We are in an age of highly mobile digital music, stored on computers, carried on solid state devices, delivered through streaming internet connections and beamed around our homes via WiFi networks. So that begs the question, why on earth would an audio manufacturer put time and energy into producing yet another CD player? Are there even enough consumers looking for a new source player for a medium that is quickly disappearing?
Emotiva argues that music fans still yearn for the best possible sound, and that sound is provided by compact discs. They know that many of us still have loads of discs stashed away in collections. And, they’ve heard from customers looking for a new audiophile grade source player that doesn’t break the bank.
This month Emotiva announced the arrival of the next iteration of a balanced CD player in its one model lineup: The ERC-3
. Currently priced at $449 (shipping December 13), Emotiva says the ERC-3 costs up to a thousand less than its competitors, and the company doesn’t hold back from gushing about their new product.
“The ERC3 is truly the finest CD player that we’ve ever built,” says Lonnie Vaughn, VP/CTO, Emotiva Audio. “Going beyond that, it is probably the finest CD player that we can build.” He includes: “The first time you put a CD in and hit play, the detail and openness of the system and the architecture brings out every little nuance... I think people are truly going to be stunned...”
The entire intent of the ERC-3 is to “extract” the most from a compact disc while adding as little as possible to the resulting sound. The bedrock of the ERC-3 is its substantial segmented chassis that weighs a whopping 21 pounds. Inside, the unit’s components are compartmentalized and isolated to eliminate crosstalk from such sources as power supplies. In fact, each section of the player (even the load tray) has an independent power supply to keep every stage and working part operating at an optimum level. Included in the chassis are steel dampers that help to eliminate vibration and resonance, keeping those factors from inhibiting sonic appeal.
Emotiva chose to use Analog Devices’ AD1955 Multi-Segment Delta-Sigma DAC married with Emotiva’s new analog circuitry to deliver the goods. No external DAC is necessary. Just plug and play.
“The DAC that we use is the AD1955 and its one that we’ve used in other devices and the reason we keep coming back to it is because it is, sonically, one of the best DACs we’ve ever heard,” says Vaughn.
For those audiophiles with a preferred pro-quality DAC on hand, the ERC-3 can act as a digital transport. Connectivity in this scenario is available through Toslink optical, coaxial, and AES/EBU digital outputs. Speaking of outputs, the ERC-3 offers users both balanced and unbalanced analog outputs.
Not surprisingly, the ERC-3 can handle every kind of compact disc thrown its way. They include all “red book” (standard) audio CDs, HDCDs, MP3 CDs, and hybrid SACDs.
The unit ships with a machined aluminum remote control and user selectable universal line voltage (110V-120V or 220-240V) operation.
to learn more about the Emotiva ERC-3 (pre-orders are being taken!). Image Credit: Emotiva