Review: AudioMeca Keops CD Player

Category: Digital

This is a one piece CD player from the French manufacturer famed for their turntables (and you can tell in every aspect) which have received very favorable reviews in European audio magazines. The Keops is their mid-level product which retails for $1,795 here. This is an absolutely stunning CD player both in terms of sound and looks.

It is a top loader (you lift the top cover similar to how you'd lift the cover off a turntable!) finished in piano-black high gloss lacquer with blue digital read-out. It also comes with adjustable spikes which can be adjusted to level the player perfectly. It has a digital out and can be used as a transport as well (I have connected it to my Audio Logic 2400 dac with great results, i.e., more detail and a wider soundstage). For the price it is certainly the most stunning looking CDP I've ever seen. And it sounds as good as it looks! It is as detailed as any player I've heard in this price range but it has more analog qualities than any of them. If you like a warm, smooth, relaxing, and involving sound (in short, if you like the sound of turntables), look no further. If you are into analytical and forward, this is not for you.

This is a wonderfully musical, rich, and involving player. It shines with jazz, acoustic music, female vocals, and blues. It is lacking a bit of the punch, speed, and attack that you may find in an Arcam FMJ 23 or in the Wadia players. Therefore it might be a bit laid back for listening to rock and it might sound a bit veiled for classical music. The Keops is very sensitive to cables and you can use interconnects to “tailor” the sound. I have found the JPS Superconductor 2 and the DH Labs Revelation (pure silver) to be a terrific match with the Keops while the Cardas Golden Cross and the MIT Terminator 3 were too bloomy.

In my system, the Keops bettered the Cal Audio Icon II in all aspects and, while not as dynamic and quick as the Wadia 23, it is much more liquid and non-fatiguing. Again, this is the most musically involving CD player for under 2K that I have heard to date. Pair it with quick cables and you may never need to buy another CD player.

Overall, this is a winner for those who would like to get the most analog reproduction from their digital gear. At the retail price of initally $2,395 it was a good value, at the current retail of $1,795 it is a steal. If you can pick one up as a demo or used (and those are very rare to come by), don’t think twice. Heartely recommended!

Associated gear
Joule Electra LA 100 MK-III
Counterpoint NP 100 & Clayton S 40
Merlin VSM + Bam
JPS Cables & Power Cords

Similar products
California Icon MK-II
Wadia 23
My experience with Audiomeca is similar. I am using the Mephisto II Transport and the Enkianthus DAC and have found CD playback to finally be listenable. Over the course of the years I've upgraded many portions of my system (speakers, cables, amps, and preamps) and remained dissatisfied. Finally, I upgraded the digital front end (even though I really had felt that bits-was-bits). In short, the Audiomeca equipment transformed the sound. The sense of ease, liquidity, and downright pleasure of listening returned. Many recordings that I was convinced were fatally flawed are now finding their way back into rotation -- it's like getting a new CD library. Congratulations on your purchase!
Hello Guys!

I own a Audiomeca Creatura CD player (it's a previous model in the Audiomeca range, costed about £1300 or around DM4000). It is a stunning machine!
It replaced (bettered this combo in terms of sheer musicality) my meridian 500 transport and D/A converter. I compared this model (and the smaller Obsession I and II modells) to some other players I owned and a friends players too. They bettered Sony CDP XA 50, Copland CD266, Primare D20, various Meridian gear...
And the looks are to die for(as well as a matter of taste)! A friend of mine has an Audiomeca MephistoII Transport and Audiomeca D/A converter. It is the BEST sounding CD replay combo I have ever heard! Magical! Not to mention the out of this world look of this transport...
Anyone who listened to Vinyl for a long time owe itself to audition a properly setup (this is an issue with this brand players) Audiomeca CD player. They sound as close as it gets to analogue gear. If that's what you look for don't search any longer-I believe that nobody has found anything closer. Any model is outstanding if not unbeatable (if "analogue"&"lifelike" sound is what you want) in their price range and then some!
The others call the sound "soft" or "muddy" but I find their systems sound "forward" "thin" and "in the face" something that's hard to find in good analogue replay systems and very tiersome in long term listening sessions.
I enjoy the Audiomeca CD player/s so much that I din't resist to reply to this post.
I can't recommend nothing higher!

Best regards
to all of you "hooked" on the Audiomeca sound as well as to the others,
David D. from Yugoslavia.


Nice review. It mirrors what BAMA 214 found with the mephisto/ekianthus dac. There are a couple of things I found that affect the sound for the better. First was better isolation, I ultimately went with upside down rollerblocks on a svelte shelf. The second was careful choice of digital cable and interconnects (I preferred HMS). The third was to leave the lid open while playing. Crazy as it sounds it was much better. I'm not sure if you can do this with the keops. Its the closest thing I have got to a turntable. Thanks for sharing the review.