Elect. EMC-1 Mk II vs. Audio Aero Capitole Mk II ?

I'm considering buying one of these CD players based upon previous recommendations online here. Between these two players, can anyone further recommend which sounds better and what the differences are in sound? I will be hooking it up to a Conrad Johnson MF2500A amp and two B&W matrix 802 main speakers. I also have an Audio Research LS-15 pre-amp if I need to use. I'm aware the AA Capitole has a built-in pre-amp. Thanks again
I clearly prefer the Audio Aero Capitole. It is the best sounding CD player that I have heard and with the ability of running direct, you can sell your preamp and acheive better sound.

The next batch of MK II's are on their way. If you decide on one and do not have a dealer in your area, drop me an email and I will place an order for you.

If I thought the EMC-1 was competitve with the Audio Aero, I would be carrying it as well. It is not, so I do not.
Disclaimer: I am an Electrocompaniet dealer.


With all due respect to Jtinn, there are many that would disagree with his statement that the Audio Aero is better than the EMC-1. With that said, the Audio Aero is a wonderful player and one of the top 5 or so digital solutions on the market. I can't imagine anyone not being happy with either the EMC-1 or the Audio Aero. When you get to this level of performance (and price), the differences between products become more than anything else, a simple matter of taste, IMHO (the listener's preferred sonic presentation, build-quality, cosmetics, etc.)

Best Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
I prefered the EMC-1 (IMO) the build quality is better. These two players sound different but in my experience neither one was superior to the other; just different. You really need to listen to both and then make your decision. Of both of these one box redbook players players I prefered the Accuphase DP75V.


Is your CJ MF2500A and upgraded model; if so, did you hear it before the upgrade. The reason I am asking is that I am running a CJ MF2500 as well and am considering having it upgraded. I would like to know what your thoughts are considering the sonic improvements?

I am an Electrocompaniet dealer and although I love this CD player I will state that there are a hand full of great CD players with the Capitol being one of them.

Our experience in numerous shootouts that we have done is that there is no one best player to anyone's ear. We have had up to twelve manufactures and Audiophiles in here during listening tests and the opinions have varied widely on CD player preference. As it would with almost any component. The fact is that we all do not have the same taste. I will also state that the Audio Aero and the EMC sound much more similar than say the Mephisto 2 or Accuphase.

But remember other things will contribute to the sound of your component such as a powercord and interconnects. So the question then becomes which is the better value and can I improve one more than the other for the same amount of expenditure. Unless the prices have changed the EMC retails for $5500 the Capitol for $8800.

You can run the Capitol direct which some people highly advocate some rather still use a preamp. If you like it direct the Capitol and the EMC will run about the same in investment. If you want to use a preamp the EMC is then substantially less expensive.

If price is not an object and if you hear them both and find that you could live with either one. Then look at the built quality. Look at the opportunity for upgrading the player. The EMC 1 came out at $4000, then there was a $1000 24/192 upgrade, and then a recent $800
upgrade available on all their players. They could have changed models and had you sell your old player and purchase a new one but choose to make it as inexpensive as possible for the consumer to continually improve to the new generation. Not being a Capitol dealer I have no idea about their upgrade path or costs.

My personal experience is that once you get to the better CD players the differences are very subtle.

Good luck you will love either one.
I have an ARC LS5 MKII pre amplifier and have had great success with the EMC 1. I am not familiar with the Audio Aero player but I would think it would be wise to attempt an in home trial with both players to see which one fits your systems sound goals the best.
I love the EMC's ability to bloom. The newest version with the passive parts upgrade is world class in it's ability to capture decay and heft. There is no hint of digititus whatsoever and organic clarity is in abundance. If your pre amplifier has balanced connections you are in for some great mojo. The EMC 1 loves balanced connections and rewards you with a notch better quality on all fronts.

Good luck but make sure you can try it in your home. That is a lot of cake to spend without listening.
Sos gives good advice in that at the level of performance of both of these, it may come down to personal preference. One thing seems consistent, there are many happy users of each.
Have owned both...still own the AA Mk II.... Liked both... Liked the AA MK II better when running either direct or through a pre.
I think that how a high quality CDP sounds in a given system is very system dependant. The differences may be subtle, but this is a hobby of inches and not yards. I am very familiar with the EMC mk2 and I demoed it with a Cary 306/200 in the system I owned about a year ago. The differences were subtle; however, sounded more electronic/digital than the Cary in addition not having the low level detail the Cary.

Now, in a different setup, I can wholly imagine me prefering the EMC player to the Cary. But this is a hobby of inches and not yards, so it is pretty important to demo a source ESPECIALLY in your own system.

Owned the Mk I- seductive yet detailed, but ultimately not enough PRT. EMC I liked better- bass more substantial. However, I have gone into separates- more $$ but infinitely better IMO. YRMV...
I have owned the EMC1 Mk2, the Audio Aero MkII and the Accuphase DP85. I would say the Audio Aero and the EMC1 are close in sound, but the Aero has just that little edge in seduction and pulling you into the music. But at this level it is a question of taste. They are all great machines. But i must say i am now firmly installed in the Accuphase camp, and feel no need to upgrade to anything else. I am content, and it is the first time EVER that it has happened, so i am happy, and so is my wallet :)

the bass difference between the Capitol 1 and Capitol 2 is positively stunning if you felt the Capitol 1 had some bass weakness and extension restriction you need to check out a Capitol 2 the bass problems have been eliminated. was very impressed.
Head to head I prefered the Gamut CD-1 to the EMC. It was cleaner, faster, and more invlolving.
disagree- found the Gamut clear and extened in the highs, but emotionally it was not there, and the bass? WHAT bass? One of the bigger disappointments I have encountered lately...
Anybody know how the AA people "fixed" the bass weakness when going from the MK1 to MKII? Don't both units still employ 12ax7 type tubes? I auditioned the MK1 extensively at home and the bass reminded me of the fat & ripe bass you get from many tube amps, especially those using 12ax7 for gain.
it doesn't use 12AX7 tubes. The fat ripe bass is totally gone replaced by tight powerful defined bass notes.
There is no fat ripe bass on the mk1 and if their is its not coming from the mk1 but more likely the amp/speaker synergy.The reference 3a decapo plus vtl amp is producing organic bass not FI bass.
How ya been Sutts my ol' friend. I agree with your post regarding the Gamut. Good to hear your happy with your seperates. Drop in and let me know what's new with you. If nothing is new drop in anyway. I think it's your turn. love to hear what you have been up to.

This is a very interesting article. I just wonder anyone idi make a comparison these CD players to Oracle 2000 CD?
Please advise !