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cd transport or dac ?

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3 hours ago, MartinC said:

Then you could waste it on ludicrously expensive CD transports ;).

or i could hire bands for private gigs...

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21 hours ago, Nopiano said:

This is about the only rival to dCS that I can think of.  There are a few eccentric designs, like Kalista Dreamplay, but I can’t take it too seriously - though I have one if it was free!  

Funnily enough I've never registered a reaction above lukewarm to an Esoteric transport/CDP. Part of this is undoubtedly down to the type of system I've invariably heard them in, which never get me particularly moist of an evening, but I do tend to have Esoteric classed under 'looks big and shiny, sounds big and shiny.'

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, notevenclose said:

Funnily enough I've never registered a reaction above lukewarm to an Esoteric transport/CDP. Part of this is undoubtedly down to the type of system I've invariably heard them in, which never get me particularly moist of an evening, but I do tend to have Esoteric classed under 'looks big and shiny, sounds big and shiny.'

I completely understand that.  There’s something slightly trashy about the looks that undermines the undoubted quality engineering within. I don’t think I’ve ever heard one though!  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, notevenclose said:

Funnily enough I've never registered a reaction above lukewarm to an Esoteric transport/CDP. Part of this is undoubtedly down to the type of system I've invariably heard them in, which never get me particularly moist of an evening, but I do tend to have Esoteric classed under 'looks big and shiny, sounds big and shiny.'

Not always Miles but maybe some of them. I had a X-03SE that sounded deliciously fruity sound in my system. It was the first machine I'd had that did red book fantastically whilst fully upholding the glories of SACD. Previously, anything I'd tried that could make SACD sound vivid enough seemed conversely to lack any gumption when it came to CD replay. Incidentally, the Esoteric C-03X preamp I had was ok but compared with some valve preamps I've since heard, it was more what you are saying. It had 70mm imaging though, whatever your mileage is in that department, coupled with rock-solid bass and surprising delicacy on occasion. They are over-priced but as Keith would say, part of what you are paying for is male jewellery. 

I've had a number of dedicated transports over the years (sadly never CEC), but the Project RS box definitely sounded great. Ergonomically very backward. A Moon 260 transport into a Luxman DA-06 DAC was slicker in use and in sound but overall I've never had better results than using a dedicated CD or SACD player.

I had a listen to an Esoteric K-01X which was impressive, but the Luxman I have now has on occasion managed to increase the relative crepuscular humidity in these parts :$

Hifi is always somewhat bent. "No darling, I've got the dog on my lap - not the X-03SE, you want the right-hand knob on the C-03X. Yes, that's right, the BIG knob. Ahh, no sound, perhaps if you grab the remote - no that's the BD32 remote - and click through the inputs to DAC2 - and unmute the preamp - that's the silver box below the tuner - that's the black box above the - X-03SE - and just change the layer on the disc - that's the button between the other silver buttons below the big silver button - yes that's it. You'll need to adjust the DAC's input knob too, it's the eleven o'clock position. Oh, you put Roger Waters in - that's great. On Blu-ray? Ahh. Damn, wrong machine. You're going to bed? You're not going to make the dog's food up?"

If it's a CDP I can't see much wrong with just calling it a Planck - and she can just push da button.

Edited by batteredhaggis

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I've lost track of the number of things I've had here in one way or another, but I've actually always had a soft spot for Esoteric X-0 series because they just feel like they've been built to survive a small thermonuclear attack. Can't remember what any of them sounded like, mind.

There was a CEC transport on loan here for a while and I liked it. A lot. I have no idea why, but whereas almost every transport (or player used as a transport) has sounded exactly the same to me, just a very few seem to do something. The CEC was one. A select few whose ears I trust seem to agree on that.

Mind you, I'm in the oddball camp, because I still rate the Opus 21. No idea why they sound 'right' to my ears, but one day I'll probably get another one and maybe even keep it. These days I'm back to vinyl as far and away the main source, so I'm perfectly satified with the Pioneer and spare Marantz as transports and my NOS, non-filtering, non-everything Peter Daniels DAC. Especially as it's now housed in something better than an old Maplins box and coupled to a valve buffer.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, rabski said:

IThere was a CEC transport on loan here for a while and I liked it. A lot. I have no idea why, but whereas almost every transport (or player used as a transport) has sounded exactly the same to me, just a very few seem to do something. The CEC was one. A select few whose ears I trust seem to agree on that.

That's always been my reaction to Esoteric. Built like a brick outhouse, could anchor the QE2, but nothing remarkable in terms of sound.

Although as I say, when I've heard them (never at home) it's almost always been in the context of the 'Star Wars ultra-tech' type systems where one searches in vain for a nice bit of wood (not a euphemism). Such systems do nothing for me but I doubt it's ever been the Esoteric which was defining the sound in that context.

Quote

Mind you, I'm in the oddball camp, because I still rate the Opus 21. No idea why they sound 'right' to my ears, but one day I'll probably get another one and maybe even keep it. 

Yup. I'd still happily live with one. S/h prices are now so low I've almost been tempted to grab one, although rationally I have no real use for it.

Edited by notevenclose

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34 minutes ago, notevenclose said:

That's always been my reaction to Esoteric. Built like a brick outhouse, could anchor the QE2, but nothing remarkable in terms of sound.

You need to hear one in a well-balanced home system. They are exceptionally well built and the engineering is superb. It is the reason dCS (no slouch in this arena) used Esoteric mechanisms until they stopped supplying them to dCS. The sound quality was superb and they played CD and SACD at reference quality. I now prefer something that although less detailed is more musical but the Esoteric CD players are reference quality.  They cost a lot because a lot went into them.

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10 minutes ago, George 47 said:

 I now prefer something that although less detailed is more musical but the Esoteric CD players are reference quality. 

Err... ;-)

10 minutes ago, George 47 said:

They cost a lot because a lot went into them.

No issue with the cost. The top-end CEC and the Zanden I really liked both cost more than I paid for the first couple of flats I bought, although that's probably a whole other discussion.

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