yes. Good for the price.
10 responses Add your response
What does that mean, good for the price? Does it exceed players in its price range? Does it compete with units priced much higher? Or is it just another $850 player? I have heard that this thing can compete with the $2000- $3000 players in its stock form. Do you find this to be the case? Please elaborate a little more if you're going to take part in this forum.
I had one for about a year. I liked the sound of the player for the money. I can't say that it sounds like a $2k player, because all $2k players don't sound the same. It is a smooth detailed player. I have jumped on the TDA1541A dac boat and sold the E5. The main issue people are having with the E5 is the transport failing prematurely. There are better used players for the same money as a new E5.
The New Esound CD-E5 Signature is better sounding, better looking and offers a new photo preamp board and dsp circuitry, now made with highest quality selected batch of the VAM 1202 philips mechanism, unlike the model made 1 year ago (like the unit user Stereo had owned). I was told by the distributor that there has only been 2 units of out 2000+ signatures sold to date that had a issue and that was due to carrier mishandling.
All $2K players dont sound the same, All $5k players dont sound the same, so on and so forth. One shouldnt be shopping and labeling performance of a new CD players MSRP value, as there is a ton of overpriced and overhyped units on the market, and this is due to alot of different reasons. Just because something costs more, doesn't necessarily mean it will sound better.
The transport did not fail, but it had a hard time playing some cd's that my other player had no problem with. Mostly the older ones that I had for a while.
Reference Audio Mods is correct that I had the original not the newer reference model.
I am a big diyer and that is the reason for the sale of the E5.
Before the E5 I was using a Proceed CDD transport and a Audio Note DAC1.1x. I am now using a Cal lab CL-2500DVD player as a transport and a TD1541a DIY dac. This combo killed the E5. I am now building a new dac with a TD1541A/s2 chip. The Philips TDA1541A is a highly regarded discontinued 16 bit dac chip. The S2 is a higher quality of that dac. There are many older cd players that use this dac and some highly modified. Do a search for TDA1541.
I am not saying don't buy the E5. It is a good cd player for $850.00. It all comes down to a matter of taste. I just prefer TDA1541A dac chips (for now anyway).
How short is your output stage on your TDA1541A DIY DAC? this could be the reason why you like it over the CS4390 chip inside the E5, because the E5 stock analog output stage is chalk full of parts and the DIY DAC could have considerably less (and better sounding parts in the signal path), thus more of everything.
I perfered the TDA1547 (1-bit) over the TDA1541 with the same output stage designs, but that was years ago and alot of things have changed since.
It is not all that short and not discrete. The DIY one I purchased from China off DIY Audio site uses AD797 or OPA627BP. I know the E5 uses a discrete output for the single ended out only. My new TDA1541A/S2 dac uses 2 AD844ANs on it's output.
This is the new dac I am building
I also built a TDA1545A dac that used a resistor for it's I/V and I didn't like it. I never went for the stacked TDA1543 dac, but there are some that love it.
I have nothing against delta sigma dacs. The CS4390 is a good dac. One of my favorites is the CS4328. Timbre built some great dacs with this chip. I have a studio dac (Sonic Solutions) that uses this dac chip with my favorite receiver chip the CS8412. It sounds very good, but I like the TDA1541A based dac better.
I saw once or twice on EBay a new Chinese cd player that used the TDA1541A dac chip. I think is was less then the E5 (about $600.00). That would be (IMHO) a great cd player to mod. I looked recently and didn't see it. The seller was from China. I'm sure it will pop up again.
Ive owned the Esound E5 Signature for about a month. While I cant compare it directly to 2 or 3K players (since Ive never had a cdp in that price range) I find the Esound to be very analog sounding. My prior digital front end was a Toshiba dvd used as a transport into a Kora Hermes dac running some very good NOS tubes. I much prefer the Esound to the dvd/Kora set up. The E5 has a very balanced presentation with no part of the frequency spectrum favored. From deep deep bass to sparkling highs its all there. I purchased mine thru Cattylink and had them do the 120 hour quality test. It was a small leap of faith to send that amount of money to the other side of the world but everything went perfectly and one week later the E5 was on my door step. My gut feeling is this unit will compete with anything twice its price and I hope to soon compare it against more expensive cdp`s.