Review: AudioMeca Keops CD Player
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!
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