TRL 775 vs EMM
Last night, I had the opportunity, along with my brother (Jordan Poss aka Lazarus28) and another San Antonio audio geek (James Jennings), to compare the TRL modded 775 to an APL modded EMM SACD 1000 paired with the EMM DAC6. Both units were connected to my brother's EMM Switcham. The same cables were used for the mains (DNM Reson with bullet plug terminations), while we used some unknown cables for the surrounds and center on the TRL. The EMM had DNM Reson all the way around. All components used Volex power cords to my knowledge. The EMM gear had been on for days, and the TRL was plugged in for about 4 hours before any comparisons were done. All the listening was done using the above gear along with 3 ATC SCM50ASL speakers across the front, with 2 ATC SCM10ASL for the surrounds.
The TRL definitely held its own. The EMM had more coherent bass, with much more bass presence. The EMM did a better job of separation of instruments and had a considerably larger amount of low level detail. Overall, the presentation of the EMM was more musical and natural. But saying all of that, the TRL Sony was not embarrassed by any stretch of the imagination. While it certainly isn't in the same league as the EMM, it has to be one of the best bargains in audio, if not the very best. When you consider the EMM combo retails for close to twenty times what a modded 775 does, it is pretty astonishing. I certainly couldn't justify the cost difference. However, if you are looking for the absolute best, the EMM gear is pretty tough to beat.
The TRL fared best in comparison the the EMM on redbook playback. The EMM keeps much better time than the TRL. In comparison the TRL sounded like it was having a hard time keeping the pace of things together. The TRL does a very good job of low level detail, but it does not reveal as much as the EMM combo.
When comparing 5.1 SACD playback, the EMM was obviously superior. When switching from the EMM to the TRL the differences weren't so night and day. However for some reason, when we switched back to the EMM, it became very apparent to me that the EMM was simply better sounding.
Some of the titles we went through were Roxy Music Avalon, Pink floyd's DSOTM, Robert Earl Keen's Bigger Piece of Sky (2ch SACD), the Fiery Furnaces Blueberry Boat, among others.
Keep in mind though, the equipment just couldn't hold up to James and Jordan's guitar playing and singing, this was by far the best sound of the night!