Esoteric X03-SE vs Bel Canto Dac3/CD2

Anyone out there compare these two players.
I have had a chance to hear the Bel Canto
combo and was impressed by its tone. Vocals
were very smooth and with good presence and
density. However, I would like more transparency
and a blacker background with better sound
staging. Is the Esoteric that much better?

Thanks for your input.
I've heard the Esoteric X03SE and the P05/D05 as well.All the listening was done on the same system. I have not heard the Bel Canto but if is in this league it must be one hell of a player.
What I have heard that has impressed me is an Oracle 2500MKII,Electrocompaniet ECM 1UP,Krell Standard MKII,Benchmark DAC pre(with Electrocompaniet as transport)and perhaps a few others heard to long ago to properly cataloge. The Esoteric is X03SE is the best I've heard in digital either redbook or sacd.It is the most upfront,reveiling alive cdp I've experinced only bettered by the P05/D05 seperates(and by a more than subtle margin). Almost worth the price of admission.
Thanks for the input Montejay. In my system I have to
have a dac for my Wadia 170i ipod transport and for
my home theater system. The Wadia is amazing by the way. Buying the D05 and P05 are
out of the question. It is way too hard to sell a
stand alone transport these days. I would consider
buying the D05 but I hear that the rca input is not
that great and the dual 115 ohm inputs are the best
option. Ideally, I wouldn't mind having the X03SE
for stand alone cdp and as a transport to a D05, but I
am not sure if this is a waste since I would have to use
the rca input. Another cheaper option is to go with
the X03SE and a bel canto dac3.

If anyone has tried the D05 using the rca input I would
like to know your opinions. From what I have read the D05 has the sound staging that I want but image density and presence on vocals are just as important. The Bel Canto
really does excel at this.
I really wish that the
X03SE would come with a digital in. That would solve
Scottmac62 - I hear you about that digital in. I would strongly consider the esoteric player if it had one. I actually posted a whole thread dedicated to the subject: