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
Tweekerman... I'd be interested in hearing how your search has gone. these are among the same players I'm trying to decide upon...
Thanks Bryan (re: the powercord recommendations). I have spoken with Stewart at SOS, and done my research (I know another owner who has tried EVERYTHING and swears by hos Electraglide PC's), and apparently the new Electraglide stuff is a notch above the Elrod (especially the new Ghengis Khan)- but then againm for the price, it better be!!
Hi Bryan, I will be getting the EPS-2 soon for the Audiomeca CDP. Also, Stewart at Sanctuary of Sound will be getting a $300 replacement for the stock computer cord (alas, David Elrod told me he could design a new one but he's way too busy with work as it is - his speaker wires and interconnects are coming out in the fall).

I'm still recovering from my recent trip to Lyric HiFi a few blocks from my apartment; they had the replacement to the NBS Statement hanging on the wall with a tiny price tag attached with a big number on it - 3750. I thought they must have forgotten the decimal point, but .... they didn't. I never like going home empty-handed, so a bought of couple of interesting CDs, like the Burmester sampler #3
(very smooth).

If you'd like, I'd be happy to send the EPS-2 to you for evaluation in your system as I'm still in the process of setting up mine. The Talon Ravens have nearly fully broken in; I'm becoming an expert of sorts in break-in CDs ;^). My next priority is replacing my duplex outlet and diving into the wonderful world of power conditioners.

To more quickly attend to the main question, I think the Audiomeca not only looks good but sounds great. Now, how about the upcoming Prestige A/V player by Audio Aero which will play everything (I mean SACD / DVD-A / redbook / multichannel, etc.). This kind of makes the current Capitole (at $8.6K) a bit superfluous; although it's an excellent player it will certainly be at least equalled in redbook by the Prestige, and the latter is just so much more flexible.

The Prestige also looks greeeeeaaaaat! (check out the bottom of this page -
Hi Sutts - with the AA Capitole.

Number one source cable (in popularity) right now is the Dave Elrod's EPS-2. I haven't been able to get my hands on one yet but from what I have read about these, they are outstanding. You might ask around - do a post on the subject & look for comparisons. You've got a great CDP and it deserves a great power cord.

Otherwise, you might try the Shunyata King Cobra V2 if you are using tube amps/preamp. Try the V1 if you're using solid state.

NBS Statement will certainly liven up the place. Its also a fantastic sounding power cord - but polar opposite of the Shunyata.

I have the Capitole MK I, and would love to know what other owners have found as the best aftermarket power cord to use on this CDP... it possible to have a one box digital player producing musical sound thats worth $8K?..yes my previous post is based on economics...which is my situation..let me know about your new CAPITOLE..give me your honest opinion.. i've got a long way to go for an upgrade to that level..i'm working on speakers..then onto digital upgrade..yea my bad
tweek- how could you say that? only a select few have heard the new Capitole, I should get mine in about a week and will of coures report the results, have you heard the new unit? if not make such a statement in a few weeks, but from what I am told from those who have heard the unit, it is amazing!

if i had a choice of the CAPITIOLE vs the new VECTEUR D-2 trans + an upgraded KORA HERMES dac...$8500 vs $1200+2500...i would not hesitate for a moment and take the V+K..that should be the current winning combo in digital choices these days
While SACD can be viewed as limited (something like 400-500 discs available worldwide) by some people I guess it all depends on what suits your taste. I for one can't even think of 30 redbooks cds I want right now so I guess its a preception issue. As for shipping it, if I were to purchase a new Sony and desired it to be modded, I would have Oade send it directly to my "modder of choice" who would then forward it to me once completed. I can personally attest that my modded 333ES is now an entirely different animal.

No doubt the new AA is a killer but at a list price of almost $9K I wonder just how a modded XA777ES player (maybe even a tube version) might fare with an estimated total investment of $4500 in comparison...

Good luck whatever your decision.
Thanks for the great information you guys, it was just what I wanted to read. I'm wondering though, if it wouldn't be better to just order the Audio Aero, or another top brand of cd player, without having to send your Sony all over the place. I don't have a lot of CD's at this time, so was thinking of buying a SACD player and go for quality instead of quantity (SACD's instead of redbook cd's). I know that SACD's are limited at this time. If the redbook quality is very good, I may just purchase it anyway. Thanks again for the thoughtful and useful information.
I just read Lorne's Review and it appears that he did get a chance to listen to his XA777ES before and after the mods. While I have only spent a few hours with the Sony XA777ES, I would have to agree with his thoughts on the pre-modification character of this unit. My interconnects are Audio Note Kondo KSL (new AN-Vz replacement) and NBS Statement so the unit would not be quite as "warm" or rolled off in my system as in his system with Cardas and Stealth PGS - but I do know what he means.
Yep.. I read Lorne's review. It is very good. I don't know however if Lorne got to hear his XA777ES with/without the mods. He had Richard Kern of Audiomods perform the modifications

I emailed Dan Wright of Modwright regarding the effects of his mods which range in price from $600 --> $2600. This is what Dan told me I could expect from a modified unit vs. a non-modified unit.

The parts upgrade will lower the noise floor, improve detail and bass response.

The Superclock will greatly improve dynamics and resolution. It simply makes the music sound more live.

The Bybee filters provide similar improvements to the parts upgrade, but take things much further in terms of a dark background and improving air and spaciousness.

The tubed output stage simply sets the unit apart from
other players. It replaces the final op-amp based output stage with an elegant tubed output stage built with 1% precision metal film resistors and Auricap coupling caps. The tube power supply is completely outboard, with DC heaters, a custom Electraprint transformer, hand-made to our specifications. It adds a 3-dimensional quality to the sound, with incredible frequency range, allowing for a touch of tube warmth accompanied with airy highs and no lack of resolution or detail.

The unit with all upgrades was found to perform on the same level as the $6k-$7k Audio Aero Capital 192K upsampling CD player on regular CD's. On SACD, it completely bettered the Audio Aero in every way.
An inmate we haven't heard from in a long time,Lorne Cherry, had the full mod done (around $2.5K I think) about 3 months ago. He wrote a lengthy review and posted it here. Check the archives.
I am interested in this player (Sony XA777ex) and was wondering if anybody has had it modified and what the difference is in the before and after mods. Thanks
Heads up to those of you looking at the "lower end" Audio Aero, Audiomeca, Electrocompaniet and other CD players...

Just yesterday I received my second interim CD player (temporary - as I attempt to save up for another Mephisto). I purchased a Sony XA777ES from OADE Brothers for $2,000.

Right out of the box, the Sony really surprised me in that it has a very pleasing signature. I expected it to have the typical dry, detailed, bright and mechanical presentation so many other mass market CD players have but - this one does not. It has a softer sound but at the same time is extended and detailed - interesting character. This character is comperable to the Mephisto in many ways and actually, the Sony sounds more like the Mephisto than the Keops does. The Sony's dynamics are greater than the Mephisto and slightly less than the Audio Aero Capitole. The Sony has an ease about it that is feels very accurate in terms of pace - but is slower than you would expect from mass market gear.

I put the 1 hour old Sony in a test A/B with a friends Mephisto. The Mephisto has a magical quality that is clearly better than the Sony but - I tell you, Sony did an amazing job with this XA777ES player - it is right up there with some of the top players and a real contender.

I doubt that simple break in of the Sony would make it 100% at the Mephisto level but given that there are numerous modifications (including a tube output) for the Sony available it makes me wonder if the Sony has the potential of becomming the better player. A characteristic of the Mephisto I find enjoyable is its "relaxing" feeling - soothing and delicious to listen to. The Sony is not soothing compared to the Mephisto - but if the modifications plus a little break in, power cords, etc. are available then the Sony could very easily slide right in there at the top of the list.
Hi Snook - I have only read about the "CD Transformers" I have no idea what's inside those things or what they're doing to the signal. Folks who have used them seem to really like how they "transform" digital components into something more enjoyable.

What's odd to me is they do it in the analog realm.

How much better does it make the sound?
Bwhite, I am using the lower version. Are you familiar with the transformers.
Snook? Are you saying that you are using the $18,000 (hifi farm sells for 11,250) CD Transformer?? Or did you put the lower end version in your system?

I dicovered a definite upgrade with the Mephisto II transport and Enkianthus dac by using the audio tekne cd transformer. This improved the soundstage and the imaging was even more focused. Definitely more analog sounding. I'm still trying to find out what is inside this little box but there is no translation from Japanese. The transformer is used between the dac and the preamp and can be used with an cd player.
Peter its true that the thread developed into a review of the bigger brothers, but this was a great opportunity for most of us who do not have an opportunity to audition these superior digital players, and Bwhite's review brought us a good understanding, so could you pick up where he left off and tell us more about this new upgrade PRIMA, i was headed toward the METRONOME V1, but may reconsider my choice
Whoa !! You can't begin to compare the Prima 24/192 with
the Capitole 24/192.There are many similarities,but
the price spread is huge.My Prima 24/192 is a great
improvement from any other player I have owned or auditioned.What used to sound 'live' now sounds 'true to
life',and there is a difference.The New Prima 24/192
price went up about $400.00.The New Captiole went through
the roof. Power cable matching is a whole other problem
I have found though.Using a 'Blue Circle'now,seems okay
but I would like to try something else.An Essence ESP?
may be who's to know ?
Bryan you went from owning 3 of the best digital players on the market ..and have regressed to a SONY..PLAYSTATION (what's that?) i feel for can only get better hang in there...if your sony malfunctions i'll lend you my NAD which i don't even listen to lately...because of the dreaming of owning a METRONOME...this hi-end audio really messes with the mind...can't EVEN listen to music for the want of the other woman stealing the heart
Hey Thanks Tweekerman!! Guess what?? Well, I sold my Audiomeca Keops. I thought it would take a long time to sell but - as it turns out it didn't. The person who purchased it is certainly enjoying a fantastic player.

Anyhow, what I wanted to tell you all is that I am now using a Sony Playstation 2 as my CD player!! Oh.. Man!!

When is Pay Day??
AS said i think Mr. Bwhite has done an outstanding job in reviewing these superior units..however if i could rewrite the title of the thread i would like it to read...METRONOME's line of $2K to $6K vs all other digital units in each price category of the NOME's...reason being...METRONOME is the only lab offering an extensive line of reputable very high quality craftmanship...there is something for almost everyone here...i probably will do a thread on this IF no responce to this post
Farhad, my goal with digital was for it to sound more like music. Real music. Good analog recordings on good equipment produce the finest sound I have heard. The Mephisto is simply the MOST analog like CD player of the bunch. The Accuphase is spectacular and I put it just slightly behind the Audio Aero and the Mephisto in a line-up of which player is best. Whenever you get to this level of componentry most of the equipment that occupies the top shelf is spectacular. Various system configurations, interconnects and the like can quite easily make or break a good player at these levels. Therefore it simply becomes more an issue of personal preference and the occasional perceived difference that dictate which is better.

Why I chose the Mephisto over the Accuphase was simply the fact that it produced a more life like sound un my system - it wasn't "in your face" like some of the other players and it wasn't greater than life either - like some of the other players.

For example, some people like to buy CD players because they have "more bass". Well... one must ask his/her self if that extra bass puts the music over the top. Is it still realistic? There are people who like exaggerated bass and there are people who have systems which need the emphasis.

My goal was to produce a system which was neither too much or too little of anything - just the right amount. I don't want a soundstage bigger than the performance and I don't want blurry players. I want the real deal. With my system, I must say the Mephisto comes the closest to producing the realistic performance of any CD player I have heard, however I have spent countless hours and a few bucks tweaking my system's interconnects, and power cords to accomodate the short falls of my system (including the Mephisto) to acheive what I think might be close - it's not really possible but... it is fun trying.

I guess I would say that which CD player is best all depends on you. In some system contexts, I presume a 2nd tier CD player could completely wipe out any of my favorites if it was paired with the right interconnects and power cords. System synergy has more to do with the results you acheive than the individual component. It takes time and energy to produce a system with good synergy and of course it helps to start off with a component we identify as being "the best".
Bwhite.. I'm a bit confused. I'm not sure which one you like more. You describe the words with true feelings and emotion. But, I still haven't got the picture clearly. I would appreciate if you can elaberate more, and comment if the accuphase will stand among the crowd singing or will the Mephisto put down and make shame out of the accuphase.
The Accuphase is an effortless player - it is quieter than the Mephisto between tracks - dead quiet - but then again, so is my 100 Toshiba DVD player (not as quiet as the Accuphase however). Noticing that the Mephisto isn't quiet between tracks leads me to wonder why. I have no idea. As quiet as it is, it is very fast and produces a big, forward sound and dynamic swings making the Mephiso seem slow and relaxed. As The Accuphase moves through a dynamic sweep, it layers the soundstage well and can peak with sweet highs that kiss the air in the room tenderly and then evapoate into nothingness. Not bright and not etched. This was my favorite part of the Accuphase performance. I'm not sure if I described it well or not. But... I often felt that with the Accuphase, the midrange sounded a little off - maybe sterile or electronic but not metalic.. I don't know... just not organic... which lead me to think that when the highs were reached in a complex passage that the Accuphase would go over the top and produce a bright sound -this never happened and always amazed with its tender attention to my ears. Make sense?

As great as the Accuphase is, I doubt that anyone would ever mistake it for an analog turntable. In the right context, a Mephisto could be.
Bwhite.. Thank for answering the previous part. But, you have mentioned once that you have listenned to or owned the Accuphase DP 75V before, which used to be one of my favorite player of all times. How do you compare it to the Mephisto, and which of the two personally do you like more..
Farhad - I understand. But most people who look at a CD player which sells used for around $4,000 wouldn't think twice about using the stock power cord on the unit. NBS Statement power cords sell for around 500.

In my system, I used the Mephisto for a LONG time without an aftermarket power cord. In some ways, stock power cords are pretty decent in the sense that they do not color the sound. Of course aftermarket designs are very good at adding dynamics and various "effects" but the true test of a component is how it performs without the effects. While I have never heard any digital component sound better with a stock cord vs. a carefully selected aftermarket design - I must say the Mephisto is the least likely of ALL PLAYERS MENTIONED ABOVE to react harshly to a stock power cord. For example, the Electrocompaniet EMC-1 sounds lousy (to me) without an aftermarket power cord and can produce too much digital hash and noise which some perceive as "detail" until its gone. The Mephisto seems to produce the least hash and digital artifact of all the players I've ever tested and is by far the easiest to listen to.

Does this answer your question?
Bwhite..Remember when you mentioned the list of different power cords, and how each of them has it's own sound character and signature. They produce magic when they are connected to the Mephisto. But, some of us can not afford to buy such expensive power cords.

I'm sure that the Mephisto is an extremely excellent player. But, when the Mephisto is connectted to it's own cheap PC power cord, can it still sing naturally and can it still perform magic as well.
Fahad74, For the characteristics you speak of - the NBS Statement power cord is the best I have listened to. If you really want the HiFi Nirvana - the NBS Statement plugged into a Shunyata Hydra should do the trick. This will ad a degree of musicality that the NBS lacks (to some extent) and Shunyata is so good at.

I wouldn't use the Shunyata Hydra on any other component however - just the digital
Bwhite..Among all the power cords you have tried the shunyata king cobra, NBS and others. Which do you think will be the best solution for the Mephisto to make it jump to a whole new level, giving it more dynamics and realistic presentaion, better separation between instruments, holographic and better tonal accuracy, more bass definition and last but not least, live and musical than ever..

I'm talking about hi fi nirvana
Farhad, Grounding is an interesting subject. While manufacturers are required to have their components built to specifications which allow for grounding, grounding itself in not necessary with every component. The one component in your system which SHOULD be grounded is the preamp. Every component connects directly to the preamp via interconnect cables essence, every component is truly grounded as long as one is. Make sense?

I have dedicated lines in my house with a dedicated ground for audio. The Mephisto sounds the same with and without the ground and I notice no additional hum or noise.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.

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.
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.
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

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?
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.
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.