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  1. #1

    Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    I read or heard a rumor that Esoteric is going away from AKM as supplier for their upcoming two chassis flagship D1X DAC.

    Now, not sure if its another Delta Sigma brand eg an ESS or they are using a custom FPGA.

    Anyone hear similar?

  2. #2
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdp632 View Post
    I read or heard a rumor that Esoteric is going away from AKM as supplier for their upcoming two chassis flagship D1X DAC.

    Now, not sure if its another Delta Sigma brand eg an ESS or they are using a custom FPGA.

    Anyone hear similar?
    My opinion is that you are going to see all of the very top manufacturers using their own custom FPGA devices going forward. It differentiates them from the pack.
    Jim

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Read Google translation of a Japanese article on Esoteric's forthcoming Grandioso D1X/P1X DAC/Transport. They are apparently going with an in-house developed DAC.

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by GSOphile View Post
    Read Google translation of a Japanese article on Esoteric's forthcoming Grandioso D1X/P1X DAC/Transport. They are apparently going with an in-house developed DAC.
    That is the direction they needed to head. Best of the best develop DAC chips from the ground up


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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    I'm looking forward to the new Grandioso products....tough decision whether to buy D1X or P1X (I can't do both).

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    I've got price and availability information now on P1X and D1X (late February).

    P1X will be $11K more expensive than what I can buy a new P1 for. That's a big difference, I'm inclined to buy the P1. Any thoughts?

    D1X is also significantly more expensive, but I've got a hunch that it will be worth paying the extra for. With the P1X, I'm not so sure.

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by GSOphile View Post
    Read Google translation of a Japanese article on Esoteric's forthcoming Grandioso D1X/P1X DAC/Transport. They are apparently going with an in-house developed DAC.
    I’m guessing an in-house designed R2R ladder DAC. IMO, the AKM 4497 is the best sounding of the Delta Sigma DAC chips. My Grandioso K1 sounded amazing when I had it.

    Ken
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    I’m guessing an in-house designed R2R ladder DAC. IMO, the AKM 4497 is the best sounding of the Delta Sigma DAC chips. My Grandioso K1 sounded amazing when I had it.

    Ken
    Without question. The K1 is fantastic. But others who built from the ground up have left them in the dust.


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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Others being?

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by brodricj View Post
    Others being?
    EMM, MSB...

    I owned a K1. I currently have a EMM DA2 & MSB Reference. Both are significant improvements. I like the EMM the best.


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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Well yes, but that's comparing a single box player against separates DAC + Transport.

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by brodricj View Post
    Well yes, but that's comparing a single box player against separates DAC + Transport.
    SACD over the K1 is incredible. I can’t speak to either with the matching player. As a DAC, the EMM leaves the K1 in the corner crying. MSB is very close to the EMM, but I think the EMM is better... at least in my room. It’s just more holographic.


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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    That's interesting. I'm contemplating using my Esoteric N-01 as DAC with the Grandioso P1 (which is almost a K1, sort of). I need to decide quickly as P1 is in run-out and stock will be limited.

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by brodricj View Post
    That's interesting. I'm contemplating using my Esoteric N-01 as DAC with the Grandioso P1 (which is almost a K1, sort of). I need to decide quickly as P1 is in run-out and stock will be limited.
    I’ve had a few esoteric units in and out of my room. The EMM is by far the best, most detailed, holographic sound I’ve ever heard. It reminded me of the first time I heard high end (car) audio. It was a set of MB Quart speakers with a PPI amp. That feeling, and chasing that led me down a very expensive path. EMM DA2 is the best DAC I’ve ever heard, and brought that feeling back


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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Will have to wait and see if D1X can shake down all others. The EMM is quite a bit cheaper than D1X.

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Interesting. Over on another forum a quite extensive K-01Xs to EMM DA2 comparison yielded opposite results. The writer, who owned both, initially preferred the DA2 but ultimately the K-01Xs; sold the DA2. Has now taken the next step and ordered a D-02X.

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Yeah, I read that also. Which put me off buying the EMM DA2 despite getting a very good price from local dealer.

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    What have you listened to? Have you heard the MSB Premier?

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    Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Not heard the premier, only the reference. I owned the K1 for quite a while, it’s no where near the EMM or MSB. Not even close. The DA2 is the best, by a slim margin over the MSB Reference. My non audiophile wife picked the EMM too. Listening to Queen DSD now on it. Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?


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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    This is very interesting. I have the EMM Labs DAC2X v2 in my possession (a trade in) and it’s not even on par with the MSB Discrete. I find it very digital sounding. Frankly, I wouldn’t mention it in the same breath as the MSB.

    I do hope someone buys it though!!

    https://www.audiogon.com/listings/li...-da-converters




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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    This is very interesting. I have the EMM Labs DAC2X v2 in my possession (a trade in) and it’s not even on par with the MSB Discrete. I find it very digital sounding. Frankly, I wouldn’t mention it in the same breath as the MSB.

    I do hope someone buys it though!!

    https://www.audiogon.com/listings/li...-da-converters




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    I’ve heard the dacx2 when I was shopping for DACs. Ended up with the K1. The DA2 is light years ahead. Next time you’re in MN stop by


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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Chris of CA also had both the 2x and the 2a in house and agreed the 2a was far surperior.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Jays CDT3 Mk3 , Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Cabernet, Kinki Studio EX-M7, Verity Audio Otello, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC, SC & PC's, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Inakustik USB and I2S, PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Chris of CA also had both the 2x and the 2a in house and agreed the 2a was far surperior.
    Well, he also thinks the TAD speakers sound good, so he sure loves that hyper detailed digital sound, so I’m not surprised.

    I’ve heard or owned many Meitner/EMM DAC’s over the years. They’ve all been hyper detailed, impressive at first, then fatiguing after a while. Not my cup of tea.

    I’ll prefer the likes of MSB, Luxman or the Chord combo.


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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    And that's why there are so many brands, everybody gets to like what they want within the constraints of what they think makes financial sense to them.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Jays CDT3 Mk3 , Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Cabernet, Kinki Studio EX-M7, Verity Audio Otello, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC, SC & PC's, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Inakustik USB and I2S, PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    And that's why there are so many brands, everybody gets to like what they want within the constraints of what they think makes financial sense to them.
    Absolutely.
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    And that's why there are so many brands, everybody gets to like what they want within the constraints of what they think makes financial sense to them.
    I agree with this, and it makes me wonder why people keep saying hi-fi is dying.
    Bud

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Bud I think because if part of the younger generation doesn't step forward with more of an interest than they've shown so far when those of the generation that go to the shows or events like Mike has at the store are gone the business of "High End Audio" is going to be precarious for manufacturers and dealers alike. A sign of that is all of the "High End" manufacturers that have been bought out in the last several years by companies like Samsung, LG and Far East companies most of us outside the Tech Industry have never heard. They may just see them as tax write-offs. My family is a prime example. Between Judy and I we have three kids that are 28,30 and 40 yoa. Even the 40 year old who grew up with audio gear all around him has no real interest other than movie soundtracks or background music. The other two are part of the iPod generation and didn't even want systems when I tried to give them to them.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Jays CDT3 Mk3 , Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Cabernet, Kinki Studio EX-M7, Verity Audio Otello, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC, SC & PC's, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Inakustik USB and I2S, PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

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    Greenville, SC- Jays CDT2 Mk 3, Auralic Aries G1, Holo Spring 3 KTE, Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Rosso Fiorentino Volterra 2, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Wireworld IC's, Inakustik USB and I2s, Triode Wire Lab SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  28. #28

    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Bud I think because if part of the younger generation doesn't step forward with more of an interest than they've shown so far when those of the generation that go to the shows or events like Mike has at the store are gone the business of "High End Audio" is going to be precarious for manufacturers and dealers alike. A sign of that is all of the "High End" manufacturers that have been bought out in the last several years by companies like Samsung, LG and Far East companies most of us outside the Tech Industry have never heard. They may just see them as tax write-offs. My family is a prime example. Between Judy and I we have three kids that are 28,30 and 40 yoa. Even the 40 year old who grew up with audio gear all around him has no real interest other than movie soundtracks or background music. The other two are part of the iPod generation and didn't even want systems when I tried to give them to them.
    I also believe that part of the era that we were taught from as we grew up was that things matter. We were taught to recognize things & the difference matters. Now.... not so much, "hell, thats an old school thing huh?...", "we do it this way now"... Sad, but, we will be overrun by culture. The next great generation hasn't got the time...

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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Between Judy and I we have three kids that are 28,30 and 40 yoa. Even the 40 year old who grew up with audio gear all around him has no real interest other than movie soundtracks or background music. The other two are part of the iPod generation and didn't even want systems when I tried to give them to them.
    Geez - I have the opposite problem - my youngest daughter (who is a computer geek) has been harassing me for my vinyl as late as today - I replied with when you get the agreement of your siblings - who are waiting for me to "fall off the perch" so they can divvy the HiFi spoils - we are all off to another concert together in the New Year (a quick 2500 kl round trip for me to get there) - music is in our blood - and I couldn't be more proud

  30. #30
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    I have seen some youtube videos from the HiFi show held in Poland , there was loads of young people so that seems very promissing.
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  31. #31
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Just read two reviews on the EMM DA2. Soundstage and CA. CA puts it above the Berkeley and below the dCS Rossini. Both describe it with having lots of detail and resolute highs, but lacking the weight of even the dCS (which I don’t consider “weighty”).

    To me, that’s EMM to a tee. Wouldn’t be my style. If someone likes things forward and hyper detailed, this is probably a good DAC. I prefer not to have my ears assaulted when I listen. I guess I prefer unamplified acoustic live or even tape and vinyl as good references for good digital.

    As for the industry, I talk to “young people” I would say 10-15% of the time. Not a lot, but they are out there and energized young folks are the best weapon to introduce other young folks to the hobby. The ones I speak to are interested in high end, but some of the old stodgy companies and dealers have no clue how to reach them. We are trying some unique strategies to reach a younger audience at the Florida Audio Expo. Time will tell as to whether it works.
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  32. #32
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    If you want to reach the younger crowd, start with vinyl and headphones to get them interested in high-end audio. Once they’ve embraced it, their tastes aren’t too much different than us oldsters and they don’t need to be taught how to use computer audio.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
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  33. #33

    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Define young. How young is young in audio?

  34. #34
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by kzhtoo View Post
    Define young. How young is young in audio?
    Good question. I would say “under 40”, but really “20 somethings” is what I’m talking about with respect to our FAE marketing and when I have the youngsters in the store for headphone listening. I ALWAYS make them listen to a hi-end system before they leave the store. They all make the same comment: “dude, now I understand why you’re not a big headphone fan. This is awesome.” Exposure is the first step.

    Maybe next year I will say “under 50”. LOL
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  35. #35
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    I was also referring to twenty somethings.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus; MSB UMT V Signature Transport
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  36. #36

    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Two big hurdles, disposable income and ever rising gear prices for the young to get involved when they are 20 something. But as Mike mentioned, get them interested first now and wait until they aren’t so young anymore.

  37. #37
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by kzhtoo View Post
    Two big hurdles, disposable income and ever rising gear prices for the young to get involved when they are 20 something. But as Mike mentioned, get them interested first now and wait until they aren’t so young anymore.

    Rising prices for the ultra high end indeed.
    But at the same time, we see affordable gear becoming better and better.

    My dealer says his business survives because of brands like Naim.
    Their all-in-one solutions are good!
    Let's hope a lot of their customers get the upgrade bug later (which is also when the funds become available).
    Vivid Audio - Burmester - Hegel - Marantz - Oppo - Pioneer 60" - Wireworld

  38. #38

    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Well, he also thinks the TAD speakers sound good, so he sure loves that hyper detailed digital sound, so I’m not surprised.

    I’ve heard or owned many Meitner/EMM DAC’s over the years. They’ve all been hyper detailed, impressive at first, then fatiguing after a while. Not my cup of tea.

    I’ll prefer the likes of MSB, Luxman or the Chord combo.
    Mike, could you please explain what you mean by 'hyper detailed'? I always hear tremendous micro-detail of sound in live concerts of unamplified music, especially sitting close to the performers. I want to hear all that detail at home, the more of it the better, with nothing glossed over for the sake of 'easier listening'. Or do you mean artificial etching of detail?
    Simaudio Moon Neo 260 DT CD Transport / MIT SL-Matrix Plus AES/EBU digital cable / Schiit Yggdrasil Analog 2 DAC / Octave HP 700 preamp / Octave RE 320 stereo amp with Super Black Box / Reference 3A Reflector monitors on Sound Anchors Signature Stands / dual JL Audio Fathom 112 v2 subwoofers on ASC SubTraps / ZenWave Audio D4 and SMSG cables / Acoustic treatment: tube traps, Tri-panels, window plugs, ceiling diffusers (all ASC), large absorbing panels (Acoustics First), diverse carpets chosen for acoustic properties: wool, polypropylene basket-weave

  39. #39
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al M. View Post
    Mike, could you please explain what you mean by 'hyper detailed'? I always hear tremendous micro-detail in live concerts of unamplified music, especially sitting close to the performers. I want to hear all that detail at home, the more of it the better, with nothing glossed over for the sake of 'easier listening'. Or do you mean artificial etching of detail?
    I mean that the highs are much more prominent than the rest of the frequency spectrum. They don’t blend in with the rest of the spectrum, they attack you.

    Highs are “forward” sounding - like turning up the treble 6 notches in the old days.

    I completely understand why some people like “bite” in the high frequency. My friend Jerry loves bite because he’s lost so much of his upper/high frequency hearing. I would be shocked if he can hear above 10Khz. Maybe some designers are in the same situation.

    I’m not there yet.
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  40. #40

    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I
    I completely understand why some people like “bite” in the high frequency. My friend Jerry loves bite because he’s lost so much of his upper/high frequency hearing. I would be shocked if he can hear above 10Khz. Maybe some designers are in the same situation.

    I’m not there yet.
    I was just wondering what your ears tested out to. Never tested mine, but never been accused of not being able to hear speech/ambient noises that others are hearing. Don’t know that there’s any correlation between distinguishing voice/sound in real life to upper frequency hearing, however.
    Parker

  41. #41

    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I mean that the highs are much more prominent than the rest of the frequency spectrum. They don’t blend in with the rest of the spectrum, they attack you.

    Highs are “forward” sounding - like turning up the treble 6 notches in the old days.

    I completely understand why some people like “bite” in the high frequency. My friend Jerry loves bite because he’s lost so much of his upper/high frequency hearing. I would be shocked if he can hear above 10Khz. Maybe some designers are in the same situation.

    I’m not there yet.
    Thanks Mike.

    I'm not there yet either.

    I do like "bite" in brass and sometimes solo strings, because that's how they can sound live, depending on manner of playing, acoustics of the venue and proximity to performers. But that bite is mostly in the (upper) midrange, less so in the treble.

    Yet I certainly don't want a system to edit that out, I have a somewhat hard time with systems that sound too polite and inoffensive.
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  42. #42
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al M. View Post
    I do like "bite" in brass and sometimes solo strings, because that's how they can sound live
    An excellent point - the "blat" of a trumpet or sax - is an important sound that should never be diminished in a reproduction system - it is essential to music itself.

    Finding a DAC that performs the delicate balancing act between the clarity of brass "blat" while equally portraying the leading edge attack of a pick on an acoustic guitar E string followed by the note itself - the rich full sound reverberating though the guitar body whilst delivering the slightly "muffled" sound of a double bass (when played with the tips of fingers) is not easy - when you find one - you got a goodun.

    I am with Mike on this one - I don't enjoy music where the reproduction sounds as if the treble has been enhanced - etched - dry.

  43. #43

    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob181 View Post
    Finding a DAC that performs the delicate balancing act between the clarity of brass "blat" while equally portraying the leading edge attack of a pick on an acoustic guitar E string followed by the note itself - the rich full sound reverberating though the guitar body whilst delivering the slightly "muffled" sound of a double bass (when played with the tips of fingers) is not easy - when you find one - you got a goodun.
    I like mine.

    I am with Mike on this one - I don't enjoy music where the reproduction sounds as if the treble has been enhanced - etched - dry.
    Agreed.
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  44. #44
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    I see that AKM have a new DAC chip AK4499EQ with considerably better numbers than AK4497EQ.

  45. #45
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by brodricj View Post
    I see that AKM have a new DAC chip AK4499EQ with considerably better numbers than AK4497EQ.
    Wow, that must be brand new. It will be awhile before that chip makes it to Esoteric’s top components. To be honest, as great as those units sound, I’m happy to be off that merry-go-round. I love MSB’s modular design.

    Ken
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  46. #46
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    By the sound of it, Esoteric are doing their own thing in their top components, so my guess they're divorcing themselves from AKM chips.

  47. #47
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by brodricj View Post
    By the sound of it, Esoteric are doing their own thing in their top components, so my guess they're divorcing themselves from AKM chips.
    I think only on the D1X so far but I suppose that could change.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
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  48. #48
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    I'd love to drop a deposit on D1X, my N-01 sounds stunning tonight, to go something better is hard to believe....but I need to sell some surplus stuff first.

  49. #49

    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Just read two reviews on the EMM DA2. Soundstage and CA. CA puts it above the Berkeley and below the dCS Rossini. Both describe it with having lots of detail and resolute highs, but lacking the weight of even the dCS (which I don’t consider “weighty”).

    To me, that’s EMM to a tee. Wouldn’t be my style. If someone likes things forward and hyper detailed, this is probably a good DAC. I prefer not to have my ears assaulted when I listen. I guess I prefer unamplified acoustic live or even tape and vinyl as good references for good digital.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I mean that the highs are much more prominent than the rest of the frequency spectrum. They don’t blend in with the rest of the spectrum, they attack you.

    Highs are “forward” sounding - like turning up the treble 6 notches in the old days.

    I completely understand why some people like “bite” in the high frequency. My friend Jerry loves bite because he’s lost so much of his upper/high frequency hearing. I would be shocked if he can hear above 10Khz. Maybe some designers are in the same situation.

    I’m not there yet.
    I'd encourage you to listen to the DA2. The DA2 is an entirely different beast than earlier Meitner products. My hearing (tested a couple of months ago and consistent with other tests over the years) shows above average high frequency. Against that background, I actually find the DA2 treble quite laid back, enough that I'm currently listening with the treble jumper in high position on my Focal Maestros.

  50. #50
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    Re: Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar81 View Post
    I'd encourage you to listen to the DA2. The DA2 is an entirely different beast than earlier Meitner products. My hearing (tested a couple of months ago and consistent with other tests over the years) shows above average high frequency. Against that background, I actually find the DA2 treble quite laid back, enough that I'm currently listening with the treble jumper in high position on my Focal Maestros.
    Sure, I will give it a listen at the shows. But based on the reviews, I'm not sure it will be my cup of tea. We shall see. But frankly, if it doesn't even challenge the Rossini, it won't have a snowballs chance against a REF (for my ears).
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Esoteric migrating off of AKM Dac chips for flagship D1X?

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