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EMM Labs Update to XDS1

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  • EMM Labs Update to XDS1

    The EMM Labs XDS1 has now been in production for ten years. About two years ago, the company provided a free downloadable software update which significantly improved the sound; however, after ten years, the unit no longer reflected its designer's current thinking on digital technology. The company will be introducing a complete update of the unit which replaces the mother board which contains the digital and analog circuitry with a new board but retains the power supply and Esoteric OEM drive. I have lived with the updated unit for several months and find it to represent a step change over the previous unit. The end goal of the process is clarity, transparency, and musicality (the latter of which -- in this reviewer's experience, sometimes seems to get left on the cutting room floor). The update moves the unit sonically much closer to the company's statement product, the DA2; however, the DA2 still provides more of the same. If I still had an XDS1, I would unhesitatingly update it. I believe it will seem like what it is – 10 years of technical advancements superior to the older XDS1. Yet I say I wish to be respectful to the older XDS1. It caught my ear, and is still a very good unit. But 10 years of technical advancements matter. And at much less than the cost of a new machine? What do we have to lose?

    The cost of the upgrade will vary depending on the age and condition of the unit and the cost of shipping. Those with an interest should check with the company. A lengthy review is currently in the works and will include pricing information and pictures.
    Rockport Sirius turntable, Lyra Atlas SL cartridge, Audio Note M9 SE Phono stage, Audio Note M10 (Signature) linestage, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode Reference stands and Cerabases, Halcyonics active isolation bases, HRS Equipment stand, Stillpoints Ultra 6 footers, Furitech cable isolators and plugs, Loricraft and Audiodesk vinyl cleaners, Yamaha CT7000 Tuner.

  • #2
    Thanks Fred. It's always interesting to see what Ed is working on in the digital realm. I thought the DA2 sounded real good.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor,

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