AudioMeca vs. AudioAero vs. Electrocompaniet

Hi, Soon i will be looking for a cdp my choices are: Audiomeca Keops($1800 new) Audio Aero Prima(old model $1500 new model?) or a used 24/96 Electrocompaniet ( around $2200 with potential future upgrade $1K). I'm sure you can't go wrong on any of the 3. However a few comments may help me to make the best choice. I have a Jadis Orchestra(40 watt). So i need a cdp with good low frequency resolution. Thanks
Okay... Guess I'll chime in here. I've owned all three. And they are all fantastic players whichever player you ultimately choose, you cannot go wrong.

The Electrocompaniet is similar to the Audio Aero and the Audio Aero is similar to the Mephisto but the Electrocompaniet and Mephisto are quite different. Does that make sense?

With the EMC-1, I felt a rush of energy and vibrance in my system that I had never experienced before. There were details in the music that I'd never heard - sometimes I'd wonder if the details I was hearing were even on the CD!! But ultimately the EMC-1 sounds a bit more electronic than the next two players. Of the three players, the EMC-1 is the least emotional and hence doesn't have the passion of the AA or AM. This is not to say it has no emotion - it just has a bit less than the other players. The EMC-1 has a bigger soundstage than the others.

The Audio Aero sounds similar to the EMC-1 in that it has comparable dynamics and punch but sounds a bit less electronic or mechanical and a wee bit more seductive. None of the detail is missing it just presents itself differently. The sound stage presented by the AA wasn't quite as big as the EMC-1. The AA makes things a little more intimate and defines the players in a more realistic way.

The Audiomeca Mephisto takes the seduction presented by the Audio Aero to another level but in doing this seems to loose some of the dynamics and punch. The Mephisto takes an additional step toward sounding less electronic. The Mephisto has an incomparable delicacy and 3D sound stage.

The three players all have their issues too...

On the EMC-1, sometimes the buttons on the face plate will stick when you manually flip through the tracks by depressing the button. In order to fix, you will have to remove the faceplate.

On the Audio Aero, sometimes it forgets if its door is closed or open. The unit actually sounds better with the door open but when you put in a new CD, you will have to close the door and then re-open to get it to initialize.

The Mephisto II can be slower to track and initialize a disk than the other players. Also, it produces a high pitched digital noise which can be heard through some systems - but only when there is no volume. Once the volume is turned up, the noise goes away... weird! The noise is usually filtered out at the preamp on most systems. There is a fix however - but requires a new board.

Ultimately I cannot recommend one of these players above the other. It is more about your listening preference than anything else. They're all great. Some people listen at different levels than others and the level you listen at will dictate your preference.

To me, there is a difference between violinists. Some have soul and emotion...others do not. CD players are the same way.
Oh.. yes.. By the way.. I had to sell my Mephiso. :( I am not happy about it but taxes came due and I had just purchased a pair of LAMM M1.1's at the time - so I needed cash. Unfortunately I did not find the digital answer or break the tie.

I have however purchased an Audiomeca Keops to keep me going until I can afford a new player. I am wondering how it compares to the other players... as it costs a lot less.
Bwhite, why did you sell the Mephisto. You used to sware by the player. Doesn't the Mephisto fullfill your listenning needs? Didn't the Mephisto used to be the answer to all digital gears? Is there any drawbacks or disadvantages about the player. Thank you..
Hi Fahad, I still do swear by the Mephisto. Not only is it a fantastic SOUNDING player, it is also a beautiful piece of art to display in your home.

I had to sell because of taxes. Plus I spent a few dollars on a pair of LAMM monoblocks at about that time. Something had to go - and I decided to sell the Mephisto in the hopes that I could buy another down the road some day. I figured I could get by with my Sony DVP-9000ES for a while.

Upon removing the Mephisto from my system and connecting the Sony DVP-9000ES I didn't immediately notice a difference. But when I sat down and listened - there was something missing. The involvement was GONE! I tried to sit and experience the music like I had in the past and it was impossible. no emotion, no feeling.. just cold notes being thrown at me by the system that moved me only days before.

So... I decided to try the Keops in a hopes that at least the same family character, feeling and emotion remains in this less expensive unit. It should be at my place on Sunday - I will give a brief review once I've listened for a while.

The down side of the Mephisto is the faint "high pitched digital noise" that it can make if you shut off the power supply frequently. The noise usually goes away in most systems after two hours (up to a day in some cases). The best solution for this and what works for most people is to just leave the Mephisto on all the time. Shutting off the unit discharges something and the faint high pitch sound comes back for a while. This sound is usually filtered out at the preamp but it was audible in my system only with the volume control turned ALL THE WAY DOWN. When I turned the volume up just a hair, the sound went away. Strange!

Piere Lurne' is aware of the problem and has a fix for this. It is a new board which can be installed by Audiomeca or the distributor.

Over time, a Mephisto can track slower. Piere recommends cleaning the lens to resolve this problem.

The DB9 Power cord which carries unrectified DC current from the power supply to the CD Player (where it is rectified) is lame looking - cheap and similar to the monitor cable on your computer. Piere does have a few aftermarket DB9 cables and I think plans to introduce a better cable soon. I tried everything I could find that would fit and nothing seemed to sound better or worse.

The Mephisto can sound "lazy" to some people who are more accustomed to CD players which emphasize the top and bottom vs. everything in between. The Mephisto on its own picks out everything in the middle and makes it sound spectacular.
It is interesting but as a result of this, you will find enjoyment in listening at much lower volume levels than usual because at these levels the dynamics aren't possible anyway - and the Mephisto will deliver more inner detail than you've ever heard.

Now... this is important!! The Mephisto can be dramatically altered with the right power cord. If you like ADDED DYNAMICS, try an NBS Statement power cord. It will make the Mephisto sound much more like the Electrocompaniet or AudioAero units in the dynamics department without loosing its inner delicacy or sounding electronic. Amazing.

If you like a more polite sound. Try a Shunyata King Cobra V1. It will add a bit of color which further emphasizes the analogesque qualities of the Mephisto. Soothing - deep and involving!

Hope this helps