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  1. #1
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    Esoteric XD Series

    With the introduction of the new XD series (which I have heard and commented on another thread that it is a tremendous jump in sonic performance), coupled with the fact that they have cleaned up their dealer network, I'm once again considering bringing back Esoteric.

    Does anyone know the differences between the K-01XD and K-03XD?

    The new XD chip is completely designed in-house and is an FPGA based chip, which is also appealing.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, TechDAS/AirForce Turntables, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
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    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  2. #2

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    With the introduction of the new XD series (which I have heard and commented on another thread that it is a tremendous jump in sonic performance), coupled with the fact that they have cleaned up their dealer network, I'm once again considering bringing back Esoteric.

    Does anyone know the differences between the K-01XD and K-03XD?

    The new XD chip is completely designed in-house and is an FPGA based chip, which is also appealing.

    Congrats. I don't know the answer to that question but, the N01XD - Streamer with the custom FGPA is most appealing to me.

    K0-1XD and 03XD also plays MQA-CD which might cause folks here to be unhinged lol but, they are popular in Japan.

    To that end, Is Gibson still owned by TEAC group? Gibson I believe.

  3. #3
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Besides cosmetics, I see these differences in this brochure:

    "The K-01XD’s new ATLAS 01 disk transport features a 20mm-thick SS400 steel bridge that is identical to that used in our high-end Gran- dioso models. The K-03XD’s ATLAS 03 system employs a simpler 18mm-thick bridge that requires far less machining"


    “The K-01XD is equipped with a total of four high-capacity toroidal power transformers that provide more than ample power by dedicating separate transformers to the D/A converter’s Left and Right channels, the transport mechanism, and the digital circuitry. The K-03XD features a total of two high- capacity toroidal power transformers with independent power supplies for the digital and analog circuitry.”


    “A total of 71 high-capacitance super capacitors are used in the K-01XD (total capacitance: 1,850,000μF), while the K-03XD uses 26 super capacitors (total capacitance: 650,000μF). “


    “Only select, premium-grade high- sound-quality parts are used in the K-01XD, for an uncompromising sound that is one step above.”

    http://www.bm.rs/Esoteric/Esoteric%2...0Broschure.pdf
    Christian

    south: Mark Levinson No. 52 pre, Bricasti M28 amps, Lumin A1, Oppo BDP-205, Pioneer CT-43, Sony SS-AR1 Speakers, Audioquest Dragon PCs, Audioquest speaker cables, Audioquest WEL and Wireworld PE 7 ICs, HB Power Design Powerslave Star Galaxy power distributor

    north: Marantz PM-10, Marantz SA-10, Bluesound Node 2i, Harbeth 40.2, Audioquest WEL IC on the SA-10, BJC coaxial from Bluesound to the SA-10, Audioquest speaker cables, Acrolink/Esoteric 7N-PC9700 power cables

  4. #4
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Thanks. The question is: which one will be better for demo? Big price difference between the two.

    $14k Vs $23k


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, TechDAS/AirForce Turntables, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
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  5. #5
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Assuming you get the new Luxman player when it's released here (and I'm guessing the price), the 03XD would be the logical rival and the 01XD the potential upper model to outperform both
    Christian

    south: Mark Levinson No. 52 pre, Bricasti M28 amps, Lumin A1, Oppo BDP-205, Pioneer CT-43, Sony SS-AR1 Speakers, Audioquest Dragon PCs, Audioquest speaker cables, Audioquest WEL and Wireworld PE 7 ICs, HB Power Design Powerslave Star Galaxy power distributor

    north: Marantz PM-10, Marantz SA-10, Bluesound Node 2i, Harbeth 40.2, Audioquest WEL IC on the SA-10, BJC coaxial from Bluesound to the SA-10, Audioquest speaker cables, Acrolink/Esoteric 7N-PC9700 power cables

  6. #6
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    :lurk
    Main system - Sonus Faber Stradivari, McIntosh C1100, MC2301s, Bricasti M3, Silenzio by E - Silent PC Media Server, GigaFoil v4, Keces P3, Supra Cat 8+ and Revelation Audio Ethernet cables, Synology NAS. JL Audio CR-1 crossover, JL audio F-113v2 subwoofer, Shunyata Denali 6000/S v2, PS Audio Dectet, Power Ports and Noise Harvesters - Wireworld Gold Eclipse 7 Speaker cables, Silver Eclipse 7 ICs and Silver Elektra 7 PCs, Vicoustics, GIK & Stillpoint Room treatments, minis and Ultra SS footers, Three dedicated 20 Amp lines

    TV Room - Revel F52, C32, B&W LM1, McIntosh MX121, McIntosh MC7106, OPPO 103, Sonos Connect / W4S Remedy

    Resting - Infinity RS IIa

  7. #7
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Big step by Esoteric. They make exceptional transports. Both players look great.

    I haven’t heard their players with new DACs. If as good as some have suggested, this could be a great line to pick up again. Assuming, distribution and dealer network have now been addressed.
    _______________

    Mike

  8. #8
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    I wonder how they would compare with MSB. They definitely have it in the aesthetics department, but the most important is the audio ....
    Sincerely,


    Joe

    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." – William Bruce Cameron

    Amps: Pass X260.8s *** Pre-Amp: Pass XP22 *** Headphone Amp: Pass HPA-1 *** Speakers: Magico A3’s *** Magico A3 Grills *** Headphones: Focal Utopia *** Digital: Luxman D-08u SACD *** Aurender ACS10 CD Ripper & N100 Streamer *** Power: Shunyata Hydra Alpha A12 Power Conditioner *** AQ NRG Edison 20 *** Cables: Shunyata *** Rack: Bamboo SVT Quadrasphire *** Accessories: Herbie's Audio Lab Giant Titanium Cone Decoupling Gliders *** Russ Andrews Cable Elevators

  9. #9
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
    I wonder how they would compare with MSB. They definitely have it in the aesthetics department, but the most important is the audio ....
    I owned the Esoteric Grandioso K1 Player and G1 Clock. They were terrific sounding components but my MSB Select II DAC is in an entirely different league sonically.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  10. #10
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    I owned the Esoteric Grandioso K1 Player and G1 Clock. They were terrific sounding components but my MSB Select II DAC is in an entirely different league sonically.

    Ken
    Thanks Ken. That is helpful as I’m trying to put together my next system. Thanks again.
    Sincerely,


    Joe

    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." – William Bruce Cameron

    Amps: Pass X260.8s *** Pre-Amp: Pass XP22 *** Headphone Amp: Pass HPA-1 *** Speakers: Magico A3’s *** Magico A3 Grills *** Headphones: Focal Utopia *** Digital: Luxman D-08u SACD *** Aurender ACS10 CD Ripper & N100 Streamer *** Power: Shunyata Hydra Alpha A12 Power Conditioner *** AQ NRG Edison 20 *** Cables: Shunyata *** Rack: Bamboo SVT Quadrasphire *** Accessories: Herbie's Audio Lab Giant Titanium Cone Decoupling Gliders *** Russ Andrews Cable Elevators

  11. #11
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    I owned the Esoteric Grandioso K1 Player and G1 Clock. They were terrific sounding components but my MSB Select II DAC is in an entirely different league sonically.
    I heard the fully pimped out MSB Select II DAC in a flagship Gryphon system. My Esoteric N-01+G-02X flogged it. Left it for dead. No comparison.
    Speakers: Magico M3, Q3, ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma
    On order: YG Acoustics Rack 1.4

  12. #12
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by brodricj View Post
    I heard the fully pimped out MSB Select II DAC in a flagship Gryphon system. My Esoteric N-01+G-02X flogged it. Left it for dead. No comparison.
    So, back to square one. I’ll have to hear the new one for myself ...
    Sincerely,


    Joe

    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." – William Bruce Cameron

    Amps: Pass X260.8s *** Pre-Amp: Pass XP22 *** Headphone Amp: Pass HPA-1 *** Speakers: Magico A3’s *** Magico A3 Grills *** Headphones: Focal Utopia *** Digital: Luxman D-08u SACD *** Aurender ACS10 CD Ripper & N100 Streamer *** Power: Shunyata Hydra Alpha A12 Power Conditioner *** AQ NRG Edison 20 *** Cables: Shunyata *** Rack: Bamboo SVT Quadrasphire *** Accessories: Herbie's Audio Lab Giant Titanium Cone Decoupling Gliders *** Russ Andrews Cable Elevators

  13. #13
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
    So, back to square one. I’ll have to hear the new one for myself ...
    Don’t believe what you read. MSB is the most “analog sounding” DAC’s. The almost turntable/tape replacement. Esoteric is a sound for those who love the most detailed sound. Both are good, but very different. For folks who grew up with vinyl and tape, love MSB. For those who grew up with CD as their reference, may select something else for the detail.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, TechDAS/AirForce Turntables, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
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    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  14. #14
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Don’t believe what you read. MSB is the most “analog sounding” DAC’s. The almost turntable/tape replacement. Esoteric is a sound for those who love the most detailed sound. Both are good, but very different. For folks who grew up with vinyl and tape, love MSB. For those who grew up with CD as their reference, may select something else for the detail.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Mike,

    Many Thanks. I think I need to hear all the main ones.

    I’m already listening to a dCS / Wilson Alexia Series 2 system and it is exceptional. I really like what I hear and it’s owner is a big time vinyl listener too. We’ve only listened to digital so far, but the next time I go over I believe we’re suppose to listen to some vinyl. (my wife keeps asking me if I’m adding a vinyl rig - she likes them )

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean that system is right for me or my room. The room can change a lot of things. And their room is a dedicated one and mine is isn’t. My taste in music varies a little too, but not much. So, I have to take this and many other things under consideration.

    So, I need to listen to dCS, MSB and Esoteric. And while I’m partial to Magico, listen to a number of other speakers as well (YG, more Wilsons, etc.). As much as possible I want to put the best system together that I can. After some compare and contrasts, I’m sure the right one “for me” will be very apparent.

    I’m expecting Post COVID to be lots of fun.
    Sincerely,


    Joe

    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." – William Bruce Cameron

    Amps: Pass X260.8s *** Pre-Amp: Pass XP22 *** Headphone Amp: Pass HPA-1 *** Speakers: Magico A3’s *** Magico A3 Grills *** Headphones: Focal Utopia *** Digital: Luxman D-08u SACD *** Aurender ACS10 CD Ripper & N100 Streamer *** Power: Shunyata Hydra Alpha A12 Power Conditioner *** AQ NRG Edison 20 *** Cables: Shunyata *** Rack: Bamboo SVT Quadrasphire *** Accessories: Herbie's Audio Lab Giant Titanium Cone Decoupling Gliders *** Russ Andrews Cable Elevators

  15. #15

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Thanks. The question is: which one will be better for demo? Big price difference between the two.

    $14k Vs $23k
    You'll want to have both. The K01XD for your high-end room. And the K03XD for the room where I would audition stuff that I could afford.

  16. #16
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by brodricj View Post
    I heard the fully pimped out MSB Select II DAC in a flagship Gryphon system. My Esoteric N-01+G-02X flogged it. Left it for dead. No comparison.
    Hi Brodric,

    Did you compare the Esoteric and MSB in the same room and system? If not, it’s probably not that meaningful a comparison. Different room and different components. Well, I owned the Esoteric Grandioso K1 Player and Grandioso G1 Master Clock for one year and have owned the MSB Select II DAC for two years and listened to them in the same listening room and same system extensively.

    The Select II DAC provides superior detail, timbres, soundstage, imaging, dynamics and layering. The Esoteric gear, while sounding excellent, did not win out in any single category and overall was not in the same ballpark in my system and room. In short, the Select II DAC provided the most lifelike presentation of any digital component I’ve listened to. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have parted ways with $60K of nearly new Esoteric components.

    And then there’s the issue of Esoteric components being replaced every other year by a new model with no update path as the value of the existing gear plummets. I replaced my Esoteric components with new models three times in five years. On the other hand, MSB components are entirely modular and can be easily updated for minimal dollars. I am considering adding the Pro USB digital input module (MSRP $1,980) in addition to my Renderer V2 module as it employs MSB’s latest technology and optical connection. Very happy to be off the Esoteric replacement merry-go-round.

    You prefer your Esoteric components and that’s fine. Different strokes for different folks. Enjoy it.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  17. #17
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Does anyone know the differences between the K-01XD and K-03XD?
    Better disc transport.
    Better power supply (4 vs 2 toroidal power transformer, 71 vs 26 super capacitors).
    Higher grade parts.
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  18. #18
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Did you compare the Esoteric and MSB in the same room and system? If not, it’s probably not that meaningful a comparison.
    I might also have said my M3's flogged the Pendragons as opposed to the Esoteric flogging the MSB. Each system was assessed "as presented" rather than as individual components. For sure the Esoteric/Magico was way better than the MSB/Gryphon, and at a fraction of the price.
    Speakers: Magico M3, Q3, ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma
    On order: YG Acoustics Rack 1.4

  19. #19
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    For those of us who dwell below the Select/Grandioso price tiers, the forthcoming Luxman D-10X may also be a player.

  20. #20
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by GSOphile View Post
    For those of us who dwell below the Select/Grandioso price tiers, the forthcoming Luxman D-10X may also be a player.
    Agreed. I have that on order. The minute I heard about it last year, I put in an order. I’ll be getting one in the first batch hitting the U.S. SOON!

    The thing is guys, all these DAC’s, CD players have different sounds to appeal to different buyers. I do this all day long. One guy will walk in to the store and say to me, “I no longer can do vinyl, had hip surgery, whatever, and I want a DAC that sounds like my vinyl.” I show him the MSB or Luxman, he listens and he’s very happy. The next guy will walk in and say, “I’ve been listening to CD’s for 30 years. I love CD sound, the detail, the dynamics, etc.” and I will show him the EMM or Esoteric and he’s very happy. Each of those buyers will have wired in their brain what reproduced music should sound like. Their reference point if you will. If your reference point for reproduced music in CD’s for the past 30 years, you will find the MSB “too analog”. As hard as that is for someone like me to believe. For those who have been toiling with turntables (and/or tape), they LOVE the MSB/Luxman sound.

    Our experiences and our biases dictate everything! I had a customer in the store on Wednesday, he dropped by to borrow a cartridge for his turntable. As he came in, I was messing with the Vivid G2 S2’s and MBL 9011 amps (with the Pass XP22 preamp). He sat down and was blown away. He then left. 15 minutes later, he texted me this: “If I had no adult supervision, I’d trade the AG’s on those Vivids right fucking now.” (The exact quote)

    The next morning, he asked to come back and audition the Vivid’s with the Viva amp (he has Viva at home with AG). He came back listened and said, “sounds good, but the magic was with the 9011 amps, can you hook those up?” I did, and he immediately said, “the magic is back!” He listened for 30 minutes and finally said, “I love these speakers, but I just can’t do solid state.”

    Our biases are pretty funny and I’m no different (Mr. “Vinyl Rules” over here!). To be frank, until we are willing to check our biases at the door, we will never be able to find the discover the best sound. But our experiences and our biases are what lead to the decisions we make with our systems.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, TechDAS/AirForce Turntables, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  21. #21
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by GSOphile View Post
    For those of us who dwell below the Select/Grandioso price tiers, the forthcoming Luxman D-10X may also be a player.
    Count me in for the d-10x - I am SO interested in hearing Mike's impressions on this CD/DAC. This might not apply to others, but for my brain/ears, Luxman seems to be doing something with CD's that I just don't hear on other players. I haven't enjoyed CD's in a long time but recently popped one into the new entry level d-03x and it blew me away. So organic, natural, flow - it didn't sound digital at all. I now have a hard time going back to Aurender/Quboz streaming so i'm scrambling to buy up my music on CD's now! Unfortunately, some stuff you can't even find on CD anymore LOL
    ~DP

    Harbeth 40.2 Anniversary
    Luxman C900u/M900u (on order) + d-03x
    Aurender N10
    AQ Thunder/William Tell

  22. #22

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by brodricj View Post
    I might also have said my M3's flogged the Pendragons as opposed to the Esoteric flogging the MSB. Each system was assessed "as presented" rather than as individual components. For sure the Esoteric/Magico was way better than the MSB/Gryphon, and at a fraction of the price.
    In the end. System synergy is more important than one component. Of course, hobby is subjective and we all have our preference.

  23. #23

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    I'm interesting more interested in the Estosteric FGPA compared to EMM Labs models now.

    Their implementation is more similar to each other rather than MSB (R2R Ladder DAC)

    A member here I believe switched to EMM Labs over Esoteric previous AKM based products.

    One plus of EMM is the built in clock.

    We may have different opinions or preferences on performance. But, one thing is certain with Estoseric.

    More boxes and more cables for the clocks like DCS.

    EMM (Built In) and MSB is a modular approach so no more external boxes plus cables.

  24. #24
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by BullBearDC View Post
    Count me in for the d-10x - I am SO interested in hearing Mike's impressions on this CD/DAC. This might not apply to others, but for my brain/ears, Luxman seems to be doing something with CD's that I just don't hear on other players. I haven't enjoyed CD's in a long time but recently popped one into the new entry level d-03x and it blew me away. So organic, natural, flow - it didn't sound digital at all. I now have a hard time going back to Aurender/Quboz streaming so i'm scrambling to buy up my music on CD's now! Unfortunately, some stuff you can't even find on CD anymore LOL
    I know my Luxman D-08u is fantastic. Very analogue. For the cost it's a steal.
    Sincerely,


    Joe

    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." – William Bruce Cameron

    Amps: Pass X260.8s *** Pre-Amp: Pass XP22 *** Headphone Amp: Pass HPA-1 *** Speakers: Magico A3’s *** Magico A3 Grills *** Headphones: Focal Utopia *** Digital: Luxman D-08u SACD *** Aurender ACS10 CD Ripper & N100 Streamer *** Power: Shunyata Hydra Alpha A12 Power Conditioner *** AQ NRG Edison 20 *** Cables: Shunyata *** Rack: Bamboo SVT Quadrasphire *** Accessories: Herbie's Audio Lab Giant Titanium Cone Decoupling Gliders *** Russ Andrews Cable Elevators

  25. #25

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by BullBearDC View Post
    Count me in for the d-10x - I am SO interested in hearing Mike's impressions on this CD/DAC. This might not apply to others, but for my brain/ears, Luxman seems to be doing something with CD's that I just don't hear on other players. I haven't enjoyed CD's in a long time but recently popped one into the new entry level d-03x and it blew me away. So organic, natural, flow - it didn't sound digital at all. I now have a hard time going back to Aurender/Quboz streaming so i'm scrambling to buy up my music on CD's now! Unfortunately, some stuff you can't even find on CD anymore LOL
    I only spin, and mostly redbook, very few SACD. I'm sure I'm a dying breed and tiny consumer segment, but I want to know how new DACs and designs from Esoteric and Luxman offer improved sonics when spinning redbook CDs. Improvement in streaming and/or MQA is irrelevant. Eager to hear.

  26. #26

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Agreed. I have that on order. The minute I heard about it last year, I put in an order. I’ll be getting one in the first batch hitting the U.S. SOON!
    Has US pricing been announced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Our experiences and our biases dictate everything!
    I think there's another factor, Mike. I listen primarily to classical and have transitioned completely from vinyl to CD. All popular works have been recorded multiple times. Some offer the technically and emotionally best performances but with early, sub-optimal recording, so they are best enjoyed with an anolog sound. An uber-resolving digital version will highlight the inferior sonics at the expense of the performance itself. Alternatively, a well-recorded performance can better place one in the concert hall, center loge seating, with a highly resolving digital version that an analog version would fail to convey.

    I don't think it's old school / new school as I believe you are suggesting. I think it's dependent upon the quality of the source. Personally, I'd welcome a spinner with an 'anolog / digital' or maybe 'warm / detailed' switch, though I suppose that would require dual DACs and boards.

    I think genre matters, too. With classical and acoustic jazz, the paradigm for faithful and accurate should be easy -- what sounds most like what one hears when in a concert hall. With rock and other electronically amplified performances -- what is the paradigm? I haven't been to a live amplified concert in years, but I know that that sound is not what I want reproduced in my listening room at home. And who's to say what a studio recording 'should' sound like? With multiple remasterings of some of the classics, even the artists and producers don't seem to be able to agree.

  27. #27
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by aardvarkbark View Post
    Has US pricing been announced?



    I think there's another factor, Mike. I listen primarily to classical and have transitioned completely from vinyl to CD. All popular works have been recorded multiple times. Some offer the technically and emotionally best performances but with early, sub-optimal recording, so they are best enjoyed with an anolog sound. An uber-resolving digital version will highlight the inferior sonics at the expense of the performance itself. Alternatively, a well-recorded performance can better place one in the concert hall, center loge seating, with a highly resolving digital version that an analog version would fail to convey.

    I don't think it's old school / new school as I believe you are suggesting. I think it's dependent upon the quality of the source. Personally, I'd welcome a spinner with an 'anolog / digital' or maybe 'warm / detailed' switch, though I suppose that would require dual DACs and boards.

    I think genre matters, too. With classical and acoustic jazz, the paradigm for faithful and accurate should be easy -- what sounds most like what one hears when in a concert hall. With rock and other electronically amplified performances -- what is the paradigm? I haven't been to a live amplified concert in years, but I know that that sound is not what I want reproduced in my listening room at home. And who's to say what a studio recording 'should' sound like? With multiple remasterings of some of the classics, even the artists and producers don't seem to be able to agree.
    On the D-10x? Nothing official, but it’s going to be “around $16K”.

    I can somewhat agree with your conclusion for the mostly classical music listener. However, my friend Richard Mak, has the most extensive collection of classical music I’ve ever seen. He listens to 95% vinyl. He can talk your ear off on how the original Decca pressings clobber any digital facsimile.
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  28. #28

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I can somewhat agree with your conclusion for the mostly classical music listener. However, my friend Richard Mak, has the most extensive collection of classical music I’ve ever seen. He listens to 95% vinyl. He can talk your ear off on how the original Decca pressings clobber any digital facsimile.
    Well, yes, but vinyl vs digital is a whole other discussion.

    The topic and subject matter of this thread addresses CD players, and I was responding to your comment that I interpreted as saying that some CD players produce a more analog sound while others produce a more detailed resolving sound, and that one's preference is grounded in 'bias'. I suggest that -- for a CD player -- quality of recording and digital mastering can influence the preference, and so a consumer may alternate between the two.

  29. #29
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by aardvarkbark View Post
    Well, yes, but vinyl vs digital is a whole other discussion.

    The topic and subject matter of this thread addresses CD players, and I was responding to your comment that I interpreted as saying that some CD players produce a more analog sound while others produce a more detailed resolving sound, and that one's preference is grounded in 'bias'. I suggest that -- for a CD player -- quality of recording and digital mastering can influence the preference, and so a consumer may alternate between the two.
    Agreed! I always found the Luxman CD players to be most analog.


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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    I would vote for K-01XD, for personal reasons. Not necessarily the holy truth. Ha!
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    I would expect better things for the XD series and D1X DAC in the future. As Esoteric get more experience with FPGA programming they will refine the code and make it better.
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Seh View Post
    I would vote for K-01XD, for personal reasons. Not necessarily the holy truth. Ha!
    After weeks of self censure and flip flopping, I have to agree with Mike - The Luxman D-10x is a better deal - at least for me - Roon + MQA.
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  33. #33
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    Esoteric XD Series



    Incoming!


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  34. #34

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Incoming!
    OK -- so, I see an amp and what appears to me to be three pictures of the same spinner. What are you getting?

    Are you officially an Esoteric dealer now?

  35. #35

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Seh View Post
    After weeks of self censure and flip flopping, I have to agree with Mike - The Luxman D-10x is a better deal - at least for me - Roon + MQA.
    Would you be willing to compare and contrast the D-10x vs K-01XD, not so much on features, but rather on sonics? Did the difference in sonics vary by source, or was it universal across all sources?

  36. #36
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by aardvarkbark View Post
    Would you be willing to compare and contrast the D-10x vs K-01XD, not so much on features, but rather on sonics? Did the difference in sonics vary by source, or was it universal across all sources?
    I’m getting the K-03XD. It’s much closer in price. I would love to compare them and will try my best.


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  37. #37

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I’m getting the K-03XD. It’s much closer in price. I would love to compare them and will try my best.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Thanks Mike. Got your PM. Actually, I was asking member Jerry Seh for his observations since it sounds like he's just spent a good bit of time with the new Esoteric and Luxman units. Obviously, I'd welcome yours too, of course.

  38. #38
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Mike - Are you getting the N-01XD? That could be interesting.
    _______________

    Mike

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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritmo View Post
    Mike - Are you getting the N-01XD? That could be interesting.
    Yes!! It’s due in September


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  40. #40
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by aardvarkbark View Post
    Would you be willing to compare and contrast the D-10x vs K-01XD, not so much on features, but rather on sonics? Did the difference in sonics vary by source, or was it universal across all sources?
    For sure, I did not have a one to one, side by side comparison as no dealer here have BOTH players at the same place. I bought purely based on features as the Luxman is so new. YES, the K-01XD is one solid piece of work and I was so allured by its appearance. The concern I have os would it work with Roon Nucleus+ which I have sinked in a lot of time and effort in building up the library. Of course, back ion my mind, I was also tempted to partner the Esoteric with an Aurender W20se, or if funds does not permit, then a N10 probably cause I know this combo does work. Lux came along, new transport (akin to esoteric new Atlas, not that they are the same or equivalent, but new transports, and new DAC's, to each their own way). In the end, the support for Nucleus+ and ability to make that work with the Lux swayed my decision. Sound is very subjective and I learnt not to go that direction but rather, if I made a calculated risk decision, I'll just have to stay by that and learn to enjoy what the end production of the music is. More so at my age where I cannot keep rolling gears. I can add, but once done, I will have to move on. I am sorry I cannot make a good reply to your question but hopefully, shared with you my "hunting experience and how I came to the decision on the Lux". If I have disappointed, my sincere apologies. Cheers.
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  41. #41
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Seh View Post
    the K-01XD is one solid piece of work and I was so allured by its appearance. The concern I have os would it work with Roon Nucleus+ which I have sinked in a lot of time and effort in building up the library. Of course, back ion my mind, I was also tempted to partner the Esoteric with an Aurender W20se, or if funds does not permit, then a N10 probably cause I know this combo does work.
    Lumin has specifically added support for native DSD512 of K-01XD. If you choose to use another brand of streamer, better check whether they support Roon Ready and whether they have already added support for K-01XD DSD512 - this usually does not "work" automatically until some firmware change is done to the streamer.
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  42. #42

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Thank you, Jerry Seh. All information and observations are helpful. I appreciate it.

  43. #43

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Several questions on esoteric:

    Who now distributes and services esoteric in US? The only thing that stops me from buying new k-01xd is that within last several years, the Esoteric Japan became very aggressive in releasing new models. Two years may not been enough to sort out all bags.

    Did anybody actually hear new XD models, how do they sound in compare with previous ones?

    Thank you.

  44. #44
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by myjazz123 View Post
    Several questions on esoteric:

    Who now distributes and services esoteric in US? The only thing that stops me from buying new k-01xd is that within last several years, the Esoteric Japan became very aggressive in releasing new models. Two years may not been enough to sort out all bags.

    Did anybody actually hear new XD models, how do they sound in compare with previous ones?

    Thank you.
    Great questions!

    1. Esoteric has chosen a route of distribution through “rep firms”. This is becoming VERY common since these manufacturers have realized that traditional distributors are not all created equal. What is a rep firm? Well, they basically handle a shit load of brands (think like 100) and they range in product from outdoor rock speakers to home theater screens to amps and CD players. They are not “distributors” in the classic sense of the word. It’s unlikely you would see them put together a system of brands they represent and display them at an audio trade show or push for products to get reviewed. Those responsibilities are still on the manufacturer. I personally don’t mind the rep firms. They are harmless and they will never try to steal your customers or sell direct. Never. They are about volume and more about working with SI’s (System Integrators) and CI’s (Custom integrators). That being said, Rep Firms still rely heavily on the main manufacturer for product info, etc. and the relationship between dealer and manufacturer remains tight. If we must have a middle man, I prefer a rep firm (I guarantee they take less $$) or a “manufactures rep” (a person who is the face for the company to the dealers, manages the reviews, runs the rooms at the trade show). Manufacturer reps can handle multiple firms. For example, my Roon rep is also my Hegel rep. Great guy by the way.

    2. The new series of in-house FPGA chips developed by Esoteric for their electronics are stunning. I will honestly say, it’s a bit of a departure from the sound we heard with AKM’s. It’s much more organic and natural sounding, but still retains the detail and resolutions.
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  45. #45

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Mike, thank you for a great info on esoteric. So with all that, in case of any issues with the esoteric unit, who and were will service it? I heard stories on a_gon that people had to send them in Japan to service transport issues.
    Thank you!

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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by myjazz123 View Post
    Mike, thank you for a great info on esoteric. So with all that, in case of any issues with the esoteric unit, who and were will service it? I heard stories on a_gon that people had to send them in Japan to service transport issues.
    Thank you!
    It goes back to Esoteric USA and if needed, back to Japan. Basically, if they can’t fix it here.


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  47. #47

    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by myjazz123 View Post
    Mike, thank you for a great info on esoteric. So with all that, in case of any issues with the esoteric unit, who and were will service it? I heard stories on a_gon that people had to send them in Japan to service transport issues.
    Thank you!
    According to Support | ESOTERIC:Japan high-end audio manufacturer | エソテリック

    US service and parts available from

    Tap Electronics Company
    6920 Hermosa Circle
    Buena Park, CA 90620
    Tel: (714) 562-7400
    Fax: (714) 562-7405

  48. #48
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    But if Tap can't fix it they have to send it on to Japan and the shipping is extra on out of warranty units.
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  49. #49
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    Re: Esoteric XD Series

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    But if Tap can't fix it they have to send it on to Japan and the shipping is extra on out of warranty units.
    How is that any different to any other Hi Fi equipment manufactured in another country.

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    Re: Esoteric XD Series





    These two beauties arrived today. I brought the K-03XD home to break in and really evaluate. I’m on my second CD and can’t believe how good this K-03XD sounds

    This isn’t your Father’s Esoteric!


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    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, TechDAS/AirForce Turntables, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

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AudioShark - The Best High End Audio Discussion forum.

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