EMM Labs new XSD1 single box player

For those of you that attend Rocky Mountain AudioFest 2009, what did you think of the new top of the line EMM Labs single box player. I believe the Audio Federation room will have it. This is the single box version of the TSD1/DAC2. Supposedly around $25,000.00.
Why would you pay more for the single box version? the TSD1/DAC2 retails for $20,500. I checked their website and no news of the new unit but that doesn't mean much....
FWIW... see the blog at AudioFederation's website. Both photos and their preliminary impression of XSD1 are available.
It has the new, uber-expensive esoteric transport, which may explain the price increase:

To be precise, it is highest model in the lowest end transport in the line of Esoteric transports - VOSP with the metal tray (see here: http://www.teac.com/esoteric/documents/TransportsEsoteric0408pq.pdf).

In any case, it is an excellent transport and I'm glad to see that EmmLabs has finally addressed the two shortcomings of their CDPs - a proper transport and digital inputs.
... or you could just buy a Playback Designs MPS-5 (it's cheaper) and be done with it!!
Except that the Playback Designs has very limited options in terms of dealers and they won't give you a trial like EmmLabs. So, if you are buying on blind faith and enjoy gambling with 15K, then go for it.
My original question did start out with 'for those of you that attend' as opposed to 'attended', .. what did you think?.

That aside, single box versions do have shorter signal paths. I am sure Mr. Meitner et al. have new ideas which may be incorporated in the new single box design. That not withstanding, maybe I should go to the AudioFederation site before I type this, but no one ever accused me of being bright.
My original question did start out with 'for those of you that attend' as opposed to 'attended', .. what did you think?.

How can I form an opinion on a demo which hasn't occurred yet?

I'm not trying to be difficult but honestly don't know what you are asking.

I will have a reply for you in about a week however. :)
Yes, the XSD1 was on display and it sounded very good.

Here are a few pics:


First review up here:


While I'm not a big SACD guy (very limited musical selection and uneven quality), the review sells the CD side well short; you don't have to care about SACD to seriously consider this player imo.

Also, the claim that the fit and finish leave something to be desired is, at best, laughable. While not up to the herculean efforts of my current Wadia 861se (certainly in the upper echelon of CDPs in terms of fit and finish) no excuses generally need to be made (well, other than EMM Labs making sure that the screws on the bottom of the unit are secured properly so that they don't come loose in transit, but since they are regular philips screws they can be tightened without too much trouble) and the ergonomics are superior to Wadia in at least one noticeable aspect - direct selection of digital inputs (Wadia, why is this so difficult to implement?!?).
I just picked up an XSD1 from my dealer. I'm trading in my previous units - the TSD1 & DAC2. I like the idea of a single box with digital inputs. It's a bit early to say exactly what it sounds like. As for fit & finish - nothing wrong that I can see. It's an attractive unit, seems well built.
I think the best player at the show was the AMR model I heard. It sounded very close to the better Audio Note transport + Dac combinations at a lower price. The EMM I heard was poorly set up. No room I visited had a high end Audio Note digital source, which is what I generally use as a standard.
Also, make sure you get the new November firmware (102_002) off of the EMM Labs site.
How often does EMM come out with new firmware upgrades and how do you know when it has been made available?
This is one of those things that I have complained to EMM about but they do not seem to care; ideally, they should not only list the version number on their site with date but also the change history. At this point, the only way to determine whether there has been a new update is to call and ask or to download the zip file from the site, unzip it and look at the revision number of the file compared to the last file you downloaded.

The XDS1 is relatively new and so far the updates have been monthly but I expect this to taper off over time.
Do the updates have to be installed sequentially, or is it enough to update the latest version?
Considering the fact that older updates aren't made available online, the latest update should be sufficient.

After more than a month, how do you find the XSD1 comparing with the TSD1+DAC2?