First of all, just relax. It may take a few hundred hours to break in fully.
Second, if the Esoteric is like my Wadia, whenever it's powered up, it will take around 24 hours for the components inside to warm up and stablize.
You probably aren't to a point where you can tell anything about the X-05 yet. Give it a few weeks. Run a CD through it on repeat and just listen to the Lector while it's breaking in.
Icorem, having owned several Esoteric players, DV-50, X-03SE and currently an SA-50 I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that if you love the smoothness of the Lector (which I think is a very good player) you are likely to be disappointed with the Esoteric. The Esoteric has much different "sound" goals vs. the Lector.
Personally, I prefer the sound of Esoteric over the warmer sound of the Lector (or Audio Aero Capitole and other "warmish" sound digital players). It seems based on your other equipment (pass labs, Lector) that if you still feel the Esoteric is too detailed for you, then this may not be the best player/brand for you.
I'd give it a bit more time to break in, but in the end, I just doubt you get the warmth you want.
But also, I would suggest possibly the room treatments you have considered already. Your hardwood floor and bare walls are probably adding to your feeling of need to warm things up.
Will a tube DAC warm up the Esoteric? Sure and there are a lot of different ones that will do this. But is this really the best approach to reach your goals? I can't answer this with certainty, but I would have to suggest not.
Just stick a cd in it and hit the repeat all button... come back in a month.
Regarding your system, wouldn't it sound better if you put those amps near the back wall and brought your speakers out into the room?
I had an X-05 in my system for 6 months. The sound never changed, IMO. I just couldn't make it work, but that's my opinion. I would definitely give it a month and see if it improves to your liking.
Okay, first off, figure a thousand hours on the player if you brought it new. Second, it likes good isolation, good ac cables, balanced outs and, again, good cables. It needs a good line conditioner. It isn't "bright" but incredibly detailed and transparent. It will reveal the recording and it will also reveal your system.
BTW, there are quite a few X-05 and X-03's for sale used because the owners never gave them the rediculous burn in time they needed.
thanks to al
seems that patience is the name of the game. I'll try to be patient while the player breaks in and i'll also connect it to a promitheus DAC I own and report the outcome.
I have happily own an Esoteric X-01 Limited for several years. I must echo the need of 1000+ hours of break-in with Esoteric players before they stabilize and give you what they are truly capable of. You will really have no idea if the sound is for you until X-05 has reached peak performance .... and even then, ICs and power cords are likely to make a considerable difference to the sound.
Any recommendations for power cord and ICs with good results on Esoteric players ? I currently run DCCA PC and Purist Aqueous ICs between pre and CDP.
I don't think I would make any changes until the player breaks in. Shunyata makes great power cables and everyone has a favorite for IC's. Let one variable settle in before you introduce others. It is the only way you can mainain any reference to change.
Ditto to Cerrot's comments directly above. Wait
IMO ,I agree with all the above postings about breakin time.I ran Pass amps for a short time with my X03se and it was glorious.I think you will like what you hear after several 100+ hours of breakin..enjoy!!!
I do belive that components take some time to break in, but I honestly cannot understand what exactly is being broken in after say one month of normal use. I think it's partially the owner getting used to the new component as much as the component actually settling in, but 1000 hours?
Yet, I've heard many people say similar things about Esoteric, so maybe there's something to it. As I said above, I had an X-05 for 6 months and I don't think it ever changed after an initial one-month break in period.
I bought a X-05 about 6 months back abd yes it toook between 750 -1000 to sound it's best. I love it now. I also had the Lector 7 and found it "dar" sounding, never enjoyed that unit.