First Blush: Emm Labs CDSD And DC2 Signature Editions

We moved the new Emm Labs transport and DAC upstairs where the old pair sat for just about a year and a half. [They had just spent its first week on the system with the Kharma Mini Exquisite speakers – which are nearly, but not quite, broken in].

I let it settle in some and then played some test CDs.

Swtiching back and forth between the multichannel and 2-channel version of Dark Side of the Moon, it was so obvious that the 2-channel version sounded quite a bit less strident in the midrange, more relaxed, uncompressed, unconfused during complex passages… i.e. it is starting to break in!

In comparison so our previous Emm Labs pair, this pair already had more resolution and a lower noise floor. The combination of these two is serving to increase the transparency even beyond the state-of-the-art industry-leading transparency we had experienced with the older version.

It has been a week since we have been playing it – but it is just starting to relax, which was another major, for me, feature of the Meitner pair: Startling transparency in this casual not-even-trying manner (which derives from, I think, the resolution, especially in the midrange, coming fron naturally formed details, as opposed to the popular lotsa details where notes rise and fall faster than is real).

The trademark purity of tone was immediately apparent from the get-go, after 10 seconds of playing time.

This transparency and purity… it is something no other digital we have heard is able to challenge. Yes, the others may have more detail, or slam, or a rounder sound more able to mate with unforgivning electronics located somewhere else in the system. But if you want a ‘straight wire with gain’ kind of sound… this is it.

But… you… have… to… let… it… break… in.

24 x 7 by, say, 6 weeks or more…


And break in each path through the player that you are going to use: redbook, SACD, preamp analog output, and analog input if necessary… I am not sure the unit gain output needs breaking in too if you are going to use that. But it can’t hurt…