Dan, you're right. I got Eastsound and Eastern Electric confused. Do you hear a difference between the XLR and RCA output?
B18, yes I did check out the headfi site, and all seem to love the sound. I was worried about possibly running into transport problems so I'm having Cattylink run their 120 hour QA test (they'll burn it in for free and check to make sure no problems arise). I was told the technicians will wear gloves when handling the E5 during the QA test to insure no scratches get on the chassis. The player just exudes quality in terms of the components used and sheer mass (30 lbs), but that doesn't guarantee trouble free operation so it's nice to have the QA test as some measure of insurance.
I was just informed by Snowy that he will offer the E5, the Silver Raincoat PC, and Xindak silver fuse + free QA test, if requested, for $710 total (including shipping to your door - 3 days by DHL) for all US buyers. It's a great deal IMO. I can't think of any US dealers who would go out of their way like this for their customers.
Furthermore, I originally wanted to get into SACD and also asked about the getting the Shanling SCD-300 SACD player in addition to the E5 to use as a standalone SACD player and E5 for redbook. But Snowy tells me, although the SCD-300 is a very good player for the money, the E5 will better the performance of SACD playback of SCD-300. Snowy is a real standup guy. Instead of trying to sell me another player, he recommended I stick with the E5. I find that most SACD players don't sound that different regardless of price when playing SACD, unlike redbook CDP.
I'm always on the lookout for awesome deals, and this really seems like the real deal. Just want to pass the message along to all fellow audiophiles.