McCormack UDP-1/MAP-1: Best for the $$

Category: Digital

I stumbled on this product purely by accident. I was on a mission to hear and likely purchase the Esoteric DV 50. While the DV50 may have been just a tick better, I purchased the UDP-1, along with the MAP-1, multi channel preamp. All I can say is you must hear this combination, as it redefines what is possible at $5,500 for the pair.

As always, listening to a system that includes unfamiliar equipment makes judgements difficult. The audition system was a $24,000 Wilson Audio Sophia based 5 channel speaker affair, with BAT amplification. I took a chance and these units sound better in my room than they did in the store, whew! (finally, a lucky break)

Limitations: No video switching, only 1 surround mode for 2 channel stereo recordings. (MAP -1) Single ended only connectors.

Plusses: No video switching, only 1 music surround mode. Ease of setup/use. Simple is better.

UDP-1: SACD/DVDA sound incredible. On-board DD/DTS chips handle the Home Theater duties. CD is better than the Levinson #36 it replaced.

Associated equipment: Krell amplifiers, Tice Power Block, Nordost Blue Heaven interconnects.
I recently listened to both the McCormack UDP-1 and the Esoteric DV-50 at a dealer showroom and at home and bought the McCormack UDP-1, not because it was $2500 less than the Esoteric DV-50 but because to me it sounded better. I have a Lector CD player for serious CD listening but I very much enjoy listening to the McCormack player for CD and espacially SACD. It is also a fine DVD player. Many will disagree but I thought the Esoteric sounded thin and very "digital".
I hope you guys are right about the UDP 1. I just ordered one! based on the few reviews I've read, and based on the discussion on Agon. I thought I'd give it a try. BTW if it's not to my liking - Does anyone want to buy an "as new" Mac. UDP 1? :-)