What prompted your “upgrade?” from, and what, EMM gear did you have?
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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.
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.
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.
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.