Get a used or a new Audio Aero Capitol. It is much better. Not only a small difference, as it has been stated in other discussions on this board.
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I, too, like the Capitole -- but have also enjoyed the EMC for dynamics and the Lurne for musicality. Final decision MAY depend upon what kind of music you listen to and HOW you like that music to be reproduced, i.e. you are a "stickler" for what aspect of musical reproduction? (I listen to classical, and I like extended highs for harmonics, pace/rythm and dynamics...)
There was an informative thread contrasting EMC-1 / Capitole / Lurne & others. Bwhite, an A'gon member has experienced all three and has contributed excellent comments.
I currently have the EMC-1 and am curious as to your perception that the Capitole's performance is a significant improvement over this player. What do you perceive as the big differences? I'd love to be in a position to conduct an A/B comparison, but that is not practical. It sounds as if you have been able to make such a comparison and have formed a strong and definitive opinion as a result. Could you provide a bit more detail to support your findings?
BTW, I have read BWhite's thread comparing the "big three," and also recommend it to others. However, if memory serves, he seemed to favor the Mephisto slightly over the other two.
Hi Waltersalas - I did favor the Mephisto over the others however I am not sure everyone would come to the same conclusion. The EMC-1, Audio Aero and Mephisto are all very good but none of these could be considered a silver bullet. Results depend on your listening preference associated components/speakers and of course your interconnects (especially interconnects & power cords). The EMC-1 MkII is very similar to the Audio Aero in the way it is very lively but... it is not as life-like - if that makes sense.
Grange - what are you looking for from your system?
I own Wilson-Benesch speakers - perhaps I can help.
I find the Audio Aero to have higher resolution(in particular mids and highs). But what really makes the Audio Aero player better in my opinion are the calm and controlled way that presentes the music. I find the EMC-1 mk. II. slightly stressful compared to the AA. As Bwhite puts it very lively but not life-like.
I have just been to Frankfurt high-end show, and the new mk. II version of the Capitol was in about 4-5 rooms. Even though we are talking show conditions all these rooms represented some of the best sound at the show. The bass of the Capitol has improved and the ease of the sound has also improved a notch. (again show conditions are not very useful for listening, but that was my main impression).
I think I am getting the new version!
I have not heard the Mephisto.
Don't to ask futher questions.
Hi Grange - If I understand what you mean by "bite and clout", then I seriously doubt any CD player will have as much of it as the EMC-1. The EMC-1 is very good in terms of its dynamics and lively presentation. Rock music sounds better on the EMC-1 than it does on other high end players. Slam and detail are all there!
I know absolutely nothing about the Eclipse player.
To build an involving system, you'll need ot look at more than just the CD player.
What model of NBS cables are you using? How about power cords? How are you wiring your speakers - Single cable and jumpers? Bi-Wire with jumper or Tri-Wire? What kind of speaker cables?
The Tabu is 100 Watts right?
I have had a new EMC1 cd for the past two months and find it produces music beautifully, especially after pairing it with Virtual Dynamics cables. After using the VD Audition cryogenically treated power and interconnect cables with it, the player has much more delicacy and finesse, without losing its claim to fame of outstanding dynamics. Judging any component depends on the associated equipment.
Grange - the system as you've mentioned - is difficult for me to understand.
Are you saying you have Transparent Reference XL power Cables? NBS Signature Speaker cables? NBS doesn't make bi-wire cable (they do have jumpers which connect to the single run of cables though.
Further Exlaination is needed.
Grange - Okay.. that helps. The speaker cables are very tough to get right for the WB's. I am trying to imagine the sound you are getting from your system.... let me think.
The BOW isn't a very involving CD player and quite likely very similar to the Sim Audio Moon Eclipse in that regard. The EMC-1 will have better pace, slam and even be more involving than the BOW. But... If you are open to suggestions, If *I* were you, I would simply get a Sony XA777ES SACD/CD player which can be modified to have a tube output and tube power supply. The XA777ES is a superb player stock - it is different sounding than previous Sony players and definately right up there with some of the best players (for a lot less money). Once modified, I would expect the Sony to be on a whole new level. I know - it's a Sony and most high end audiophiles do not like having a mainstream product in their system. I am currently using a Sony XA777ES and I will NOT go back to high end redbook only players. Not yet anyway... Right now is a risky time for redbook only. Yes, there is a significant amount of material and I'm sure you have a huge collection but truth is - SACD is far superior - and the redbook performance of the Sony is good enough to justify spending more money to upgrade its performance vs. spending 3 ---> 5K on a used high end redbook only player. A new Sony XA777ES can be purchased for 2K.
As for your system - Now that I have had a chance to think about your system. You might try the following some day:
Speaker Cables - Audio Note KSL-SPc (copper) available for $50 per linear foot (new). These cables are very neutral and clean sounding. Never harsh or bright - liquid and pure, they allow your system to breath and convey the colors and emotion of the components vs. just the speaker cables. They work well with both tubes and solid state.
Power Cord for the Tabu - Electraglide FatMan 2000 K. This will make your 100 watts seem like much more. Good detail power and a fantastic imaging. Expensive but worth it. Your WB's will thank you!!
Power Cord for source - Shunyata King Cobra V1 - smooth and analog sounding. It will strip all the harshness from digital and give you a nice, polite presentation allowing you to slip deeper into the music - regardless of which CD player you choose. They Shunyata helps take digital closer to the sound of vinyl.
Interconnects - this is where you will need to spend some time auditioning. Fortunately for you, you have an integrated which makes the process easier (only one pair of interconnects required). Once you decide on the CD player you feel good about. It is important to consider the performance today and tomorrow as well (which is why I recommended the Sony). Then you can buy/sell used interconnects on Audiogon without much risk of loosing money.
Bwhite I had the sony 777es and had it upgraded with Blackgates, i spent $900 on it, i found it laid back,plus
its a sony!!! Very good Sacd,But Sacd in the uk are about
$35-40. you say the fatman power cord would it be better than the Transparent Xl.I using 1 for the Tabo and 1
for the cd.the sound at the moment is on the laid back side could it be the Transparent.!
Hi Grange - Wow! The 777 was laid back. I agree with you about the "Sony" thing... In MY system, the Sony sticks out like a sore thumb. Makes my system look cheap. For a while I had a tough time with that. Going from a AudioMeca Mephisto II to a Sony is quite a shift in appearance. The XA777ES is a warmer sounding player than the 777ES and totally different.
Okay. Well in that case I would check your power cords. I've never used anything from Transparent because I haven't accepted the feasibility of the network boxes I guess.
Knowing your speakers, do you mean "thin" sounding when you say laid back? You would like to add more weight and body to the music. You have a dished midrange? Is that an accurate description of what you hear?
If that is the case, Either the EMC-1 or XA777ES would work.
Except if your system is laid back now, you might try the Shunyata Python power cord on the CD player instead of the Transparent (or the previously recommended King Cobra). The Python will push the mids giving you a more forward sound. In laid back systems, I think this helps to equalize everything.
I own a Sim Audio CD player... Before I say anything, just remember that CD players (like any other components) are system sensitive and the rest of the system will make a difference... I was looking into buying one of those CD players:
-Oracle Delphi (around $7,000US)
-Sim Audio Eclipse CD player ($4,600US)
-Wadia 861 ($7,350)
A few specifics: The Sim Audio uses the same transports as the Oracle (CD-pro 12) and it has the has an huge external yet extremely silent power supply (Oracle uses the same kind of power supply).
Frankly, the Wadia KICKS ASS... but the price is a bit steep... I ended up buying the Sim Audio. Altough the Wadia sounds a bit better than the Sim Audio, the price difference versus the sound difference was too big to consider the Wadia.
The Sim audio has amazing resolution and the image is pretty wide (not as quite as the Wadia but close)... Also, the Bass is pretty deep with this unit. I remember an A-gon user was saying the opposite about the base. Out of the 3 CDPs I auditionned, the Sim seemed to have the most dynamic bass (in this comparison, the rest of the system remained the same).
One more thing, the Sim Audio was at least sonically on par with the Oracle CDP. On the other hand, the Sim Audio looks like a piece of Sh!t compared to the Oracle (anyway, I can't think of any CDP that looks as good as the Oracle).
I did not auditionned the Aero Capitole but I'm sure it's really amazing (based on reviews). I guess budget comes into play at one point (even more important when new source formats are coming out)...
One more thing, since canadian dollar is DARN cheap, you can probably grab a used Sim CD from your northern neighbors for peanuts.
By the way, here's the system I auditionned the CD players.
YBA Passion Integre amplification
Verity Audio Fidelio (I also auditionned the Parsifal)
Siltech Sq-88 ICs
Siltech LS-120 speaker cables...
Siltech SPO-18 power cables...
Lgregoir- I would LOVE to still have my Eclipse on hand to do a test of it as a transport only, using the digital 'in' on the Capitole. Why? Because as a TRANSPORT, the Eclipse is KILLER, extremely well built with a huge outboard power supply.
Just for fun, I tried using my Pioneer Elite DV-09 DVD player as a tranport with the Cap's dig in (using Illuminations DV-60 dig IC). Not bad, but Cap's own tranport was much better...
Sutts, which province do you live in? We can probably arrange something... ;-)
By the way, did you have the Eclipse CD player with the HDCD decoder? The Eclipse I have does not have the decoder built in (the HDCD decoder was taken out of the line in august last year). Kosta from Sim Audio told me that the new version (which I bought) is better sonically than the old one (even by bypassing the HDCD decoder on the previous model, the new model still comes winner). He also told me that the upgrade from the older version to the new is costs $1,800USD... I guess they must have made some significant changes...
Costa does price his upgrades somewhat higher than I would like. I have their excellent 'Attraction' HT processor- excellent analog section, and runs fully balanced outs on all 6 channels, HOWEVER, just to do a small upgrade to the digital board, etc., they want like $2,000! (CDN, but still...).
And yes- I did have the original (HDCD) Eclipse. The problem with Sim is that they refuse to even CONSIDER a 24/192 DAC section, mini-tube output stage (ala the Anagram chip set/A Aero Capitole), etc., even though these type of machines are now on top of the digital heap. Even the digital board for the Attraction processor comes from EAD (until that relationship dissolved), so now they will develop their own in the future. Anyways, back to the Eclipse- if I could demo one as a transport only WITH my Cap as the Dac section, that would be fun. Ironically, my local Sim Audio dealer (who does NOT lend stuff out) is like, 100 yards from my condo! too bad...