EMM MTRX2 Monos Home Evaluation

Audire

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Pictures to follow …

John McGurk of EMM Labs came over today with my dealer Tony of Ellington HiFi to make a delivery. We’re evaluating the EMM Labs MTRX2 mono amps in our system. We have some other evaluations still to make - such as the VAC Statement 450 IQs and possibly one other amp (Constellation or Soulution). But during the next few weeks it’s all about EMM Labs.

Ed Meitner knows audio. In numerous ways, he’s been a pioneer. According to the EMM website, he worked with Sony and Phillips to refine what the unparalleled sonic purity of SACD players are now known by today. EMM Labs converter systems are the de facto DSD reference of the recording industry….

We’ve been most impressed with his PRE, DA2V2 DAC and TX2 SACD Transport. These are exceptional well-built products. They present a world-class sound - for us “the sound”. EMM has the ability to make digital = analogue. They give you “A Ticket to Ride,” i.e. musically they seat you in the actual venue. You’re there!

The magical EMM Trio above enticed us to listen to the EMM MTRX2 mono amps. The synergy of the above Trio is so amazing that we had to hear what a compete EMM system had to offer.

This initial comparison will be with the Pass 260.8s which have a perfect synergy with the Magico M3s. At only $14,250 they are absolutely amazing in our current system. They are an exceptional value, and any other amp will be a hard sell. Nelson Pass knows amps as well.

The EMM MTRX2 monos are listed at $85,000. So, what does one receive for an extra 70K? My answer will of course be my own opinion. Though I’m not going to repeat numerous times the abbreviation “IMO” please understand it’s implied. This evaluation is based upon my own listening and experience. And warning, proper reproduced music stirs the emotions, so expect some majestic adjectives!

Both the EMM and the Pass are Class AB amps. Since I live in FL, I don’t desire pure Class A amps - way too hot! However, our Pass’ are Class A to 34 watts. They’ve never been out of Class A. As most know it doesn’t take that many watts for a system to sound exceptional. But having more power on hand is very important as well. The Pass provides both.

The EMMs are 1000 watts into 4 ohms as compared to the Pass’ at 520 watts. Each EMM amp weighs 180 pounds vs the Pass’ at 100 lbs each. As with all Meitner products the fit and finish is exceptional. These are fine pieces of art! .

The EMMs are fully balanced from input to output. The main power switch on the rear of the unit isn’t a mere rocker, but a circuit breaker switch. The regular power switch is on the front of the unit. These specific amps that are being presently evaluated are designed for 20A breakers, but if we purchase new ones they will be with a 30A (dedicated lines). In addition to what you normally find on the rear of an amp of this quality there’s also a RS-232 Communication Port and USB Communication Port. It has Furutech binding posts.

Our tests are being done with the following equipment: Magico M3s, EMM Pre, DA2V2 DAC, TX2 SACD Transport, Aurender N30SA (streamer), ACS10 (ripper/storage), VAC Phono Pre and a J Sikora Standard Max Line TT with two KV12 Tonearms equipped with an Airtight Opus1 cart and a MSL Signature Platinum cart. The amps are connected to Kimber power cords which are connected to two dedicated circuits. There’s a full loom of Shunyata on the other components all run to a Shunyata Everest which is connected to a third dedicated circuit.

We are using a variety of music ranging from classical, to jazz, female vocals and soft rock. Vinyl, SACD/CD, and Qobuz.

The EMM monos are already broken-in, but they require settling time which takes approximately 72 hours. I’ve lived with the Pass amps for over two years now, so I’m very familiar with their sound signature. They are great but have I been missing anything?

Some pictures will follow, but more comments will take a few days.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Looking forward to reading this...very very rare to hear from people who have heard this amp whose pedigree is undoubted.
 
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Audire

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I think these amps have settled rather quickly. Quick update,

Woke up this morning and after everything warmed up we played “Fiona Joy Into the Mist.” This is an amazing piano album. Best solo piano album of 2015.

In this journey though the midst the keys on the piano are clear and crisp. There’s an emotional flow. On “Moon Over the Lotus Pond”, you can hear the pauses between each note. Mellow tones. You can clearly hear the complete range of harmonics - sweet, round, dark, rich. On this 7’ Steinway the sound is big - lots of power and resonance. Pleasant, clear, brilliant sound.

The EMM MTRX2 monos and Magico M3s pair very well together.

More later.

 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Great!!! I have always wondered about these...massive, all-out and from someone from the professional audio side of the industry. Sort of like Bryston but even more so, and targeting a price point and presumably performance level that is at the very, very, very top. Always interesting to see what professional industry think of as SOTA. Some manufacturers operate in both spheres (Transparent Audio seems like another one who operates on both sides from their list of professional studios who use their cables...Skywalker Ranch, Bob Ludwig, etc)
 
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J007B

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Jul 25, 2020
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If you decide to keep the EMMs I would be more than happy to take the 260.8s off your hands.
 
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Audire

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Thanks for all the comments.

Testing the way a combination of many sounds are being reproduced. Specifically drums and guitars. And great male vocals.

Mark Knopfler’s album entitled, “Sailing to Philadelphia” is excellent. And Boz Scaggs “Silk Degrees” is a must have album (APPR version).

Drum attacks are solid, clear and startling at times. Punchy and warm. There’s an excellent balance of attack, resonance, and control on the bass drum. You can clearly hear the pop of the high tuned snare. There’s a masterful flow of overtones after striking cymbals. You can even hear the air around the sticks when drummer hits them together to count them in to hit their cue.

You can hear as the guitar strings are plucked - very clean and pure. There’s a warmth and sparkle soulful sound that is so natural, as if the guitarist is on stage in front of you. The sound is crisp. There’s bite and a well defined, but not harsh flow. The sound fills the room and is airy and wide. There’s a wide bandwidth of treble.

Male vocals are vibrant. Courageous tones that are pleasing, smooth, and musical. With these amps you can clearly hear the rapid changes in pitch between highs and lows. A pure clean resonate command sound.

I hear all this on the Pass 260.8s too, but with the EMMs there are so many more layers of goodness. The EMM sound stage is just incredible! There’s so much more that is being heard but that I’m just unable to describe. So engaging.

I‘m going to begin some female vocals in a few.


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Audire

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Jan 19, 2019
718
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S. FL
Listening to some of our favorite female vocals. This includes, but not limited to Sinne Eeg, Diana Krall, Jacintha, Carly Simon, Carole King, Elaine Elias, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Nina Simone, Jane Monheit and many others.

If I could only have one genre of music female vocals would be it. And that’s even more certain after hearing them on the MTRX2s.

There’s a euphoric sound with these EMM mono amps. There’s excellent control and projection. You can hear the full range of their angelic voices. I know of no other way to describe it but on some tracks (cf. Sinne Eeg, The Best I Ever Had) voices just keep going and going. There’s just layer upon layer that seems to linger in the air. It’s beautiful, musical, rich, and captivating.

Whether it’s soprano, mezzo soprano, or contralto it’s marvelous. Every note becomes more precious! These amps are built for any kind of music from classical to jazz to rock. There’s excellent definition, gentleness, and warmth. You get the feeling of transcendence on many songs … The edges of the vocals are crisp/sharp but remain gentle and musical.

I can’t fully describe how clean these apps sound. If you want clarity these are your amps.

I’m really enjoying these amps.

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awsmone

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Audire

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That almeida album is a killer , I have have several of his D2D records , and love my DA2 be interested what u think of the mtrx2

Yes, Almeida is great!

I’m still listening to the amps. Instead of the short blimps on different genres of music and how they sound with the MTRX2s I’ll post hopefully something more. I can say right now that I’ve never heard a better amp and there is complete synergy with everything EMM, Aurender, and Magico that’s in my system. The DA2V2 is soaring with even more goodness since it’s father (MTRX2) is in the house.

I’ve been doing mostly CDs and streaming today. Tomorrow after an hour of warm up I’ll begin on vinyl. So, I’ll be testing the synergy with VAC, J. Sikora and my carts.

These amps have plenty of power. And they don’t get that warm - less warm than the 260.8s after 14 hours of music today. These beasts didn’t break a sweat!
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Looking forward to reading more!
 
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J007B

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Jul 25, 2020
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Yes, Almeida is great!

I’m still listening to the amps. Instead of the short blimps on different genres of music and how they sound with the MTRX2s I’ll post hopefully something more. I can say right now that I’ve never heard a better amp and there is complete synergy with everything EMM, Aurender, and Magico that’s in my system. The DA2V2 is soaring with even more goodness since it’s father (MTRX2) is in the house.

I’ve been doing mostly CDs and streaming today. Tomorrow after an hour of warm up I’ll begin on vinyl. So, I’ll be testing the synergy with VAC, J. Sikora and my carts.

These amps have plenty of power. And they don’t get that warm - less warm than the 260.8s after 14 hours of music today. These beasts didn’t break a sweat!
Good news, you can offset the increased cost with savings on air conditioning.
 
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Levitator

Member
Jul 1, 2020
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Yes, Almeida is great!

I’m still listening to the amps. Instead of the short blimps on different genres of music and how they sound with the MTRX2s I’ll post hopefully something more. I can say right now that I’ve never heard a better amp and there is complete synergy with everything EMM, Aurender, and Magico that’s in my system. The DA2V2 is soaring with even more goodness since it’s father (MTRX2) is in the house.

I’ve been doing mostly CDs and streaming today. Tomorrow after an hour of warm up I’ll begin on vinyl. So, I’ll be testing the synergy with VAC, J. Sikora and my carts.

These amps have plenty of power. And they don’t get that warm - less warm than the 260.8s after 14 hours of music today. These beasts didn’t break a sweat!
Sounds like you’re loving these amps! What difference out of interest do you notice from a soundstage perspective relative to the Pass amps and what so far impresses you the most from these amps relative to others you’ve heard?
 
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