce to SACD which brings a much better resolution
yes I compared the XDS1 also on a RBCD, 1st of Brahms, Chicago/Barenboim
I found it's maybe better in the low frequencies but at the end it's a question of tast, the Emm Lab is sounding darker than the Puccini, the Puccini seems to have more life.
That being said I am not sure that the Emm Lab was burned in, I will have occasion to compare both again in January
Budt, very good decision, I believe!
Scarlatti is too expensive. I bought because had a chance to get used with great discount and because of SACD support.
Actually I changed Emm for Scarlatti and going to keep Berkeley because for high resolution files I prefer Berkeley.
Bryan, I totally agree with Clavil.
dCS is on warm side!
I even feel at the beginning too warm and sweet!
And at the same time very high resolution.
So, it is much warmer than Emm and much higher resolution.
This combination is unexpectable!
thanks Murataltuev for the assurance of warmness of Scarlatti, I may need to audition again in the dealer's shop. Nonetheless, I recall last time what I heard was consistent with your comment, just I'm not sure myself.
Yes, Clavil, SACD is a must for our classical music lover. But it also limit our choice of player very much.