I have not heard the UX-1 but have listened to the X-01, which does only redbook and SACD and absolutely love it. Please note that the X-01 does not have DVD nor video, but has twice the DAC chips as the UX-1 and is supposed to sound better for audio than UX-1.
You may want to give a call to my friend John Loranger, proprietor of Rangers Audio in Beaverton (Or). His company carries both AYRE and Esoteric. Last I spoke to him he did have a UX-1 in stock. By the way, the UX-1 and X-01 cost the same. If your interest is purely audio you may want to consider X-01. The sound of X-01 is further enhanced by the application of an upgraded powerchord, like the Shunyata Anaconda.
Rangers Audio can be found at 508-627-0847.
I have a UX-1 and am very impressed with the unit. I have owned it now for 8 months and still find it great fun to listen to. The X-01 is better sounding, but the UX-1 is not that far behind. ( I did compare both in my home system, and went for the UX-1 for DVD-A/Dualdisc and the video.
Guidocorona is absolutely correct about the upgrade for the AC cable. It makes a very big difference in the sound. My favorite cable is the Revelation Audio Labs Precept.
Splaskin, did you ever compare the UX-1 to the Ayre D-1EX which I currently have? I don't really want to make a leteral move. I use the Virtual Dynamics Master Series power cable with it and Master Series interconnects and speaker cables in mu system as well
LBSILVER, you have a legitimate concern. Give a call to John as I suggested. He does carry both brands and is very familiar with UX-1. He will give you his very knowledgeable opinion.
I have personally compare X-01 with the Burmester 001 and Bel Canto PL1-a. They were all on the same system. X-01 was so much better than Burmester it was like night and day. Bel Canto was closer to X-01, but still no cigar.
My detailed findings are on the following thread:
Sorry, I have not heard the Ayre player. I think Guidocorona's advice is right-on.
In last months issue of Absolute sound there was a review of both the high end Esoteric players. The reviewer directly compared them to the Ayre D1-X and in both cases he prefered substatially the sound of the Ayre player. I have never heard the Esoteric stuff, but do own the Ayre and of all the digital I've owned it sounds the best to me, and the picture is amazing as well
I heard and saw a comparison of the UX-1 versus the Immersive Technology Simmetry and it was ugly for as good as the UX-1 was it simply could not muster the level of performance the Simmetry in either audio and certainly not video either.
The Simmetry is pretty amazing and it half the price.
Made in USA too.
The Ayre is nice too, but even if the audio is the same as the Simmetry the video will several notches down. So if video matters a good deal check out the Simmetry.
I don't know if you need video, but I recently auditioned the new Ayre universal player in my system and was completely knocked out......... I had a couple of other nice CD players on hand for comparison as well, and the Ayre left everything in the dust. FWIW The dealer who helped me with the audition is also an Esoteric dealer and reccommends the Ayre players head and shoulders above the Esoteric.
EJLIF, I did read the sound thrashing that the X-01 and UX-1 players received on Absolute Sound and the reviews left me befuddled. My admittedly short experience with X-01 was very different. I can't even decide if it's the usual matter of 'beauty is in the ears of the audiofool', or it's a matter of me not having heard as many players as the reviewer. But this far TAS is the only dissenting thumbs-down review of the X-01, whatever the reasons.
Isn't amazing how the same device can be praised and thrashed by different equally respectable reviewers?
I read the Absolute Sound review, and felt that I must be listening to a very different UX-1.
Steve, I am glad I must not have been the only one to ablate significant amounts of scalp scratching my head after having read the TAS review.
Was the reviewer just trying to be 'different'?
Having said that, I have also heard that the new AYRE multiformat player is supposed to be outstanding.
My local dealer has the new Ayre player; I will try it out in my system shortly.
Please post your thoughts on the new Arye player. I am mostly an analog guy, but am considering a new CD player. The Ayre was one of the few "new format" players I have heard and would be interested in others take on it. The Sony players have left me a little cold in the past.
The UX-1 takes a very, very long time to break in and will not sound good (or up to its potential) until it is fully broken in.
I wouldn't make a final decision or do any "Critical" listening with less than 500 hours.
I take it that you have a UX-1 based on your post. Have you ever tried to compare it to the Ayre D-1EX and if so, do you feel that the UX-01 is significantly better than the Ayre or would my move to the UX-1 be a lateral move. Any feedback would be helpful as I am still wresting with my decision
You seem to enjoy the Ayre player. If SACD and DVD-A interest you, why not just get the new Ayre Universal unit.
You can keep your present unit for video. I have listened to Ayre amps, preamp, and CD player at my local audio shop. I liked what I heard. I am going to speculate here:
The Esoteric unit will have a leaner more analytical sound than the Ayre. The Eosteric is not hard or bright sounding, but probably less warm. This is the type of sound I prefer.
The Ayre player only has digital audio output. When you say that Ayre is much better than Esoteric, what D/A converter did you run it through? I really doubt it was head and shoulders above the Esoteric X-01.
I did a heads up comparison on SACD and Redbook between the UX-1 and the MF KW SACD Player ($7K) and the MF was much more musical, IMO. THe UX-1 was more detailed-- for example, I listened to a 1960's recording of Stravinsky conducting his own Rite of Spring on SACD. Through the UX-1 I became aware of the sound of the valves on the woodwinds clicking while played. Going back to the MF, I heard the same sounds, but only after the UX-1 pointed them out.
The MF got a better sense of space and scale, while the UX-1 was drier in sound. I definitely preferred the MF, but it only plays redbook and SACD.
Electronics were Pathos tube monoblocks and preamp into Dali Full-Range floorstanders. Sound was breathtaking.
I moved to a UX-1 from a DV-50s (which I enjoyed very much...); the UX-1 is a great player with a video section that blew my ISF engineer away out of the box. I hear the X-01 has better CD/SACD performance (the UX-1 kicks ass on DVD-A) however, Esoteric just announced an upgrade which I'm planning to pay for to the UX-1 Limited Edition modifications...
If you do home theater, DVD-A as well as CD/SACE, I'd suggest the UX-1 Limited Edition.