If you've read posts on Audio Asylum about the E5 chances are their mine
You won't be disappointed guaranteed. I've had mine since last September. It is everything it is said to be and more.
Most of this is a duplicate of what I have posted on AA, but for those who might be interested.
Tube midrange but with slam, bass and extension. Exceptional with every type of music. Audiocostruzioni (who uses the E5 as their reference player) had a shootout with the Jolida and Cayin tubed CDP's. Actually a very good choice of opponents even thought the Eastsound as you already know is all Solid State. Eastsound won hands down. The importer who distributes to Sekei. Ohio Valley Audio and many other found out my CD5 was in the shippment and asked to borrow it for a few weeks. Andy from Sekei shipped it from here in Indiana back to his distributor in Florida. The importer absolutely hates Solid State. He compared it to his Shengya and Jolida tube CDP's and was shocked when he found out there were no tubes in the E5.
On a European Forum the E5 was compared to a $2800 Copland CDP that had been modified. The owner of the Copland said the Eastsound "disintigrated" his Copland. And you've already read where the $300 Cattylink Cd-E3 equaled or bettered a $1500 Creek CDP and $3500 Lexicon universial player.
What finally made me pull the trigger were the comments of a Canadian Audiophile who owned the E5. Turns out he owns a high end audio store. He refused to name what he had compared it to since he was a dealer, but said it sounded as good as any CDP he sold. Some priced as high as $9000.
Two pieces of advice. Give it a good 100+ hours of break in. Although it sounds great out of the box it will only improve, but the overall sound will remain the same.
Second use the RCA outputs rather then the balanced. RCA bypasses the Opamps and has dual class A output. Balanced goes thru the opamps. Background noise thru the RCA's is dead quiet. You may hear a slight hum with the unit but once you hit play its tomb quiet. I believe the balanced was maybe a after though or possibly found to be inferior. When Eastsound came out with their S8A integrated amp (which is cosmetically identical to the E5) they did not bother to include balanced inputs on the amp. If you really want to use balanced, one poster stated he got great results using Burr Brown OPA627? but it took 8.
Finally using babelfish you can find out a good amount of info on Eastsounds own forum.
Enjoy BW Maxx