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
All good choices. I know a guy who sold his ECM-1 MKII for an Audio Aero Mephisto. That is the player to get. I have a brand new ECM-1 that I might be moving out soon to get a Mephisto. Any interest, let me know. Granite Audio also makes very good players. Good luck.

Yea Al if you read what fellow audiogonner Bwhite says about the Capitole and the Mephisto he breaks all rules and gives both THE GOLD. Both out of my reach. Thanks for the offer on the EMC1 but right now i' squeeeezzed on $$$.
I've heard both. Personally, I didn't like the Mephisto. I thought it sounded too soft, too lush. It definetly didn't have the weight or focus of the Electrocompaniet. As far as detail, soundstage, and decay- it doesn't get much better this side of SACD than the Electro. Plus, it seems to be an open window to the delicacy and weight that well recorded music offers. If the recording isn't good however, don't fool yourself. You can only polish a turd so much. Save your bucks, get the EC and go for the upgrade as soon as you can afford it. You can thank me later.
Hey Patmatt if you go to audioreview and look up EMC1 you'll find 33 beautiful gut-soul-praises of this unit.(and i think these are about the MK1 model). But are you sure about the Mephisto's performance? Most important here in this case, what were the speakers amp cables and how many cd's did you listen to? How's the Capitole? But its $8K!!! I think what you are trying to convey is, go EMC1 and i'll be very happy for a very long time.
I bought a used Prima for the system in my study (Rogue Tempest Magnum, Spendor S3/5s) and liked it so much that I bought the Capitole for the main rig. Haven't heard the Keops or EMC so I can't give you a comparasion.

BTW, seem to recall seeing Bwhite has listed his Mephisto for sale, so I guess he broke the tie.
You can read lots of threads and many have said wonderful things about the EMC-1, Aero Capitol, Accuphase, and Mephisto. I would also place the BAT VK5 SE and Arye in this arena. If you are like me and price is a definate factor, it is my opinion that the EMC-1 is a quality player for the money (much less than the other cdps that are mentioned in the same breath). The EMC-1 has been around for awhile and is generally liked by many.

Just to let you know that I attended CES 2002 and saw new cdps that will be introduced by Gamut and Arye for under $3K retail. These are both 24/192.
I forgot to mention that I bought some pucks and pods from that worked wonderfully under my EMC-1 cdp. These pucks and pods are inexpensive isolation devices that are better than other isolation devices that I have used (much superior than Black Diamond Racing Cones). I believe these devices will work well under most cdps, pre-amps, and amps.
This may help you in your search for the ultimate digital experience. The Audio Aero and the EMC 1 with 24/192 upgrade are more like each other than they are like the Mephisto 2.

I personally like the Mephisto 2 and use one in my own personal system. But 8 out of 10 times when we do an A/b in the store the customer purchases the EMC 1.

Granted there is a price difference but not as large as there use to be.

The EMC 1 has spectacular dynamics, pace and unbelieveable soundstage. The Mephisto 2 is very delicate with lots of finesse and seductiveness. I personally love the sound of the Mephisto 2 as previously mentioned but you have to be careful what you mate the Mephisto with more so than the EMC 1. Also personal preference is always critical but especially when you get to players this good.

I believe what has made the EMC 1 such a hit is that it even at $5000 is a bargain. The new Audio Aero will be $8800 and I am waiting with bated breath to see if the price jump improves the performance and aesthetics to justify such a price.

The big advantages of the EMC 1 is that it is built like a tank weighs 50 pounds. The bottom end is the best of any player. Dealers can never get enough of them we are lucky to get 2 every 6 weeks - - supply and demand - - And although not gorgeous like the Mephisto 2 it does have a classy appearance. The player is also very reliable.
A S O S you've hit on something here. RELIABLITITY My friends $3K CDP broke. Was NEW!! My $600 CDP broke as well. Was NEW!! I'm sure the AA and AM are reliable units but if the Electro unit qualifies for the additional word VERY then that answers my CDP quest.
...after I heard the Keops, I sold my Meridian 506.20 CDP and I bought the Audiomeca...very analog-like sound!...good bass extension and excellent the looks! wife loved it!...i don't think you can go wrong with any of the three, but my vote goes to the Keops...good luck!
Ok im down to two CDPlayers, the New audio aero capitole and the Accuphase 85.. both play amazingly well... Problem is price. The new AA Capitole is $5000 here in France, and the Accuphase 85 is a whooping $10k !!!! So i could buy two AA Capitole for 1 Accuphase 85.... but i do get the SACD bonus with the accuphase...decisions, decision.
So few SACD's avaliable, i don't know about you but i'm pickey when it comes to classical performances. The new Capitole is ONLY $5K in France I guess the US has import duties LUCKY YOU!
yeah well for ONCE we do get a good deal. You should see the prices of american gear over here, its absolutely ridiculous. In general, you x 2 the american price and you get the French price.

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
bwhite: i read with interest your statement that "Upon removing the Mephisto from my system and connecting the Sony DVP-9000ES I didn't immediately notice a difference." given the mephisto's first tier credentials (and price), i would expect the differences between that player and the 9000 to be immediately apparent on redbook cds. further, the typical reviews of the mephisto praise its delicacy and inner-detail, in contrast to the typically opposite complaints about the sony, which point to its dry digital sound (i own one too btw). shouldn't these players should be night and day?

my faith in the digital high-end is at stake here so please elaborate on your comments. :)
S2K_dude - When I stated, "Upon removing the Mephisto from my system and connecting the Sony DVP-9000ES I didn't immediately notice a difference." Was based on the fact that I was standing in the front of my room, between the speakers. It didn't take any longer than walking away from my rack to the sofa to realize that I needed to buy another Mephisto.
Mr.Bwhite should have a review page here on audiogon. Very open clear and honest opinions. Very unlike the "professional" reviewers. They are just like restaurant crictics they HAVE TO SAY mostly good to keep their jobs. Bwhite brings us a better understanding of these legendary digital units that most of us have not heard much less will ever own. But if I had the bucks its from Bwhites comparison review of three excellent products that i would make the best choice for me.
Thanks Tweekerman that was very nice of you! I just try to call it like I hear it. The thread got a little side tracked with all the high(er) end discussion and I apologize for that.

I will provide a "review" on this tread of the Keops when I get it. My friend has a Mephisto so I'll compare the Keops to it.

I know in your post you asked for a CDP with good bottom end extension. But have you tried an aftermarket power cord on your Orchestra? if so, which one? Also - what interconnects and speaker cables are you using? And of course, what speakers?.
Bwhite you have made some nice comments about the three players, and believe me no one has put the words better than you to describe the players with every single detail.
But, I have one thing in mind which is very important to me. I love musical, hologram, involving, life like and analog sounding presentaion. From what you mentioned I have the feeling that the Mephisto will suit my taste. But, I'm also a person who can not live without bass, I'm talking about natural extended deep bass not overblown boomy kind of bass. I hope you know what I mean. Since, you have been very helpful with your comments, from what I have understood is that the Mephisto lacks the ability for producing punchy bass that delivers straight to the heart not the mind. Could you please verify this matter, thank you..
Farhad, the Mephisto doesn't exactly "lack" bass - it's output does seems softer than the Audio Aero when using similar interconnects and power cords.

Changing the interconnects around produces more or less bass perceived bass on each of these units.

For instance, I found for both of these players, I liked to use Audio Note Kondo KSL between the CD and Preamp. For the Mephisto, I liked a pair of NBS Statement between the preamp and amp... This gave fantastic dynamics - superior detail and created a certain silence between notes. Strong and accurate bass.

Using the same interconnects on the Audio Aero gave me too much resolution - it was less comfortable to listen to. And seemed a bit "harsh" - Acoustic bass was bigger sounding but not quite accurate. So I swapped out the NBS Statement for a Stealth PGS. The PGS smoothed out some of the detail and added a softer quality to the music, taking some of the edge off - bass was diminished ever so slightly by seeming a bit less overpowering and so were the overall dynamics. As a result the soundstage tightened and became more focused. I felt that the PGS was a better match for the Audio Aero than the NBS was. But may not be the perfect IC for this combo. It would take more time to decide.

So far, I am totally undecided whether or not a CD player is the upgrade to make if you seek increased bass. While we all want all the frequencies I have found that most every high end CD player out there will help a system to produce its optimal level of bass only when the right associated interconnects and power cords are used.

Neglecting that will result in limited performance of your CD player - regardless of which one you choose.

As audiophiles we want it all - we want WEIGHT in our music and Transparency... We want Macrodynamics and Microdynamics... we want speed we want pace and timing, we want inner-detail and outer extension. It is very difficult to get everything - which makes this hobby such a challenge. Live music is capable of producing everything but very few high end systems are.

This is why tweaking with the right interconnects and powercords is mandatory at this level of audio-perfection. It takes time and patience but ultimately pays off in results.

Does this make sense?
Maybe I can explain more... If the Mephisto were to be connected to a Krell preamp and Krell amplifier, I doubt anyone would complain about bass output. The Krell's would do their share of compensation.

If we connect the Audio Aero to the same Krell's... the bass output might be more extended.

But... is it realistic? Doubtful.

Now remove the Krells and insert a Conrad Johnson Preamp and a low wattage Jadis amplifier. You will loose bass extension... In this case, the Mephisto would be too soft in the bass but so would the Audio Aero - even though it would be a bit better than the Mephisto.

Is this realistic? Doubtful.

The key to sonic perfection is more about system synergy - the sum of the whole - than any single component by itself. If we look at a system composed entirely of the highest rated components, it could very easily be "over the top" and quite unlistenable - just as easily as it could be simply not enough.

Without knowing your system I can only presume that you are concerned that if you should happen to buy a Mephisto the bass would simply vanish or not be enough to satisfy your tastes. This is not necessarily true. If your system is well matched (amp has enough power to drive your speakers - and a REALLY GOOD preamp) you will have good bass. IF your system is not well matched or perhaps you have a situation where the amp can barely drive the speakers, then the Mephisto will not add any bass - it won't remove bass either.

Does this make sense???
Because of this thread, I've learned more about these three great players than in any magazine or online review I've ever read. Good job AudiogoNers!
The audio critic Mr M Fremmer of the Absolute Sound recently got a letter concerning his review of the HOVLAND pre SAPHIRE ..blasting his overzealous review. Mr Fremmer blasted back. But i must say Fremmer is learning. His review of the KORA Cosmos vs Audio Research VT200 was to me a more honest review compared to the idiots at Sterophile...MUDDLEHEADS! Heck all "professional" audio critics could learn alot from Bwhite on how to review with honest clarity. Bwhite's reviews are the real thing.. the others are jokes but they're not funny.
Bwhite..I can't thank you enough for your honest replies. You are one of the few audiophiles who know what they are talking about. But, there is one important thing about the Mephisto, you didn't specify if your comparison was on the balanced output or the RCA output. I hope if you can give a brief comparison between both outputs. Which has more weight and how different are both of them in sound character and which one offers more musical experience than the other. I also would appreciate it alot if you can state in order your favorite or the best top 10 high end CD players that you ever heard. Thank you agian for your nice helpful comments..
Lordgorian thanks for the correction..and ya'll know what i mean...if the reviewers were as intriguing and honest ( but maybe Bwhite has the trained ear and the reviewers are still in training? or are they trying to support the INDUSTRY and thereby keep their plush jobs??) as Bwhite then maybe we would TEND to buy whats best for US... MORE often.
Hi Farhad - When I first purchased the Mephisto, I had an Elecrocompaniet EC4.5 preamp which has a "balanced/unbalanced" switch. The switch allowed a user to go between the two inputs on the preamp very easily. At that time, I was moving to a new preamp made by Supratek which doesn't have balanced inputs. I was concerned because all my previous systems were balanced only. I didn't like or trust RCA - single ended cables. Whether it be because the XLRs fit better, looked cooler or were just different, I don't know, I just always used balanced.

To make the comparison, I installed two runs of Nordost Quattro Fil. One was balanced and the other was single ended. To make a long story short, I heard no difference in sonic character between the two interconnects. Using balanced cables produces a 6db increase in gain but...that was really all the difference I could hear.

Balanced cables are VERY good for LONG runs as they have better rejection of RFI but I don't think they sound better or worse as a general rule of thumb.

RCA cables are annoying. They either fit too tight or don't fit tight enough. XLR's are very convenient. In all honesty, I would prefer to use XLR simply because it connects better but I wouldn't expect it to make my system sound better unless I had a cable run that was longer than 3 or 4 meters (which I do not).

Now that I use all RCA cables, I can honestly say it that to me, the performance of RCA is just as good as balanced.
Top Ten Players? This is tough because my system changed so much between listenings that it's hard to say what the exact order should be.

Clearly the three best players are listed below - but under that the order is a little more jumbled based entirely on my system at the time of auditioning. For many of those players listed, I didn't spend the COUNTLESS hours testing interconnects and power cords to tune/tweak to my tastes.

- Lin CD12

- Audio Aero Capitole & Audio Meca Mephisto (tie)

!-- This is where the order starts to get a bit funky ---!

- Accuphase DP75v
- Wadia 860 and 861
- Electrocompaniet EMC-1 Mk II
- Marantz SA-1
- Cary 306/200
- Electrocompaniet EMC-1 Mk I
- Meridian 508.24
- Resolution Audio CD55
Bryan-I have heard most all of the players on your list and I would have to agree with you!! You have been a fountain of information through out this thread and many others(not to mention private emails!), a truly class act audiophile!
I realize this may be a bit off topic if so I apologize. When comparing these different components there is another aspect to consider. One thing I have found with optimizing the sound of the mephisto transport is isolation. I have a mephisto II with ekianthus DAC and while I found it the most musical I had heard I had not compared it to a lot (wadia and linn ikemi). What I did compare it to was the live music which I listen to a lot, our piano and my turntable and found I did find the cd wanting. Bryan has been very helpful with suggestions on powercords and I am in the process of looking at that. I also am trying new interconnects and digital cable but the verdict is out till the cables burn in but in the meantime I have had a chance to alter the support. My transport sits on a very heavy stand of mdf with sandfilled plinthes sitting on carbon blocks and I thought that was all I needed. A friend lent me darumas and the results were dramatic. The soundstage opened up amazingly. The midrange and high end were more transparent and the bass was more defined. The music breathed a lot more. In short it was way closer to what I have heard in live music and not just with my 'test' discs. The results were so remarkable my wife, who thinks I'm nuts sometimes, commented on the change very positively. I have now got the player on symposium rollerblocks and shelf and the results are just as good if not better, though rollerblocks alone did not do it. So just a thought when you are looking at digital do not forget the support or isolation. Hope this is not too off topic but all three are great players I understand, I think this might help a lot to people trying them out.
Gajgmusic I agree with you about isolation and its importance however I am curious why you would buy a Mephisto II CD player AND a Enkianthus DAC. The Mephisto II and the Enkianthus share the same DAC.
Ah.... you're right! Gajgmusic - I am curious to know why you choose that solution over the stand alone player? I have talked to people before who were sold the Transport/DAC solution vs. the stand alone player. I wonder what the advantages (if any) there is to such a setup - especially since it is more expensive.

Honestly I am not sure how great the Mephisto is as a stand alone transport. While the combo of the Mephisto/Enkianthus should be at least equal to the Mephisto player - with the addition of a digital cable that could make a significant alteration to character - good or bad - I have always believed that its strengths were a direct result, more or less of the internal DAC. This could potentially lead to a more indepth conversation... couldn't it?
As noted, I have the DAC and separate transport. The issue of the two separate units was a bit of convenience for me. I had an old transport and thought I would just go with the DAC first. Once I heard and saw the DAC I bit the bullit and bought the transport. The dealer - who is a reasonable chap - indicated that the two units offer slightly better sound because on separates a number of elements which can interact in the cd player (single unit)are kept apart. I can't verify that as I have only heard the two unit combo. As mentioned before I am very pleased with the way it performs. I do know what you mean regarding the digitial cable as that is a concern to me. I have begun to try out a number of digital cables to see what they are like but don't have anything to report at the present. When I do I will be in touch. As others have mentioned I have begun to look for a solution for the 'computer cord' that connects the transport power suppy to the main unit - I am just in the process of getting something to try out and will also let people know about this. I'm always happy to talk about matters regarding this. I have also found that contacting m. lurne is very helpful (though I would say if he got a thousand emails he might be slower to reply) . I think what you hear about upgrades is important - as with many things - to take with a grain of salt. He indicated that the swiss company responsible for the DAC etc said new chips for the dac have not been built but will be adaptable. As far as new software they are in the process of considering this but only if they think it is likely to improve the music. They will have to look at the cost benefit ratio - but the unit is definitely upgradable. Jumps in the price - like 2000 us for the audioaero take the unit very near the price of something like a used CD12 - something I have only heard in a bad set up (Harrods department store) - but which begin to move out of my price range currently

Gary - Piere Lurne' has (on limited supply) replacements for the DB9 - RS232 (computer cord) power cord which runs from the power supply to the transport. I have no idea if they are better or not because I have never used one. A friend of mine is currently trying to purchase one.

My concern with the digital cable is that I presume it could affect the sound & character of the combined units tremendously, depending upon which of the (several hundred available) digital cable you select. I'd guess that the character of a stand alone Mephisto II Player would be easier to predict.
Mephisto vs. Keops

I received an Audiomeca Keops today which I purchased to use while I save money for another Mephisto. I recently had to sell my Mephisto to pay taxes and even up on some outstanding purchases I made.

While I have only spent 30 minutes with the Keops I must say it is a very nice solution for people who seek a high grade CD player in the $1200 --> $1500 (used) price range.

Upon receipt, I took the player to a friends house - who has a Mephisto II - to compare. While much of the "family sound" of the Mephisto is a component of the Keops, I feel it lacks the scale and dimension of the Mephisto. The Mephisto does a much better job of weaving the sonic fabric without leaving holes - whereas the Keops seems to leave a few places which need to be patched.... Can a good power cord or the right interconnects patch the holes completely? I do not know but experience tells me the right ones will certainly help to fine tune this great little player.

Compared to the finest CD players, the Mephisto is tops at layering the soundstage in a way that is more involving and realistic that it seems unfair to compare the Keops to the Mephisto in that category. Side by side & against the Mephisto, the Keops is certainly not a contender for the worlds greatest redbook CD player.

The Mephisto does an amazing job of extending/expanding the soundstage BETWEEN the speakers - adding depth and dimension, layers of texture, clearly defined images and the Keops doesn't quite close the gap - the space between the speakers is still full of lovely music but it's not thick, weighty or as dimensional.

Making the comparison a bit more fair -
The Keops does create a much more involving space when compared to the Sony DVP-9000ES. The texture and tonal qualities of the Keops are much more organic, real and touchable than those produced by the Sony. I don't know what DAC is used in the Keops but I was surprised to discover that it had detail equal to that of the Sony but without the edge.

This comparison was made between the Mephisto and Keops using NO aftermarket power cords on each and a run of Audio Note Kondo KSL interconnects - same goes for the Sony vs. Keops.

Not a bad 30 minutes. I look forward to listening more this evening.
Bryans comments on the keops are very thoughtful as always. It would not be surpising that audiomeca gear would tend to have a similar sound, manufacturers often tend towards this. I would certainly echo bryans comments about the soundstage of the mephisto. One point I might add is that it like any component is system dependent. I had a friend borrow my unit while I was away and he put it into an avant garde duo/joule system and thought it did not handle female vocals well. He is a huge music lover and I don't doubt his impressions. It may have been the lack of isolation - but this to me is one of my favorite sounds - and I thought the mephisto in my system excellent in this respect. Being canadian I have had a fair opportunity to listen to holly cole live and the mephisto in my system does a superb job of reproducing her voice. I have ordered the special power cable from m. lurne and will let people know of my impressions when I get it.

interesting comments Bwhite...i find the Keops very satisfying and i share all your impressions about the Keops ($1700 brand new in box) replaced the Meridian 506.20 and i'm quite happy with're right when you mention adding a better power cord...i changed the stock cord and it made a big difference...the Keops is the most analog sounding player below $ matches perfectly with my Innersound system...
Iasi - thanks. The Keops is very satisfying. I got to spend the evening with it last night and it is sounding quite good. Since the Keops is a temporary replacement for my Mephisto - I put it up for sale. Because hopefully by the time it sells, I will have enough cash to re-buy a Mephisto.

Given that my tastes for high end audio have become insatiable - I find that living without the Mephisto in my system had been very difficult. The Keops is a warm and friendly reminder of the more expensive player - and a glimpse of what lies ahead. As I expected, the Keops is the best companion I could ever hope for while I am without the much more expensive Mephisto.

It is a very good player.
Hey guys, has any body out there tried the Electraglide power cords. whether it is the reference glide Mk lll or the fat boy. The Electra glide is a very promising Power cord if not the best. I haven't owned one yet, but I heard the fat boy at someones place, and it lifted the CD player to a whole new level, which gave it a silent background, reduced the noise floor and made the separation between instruments more realistic, which made the performance of music very tangible. The changes were realy dramatic. You ought to try them.
Farhad - I really like Electraglide power cords. My favorite place for them however is on amplifiers. The manufacturer doesn't recommend them on CD players unless its the P/T Glide. The FatMan K 2000 is amazing! And for solid state lovers, the Original Fat Boy (first version with three tubes inside the mesh & copper plug) is fantastic! Of course with all power cords, you should do what sounds good to you.
BWhite: Why have you decided to buy another Mephisto vs. the new AA Capitole? Just curious and I respect your opinion on these units.

Also, if you had a Capitole, would you run it directly or use a Classe CP-60 preamp, which I own. thanks
Gerryn - I preferred the Mephisto to the old Capitole and the appearance of the new Capitole doesn't excite me - neither does the price tag!! Yikes!

Actually I saw a new Capitole (MkII) being sold on Audiogon today for 5500.

I am not terribly familiar with the Classe' CP-60 preamp. So take my suggestion with a grain of salt... kay? In a case where I had a solid state preamp, I would run the Capitole directly to the amplifier.

With the Capitole, you are speaking about one of the finest CD players in the world. So when you go to connect it to a preamp, you must also ask yourself, "Is this preamp one of the finest in the world?" If not, I would be affraid of using the pre simply because it could strip away some of the Capitole magic. Of course you have to try it both ways to see which you prefer. Less magic may be a good thing! :)

Make sense?

I have a VERY resolving preamp and in my system, the Capitole sounded better with it vs. its own volume control.
WOW... I put the Keops on a Shunyata Hydra today along with a Shunyata King Cobra power cord. The Keops really blossomed into a much better sounding unit. Like the Mephisto, the soundstage is now thicker BETWEEN the speakers. Layering and depth is there and the sound took on a much more involving character. I am quite impressed with this player.

I retrospect, I feel as if yesterday and the day before I had been listening to the surface of the music. Just hearing the notes - music without emotion. Much the same as any normal "good" CD player - but with the power conditioner and cord on the Keops, it brings me into the music much deeper than before. It takes on a character that is entirely different than normal $3000 players, sheds a great deal of the brightness and begins to sound more grown up and confident.

Of course these are expensive upgrades but they force me to entertain the thought of just how effective a few modifications to a unit like the Keops might be. For instance if someone can modify a Sony DVD player to sound good, the Keops or even the Prima could sound remarkable in the right hands - for a minimal investment. Very interesting thought.
Bwhite..Does it make a difference if the Mephisto is grounded or not, when it is connectted directly to the AC mains. Should the grounding wire section in the power cord be ignored or not. Have you tried both ways, I mean grounding and ungrounding, and which is the best solution. I'm asking cause in some equipments grounding can cause humming in certain cases and it can reduce the sonic quality of some electronic systems.