|For a budget of between US$5,000 and 7,000, what would you choose of these options - Wadia 381, McIntosh MCD500, Ayre C-5xeMP and Esoteric X-03? Any other suggestions?|
I play CDs 99% of the time, not SACD. Just two-channel.
I currently use a Bluenote Stibbert 2007 (improved) and am looking to it step up. I like a big, bold, punchy and transparent sound (if that's not asking for too much!).
I use a McIntosh C220 pre and MC402 power amp, driving Magnepan 1.6 speakers. All cabling, balanced, is MIT CVT Terminator 2.
I'm getting the Wadia home for a demo next week, and can also arrange for the Ayre. The Esoteric will be avaible for home demo next month. But not the McIntosh, which I have to buy "blind", although Mac owners assure me it is the right choice ... :)