Esoteric D-05 dac and Oracle transport

Hey guys, I am looking to upgrade my very old Theta Gen Va with an Esoteric D-O5, but I still want to keep my Oracle CD2000 Mk II (because it is soooo gorgeous). A few questions on this:
1. How good is the dac just with regular digital output from my transport? (all the reviews pair it with the matching P-O5 transport).
2. How much am I missing from the dac not being able to get full upsampling?
3. What upsampling choices do I have, other than the obvious dcs purcell (or newer version)? The Purcell is an option I would look at, maybe do this in stages.
Personally, i have found that execution of whatever technology is more important than whether it has upsampling, no upsampling, etc. I have been fortunate to listen to some of the world's great names in digital...DCS SCarlatti full stack, Stahl-Tek full stack, Zanden full stack (own Zanden myself), Metronome Kalista, various Esoterics, Krells, ARC, etc.

I have not been impressed by many of the upsampling transports vs the "simple, old fashioned" but exceptionally solidly built transports.

Transports do make a difference, but not necessarily only from upsampling...quality of transport mechanism, how low they keep the noise in transfering the digital signal over to the DAC, quality of the output contacts (to avoide impedance related reflections, etc)...all make a difference. Your Oracle fits that you may find you like it quite a bit.

While Esoterics can sound better with their own transports (like many manufacturers whose components have synergy)...i will also say that you may find, given the very, very good quality of your oracle, that you elect to keep the oracle and spend a bit on a world class digital cable and save the rest or invest it elsewhere.

Be curious to know what you decide...good luck and pls keep us posted.
I doubt any digital cable including one of the "world class" (whatever that means) variety, would make anywhere near the difference of a contemporary d/a converter.

I have a Kimber orchid cable, which I will keep and probably get more of if the purcell fits into the plan.

Have any of you guys auditioned the D-O5 as a dac with redbook cd transports?
Hi Audiofeil,

actually, i was basically recommending that Valves consider keeping his Oracle CD player use it as a transport into his Esoteric D-05 DAC...instead of spending 5 figures on a P-05 Transport. And use a world class digital cable which could probably be bought for at most several hundred s/hand.
The Oracle is a dedicated transport, I guess I got the number wrong. On the digital cables, are the orchids still as favoured as they were a few years ago?
Hi V&V,

I would say you might find a lot of positive improvements in the digital cable (cannot speak to the Orchid not having heard it or read about it)...but there are some out there which really made a dramatic improvement over my original Cardas Neutral REference (Nordost Valhalla...BNC termination). Also, isolation products have definitely improved over time that help with reducing transport vibration. Some find power cable can help as well.

As you can see, i am (personally) a proponent of seeing how far you can stretch your transport before you splash out 5 figures on a transport where CD availability is still good but generally dwindling. good luck.
Hi Valvesandvinyl,

the Oracle is for sure eye candy, I owned one for a few years.

Some of the info. in your posting is a bit confusing in relation to the model.

2500 MK2 is all in one player that offers XLR out for conection to a pre-amp and also offers digital connections for an option of use of a external dac but does not offer AES "XLR" digital.

2000 is only a transport and you must connect a external dac using a digital cable for it to work.

This is the unit I owned and when I demoed I preferred over the 2500, if you take a peak at my past threads section you will be able read some of my comments in general.

So to answer your question if it is the 2000 transport that you own, my favourite digital cable and digital type was a Stealth Audio Sextet AES "XLR" cable after trying numerous manufactures and types of digital. I also ened up using a Stealth digital power cord and swapped out the cheap glass fuse for a HiFi fuse.

My favourite all time DAC was and still is the Acustic Arts Ref Tube Dac, swapping out the two tubes for different ones and again using HiFi fuse and Stealth PC.

A tip in relation to the puck; make sure you keep the black sorathane tacky because this is apart of the design and has an effect. This was one thing that did annoy me a bit because you would have to peel it off the cd every time and some times I found it took part of the art work off so then you would have to scrap that off the sorathane and again ensure it was tacky.


We seem to be getting off topic though. I was hoping to get feedback on how good the dac is with my transport, the reason I ask is that the reviews I can find match it up with the PO5 transport, which I do not want to get.

i think your transport & D-05 are going to be great. Save your money and spend (a bit) on digital cable upgrade if you wish.
Hi Dev;

Thanks for your reply. I own the dedicated transport, which I believe is a mark II because they have symbols to explain the buttons, the earlier version did not. (I may have even bought it from you locally in Ontario, a year or two back).

The puck is still performing perfectly.

That Stealth (Vardig I assume) Sextet is expensive, especially in balanced. I will keep it in mind.
Hi Valvesandvinyl, yes you are correct in July 2009 and I believe you already have the HiFi fuse also.

Great to hear everything is working well and you are enjoying.

The Stealth "Sextet" AES digital cable comes up for sale often just ensure it is the lastest most current version if you go that route and at usually at a great discount, just be patient.

Dac, never heard that specific pce paired up with it but the AA as mentioned above and is marvelous.

Hi Dev;

I am sure I do, since I got it from you. :D

Did you ever use the Kimber illuminations orchid? That is what I currently have. If so, I would love to hear your thoughts on the differences.
D-05 can do all the oversampling to 24/192 or DSD at DAC end so you won't lose upsampling capability when not using Esoteric transport. However whether upsampling is really neccessary, that's a different story.
The only disadvantage I could see by using Oracle transport is the lack of SACD capability.
I have no concerns about SACD at the moment. Should that become an issue in the distant future, I would get a SACD transport, and still keep the oracle. After all, I still listen to records as well. :)
OK, so I bought the Esoteric. It is still breaking in, but it sounds great so far.
ha-hah!!!! congrats! Please post when you have more time!!! And pls post in comparison to other units, for those of us who may not be as familiar with your specific dac. enjoy.