EMM Labs DAC6 vs. latest version dCS

Would appreciate any comments regarding the comparison of these two highly regarded units.
Having heard both of them the same day at the show in Montreal last month, the Emm labs was in a different league then the dCS. Both had great associated equipment, the DAC6 just got the listener so much closer to the music. I have heard dCS before more then a few times and it is good but its not worth the money not by a long shot, it never really blows me over as being the best out there. The week after I heard the DAC6 I ordered my Emm labs DAC and transport! I went with the 2 channel DCC2, for most people the DAC6 is a lot of extra's that they will never use. I am curious what others fealt who heard both.
Where can I find information on the DCC2? EMM Labs web site appears to be strictly for the professional products.
Tireguy - I thought the 2 channel Meitner DAC was going to be part in parcel with a Switchman preamp in the same chassis at a similar cost to the DAC6?

Drubin - check out www.positive-feedback.com for David Robinson's take on the Meitner set-up. If memory serves me right it replaced a very hotrodded SCD-1 (possibly the most modified SCD-1 on the planet).
Rgd- You are correct, the DCC2 is a slightly different creature then the DAC6. The DAC6 is nothing more then a 6 channel DAC, as where the DCC2 is a 2 channel DAC, with a built in 2 channel switchman(analog volume control) and 2 sets of analog inputs(RCA and XLR on both) which can be controled via the onboard switchman. The price on the DAC6 and DCC2 are the same $9995 retail.

Drubin- There is really very little information available online aside from the word around the campfire. I am looking forward to seeing what the DCC2 will look like, maybe I'll see a picture soon or I will see the real thing soon enough at which point I will post pictures on my virtual system and add any new information I find.
Tireguy --

Did you order a transport with the DCC2?

Can you plug the DAC 6 or DCC2 straight into your
amps, or do you still need a pre-amp?

If the price of the DAC6 and DCC2 are the same,
but the DAC 6 has a lot of extras -- why purchase
the DCC2? Why not the DAC6?

I'm very curious about the DAC6 and DCC2 -- appreciate any and all info you can give.

Rsbeck- You can not plug a DAC6 directly into an amp for it is nothing more then a 6 channel DAC, it would need to be used in conjunction with the switchman mkII(preamp). As where the DCC2 can be run direct because it has a built in 2 channel switchman. The Switchman mkII is another $4995, the meitner transport is $4995, so it is a bit more money to use the DAC6. Using the DCC2 all you would need is a transport(and of course an amp and speakers), the DCC2 adds 2 sets of analog inputs as well as the digital inputs, to allow use as a preamp(in the analog domain) for an additional source- tuner, cassette deck or another cd player for example. Hope that answers your querry for I don't know how else to say it.

I did order a transport with my DCC2 but I managed to wrangle up the last modified Phillips :)
Tireguy -- Excellent information -- thanks!
I just ordered the DCC2 and modded Phillips from Bill at GTT. The pair is a bit under $12k. I heard the full dCS setup as well as the Meitner setup in Bill's very fine listening room (Lamm, Tenor, Kharma), and to my ears, the Meitner sounded far more musical on both CDs and SACDs. Compared to the Meitner, the dCS sounded almost brassy. Interestingly, the Meitner upsamples (is that the word?) redbook to DSD. Whatever. Even CDs sounded much, much better on EMM Labs than on dCS. My understanding is that you must use the modded Phillips or the new EMM Labs transport; since there is no industry standard SACD digital out, Meitner (and everybody else?) uses a proprietary digital connection.

Give Bill at GTT a call; he is very cool and will take the time to talk with you even if you aren't buying (I should know; I took up many hours of Bill's valuable time over several months before I ever gave him a dime of business).
Thanks for all of your responses. I currently own dCS Purcell/Elgar without DSD and thinking to upgrade it or go to the Meitner gear.

Looking at the recording companies, quite a bit higher portion of the them are using EMM than dCS. Also the Meitner is quite a bit more feasible financially.

Txlef did your the the latest dCS with the Verdi transport. The DSD upgrade with the Verdi supposed to be substantial sonic improvements. By the way, I love the brass on the dCS.
It is very simple, 99% of all the SACD's were recorded using the EMM Labs equipment.

Every single customer of mine who has taken delivery of the DAC and transport has gone crazy over it.
It would be helpful if someone would set up a web-page.

If you use the Phillips transport, does it still play
DVD's after it is modified? Would one still want to use
it for DVD's? Can one plug a DVD player into the DAC6
and will it decode DD and DTS? If one uses the Emm Labs
Transport, will it play DVD's, or only CD and SACD's?

In an ideal world, would one rather have the modified
Phillips transport or the EMM Labs Transport?

Can you still get a Phillips transport modified if you
*can* find one?

If the DAC6 does not decode DD and DTS, then how would
you set it up in conjunction with a DVD player? Would
you still need a surround processor? What's the ideal
way to set up an EMM Labs DAC, Transport, and Switchman
for two channel music listening and also for DVD's and
HT surround sound?

Am I right in thinking that once you have the modified
Phillips player as transport, the DAC6 and the Switchman,
all you need is amps, speakers, and cable and you can play DVD's, CD's and SACD's?

How about if you use the EMM Labs transport instead,
do you still need a DVD player?

Or, after buying the DAC6, Transport, and Switchman,
do you still need a DVD player and/or surround processor
for movies?

I've got questions......
If the Phillips Transport *can* still be used for DVD's,
can the Video function be defeated during music listening?
Is the EMM Labs equipment set up to acquire future updates?
Who is the contact for consumer sales for Meitner? Thanks.
Jtinn above is the man to talk to about Meitner gear.

I have gotten some information.

The EMM Labs DAC6 set-up involves:

A transport -- either a modified Philips SACD 1000
[$1,050 for modification -- you supply the Philips --
this may have been discontinued -- check with your
dealer] Or a unit from Meitner [$5,000 MSRP].

The DAC6 -- $9,950 MSRP [6 Channel DAC]

The Watchman II -- $4,500 MSRP

Total MSRP -- $19,450 with Meitner Transport

or ---------- $15,500 + cost to secure Philips Transport

The DCC2 set-up involves:

A Transport -- see above.

The DCC2 -- $9,950 [2 Channel DAC -- The DCC2 includes
an internal two channel Watchman].

Total MSRP -- $14,950 With Meitner Transport

or ---------- $11,000 + cost to secure Philips Transport.

**The Philips modification may have been discontinued --
check with your dealer!**

The DCC2 is a two box set-up.

The DAC6 is a three box set-up.

The Philips SACD player will still play DVD's, but not through the EMM Labs DAC. You still need a Surround processor for DVD's. The EMM Labs cannot process Dolby Digital or DTS. However, the Philips SACD 1000 was a poor DVD player anyway, so if one has been able to get a Modified Philips for the transport, it is your call as to whether you want to use it for DVD's. The EMM Labs Transport does not play DVD's. The best way to integrate Home Theatre with the EMM Labs SACD Player is to connect your DVD player to your surround processor and your surround processor to the EMM Labs Watchman II pre-amp that comes with the DAC6.

Your DAC6 goes from the Transport [Either Modified
Philips or EMM Labs] to the DAC6 to the Watchman II
to your amps.

Your home theatre [DVD player and Surround Processor]
goes through the Watchman II, which outputs to your

The WatchmanII has a LOT of inputs!

The DAC6 will play CD's, two channel SACD's and multichannel SACD's.

The DCC2 will play CD's and two channel SACD's.

Both the DAC6 and DCC2 are said to be fully capable of
accepting future updates. No updates are foreseen at
this time.

I ordered the EMM labs DAC6 today.

Cannot wait to get it into my rack!

**All of this information has been compiled to the best
of my ability to remember and to take notes -- check with
your dealer to verify!**
Rsbeck- Looks like you found the answers you were looking for :o) Just to clear a few things up it is a switchman not a watchman(the watchman may be the upgrade to have someone watch the system while your away??? :) And just to clear it up with other folks, using the DCC2 it is incapable of reproducing multichannel, how ever all multichannel disc's- to date- have a SACD stereo data as well; the joys of being able to put 4 times the information on a single disc!
Tireguy --

"the watchman may be the upgrade to have someone watch the system while your away??? :)"

LOL. Smart aleck! :-)

Thanks for the correction on the Switchman.
Smart aleck, that's a complement in these parts Rob! Just wait to you here this thing it will keep you awe struck for a very long time- you'll want to become a caveman and never leave your cave :o)
Anybody want to buy my all Museatex Meitner System, monoblock amps, preamp, transport, dac? On sale this week for $123,456 (lol).
Actually the more interesting question if the DAC6 can even remotely approach to what properly modified Matner’s BiDat can do?

Romy the Cat
trolling.... trolling.... doesn't look like they are going bite today Romy sorry- try again another day or perhaps not.
Shlemasal, relax.

I shaped the question for “them” and “you” but not for myself. I’m too familiar with the subject and with quality of the “audiences” (including you) to treat this “collaboration” as a valuable.

Good luck,
Romy the Cat
I like this. Maybe Romy is right about the bidat. Then again maybe Romy is Uncle Crusty. But those of us who have purchased gear and mods from Meitner, John Wright and now EMM labs, even though they were never darlings of the magazines or these audiogon pages for that matter can wonder such things. Most have probably never heard a Meitner product. What makes them so special now versus 8 or 10 years ago?
Any thoughts on the merits of the DCC2 versus the DAC 6 and Switchman? Obviously speculative, but my guess is that the separates will sound superior to the DCC2. Though both will sound top-notch.
Jetter- Ed Meitner is the "man" behind DSD, he is the man who made it work, and the same goes to SACD. SACD was a flop at best till Ed got his hands in the pie, I don't know how or why but it works. In fact it works better then anything else I have heard(there isn't much I haven't heard) and by a large margin. The way he upsamples all digital to dsd is simply mind blowing(I was told but I won't waste all of your time trying to ineterpret the information second hand, I know I would screw it up), its so simply yet he was the one who made it happen! The best part is there is no bell, no whistle, no fancy chassis just amazing sound.

Gladstone- You are right at this point NO one knows which would sound better, I am hoping the DCC2 is as good or so darn close that most can't tell the difference :) But no one has heard a DCC2 yet so no one knows the answer.
Tireguy--I'm not taking that chance. I ordered separates. Separate power supplies make a big difference.
When will the DCC2 start shipping? How about the Meitner transport? Any preliminary pics of the transport yet?
The transport will be shipping first week of June. DCC2 will be shipping mid- end of June.

Gladstone- I know I know :( Time will tell though, if its not as good I will just get the DAC6 and switchman and sell the DCC2 and take it as a lesson learned.
I got tired of tutorials awhile ago.
jetter maybe you will finally realize you might have something special in your system already. If you read Meitner's interviews, he based SACD on his BIDAT. He was very close to DSD with his original IDAT.

He only mentions that he just tinkered a bit with the original design to come up with the SACD.

Another feat by someone who has never stood still on conventional thinking or production. His products stand the test of time and still better large numbers of so called high end equipment. When you take into consideration the price one pays for the equipment on the used market, they are also possibly some of the best buys in audio.
I have to say I agree. I remember when beginning my stereo journey that I listened to a pair of Meitner mono amplifiers. They were extremely musical. The man knows what he's doing.
Thanks Mitcho, I am very much enjoying my Meitner gear. Very musical on one hand and on the other I have grown to appreciate their operating reliability, knock wood. The Museatex transport and DAC has operated flawlessly over the years with both CD's and CD-R's. The 100w mono amps have yet run out of power even at some very high volumes.

No, I did not realize that Mr. Meitner had said he based SACD on the BIDAT.
IMHO, Romy *IS* right about the Bidat. For those of you who have not listened to a BiDat with the complete, latest modifications by John Wright, you are truly missing out on a product which is - on most types of music, significantly better than any one box CD player I've listened to. Where the BiDat seems a little "weak in the knees" is in how it portrays large scale, classical pieces. Otherwise, the BiDat sound is very life-like and has a completeness to it which is truly remarkable. Digital artifact seems to disappear with this unit and is replaced with something that seems so very natural.

Tireguy - Romy knows his stuff. I wouldn't consider his input as trolling -- necessarily. It seems to me he is rather eccentric and even a genius perhaps, when it comes to audio.

That said, I think its safe to assume the DAC6 is potentially better than the BiDat -- I don't know, I haven't listened to a DAC6. However - if you do searches on Audioasylum, for BiDat, you will ultimately find a post Romy made where he says (in so many words) his BiDat rivals his SME20.

*I* can confirm that the BiDat does in fact come scary close to the SME20 when playing similarly mastered material if paired with a good transport and the RIGHT CABLES. This is something that cannot be said for most any one box CD player and/or transport/dac combo.

Yes, I would expect that the new DAC6 might be an exception.. Ed certainly has come along way with his latest creation but I would be willing to bet that a properly modified BiDat (which can be found for < 1/10 the price of a DAC6) would sure put a smile on the faces of people who cannot afford a $10,000 CD/SACD machine.
Bwhite- Romy has interfered with more then a few threads and essentially ruins them- I didn't want to see that happen again. Regardless of his knowledge of audio he approaches subjects the wrong way and I must admit I am sick and tired of it. You can not have a discussion of certain brands with out him poking his head in and adding foolish comments that have no bearing on the subject at hand. He will say this and that stinks but I call him and ask what would he recommend, and I get nothing. He does not contribute here he just takes.
Sorry to hijack the thread but I recently heard a re-tooled by John Wright BiDat using a hotrodded 333ES as a transport compared to a Channel Islands DAC with upgraded power supply. A caveat being that the BiDat was very fresh with less than 20 hours on it and IMHO it was more different than better than the CI DAC. Both DACs had a detailed and to my ears a musical (hackneyed to death) presentation and I might be persuaded to give the Museatex a slight edge in data retreival but the little CI DAC was not embarassed in any way running up against the much more expensive BiDat. Possibly a better transport and digital cable may have widened the gap somewhat but I can only report on what I heard.

As far as comparing the Meitner stuff I heard it at the show in Montreal this past March in a Halcro/Eggelston/Valhalla system and was less than impressed. I understand that the Meitner/Tenor/Kharma room was substantially better but unfortunately I didn't get much of an opportunity to hear it...
Rdg & Tireguy, The BiDat does take a while to settle down after the modifications. At one point with my BiDat, after 30 hours (I think), I told John Wright I was VERY unhappy with it...and inquired whether or not I could return it. IT sounded broken. In my experience "break-in" is over rated and for components I've owned, 80-90% of the true/final sonic signature is present out of the box. The BiDat however changes dramatically. I find it difficult to put a percentage on how significant the change is between a fresh BiDat and a fully broken in one. It's that dramatic.

One thing about the BiDat that differs from top one box players is that there is simply NO "hocus pocus" to the sound, meaning it doesn't have an outwardly, nifty way of candy coating music to make one immediately think its better. Its difficult to pin-point exactly what the BiDat does in order to accomplish the seemingly impossible. Put a BiDat side by side with an analog source and it is extremely close. Try that analog/digital comparison with ANY other one box player and you'll sell your digital.

Tireguy - you have a VERY good point, thanks for bringing that up. Romy has been known to railroad more than a few good threads. I've managed to find something similar to humor in his posts - so they don't bother me too much. And.. If I look hard enough, I usually find something useful. It seems that Romy is not too keen on making recommendations because he doesn't like to take responsibility for people's finances - and/or reactions to various components which may differ from his.
this is a good thread that should be continued if possible. I have been communicating with Bryan (Bwhite) off-line re: the Melior/Meitner stuff, as I will be the first one to be testing a special 'signature' version of the Melior 'Data II' (John Wright's modded Melior Datatream dac). The Data II is already superb, however he has some Black Gates coming in, and a larger power transformer that we will be adding to my already modded unit. I will try to remember to post results. The Data II is VERY similar to the Bidat in performance, and I second everything Bwhite has said. It competed VERY well with my ref setup- Spectral 3000SL transport/Audio Note 3.1x balalnced dac. More to come...
Becareful when buying dCS. If you do not have a warranty card from them they will treat the manufacture shipping date as the start of warranty coverage. The inspection card from the US Distributor Audio System do not count. My friend purchased Verdi from Internet dealer with US Distributor inspection stating Dec. 2003 inspection but the unit broke down and dCS said the unit was shipped in Nov. 2001 and will not honour warranty. End up paying $2K for repair to CD mechanism. How can a unit that expensive broke down in such a short time? Reliability problem?
Prefer the EMM over the DCS as at least it is musical, but prefer many redbook digital systems over both units so will side with Romy on his modified units as have never heard any combination SACD/Redbook system sound much like music.....
I have listend the DCC2 w/ a modified Philipps transport. However, have no exp w/ DAC6 ...have heard dCS w/ Verdi. No contest in favor of the DCC2.

The day auditioned, I ordered. Apparently no more Phillips transports available so I ordered the Meitner transport as well. A local recording engineer tells me quite a few recording studios will be ordering as well: as such the order backlog on DCC2 or DAC 6 is likely to be less than transport given the latter will also include thos who want to "upgrade" from the modified Phillips transport...whether it will make huge diff, I have no idea, but in my situation, not much of choice.
I own the Dcc 2 and very happy with the performance. Both
the transport and the pre/dac are very sensitive to which
power cord you match with them. I have heard most of the
high end redbook Cd players and prefer the Emm Labs. The sacd part is just a bonus for me.
Saxman...which power cords did u find work best?
So far, the Shunyata Anaconda VX.
Randy- Which other cords have you tried? I haven't even used that Kimber that comes with it! have you tried it?
I'm curious to hear your thoughts if you did listen to the Zanden dac vs the DCC2?
James1969; I haven't heard the DCC2 but have heard the DA6/Philips and much prefer the Zanden. I use mine with a CEC transport and it's the best digital I've owned. The new Zanden Signatuer DAC and transport (shown this week at HE2004)will likely become the new "king of the hill".
Having owned both, I can say that the dCS is a waste of time. I sold my dCS gear, but then again I sold the EMM gear also.
Tbg. I follow your threads a lot. What do you use now?