Electrocompaniet EMC II CD Player

It seems like this player only run to the max with xlr balance interconnect, I had run them with both but on the rca my soundstage is collapsed there is no air and extension at all. Have anyone running into the same problem.
Nope. I used single-ended with excellent results. I'd consider examining other possibilities in your system. Good luck.
Like Jcbtubes, I'm experiencing incredible detail, smoothness and air with single-ended connection. Your problem is not with the EMC-1.
I'm running mine single ended with wonderful results. Collapsed soundstage?!? In my system the EMC-1UP has yielded the most impressive soundstage I've heard from a cdp. I would say that soundstaging is one of its greatest strengths. My only caveat concerning the EMC-1 has to do with ultimate focus. Not that it's bad, just not state of the art in that respect. I'm hoping the Spider Clamp will improve focus to some degree.
Goone...How many hours do you have on your EMC-1? I agree with the other posters that the EMC-1 is not the culprit (assuming it is fully broken-in). The issue of balanced being "better" than single-ended on the EMC-1 has been blown out of proportion, IMHO. I have heard the unit EXTENSIVELY with both outputs and the ONLY difference I here is the inherent additional gain that you get with balanced (in other words, it will simply sound "louder"). This of course can fool one into believing they are hearing all types of improvements, as simply increasing the volume level of a system can significantely change the sonic presentation (obviously). I have a hunch that this is the situation in this case, but I could be wrong ;-)

Jm88439...Concerning the lack of focus in your EMC-1, power cords and vibration isolation can improve focus tremendously on the EMC-1 (and many other digital playback products)...Just a thought.

Best Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
FS Audio....Didn't say my EMC-1 lacked focus, it's just not the last word in that regard judging by a couple of other top notch players I've heard recently IMS. Also compared my EMC-1 to a Accuphase DP-85 (16 Grand retail) in someone else's system system. The Accuphase was just a bit better focus wise. Overall however, I prefer the EMC-1 to most everything I've heard. Extremely musical despite my minor caveat. And yes, it is well isolated and being fed by a top notch ac cord. Btw, have you tried this mysterious Spider Clamp?
Jm88439...The Spider Clamp is now in manufacturing and is supposed to start shipping within the next two weeks. So no, haven't heard it yet. I wish they would hurry, as I have quite a few units pre-ordered by customers already. Not to mention, I want to try one out myself ;-)

Best Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
How much are the "spider clamps"?
Streetdaddy...Retail price for the clamp is $400. Each clamp is milled from a solid billet of aluminum.

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
Just saw an ad for the clamp for $350..........
The "focus" issue is perhaps related to the lack of the latest "UP"status. There's no question that the more-detailed top octave helps solidify soundstage artifacts.
The balanced connections on the analogue output board are soldered right at the outputs! The RCA's are connected almost as an afterthought with a few inches of cheap hook-up wire. I haven't bothered to compare, but wouldn't doubt the widespread comments (inc from EC!) that balanced performance is better. I would doubt that it's just the +6dB, but then again, more headroom and S/N can't hurt! Maybe the lower noisefloor allows perception of smaller dynamic shadings as well top octave air....
Subaruguru: My EMC-1 is the latest "UP" version. Still, I think focus is not the best I've heard. As far as the RCA v balanced connection thing goes. If indeed the RCAs are wired with cheap hook-up wire as you say, it does not speak well of EC considering the price of the machine IMO. Your statement brings another point to mind. Perhaps the differences we attribute to wire are not as significant as we like to think. Why? Well, I heard my EMC-1 through its balanced connections and in the same system (not mine), through its RCA connectors. There certainly was more headroom through the balanced. More punch, which I liked. Perhaps a smidge more direct sounding. Aside from that, I sure wouldn't go crazy looking for a new preamp for my own system to accomdate the EMC-1's balanced topology. Detail, soundstaging, frequency extention, etc.. It was all there through the "cheaply wired" RCAs.
Of course. I'm not suggesting that the tail wag the dog here, but it's clear that the RCA's wiring was considered secondary when it came to board design and connection layout. If one DOES have the option to use a balanced pre, all other things equal, indeed use it, as the EMC-1 UP is designed for it. For users of great single-ended pres who have a bit of skill I might try replacing the 4 short single-ended output wires with solid silver, using a strong crimp (there is none now) and a better silver-loaded solder.
No big deal, but given what attention we spend on interconnects, it certainly makes sense to treat the final 4" as well. Happy Easter and Passover to all. Ern
That's an excellent suggestion and one I will look into. I don't mind doing a bit of Electrocompaniet's work for them if it will improve sonics. Now, if only the elusive Spider Clamp would emerge from its cacoon.
Interestingly I bought a beautiful, very lightweight aluminum crank pulley for Subaru engines recently. A gorgeous, single-billet, finely machined work of art that results in a much lower inertia at the crank, thus improving quick-starts. This pulley sells for a hefty (so I thought!) $90. I guess if it were marketed to us audiophools, relative to this skimpy CD clamp I suppose it should be priced over $1k. Maybe that California machine-shop that makes these pulleys can be convinced to knock out a 100-lot of the CD clamps for $50 each? Anybody have any leads to precision aluminum (or brass) machine-shops? Just a thought....
At times I start to think that the Spider Clamp's obscurity is a deliberate ploy to heighten interest in it. Wow, it's here! I won't notice it costs way too much! Here's my hard earned $$$$! Gimme, gimme, gimme!!!!
Really, just how difficult can this clamp be to manufacture afterall? Btw, I looked under the hood of the EMC-1 for the first time. You're right about the hook-up wire, doesn't look like much. Frankly, the whole thing doesn't look like much. After 4 years of gazing at a BAT VK-D5 and its glorious build quality, the EMC-1 seems rather cheesy inside. Sonically however, it's a great player. Not worth $5500 however based on the sum total of its parts IMO. The European and Asian price of $2500 is more like it.
Wish It were $2500 the european price, but the reality is $4100, at least in Spain.
The Spider is finally here in the States. I have one coming that's " in the mail ". I will post my reaction once I have it in place and have done some listening (probably within a week). You can get one now from Brian @ Artistic Audio (good guy). Check his ad on Audiogon.

Great! Would love to hear your thoughts...especially if you have a buddy who can help single-blind it.
My spider arrived, I opened the box and my first reaction upon opening the Spider package was " I paid $ 350.00 for this" ?

I installed the Spider tonight and was able to do a couple of hours of comparative listening. It was fairly simple to install. The toughest part of the installation was the removal of the plastic disc that sits on the top of the drive of the EMC-1 (use a needle nose pliers and alternately pry each side of the disc up a little until it comes off. There is a little notch on each side of the plastic disc where you can insert the nose of the pliers).

My good friend, who has been with me every step of the way in building my system over the past 2 years, and I carefully listened to around 8 pieces of music that we have heard literally over a hundred times prior to installing the spider and then listened to the same 8 pieces again after having installed the Spider. I would have loved to gone back and forth listening again to the EMC without the Spider and with the Spider to get a reconfirmation of what we heard, but I did not want to run the risk of damaging any of the parts or EMC. I have found, over time, I get much more of a sense of the improvement yielded in the sonics when I go back to the original set up and back and forth a few more times prior to making a change in the system. In this case the changes were obvious enough not to require the back & forth. Based on my installation experience, I would not suggest on going back and forth installing and taking out the Spider.

We listened to a composite CD that I had burned with various types of music that covers the entire frequency spectrum and have been using for the past couple of years while my system has evolved. The CD has been treated with Vivid, Blackened, cut on an Audio Desk cutter and had the static removed by a Furutech anti-static device each time we listened.

My second reaction came when listening to the Spider sound improvements and was 2 jaw drops followed by two big smiles. Both my friend and I agreed on all of the sound improvements we heard.

The bass was more tuneful, controlled, detailed and a bit more extended. Overall there was more air around the instruments and voices. We got much more of a sense of the recording venue and there was more resolution and focus in all of the frequencies.

The mids were warmer and more detailed as were the highs with more of a sense of liquidity and no edges or artifacts. Overall there was much more emotion from the music, just beautiful.

I had put my order for a Spider in last March and am more than happy with the results after a long wait. The differences were not at all subtle. The Spider is well worth the $ 350.00 and then some for all the gains we heard. I think you will be well pleased with the Spider if your system is at all revealing.

Below is my system as it sits now. I thought it might be helpful to you in light of my comments on the changes yielded by the Spider:

Electrocompaniet EMC 1UP CD player
Supratek Cortese pre-amp
Mark Levinson 23.5 200 watt amp
Sonus Faber Extrema speakers
REL Stentor III Subwoofer

Ensemble Isolink Duo transformer (to EMC-1 & Cortese)
RS Audio RCA interconnects from EMC-1 to Cortese
Shunyata XLR Aries interconnects from Cortese to Amp
NBS Statement III Speaker Cables
2 - 20 AMP 12 gauge Romex dedicated lines
2 - Cryoed, Gold plated Wattgate receptacles
5 - BMI Shark power cords
2 - BMI WHALE SUPREME power cords
1 - BMI Shark IPLC passive line conditioner

Silent Running VR series stands under the Amp, Isolink & EMC-1UP

2 - set of Symposium Roller Blocks, placed under the Electrocompaniet CD player & Supratek pre-amp
Versalab Red Rollers RFI filters for the interconnects
Versalab Wood Blocks RFI filters for the power cords

I would love to know if anyone has sent an EMC-1UP out for the $1,400.00 Empirical Audio mods installed by Steve Nugent and let us all know what it does for the sound. Is it worth the $ 1,400.00 ?

Has any one tried replacing the connecting wire for the RCA inputs with insulated silver wire as has been suggested by Subarguru and if so what were the results ? I have a pre-amp that has RCA inputs only (the output side does have both RCA and XLR outputs) and am considering the Steve Nugent mod and or changing out the internal connectors to the RCA. I love my tubed pre-amp and am not willing to part with it.

Please feel free to make any comments or suggestions on my system.

Fascinating, Cello. I know it's all relative, but $350 for a $25 product still hits the other side of my brain too hard!
That you're running single-ended instead of taking advantage of the balanced operation is also certainly a factor not easy to dismiss, as the consensus internationally is that balanced running provides more than just the +6dB headroom. There's a 240v orig EMC-1 that started on eBay yesterday, from Denmark (let's not get that started again!), up to $1525. Interesting to see what it does, as current 24/192 power-supply modded new units can be had in the what, low $3k?....
My EMC-1 SE UP or whatever it's called now runs balanced SPMs to an Aleph P, sitting atop a Neuance Beta. Can't imagine a more exquisite stage or natural detail. (My DIY $39 PC helped the rez-focus a bit too.)
Jawdrops frequently preclude my bothering to single-blind system adjustments, too. After all, it's about musical pleasure and life is getting shorter. Nonetheless the ugly reality of expectation bias rears its head. So I'll chase one of these, but only if it's cheaper. Ha!
Maybe Brother Mike from F&S would work a deal if a number of us jumped on board for a group purchase???
Maybe ;-)

...Mike - Father & Son Audio
I'm interested.
Subaruguru, I would start chasing a Spider now. I did not include in my post that the Spider is milled steel (looks like it took some extra work to get it done and then some). It is well beyond a $ 25.00 disc.

I also did not stress that the music has become a good bit more emotionally involving. That sense has been reinforced over the last couple of days.

I am anxious to hear if anyone else gets a Spider and they get the same types of improvement in their system (or not).

IMHO this piece is a deal at the $ 350.00 for what it has done for my system.
All...I would have no problem doing a group purchase (as Barrelchief mentioned). Obviously, the more people that participate, the lower the price. The US distributor is completely out and I am not sure if he has placed another order yet with Electrocompaniet. So, the sooner you guys can let me know, the better. Not sure how many Electrocompaniet has in stock at the factory. Hopefully they made a bunch!

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
Subaruguru, I did not include in my post that the Spider is milled steel (looks like it took some extra work to get it done and then some). It does look more significant than a $ 25.00 disc or something you could crank out at home. I also did not stress that the music has become a good bit more emotionally involving. That sense has been reinforced over the last couple of days.

I am anxious to hear if anyone else gets a Spider and they get the same types of improvement in their system (or not).

IMHO, the Spider is much more than a tweak and more like a system upgrade. I feel that the sound improvements we heard make this a deal at the $399.00 price for what it has done for my system. If you see a few more reactions similar to mine, I would not count on seeing one on the used market anytime soon.
Return on the investment question...I'd love to know which offers a more significant improvement, the spider or going from the standard 24/192 version to the "UP" status, especially considering the prices.
Barrelchief, I would not miss out on either the 1-UP upgrade or the Spider. I did the 1-UP upgrade a year and a half ago and it was a solid improvement. The Spider was surprisingly good, but my system is tremendously more revealing now when I added the Spider than 1.5 years ago and it is now hard to separate what each upgrade will be worth more to you in your system.

If you have the cash to do both (and I would do both), I would suggest that you do the 1-UP (get them to replace the internal RCA connector with a shielded silver wire as well if you are going to use the RCA out from the EMC) and then get the Spider.

If you do not get enough sonic improvement out of the Spider in your system, you can sell it to Subaruguru (if he has not broken down and bought a Spider by then). I am guessing that the 1-UP will also be a lot easier re-sale in the used market if you ever decide to sell it down the road and you should be able to recover a percentage of the cost of the Spider.

You can contact Brian Ackerman at Artistic Audio or Fs Audio and work your best deal on the 1-UP upgrade. The turn around time was only a couple of days at the factory plus shipping time when I did mine. The Importer, Allan Warshaw was good about booking appointments and will have you ship your unit directly to them when they are ready to work on yours. You won't be without your player for long.
Finally received and installed the Spider today. The first thing I noticed is that a CD has a bit more back and forth play on the new replacement spindle than was the case with the stock spindle. Anyone else notice this? I expected a tighter tolerance, and would've thought this is necessary for limiting physical movement of a CD in the player. After all, isn't this the purpose of the Spider design?

I like to think I'm a good listener. Being visually and aurally critical is a major requirement of my profession. Having listened to the EMC 1-UP with Spider, I bow down before those of you who notice an obvious and striking improvement in the player's performance with the addition of the Spider clamp. You are Golden Eared X-Men. The Electrocompaniet EMC 1-UP is an excellent player. It was an excellent player before I had Empirical Audio mod it, and before I added the Spider clamp. It remains an excellent, if subtley improved player after the mods and addition of the Spider clamp. There is nothing more I know of that can be done to tweak-out this machine. Do I think the $1700+ tweaks have made it 28% better...no. Would I do it again? Probably, because I'm an insane audio nut in a never ending quest for the "Grail". However, I'm not convinced of the improvements the Spider has made.
Well Tvad, that's very interesting. You are the first I've heard of that was not impressed with the improvement wrought by the Spider. Not that I've heard from that many, but the few that have commented have been quite enthusiastic. I wonder if you have installed it correctly? Given the play you're experiencing, this isn't an unreasonable question. Also, while I think the EMC-1UP a very good player, IMO, it can most definitely be improved upon sonically and I have heard that Steve Nugent of Empirical Audio has worked some magic with the player. Unfortunately, the magic comes at substantial expense for those willing to take the plunge. One look under the hood of the EMC-1UP and even a decidedly non techie like me can see it's not exactly built to the highest standards. IMO, it's quite a tribute to the designer's skills that the EMC-1UP sounds as good as it does considering the parts involved. As for the Spider, if I can get one at a discounted price, I'll still take the plunge despite your assessment. If it yields a 3-5% improvement, I'll be satisfied.
Jm88439, everyone must decide for themselves on these things. I am truly amazed by those who can discern minute improvements with every adjustment that is made in their systems. I wish I had the ability to do the same. I have heard substantial improvements in my own system from time to time with the addition of new loudspeakers, preamp, or even interconnects. I recently posted my amazement at the improvement Empirical Audio Holphonic PC and Ridge Street Audio Midnight Silver Edition II interconnects made in my system. However, one can read in my past posts in these forums that I am also not one to immediately jump on a bandwagon, and more often than not I am dubious of claims like, "bass was more tuneful, controlled, detailed and a bit more extended. Overall there was more air around the instruments and voices. We got much more of a sense of the recording venue and there was more resolution and focus in all of the frequencies." Similar claims are made over and over, whether the reviewer is referring to loudspeakers, power cords or isolation cones. I just wonder how much is self-fulfilling desire to hear what we wish to hear? (NOT to pick on Cello...I believe he hears what he hears...this is just representative of comments stated in professional and amateur reviews everywhere.) Again, though, let me be clear, I respect and admire those who hear differences in their systems with every minor tweak. Perhaps the Spider does contribute a 2-3% improvement, but I am not able to hear it at this point in my listening, and perhaps this is due to the wonderful work Steve Nugent did in his modification of my player!
Tvad, I checked my EMC-1UP to see if the spindle allowed any play on my unit after installing the Spider and in my case it is solid as a rock.

The significant sonic improvements that I am experiencing and increase in emotional involvement are not at all small or hard to perceive. I don’t think you have to have an exceptional ear to appreciate the improvements and difference I heard after installing the Spider.

I can only guess that the play that your CD has around the spindle might possibly be preventing you from getting the benefits from the Spider.

I am interested in hearing from anyone who has done the Empirical Audio mod by Steve Nugent. It would be great to hear what benefits came out of the mod and in particular from someone that is running out of the RCA into a tubed pre-amp (I am currently going out of the RCA outs into RCA's inputs of a Supratek Cortese). Do you think it was worth the $ 1,400.00

Has anyone tried replacing the internal RCA connector with a better shielded silver wire, and if so what kind of results did you get ?
Cello, I believe the spindle issue amounts to hair splitting, and very fine hair at that. I did compare the CD>spindle fit with the stock spindle and the stock spindle did, in fact, provide a totally snug fit. The play I'm referring to has to do with the diameter of the rubber band once installed on the new spindle, since the new spindle doesn't actually come into contact with the platter.

I'll give the machine some more dedicated listening time with a varied selection of music and report back if my impressions change.
Tvad: I wanted to ask you about the Steve Nugent mods. Do they change the basic character of the EMC-1? One thing I really like about the EMC is that it is far less analytical sounding than many other players. I'd hate to end up with a player that leans towards a analytical, hyper detailed sound.
Jm88439, Steve's mod results in a very detailed player totally free of harshness. The character of the player does change somewhat as a result. In my opinion, this detail retrieval without glare is what Steve's mission is (he may correct me). His Empirical Audio Holophonic PC interconnects also grab every last bit of detail and pass it along through the system. This characteristic is something one must take into account when considering his modification.
Hi guys. Milled steel? Oy. I expected a non-resonant cast anodized alloy "clamp". Now it sounds even cheaper to make! Maybe the steel's required to act as a "spring-clamp" around the periphery of the CD? Still willing to give EC plenty of faith-factor here, but I DO wish the spindle-mod wasn't required so that comparisons could be made without having to have two machines side by side. I'm sorry, but this is one I'd like to see single-blinded, as expectation bias rides at full gallop....
For those of you who do NOT have last year's "power supplies diodes (24) and caps (3)" mod, these are being successfully implemented by good techs around the country in about 2-3 hrs tops. Parts cost $20. The improvement IS REAL, providing a more dynamic, lively presentation with a more forward stage. Those owners for whom RT shipping to the East Coast is challenging can save a bundle of sweat, too. OTOH I've heard from others that one can now get the 128/24 AND PS mods done together negotiated down from $1800 to $1k, + shipping. (And no, it's not from ME!) At a G this is a great deal. The 24/192 DOES give you more THERE there, and the PS mods liven it all up nicely....
But the clamp? Hmmm....forged stainless spring-steel (like a great knife), or cheap stamped stuff (back to the $5 cost)? I know, Cello, it's about the motion, not the meat, but the mech engr in me hates to pay. It's bad enough when Subie charges $60 for a small pigtailed-magnet cam/crank or knock sensor that costs $5 to get out there....
Cello, replacing the cheap uninsulated short RCA out wires with shielded silver or silver/copper just makes sense, once you're in there. The original plain hook-up wires are just soldered on in space, so it's also an opportunity to crimp on as well as adding a drop of solder. I have some nice 16/4 shielded Ag/Cu wire if anyone wants a couple of jumpers for RCA use, but again, the consensus from ALL the dealers and users I'd heard from here, in the UK, France, and Scandinavia is that balanced operation is more than just a free +6 dB, so it's even harder to comment upon the effects of successive mods when single-ended op is required.
Damn...just heard a pipe burst in the basement! Gotta go....
Subaruguru, I agree with your assessment of the cast anodized alloy. The clamp appears to be aluminum alloy, rather than steel. My final analysis of the effects of the clamp is that they are minimal to none in my system. In fact, if I hadn't mucked up the old stock spindle during the process of removing it, I'd be selling the Spider at a nice discount. Those EMC 1-UP owners who are on the fence regarding purchasing a Spider clamp can undoubtedly improve the sound of their machines by allocating their dollars toward mods such as those mentioned by Subaruguru in his post above or those offered by Empirical Audio.
Tvad, Subaruguru. My error, the Spider is a milled (not cast) Aluminum Alloy with a magnet in the center.

I don't agree with the Tvad on the lack of substantial improvement produced by the Spider. I would love to hear anyone else weigh in with their Spider experience.

I will probably be looking into doing either the Empirical Audio's mod or the one mentioned by Subaruguru. Has anyone done the Empirical Mod and then added the Spider ? It would be great to add your opinion of the incremental improvements of both.
Cello, the dearth of less-than-positive reviews in audiophilia is a pet
peeve of mine, and forums such as these are valuable in that they offer a
voice to both sides of an issue. Others reading this thread are at least
exposed to positive and neutral (not negative) opinions of the Spider,
and hopefully the discussion can lead readers to an informed purchase

One of the easiest and least expensive improvements you can make with
the EMC 1-UP is to use the balanced outs if that option is available to
you. The sonic difference was palpable in my system, and other
listeners have confirmed this in previous threads.
Hey Subaruguru, why so worried about spending a few hundred bucks on the Spider when you've purchased a cdp that's worth maybe half of what it retails for? Maybe. Sonics aside, there just ain't much inside the EMC-1UP. Don't get me wrong, I love my EMC-1UP as much as the next guy, but aside from being heavy, it's not that well built. At $5500 retail, it's waaaaay over priced IMO.

I'm still willing to give the Spider a try. Cello's assessement is interesting, but may not apply to me. If I end up having the same opinion of it, I'll still be happy to have a clamp that's of better quality than the cheap little puck included as stock. Frankly, they should include the Spider as standard on EMC-1s if you ask me.
Jm88439 wrote, "Frankly, they should include the Spider as standard on EMC-1s if you ask me."
Tvad, This will be a long response:

I agree completely that there is an imbalance of more positive to negative reactions / reviews of equipment. I think that is in part due to the enthusiasm of someone "who has found it" for that moment and they want to share a positive experience with other audiophiles.

On the other side, I think it is not in a person's nature (there are some exceptions) to complain in a public forum. Think of how many times you have seen someone not happy with their dinner or a dish, gripe at the table to their dinner companions at a restaurant and then not say anything to the waiter. They usually just don't go back to that restaurant.

A lot of the threads like the Electrocompaniet threads are started by people who are enthusiastic about a certain piece of equipment and want to share their joy or are looking for information to help in the decision in making their next move on the upgrade trail.

All of audio is a very subjective experience much in the same vein as the appreciation of art. I think there is plenty of room for someone to love a piece of equipment based on their taste while someone has completely the opposite reaction. There is also a huge subjective issue with regards to the variables of the synergy of other pieces of equipment, power, room design and software quality used in one’s system. You might have a totally different experience listening to my system and I yours.

In the debates over the EMC-1UP and the Spider, the discussion relates to the perceived benefits and perceived value. Most people on the post love their Electrocompaniet. A good many think it is over priced based on the perceived (or actual) build quality, but they love the sound. A good question to ponder is “ what is out there in the same price range as the Electrocompaniet that comes close or beats the sound quality”. To date, I have not found it. Build quality ? My EMC-1UP has been running almost 24/7 for going on two years and I have not had the first bit of trouble. Ask Mike as FS Audio (an honest, decent dealer) privately what his view of the Electrcompaniet is and what benefits he hears out of the Spider (I have not spoken with him, but he has a good reputation0. He does have a conflict of interest since he sells Electrocompaniet, but he has a reputation for being knowledgeable and honest.

In my case, the Spider did big things for my system’s sound. A good friend (who has an incredible ear and writes reviews for classical music concerts) and who has listened to my system found all of the same improvements that I heard and in the same order of magnitude.

My system is quite resolving and possibly I am hearing things other people might not or my system may have needed a Spider much more than yours.

How do you put a price tag on the improvements the Spider produces ? It depends on how much it did for you. I heard enough improvement for it to be considered a system upgrade, like a new AMP, great power cord or dedicated power lines. So what is that worth ? To me, the Spider looks like it is worth under $ 100.00 tops $ 200.00, but the sonic improvements would have me pay a great deal more than the $ 350.00 I paid. I am smiling every time I listen. I am also getting harder pressed to eek out more improvements as time goes by and the Spider was one of the easier less costly ones.

Fortunately and unfortunately, I can no longer run balanced out of the XLR outputs of the Electrocompaniet since I changed over to a tubed pre-amp (Supratek Cortese, tube pre) that only accepts RCA for the input side of the pre. The Cortese was such an upgrade over my previous Sim Audio Moon P-5 pre-amp that I will have to live with the RCA outs of the Electrocompaniet. Thanks for the advice on that one. I am hoping that upgrading the internal wiring to the RCA output of the Electrocompaniet with Shielded Silver wires and silver solder will give me some improvement. As I mentioned before, I am looking into doing the Steve Nugent mod.

I am looking forward to hearing from some more EMC-1-UP owners that install the Spider to see if my reactions are that of a majority of one or they also see significant improvements.
Cello, I agree with what you write regarding the enjoyment of the EMC 1-UP sound. If you are referring to me personally by your comments about "complaining in a public forum", I believe you misread me regading my Spider evaluation. The fact that I do not hear an improvement when using the Spider is not a complaint, but rather an honest and real assessment. Not every tweak will produce better sound in every system, as you yourself mentioned in your previous post. And, how can we hope to learn from the experiences of one another if our opinions are all of a like kind?

My system is also highly resolving (Steve Nugent's mods contributed greatly in that respect), and I, too, can no longer take advantage of the XLR outs since I upgraded to a First Sound Presence Deluxe II preamp which has only RCA ins and outs. However, the Empirical Audio mod elevated the quality of the unbalanced outputs to a level such that they are very nearly equal to the balanced outputs...something they were not before.

Best of luck with your quest for better sound from the Electrocompaniet. I suspect you'll find changing the output wiring may help.
Tvad I was not referring to you at all with the "complaining in public" comment. I was addressing your point of the imbalance of there being a great deal more positive reactions/reviews than a greatly lesser amount of negative comments/reviews and why there might not be so many negative reviews.

The lack of negative reviews might also be driven by the owner, about to sell his component on Audiogon, not wanting to slam a product that he is about to sell to another Audiogon member.

I appreciate the fact that you are not hearing an improvement in your system where I am in mine. For my edification, I wonder if anyone could weigh in on what might cause the drastic difference of the reactions to the benefits of the Spider on our two systems. The component list that makes up my system is listed in my post of 1-06-04.

I will probably end up doing the Steve Nugent mod next time I go on vacation and let you know what it does for me. Hopefully by then, he has come up with some new great ideas for his mod.

I intend to ask Steve if there is anything to do about improving the RCA side of the outputs beyond just changing out inner connecting wires to the RCA outs.

I do welcome the critical comments as much (probably more) than the positive. It is hard to make an informed decision when one is getting a limited view of the issues.

Happy Listening !
Cello, Tvad- Why not get a cable that goes XLR>>RCA like I did. Now I'm running the balanced out to my Syrah. Don't have two identical cables with diff term to compare, but this a relatively easy way around that issue. And if anyone here wants to get in on a group purchase of Spiders (a herd of spiders?), email me privately.
Swampwalker, I experimented with exactly what you mentioned...two
times (once with an HT Truthlink XLR>RCA cable, and a second time
with XLR>RCA adapters). The first attempt resulted in a hum, which I
couldn't eliminate no matter how many cheater plugs I used. The
second attempt worked fine, but it was after the EMC 1-UP had been
modded by Steve Nugent, and I could still tell the player sounded best
running truly balanced. When I switched to the XLR>RCA adapters the
sonics still didn't measure up. After the mod, the difference is very
small, but using the "cheater" cable doesn't provide the same
benefits as maintaining the XLR>XLR connection. Still, as has been
mentioned before, the results may vary from system to system, and it's
certainly worth a try. My Neutrik XLR>RCA adapters from Stu Wein at
Audioparts were very reasonably priced.


Thanks for the idea of the XLR/RCA interconnect. Somewhere along this thread or possibly in the "Pre-amp Deal of the Century" thread that focuses on Supratek pre-amps, someone had commented that they perceived no sonic difference between going RCA to RCA from the EMC-1 versus your idea of going XLR from the EMC-1 into an RCA in the pre-amp.

It would be great to do an A/B comparison where you between using an RCA/RCA and comparing that to your XLR/RCA idea. If you are in a position to try that experiment, it will be great to hear back from you.

Mike from Father & Son Audio mentioned in this thread that he would entertain a group deal.

Please do give us your comments when and if you install a Spider. Is your EMC-1 the UP version ? Have you done Steven Nugent’s mod ?

Thanks for your input.
Hi guys. Here's a weird corrolary. A Dane end-user posted his seemingly-older (it's hard to tell from the bad English) 240v EMC-1 on eBay, now sitting at $2225. I had thrown out a silly low bid early in the week just to track it automatically (calm down, Mike!). The bidding seems to be from other Europeans, as espected.
However, throughout the week I've received FOUR off-eBay and one "through eBay with commissions paid(??)" side offers to buy "NEW" or "similar" EMC-1s for "low" or "$2000" prices. These have all been from different addresses, each with DIFFERENTLY-flawed English. What the hell's going on here? The EMC-1 UP SE sells for $3k+ new in the EC...probably close to $4k with the low dollar, so I'm further perplexed. I DID delete these offers, so can't offer up the addresses to legitimate EC dealers to track down, if asked. Sorry.
Does anyone else run into this when seeing a high end component on eBay? Are there that many gray marketers out there?
On second thought I fear that the above-mentioned offers could be cons, as a couple of these emails stated that the seller was a "dealer" represented in many countries, etc., but happened to be in England at the time, blah blah blah, again all in very poorly spelled English. Truly weird....
I dragged my EMC-1 UP SE into a local friendly budget-high dealer (NAD, UNICO, ARCAM, TRIANGLE, ALON, CASTLE). Their VERY good tech uncovered it, remarking that all the decent discrete parts indicated great build design. We all listened to it, as the house guru and the tech's jaws dropped. They had never heard digital sound that good. $5500? Maybe not. But discounted/used $4/3k hard to resist.
There IS a lot of there there....
So am I being too cheap about the Spider? And yes, why isn't it standard now? Hmmm.... Are they hard to get because they work, or did EC make a few to test the high-profit accessory waters as a quasi-joke. Love to hear a pair of pre/post-Spidered EMC-1s side by side....
I have NO idea what Steve Nugent's doing, but $1400 is a LOT to spend on these circuit boards. OTOH replacing all the power diodes ($20 parts) DOES make a significant improvement, so maybe swapping out some caps, etc., is a good idea too. What ARE you doing for all that money, Steve?
I tried the XLR to RCA adapter thing and perceived no difference between it and straight RCA to RCA. My pre is a Supratek Syrah. It is possible that there was a slight audible difference that I did not appreciate as I was not overly patient in assessing the adapter setup. I've also heard the EMC in another setup using both straight XLR and straight RCA and while I perceived a sonic improvement with XLR, I was not motivated to dump my Syrah.

My intentions are to first purchase and listen to the Spider on my EMC and then, at a later date, have Steve Nugent install his transport mods only. Not sure if I'll go for the full blown mods at this time.
Subaruguru, all those decent parts must be very discrete indeed. I must admit to not being a techie type, but to these eyes, there just ain't much there any way you slice it. I've also heard similar opinions from those much more technically oriented than I. Take a look under the hood of a BAT D5 cdp. Then you'll see $4500 worth of parts and solid build quality. Now, does the D5 sound as good? IMO, no, not in most areas. It does however sound better in two. Focus and the quality of voices. I'm referring to the original D5 with NOS Amperex and Siemens tubes only and not the SE version which is inferior IMO. As for those jaws dropping? I'm not surprised that those accustomed to listening to budget gear were impressed. There's no doubt the EMC will easily outperform something like a Rega Planet. It better for the $$$.