I'm actually surprised. No comments at all.
How about recommended alternatives?
How about recommended alternatives?
When I asked their sales director about it, the performance should remain similar to the current SE as the DAC remains relatively unchanged.
The "breakthru" seems to be that they will now offer jitter-free inputs without their proprietary digital link.
I asked a few months ago, so things may have changed?
It is noticeably different in design. As described by EMM it is more extended (it is) and throws a wider soundstage. The CDSAse is considered to be warmer in sound. I have the updated version which I love. It is not just an update. It is a bit different in sound. I need to give it a further listen but it is different from the previous generation sound in a fairly significant manner.
I also own the EMM LABS DAC2 and can vouch for the grate sound. Extended at both extremes of the frequency spectrum and a very wide sound stage. Having no prior experience with EMM LABS in the past, only subjective opinions, I'm very happy. Have owned EAD, Audio Aero and Gamut. This is definitely an upgrade indeed!
What I admire about the EMM sound (the DCC2-SE & CDSD-SE with the Phillips transport) was the way the soundstage was somewhat recessed but still the images had just the right amount of substance and density without feeling heavy or leaden. You could lean into music instead
of it being thrown at you, but still the details and
softly rounded components were all there.
And the bass, while not super-deep, was solid and clear but not thick and opaque.
Thus, the portrayal was satisfying w/o stepping over the line. (The highs can be a little aggressive though--sometimes, depending on the disc.)
(All of the above on redbook CD, by the way. SACD was
another story, occasionally awesome, sometimes not.)
Does the new CDSA have these qualities?
The CDSAse is as good if not better than the separates. More natural in sound, with a smoother presentation. SACD is incredible and CD is just better than it was before. The one flaw that remains is a little dynamic softness and a slight smoothness in the bass that could use improvement. The differences are a little bit more than subtle having owned both. This is in comparison to the original separates, not the SE version. I would say that the new EMM separates is a different presentation and for some would be more detailed but for others would be considered over the line. I happen to like my the CDSAse the way it is. The newer models in comparison might be too forward for some. It really depends on the music and your system. You get more forward sound, but with it comes more bass, more highs and more detail. But there is a point where too much detail is not a good thing. There have been some very well written reviews that explain the EMM/Marantz/Esoteric soundcamps. I would say the new EMM equipment has moved over more to the Esoteric camp. I wouldn't mind having the money for both, but I don't.
I loo am looking at the 'X' upgrade.
Emm tells me the entire analogue board is changed. There is another thread that talks about changing the fuse, IEC receptacle, silk pillows underneath, etc. I am not confident that changing the fuse will give the same results as an upgraded board, so I am going for the upgrade.
Rickron51, I replaced the fuse with the Furutech T2A green -- not the blue. Flashunlock recommended this to me. Doing the "X" upgrade will do a lot more than changing the fuse, I'm quite sure, although I have not heard it yet. I am assuming this from the testimonials I have read about it -- and from the $5000 price ticket for the "X" upgrade.
I have written about the silk cushion -- now replaced by SR MIGS -- and about other "tweaks". I have had a night-and-day improvement in my system recently by putting GG and SR ICs in series and by putting two SW1 Schumann resonance devices behind my Merlin TSM mmi monitors -- about 3 feet off the ground facing the nest of wires in the "well" behind my speakers.
I don't feel I need the "X" upgrade since the improvement in sound has been truly dramatic. IMHO there is sometimes more than one way to skin an audio cat. I'm not saying what I have done = the "X" upgrade because I have no way of knowing that. What I am saying is that these changes sound like a real upgrade to me.