Ayre C-5xeMP vs Esoteric X-05

both same price and play same format, which do you prefer and why? thanks for looking.-
I haven't owned both the C5XEMP or the X-05, just the C5XE, but have sold it last year to upgrade to the PS Audio Perfect Wave combo.

Based on the sound character of the two companies, I will pick the C5 if you are looking for a more musical and warmer presentation. The sound of Esoteric is more digital and sound brighter at the sub-$10K level.

If you have $6K to spend on a player, I would definitely go for the PS Audio Perfect Wave combo at the same price. The combo is just at a different class, unless you must have a SACD player.

I would like to tell you that after you hear what the HRx disc can do from the PW combo, you will laugth at the SACD.
The Ayre is more musical and flows better. If you like lots of detail and a somewhat colder sound, then the Esoteric is for you.

I would not listen to advice on these two players from anyone unless they have heard both in the same system. The PS audio my be good, but if they have not heard the other two players, then any comments are well - a guess at best.

As an FYI the Cary 306 (non professional) is in the same league as the ones you mention and can be had under $2800.

All three are great!