Design flaw in Esoteric DV-60?

I live in the Pacific Northwest. We have lots of storms here in Puget Sound. Earlier this year we had a momentary power interruption. There must have been a spike in the power supply, which for some reason, caused the DV-60 to turn itself on from standby. After that, it no longer would do multi-channel playback.

So, I sent it in, and the most expensive board it has needed replacement. It cost $1000 to get it back. Back it came, only to have the same thing happen a few months later. To me, this shouldn't happen. I did think am I crazy to spend so much money? Probably, but I really like the thing, I even bought a spare transport mechanism so when that goes bad (it doesn't have the bullet-proof transport as in more expensive Esoteric players), I have a replacement ready to go.

My power is a dedicated line, goes through a PS Audio Soloist, and then a PS Audio Power Plant Premier, which the DV-60 is plugged into. I am in touch with PS Audio and Esoteric, They claim it's not their fault, so who do I turn to now? Did someone drop the ball when designing the power supply? Does PS Audio have any culpability in this?

I'm hoping one of the genius's (you know who you are Ralph and Al), or someone with the background in the EE field, might have some ideas on the probable cause, and maybe a solution to it. Helluva mess. I can't afford to waste any more money, so, what's next?

Thanks for you help,

9179e721 40f1 49f2 9535 b8a186a0989cAg insider logo xs@2xislandmandan
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That sucks. I gather that you keep it plugged in b/c it has a standby function and loses its sonic mojo if running from a cold start. (I had that issue with a Lamm Ref line stage- you were supposed to leave the power supply powered up but lightening strikes always made me nervous, and i pulled power during strong electrical storms or if I was going to be away). It took quite a while for it to come back 'on song.' I don't know and didn't research what the PS Audio products purport to do, or whether they claim to offer any protection.
Here I have a whole house surge, and run a large 10kVA isolation transformer that also has surge protection to the panel feeding the dedicated lines for the system. My assumption is that with a powerful enough strike, all bets are off. Surge protection can only do so much. You should add Jea48 to your list of electrical gurus. Hope you get it sorted without pain. 
I like this spinner and it was the 1st Esoteric that I ever auditioned. Those who own PS Audio power/line conditioners give us your take on the subject.Where did you send the DV-60 for repair?Keep me posted on this development.
Hi Dan,

Sorry to hear of this issue, of course. And thanks for the nice words. As Bill (Whart) mentioned, Jea48 (Jim) certainly merits such a compliment, especially when power-related issues are involved. Perhaps he'll see this thread and comment.

The only suggestions that occur to me at this point are:

1)If you are using the PPP in multi-wave mode, try using sine wave mode instead. Don't ask me why; just my instinct :-)

2)While under most circumstances I would strongly recommend against doing this, and I expect that others will post subsequently and say that I'm recommending an unsafe practice, in this case I think it may be reasonable to consider putting a cheater plug on the DV-60's power cord, to defeat the connection of its safety ground to the PPP. I'm envisioning either that safety ground may be the path by which an incoming power line transient manages to bypass the PPP, or surge suppression mechanisms in the PPP itself may dump the energy of an incoming power line transient onto the safety ground. From which it may find its way onto the DV-60's internal circuit ground, via whatever resistance or impedance connects circuit ground and safety ground/chassis within the DV-60, resulting in the damage.

That's about all I can think of at this point. Best,

-- Al

I have an Esoteric UX-3 SACD/DVD player plugged into a Shunyata Hydra 4 power conditioner.  We have many momentary surges in my area due to storms and I have never encountered this problem in my 6 years of ownership with the player.
You might want to try an Adcom 515 "power conditioner". I assume it's "conditioning" the A/C somehow but what I like is the way it completely shuts down the power at any sign of trouble. Think of it like a mousetrap for voltage spikes, lightning, anything like that.
BTW, had an unexpected lightning storm a few months ago that affected some of my equipment, including my microwave, in very strange ways. Ultimately restored everything but very unusual.
What a nightmare!
Power surges can be scary things. When I worked in the technical department at NBC in Burbank, CA  any power outage would have us all fanning out across the facility to power down every last electronic device. Only when power was restored would we switch-on the electronics one by one in any given room. 
Our storms develop very quickly, and there are gusts that can occur at any given moment. It's a bit difficult to determine when powering down should be done.

Thanks Al, for your input. I'll check to see what mode the PPP is in, and try a cheater plug (I hate to use them, they're not made very well, and don't get a good grip on things).

Jafant, I sent the unit to Teac of America (Digitronics), in Montebello, CA. Esoteric's authorized repair center is now under the care of TAP Electronics (also in So. Cal.). Digitronics had their authorization stripped away from apparent misdeeds, which I don't know the details of.

There is no point in having the unit serviced again until the power issues are handled, if I ever decide to get it fixed. Ted, the chief engineer and owner at Tap, said he would like to help with the situation, but I don't know what would be the end result.

Thanks to all for your concern and input, regards,


I have not yet read this but I am thinking that it might be the direction you need to go.
Much Thanks! Dankeep us posted on your decision moving forward on this important matter.

I hadn't realized there were more posts to read, thanks for responding. I had thought whole-house surge protection would cost in the thousands of dollars, not in the low hundreds. This is something I can afford to do, actually, in a sense, can't afford not to.

Thanks, and regards,
I have the Eaton on the main panel it was around $100 plus the electrician’s time to install it which wasn’t much, because he was doing a whole lot of other work here. For the main system, everything runs from dedicated lines fed by a Controlled Power Iso transformer which has its own large surge protection board. In both cases, there are pilot lights that indicate when the surge protection should be replaced. (MOVs become ineffective). I don’t have any point of use surge protection on the main system components, but have them on virtually every appliance and on my second system. (My Quad 57s stay plugged in and ’on’ all the time, and for those, I use a ZeroSurge from Frenchtown, NJ, a company that I believe holds some patents that it licenses to others for this type of surge protection).
I still think if you get a really close strike you are toast, but the surges and spikes should probably be within the range of protection of most of these devices. I think the cheapy power strips with surge protection-- which don’t tell you anything about the state of the MOVs-- are about worthless. And, I don’t know what the point of use type do to the sound. It doesn’t matter as much on my second system, since it is a vintage, bandwidth limited system anyway, but I was always reluctant to stick point of use surge protectors on the main system. I have a few sitting around, from Furman, to old Richard Gray stuff that was used in a big projection system many years ago (along with his 240 volt step down) and never used them for the main hi-fi. I know @Eric Squires is a big fan of the Furmans.
Agree re your decision not to invest more in yet another repair without getting to the bottom of this.
I gather none of your other components have been affected, only the Esoteric?
Whart, that is correct, nothing else is affected, that is why I question the design of the DV 60's power supply. Something is not quite right. You would think other units in the same circuit would be effected, but not so.

I would sure like to find the answer as to the cause of just this unit being affected. Also on the same line is a Primare SP 31 pre-pro, an old Musical Fidelity A3 24 DAC, and a Genesis Digital Time Lens ( these two units get very little use any more).

Thanks again,
One thought if neither PS nor Esoteric have a solution is to ask whether a beefy external power supply can be substituted. i know this is done with computers and other gear that uses wall warts- but perhaps the board in question involves more than simply supplying DC power. I don’t know if the schematic for your unit is available on line (they company may not like it being posted if it isn’t) -- however, if it is available on the Net you might get some thoughts here on whether such a mod is possible. (Or consult with somebody near you that has good electronics chops).
Another is to see if Esoteric would be willing to extend you some sort of accommodation to buy a new or refurbished unit of another model with a more substantial power supply, given the travails you have been through. 


Can we get an update on the DV-60?  Happy Listening!