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I had the EMC 24/192 mk2 in my system for just under two years and loved it! It was smooth, dark backround and great detail. Everything you have read about the player is true. I got the upgrade bug, and was also interested in going direct since I only have a CD player in my system. I auditioned a Wadia 861B and the Audio Aero Capitol 2 side by side with my BAT VK50SE and without. The Wadia in my system, and to my ears had great detail and a big sound stage. I thought it bested my EMC in terms of detail and overall presentation, but to me sounded just a little edgy, not that I could not live with it--I could, it is a fantastic player and I listened to it for about a month. I then put the Capitol into the system and listened to it after I turned it on for a day or so as recommended in the manual. The sound, music coming from my system was so life like it stopped me in my tracks. The music sounded real, it had texture and emotion that made you, well me, sit and listen--you know, late into the nite with CD cases all over the place and you, well me, are so tired but you can't turn the damm thing off! Thats how ya know. When in your system, it is so engaging that you don't want to turn it off, you got it. Both the Capitol and the 861 cost more then the EMC and should sound better to the listener. The one thing about the 861 is the upgrade path via GNSC which I understand is really good, but I have not heard. Once I heard the Capitol in my system, I knew I had found the CDP for ME. It just seemed to get the music right. I listen to mostly jazz and some classical. The rest of my system consists of a Cary V12-R with the oil cap upgrade, Verity Audio Fidelios, Nordost Valhalla XLR IC's and David Elrod SIG 2 and 3 power cords. They are all great one box players, let your ears be the judge and take your time.
I had the Acc, Wadia and Opus 21 in my system driving direct and into a Counterpoint SA-5000 and Pass Labs X-1 preamp. W/O the preamps the sound was a slightly cleaner but lacked some body, overall a toss up if you don't have the funds for a good preamp, power cord and ICs. That being said, I preferred the Waida 861 basic to the Acc and the Opus 21 I preferred over the Acc with a Shanyata Black Mamba power cord on it. W/O the Mamba the Opus was not happening, with the Mamba everything relaxed. The Wadia was not really changed by the Mamba. I never found the Wadia edgy as Itsalldark did. I agree with Its comments on the AA Cap but trying to get a good one and then if it fails getting it repaired was my overall issue.
I have both the Audiomeca Mephisto 11.X and the Electrocompaninet ECD 1 DAC which I believe uses the same digital chips as the CDP in my system. I have a large DAT collection and use the ECD 1 DAC for playback. I could easily live with either unit but I find the Audiomeca edges out the ECD 1 DAC in detail and soundstage. They are both excellent units and I am splitting hairs. They both are built well and are great looking equipment.
Thanks for all the responses guys~
For the last several days, I have done some researchs and got to actural A/B test both the Audio Aero and Audiomeca side by side... ( go direct to the amp with the same cables)
Both have very good details. Sound stage is huge while the Audiomeca tend to be more forward when playing vocal!!?? Audiomeca even have deeper bass than the aero...(this experience is somewhat different from other users...) The audio aero tent to be more color however the aero sounds to me to be more relistic in some playbacks than the Audiomeca. (might be the CDs??) At this price, they really have nothing really weak about them. Just a matter of different preferance some might have... And I hear the audiomeca really work it's best when with tube...
I now rate the Audio Aero and Audiomeca a very close 6 to 4. Why am I not getting the Audio Aero already?? Because I just can't resist the look of Audiomeca... it's a piece of art just by looking at it... :)
Any other input before I make the final choose?
Or have anyone compared them to the Wadia 861?
Take a serious look at the Muse 10 with or without the analogue attenuator. While Muse is not very vocal their equipemnt surpasses expectations. Compared to Theta and Wadia the Muse won on musicality, specificity, bass and mid-bass, listenable. If you want a universal player in comparable price range take a look at the McCormack. These two I have not compared.
First of all, I would like to thanks all the threads and info some have provided to me. They are all very helpfull and help me to clear my thoguht.
After a long struggle with geards and several audition with the AA and Audiomeca. I finaly decided to go with the Capitole II for the fact that it might suit my system and musical preferance better.
It was a hard decision, but it's been heaven since I got the Capitole II up and runing in my listening room... Great player indeed. It meets all that I was asking for... the details, lively sound, detail bass, huge sound stage, yet "not too much" colored...
I mean it sounds great when I audition it, it sounds even better when it's playing in my own listening room...
I tried Wadia, Audiomeca, Meridian, ML, linn, EC, Orphous, and several others... They are all great players in different area, but the Audio Aero is the one for me!