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New Esoteric players (K-01, K-03): anyone has seen or heard? - Page 7

post #91 of 161

Wow, thanks for that info. This is why I come these threads, becasue I learn something new. I'm so happy that things are being skewed towards the average consumer. Tier carve outs make perfect sense to me as well. I'm trying to hit the sweet spot for a DAC, so far hasn't happened. Bifrost is next on my list of things to try.

 

Yeah that Liquid Fire Hype is insane right now, haha. I was thinking about upgrading to that instead of my DAC, can you imagine me sourcing the LF with a Fiio E7? Talk about ridicule... atsmile.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysian View Post

Headphone amps are those funny things, where, based on what I've heard, the first tier levels out around $900, then it's relatively flat until you get into Balancing Act territory.  I've heard a bunch of headphone amps in the $900-1500 range, and none of them stood out to me (in a positive or negative way).  I'd love to hear the Dark Voice and Liquid Fire, more expensive headphone amps people rave about, to see if they are significantly better than the mid-range I've heard.  Other people may disagree, but I've heard definite tiers carved out.  Ofc, transport, tubes, software, etc., also all make a difference.



 


Edited by M-13 - 11/4/11 at 5:42pm
post #92 of 161

 

For IEM listening, I'm a fan of the Teclast T51 sound quality, it actually has two WM8740's chips, sent to the OPA2604 (line-out) and then the TDA1308 (headphone-out). The Teclast T59 is coming soon, hopefully rivalling the Fostex HP-P1 in the portable sound quality arena.

 

 

Naturally, for stereo receiver / speaker connections, I find the AckoDAC AKD-23S (Sabre ESS ES9023) surpasses the T51 line-out.

 

 

Keep in mind the Audio Technica AT-HA70USB is coming to a theatre near you, this November.

 

 

post #93 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post

I'm trying to hit the sweet spot for a DAC, so far hasn't happened. Bifrost is next on my list of things to try.

 

Yeah that Liquid Fire Hype is insane right now, haha. I was thinking about upgrading to that instead of my DAC, can you imagine me sourcing the LF with a Fiio E7? Talk about ridicule... atsmile.gif

 

Oops, I meant to say Dark Star, not Dark Voice.  Too many amps coming out sounding like they're named by people who play a lot of RPGs evil_smiley.gif


I'd be interested in hearing the Bifrost too.  It looks like Cambridge Audio is upgrading their Dacmagic, and it'd be interesting to know whether they did it in response to Schiit, or if it was already planned on their roadmap for awhile.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about upgrading your source until you have a headphone and amp you're happy with.  IMO, the headphone and amp make much more of a difference.  Sources are important, but I'm pretty impressed with the current line-up of $300-1500 sources on the market.  There are a lot of audiophile reviews that sound like going from a $1000 DAC to a $5000 DAC is like going from a tin can to having a personal opera singer in your room, but I'd take all of that with healthy skepticism.  For me, a source is kind of like having a nice glass of wine or beer with a meal, and can add a lot if paired right, but generally isn't as memorable as the more substantive parts of the meal.

post #94 of 161
Thread Starter 

Elysian: don't say that to a French guy ;). I'd say a wine can make or brake a meal,just like you can only get a "meh" feeling out of poorly sourced high end amp/headphone system.

 

I'll be posting pics later but for now I'll just say I was impressed by the P02/D02 combo at the Tokyo Audio Show today. The low level retrieval is unreal, just like I felt from the K01 previously and the presentation if effortless with precise and deep layering of instruments.

 

The other room that impressed me in terms of naturalness was Accuphase with the DP900/DC901 combo. Of course, the speakers / amplification / room treatment / equalization (accuphase) plays a big role but well, it was very pleasant / effortless too but maybe warmer / more romantic than the esoteric rig. 

 

I really might have to take my stax gear to a dealer at some point but these sources are all out of my league (over 1MJPY)...


Edited by arnaud - 11/4/11 at 9:45pm
post #95 of 161

I was wondering if one of the French posters would've objected to that comparison as I typed that tongue.gif Some French coworkers I used to work with would joke that they could never leave any bread unfinished.  The amazing wines I've had seem to start around $80/bottle, but everything below that tastes pretty similar to me.

 

Is the K01 the top Esoteric D/A for computer servers too, then?  I might have missed a response to my earlier post, but I was basically wondering what the K01 meant for the D01.

 

I'd be interested in hearing how much of an improvement there is going from the BADA to a top-tier D/A like the K01.  So far I've had no luck finding a local dealer with Esoteric gear to demo, but probably better that I don't given the price of the gear.

post #96 of 161



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post

My apologies. I'm not here to tell you how to spend your money, but It was more a reaction to how awesome your source is. I LOVE my Shure SE 530, in fact for me everything about audio started in 2006 when I walked into a Audio Shop and was able to DEMO the SE530. I HAD to have it immediately. I was taken to another world. I'm sure you understand. I purchased my Fiance the SE535 (Bronze) when it came out and also own the Triple-Fi 10 and had the Westone 3s when they were SUPER popular at one point. These days I muse about getting the JH16 or 13.

 

I do use my SE530 with my Fiio E7 Dac/Amp. I know it's only a cheap $90 "junk" but I notice huge improvements from it (funny that...) When I tried moving to a better source (DACport LX), it did absolutely nothing. It changed the tone/frequency a bit, but did not add more transparency, speed, or any other technical superiority, so I returned it fast. Next my list is the Bifrost... but for me, getting the right AMP and Tubes made the HUGE difference I was looking for.

 

I'm sure by March your rig will be GODLY. Congrats the first step to that goal. Enjoy your music L3000.gif

 

 



 


Hi M-13,

There's no need to apologise because I'm not offended I anyway, I just wanted to point out that although the K-01 is and was very expensive, it doesn't mean I have a lot of money which I haven't. My Uncle worked down the Pit all his life and never spent a thing, he died with over £120,000 in the bank, someone related to his wife [ who is also died ] is spending that money now, that will never happen to me, I own a house so that should be enough for who ever gets it. Onto something more important audio equipment, I've been reading the posts on this thread and regarding me waiting to get the K-01 the same time l get BHSE + SR-009's , I could have done that but after l heard the K-01 my focus was on getting that as soon as possible. Using the se535's + Pico Slim with the K-01, athough that combinations SQ isn't going to be anywhere near the K-01 + BHSE + SR-009 's SQ, l can still hear a big difference between the K-01 and my ipod, to my ears the instruments seems to be more separate, detailed and transparent, also l don't have to put the volume up as much on the Pico Slim using the K-01 as l do with the ipod, using the ipod l have to turn the knob on the Pico Slim to about 1 o'clock where as with the K-01 it's about 11 o'clock. Lastly, although l'm not and probably never will be anyones Neighbour on head-fi, l would like to be thought of as a friend.                                                        
 

                                                                                               David.

 

P.S. Thank you to M-13 and to those that have sent their Congrats, l appreciate it very much.

 

post #97 of 161
Thread Starter 

Here are pictures I took today at the Tokyo International Audio Show. I don't think it's worth making a specific thread about it so all pics are here even though not all are of Esoteric gear:

 

- Accuphase room with DC-901: TIAS'11 - Accuphase DC-901

- Luxman room with Sonus Faber Cremona: TIAS'11 - Luxman + Sonus Faber Cremona

- Marantz room with some B&W bookshelf (did not care much for the sound but like the looks) and Classe electronics in the background: TIAS'11 - B&W & Classe

- DCS stack: TIAS'11 - DCS

- Esoteric K-05: TIAS'11 - Esoteric K-05TIAS'11 - Esoteric K-05 (2)

- Esoteric D-02: TIAS'11 - Esoteric D-02

- Esoteric K-01: TIAS'11 - Esoteric K-01TIAS'11 - Esoteric K-01 (2)

- Esoteric K-03: TIAS'11 - Esoteric K-03

- Esoteric room with Tannoy and Avangarde speakers (showing off the new P02/D02, lots of people interested): TIAS'11 - Esoteric room

- Esoteric stack: TIAS'11 - Esoteric stackTIAS'11 - Esoteric stack (2)

post #98 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysian View Post

 

Oops, I meant to say Dark Star, not Dark Voice.  Too many amps coming out sounding like they're named by people who play a lot of RPGs evil_smiley.gif


I'd be interested in hearing the Bifrost too.  It looks like Cambridge Audio is upgrading their Dacmagic, and it'd be interesting to know whether they did it in response to Schiit, or if it was already planned on their roadmap for awhile.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about upgrading your source until you have a headphone and amp you're happy with.  IMO, the headphone and amp make much more of a difference.  Sources are important, but I'm pretty impressed with the current line-up of $300-1500 sources on the market.  There are a lot of audiophile reviews that sound like going from a $1000 DAC to a $5000 DAC is like going from a tin can to having a personal opera singer in your room, but I'd take all of that with healthy skepticism.  For me, a source is kind of like having a nice glass of wine or beer with a meal, and can add a lot if paired right, but generally isn't as memorable as the more substantive parts of the meal.



l'm sorry Elysian but l have to disagree, before l got the K-01 l probably would have agreed with you about getting good headphones and amp before a good source, but as l've said in one of my posts the K-01 has changed my thoughts somewhat. When l got my ipod, with it came some apple earbuds and via the Pico Slim connected to the K-01 the sound from those was very good, although at above normal volume there was quite a bit of crackling.

 

P.S. One thing l'd like to say, although l'm praising the K-01 a lot, l'm not being payed anything by Teac in anyway.

 

 

post #99 of 161

All components are important. Finding the weak point in your system when something doesn't sound right or you feel something could be better is a PITA though. rolleyes.gif

post #100 of 161

This comment will probably raise a few eyebrows but is only what my ears are telling me, before l got the K-01, my main headphone system was SR-007mk1's + SRM-007t + Esoteric x-03se. Today l received the Beyerdynamic DT1350, l got those because my Shure se535's after about an hour start to feel uncomfortable. Anyway the point I'm trying to get to is, the combination of the K-01 + DT1350 + Pico Slim  IMO  is as good if not better than the Stax system l had, the only difference is the Stax system was more airy,  however they were similar in the fact that the Stax system had and K-01 + DT1350 + Pico Slim also has the same kind of veiling sound.

                                                                          Dave.

 

                                                              


Edited by David1961 - 11/5/11 at 1:37pm
post #101 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by David1961 View Post

l'm sorry Elysian but l have to disagree, before l got the K-01 l probably would have agreed with you about getting good headphones and amp before a good source, but as l've said in one of my posts the K-01 has changed my thoughts somewhat. When l got my ipod, with it came some apple earbuds and via the Pico Slim connected to the K-01 the sound from those was very good, although at above normal volume there was quite a bit of crackling.


Well, I'll happily eat my words when I have a chance to demo $10k+ dCS, Esoteric, or MSB source gear someday :)  I'm speaking only based on speculation, from what people whose audio advice I do generally trust (their advice has generally matched up with what I've experienced when seeking out gear to demo, and how my chain is forming into), but the general sense I got was that for 2011, the price-performance ratio kicks in for gear that's around $2000 MSRP, and significantly so at $5000 MSRP, in which case it comes down to a user's preference towards a particular signature.  I tend to have various degrees of skepticism when it comes to particular gear categories, and sources are pretty high up on my list.  It's very easy to hear when a source is bad, but if the source is competent, the differences tend to become much more nuanced.

 

Anyway, I'm glad you found a source (much less one that does both CD/SACD/digital) very well, and hope it serves you well for many years!

post #102 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysian View Post


Well, I'll happily eat my words when I have a chance to demo $10k+ dCS, Esoteric, or MSB source gear someday :)  I'm speaking only based on speculation, from what people whose audio advice I do generally trust (their advice has generally matched up with what I've experienced when seeking out gear to demo, and how my chain is forming into), but the general sense I got was that for 2011, the price-performance ratio kicks in for gear that's around $2000 MSRP, and significantly so at $5000 MSRP, in which case it comes down to a user's preference towards a particular signature.  I tend to have various degrees of skepticism when it comes to particular gear categories, and sources are pretty high up on my list.  It's very easy to hear when a source is bad, but if the source is competent, the differences tend to become much more nuanced.

 

Anyway, I'm glad you found a source (much less one that does both CD/SACD/digital) very well, and hope it serves you well for many years!


Hi Elysian,

l'm not trying to help sell the K-01 for Teac, l'm only going by what my ears are telling me, however l am now aged 50 so my hearing might be starting to go.
 

 

 


Edited by David1961 - 11/6/11 at 3:36pm
post #103 of 161

David, just cut it. There are always skeptics, be it cables, source, burn in, amps, headphones... etc. and there is no conclusion - please don't bring that argument to this thread. They need to hear it by themselves to make a decision. To me, the K-01 is worth every penny. To skeptics - please raise your skepticism elsewhere, can we go back to our discussions of the K-01 or K-03 here, please. 

  

For me, the best setup I have heard for the LCD2 is:

 

Esoteric K-01 -> Accuphase C3800 flagship preamp -> headphone out to LCD2.

 

I doubt if anyone else on earth tried this. The high end audio owners would not bother to use the combo with headphones, while I believe most headphone lovers won't even have the chance to audition either of the machines, let alone both put together.  I tried a lot of headphone amps with the LCD2 and they are simply no match to the said combo. Not even close. 

 

The problem in Hong Kong and Tokyo is that property price is too high. You can get about ONE square meter or ten square feet of space in the more prestigious areas here in Hong Kong with the price of an Esoteric K-01.  One day when I have a new house I will buy a good speaker combo with the Accuphase C3800 as preamp and at the same time serving as a headphone amp. 


Edited by googleli - 11/6/11 at 2:02am
post #104 of 161

It is now really hard to tell whether the D-02 or D-01 is better now, given that the D-02 has a 35bit DAC - would appreciate if anyone has done some comparison.

 

Also, would be interested if anyone has a solid conclusion on whether a clock will have an effect on the K-01. People on Audiogon seem to be against the idea that an external clock would have any effect on a one box player, whereas people on some Audiophile forum in Hong Kong claim that there indeed is an improvement. 

post #105 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

David, just cut it. There are always skeptics, be it cables, source, burn in, amps, headphones... etc. and there is no conclusion - please don't bring that argument to this thread. They need to hear it by themselves to make a decision. To me, the K-01 is worth every penny. To skeptics - please raise your skepticism elsewhere, can we go back to our discussions of the K-01 or K-03 here, please. 

  

For me, the best setup I have heard for the LCD2 is:

 

Esoteric K-01 -> Accuphase C3800 flagship preamp -> headphone out to LCD2.

 

I doubt if anyone else on earth tried this. The high end audio owners would not bother to use the combo with headphones, while I believe most headphone lovers won't even have the chance to audition either of the machines, let alone both put together.  I tried a lot of headphone amps with the LCD2 and they are simply no match to the said combo. Not even close. 

 

The problem in Hong Kong and Tokyo is that property price is too high. You can get about ONE square meter or ten square feet of space in the more prestigious areas here in Hong Kong with the price of an Esoteric K-01.  One day when I have a new house I will buy a good speaker combo with the Accuphase C3800 as preamp and at the same time serving as a headphone amp. 



OK googleli I'll take your advice. lt's true the only way to know if anything sounds good is by going out and listening to it.

 

 

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