Esoteric P-02 / D-02 sound

Hi all,

Anyone have the chance to listen the new Esoteric P-02/D-02?
The new DAC have 35 bit procesing, usb, clock and have variable ouput.
Is better than the Scarlatti dac?
Thanks for posting this....I was wondering as well. Anyone with feedback and listening experience with these units, please respond!
I was hoping at this point that someone would have posted listening impressions of the P-02 and D-02. I am hopeful that reviving this thread will yield some better results!
I have been listening the D-02/P-02 combo for 2 months now and have a hard time putting into words the great music this pair makes. I own an X-01/D2 which is no slouch, but the gap between the two players is amazing. Everything the X-01 does well, detail, dynamics, rythym, transients the 02s do better and the things it doesn't do well, that ruthless exposure of bad sounding material and harshness of bright recordings the 02s have eliminated. I have listened to Esoterics for a few years now and have found that people either like them or they don't, no in betweens. I had a K-01 , which I traded as part of the purchase for the 02s, and it is clear that Esoteric is a different sound now then the X series , and the 02s are clearly world class. The quietness between tracks is dead silence and the deliniation of instruments and sounds is stunning. I hear sounds in the music that not only did I never hear before, that at times I look around the room to look for the source of the non music noises you could only hear with the spooky quiet background these players originate the music from. I could not be more pleased with these pieces and not sure how they can be improved upon ! And anyone fortunate enough to own these should be trilled, it is like dating a super model, for sensory appetite it doesn't get any better, and you can shut them off when your done!
I'm in the middle of what will be a hard-fought upgrade transaction with a very difficult seller (have 40+ pages of email and other comms, glad to provide details on this challenge and the seller so people can avoid him,....communicate with me on in-mail) and after a month, finally have a P-02 installed in the system in place of my 7 1/2 tried and true P-03U Transport. The D-02 is still outstanding and will likely become a 'longer story' with a potentially legally troublesome ending (for the Valley Stream & Lynbrook NY-based seller in question) so the P-02 is feeding my existing D-03 Dual Mono DAC with incredible results.

The holy grail of this hobby so to speak, is to be able to achieve very detailed and accurate playback with all possible inner detail retrieved from the recorded medium while also having organic, musical and non-fatiguing playback. As much as I love the P-03U/D-03 combo all these years, it's hard to put into words what additionally the P-02 brings to the table. The difference and upgrade in all these key areas is not subtle and is incredibly impressive! I'm extremely happy with the P-02 after only 2-3 days and cannot wait for the D-02 to arrive!
I will miss my tried and true P-03U and D-03; they will be posted soon but the P-02 and D-02 are in the system now and....

All I can say is "WOW!" in terms of the improvements that the new 02 combo brings to the table; they extract so much more from anything I've thrown at them and provide a massive sound stage with incredible depth and great imaging while still providing a very organic and musical presentation. In addition, the frequency range and particularly deep bass resolution and extension of the new 02 combo is truly "off the charts!"

I've experimented with various settings in the first 24 hours and thus far I am tending towards burning in the following combination first;

- up-conversion PCM->4Fs (176.4) on P-02
- digital filter set to On (P-02)
- P-02 set to output ESL3 protocol
- up sampling set to 176.4 (D-02), ELS3 *dual XLR inputs"
- digital filter set to FIR1 (D-02)
- clock frequency 176.4 with G-03x driving (will try D-02, no G-03x at some point)

I've read several reviewer/other posts and have tried S_DLY1 (apodizing) filter1 as well as NoFilter on the D02 and NoFilter on the P02. Thus far, the above seems to be the best overall settings for my ears and how the units sound now but we'll see how things burn it and how it turns out overall. I will also try up-converting to both PCM via Dual XLR at 352.8 and PCM->DSD up-conversion at some point though initial tests of each seemed to indicate the above list is where I am going to start.

There are so many options with how these can be configured (have not even gone near the USB input yet!) that I look forward to a long and happy set of experiments and alot of listening with these units.


I've done additional testing both with and without the G-03x and the master clock in the D-02 yields at least equal results to having the extra OCXO standalone clock (G-03X) in the system. I currently have pulled the G-03X out of the circuit and will now post it with the P-03U and D-03 when I offer them.

I've got the D-02 set to output a master word clock out at 512x44.1 (22.5792 MHz) to allow the full range of upconversion rates and DSD playback with the P-02 slaved to the D-02's master clock. Great results, is the current config;

- up-conversion PCM->4Fs (176.4) on P-02
- digital filter set to On (P-02)
- P-02 set to output ESL3 protocol
- up sampling set to 176.4 (D-02), ELS3 *dual XLR inputs", this is 48bit output!!!
- digital filter set to FIR1 (D-02)
- clock frequency 22.5792MHz master clock output from D-02, P-02 clocked to D-02
All: Thank you for the help and advice from the K series and the 02; I've done a LOT of testing of permutations and track by track compare over the last couple of days with the various filter and upconversion & protocol options for PCM on the P02/D02 and this is where I think I'll stay for a while as it gives;

- the biggest, densest and deepest soundstage
- best imaging in all 3 dimensions for the 'crucible recordings' I've used for testing for years
- the deepest, most accurate bass without over-bloom/muddiness
- the most pleasing and roundest notes, best transients and overall musical experience thus far

Caveat: I've stayed away from PCM->DSD on purpose for now. Will test that later after I burn in pure DSD for SACD once the PCM circuits hit 500 hours each. Then we're on to more testing and then even more with the high-throughput USB options; should be done about this time next year at 500 hours per permutation !

Here's the config;

- up-conversion PCM->4Fs (176.4) on P-02, 48-bit ESL3 seems to be the silver bullet!

- digital filter set to On (P-02), resulted in slightly tighter bass, thought FIR on the transport and anything on the DAC would redundant but it really seems to do wonders so filter on P-02 is back on!

- P-02 set to output ESL3 protocol, 24-bit 352.8 is impressive but 48-bit ESL3 176.4 is the best thus far (note above,...skipping test of DSD for now). D-02 set to receive ELS3/176.4 so 48-bit input on dual AES

- up sampling set to 176.4 (D-02), ELS3 *dual XLR inputs", this is 48bit output!!!

- digital filter set to S_DLY2 (D-02), no ringing, all the right elements as highlighted in my opening passage, amazing filter, at least on this system

- clock frequency 22.5792MHz master clock output from D-02, P-02 clocked to D-02, still don't miss the G-03 given clocking improvements in D-02. 22.5792Mhz sounds better than 176.4, the 512x over 44.1 seems to really round things out nicely with the right combination of precision and musicality...

That's all for now, let the burn-in continue :-) !!!
FYI...learned yesterday that the driver for MacOSX is not yet up to working with v10.10 (Yosemite) of the O/S. Esoteric informed me that for now, we should utilize the non-async (HS-1) mode for USB input....they will notify as soon as the USB chipset vendor remedies this issue with the driver. Normal non-async playback should work as before with iTunes, JRiver, etc....I think this implies we have to hold off using HRAudioPlayer for now until the USB driver underlying that player is fixed.
I've been communicating with Scott S. and Cedric M. at Onkyo/Integra/Esoteric. They sent out a driver and related software that needs a Windows laptop and USB cable to connect into the D-02,etc... and install/burn a driver update. Important facts in the PDF instruction file and mentioned to me via phone that it will change the display in both MacOSX MIDI utility and other config panels to state "TEAC...." for the driver type and I was told yesterday will change the display of (at least the D-02) DAC itself to read "TEAC" instead of "Esoteric". This fixes the issue but clearly they need to come up with an "All Esoteric" solution......
Update: Just heard from Esoteric that the driver update does NOT change the display of the unit itself, only the way the driver reports itself in MIDI Player, HRAudio/other programs that reflect the detailed info of what driver is being used for audio input. There was some confusion in the info relayed to me via phone yesterday; this has been straightened out.....