I am considering making a change to my digital front-end. My current setup is this:

Wadia 781i SACD player
GamuT DI-150 integrated amplifier
MBL 111E speakers

I have been using the Wadia both as a CD player and as a DAC for my video game systems. I am thinking about moving the Wadia into another system and putting a new DAC in this system.

I've heard great things about all-MBL systems, and I must admit that I was impressed by the MBL system that I heard at RMAF. But I've also become interested in the relatively new EMM Labs DAC2. Unfortunately, my experience with the MBL DAC was limited to that show, and I have not heard the DAC2.

Has anyone had a chance to compare the EMM DAC2 against the MBL 1511 or 1611 DACs? If so, what are your thoughts? Thank you.
Look at MSB Tech the Platinum series they come up on audiogon from time to time and they will blow MBL and EMM
out of the water and if you add their ilink it can get much better you can get a Platinum II used for around $2500
I compared the Mbl transport against my system-a few observations...
First let me mention I like tubes, and the lush fullness of my tube system, which includes the Vac Phi 300 amp, Kharma speakers, and the Mbl 6010D preamp.
My previous favorite single box player was the Audio Aero Prestige SACD player-very musical and sweet sounding. I switched to a Qsonix music server with the Accustic Arts Tube Dac, which actually was in my opinion even better sounding. I then did the Mbl transport trial, but thought it was a bit solid state sounding, and lost some of the musicality, although there was some gain in detail.
If I were to buy another CD player with Dac today, I would also look at the Dcs systems, including the highly regarded new U clock and Puccini, just reviewed in the latest issue of TAS.
compare the EMM DAC2 against the MBL 1511 or 1611 DACs?
I haven't compared but I've heard both MBLs and the dac2, in the same system.

Value for money wise the 1511 is recommended. So is the emm dac2; the sound is more perky or crisp (sort of bright) vs. the 1511.

HOWEVER, id you;re looking for some improvement, I urge you to consider better amplification. Not that your Gamut is bad, but it looks like the rest of your system is superior. Regards

I have to agree with Gregm. I have the Wadia 581se in my system.

When I bought it, I had a Karan KA I-180 integrated amp. It sounded really good.

I replaced the Karan with a Burmester 036 power amp and I liked it better, it wasn't as dark.

The first of December I bought a new Spectron Musician III Mk2 w/Bybee filter and and V-Cap upgrades. This was an insane upgrade! The detail, power, dynamics and explosion in the expanse of the soundstage's right and left rear boundaries were beyond anything I could imagine happening.

The key to the Wadia is having an amp fast enough to process all of the information it's sending to it and powerful enough to drive your speakers. If you do that, you may find yourself set.


Barring Gregm and my suggestion about replacing the GamuT. If you're convinced that it's the 781i and want to replace it and put the 781i into a second system, I have another suggestion.

Since I intend to have my 581se upgraded to a 781i by Wadia, maybe we could trade. You could use the 581se in your second system and use the cash from the trade to help finance your upgrade.

Just an option to consider.

Thanks for the responses. Yes, I know that my amp is the weak link in my chain, and at some point, I intend to upgrade to MBL separates. However, the cost of two MBL pieces is outside my reach right now.

I had originally thought that an all-MBL system was the way to go, and I'm still leaning that way, but I just thought I'd check to see if the DAC2 unit could compete with the MBL DACs.


Send me an e-mail and maybe we can have a discussion.

I think you are on the right track;all MBL system is the way to go.There is a certain magical quality about the all MBL sytem which very few could come close,let alone bettered.The synergy in all MBL system is better than its individual parts IMO .