Esoteric K-03Xs Player


I just ordered a new Esoteric K-03Xs CD/SACD player. As I am previously used to excellent sounding EMM gear converting PCM to DSD, would any Esoteric owners recommend the similar PCM to DSD conversion setting with DSD filter ON, or are there strong recommendations otherwise. I’m not really a tweaker, and would prefer the digital engineers at Esoteric making these choices with their gear, as did Ed Meitner at EMM. Thanks for your kind input and recommendations.
audiobrian
What prompted your “upgrade?” from, and what, EMM gear did you have?
I’ve owned the CDSA (2007) and now an 8 year old XDS1. I decided to go with a new  K-03Xs, rather than a $7000 upgrade to the XDS1 V3, the XDS1 now a discontinued model. Anyway, as Esoteric has digital oversampling, DSP, PCM to DSD (as in Meitner gear) and digital filter options, I am looking for suggestions. Thank you.
@audiobrian congrats on the player. I’m also looking at the same . Did you cross shop any other brands? Eg the ps audio combo?

btw the new esoterics will play back in the original format or upsample to dsd if you desire.


whereas the emm is upsampling everything to DSD by default.
I have favored EMM and Esoteric players for some time, so I did not look elsewhere. I also prefer integrated players.  As Esoteric continues to improve upon their players, they seem, for now, willing to support audiophiles who plan to spin the silver discs for the foreseeable future. I’m gonna use the PCM to DSD conversion with DSD filter ON as my preferred setting as I don’t care for tweaking from disc to disc. Thank you.
I am using a K-05x 4X Upsample & SDLY2. Filter off for DSD. This what I read most people are using. Each setting takes a long time to break in. I am extremely happy with the Esoteric. The K-03x should even better. Enjoy it.
Any update on you purchase and listening experience? This is one of three Esoteric range I am considering.
The Esoteric K03xs sounds excellent. I’m using the PCM to DSD selection, with DSD filter ON.
Sorry, I have not evaluated other upsampling and filter selections, except on an occasional song....I didn’t feel these improved the sound, but the auditions were not thorough, so back to PCM to DSD. Unlike many audiophiles, I don’t enjoy tweeking, whether upsampling/filter selection on digital or switching between feedback levels on tube amplifiers. I must admit, at this early juncture, I marginally prefer the sound of the EMM XDS1 V2 and V3 players, slightly more natural/“organic”in presentation. However, the Esoteric K03xs is a gorgeous piece, with silky smooth transport mechanism, excellent resolution, and generally an excellent sounding player.
All the best for a great holiday season and new year 2019!
In addition to EMM and Esoteric, the DCS and the Vitus Audio also make excellent digital front end players as well. MSB Technology is another excellent digital front end components such as the MSB Select 2 DAC, MSB Reference DAC, etc. Tidal, MBL, CH Precision also make excellent digital front end source components.

Linn and Naim Audio also make highly musical sounding digital streamer/DAC integrated units but they don’t make disc players anymore, well, Naim still makes only one model standalone CD player but focuses more on their digital streamers/DAC. Linn had stopped producing CD players since 2007. But back then the Linn CD12 reference cd player was one of the best sounding and most musical sounding reference CD player I've ever heard about a decade ago. 
Today I found both Linn and Naim streamer/DAC units sounding highly musical and very natural & organic.
Th Emm stoped making transports and MSB is very expensive.
For red book and scad playback esoteric as a single box player is tuff to beat. 
OP, I also have k-03xs, you need to get a good power cable and isolation platform (symposium ultra) for it to shine its best and of course if you bought it new it needs to be burned for at least 300 hours. Try all that and let us know. Also try 4x upsampling instead of DSD, you may like it better. I m curious so how much K-01xs is better. 
Don't listen to the K-01xs because you will never be able to forget how amazing it is.  :)
HK_Fan don’t say the K01 is attractive cos I’m sure the Grandioso is seriously good too 😉
Each step is a major hardware upgrade step that results in significant aural pleasure.
I’m having my Esoteric fully sealed against EMI RFI at the moment, before receiving it. I’m hoping this will lift its performance as it has for all my other components.  I just wish I could add an apps function to it as say an hdmi input or usb input.
I received Esoteric K07xs. It sounds really great. The sound with all tube pre and power amplifiers is really stunning( musical, sweet and detail). The previous cd player is Marantz sa11 s2. Nothing to compare. It is in another league.We tested two a/c  cables; Venom Digital and Transparent referent mm2x. The transparent is far superior. We will test Shunyata Sigma Ztron and Transparent Powerlink MM X after 300 hours brek in.Yes. The Esoteric requires the break in and really good cable.
Just received my K-03xs the other day. Unboxed and put on the rack over the weekend. What a fine looking piece of gear. I'll get it connected up and start breaking it in soon. Once I get a sense of what it can do I'll post some comments.