Turntable or go into SACD, Simon Yorke vs EMM Lab

I need some help here with a decision. I am deciding with futher upgrading my turntable or waiting longer & getting a SACD player (probably EMM unless anyone heard something better or close).
I currently have a Nottingham Hyperspace, wave mechanic,, and a SME V w. Koetsu Urushi. My other front end is the Audio Aero Cap. II. I am able to get a great deal on a Simon Yorke with all the extras. I can't figure out if I should upgrade or wait & eventually go SACD. I currently own only about 200 great records and about 800 OK ones. So whatever I buy will probably be available in one format or the other since I find CD OK but not great. Anythought or opinions is appreciated.
Wait on the SACD. The 'BluRay" stuff is around the corner and who know whom, or what will happen with all that.
I bought a Sony SCD777Es for the Redbook CD play.. just as a 'last CD player I will ever buy' strategy.
Now, I see the mess coming with all the new tech blue laser, bluray, etc as heralding a new shakeout of formats.
Hopefully the morons at Sony et al can get their stuff together and have one great format come out, rather than 2 or 3 competing ones that no one will buy.
Right now is a BIG resurgence in vinyl playback, so selling your current anlog rig would be easy. Go for the analog upgrade at this time.
Hi Elizabeth,

Where can I find out about this BluRay? I have no idea what it is. Sounds interesting.
For some BluRay discussions go to:


(I ain't biting.)
I'm not worried about BlueRay.

You already have a great turntable, and a superb arm and cartridge. I've never heard a Simon Yorke, but the reputation this 'table holds is stellar. If you really can get a "great deal" then it certainly would be very exciting to go that route. You have a very fine CD player too, so I can see good reasons for not thinking about SACD at this time in order to get the fine Redbook reproduction that often (but not always) come with the top SACD units.

The only thing I do not know - and perhaps you simply cannot know this either until you buy the turntable and fit it with your arm and cartridge - is just how much of an improvement the Simon Yorke would be over your Nottingham.

Is everything else ship-shape? Phono stage, amplifiers, speakers, cables, isolation, room treatment? Forgeting the SACD idea for a second, is the Simon Yorke upgrade the best way to spend your money?

I sense that you have a case of the tweakies.

You don't mention having any SACD software so I take it you don't. I have spoken recently with a few long-time SACD users who are selling their units and investing in very high-end redbook. The concenses with these guys seems to be that SACD is ok, but not that much better to warrant a new library (which is limited) of music in another format. But everyone is different. Metralla makes a very good point about other components in your system. You may get more for your money upgrading another component.
In my view SACD isn't going to make it in the long run. The catelog is too expensive and, for the most part duplicative of extant recordings on LP or CD. As mentioned you already have an excellent vinyl system & redbook player. Why not spend all of the excess loot on some LP's & high quality CD's. Personally, that would give me far more pleasure than the differences in TT's.
IF you're considering a no/minimum-maintenance high quality TT as a "final" purchase, then go for the S Yorke. I recommend the purchase ONLY if it's the last TT you'll get (I've had one for years).
Otherwise, just hit the record stores for some new music. At the end of the day, that's what pays off the best:)
Dear friend: I think that before you buy the Simon Yorke you have to compare in your audio system against your Nottingham and then you can choose: to buy the SY or to buy records. The SACD is not a good option, for the next few years the digital king it will be the CD.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Your setup is pretty good at the moment. You might want to upgrade other bits eg phono stage or arm to Schroeder Reference (much better than SME V). However, a SY is going to set you back at least 4k GBP. That buys you 200 new audiophile records or even more second hand.
I have a Platine Verdier, Schroeder Model 2 and Allaerts MC1B. Ok I could improve things eg battery PSU, better Allaerts cart etc. But at then end of the day, I listen to the music with a bottle of wine - so I just buy more LPs (or even some wine - how about 10 cases of 2003 Chateau Leoville Barton en primeur!).
A Simon Yorke or other high end analog setup would be a wiser purchase. Digital continues to evolve. SACD is good but isn't the end of the road, no matter what you read. We will continue to see good redbook-only playback equipment that, at least to some ears, outperforms SACD.

Dear Dgad, This is just my take on your question and maybe I am wrong but here goes; I would buy a great SACD player that can double as a top notch CD player. If the SACD format takes a dump AKA Sony Beta , you still have a great CD player that plays SACD. My guess is that your curiosity with SACD will not be satisfied until you do it. I know because I just went through the same thing and ended up buying a Marantz SA-1 here . I would love to give you my take on SACD but I have only been able to hear it with headphones and using my home theater speakers. It will be weeks before I can tell you how good it is in my reference setup. Do not sweat this decision too much. Your stuff is at the top of the heap and I see the analog upgrade as just a lateral move that will not answer the question you really have; Is SACD worth the cost of admission. So far in my setup the answer is ...... I hope this helped
Thanks to everyone for the input. I am still kind of lost. I heard the EMM Labs and was amazed at the sound. Tremendous detail & resolution. I also think the Simon Yorke can offer the same. I find a lot of records I am looking for & I find a lot of SACDs I am looking for. Personally, SACD is easier to find new, while records tend to be more difficult. There is something romantic to records. Just to give you all the remainder of my system. I am posting it shortly.
I truely find it interesting you have posted this thread in analog rather than digital. If I read between the lines on this one it will tell us which way you are leaning.You allready have a very nice analog system. I don`t think it`s our place to tell you which to purchase but I will offer my opinion which format is better that`s analog. It truely amazes me what can pull out of 100 year technology coupled with some of the new hardware that out you can`t go wrong.
You are very right digital is easy but is that what you are after? Or is it the best sound reproduction? I have alway`s lusted over the Simon Yorke so you know which way I would go.
In your last post you stated the EMM Labs could offer the detail and resolusion as the Simon Yorke. I feel the Simon Yorke would surpass that with your Urushi and the right phono stage. David
I have a friend who's heard both the EMM Labs and two TT's in another guy's system. The TT's were his fully modded LP12 and the system owner's Teres 265. To his ears they both beat the Meitner pretty easily. I suppose a SY table would do the same, and your Hyperspace too for that matter.

I have no idea what that's worth to you. I'm not even sure how we can help you make this decision. As Cylinderking 1 said, it really depends on:
- what you're after in music reproduction,
- how much time and effort you're willing or able to spend to get it and,
- which format has more music that you like.

World class analog still beats world class digital, but that doesn't necessarily make it right for you. It's right for me, but you knew that when you asked on this forum!
For now, if I were you I would stand pat -- just buy more records and CDs. I am one of those who went from an SACD player (Sony SCD-1) back to a good CD player (Naim CDS3). The top CD players sound quite good and I have not found an SACD player that did a really good job with CDs. I am also quite disappointed with the limited availability of music worth buying in SACD. On top of all of this, it is not at all clear which, if any of the two currently competing "high definition" formats will gain widespread acceptance.

I am not sure you would get a big boost from going from your current table to the Yorke. It will be a gamble since there is no practical way to audition tables fairly, short of taking the table home and mounting your arm on it.

What improvements are you looking for in your digital or analogue sources? I note that you consider CDs on the Audio Aero Capitole II merely OK. I like your CD player (great clarity and utterly free of grain), but I would expect it to sound quite different from your vinyl setup (not as rich and warm and less pronounced in midbass region). You could try cheap tweaking of the player. I know someone who bypassed the cone feet of the player to get more weight into the midbass.

Good luck, it sounds line you already have a very nice system.
I suggest you upgrade your Audio Aero for a Meitner DCC2...

My synopsis of you situation is as follows:

1. vinyl - quite happy
2. CD - only OK
3. SACD - impressed with what you heard on Meitner.
4. Software - mainly vinyl.

Before going to the Meitner, I auditioned Audio Aero, Wadia 861SE, Electocompaniet and many other,but none of them came close to the magic that Meitner achieves on regular CD !!!

Following many audio society sessions, the Meitner remains well ahead of the pack on both CD & SACD...and always amazes members on CD...

I bought the Meitner solely on how much it elevated plain old red book CD...for me SACD was the bonus !!

Beleive me pure DCS recordings ie. microphone straight to the DSD recorder rival the finest golden era living voice etc. recordings from the Early 60's.

Most users dont realize that the Meitner converts Red book CD to DSD and in the process removes many of the negative artifacts introduced by the anti-aliasing filters(aka Brick wall filters) used to make CD's.

Instead of buying old & expensive old vinyl, I now achieve tremendous satisfaction from more recent CD re-issues of the early 60's living voice recordings and EMI classis re-mastered using EMI's art process.

Another huge bonus of the DCC2 is that it allows you to eliminate a pre-amp & un-necessary interconnects...remember less is more in the analog domain.

Personally I cashed out a BAT D5se, BAT 51SE and valhalla interconnects and put SACD in my system and money in my pocket!!

If you are nervous of spending 7k on the Proprietatry Meitner SACD transport, I suggest you buy an in-expensive SACD player and feed it to the DCC2 as an auxiliary input.

Consensus in our audio society is that a relatively small investment in the inherently higher resolution SACD format will easily surpass megabuck red book players.

Finally, as regards software, I suggest you buy Hybrid SACD's only.

I hope this helps.
Take a look at Teres Audio turntables (teresaudio.com)and specifically at the model 340.
I have a new 340-2 (two armboards) and the sound is stunning. The build quality and the sonics are wonderful and probably the best value in TT's.
The sound of a good TT set up will far surpass any CD or SACD set up.
Feel free to email me.

I completely agree that a good TT set-up will surpass any CD, this is primarily due to the brick wall anti-aliasing filters that all PCM (including durrent DVD-a) recordings must go thru.

However, I cannot agree with you on DSD and here is why..PURE DCS recordings ..emphasis on PURE ie. straight from microphone to recorder (and not convnered to PCM for editing / mixing) are our modern day equivalent of the vinyl Direct to Disc recordings...no mixing desks ..no anti-aliasing filters...basically the DSD processor looks at the audio signal 2.? something million times a second and determines dit the amplitude increase/decrease of stay the same.

Knowing the inherent problems with all Anti-alising filters in PCM.. a bunch of purest engineers set out on the absolute best way to archive the deteriotaing Master tapes of the last centuary and this was an ingenious solution!!

The situation we have now is most of the treasures captured in analog format over the last centuary are now archived in DSD...the best copy you will ever get of these treasures is a pure DSD copy.

Of course the downside of DSD from the Professionals point of view is you cant manipulte it in the DSD domain and most studios manipulate music in PCM... So basically PCM recordings (CD / DVD-a) are the equivalent of your typical mixed down recordings with the typical artifacts of the multiple layers of processing the signal had to go thru.

So if your prioroties are 'documentary style' recordings .. for classical or small ensambles PURE DSD is you best bet and if at some stage you want to hear the modern day eqivalent of a vinyl direct ot disc then again PURE DSD is your best bet.

If you have read my insight on this topic you will understand that the wonders of the straight direct to disc vinyl recordings we cherished ( and were only available in limited numbers) are now available to everyone in the the form of PURE DSD.

Before you knock this insight go hear a well made PURE DSD thru a Meitner and you will beleive!!!

My suggestion to the original question stands...

Upgrade you CD library by getting a Meitner DCC2...and ultimatly upgrade to the Propietary link (which will get the best out of both CD and DSD)when you are comfortable with the fact that PURE DSD recordings are in fact modern day equivalents to the direct of disk LP.

Feel free to contact me directly...

my id is 'ceol'..gaelic for music !!
Just relax and avoid the SACD hype. The rush to want to get on the wagon is not rational. Your TT will sound better. In fact, DVD-A sounds better.

Redbook is very good (SACD is marginally better, so what?), so why get into it. Wait 5 years or so. I'm guessing it will probably be over a decade before we really see what and if a new format is going to emerge. And there is no guarantee that a new format won't take the place of SACD. SACD has been out 4-5 years and look how slow it is moving.
Hi Robm321,

I am an Electronics Engineer with over 25 years insight into professional recording, I fear my technical insight may be a liitle beyond most non-engineers but I will try and clarify / justify my advise on the original question which was shoud 'I get into SACD or continue to invest in LP '....

I think you did not quite understand my technical insight or appreciate the enormity of the reality of direct to disk or PURE DSD recordings in the DSD format...read again and understand that.

1. All PCM recordings, because of the Nyquist criteria must be filtered at less than twice the sampling rate. All anti-aliasing filters introduce colorations.just like any pair of glasses you put on no matter how good..it just depends on how audible they are...they are very audible on CD but much less so on DVD-a..some people in professional circles feel you need to go to 192k in DVD-a to really make them in-audible.

Some of the most respected engineers , Tony Faulkner for example despise Anti-aliasing filters and does not use them at all on his LSO live label which he masters His thinking is there is so little info above 22.05 k that tryning to remove it does more harm than good...based on the sonic quality of his CD's I think he is right.

2.PURE DSD is not hype..knowing the inherent colorations of all anti-aliasing filters the engineers at the end of the last centuary were faced with a dilema of archiving degrading 2/3 channel analog master tapes as faithfully as possible...they were driven by the technical challenge to archive them as best as possible, not to create a new format to upset everyone.

DSD ( DIRECT STREAM DIGITAL .. the format name says a lot)was technically the best solution. They could have chosen PCM but realised after 20 years of PCM they still had the inherent colorations of Anti-aliasing filters and chose to avoid them all together...I applaud their courage & purist dedication to soving the problem staring them in the face.

3.DVD-a is a quantum leap in PCM & is arguably what CD should have been from day 1..however they did not have the technology back then...neither the HI-res DAC's, High sampling rates and in particular the technology to fit over 700 Mb on a CD.

CD made some gross compromises...

a. They assumed no audio info above 22.05 k.

b. They allowed a non-stndard Anti_aliasing filter (aka Brick wall filter) which introduced phase anomolies in the upper HF audio band which were audible but impossible to mirror immage out as the vinyl RIAA curve did...this is why Vinyl inherently sounds more natural than any CD.

I go to classical concerts every two weeks & have a good reference point...I applaud the hybrid SACD which allows us to play CD in the car etc. & then read the higher res layer in our domestic systems..I also applaud them being able to do all this for just a few dollars on the cost of the CD.
DVD initially did not offer this and are playing catch-up now.

I truly did not want this tread to get Hi-jacked into a Format argument, I simply wanted to pass on a clearer insight into the parallels between PURE DSD and direct to disk LP's which we know and cherish so much as vinyl lovers.

Clearly, Dgad who asked for the advise realised he / she was hearing a technical break thru on hearing the Meitner...perhaps now understaning the technical hoops that all PCM recordings must go thru and that Meitner equipment is used in making over 90% of all PURE DSD's) Dgad will now have better insight as to which way to go.

Finally, I consider it historic that after 100 years in audio we can now have at home the equipment used to make the original recording & I applaud Ed Meitgner for making his purest studio equipment available to the audiophile public at such a reasonable cost.


Ceol .. which is Gaelic for Music !!
Hi Ceol,

After 100 years Vinyl still sounds the best. And it has been around over 100 years. That tells me that sound quality is not the priority to profit driven companies. Convenience seems to be the idea. It went from Vinyl "best" to CD "worse" to mp3 "even worse" all due to convenience.

That's my hesitation. I hope SACD or moreover DVD-A (which sounds better to my ears, but has dismal software, even worse than SACD) does become mainstream because I would like better sound that's more convenient. But audiophiles don't drive the marketplace.

SACD is still up in the air after 4-5 years after release. My guess is it will still be for the next 5 years. So in making a decision which way should you go. Buy SACD player and hope to find enough music that you like to listen to? Get vinyl which will be around until something better comes along (nothing on the horizon) and get a CD player as backup (covers most recorded music) -- it's ultimately up to you. I've made my choice.
Hi Ceol,

Thanks for detailing the differences between the different formats (quite helpful). I think that some go forward advice would not include DVD-a at this time.
Vinyl will be my home for a quite a while (at least while the dust clears on the different formats). The Catalogue of music available on LP far outstrips the DVD-a catalogue. Considering that I have gotten my red book set up sounding pretty decent (approaching or equal to SACD that I have heard in other systems, I can’t see the logic of jumping to one of the other formats at this point.
I imagine that most serious music lovers/listeners have a fairly substantial investment in a Red Book CD collection and there is also a ton of stuff available on LP that is not available on any other format. Classical will probably be quite slow coming onto the DVD-a format due to the low sales volume potential. If one taste leans heavily into classical, I can’t see at this point how you could build a decent library in the formats other than Red Book and Vinyl.

My recommendation would be to hang on to the Red Book collection that she has, buy SACD/Red Book versions of what you have to have and dive into Vinyl. The Vinyl will always be a great asset and then you can wait until some format comes forward with both great sonics and a wide range of availability and move in that direction when it makes sense.
Hi Cello,

Thanks for your response which I think adds further clarity to the direction that Dgad should take and possibly the direction Dgad should not take ie. DVD-a.

If you walk in to any well stocked music store in the U.S., stocked well in Classical & Other music & go to the new format section and compare the titles available on the two formats you will clearly see an emerging trend:

1.SACD - mostly classical, new PURE DSD recordings, archived classical & archived modern artists.

2.DVD - mostly new mainstream commercial recordings and opera w/visiual.

Yes, so If your priority is Classical / small accoustic ensembles and want the largerst choice and highest chance of getting the least processed version of that musical event then SACD and particularly PURE DSD versions are your best bet.

I am not looking at DVD-A because, at 48, I am looking for the best versions of the classical stereo recordings of the last 40 years & Re-masterd Hi res re-issues of my favourite mainstream artists of the last 40 years...artists like Peter gabriel , Eric Clapton etc...who the record labels have been archiving to DSD since 1999.

So, to an extent the decision for anyone, on which way to go at this particular time is very much dependent on both the genre of music you are interested in & your age group.

YOUNG/ NON audiophile - MP3 / CD
MIDDLE AGED / knows what accoustic music sounds like - DSD

I agree with Cello in just about everything, ie. keep you vinyl and enhance you CD collection preferably with re-masters / HYBRIDS.

However, rather than investing in improving Dgads already good vinyl reproduction say 10%, Dgad should go Meitner and thereby elevate Dgad's entire CD library by a far higher percentage...

Dgad & I have heard the magic that the Meitner and their Proprietary digital transport can achieve on CD & SACD...

The situation is somwhat similar to when CD came out in 1982... Since 1982, the market arguably, has got some of the finest Vinyl replay equipment ever as the popularity of the format was fading.

Likewise Meitner, in converting Red book CD to DSD has a piece of hardware which can elevate your entire CD library AND AT THE SAME TIME GET YOU INTO THE PUREST OF THE CURRENT HI-RES FORMATS....go listen & you will beleive!!

There is no denying, the future in all aspests of audio & video communication is digital..and what a wonderfull thing it is when done right...pity we had to wait over 20 years for CD.

It would be interesting to hear from Dgad (who posted the question) now thinks and specifically where to invest now.

yours in music

Just to add that if you are into classical -- you can go to goodwill and pick up an enormous amount of LPs $1 or $2 each. As with all formats some are recorded incredibly well (Decca especially) and some are not even worth listening to. But at a buck a piece its better than spending $25 and find out you got a bad SACD remaster (which they do make - not all SACDs sound good)just like CD and Vynil.

I guess the question you have to answer is do you want to have 3 different front ends and 3 different forms of software? Of course the hybrid option helps that a little. But 3 quality front ends and no guarantee about the future? Hope you have a lot of money to spend.

Digital is not the future. It is the present. Everything is already digital. And guess what digital is trying to approach? Analog -- so why is digital the direction instead of analog (which is what we hear in) CONVENIENCE nothing more.

How do you get better than analog with 1s and 0s????

It's like trying to make a perfect circle with legos. You can keep adding smaller and smaller legos and it will continue to become smoother, but it will never actually make a perfect circle.
Robm321 - Nice post - Well said....
I want to thank everyone for their help. I ended up deciding to purchase the Simon Yorke. I will be posting a thread in a few months comparing the Yorke to the Hyperspace. My decision was very complicated. In the end, I felt the Yorke is really a final step in Analogue where afterwards I can focus on other areas such as speakers etc. Also, if I find the sound comparison between the Yorke & the Hyperspace close or not to my musical taste I can always sell it. Lastly, my other idea was to upgrade the tonearm on the Hyperspace. The cost was equal to the Yorke less the price of selling the Hyperspace. It was an interesting opportunity. Maybe to get a Vector, Schroeder or new Graham Phantom. But the cost was equal to buying the Yorke w. tonarm, Vibraplane, Walker motor drive. Also the Yorke is know to be most musical with its own tonearm & that more or less eliminates changing tonearms (maybe adding a second but that is a different story). As for not choosing SACD, I feel that SACD has decent software that is to my liking. The major problem is that SACD probably is a stop gap & you will need to start all over again soon enough. I can see a new format in a more compact form coming out within the next few years replacing SACD & making the investment a waste. Once again thanks.
Ceol is absolutely correct in his extensive appraisals. For the last several years I listened almost exclusively to a high line vinyl set-up: Basis Debut V Vacuum, Graham 2.2, Dynavector DRT-XV, Manley Steelhead + $5k worth of wire to tie everything together- $30k+ total. I bought an Audio Aero Capitole Mk.II and still listened mostly to the vinyl rig. I then bought the original Meitner set-up w/ modded Philips, DAC 6, and Switchman II. With the exception of a few direct-to-disc recordings, the Meitner rig SMOKED the vinyl rig. Most importantly the Meitner gear TOTALLY REVITALIZED my CD collection, which is the heart of many of our music collections. I simply could not justify owning a mostly inferior, mostly redundant (title-wise) vinyl rig.

The indecision about the future of SACD, or any other hi-def. format, is really secondary to the importance of the superior Meitner CD reproduction. CD WILL NOT be replaced by ANY NEW FORMAT!! CD will remain the digital format of choice for virually all new recordings. I believe that the replacement for CD will be a downloadable format- yet to be introduced. SACD is an interesting niche product, nothing more. SACD will perish, as will DVD-A because the mass market doesn't give a %%*# about the slight sonic superiority of these audiophile formats. Without mass market demand these formats are doomed.

If one can purchase a transcendental CD playback system- AKA Meitner system,to listen to the mass market digital format of choice- AKA CD, with very little chance of obsolescence in the foreseeable future, AND could probably pocket a bunch of money by selling a mostly redundant playback system- AKA Vinyl--- it seems the choice is not terribly complicated. If the hardcore vinyl hobbyists want to keep their vinyl rigs for personal / nostalgic reasons- more power to them. But from a price/performance standpoint there is little argument what is the best approach.

Just my 22 cents worth.
CD "SMOKED" your $30k vinyl rig? CD sounds better than vinyl? Are you sure you weren't the one smoking?

I think you're a little late on this post. dgad already made his decision.

Hi Fbhifi,

Athough Dgad has made their decision NOT to upgrade their CD replay this has indeed been a highly informative thread.

You nailed it when you said 'THE MEITNER RIG TOTALLY RE-VITALISED MY CD COLLECTION'...this was precisely the point I was trying to make earlier in the Thread.

I stumbled upon the Meitner equipment in Jonathan Tinns (contactable at info@chambersaudio.com) Tenor / Kharma room at the June 2003 Stereophile show in SFO.

I had never heard of Meitner and had no pre-conceptions
..however after just a few seconds into an old Van Cliburn solo piano CD I knew I was listing to a breakthru in digital re-play...I know what a real Steinway sound like.

I ordered the Meitner solely on how it rendered CD.
In fact, I didnt hear a single SACD until I got my unit in January 2004 ...for me SACD and the discovery of PURE DSD and its parallel to Direct to Disc Vinyl was the icing on the cake !!

My contibution to this thread is not to knock Vinyl...I love it and still have an extensive collection...I was simply trying to point out two things.

1. The Meitner will uplift a CD collection beyound your wildest expectations...demonstrably close to vinyl.

2. Digital audio is not all bad & not descending to MP3...

Just as HDTV is raising the bar in video / TV we should applaud and support both DVD-a and SACD for raising the bar on digital audio re-production.

Finally, dont knock what myself & Fbhifi are saying if you have not heard the Meitner rig in a truly revealing system.

A Meitnerised Philips SACD 1000 at $2k and Meitner DCC2 at just under 10k is both sonically better & cheaper than any top drawer CD/SACD player combo with conventional Pre-amp and interconnects...

Several audio associates of mine are changing over to this simpler & sonically superior solution & putting money in their pockets !!

This I think will be my last post on this thread..

If anyone wishes to view my simple 'less is more' system they can do so on audiogon...

If anyone wishes to E-mail me directly you are most welcome.

Yours in Music

Robm321- I'm sorry my reply wasn't timely enough for you.Whether dgad has, or has not made his decision is not relevant to the bigger question of superior musical playback. Why are you revisiting this post, if the case is closed?? My one and only question to you is- have you heard the Meitner equipment. If you haven't- your comments are totally without merit.
Ceol - Thanks again for another mature, patient and informative perspective.
At this point, my Analogue side yields far better musicality, sound staging and sonics than my Red Book side (fully upgraded Electrocompaniet with a Spider Clamp) which I felt until I set up my TT rig was spectacular. Thanks also for sharing your experience and perspective with regard to the Meitner products. Please continue to share your insights in spite of any rebuffs that you might encounter. Your posts have really opened up some real positive possibilities for improving my system and my enjoyment of music.
I feel like the EMC is a significant step or steps up from anything else I have tried (at more $$), but I keep hearing wonderful things about Ed Meitner’s products. Ironically, last weekend, after your first post, I was at a good friend’s house and was amazed at what his Meitner DAC and Transport did for some Red Book CD’s. I don’t think I would have been as attentive or open-minded were it not for reading your post prior to the visit. The detail, sound staging, warmth and ability to re-produce an experience in close proximity to live performances in a living room was quite overwhelming and surprising.
I have quite an extensive Red Book library in addition to a more extensive LP collection and my new sense is that I should look long and hard at the EMM products. What would you think of pairing a Meitner DAC and the EMC as a transport ? Would the Meitner transport be a significant upgrade over the EMC ?
Rbm321 - I would say that up until last weekend, I would not have thought that a CD could provide the closeness to the emotion of the music that I get from Vinyl plus the detail, sense of venue, warmth and sound staging. I feel that my TT rig really approaches as close to as good as it can get - (Teres 340-2 TT, Graham 2.2 & Basis Vector tonearms, Koetsu Rosewood Platinum & Shelter 901 cartridges and a Supratek Cortese Pre_ - Yes, my TT rig can always get better and there is plenty more to learn, but after listening to the Meitner set up last weekend, I am going to seriously explore the possibility of adding a Meitner DAC to my system. At this point I and anticipating that I might end up having two great options comprised of all the beauty of Analogue / Vinyl and an amazing improvement in my Red Book Collection.
I did not think it possible prior to hearing the Meitner set up to get so much of what LP’s can offer. I would suggest that you, if you haven’t, get your ears around a Meitner set up somewhere and enjoy one of life’s pleasant surprises. I also suggest that you will miss quite a bit in life if you choose to continue to not to be a bit more objective and open minded to new ideas/experiences (not only in audio) as you bump into them. On the other hand, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to express your experience and opinions (Thanks). If it weren’t for the passion that people like you have expressed towards Analogue, I would not have built a TT rig and missed out on a lot of great music/recordings and been limited by what is available on CD.
Ceol –
Thanks for taking the time in sharing your experiences. Please keep writing and sharing. Please feel free to contact me directly.
Dear friends: Yes, the Meitner rig is an exellent product that " totally revitalized de CD option ", period.
But there is no way that these exellent product can beat a good analog system: the problem with the CD reproduction is their limited frecuency response, specially at high frecuencies: no CD player including the Meitner can beat the analog specifically in this frecuency range. If you have a top analog system you can find that it beats easily to the Meitner: this one can't have the openess that have the LP reproduction and the development of the harmonics in the high frecuency range that has the analog system tha's aproach the real music. It is true, through the Meitner the " digital sound " ( that many people like us can identify and that does not like because we know is digital and sound like a false music ) almost dissapear and this is a big step in the right direction.
The problem with " Meitner rig smoked the vinyl rig " that Fbhifi share with us is that his analog rig it is not at the same level than the Meitner: 1. the Manley Steelhead it is not a top phono stage ( it is only a good one ) it function through a internal step-up transformer ( to bad for the analog reproduction. If any of you needs more info please read my answers in this forum ). 2- the Graham tonearm it is not, too, a top contender. This is why the Meitner Smoke........etc.
Now, the SACD and DVD-A really solve the limitations on the CD reproduction, and both formats are a very hard competition with the analog rig, unfortunatelly any of these formats really exist in the market. I agree, that the target on the companies of digital gear is not the sound quality but only convenience and I agree, too, that unfortunatelly we audiophiles/music lovers does not count in the decisions of the comercial bussines.
But something is true: today we have more better options in analog rig: phono cartridges, tonearms, TT, etc... and is in these market where we count. So, we have to let know to the analog product companies that we need that they improve the sound quality reproduction of their products. Some of them are already doing this but not all of them. We can have what we deserve: if we accept that Mr. Manley give to the analog people step-up transformer in their products and Mr. Graham do a bad copy of a Japanese tonearm and don't say nothing about then we are not only against the music reproduction but against the live of the analog time and against our self.
Regards and always enjoy the music.
Hi Fbhifi: Your Graham tonearm does not do a good mate with the Dynavector cartridge ( this is a top performer item ) and the " marriage " of this combo ( tonearm/cartridge ) is a critical issue in the music reproduction, the Dynavector likes a high effective mass tonearm. The other critical ( there are many more ) issue is the load impedance for the cartridge.
One of the problems with the analog combo: TT,Phono stage, Tonearm and cartridge, is to know how to do the best set-up, there are many critical issues here: VTA, SRA, VTF, antiskating, azymuth, headshell wires, load impedance, a good mate between tonearm/cartridge, no stepup transformers, etc,..., but if you have and do everything in the right way then there are no single CD player ( including the Meitner ) that can beat the LP reproduction, at least for now. SACD and DVD-A are very competitive with the LP but till now those formats don't ( really ) exist.
Regards and enjoy the music.
I'm sorry,i just do not believe that Meitner "SMOKED" your $30k vinyl rig !!

I heard Meitner 3 times (at shows only though) in 3 different rooms and systems, it's just not even close to good Analog set-up sound.
Well put Raul,

If Meitner products are as good as mentioned then why are we having a format war, and why are people still purchasing TTs. If the Meitner can make CD sound better (or extremely close) to any other format available, then all the problems are solved. SACD is a moot point. No more format war. Analog has finally been surpased, and is a dead product finally after over 100 years. Thanks to Meitner products.

I don't buy it, but if they came up with a way to soften the digital edge then that's great. And I am looking forward to more improvements to redbook since that is the last hope before mp3s become standard.

If you don't think Mp3 s and other digital none disk formats are the future than you are in a fantasy world. Just look at the trends. CD sales as opposed to I Pod sales CD going down -- I pod and other players are selling like mad. What non audiophile is going to say "gee, I guess I'll trade this little thing that holds 1000+ songs that I can swap on the internet for free or get for a buck a song for a bulky CD player at $15 each to hear 2 songs on a CD I like?

Hi Raul- I agree completely with your analyisis- in it's entirety! It takes an enormous ammount of experience, time, patience and money to fully and regularly realize the FULL potential in vinyl playback. This a very specialized pursuit for extreme hobbyists. I greatly admire those with the patience to, initially set up and subsequently maintain a vinyl playback system capable of CONSISTANTLY BEATING the Meitner rig. I didn't have that level of constant dedication and, clearly, lacked the requisite knowledge to know I had a cartridge/tonearm mismatch. I guess I find the convenience and the consistent 95%+ performance of the Meitner rig (with 100% being the perfected vinyl setup)to be an acceptable concession.

I am waiting for the arrival of the Meitner DCC2 Dac/Preamp to join my recently received Meitner CDSD Transport. The preliminary reports on the performance of the CDSD suggest an improvement over the Meitnerized Philips SACD 1000, which, with the DAC 6, was my Meitner reference. If, in fact, the new Meitner gear exceeds the performance of the old- might that 5 percentile differential narrow further??
Dear Fbhifi: All in this life is a trade-off issue, and the trade-off in LP reproduction is the know-how that we have to have and the dedication for the analog system is always at full potential.
The quwstion is: what are we looking for ?, which trade-off we choose?.
If any one is looking for the best music reproduction then it has to go for the analog solution. You choose for the digital solution ( it is up to you ) and it is ok, but you have the analog solution in your hands and a very good one.
Regarding the 95% performance of the Meitner....., well this is your point of view and this issue is totally subjective, other people can think 98% or 90%, who has " the word ".
BTW, as I already told the Meitner rig is a big step on CD reproduction, but any CD digital product can and never will 100% because the limits of the CD digital ( native ) technology: 16 bits. Now if we think about 24 bits technology that is another history.
Regards and always enjoy the music.
Wow, this thread is still going after Dgad made his move and it keeps getting better! Thanks to Dgad for asking a tough question and making a tough decision. Thanks to Ceol, Fbhifi and Rauliruegas for their extensive insights. Listeners with real knowledge and experience at this level of performance are pretty rare.

Ceol, please don't be put off by challenges from those who are merely expressing personal enthusiasms. You have opened quite a few eyes and minds on this thread, e. g., Cello's and mine.

Raul, you and I enjoy tussling on threads where the level of playback being sought or discussed is at lower levels, but on this thread I bow to your vast experience (as always) and to your uncompromising insistence on, "only the best". Like Ceol's, your posts on this thread have been authoritative and immensely educational. I'm still climbing the analog ladder and enjoying the journey. (New Triplanar VII gets mounted tomorrow, Schroeder Ref... some day!)

Cello, I'm impressed by your honest account of your friend's Meitner. Obviously I know exactly how much you love your new analog rig, justifiably of course. For you to praise the Meitner gives me renewed hope for our collection of 1000+ RBCD's, few of which have left the shelf in the last 5 years. Your Electrocompaniet certainly stuffs our little Arcam CDP, but even it can't compare with our vinyl setup, let alone yours.

Fbhifi, thanks for sharing your Meitner experiences as well. I've been thinking about them for months and you've given me even more interest. I concur with most of Rauliregas' comments on your analog rig's strengths and weaknesses. (I don't know the Dyna so I can't speak to that, but everything else Raul said echoes my experience.)

Robm321, I was able to help you out on your cartridge loading thread because I had experience. Where I lack experience, as with the sound of a Meitner, I find it more productive to read than to type. This does not mean reading uncritically or accepting all claims. Far from it. But challenging what Fbhifi heard without having heard it yourself was unhelpful and antagonistic. Rauliruegas was better positioned than you to analyze what Fbhifi heard because he's heard it himself. His analysis helped Fbhifi advance his understanding of his system. Your thoughts on the possible dead-ending of hi-rez discs by downloadable formats were insightful. That confirms the wisdom of what Ceol, FBhifi and Rauliruegas all advised, "Buy a Meitner if you want to revitalize your RBCD collection. SACD is just a bonus."

Keep the good info coming guys, thanks again.

I can accept your criticism. I am a bit antagonistic. And I haven't heard the Meitner, but I did have a reason for jumping in on the discussion. My main point was to contrast the enthusiasm. Not just to be a prick, but because as you said the claims were emotionally charged and got to the point where it sounded like Meitner was the front end King and all other formats and front ends pailed in comparison. I had to challenge that.

If I had $12 grand laying around (which I don't) I would probably take a serious look at it EMM. I'm all for the best sound. And I do appreciate all that I have learned. This is my favorite thread right now.

Whether or not I've heard the Meitner, my main argument (which still hasn't been asnwered) is how with the limitations of RB can it sound as good or better then an analog wave (vynil) without any phase shifting tricks. Or what about other $12,000 CD players, are they not as good as the meitner? Is this a revelation or is it just excitement over a great sounding new product?

Dear friends: First tks to Dgad for give us this splendid space. Second tks Doug for your words and third a recognition to Fbhifi for his humility and maturity. I think that everyone in this thread learn many things at different levels for improve our knowledge in the music reproduction issue. Tks to everyone.
Now, Rob the today's road on RB reproduction products is: resampling, with this in mind not only the Meitner improve the sound reproduction on CD, there are other products that do the same and sound at the same level. What does this resampling? in two words: more resolution ( not more information. The info is the same: 16 bits. ). This added resolution do that the RB, now, be near the LP sound reproduction but it can't be as good or better than the analog rig ( if you put the top RB performer against a top analog system performer, this one outperform the RB. Yes, I know that in some very specials circunstances maybe the RB can sound as good of a LP, but this can be because a bad master in the LP recording but not because the RB is better, this never can be because of the technology limitations: 16 bits.
Now, the 24 bits native technology like the DVD-A ( I aggree with you Rob: the DVD-A sounds better than the SACD. I don't know why ) can be as good and can be better than the analog ( at least on theory ) because that kind of digital format not only give us more resolution but more information too, and this is the important issue.
Unfortunatelly for us music lovers/audiophiles those formats never be a reallity: There is no bussines here for the big recording companies.
So, we have to have the best we can in the analog area, it will be alive for another 100 years. I really believe it and I always do anything that I can do for support it. Yes, the RB will be alive for many many years to come and we have to support too before it happen what Rob told us.
Regards and always enjoy the music.