The Mephisto has a history with all kinds of transport and reliability problems. Be very careful as looks can be deceiving.
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Ayre Acoustics is a solid company with great customer service. I recently purchased the Ayre CX-7e to match my Ayre AX-7e Integrated amp. I am using ProAc 2.5 speakers. The CD Player is still breaking in (takes 100+ hours) but my system sounds very good to my ears. I suggest you listen to the Ayre CX-7e CD player.
I own my AMM II.x for 3 years now and I'm very happy with it ansd encounterd no problems at all.
Not in direct comparisson but in the same time I also listend to Audio Aero 24/192 and a modified resolution audio player. We went for the AMM. But as Audiofeil already told, there were reliability problems. P Lurne has confirmed this, but he was also eager to know about any problems!!
I've owned the Mephisto II and IIX. Loved them both. Never had a problem. Have no experience with the Ayre.
Having said that, I think the Audiomeca is a poor investment especially in the U.S. If you have a problem with it, where are you going to get it fixed? How much would it cost to send it to France and back? Is Audiomeca still in business? If so, how long will he be around? What will your resale be? These are questions you should consider.
P.S. Even my wife loved the way it looked.
I've Audiomeca MephistoII is gorgeous looking and playing, had no problem ever. Dynamic vinyl sound.I'm in Europe and there is no service problem, as far as I know Audiomeca is operating and preparing something new in analog.
Don't know about U.S. distribution or anything related.
p.s. I'm thinking of upgrading to Esoteric X01 and my wife is "mad" about leting MephistoII go...