For any high-end company to keep the same reference piece in production for more than a few years is rare. Yet, Electrocompaniet has been manufacturing the EMC-1UP CD player for over ten years. This Red Book CD player was revised from the original EMC-1 to the EMC-1UP when 24-bit / 192 KHz up-sampling technology was implemented in 2001. The price of this player is $7,295, but is it is worth the high price of admission in today's throwaway component market?
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The EMC-1UP is a top-loading player that uses the latest version of the Phillips CD Pro Top-Loading Drive unit. It is visually quite attractive looking with its acrylic front and gold and black scheme. The EMC-1UP can be controlled with its front panel buttons or with its dedicated remote control. It has the size, with a width of 19 inches, a depth 17.3 inches and a height of four and a half inches with a weight 44 pounds, to possibly pass as a power amplifier -yet we're talking about a CD player. The EMC-1UP has both XLR and single ended outs, along with a single ended out for its transport.
The build quality is superlative inside and out. There are two special aspects that are applied to the EMC-1 approach to getting the most sonically out of the red book format. First, Electrocompaniet has developed a proprietary "mechanical filter" that dramatically reduces internal and external vibration from entering the laser pick-up. Secondly, the EMC-1UP features this company's latest, fully balanced symmetrical circuit design powered by a Floating Transformer Technology power supply.
If you are looking for a CD player that gives you powerful dynamics, micro-details, resolution, and a great large and layered soundstage, the EMC-1UP might be just what you are looking for. What I find quite special, without a tube in sight, is how the EMC-1UP offers the timbres, warmth, and palpability of an analog front end without giving up any of the above stated sonic virtues. To use very subjective terms - this player is one of the most "musical" and "natural" CD players I have ever heard.
Read about the high points and low points of the EMC-1UP CD player on Page 2.