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Which should I choose?
The EMM Lab XDS-1 or Playback Design MPS-5?
this unit uses a transport which allows me to erase residual playback memory and directly cue-up desired track to play (unlike the previous 3 models - the CDSA, CDSD, and TSD1) so that sound quality is optimised. the playback design transport (same esoteric made oem transport) behaves the same way, but the emmy has an additional standby button on the front, so i won't have to reach over to the back to flick the power off/on. the playback doesn't have that, so it's another plus point for the emmy.
i also like the fact that on the emmy, the absolute polarity button is available on the front panel, (unlike the playback design) so that when i have to engage it, i don't have to use the remote at all. the remote won't be opened and used. it stays in the carton box.
and the song that has the honor of being the first being played on the emmy....?
it's wu yin ying, the oriental songbird of the forties
this very early year 1990, made in japan disc is a straight transfer from the original lacquers. the surface noise is so uncannily real...
Please do your best to describe the sound of this player when you have time.
It is a surprise to me - maybe it is because I'm still using the Sony factory supplied Hirakawa powercord (European supplied 3-conductor version).
I had 4 pcs of the kimber PK power cords which I sold off in favor of this very humble looking stock powercord, simply because the sonic differences between different disc pressings of many same recordings were very much more audible via the Hirakawa than the kimber PK-14 powercord. So the kimber shall stay in the carton.
The first hour of this player in my system was spent alternating between listening and plugging out and plugging in the Hirakawa powercord. You see, this very thinny gauge powercord is very susceptible to resonance, like when any part of the cable is under tension, so I am trying various way to lay the cable down, in the most relaxed manner, as much as possible. And I am using the Jerome procedure to cue up the test track to play, and I am basing the final cable resting position/formation on how audible is the Jerome syndrome - meaning the resting position/formation of the powercord cable that gives me the most audible Jerome syndrome effect is the one I chose.
And in the process, I am coming to the conclusion that the Emmy sounds remarkably like my unmodded SCD-1, in general tonality and in the way it reacts to powercord placements, and to different methods of track cueing. the sound is slightly dark, i can perceive some truncation of top octave extension (analog tape hiss is less audible), and there is a little of that stringency that's associated with new equipment taken straight out of the box. I hope that will dissipate soon, and I would expect details resolution and soundstaging to improve as time goes on.....
Ed Meitner, originally, was part of Sony's DSD designer team.
If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well
That's truly a compliment to the SCD-1 and the EMM. I can never afford the EMM but would love to hear one in my system. Much happiness with your new acquisition Jerome.
Morning, Ears that I trust lauded this combo as better than both the above.
I listened at some length to arguably the best CD/SACD players currently available; Dcs Puccini/U-Clock, Esoteric K-01, EMM Labs XDS1, and Playback Designs MPS-5. I heard them at the 2008 and 2011 RMAF and last year I listened extensively to the Esoteric K-05 (K-01 wasn't available), and the EMM Labs XDS1 after RMAF at two local dealers.
I felt they were all exceptional at playing back both RBCD and SACD with awesome presence, articulation, dynamics, and imaging. My first CD/SACD player was the Sony SCD-1, replaced by the Cary 306 CD/SACD player. I still think the 306 is an excellent player, especially on the resale market I used to sell my 306.
I purchased the XDS1 last December because of it's ability to reproduce instruments with extraordinary realism and delicacy. I'm fully aware of the naysayers, but IMO the XDS1 coupled with a highly competent audio system simply is more musical and analog sounding than the contenders.
Please forgive me regarding my remarks on Mr. Crowder and his review; I am sure he is a fine gentleman and an expert in his field. I get too worked up sometimes about hifii reviews...
I am really interested in the answers, I've been toying with the idea of a
Neither both are very much overpriced and IMO a rip-off. OTH if you have auditioned both and want to waste your dough the choice is yours.
Get the one of which the sound is more to your liking... duh
If you can't audition then you could be wasting a huge amount of money based on the opinion of people you don't even know!
"On 16th note runs of the violin, it was possible to differentiate each note." Fred Crowder, Dagogo review of the MPS-5.
"On the Playback Designs, the English horn in the introduction is very rich tonally and quite close to the sound of the real instrument." same douche, same review..
Wow, what a great player; it lets you hear sound coming out of the speakers! Go out and spend $15,000 on it LOL! Give me an f-ing break, I could say that about the busted radio at the garage sale down the street! don't trust reviews, listen for yourself and then let us know which is better...
Actually, I understand the lack of currency you accord Fred Crowder's remarks (not Mr. Crowder personally) as well intentioned and heartfelt those remarks may have been. I was fortunate enough to inherit from my Dad a couple of hundred books on music (mostly jazz). Some of these books chronicle the early history of the music industry including early recordings and hi fidelity gear during the 30s, 40s, and 50s. It was not uncommon for commentators of the day to make remarks about their listening experiences that were not unlike those of what Mr. Crowder and others have said about Playback Designs and other gear, expensive and not so expensive.
I remember one commentator extolling the virtues and realism of the 1930s Baby Grand Philco Radio in terms that are more compelling than what I have ever read in "Stereophile" or "Absolute Sound". I suspect that even then there were those who agreed with the commentator as well as those who concurred. I have learned, not to summarily dismiss such descriptions and opinions, which we read practically everyday, but to include them among a dozen other factors, including other points of view.
Bottom line is that there is no substitute for a meaningful audition of said gear, preferably in one's own system coupled with a heavy dose of suspension of disbelief and hope that you don't have buyer's remorse. And to the greatest degree possible compare that gear/system/room not just to other gear but also to a live music reference (as difficult as that can be).
Robert C. Lang
Many listeners to this device claimed they couldn't hear any difference between it and live music. "Realism" has always been a moving target. I've never heard any system that I thought was indistinguishable from live, acoustical music, though some on some instruments came pretty close.
Hear Hear Hear!
Hear Hear Hear
You were right when you posted "Boy, am I in snarky mood this morning".
I have met Fred Crowder a couple of times and he's a true gentleman.
Each have their supporters. I can't imagine you would not be happy with either player, and the $8k difference in price may tip the balance towards the MP-5.
The pd may be 8k cheaper, but it is not very well supported by the local agent here.
For instance, this company will only divert all interest to their sole dealer, who is treated with wary by many here.
I could have bought the pd last year, but I was told they were out of stock, when clearly there were a stack of pd units in clear view in their retail store.
I was asked to go back after a week (when they said new stocks will arrive), and while I was there, I was made to wait for more than 2 hours, and still in the end, they would not do demo, and I was to take the box as it is.
It is well known that Koch (a former colleague of mine) did all the digital algorithms for Meitner, so the PD could be the Meitner's better (CDSD+TSD-1), well, at least that's what I was told (by the designer of my speakers, who incidentally, is also an ex-colleague of Koch and myself). However, with the XDS-1, according to some reports, Meitner now seems to have pulled something out of his hat that Koch has yet to equal. The noise issue on the pd, that was highlighted by stereophile magazine still hasn't been answered convincingly, I think, and that puts the pd at a disadvantage where my final choice is concerned. The pd, however, has that USB input thingy which is going to be compatible with dsd data in the future, so I think you can imagine why the decision is not so straight forward.
Are there anyone who has heard both in extended sessions, and chose one over the other?
I would like to hear from you, thanks.
Can the USA made machine compare to the like of Esoteric and Accuphase?
And also reliability?
"I was asked to go back after a week (when they said new stocks will arrive), and while I was there, I was made to wait for more than 2 hours, and still in the end, they would not do demo, and I was to take the box as it is."
Totally unacceptable; as if people are waiting in droves to buy a $15,000 cd player?!? Niche market, they should treat their dwindling clientele with all the respect a Ferarri dealership gives to their wealthy clients!
Boy, am I in snarky mood this morning
Those are the very reasons many of us have chosen to buy our electronics off of the internet. Not realizing who was suppossed to be serving who is most probably what caused Marvin Electronics in Ft. Worth to have to close their doors. As far as which SACD player fits Jerome's needs, I'd have to belive it would be one that best complements his all nla system.
They actually let me take equipment home for auditions with no obligations to buy. The only catch was I had put everything on a credit card so if I messed up, I would have had to buy it. At first I found this irritating but using collateral is understandable; I heard a story about a customer who borrowed some expensive Mcintosh gear, accidently dropped it and refused to pay for the repair/replacement.
If anything I bought from them ever broke (all covered under warranty), I was able to get "loaners" until my equipment was serviced.
The "official" reason for the closure is the family is finding real estate to be a more lucrative field. The store front has already been sold to another developer.
I know of two people that had problems that were never resolved. One was a B&W sub from a system that was bought from there. All that was necessary was to rebuild or replace the dead plate amp. They wanted to sell another woofer. Some waranty service. The other was a defective woofer from a system that was bought there. They refused that guy as well. Like I said, you are special. ;-)
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