I guess a name change is in order next
Enjoy the new cdp
Enjoy the new cdp
Much appreciated for your replies
I'm aware that my dealer's K03 has been fully broken in. His rig is almost identical to mine except cables. However, the dealer room has been acoustically treated! I'll let the K03 break in for around 1000hrs! and may resource in acoustic treatments at that stage to smooth out some frequencies. Acoustic treament is the last step in my system building project, at least for now!
Bobheinatz, it seems that you've the Shakti Hollowgraphs? Can you please let me know if they work wonder comparing with bass trap, absorbtion and diffusors?
I think you mean me with the Shakti's, Primare. I have stats so I don't really have any first order or side reflections and its a small room so I only have the shaktis in each corner with an echo buster 4/2 behind each shakti. You can actually hear the soundstage diffuse when you swivel the shakti's. I found that it (the shakti's) improves focus when set up correctly. One tweak that stays with these speakers. They actually feel like a sound rudder for the panel(s).
TAS has recently published a review of this player:
As I'm seriously considering this player myself (as part of a complete Esoteric-system) and would like to get additional feedback regarding the performance vs. K-01 as well as the Redbook CD performance in general. The conclusion from TAS is as follows:
"In sum, the Esoteric K-03 is a brilliant concept, and delivers in nearly every category. Though its builders went overboard on configuration options, the rest of the design is unassailable, as is its sonic performance in all but one area. CD playback is good, and disappoints primarily compared to the K-03s SACD, DAC, and USB performance, all of which are of reference caliber."
I've had a K-03 for about 6 weeks. I use it mostly for USB and SACD and I am still in awe of how good it is. I didn't really see the complaint from TAS on regular CD's but to be honest I am 60% usb/25% SACD/15% redbook. Again, it's an amazing unit. I don't know what can be improved. I now have one of those stereos I hear at shows. My speakers are outputting details I didn't think they were capable of.
I had k-03 for 5 months. Great player if playing scads, if your most listnening is with red book cds, it is not worth that much money (digital glare still there) and you can find better alternative (ayon cd-5s, marantz s7a).
But k-03 has USB and can be used as a DAC (for $13K!)
Also please make sure that cd tray on k-03 does not make any mechanical noise when playing cds.
I have heard the Ayon 5s in various high end configurations as well as the X03SE, K01 and other high end Esoteric players and i would have to believe the K03 is at least better than the X03SE and approaching the K01 which would make it an outstanding player. I have not heard the K03 but i would be more inclined to trust Esoteric to put out a replacement player that sounds better than its highly regarded predecessor than a reviewers comment. To my ears the Ayon did not quite have the definition, imaging or soundstage of the high end Esoteric players but it has other attributes and is a very nice machine for its price and i can see it having appeal to some tastes in some systems...all in my opinion.
To the Audiophiles point, all esoteric cd players require huge ( mayb 800-1000 hours) amount of braking to hear their true potential. Many people dont beleive in it or getting inpatient (including myself) and making conclusions (hear comes digital glare). My only complaint with esoteric and I saw some other related to this issue posts (form DCS gear owners who use their transports), that their cd mechanisms make audible noise during playback. I had x-03se, x01d2 and k-03. All brand new from dealer. Two of them (x03se and k-03) started making a noise that was audible form my sitting position (11 feet) after about 100 hours of playing. I dont thik it is acceptable for this level of gear.
I have owned 2 Esoterics over the years and they both were absolutely dead quiet. Maybe i was lucky but i have always thought their build quality is second to none. Cant say the same for some other exotic brands in my experience. I think of all components CD players are the most fallible. No surprise there.
Hello ! first please forgive my english, i'm french, nobody 's perfect !
Just my actual experience :
I 'm really surprised of what I just read : I own a K-01 since 3 weeks (300 hours break-in), and I don't hear any noise (before deciding, I tried a dCS Puccini that WAS noisy). And his sound is much more subtile than my previous marantz SA7-s1.
Perhaps it depends on what it's linked with, in my case Jeff Rowland WITH (very important) PC-1 feeding and Tannoy Kingdom Royal speakers, connected by Synergistic research cables.
A friend of mine has got a K-03 and is like me astounished by its musical sound, but hears no disturbing noise.
frenchman here too :)
Anyway, the noise i'm complaining about comes from the machine itself: you can clearly and loudly hear the spinning motor of Esoteric drive on the K03 & MPS5 (and many more).
It has nothing to do with associated equipment or quality of music reproduction. Its a mechanical thing and is a deal breaker for me and others.
If Esoteric makes such noisy mechanisms why do so many manufacturer's buy their transports? I dont doubt the experiences you guys have had at all, and i would be very upset by it myself, but i think maybe it is the exception. I think they are still producing the finest transports probably available and have an amazing reputation. As to the sound -- i have heard Ayon and dCS and others vs various Esoteric models both in and outside my system and my strong preference was Esoteric for its detail, soundstage, and the extra life it breathes into the music (to me anyway) but this is a question of taste i think. I do hear some very small amount of glare when they are new so run them in mercilessly if it offends you. I think they sound great even out the box and the run in time does not offend me.
my MPS5 was sent for a checkup and was deemed as operating in accordance to manufacturer specs (i.e. all MPS5 sound like it).
The same MPS5 was used at a local dealer for a system setup (they had never even seen a MPS5). While playing a Dead can Dance SACD, we could clearly ear the spinning from 15 feet away. To which one of the guys said "thats an insane amount of noise". I could only sadly nod.
I had the same experience with the K03 and the D50.
I have no idea why everyone uses them, but could it be for durability and reliability more than silent operation ?
Badwisdom, that is an awful experience. I conclude you have bad luck in CD players and good taste in music. I also like Dead can Dance and have their sacds :)
You made me paranoid so i again quickly listened to my K01 and it is quiet with my my ear pretty close. My X03SE was also quiet. I have a friend in EU designing this stuff who told me esoteric transports are seen as the very best in the business and i heard other brands want to use them in their machines but esoteric only sells their lesser drives and at very high cost to their competitors. I did lots of back to back tests with them and bought for the sound quality and their reputation for a reliable transport was a bonus. I definitely would buy Esoteric again, but primarily because i think they sound wonderful. Best of luck!
I have an APL NWO-4 Master CD/SACD player, which is a highly modified Esoteric with a UX-1 transport. THERE ARE SEVERAL DISCS I HEAR NOISE ON - ITS NOT THE PLAYER, IT YOUR DIScS!!
BW- If the noise happens on every disc you own, then maybe you have loose bearings in which case Esoteric can replace them. I also thought it was the player at first - glad it wasn't - their transports for the most part are pretty bulletproof. The fact that you are getting the same poor result with multiple players also points to bad discs. Try a friend's discs in your machine and see what happens.... just a thought that could save you a bunch of $$$$ and frustration :-)
Look guys, i appreciate your experience and willingness to defend Esoteric and try and find an explanation...
I wasted 6 months of my life trying to identify the problem on my MPS5: it wasn't bad discs, it wasn't bad luck, it was just a shitty OEM transport.
I could write a book about how they switched the transport several times over, measured the DB in the room, etc.. My machine made several trips to and from engineers in germany who couldn't find a fault anywhere !
The conclusion was: "normal operation". Nothing to see, move along.
Only explanation is that some people are less sensitive than others to mechanical noise, but then if thats the case, god help us all because all this online talking is like the blind leading the blind.
Well, another person is complaining about transport noise in the "Best Sounding CD / SACD player under 15K" thread.
What player ?
You guessed it, Esoteric (K01).
Never again as far as i am concerned, because even in the most optimist scenario, it shows such inconsistency that you have 50/50 chance getting a noisy version of their transport.
I agree with Audiofeil on this. Did you EVER contact Esoteric about this? I know they don't sell their best transports to other manufacturers, but they sure don't sell them "noisy" transports. I can't speak to the MPS5 because I've never had one, but have had 3 Esoterics and never heard a peep unless I had a noisy disc. Before you condemn an entire manufacturer, try some new discs. If all discs are noisy, you probably should have just returned the player. 6 months? wow.
Mike60, I respect your expertise and opinion, but to my original point, some esoteric players exhibit mechanical noise during playback and it is a fact( I had it on two brand new players x-03se and k-03). One can leave with that or fix it paying some substantial chunk of money for shipping and only having back player praying it will not be damaged during shipping with conclusion that nothing wrong functions according to the specs. But for $13000 player and famous reliability reputation, it should have NONE to sell to customers. Like badwisdom, the noise from k-03 drove me crazy (otherwise a very good player) and it was until my friend who plays violin in Philadelphia orchestra came to listen to the new CD, all of a sudden noticed - were is this annoying noise coming from? I regretfully sold it, bought another brand, and never looked back
No problems Denon and i do trust what you tell me and my best wishes on your new CD which has a good following. I suppose i dont have wide enough experience here but i have a friend who is part of a very large dealer of many high end brands and they do lots of repairs. He does not have or sell Esoteric, but when i asked him awhile ago about CD players he told me he thought they all give trouble but said Esoteric is about the best. He did not like the sound of them, but i do! I really dont have much more to offer on this thread.
I have an Esoteric X03SE and I did need to move it over to the other side of the rack because I did notice the spinning, at times - but by far the best player I have ever had and won't part with it anytime soon.
But, I did send an email to TAS years ago asking them why were their reviews silent on CD Player noise?
I have heard that the Meitners (about 5 years ago) sang like birds but never a mention in a review.
I have an old X-03 and there's no noise when spinning discs.
Perhaps as some suggest, some may need more break in time.
In any event I would take my player to an Esoteric dealer and listen to it in a different setting and see if it has issues with noise.
If it does, have the problem fixed before you pass it along to someonelse.