Audiomeca Mephisto 2
interesting Mephisto2 is a super cool player from
one of the most specialized company from France. In some circles,
Audiomeca is considered the king of transports. This company became
famous thanks to the turntable production. But I used to have many
contacts with the Mephisto One, I myself - like it a lot. How
does The Two compare ?
mechanically it is totally different concept. The one had CDM9
mechanism from Philips, the TWO has a sanyo mechanism. The one is a top
loader with a lift up lid, the two - has a sliding cover. The one has
integrated puck, the two - loose puck that has to be put on
manually. The one has s/pdif output, the two - has s/pdif.
aes/ebu and i2s. So far so good.
Under the cover
- the news are disappointing. The Sanyo mechanism is
not on haal magnetic rails, it is a simple mechanism, a'la shigaraki
clone. Nothing impressive.
consists of the regular Sanyo PCB from some stock cheap
player. The PCB is absolutely stock and plain. It contains all control
electronics - the micro controller, the servo, the receiver demodulator
and (probably) the DAC too. The caps and parts ate low end,
nothing has been upgraded.
player has a separate PSU unit. Unfortunately - inside we
find a very cheap and small transformer with just about 30 VA of power
and simple CRC filter. I would say - this is the same PSU as was
originally deployed in that cheap sanyo they hacked.
So is there any
value ? Well, there is an Audiomeca PCB added to the
system which contains three quartz oscillators, probably - for three
sampling frequencies: 44,4; 98 and 192 Khz. I did not understand
all of the extra circuitry - but I would say - nothing exceptional.
The small plus I
can give to Mephisto 2 for the mechanical
construction. On one hand - the body is made of thin cheap steel
press, so it might ring like a bell. On the other hand - they suspended
the mechanism on some rubber cushions. So it is a bell with a
cushion. HMmmmm, my reaction is a mixed bag.
Visually - the
player is simply stunning ! It screams HIGH
END and also I AM NOT A SHANLING. Very nice indeed.
The ergonomy is
okay - there are the most needed buttons on the front,
and the remote gets 2 points out of 10. It is the sanyo stock remote.
Can we compare
it to the real deal Teac ? With its serious VRDS
mechanism with Sony Kss151A laser, with heavy tank like body, with
impeccable high end electronics and big ego (sorry - I meant FAME).
We tried the
most intimate recordings of the collection - Holly Cole's
Temptation. I heard beautiful rattles, clean picture, details
easy to follow, etc. I did not have the usual goose bumps. Holly was
remote, distant and COLD. I mean the sound was great but not intimate
Back to the TEAC
X25 (Trichord4, Audiotuning chip upgrade.)
Holly moved closer, I could almost smell her perfumes. There was an
aura of studio reverb around her, the recording was intimate, private,
engaging. The difference is really subtle but I report what I
thought. The stock Mephisto 2 does not cut for me the very
important aspect of music, it is cold like a computer.
We decided to
try and mod the Mephisto - maybe os-con the sanyo PCB,
upgrade the shameless power supply and maybe - steal the signal before
it is manipulated. The signal did NOT come from the source chip intact.
Lurne tried to "improve it" to justify his high price and his sonic
genius signature. Unfortunately - the result is far from excellent..
Is the Mephisto
for sale ? By all means - not. Before giving up - I
will upgrade main PCB to full OS-CON status (capacitors) and I will
build a large power supply for it, disposing of that crappy one.
Finally - we will use i2s output to connect Audio Note DAC as soon as I
find the proper plug fro Mephisto's i2s. The i2s difference should
offset easily all the minuscule differences present today on S/PDIF
Here is the story of the Mephisto
1 - the older brother of the TWO.
On one test we tried to compare it directly with the Mephisto 1 - read