Esoteric P03 & D03 vs K07xs or K05xs

Big Dog RJ

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Feb 3, 2012
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Yes, agree on that. I have experienced this before and others have commented that the Esoteric digital playback systems are very system dependent, no doubt. I first heard them on Alsyvox and Maggie's 30.7's but that was a while back plus price range was out of my reach at the time so I dropped the idea. I just stuck with the Mac until I ventured out again and for my luck this time round the price conversion from $AUD to the import was a good match, so I closed knowing that it would be a great match with my CJ gear and the CLX's, and wow is it superb!

I did audition the Luxman and they are very fine digital playback systems, there's no denying it. However, for that kind of level and considering only their top of the line, which is the DX series something I forget... I would rather prefer the top of the line from T+A HV series. Now that's another superb piece of machinery, a real work of art. It's design topology is unbelievable!

Anyway, I'm extremely happy with the K07xs and being the first in the Esoteric line up, it offers truly stunning performance, I cannot fault it whatsoever. Whereas, many others at nearly twice this price, I've had many issues with, so without mentioning brands/ names, I'll just keep this one in my system for now. Who knows, into the future I may end up with a Luxman or a KO1 XD or something... anything is possible.

Cheers maties, and enjoy those fine tunes!
Best, RJ
 
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I'm confident the Esoteric CDP's can sound wonderful with serious system matching gear. Unfortunately, my experience with the K01, over a four month period, was less than stellar and I ended up selling the unit. I suspect the issue was using the single ended inputs. My pre doesn't have balanced connections. If possible, you really should audition the Luxman CDP's. Very different sound but very satisfying.
My experience is xlr plugs offer a much higher sound quality to the rca type Especially mcintosh equipment.
 
Sep 8, 2020
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Yes, agree on that. I have experienced this before and others have commented that the Esoteric digital playback systems are very system dependent, no doubt. I first heard them on Alsyvox and Maggie's 30.7's but that was a while back plus price range was out of my reach at the time so I dropped the idea. I just stuck with the Mac until I ventured out again and for my luck this time round the price conversion from $AUD to the import was a good match, so I closed knowing that it would be a great match with my CJ gear and the CLX's, and wow is it superb!

I did audition the Luxman and they are very fine digital playback systems, there's no denying it. However, for that kind of level and considering only their top of the line, which is the DX series something I forget... I would rather prefer the top of the line from T+A HV series. Now that's another superb piece of machinery, a real work of art. It's design topology is unbelievable!

Anyway, I'm extremely happy with the K07xs and being the first in the Esoteric line up, it offers truly stunning performance, I cannot fault it whatsoever. Whereas, many others at nearly twice this price, I've had many issues with, so without mentioning brands/ names, I'll just keep this one in my system for now. Who knows, into the future I may end up with a Luxman or a KO1 XD or something... anything is possible.

Cheers maties, and enjoy those fine tunes!
Best, RJ
I heard the esoteric in your system and I fort the old Mac was better sounding in every way.
 

Big Dog RJ

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Feb 3, 2012
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G-man,

You're the very one that introduced me to Esoteric... the rest is history.

I'm a bit confused with your comments, and I'm trying to make sense if it but meaningful discussion seems impossible, as if you're on a destructive mission. Might want to audition on the next 007 flick.

I'm now considering McIntosh hearing aids, are they any good?
 
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thedudeabides

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My experience is xlr plugs offer a much higher sound quality to the rca type Especially mcintosh equipment.
That is also true (per reviews I've read) with Esoteric. Could be why I didn't like the unit. But it seems they could make both type connections sound equal given the $20K MSRP. I know Luxman does. Also, some manufacturers like Conrad Johnson offer only single ended on their preamps.
 
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Big Dog RJ

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That is also true (per reviews I've read) with Esoteric. Could be why I didn't like the unit. But it seems they could make both type connections sound equal given the $20K MSRP. I know Luxman does. Also, some manufacturers like Conrad Johnson offer only single ended on their preamps.
No chance mate. The Mac was no where compared to the Esoteric. The unit is still running in, it's virtually brand new. Not only the build quality, parts and DACs chipset + transport mechanism being far superior, the overall sound quality and synergy I get with the CLX's are in a class of its own. Several people who've heard the system said the same thing, not me!

There's no point in being a monkey praising it's own tail...

I considered the Luxman and it's a fine digital playback system, no doubt. However, pricing was an issue for me and it was only the top of the line which was introduced here recently. That's a very lofty price tag when comparing side by side. So taking all factors into consideration, I decided on the Esoteric. I've never been more pleased with this level of playback and it picks up every minute detail on a far greater scale. I hear more of the music from the recordings. So again, if the recording is average to mediocre that's what you get but if the recording is done well, the reproduction is top notch.

If for some reason towards the future I was to ever change brands, I will consider the Luxman digital gear but for now this is it for me!

Every time I listen with each hour ruining in, it certainly improves. So I'm looking forward to hearing more of its abilities.

Cheers mate, and enjoy those fine tunes.
Best, RJ
 

Big Dog RJ

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Yes, infact the default settings on the output stage in the Esoteric are XLR, and it has a higher output rating than compared to RCA. The added benefits of XLR being three pin, one ground and the other two + & - being fully balanced all the way from input to output does have that benefit. However, this is more appropriate for much longer cable runs/length, any hum or noise picked up from transformers along the chain and unwanted elements from incoming / outgoing signals is eliminated with XLR, so this is a good thing!

My particular system is dead silent, doesn't have anything related to noise whatsoever, so why bother.

At the same time, after having consulted with LJ & JF from CJ, David Manley, Eve Anne Manley, Luke Manley, Nelson Pass, Tim P, Peter Walker, Dan D' Agostino, Bob Carver, Jeff Rowland, Paul McGowan and a host of others whom I've briefly met in one form or the other at various forums, assured us that as long as the system doesn't pick up energy from unwanted elements, is very well designed and kept to a minimum length, RCA single ended is fine!

I'm not going to change any of my gear just because of cables. I've used so many variants over the years and found it to be a challenge plus a major hassle. Every cable is different and very system dependent. Find the one that is more neutral and brings out the best in recordings, that's all that matters.

Go with whatever suits your system and stick to it, just make sure the synergy is there and results will speak for itself.

Cheers, RJ
 
Sep 8, 2020
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Australia
Yes, infact the default settings on the output stage in the Esoteric are XLR, and it has a higher output rating than compared to RCA. The added benefits of XLR being three pin, one ground and the other two + & - being fully balanced all the way from input to output does have that benefit. However, this is more appropriate for much longer cable runs/length, any hum or noise picked up from transformers along the chain and unwanted elements from incoming / outgoing signals is eliminated with XLR, so this is a good thing!

My particular system is dead silent, doesn't have anything related to noise whatsoever, so why bother.

At the same time, after having consulted with LJ & JF from CJ, David Manley, Eve Anne Manley, Luke Manley, Nelson Pass, Tim P, Peter Walker, Dan D' Agostino, Bob Carver, Jeff Rowland, Paul McGowan and a host of others whom I've briefly met in one form or the other at various forums, assured us that as long as the system doesn't pick up energy from unwanted elements, is very well designed and kept to a minimum length, RCA single ended is fine!

I'm not going to change any of my gear just because of cables. I've used so many variants over the years and found it to be a challenge plus a major hassle. Every cable is different and very system dependent. Find the one that is more neutral and brings out the best in recordings, that's all that matters.

Go with whatever suits your system and stick to it, just make sure the synergy is there and results will speak for itself.

Cheers, RJ
Believe what every one else says hey. goes to show how little you know because balanced does offer a better sound quality with out a doubt plus a blacker sound stage.you never even heard your Mac CD player because you were using rcas.
 
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G-man,

You're the very one that introduced me to Esoteric... the rest is history.

I'm a bit confused with your comments, and I'm trying to make sense if it but meaningful discussion seems impossible, as if you're on a destructive mission. Might want to audition on the next 007 flick.

I'm now considering McIntosh hearing aids, are they any good?
Yes I did but I definitely don’t like the esoteric sound signature.
 

Big Dog RJ

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Feb 3, 2012
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Melbourne
G-man what's your problem? Why the sudden outburst?

I can't offer any counselling services nor meds...

Anyone on the forum can help this guy?
Please...

Back off man, it's way past your bedtime mate.

If you like something different that's great! At the same time we all have personal preferences and varied experiences, nothing wrong with that. We can learn from one another with mutual respect from what we've put together.

I really don't see the point of putting down anyone's system or casting negative comments, unless you're the very designer of such gear. You're not!

Relax... take it easy and just enjoy your system in any way you want.
Best of luck with it all.
RJ
 
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G-man what's your problem? Why the sudden outburst?

I can't offer any counselling services nor meds...

Anyone on the forum can help this guy?
Please...

Back off man, it's way past your bedtime mate.

If you like something different that's great! At the same time we all have personal preferences and varied experiences, nothing wrong with that. We can learn from one another with mutual respect from what we've put together.

I really don't see the point of putting down anyone's system or casting negative comments, unless you're the very designer of such gear. You're not!

Relax... take it easy and just enjoy your system in any way you want.
Best of luck with it all.
RJ
im just saying the honest truth I dont like the sound of esoteric CD players Especially the entry level models they belong in a beginners system.
 

thedudeabides

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im just saying the honest truth I dont like the sound of esoteric CD players Especially the entry level models they belong in a beginners system.
I totally agree (based on my three month encounter with the K01) and I don't understand Big Dog's comments either. See below. As I've said before, Esoteric, like many brands, takes careful hardware matching to make it sing. And the Luxman transport is much quieter than the Esoteric I had.
 
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I totally agree (based on my three month encounter with the K01) and I don't understand Big Dog's comments either. As I've said before, Esoteric, like many brands, takes careful hardware matching to make it sing. And the Luxman transport is much quieter than the Esoteric I had.
your spot on mate. I heard the esoteric and the transport is noisy.luxman is definitely better. Because of raj bigdog I have to feel guilty saying the truth.
 

thedudeabides

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No chance mate. The Mac was no where compared to the Esoteric. The unit is still running in, it's virtually brand new. Not only the build quality, parts and DACs chipset + transport mechanism being far superior, the overall sound quality and synergy I get with the CLX's are in a class of its own. Several people who've heard the system said the same thing, not me!

There's no point in being a monkey praising it's own tail...

I'm glad you like the Esoteric and all I said, in my post that you quoted, was there was a potential synergy issue with the K01 and the rest of my system. That's all. Also, I never said anything about the Mac digital gear (haven't heard it) and what does "a monkey praising it's own tail" mean? If you are insulting me, say it in plain english.
 
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thedudeabides

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your spot on mate. I heard the esoteric and the transport is noisy.luxman is definitely better. Because of raj bigdog I have to feel guilty saying the truth.
Nothing wrong with the truth and nothing to feel guilty about as far as I can tell.
 
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GSOphile

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Before you drive your Esoteric sound stake too far into the ground, you might benefit from hearing their new XD models, which feature new proprietary Master Sound Discrete DAC technology. This technology has not yet filtered down to lower models in Esoteric's line, but the XD models are reportedly a really big step up from equivalent prior generation models.
 
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Before you drive your Esoteric sound stake too far into the ground, you might benefit from hearing their new XD models, which feature new proprietary Master Sound Discrete DAC technology. This technology has not yet filtered down to lower models in Esoteric's line, but the XD models are reportedly a really big step up from equivalent prior generation models.
Yes true. The lower entry level stuff from esoteric has being around for years now.
 

thedudeabides

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Jan 16, 2011
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Before you drive your Esoteric sound stake too far into the ground, you might benefit from hearing their new XD models, which feature new proprietary Master Sound Discrete DAC technology.

I assume it's the "new and improved" version which is fine for those who are so inclined. For me, I'm totally happy with my D06u and have no interest in auditioning / buying another CDP. I'm done but thanks for the recommend.
 
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Big Dog RJ

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Feb 3, 2012
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Melbourne
I'm glad you like the Esoteric and all I said, in my post that you quoted, was there was a potential synergy issue with the K01 and the rest of my system. That's all. Also, I never said anything about the Mac digital gear (haven't heard it) and what does "a monkey praising it's own tail" mean? If you are insulting me, say it in plain english.
Thedudeabides:

Sorry mate, sometimes I seem to confoose the plot. It's hard to clarify certain things on this forum sometimes, without getting shot! I guess that's pretty common nowadays...

Not at all was I referring to you when I made that monkey statement, that was in reference to someone else...

Like I said, I did like the Luxman very much but the pricing was a major issue, so I settled for the Mac way back in 2010. I used the Mac for a good 10 years, and wanted to see what else was available that could give me what I was looking for in terms of an upgrade in the DACs chip set, transport mechanism plus a slightly different flavour. I considered several brands, brought a few home and once again tried the Ref series ARC gear as. Since ARC uses tubes, I really didn't want to deal with tubes as I've got plenty of tubes in the system already.

So I ventured towards Luxman once again, and only model available was a top of the line or second in line, can't remember but I didn't want to engage in such pricing. Our prices here in Aus are very high compared to other markets, especially US and Spore, the highend is far more accessible.

So with a little help from other forum members I did my research, they offered certain advice on the type of sound I was after, and I settled for the K07XS, I couldn't be happier.

Perhaps down the line I may change, who knows anything is possible in this crazy world. My initial focus was of course the T+A digital playback systems, they are mighty fine! Again over 30grand for such units. One day Perhaps...

Hope that clear things up, and I'll never cast such remarks like that to you guys, known for quite a while now on this forum. Being very helpful and have met some great chaps who remain family friends thanks to WBF. So I'm good with that.

Cheers and a big woof!
RJ
 

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