DCS Scarlati v Esoteric P-01,D-01

Has anybody out there had the opportunity to do an A/B comparision between the full blown DCS Scarlati system and the Esoteric P-01,D-01 & GO,s 5 box system.
Yes, it would be interesting to know how they compare sound wise. Hearsay, (from neutral people in the trade) is that they are as competitively popular and selling equally well to those seeking the SOTA in digital playback system today.

Maybe, let us add to the mix the Accuphase DP800 & DC801 and top line EMMs Lab for a mini shoot-out of current top crop CD/SACD players available. Anyone having the experiences to share?
How about including Spectral Audios humble 1 box player?
Or new reference Kalista transport/ C2 A converter which was released last month in Paris?

I have heard that the Accuphase DP800+DC801 is regarded best of the best and their DP-700 one box is 98% performance of it's bigger brother. Even the lower model DP-500 pure Redbook is a great sounding player for the money with their own all new transport.

I personally do not like the HARD Esoteric sound from the P-01/D-01/ Go-sRb but I believe their new P-05/D-05 is much more analog sounding????

System synergy plays a big part in choosing the right player....
Wadia 931/921/270se should be on your list, too.

Yes, I have compared DCS Scarlatti with P-01/D-01/G-0s. Scarlatti sounds softer and possibly more euphonic (not in a bad way). Esoteric combo is more focused due to better clock, better VRDS NEO.and outboard power supply.

Feel free to email me if you want more in depth info.
better VRDS NEO ??

isn't the Scarlatti using exactly this one?

the MBL combi should also be mentionned
The transport used in the P-01 is not used in any other Esoteric or competitive product.

Dealer disclaimer.
I think Teac/Esoteric has been very unfair with use of their transports. They basically have a monopoly on high-end transports, and will not allow others to purchase under reasonable circumstances. At least, this is what I heard, and what the availability seems to suggest.

Personally, I don't like that Esoteric is always introducing some new version. Very confusing, and must not be good for resale.

For me, the only player beside the Wadia to consider would probably be the Scarlatti. Unfortunately, I've not had the experience. However, I'm sure it is wonderful, and probably leaves nothing to be desired when properly and fully implemented. I've been a long Wadia fan, so the 9 series was a no-brainer from my situation.

Rob -

If you built the better mouse-trap, would you sell it to your competitor? I sure wouldn't. Business is business and has nothing to do with fairness.

If a competitor wants to build a better transport they should do it.


Since I am not directly knowledgable about Teac's business model, how it operated in the past, and how it now operates, I feel not directly qualified to take this on.

However, my sense is that manufacturers that relied on Teac's OEM transport supply probably got the rug pulled-out from underneath in a major and painful way. I believe in some cases, models went to far stages of development, probably based on these transports, only to see those efforts and monies go to waste.

I'd love for someone to explain what is going on with the VRDS-NEO drive, why are there so many minor versions, and what happened to those manufacturers that thought they'd have this available for their own transports. I think one needs a degree to understand all the models offered over the past 5-10 years.

In any event, I feel very fortunate to have an awesome transport that uses a prior VRDS version 3.2 before they went unavailable. I have no doubt about the quality of the VRDS-NEO, although it may never be obtainable.

the absolute sound August 2008:

Where, you may be asking, is all of the dCSes’ added density of
information coming from? Bits is bits, ain’t they? Well, apparently
not, at least not until after they’re been retrieved from a CD by
the Scarlatti’s drive (which uses Esoteric’s top-of-the-line VRDS
Neo mechanism with dCS’s own proprietary control board),“randomly distributed throughout the quantizing range… effec-
tively turn[ing] any tolerance errors into random white noise,
which is far more benign than the distortion that would other-
wise have occurred.” I’m not technical enough to say for sure

Rob - While neither an engineer nor a Teac employee, the transport issue is pretty simple - COST. For example, the best transport Esoteric makes is in my 2 yr-old upgraded UX-1, but now only offered in the P-01. Teac does not sell its top transports to anyone at any price - if they did, the brands that use them would have to charge lots more than their already high prices. That is a fact.

Their various transports and where they fit in their line are very clearly laid out on their website. If some of you took the time to look instead of just complaining, you might learn a thing or two. Its not rocket science and business is business, as Jim said above.
I too was told by Esoteric's importer that those used in Scarlattis are definitely not their top line VRDS-NEO units, which he claims to be fitted exclusively only in their flagship model - currently.

Earlier this year, Esoteric released NEW upgraded version of their 01 series, designated as VUK-P01 & VUK-DO1 (version upgrade kit). From what I read, older units are up-gradable and are also strongly recommended by the manufacturer. They claim it to be of .."higher musicality that far surpasses the original version" ?

Which version did you actually listen to? Can you elaborate a little and share with us here your findings / impression of the two (vs DCS)? Appreciated..
There are three different VRDS-Neo transport mechanisms. They are VK-0 (used in the Esoteric P-01), VK-3 and VK-5 (used in the dCS Scarlatti). The latter is optimized for SACD playback. The VK-0 is not used in any other products than the Esoteric P-01 and is the top model. The new Wadia 971 will apparently include a Wadia modified VK-5 and should including the Series 9 decoding computer be a top contender for the very best alongside the other options mentioned.
I believe Rhagen is mistaken. The dCS Scarlatti does not use the VMK-5 mechanism, which has a composite tray. It likely uses the VMK-3, similar to the P03 or current generation X-01D2. Audiofeil's comments on the P-01 are accurate -the VMK-0 mechanism is currently only used in the P-01 transport. However, the first generation X-01 and UX-1 also used the VMK-0 mechanism. I know as I had the P03, UX1 and X01 all in house with the chassis open and the differences are readily apparent (using the Esoteric PDF detailing the mechanisms as a guide).

The dCS Paganini uses the VMK-5 mechanism but with a custom aluminum tray.
How many years have "high end" cd & sacd mfg's been using cheap transports? ..and we have been accepting them (yes, I have a MF kW SACD I use as a door stop). (I remember my first high end $4,000 cd player with a cd rom drawer...). I give Esoteric kudos for coming up with what they have, identifying the problem, and giving us top shelf transports--and even improving on them. Yes, I know the drill--licensing, sony/phillips--hogwash. It could have been done years ago but it wasn't. Sorry my rant is (slightly?) off topic.
I have a copy of a PDF document entitled "Esoteric Transport Comparison", downloaded from Esoteric's website.

I also have a Scarlatti transport.

My view is that the Scarlatti has the VRDS VMK-1.1 transport.

The Absolute Sound was wrong to assert that Scarlatti has Esoteric's "top-of-the-line" VRDS. That is the VMK-0. It is reserved for the P-01 transport (as Audiofeil has said).

However the VMK-1.1 (also used in the PO-3, X-01D2 and UX-1Pi) is no slouch, and its engineering is miles ahead of any other transport bar the VMK-0. It has the same 20 mm solid steel bridge, well-sized bearings (ceramic rather than steel) and is in the same range of solidity to the VMK-0, without being quite as hefty.

The lower VMK-5 is a noticeably less extreme construction.

Until someone who actually knows (ie works for dCS or has seen inside the Scarlatti) cares to comment, that should be the last word.
and how is the sound?

I have now heard both, the Scarlatti is fare the better one, more resolving and always musical.
The dCS Scarlatti uses a modified VK-5.
I would like to add that there are quite a few options to consider if you want to know you have chosen the best digital combination:

Zanden Audio Model 2000P & Model 5000S
Emm Labs XDS1
MBL 1622A & 1611F
Metronome Technologie Kalista Ref. SE & GTE Audio Trinity
Burmester 069
Soulution Audio 745
Goldmund Eidos Reference & Mimesis 20.7
Orpheus Labs Privelige Transport & DAC
Wadia 971, 931 & 922
Esoteric P-01VU, G-0Rb & D-01VU
Constellation Audio Sirius
dCS Scarlatti
Accuphase DP-800 & DC-801
Stahl-Tek Vekhian Transport & DAC
Jadis JD-1 Pro & JS-1 Mk.III
47 Labs Pi/Tracer & Kondo Onagaku DAC
Esoteric P-0S & Boulder 2020
Oracle Audio Technologies CD-2050 & Weiss Medea
Spectral Audio SDR-4000
C.E.C. TL-0X & Stylus Sys HAD
Meridian Reference Signature 808.3
Audio Research Reference CD8
Chord Red Reference
Nagra CDC & Nagra DAC
Ypsilon CDT-1000 & DAC-1000
Barclay Digital F1-X & Audiologic 34 MXL
Acoustic Arts Drive II & Tube DAC-II
Combak Harmonix Reimyo CDP-777 & DAP-999EX
Ensemble DiRondo & DiChrono
Lector Audio DigiDrive TL & DigiCode 2.24
I heard many of this DACs and strongly recommend to listen to Lavry Gold and GTE Audio. They are trully the best!!!
For high res GTE is out of competition!
I know this is an old thread but I just had my P-01 / D-01s / G-0Rb upgraded to VU status, it was now or never since the Grandioso series was introduced. Wow am I glad I did it.

I have been into high end sound and in the high end sound business for 35 years. Holy smokes. I've heard the latest DCS stack as well as many other major contenders but this blows their socks off. Never heard played back sound (yes, $100,000 turntables with $40,000 preamps included) sound like this. If any of you own this stack, send it to Japan NOW to get the VU upgrade, because they will likely be discontinuing it soon. Unbelievably incredible sound. Currently using it with Kharma Enigma power cords (best I've ever heard by far, and yes we sell Transparent) and Cardas Clear interconnects. I'd sell my first born before I parted with this. Amen.
Try the P-01 VU with the new Grandioso DAC and G0RB. I recommend Tara Labs Evolution Zero interconnects. 
It simply sounds phenomenal and much better than dCS Vivaldi or Accuphase 901/900.
Since the older d01 vu doesnt do pure dsd, you will hear a big difference with SACDs if you try Grandioso DAC.