Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default Esoteric K-03: What Experience Have You Had with This SACD/CD Player?

    Big bucks, but is it worth it?

    I'm contemplating giving my daughter one of my CA Azur 840Cs and trying to move up to something much better, if the price is within reach. The Esoteric K-03 seems to be one possibility.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Family Room
    Cambridge Audio Azur 840C CD Player, King Cobra XLRs
    Perreaux SM6P MKII Preamp, AQ Sky XLRs
    Perreaux Prisma 750 Amps, Morrow SP7 Cables
    SDA SRS 1.2as (RD0194s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: Xovers & Binding Post Cups, SDA Inductors & Interconnect Cables)

    Exercise Room
    Wadia 171i, Supernova 6 Glass Toslink
    CA Azur 840C, AQ King Cobra RCAs
    Perreaux SM6P Preamp & PMF3150 Amp, AQ King Cobra RCAs
    Dreadnought
    SDA 1Cs (Mod'd)

  2. #2
    Audiophile
    Member Sales Rating: (30)

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,108

    Default

    Jeff (Bikerboy) has an Esoteric player, but it's a little older and not high dollar like that one; I'm sure he'd be willing to share some opinions.

    Would you get one new or used?

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    Jeff (Bikerboy) has an Esoteric player, but it's a little older and not high dollar like that one; I'm sure he'd be willing to share some opinions.

    Would you get one new or used?
    First, I'll look for the best deal I can get on a new one.
    If that doesn't work, I'll look for a demo unit with a good price.
    If that doesn't work, I'll look for a recently traded-in unit from a reputable dealer.
    If that doesn't work, I'll wait patiently for a used unit that appears to be a safe bet at a good price.

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    5,780

    Default

    Over on Audio Aficiando the owners love them, and the K-01. Basically, it is three excellent components in one; a CDP, an SACD, and a DAC. That is how you rationalize the price.

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (58)

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    6 Underground
    Posts
    25,306

    Default

    I have heard Esoteric gear @ CES when the line came out and it was amazing. The next combination player they introduced stunk but the recent models are solid again. For that kind of money, you have quite a few choices so don't keep out Cary Audio and Wadia, which are my personal reco's. Good luck.

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dorokusai View Post
    I have heard Esoteric gear @ CES when the line came out and it was amazing. The next combination player they introduced stunk but the recent models are solid again. For that kind of money, you have quite a few choices so don't keep out Cary Audio and Wadia, which are my personal reco's. Good luck.
    Thank you. I'll check them out, too.

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    5,780

    Default

    As an FYI, Wadia no longer makes CD/SACD players. They are concentrating on digital files.

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (20)

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    7th Circle of Hell - aka DFW
    Posts
    10,428

    Default

    The Oppo 105 is a great player
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default

    Guys,

    Am I missing something, or have both Cary Audio and Wadia stopped producing SACd/CD players? Neither web site now lists SACD/CD players among current products, as far as I can tell. They both seem to be going to DACs processing data from other forms of digital storage devices, not CD transports.

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (24)

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    all I see is cows and cheese...
    Posts
    4,206

    Default

    I own Esoteric and love my CDP. I had originally looked at Wadia and wouldn't mind trying them out however seeing they don't really focus on the players much would just be more concerned if something went wrong.
    2 Channel-
    Soundlab M3PX
    BAT VK-31
    Wyred SX1000 monos
    Esoteric DV50
    Dynavector p75 modded phono stage
    Rega P25 modded-Denon 103R Cart
    Squeezebox Touch
    Modded Music Hall DAC Burson op amps
    Richard Grey 600S
    MIT Shotgun IC's and SC

  11. #11

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    5,780

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose68Bash View Post
    Guys,

    Am I missing something, or have both Cary Audio and Wadia stopped producing SACd/CD players? Neither web site now lists SACD/CD players among current products, as far as I can tell. They both seem to be going to DACs processing data from other forms of digital storage devices, not CD transports.
    I don't know about Cary, but I mentioned in post 7 that Wadia has stopped dealing with physical disk players, and is concentrating on digital files. You can expect this to happen with more and more manufacturers as time goes on.

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default

    Right, BlueFox, I read that in your post, and I was just noting that Cary Audio seems to have followed Wadia in the same strategy. It seems those of us who want to upgrade our SACD/CD players better find the upgrade path before the players are obsoleted by all manufacturers. Thanks for your input.

    It really makes me wonder where this is all going: On the one hand, many folks are turning back to vinyl. On the other, CDs are being obsoleted by "pure" digital transmission.

  13. #13

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    The Oppo 105 is a great player
    I'm looking into this option seriously, now. I've slowed down on the Esoteric, Wadia and Cary possibilities in part because of the prices, even for used and demo units, but also because it really does seem that we are at or are approaching an inflection point in the technology that will dominate the next generation of digital music reproduction, distribution, and playback.

    My question now is whether the Oppo BDP-105 would be an improvement over the CA Azur 840C in sound quality? I appreciate its versatility, but will it give me better sonic rendering? The BDP-105 may be a good "interim" option while we see where the technology moves next. I can either buy the BDP-105 for my daughter or give her one of my Azur 840C units. Or, I can buy a used, demo or whatever 840C for her to use.

    I know this is a question of taste, but I would be grateful for any opinions.

    Thank you.

  14. #14

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default

    Currently, there is a K-03 on Audigon for a pretty good discount over new ($6,700 v. $11,650); two years old.

    Any thoughts?
    Family Room
    Cambridge Audio Azur 840C CD Player, King Cobra XLRs
    Perreaux SM6P MKII Preamp, AQ Sky XLRs
    Perreaux Prisma 750 Amps, Morrow SP7 Cables
    SDA SRS 1.2as (RD0194s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: Xovers & Binding Post Cups, SDA Inductors & Interconnect Cables)

    Exercise Room
    Wadia 171i, Supernova 6 Glass Toslink
    CA Azur 840C, AQ King Cobra RCAs
    Perreaux SM6P Preamp & PMF3150 Amp, AQ King Cobra RCAs
    Dreadnought
    SDA 1Cs (Mod'd)

  15. #15

    Member Sales Rating: (13)

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The Mars Hotel
    Posts
    30,419

    Default

    That would be a major step up.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  16. #16

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    16,032

    Default

    Hmmm....how do you go from the Cambridge to OPPO then to a Esoteric 7 grand cdp ? Imho....7 g's could buy one hell of a set up in digital over a cdp.

    Heck, for 7 g's....you could buy the OPPO and still have 6 g's left over for a kick ass digital/streaming set up.

  17. #17

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default My Quandary!

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Hmmm....how do you go from the Cambridge to OPPO then to a Esoteric 7 grand cdp ? Imho....7 g's could buy one hell of a set up in digital over a cdp.

    Heck, for 7 g's....you could buy the OPPO and still have 6 g's left over for a kick ass digital/streaming set up.
    tonyb,

    My quandary is one that I suspect a lot of folks are experiencing now: I have, say, 400-500 CDs, many of which I seldom play and several of which I return to time and time again. I've ripped my favorites to my iMac as AIFF files and loaded them on to my iPod Classic, which I use for playback of background music during physical therapy, for example. Over the last year or so, I've learned that SACDs do sound better, even in a standard CD player, like my CA 840Cs. As a result, I've developed a "hankering" for a good SACD player to hear what my SACDs really can do.

    On the other hand, I realize that technology is evolving and evolving pretty quickly toward digital storage, distribution and playback. I also understand that high resolution formats for downloading are becoming more readily available. I currently do not have the equipment to download and playback these formats. I know that, sooner or later, I shall have to figure out what equipment I need and how to use it. Meanwhile, I still want to get the best from my CDs and SACDs.

    I'm interested in the Esoteric K-03 because I believe it will be the last CD/SACD player I'll ever need, because it is about as good as it gets. But if it is not that much better than the OPPO BDP-105, I don't want to spend $5,000-$6,000 on the K-03. I agree that the money would be much better spent on new digital storage and playback equipment. But what equipment to buy?

    As far as I can tell, this equipment is still on the "bleeding edge," and I've been in the computer industry where I developed a healthy avoidance of bleeding edge technology. Sony's entrance into the hi-res arena indicates that the technology is maturing, but is Sony's offering any good? What are the reasonable alternatives in the $5,000 range?

    Sorry for the prolonged rumination, but that's where I am -- in a quandary.

    Phil
    Last edited by Moose68Bash; 04-02-2014 at 11:45 AM.
    Family Room
    Cambridge Audio Azur 840C CD Player, King Cobra XLRs
    Perreaux SM6P MKII Preamp, AQ Sky XLRs
    Perreaux Prisma 750 Amps, Morrow SP7 Cables
    SDA SRS 1.2as (RD0194s, Dreadnought, Black Hole 5, Acousta-Stuf, Dynamat Extreme, JBWeld. Vr3 Mods: Xovers & Binding Post Cups, SDA Inductors & Interconnect Cables)

    Exercise Room
    Wadia 171i, Supernova 6 Glass Toslink
    CA Azur 840C, AQ King Cobra RCAs
    Perreaux SM6P Preamp & PMF3150 Amp, AQ King Cobra RCAs
    Dreadnought
    SDA 1Cs (Mod'd)

  18. #18

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    5,780

    Default

    From reading other forums, not actual experience, there are two big advantages to the Esoteric K-03, and K-01. First, it has a rock solid transport. This is both critical for getting the digital file off the CD, and it is rare in most CD players. Generally, "good enough" is what most players use for a transport. Second, the K-03 has an excellent DAC that is accessible with a digital input for use with other sources, such a music server. If the DAC will handle up to 192/24 then it is good for years to come.

    Since the K-03 handles excellent,
    1. SACD playback
    2. CD playback
    3. External digital sources to DAC

    then 6K appears reasonable. Especially when you consider equal separate components, along with quality power cords and digital interconnects, will easily cost that, or more.

    The drawback is you are locked into a single box so you might be reluctant to, for example, add a better DAC at some point in the future.

    For me, the key factor would be how often I want to play an SACD.

  19. #19

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    880

    Default

    I don't know if you saw this, Says it's new!

    http://app.audiogon.com/listings/cd-...-digital-01060

  20. #20

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default

    Thanks, xsmi.

    I had seen it, and I have had some prior dealings -- very satisfactory -- with spearitsound.com. I was considering it along with the K-03, which now is not listed on Audiogon. Somebody must have purchased it.

    So, more time to ruminate! C'est la vie!

    BlueFox, thank you for your very helpful explanation. I think you may be wise in suggesting that going with the "single box" at this point may prove to be limiting in the future.

  21. #21

    Member Sales Rating: (13)

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The Mars Hotel
    Posts
    30,419

    Default

    Should have bought the 03.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  22. #22

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Should have bought the 03.
    Yeah.

    Rub it in!!!!!!

  23. #23

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default

    My ruminations have sent me down another path to explore: PS Audio's DirectStream DAC, likely with their transport. With the Wi-fi bridge option, it sounds like this combination may capture the wave of the future.

    Has anybody else been looking at this equipment?

  24. #24

    Member Sales Rating: (13)

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The Mars Hotel
    Posts
    30,419

    Default

    It doesn't play SACD's or DSD files.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  25. #25

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Hampton, NH
    Posts
    800

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    It doesn't play SACD's or DSD files.
    The transport doesn't read SACDs, but the new DirectStream DAC is pure DSD -- unless I'm not understanding the marketing information about it. It "unifies all inputs (PCM or DSD) at 10 x DSD, then uses a true single-bit double-rate DSD core engine" to convert to analogue output.

    Of course, I don't know what this means for the most part, and I may well be falling for marketing hype.

    But this DAC appears to allow input from virtually all sources I would likely use -- transport, iPod, computer, external hard drive, network -- in a wide variety of formats, including DSD.

    It seems like the "future" to me.

    It's not clear (to me) what it would do to an incoming signal from an SACD.

    As usual, I am exposing my ignorance -- or, rather, the shallowness of my understanding of the technical aspects of this hobby!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Similar Threads

  1. Need Help SACD player no longer reads SACD disks
    By Ern Dog in forum Troubleshooting
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 09-29-2010, 09:37 PM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-11-2009, 06:14 PM
  3. Esoteric CD/SACD players...
    By pearsall001 in forum 2 Channel Audio
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-24-2007, 02:08 AM
  4. Replies: 32
    Last Post: 10-01-2006, 01:42 PM
  5. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 10-07-2003, 07:07 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts