Esoteric K-03/Plinius CD-101

Hello fellow audioholics
I am seeking some advice on Esoteric CD players.
I have Dynaudio C4’s with Plinius SA-103, Tautoro and CD-101 with Kimber Hero I/C’s but although I am generally happy with the CD101’s sound I’m considering replacing it for various other reasons.
I’m interested in trying an Esoteric player, potentially the K-03 and was wondering how much of an improvement this player would be compared to the CD-101 with Redbook CD’s as unfortunately I have no way of auditioning.
Can those who have heard both players please comment on what they feel i would gain.

Thanks very much
I cannot compare with your current player however I can compare it with a Sony SCD 777 ES.

I purchased a X03SE because I was sick of the no disc error and not being able to have it read all my sacd's. My friend was interested as he owns the 777 also. When I scored it I brought it over and I was also interested in how the Sony would compare to the Esoteric. I was a little worried as I have never heard an esoteric and was more intested in the teac high level build quality. Sonically it was amazing and much more analog and musical than the Sony. I seriously think it is one of the best purchases in audio I have ever made. I run analog also and although I still think vinyl is more 3d the esoteric sure closed the gap and I can and do listen to hours of digital without fatigue.

My friend does not have vinyl and he recently scored a demo K03. I went and listened last week. It was fantastic and he is probably even more delighted than I am with the X03. He decided to go bigger and the K03 was absolutely superb.

I have not brought over the X03SE to compare to the K03 although we are both somewhat interested in how they match up but I really am beyond happy with the X03 and have marked done on my digital upgrade path.

The purpose of this rambling is to tell you that Esoteric makes absolutely killer spinners.

Have Fun!

As a X03SE owner and K03 wannabe I'd love to hear your views following a comparison of the two units. Please scratch that itch and set up a listening session with both and get back to us!
I can't believe you have Kimber Hero with this caliber of equipment!!
Thanks Steelhead. I have an old Sony s7700 that I still use for playing dvd’s and it’s very fussy what it will play, very frustrating...

Yes Jkuc, I suspected the Kimbers could be the weak link in my system, they have been with me through numerous upgrades but i didn’t think they were that bad?
Hero is is a good cable but not good enough for your equipment, you do not hear your system to it's full potential.
What a load of bull. Kimber Hero is perfectly fine.
Badwisdom, if you say so.....
you might have hearing problem which is not a bad thing, it will save you some money haha...
The ONLY possible thing a cable can do is introduce distortions. WHich cable distorts less? I bet it is one from the likes of beldon.
Now if you are looking to deliberately introduce distortions there are many esoteric cables to chose from.
Badwisdom is a lucky b....rd.
Wire choice is listener and system dependent.

To suggest a particular cable is inferior to another without familiarity of the system and listener's preferences smacks of inexperience.

You wear it well Jkuc.
BUDT, the first part true "The ONLY possible thing a cable can do is introduce distortions."
The second not necessarily true, haha...for sure not belden.
Material of condustors counts, purity of conductors counts, crystal boundaries in conductors count, type of dielectric counts(air, teflon etc), construction of cables (layout of conductors etc) counts. These are simple things and everybody understands it....
If you deny it, no point to discuss with you.
Someone in another forum told me cables make no difference. Any truth in that ?
Cable lore is out of control.

There is so little difference in actual high end components to start with, when you extend audiophilia delirium to high end cables, its a part of this hobby madness i can not tolerate.

I think its fine to argue source, amps, speakers etc... value and sound signatures because there is a common sense to the logic that anyone can grasp. There is work to be done to decode the digital signal, transform it to analogue and amplify it. Those are essential processes that can be perfected.

As far as cables are concerned, anyone telling you that its justified to spend several 1000s of $ in a cable are out of their minds.

The thing is that high end cables actually might change sound, but by ADDING stuff to the sound signature. When you see those 10K cables with actual BOXES with electronic circuitry smack in the middle of the signal path, its just absurd beyond justification.

A cable should be as simple as possible. Anything in the couple of 100 USD are fine.
I think there is definitely merit in better quality cables.
Certainly a larger cable will allow for larger current transients but also the capacitance and inductance of a cable which is determined by various qualities such as the quality/amount of copper and insulation used will affect the “inductive and capacitive reactance” of the cable, essentially it’s resistance to the analogue signal trying to flow through it... IMO as a sparkie.
Badwisdom , you don't even know what you are talking about.Kind of humor...You make me feel better. everytime I read your post I'm smiling. That's good....
I'm running a K-03 in a system with $35K active speakers and the difference between $200 and $2000 interconnects is surprisingly small.

Paying a ton of money for cables can be a crapshoot as the end result is system and listener dependent.

Dealer disclaimer
Audio_madness, I used to own both plinius cd-101 and esoteric k-03. With your set-up, as others mentioend, you have to upgrade ICs, they not up to the level of the rest of your gear, without it you will not be able to hear full potential of k-03 or other hi-end player (including your plinius cd-101) which is outstanding cd player, considering also it can be used a as a DAC thru its 24/196 USB. The combination of plinus 103,tautoro and esoteric (any of them starting from sa-50) will be awesome. But again right choice of cables is very important. PM me for more info if you want
Jkuc, by all means, if it makes you feel better, spend all your $ on cables.

It is all in your mind but thats ok. I know that convincing yourself that the $ you've spent HAVE to make a difference is often enough for your brain to convince yourself of that.

But thats ok, whatever floats your boat.
Once you dial in a system and become familiar with its sonic personality, and assuming good overall resolution, cable differences are blatant. I have a done quite a bit of blinded listening tests with my wife and others to know its not simply self-deception. And while you don't necessarily get what you pay for, the "wire is just wire" philosophy is just a residue of a 1950s engineering textbook. Nordost and Vertex demonstrated time domain or jitter reduction with cable changes (
This reminds me of the Pharmaceutical companies which offer both 'independent' diagnostics and studies (yeah right) and, coincidentally, the commercial solutions for curing the ailment (yeah right).

Sorry, fancy words and graphs are no substitute for common sense IMHO.
Actually the article in Stereophile describes measurement software that the two companies have developed which is a neutral tool. Their findings just provided a partial explanation as to why cables effect sound. That being said, the cost of cabling can be absurd. No argument there....
Cables may affect sound but they do not effect sound.
The esoteric cable/tweak industry has done far more harm than good for this hobby( imo). I mean really, anyone can be in this industry within a very short period of time and make any sort of claim they wish. Audiophiles just soak it up....
Budt, you are correct. There is a lot of witchcraft at work, but it's not relegated to cables.

Audiofeil, touché. You are an industry guy. Any comments on Budt's statement?
Read my comments above.

Hardware is everything.
That was not really the question, but I understand not wanting to answer
All I can say without offending experience and knowledge of others, if OP put $13K Esoteric k-03 with his $17k Plinius combo and use $200 ICs, he will not hear full potential of the system. Yes he will enjoy the system sound more that with Plinius cd-101, but unless he will spend more than $200 on a cabling and outlets that will have synergy with his hardware, he will never hear his hardware to its best. And the difference will not be small. And the cost of the ICs does not have to be $2000.
But I agree that hardware and speakers come first and after that cables and other tweaks, assuming one spent thousands on a hardware.
How can one person decide ahead of time what another will hear or likes/dislikes what is heard based on price alone?

It is simply ludicrous to assume that listener "A" won't be thrilled with a $200 pair of wires as opposed to a $2000 pair of cables. You might but he may not.

Expensive is not necessarily better with wires; this is the flaw in your rationale. I've been doing this far too long to believe otherwise. Cable selection is system and listener dependent. There is only a tiny positive correlation between price and performance.

Put the kool aid down and listen to a couple thousand systems and then come back and talk.

Thank you
Audiofail, you are right in a way.... Cheap interconnects (or generally cables) might be better and usually are better in certain systems,mediocre systems. Excellent cables (they usually cost more) are to transparent , to revealing , will show all imperfections of such systems and they would be "unforgiving" in inferior systems. Cheap cables will mask defects, they can be used as tone controllers in such systems.
Very good cables, neutral, transparent, detailed etc usually go with equipment of high calibre. In mediocre systems they will show how bad the system is.
Conclusion: cable application depends on the system.
And excellent cables will always be excellent but of course can't be used in any system.
Btw, you smell the same as Badwisdom, haha...
Audio_madness, why exactly are you considering a source change? I know the K-03 can process streamed material from a PC, and thus has an added flexibility. If your desire to change is driven by utilitarian elements, great. If this move is motivated by subtle shortcomings of the CD-101, then fiddling with cabling is a logical thing to do (philosophical rants aside).

Jkuc, your typo above made me laugh...
Good Agear. This is why I did it haha....
On the flip side, Audiofeil is absolutely correct regarding the influence of hardware. Two years ago, I briefly dabbled with the Emerald Physics speaker, and that system was not terribly cable sensitive. I know Roger Sanders and his stats do not respond to hi priced exotica. My current rig is uber sensitive. Bringing a cheap red into the room has consequences.....
Aegar , I thought you have sense of humur, now you are telling!
Who can argue with your logic where price dictates the integrity of signal transmission.Honestly, this is one of the reasons SOME esoteric wire advocates sound utterly and completely illogical.
Audiofeil presented a reasoned response(imo)....
Merry Christmas to Agear, Audiofeil, Badwisdom and other morons .... You guys are the salt of Audiogon.
Merry Christmas to you as well Beavis.

Say hello to Butthead when you see him.
I Say skip the CD player and setup a good music server with a good outboard DAC. A 20K CD player can't compete if done right.
This Butthead, friend of yours Audiofail? Will pass your regards. No problem, hahaha..
Jkuc, you insolent little weasel! Lol. Merry Christmas to you as well.

Audio feel, nice reference. That surprised me (coming from you....)

Rampage60, I agree.....
Merry Xmas guys.

Jkuc, with every post you make, my self esteem and ego get a huge boost.

Thank you so much.
C'mon, this is a time for good will toward all men
....and even a weasel too, as it happens!
I like you bast...ds!!! Will pass your regards on weasel. Also assh..s if you wish. Many friends you have. That's probably the savings you make by buying cheap lamp cords and investing in HARDWARE gains you so many friends.
Agear, if you call everybody who is smarter then you a weasel, then you must be living in a World of Weasels haha....
Merry Christmast to all and weasels also.
Jkuc, I myself have played the weasel on the gon, but I have outgrown it....I think...