How is EMM DAC 2X?


Not many comments out there on EMM DAC 2xand not many reviews from heavy hitters like Stereophile or Absolute Sound. Does anyone have a real world experience with this DAC?
hifinut
Are you talking the DAC 2X SE the current version?
I guess just the regular 2X.
I had it and sold it. Detailed, but sterile and un-involving. The new firmware update improves things. I had it for 18 months, had a hard time selling it in mint condition. Sold it for less than half value. I paid 11K for it originally. One buyer who wanted to buy mine used was offered a new, sealed, inbox from a dealer for less than 50% retail. Stereo products do not move in the summer, so I doubt this will be offered now. If you do buy one, do not pay more than 8K for it, new sealed.

There are a ton of better dacs for less. I had my personal dac tested by someone well known to this community and he stated to date the one dac which tested best and sounded best was the Resonnance Mirus from Canada...5K list, maybe find one used for $2500. They sell quick. DXD and 2x DSD capable. Run files from sound card so no source component necessary. I have no personal experience with it.

For DSD only - Valve Audio Design for $3700.
Modwright Elyse Tube DAC for $6000 list.
Empirical (non-dsd) - but a new design is coming soon with either ethernet input or USB, user choice on purchase.
Allnic D5000 DHT tube dac - be sold by dealer for less than list.

Depends on your system and what qualities you seek in a dac.
I own the EMM Labs DAC 2x and never knew there is a 2x SE. I love the sound of this DAC and the recent firmware update improved everything more than I thought it could. For the money, the PS Audio DSD unit is worth listening to and considering. Great value and sound; a friend has one and the recent firm ware upgrade on it has improved its DSD performance considerably. And like the claims of the Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC Reference, plays back redbook CDs like they are high resolution. Hope this helps.
Ketcham, it is interesting you mention the Resonance Mirus; it is superb and I almost bought this one, but liked the EMM Labs more. For the money, I agree, it is hard to beat. The designers of the Sabre DAC chip didn't like the way other manufacturers were implementing the design of their DACs using this chip set and decided to form Resonnance to get the most from the chip set. I especially like the SD card reader feature that eliminates any jitter or noise from a transport. It works flawlessly on high resolution files up to 192 and has the lowest noise floor of all, surpassing computer or transport delivery. Your comments about the drop in EMM Lab pricing is sad. I have high regard for Ed Meitner but it looks like he needs to go back to the drawing board and update his design.
I have written a few consumer reviews regarding dacs and these are for the interest of the consumer like myself. I use my experience with the DAC2x as a reference point because of its popularity. Anyone interested in it should look at the Empirical Audio SE and new SX (newly released). It is not a DSD dac but for DSD I would buy a DSD dac like the new Valve Audio Device DSD only dac. You could purchase both dacs and be ahead financially. The latter is a tube dac.

HIfimaniac, your point is well taken and emphasizes the need for the individual consumer to demo a dac prior to purchase with time to let the unit break in and settle into your system for proper evaluation.
I have written a few consumer reviews regarding dacs and these are for the interest of the consumer like myself. I use my experience with the DAC2x as a reference point because of its popularity. Anyone interested in it should look at the Empirical Audio SE and new SX (newly released). It is not a DSD dac but for DSD I would buy a DSD dac like the new Valve Audio Device DSD only dac. You could purchase both dacs and be ahead financially. The latter is a tube dac.

HIfimaniac, your point is well taken and emphasizes the need for the individual consumer to demo a dac prior to purchase with time to let the unit break in and settle into your system for proper evaluation.
I just had John Tucker of Exemplar Audio upgrade my Oppo 105 to the T105 (tubed version) and after the 100 hours or so of break-in it sounds absolutely beautiful. I have owned or heard some of the best DACs out there and for the money the T105 will compete with the top dollar alternatives. The T105 is MUSICAL! After break in, no edge, no brightness, no sterile sound. Just glorious sounding music. The T105 is less than $5K and that includes the Oppo 105 and the upgrade. If you are like me your looking for the very best you can get but at a reasonable price. The T105 is serious high end gear. It sounds so good I would have to win the lottery before I would even consider replacing it; even then I might not. I know there are many more DAC options like the T105 to consider before spending $15K - $20K. The PS Audio Direct Stream is getting great reviews and I'm sure it sounds great but after only a short time on the market you can now buy them for $2K less that what they retail for. Are these types of investments really worth it?
Before everyone runs out to buy a DSD DAC they should read
this very
insightful perspective.

http://www.baetisaudio.com/DACs_and_DSD.php

This analysis may change many minds. I performed this
comparison and
came away hearing and believing DSD converted back to PCM
and played
through a BNC/SPDIF connection instead of a USB connection
sounds
better. I believe audiophiles are better off buying the
best PCM DAC they
can afford and JRiver software to handle DSD file conversion
back to PCM
for the best playback experience. I own the EMM Labs 2X
DAC, but had I
performed this comparison, I may have delayed my rush to buy
a DSD
capable DAC. BTW, I own a Baetis music server and also
suggest
consideraton of it for playback; Baetis is designed for
audiophiles. P.S. I noticed when this is posted the full
link does not show up. Once at web site look for discussion
of DSD vs. PCM
Hifimaniac,
The designers of the 'Berkeley Audio Design Alpha Rerence DAC' and the 'Trinity DAC' share the same view regarding DSD converted back to PCM for playback, except the Trinity DAC's designer believes a properly implemended/optimized USB for playback is the way to go.

After reading Robert Harley's (The Absolute Sound) interview with Michael Ritter (Berkeley Audio Design) on the DSD implementation and playback, what Baetis is saying makes a lot of sense since it mirrors the views of the Berkeley Audio Designers.
I know I am reviving a year old thread, but I just want to say I bought the dac2x and it is spectacular.  I could end my source search now.