My Esoteric K-01 player has just stopped working for the second time.
The transport works, but no audio on any source--no audio on CD and no audio from my server. I will send it back for repair. This is the second time for repairs in two years.

Can anyone recommend a CD/SACD player that is more reliable? I thought the sound of the K-01 was very good; I am happy to consider units that are better sounding and/or more expensive. But reliability is just as important.

I just don't want to deal with the unit going down again. . .
Wow. That is an expensive, flagship SACD/CD player with an excellent reputation for sound quality. You must be very annoyed.

I have not heard of issues with the Esoteric K-01 and "know" some forum friends with the unit and can't recall them posting of problems. This, of course, is no salve to your wounds.

I wish you well in having your K-01 repaired.

Thanks for responding. Yes, the K-01 sounds great. I love the sound across the board on all kinds of music: orchestra, jazz, pop, acoustic, etc. The unit has a great DAC, and I also use it as the DAC for my music server (antipodes). But I guess I am used to top level equipment being 100% reliable. It is not as if it has any wear items inside the box.

Of course I will get it serviced---perhaps even updated--but I was wondering if anyone else is listening to a CD/SACD unit that they love and that is extremely reliable.

It is a drag that my system will be down for at least two weeks maybe more.
I think, the best quality (reliability) offers Accuphase.
Oppo, great sound, great value.
I have the Esoteric K-07, going on two years, have not had any issues, if your player has now failed twice then Esoteric should replace it no questions asked. Very hard to believe that there flagship player has failed twice, I would try to resolve with Esoteric,it would be, I think, to replace it with something better, since you have the best player now.

Good luck.
boy, I am a big fan of esoteric. I have had my UX-3 since 2006. Did have a SACD reading issue a few years ago, Esoteric repaired for free and it has been flawless since. That being said. I did hear a Playback design, forget the model number but it was their top model that I also really liked. I am wondering if all of the different filtering choices and program options on the K-01 are a problem. One of the things I liked about the Playback was less unneeded options of adjustability as I recall.
Why not Oppo? Not only is it a great value but, the customer service is the best I've ever seen.
Your problem does not sound like the K-01 has a big issue or failure.

This is something rather simple to fix, IMO.

I'd repair it and upgrade it simply because the transport in the K-01 is built like a tank.

Hope you get this solved soon!

Best wishes,
Alex Peychev
My McIntosh MVP-871 is in for repair for the second time this year. Repairs are being done by Magnolia Audio/Video since McIntosh refused to warranty it as I purchased it as a demo. I can only assume they refused to warranty it as they anticipate problems with these units. When playing an SACD, or DVD-Audio, the unit displays,"LOADING...LOADING...LOADING," then stops. I can't think of anything more frustrating than an expensive piece of audio equipment breaking down, except maybe breaking down twice. I would consider an Oppo from all the positive reviews I have read.
Just get it repaired with a nice letter explaining that you have had an "unusually" frequent issue with (specific problems-etc.). they may opt to replace it with a new unit or... make sure you are not introducing the unit to smoke, hair, dirty discs, etc. or rough handling, or excessive heat.
the higher the resolution of a component the more fussy it can get.
I also suggest you demo the Oppo 105 CD player. As noted above, the player offers many options, is a great value for the money, supports DSD and their customer service is terrific. See:

Another more expensive option is the Ayre CX-7eMP CD player. I suggest you arrange for demo of the Ayre player also.
HunterMusic, before you give up on K-01, I suggest that you discuss your K-01 in detail directly with Tim Crable at Esoteric. K-01 is constructed like a tank, and esoteric products have historically been extremely reliable... The behavior of your unit is rare event in Esoteric products...

It is unlikely that you will find a CDp brand with better build quality... And some of the best CDps on the market today, including the Playback Designs MPS5 mentioned above, do use Esoteric transport mechanisms... Although invariably a few levels below from the subassembly inside K-01.

EMM Labs....
I second Prcinka,

Nothing beats EMM Labs.

I had their TSD1/DAC2 SE combo and you simply cannot beat it. Hell, CD's sound better than SACD's from and Oppo!

Not to bash Oppo, use one myself as it is the best Blu-ray player made but when you want true high end silver disc sound, Ed Meitner is the guy who's gear you want!
The wise Syntax offers a very good suggestion.
The best SACD player there is, is a Denon DVD-3910 it is reference quality and one of the only one witch can play SACD-R. (self burn iso-files). and for less then $200 you can buy a excellent on on ebay. Regards

what is Esoteric saying about your player going down x2 ?
there must be some rationale? Along that breed , I was impressed w/ the Mark Levinson No 512 in current production.
Grab one used or demo priced and use the rest of your money buying music. Keep me posted.
While I won't recommend any players for you, your experience with Mac players is exactly why I won't buy another one. I've had 3 of them, the last one being the MVP-861. Nothing but problems such as you describe. Sent to a Mac service center and repaired, only to get it back and then regular dvd's wouldn't play. So back to the service center, all the time I'm picking up the shipping. As far as Mac goes, they just don't know how to make good players! Period! Amps & pre-amps are a different story-- they should stick with what they do best.
Sorry, I was actually responding to Tonykay's remarks about his MVP-871. Guess I didn't read your thread close enough, so sorry for my lack of response to you.

I completely agree with your comment. I still own a Mac MX-130 preamp and I just bought a tube Mac 275 MkVI. I still believe in their amps and preamps, but their other products are a different story. Buyers beware!!
It's a no brainer, get the OPPO 105. Did a back to back last week with the Accuphase, and the OPPO knocked the socks off it. (Magico s5, ASR Emmitter system). It is very hard to beat the OPPO. Plays all sources DVD Audio, Blue ray, SACD, CD. To my mind Accuphase rolled off the top end, and muddied the bass, but had a beautiful midrange. OPPO did it all!!
Get past the lack of hype and "hi-end" price tag and give it an audition .... with an open mind:) ... and make anything you buy clearly beat it. It is my preferred digital source, my analogue front end is Atlas/4point/Clearaudio/Audiaflight.
Hunter, i'd strongly consider the Vitus RCD-101 which is $11,500Eur. This player sounds better than the previous Signature Series model (SCD-010) which was awesome! It is made in Denmark (including the modules and boards) & features a heavily modified Sony sacd drive. The industrial design is terrific, and build quality is excellent throughout. Another reason to consider Vitus is solid resale value.
If I was going for an Oppo 105, i'd wait for a good 2nd hand Modwright Oppo 105 to come up on the 'Gon as you can snap one up pretty cheap & they far exceed the sound of the stock player.