The Esoteric is the best sounding cd player I have ever heard. Redbook sounds quite special. I believe it is due to the Burr-Brown PCM1704 dac which is the last r to r ladder dac they manufactured. There is a big ease to the music, it just flows and is very enjoyable. The dealer told me it was his favorite Esoteric model and in his opinion the best sounding player that Esoteric made. (this was back in July of 2012 and things may have changed by now). The Esoteric is in my main rig and it's always to "go to" source. If I want to listen to something I don't have on cd, I play it via the laptop and Wyred dac.
The Sony music player is a wonderful sounding machine and redbook sounds wonderful on it, but I am playing it with the DSEE engaged which upsamples everything to DSD quality. It truly sounds wonderful, but different than the Esoteric. This is in my secondary system in my home office so I have never heard the Sony and Esoteric side by side on the same system.
I hope this helps.
I'm totally with you there stereo5, for Redbook nothing can touch a well implemented R2R Ladder Multibit dac, especially the PCM1704, even better when it has a PMD100 or 200 HDCD filter in front of it.
Whatever you do hang on to this machine, it will be very sought after very soon, as no R2R Multibit dacs are being made now because of the huge cost in making them compared to DS (Delta Sigma types).
Burr-Brown still produce the PCM1704 in limited supply but you have to be a long term user and customer of them to still get it, and they cost big bucks. It's the only way of getting "Bit Perfect" conversion of Redbook.
Thanks Coli but no luck.
Looked like Digikey "may" have some old stock, just tried to buy a couple, to put away for spares. Unfortunately your right coli, there are no "K" versions for the public.
The non "K" version which is the one I don’t really want, but would have accepted, even though it said 1 for $84, ended up being you had to purchase 38 units.
Then it said this, "Part Status: End of Life; Last Time Buy Date: 02-03-2016"
I wouldn’t touch eBay ones as there are fakes, just like their doing fakes with the other sort after R2R dac the TDA1541.
Here is a link, on what their doing to the Hap-Z1ES, by some that know their stuff, but I don’t know if it will equal or be better than the Esoteric’s PCM1704 equipped multibit convertor for Redbook replay.