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post #16 of 62
Thread Starter 

Hang on - Srajan getting sidetracked and raving on about something other than the product under review ? Surely not ...rolleyes.gif

 

I laughed particularly hard when, in one recent review, Srajan referred himself as 'loquacious'. He neglected to mention that he is also a master of understatement.  wink.gif.. 

post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Thanks for that link - some interesting reading. Another review which includes several >5K DACs with no reference to the Overdrive. It would be very interesting to get all of the DACs mentioned in both reviews in the same room with the same associated kit - interesting and seriously expensive.  eek.gif

 

For whatever reason, Chris refuses to review Empirical stuff. Don't ask me why. This EMM flagship is in a different league than the Weiss, Berkeley, Aesthetix, Bricasti, Calyx, Meitner, and Invicta that are direct competitors with the Overdrive. As good as the Overdrive may be, I doubt it's this good. Likely the real challengers would be the MSB Platinum DAC IV, and the Light Harmonic DaVinci, both of which are R2R DACs.

 

700

post #18 of 62
Interesting read. I also see mentioning of the MSB Platinum DACs above. I wonder whether the MSB Platinum DAC III can compare with the EMMLabs or the predecessor, the DACIV. There is a DAC III unit up for sale at around US$6K, with Signature 32X upgrade and Signature 384K upgrade, plus USB input. There is also a second hand DAC IV unit selling, but at double the price. Would the DACIII with upgrades be a good deal? Still looking for a better DAC for use solely with the headphone rig which will consist of BHSE and SR009. Although I have the Esoteric K-01. I don't exactly want to sit between the speakers in my living room to listen to the headphone setup. And although I have the Weiss DAC202 and Antelope Zodiac Gold, I would not mind taking a step further to perfect the study setup.
Edited by googleli - 7/19/12 at 6:08pm
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

Interesting read. I also see mentioning of the MSB Platinum DACs above. I wonder whether the MSB Platinum DAC III can compare with the EMMLabs or the predecessor, the DACIV. There is a DAC III unit up for sale at around US$6K, with Signature 32X upgrade and Signature 384K upgrade, plus USB input. There is also a second hand DAC IV unit selling, but at double the price. Would the DACIII with upgrades be a good deal? Still looking for a better DAC for use solely with the headphone rig which will consist of BHSE and SR009. Although I have the Esoteric K-01. I don't exactly want to sit between the speakers in my living room to listen to the headphone setup. And although I have the Weiss DAC202 and Antelope Zodiac Gold, I would not mind taking a step further to perfect the study setup.

Considering the price, it's a pretty good deal. I don't think he included the cost of the USB + upsampling upgrade ($2400). Also, it's still current (same DAC they use in their DAC IV, except it uses an external PS). If it's the same listing, you do have 24hrs to return it (after receipt).

post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeckles View Post

Alan Taffel of Absolute Sound posted a blog note from the April New York Audio Show.  Maybe they will actually review it?  Muse/Editor Harry Pearson has raved about EMM Lab digital in past years, but I don't recall seeing a formal review.

 

 

 

http://www.avguide.com/blog/the-return-the-new-york-audio-show?page=2
 

For those not in the 1% still craving the DAC-2X, if you're willing to forgo the ceramic PCBs, the hand-matched components and the lower-cost power supply, much of the same technology is currently available at less than half the DAC-2X's sticker price in the Meitner Audio MA-1, Ed Meitner's more "commercial" offshoot of EMM Labs.  There's a February review of the MA-1 by Srajan over at 6 Moons.

I own the Meitner MA-1. It is a fabulous sounding DAC. 

post #21 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cAsE sEnSiTiVe View Post

I own the Meitner MA-1. It is a fabulous sounding DAC. 

 

And clearly it works with JPLAY in Hibernate - kudos. First time my humble MSII has been found wanting was with Hibernate - I get to enjoy the 'sounds of silence'.   rolleyes.gif

post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

For whatever reason, Chris refuses to review Empirical stuff. Don't ask me why. This EMM flagship is in a different league than the Weiss, Berkeley, Aesthetix, Bricasti, Calyx, Meitner, and Invicta that are direct competitors with the Overdrive. As good as the Overdrive may be, I doubt it's this good. Likely the real challengers would be the MSB Platinum DAC IV, and the Light Harmonic DaVinci, both of which are R2R DACs.

 

At that price, it had better be in a different league.

post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post

 

At that price, it had better be in a different league.

 

Over the last 9 months, I've had the Berkeley Alpha 2 (+ USB) , the Zodiac Gold + Voltikus, the AMR CD-77 (my bought and paid for reference) and Aesthetix Romulus in my systems (2 channel and head-fi).  All had their pluses and minuses.

 

I put an EMM Labs CDSA into my system and it is, far and away, in a different league.  If the DAC2-X has a fraction more of the mojo than the CDSA has on just regular CDs, then, yes it's in a different league.  Personally, I've stopped auditioning and put the CD-77 up for sale.

 

If I didn't find this CDSA, the Aesthetix is an awesome DAC that no one talks about (the Pandora DAC is the Romulus without the transport and functionality).  90% of the CDSA sound at <70% of the price, plus an excellent USB implementation, which the CDSA lacks completely.

post #24 of 62
Thread Starter 

http://www.audiofederation.com/dealership/prices/emmlabs/index.htm

 

Prices. As noted earlier, Meitner is the 'budget' side of the business, and EMM Labs the 'cost no object' side.

post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeckles View Post

 

Over the last 9 months, I've had the Berkeley Alpha 2 (+ USB) , the Zodiac Gold + Voltikus, the AMR CD-77 (my bought and paid for reference) and Aesthetix Romulus in my systems (2 channel and head-fi).  All had their pluses and minuses.

 

I put an EMM Labs CDSA into my system and it is, far and away, in a different league.  If the DAC2-X has a fraction more of the mojo than the CDSA has on just regular CDs, then, yes it's in a different league.  Personally, I've stopped auditioning and put the CD-77 up for sale.

 

If I didn't find this CDSA, the Aesthetix is an awesome DAC that no one talks about (the Pandora DAC is the Romulus without the transport and functionality).  90% of the CDSA sound at <70% of the price, plus an excellent USB implementation, which the CDSA lacks completely.

The X-upgrade to the CDSA is worth it. It makes the highs sweeter and the mids more palpable and brings an SACD-impression to redbook. It costs $5000. You lose the gain switch though.

post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

 

I coulda have sworn that I had read some where at some point that they are sigma delta and not ladder dacs...and the fact that they resample everything to double DSD rate 5.2MHz i think? just supports that even more. But i do believe they are custom designed dacs, not sure if they are discrete though either...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeckles View Post

Alan Taffel of Absolute Sound posted a blog note from the April New York Audio Show.  Maybe they will actually review it?  Muse/Editor Harry Pearson has raved about EMM Lab digital in past years, but I don't recall seeing a formal review.

 

 

 

http://www.avguide.com/blog/the-return-the-new-york-audio-show?page=2
 

For those not in the 1% still craving the DAC-2X, if you're willing to forgo the ceramic PCBs, the hand-matched components and the lower-cost power supply, much of the same technology is currently available at less than half the DAC-2X's sticker price in the Meitner Audio MA-1, Ed Meitner's more "commercial" offshoot of EMM Labs.  There's a February review of the MA-1 by Srajan over at 6 Moons.

 

FWIW listened to both the Light Harmonics & DAC2x though they were in adjacent rooms - the DAC2x did it for me. If there was one thing that would summarize the differences it would be that the DAC2x was more musical and engaging.

post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonix View Post

 

 

FWIW listened to both the Light Harmonics & DAC2x though they were in adjacent rooms - the DAC2x did it for me. If there was one thing that would summarize the differences it would be that the DAC2x was more musical and engaging.

 

Thanks for the feedback.  Have you had a chance to hear the MA-1 versus the DAC2x?

post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

Since 2004 I tried a bunch of CD sources (Playback Designs, Modright/Sony, other high end ones) and I keep coming back to EMM and I'm settled with them for good.

EMM units (first the DCC2-SE dac, then the CDSA-SE and XDS1) just sound truthful to me like no other and dig out the details in a non-analytic way that I can't give up. I like the EMM sound better than analog, too. 

 

That has been my experience as well, but only when I was using DCC2 together with CDSD so the DAC can run in DSD mode. If I compare the DAC section of Playback with the Emm DAC, the EMM DAC can't really keep up with Playback using conventional connection methods. Maybe I would even go as far as saying if you can't use DSD capability of the emm DAC, then you should look else where for a better price/performance DAC (Emm CDP natively upsamples to DSD, IIRC). This is just all a theoretical exercise for me as I am fully invested in the Linn DS-based source. I probably won't buy another traditional DAC in the foreseeable future.
Edited by chesebert - 9/4/12 at 11:36am
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesebert View Post

 

That has been my experience as well, but only when I was using DCC2 together with CDSD so the DAC can run in DSD mode. If I compare the DAC section of Playback with the Emm DAC, the EMM DAC can't really keep up with Playback using conventional connection methods. Maybe I would even go as far as saying if you can't use DSD capability of the emm DAC, then you should look else where for a better price/performance DAC (Emm CDP natively upsamples to DSD, IIRC).This is just all a theoretical exercise for me as I am fully invested in the Linn DS-based source. I probably won't buy another traditional DAC in the foreseeable future.

Yeah, I should have qualified that I have never used my EMM machines as a DAC, just as a straight CD player (or as the combo transport+dac).

Do you note any strange "wobbly" or over empahsized lower mids with Playback Designs? I found it annoyingly loose, even with the Sony R10s I had at the time (and other phones), and sold the MPS5 because of it and returned to EMM.

I did like the lack of glare in the MPS5 though.

 

Congrats on the Linn system. I was always a big fan of the CD12 (way ahead of its time).


Edited by rgs9200m - 9/4/12 at 1:27pm
post #30 of 62
Thread Starter 

Someone mentioned MSB earlier - saw this on the front of the latest Aussie Hi-Fi magazine the other day. Too rich for my blood.  eek.gif

 

MSB's DAC products start at 6K, with the power base for each DAC ranging from 3.5k to 6k. By contrast. the MA-1 seems a screaming bargain. Party on, trust fund recipients !  

 

 

 

http://www.msbtech.com/products/platinumHome.php

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