The 3 kings: Esoteric K01,EMM XDS1,Meridian 808.3


For anyone looking for the a top mainstream player, these seem to be the primary choices by major manufacturers that I think will be around to service them for 10+ years. So I just wanted to establish this thread as a central point to compare them or post listening impressions, especially as time goes on and used ones appear at more affordable prices.
rgs92
dCS Puccini & Uclock in the top3 / Meridian out.
Kops--thanks! What are the negatives on the Meridian's sound?
Playback Designs?
Well, I wanted to restrict this to the larger established companies with a fairly long history, that is why I left out Playback Designs, and that's the only reason.
Rgs92
Meridian 803 sound is simply surpassed by the other 3 (Esoteric, Emm, dCS).
Don't you think that Wadia qualifies for this list?? If not, what do you think are the negatives of the Wadia sound? thanks.
I just received the Wadia S7i with the GNSC Statement package and the negatives are replaced w/superlatives in every way imaginable.The new dacs from Wadia redefine what digital is able to do in macro and micro, giving a stark relief to what is really on those little shiny discs!! I am also running a complete module cabled system by r Shultz, these cables are the bomb and well worth an audition.Complete the room tuning w/ASR resonators and sugarcubes as well as Brass acoustic lenses and Bob will be your uncle!I am running a ML CLS-X w/silver wiring point to point and new caps and the results are stunning in every way.Wadia=musical enjoyment
Silly thread
OK, I think you are right, Wadia and dCS belong, it's just that the 3 seem (to me) to get the most publicity (for whatever reason). Silly thread? Well maybe; I probably should have left it as the perennial "a vs. b vs. c" and it was presumptuous of me to call them kings (except maybe in the marketing sense).

It is interesting that both TAS and Stereophile are over-the-top in praise for the top Meridian, although Tony Cordesman leans toward the EMM, noting the more detailed & controlled bass. I have the EMM CDSA w/X-upgrade, and I really appreciate the controlled bass (and mids/vocals for that manner). I love the EMM deep reach into the sound but without piercing glare most of the time. It drills down into the details but doesn't drill my eardrums (with most discs, but a few, like 10%, still have problems). These same discs (& more) are problems on my Sony player and have always been problems on several other players I have owned.
A couple of points:

1) CDP is not interesting anymore. DACs are interesting (why? see pt. 3)

2) At this level sometimes one can correctly argue 'better' but 98% of the time it is really just 'different'.

3) That said, there is some neat stuff going on in the DAC world with things like pre-ringing and 24/96 and 24/192 playback that many are saying is getting close to or becoming equal (or, gasp, better?) than vinyl.
I don't know how to be more delicate in saying this, but Burmester Top or Reference Line is the best in the world without a doubt, period, end of discussion. If you value all the best things from valves and vinyl with the reliability of solid state, Burmester is your answer. It is not even close. Even among the highest, most expensive players, Burmester is the best.
04-11-11: Acurus
Silly thread

agreed !
Talk2me
I think there are those who would disagree with you.Also,the fact you are trying to sell your Burmester might lead some to believe you have alterior motives for cliaming
"I don't know how to be more delicate in saying this, but Burmester Top or Reference Line is the best in the world without a doubt, period, end of discussion."
Come on, Talk2me is just unselfish. Burmester is so good, he's selling so you too can experience the best.
>>04-18-11: Talk2me
I don't know how to be more delicate in saying this, but Burmester Top or Reference Line is the best in the world without a doubt, period, end of discussion<<

I'll try to be equally as delicate.

You're dumb.

No offense of course.
LOL. I can now say the GNSC Wadia S7i, is bar none, the greatest CDP/DAC known to ma. Now, if I put a :) face to this, will some of you humorless idiots get it?