My EMC-1 24 192 experience

After reading the Stereo Times review of this player against the SCD-1, I got goose bumps. This reviwer said the emc-1 made redbook cd's sound better than SACD on the SCD-1. I own the SCD-1, and on SACD it is wonderfull, but on redbook one knows that he is missing something. I tried the MF DAC w/ zero success. Last week I purchased a EMC-1 and immediately it was much better than the SCD-1 for redbook. There was more detail, warmth, air, and the sound stage was deeper and wider. I then played Take 5 on both players since I have them both on sacd and redbook. The sound is close, but the edge goes to the SCD-1. The sound is sweeter on the SCD-1, no doubt about that. With that being said, Is the EMC-1 worth the extra coin for listening to redbook CD's? Without a shadow of a doubt. Does it beat SACD? No, but it is close.

P.S. I forgot to mention how warm sounding this player is, all the harshness and rough edges of digital are history.
What amplification are you using? I have an scd-1 and utilize a Conrad Johnson Premiere 16lsII (tube) pre-amp and MF2500 (SS) power amp player thru Thiel 3.6's. Upon comparing the two players emc-1 and scd-1 I thought the scd-1 held its own very well on redbook. Even when compared to several other (high-end) players. However, on SACD it was no comparision the scd-1 was much better.
I'm using a Theta Casblanca pre, a Pass Labs X350, and the speakers are Revel Ultima Salons. The speaker cable and the xlr from amp to pre/pro is Kharma Grand Reference.
Hughes- Your experience with SACD and the EMC-1 pretty much mirror my own. I bought into SACD, preferring the Marantz SA-1 to the SCD-1. In comparison to the EMC-1, the redbook performance easily went to EMC-1. The SACD performance was a toss up vs. the EMC-1 playback, but no clear winner. One disc the SACD slightly won; on another, the EMC-1 was superior. It was really recording dependent, not format dependent.

Ultimately, my redbook Goldmund separates outperformed the SACD playback. Does it make sense to have that much tide up into redbook playback gear? I've got a lot of CDs. For me, I can justify it. For someone else with little of no CD material, it may not be as clear cut an issue. So, I guess I'll be one of those old throwbacks that will wait for the so-called "superior" format while enjoying my vinyl and redbook collections. Of course, a great vinyl playback system will easily outperform the digital stuff!!! (I just had to stir the pot!!)

Remember, it's all about the music and the emotion conveyed by the illusion of the original performance. The format should be irrelevant as long as it serves the music. However, not all formats are equally successful at transforming listeners into participants. Find your own "truth", but don't discount the "old" formats. There may be very sound reasons (sorry!) why they are still around. Enjoy.
Jctubes--Nice post and I totally agree that the format should serve the music. Therefore I can see why vinyl still has a reason for being, but it's hard to fathom anyone lamenting the demise of CDs when SACD/DVD-A become the standard. Some "old" formats have a reason for being, while others are just old and inferior--remember 8-track?

i was just wondering ..
i'm shopping for a cdp and was considering the scd-1
and now i'm more inclined towards the emc-1 or the cary 306/200?
which one of the later ones would b better (emc-1 vs. cary)
thanks for your advice.
I posted some commentary on the EMC-1 and the Cary 306/200 here recently. Go for the EMC-1! At least, that's what worked for me.
I must say that after a year I'm still enthralled by my EMC-1 MkII's performance. A Discovery Essence slightly sweetened the presentation over previous Siltech and Nordost XLRs, BTW. Have fun. Ernie
If you are still reading this thread, what pre are you using. I have just added the Pass Labs X-1 to my EMC-1 MKII and together they put to rest FOREVER, the notion that solid state is unmusical. This combination outperforms ALL tubed units I have heard at the same price. melt me heart! Yup, I'm using a Pass Labs Aleph P (predecessor to the X-1), and know what you mean. Even those bright-stringed early DGs sound great, eh?
I bought it to properly match my Aleph 2 monos, and am so glad I didn't screw around with other pre's. Cheers.
How much space do you need above the EMC-1 for CD loading?
You only need enough space above the EMC-1 so that your hand can slide the cd drawer back. Four inches of space above my EMC-1 MKII works fine for me.

Incidentally, does anyone know why in balanced mode, my EMC-1, in conjunction with my Spectral DMC-20 preamplifier, sounds twice as loud at the same preamplifier level setting? According to my Spectral manual, the balanced input can be set to reduce the gain level by 6dB, which I confirmed is its setting. I know this because I opened the preamp and toggled the gain switch. According to my EMC-1 manual, the balanced gain is 6dB greater than the single ended gain. This should mean that the result is zero difference in gain level, but it sounds about twice as loud.:~
Now that I realize you have a pass labs pre and the electrocompaniet, I am going to take your interconnect
suggestion very seriously. I will audition the Discovery essence in the near future.
Judit, FYI the balance of my system is a pair of Verity Audio Parsifal Encores, set up in a 7.5' equi-triangle in a well-damped room. I sit on-axis with the toe'd-in drivers, so I suspect that I needed a bit of softening, as Redbook, even with the EMC-1 MkII, has only 16 bit rez, and in the top octaves that's not enough!