Decided to buy a high-end CDP - Need help inn the last mile!


Hi,

I have now decided to finally upgrade my Oppo BDP-95 which I have used for many years as my A/V player (more CD music than Blue-Ray). I have just upgraded my 2-channel music system to McIntosh C1100 (tube pre-amp), MC1.25KW (SS monos) and B&W800D3s. Currently the digital side is all Auralic (Streamer, DAC and Master Clock). I would now like to move to upgrading my CDP and am considering the following three choices as they come well recommended and have authorised dealers in Hong Kong (where I live). However, I cannot compare them side by side as they are all from different dealerships.

Hence any help from people who have heard or owned any of the below models (preferably at least two of them) will greatly help me make my decision in the next 2-3 days.

Esoteric Grandioso K1
Luxman D-08u
McIntosh MCD600

I have heard the McIntosh and its brilliant and since I have a good relationship with the dealer and like the looks of a Mc, its on this list. Mc is the easiest to buy emotionally but lots of data on the others suggests they might edge it out.

Views please.

Many thanks in advance.

7635c4b6 43be 453c b1cb 442551bf366csudhirgoel
Look at my thread on "Marantz SA-10 arriving Monday. Its a great player.
Check out Jay's Audio CDTs.
Discussions here: https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/if-you-still-spin-cd-s-their-is-a-reference-level-transport-for-reasona
Jay's Audio site: https://www.jays-audio.com/
Also, Hegel Mohican: https://www.hegel.com/products/cd/mohican
and
Bryston:http://www.bryston.com/products/digital_audio/BCD-3.html

From what I've read, any of these would give the McIntosh a serious run for the money, if not outright better it. Also, the Marantz mentioned above as well. I have an earlier version, the Marantz SA12S2b and CDs sound wonderful on it.

All the best,
Nonoise


I agree on the Jay’s Audio CDT2 MK2 transport recommendation. I’m sure their CDP-2 player is great. Since you’re in HK, Alvin will ship it direct to you for free. 

https://www.vinshineaudio.com/product-page/jay-s-audio-cdp-2

Even though the players are at different shops with different setups it's still worth going to hear all three. Perhaps you can bring some of your equipment to the shops for a serious demo? Those other players will be serious competition for the Mac I wouldn't make a decision without hearing all three.
Sudhiral, we would recommend a different approach, you have a good streaming setup by hardly state of the art. 

We have found that state of the art streaming rigs will generally outperform even really top end CD players.

The Auralic Dacs are very good, but hardly in the same class as a K1 although you would also get a very good dac in the K1. 

Many people in Europe are raving about the Innuos Statment as creating one of the most analog like digital data streams on the market. 

You could upgrade your dac to a much higher end dac, and with a really good streamer you would hardly want to play a CD.

You could then rip all of your discs to the Innuous server and run Roon which is just mind blowing software.

Thee are a host of really good dac, the new Berkely may be excellent, we onlly heard the original ref, the Aqua Dac's are really musical.

So before your spend a lot on a CD spinner you may want to evaluate what an upgrade to a much higher end dac and streamer may get you.

Please look at your HK dealers and see if you can evaluate what a really state of the art digital rig will do for you before you pull that trigger on a new CD player.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innuous dealers
Thanks all. I heard the Esoteric Grandioso K1 and have loved it. I tending towards buying that. Its a huge upgrade on my current Oppo BDP-95
You could upgrade your dac to a much higher end dac, and with a really good streamer you would hardly want to play a CD.
I have to agree with @audiotroy as having a good streamer seems to be the way of the future, and I would trust their advice on good streamers as I'm sure they've heard many.  As another option if you still want to spin the occasional disc, you could upgrade to a better DAC and invest in a good jitter reduction unit such as the Empirical Audio Offramp and continue to use your Oppo as a transport.  The Offramp makes any transport a great transport, and you can keep using the Oppo.  I hate trashing stuff and love repurposing older gear if it still works -- but that's just me. 

For a new DAC, it's such a personal decision.  But there's a resurgence of non oversampling R2R ladder DACs out there that are garnering a lot of attention as sounding more "natural" and "organic" versus the upsampling single-bit DACs that have dominated the digital landscape over the past decade or so.  The Metrum Pavane has gotten sparkling reviews among others, and there's a lesser-known manufacturer that makes the SW1X DAC that seems most impressive and offers a free trial period (minus shipping) that would very much be worth a look.  Gotta love an in-home trial!!!  Hope this helps, and best of luck in your search. 
I bought and received my new Esoteric Grandioso K1 and it is superb. The DAC (and sound) is so different from the Auralic DAC sound. Most smooth and allows long hours of listening too. I play some music from the Auralic Aries G2 (streamer) through my K1 now.
Glad you were able to make a good choice and enjoy the new player!
I bought and received my new Esoteric Grandioso K1 and it is superb. The DAC (and sound) is so different from the Auralic DAC sound. Most smooth and allows long hours of listening too. I play some music from the Auralic Aries G2 (streamer) through my K1 now.
Would love to know the difference when playing CD and streaming?