I am a former authorized dealer for many of the most revered brands and manufacturer's in our industry, and I am selling and liquidating my inventory and nearly everything I own and have collected to share our hobby and our passion and put some money in the bank for retirement
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EMM Labs XDS1 V1 CD/SACD Player, absolutely 10/10 mint flawless condition Listening Impressions
The first thing which strikes you with the XDS1 is the wealth of musically meaningful information, which it is capable of retrieving from digital media.
This is particularly the case with low-level information, such as the ambient signature of the space in which the musical event occurred.
Prior to having lived with the XDS1, I would have said that the top-of-the-line Esoteric machines had the edge on any other digital players in this area.
Now, I will say that the degree of detail provided by the P03/D03 and the XDS1 are equivalent but that the presentation of that detail by each is very different.
Think of the same listener sitting at two very different locations in a hall, one very close to the stage, the other more mid hall. Both are presented with equal levels of detail but that detail is perceived very differently at each location.
Close to the stage, there is an abundance of direct sound which gives the illusion of enhanced detail (hyper detailed).
Ten to twelve rows further back, the direct sound still predominates but now there is a component of reflected sound which adds information about the hall.
The sum of the detail provided by the direct and reflected sound is actually greater than the detail at the more forward listening position, but may not seem so.
The XDS1 is absolutely superb in providing the more subtle cues such as ambience or the sound of the body cavity of a cello or double bass.
Other areas which are outstanding include presence, purity of sound, imaging and total absence of digital artifacts. Taken as a whole, these add up to a level of realism that leaves the competition in the dust.
Music emerges from a totally black background in a way that can at times be startling.
There is clearly a correlation between low noise floor and the ability to hear low-level detail, particularly ambient information.
The lower the noise floor, the easier it is to discern low-level information.
Likewise, past experience leads me to believe that there is a correlation among low noise floor and dynamics.
Units with low inherent noise often excel in distinguishing fine gradations in dynamics at the soft end of the spectrum.
In this particular case, that ability extends throughout the dynamic spectrum from the softest caresses to the loudest crescendos.
This unit has a notable absence of distortion products, both digital and analog which subtly induces the listener to keep raising the volume level.
Those of you familiar with the sound of a piano will know that it is perhaps the most difficult instrument in the orchestra to reproduce.
I think that this is attributable to a number of factors including the number of octaves which it embraces, its wide dynamic range and its ability to recreate fine gradations of mood and tone.
The XDS1 does the most realistic job of recreating a piano of any digital piece that I have auditioned.
Likewise, it does a superb job of recreating the sound of the violin.
Not only can you tell a Stradivarius from a Guarneri, you can also easily identify one Stradivarius or Guarneri from one of an earlier or later period.
Violins can sound quite nasty when digitally reproduced, but this is certainly not the case on the EMM Labs.
the XDS1 exhibited a wonderful control of all sounds, with a balanced presentation that is truthful– not warm, not edgy, not syrupy, just liquid, with very solid, well-articulated bass.
The XDS1 provides the music a great foundation. It is very controlled.
buying the XDS1 at $25,000 was an easy decision.
Digital Inputs: AES/EBU, TOS, COAX, USB Audio
Digital Outputs: AES/EBU, EMM Optilink
Stereo analog outputs: XLR and RCA
Output impedance: 300 ohms balanced (XLR), 150 ohms unbalanced (RCA)
Output levels: XLR outputs: 5V
RCA outputs: 2.5V
System: USB Port for software upgrades
Power consumption: max. 45W
W x D x H: 435 x 400 x 145mm