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Old 12-19-2012, 11:07 PM
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Default Esoteric K-03 versus McIntosh MCD1100

by J. Dan Daniell




Esoteric is a bold name. The parent company selected the perfect word 25 years ago when TEAC formed their prestigious high-end division. That new company name clearly defines a line of premium audio products intended for a select group. In the past quarter century Esoteric’s design, engineering and manufacturing has consistently improved upon the meaning of state of the art and their efforts have been rewarded. Among their successes, Esoteric is now widely considered the designer and manufacturer of the world’s finest transports. The attention to detail is evident at all levels. Every Esoteric product is designed and engineered in Japan and all electronics are manufactured in Japan. Their audio components are pristine examples of a distinguished and committed company whose highly skilled and dedicated team builds some of the world’s most revered audio components.

A perfect example of Esoteric’s commitment to offering music lovers a premium audio product is found in their K-03 SACD/CD/DAC. This player represents all that Esoteric is famous for, effortlessly emanating precision and high quality even at a casual glance. The impressively thick solid aluminum face plate, side panels and top cover only hint at what resides inside. Under the elegant top cover are multilayered precision crafted circuit boards, five fully isolated interior compartments, and dual proprietary toroidal transformers. The grand sum total of the close tolerance high quality parts and master craftsmanship adds up to a rather substantial 62 pounds of impressive audio hardware.

Esoteric uses the latest 32bit Asahi Kasei Microdevices DAC’s. The AKM 4399 DAC’s were selected by Esoteric engineers after relentless testing in their search for the best DAC’s available to meet their critical design requirements. The K-03 uses four AKM 4399 monaural DAC’s per channel. As a reference, the Esoteric K-01 uses eight AKM 4399 DAC’s per channel. The K-03’s four DAC’s per channel are configured for dual mono operation. The DAC’s and the balanced analog circuits are powered by one of two toroidal transformers, with the second toroidal transformer powering the digital circuits and transport. The transport is the newest VRDS-NEO VMK-3.5-10 mechanism. There are additional resources available detailing the new transport on Esoteric’s website, so I will not elaborate here about the design and advanced engineering of this incredible state of the art transport.





Once unpacked from its three shipping cartons, I lifted the Esoteric’s bountiful weight onto the lower shelf of my studio two channel rack. Once in place, I was able to fully appreciate the beauty of this fine audio component. The K-03 offers a soothing understated elegance without any of the flashy protuberances and lighting some manufactures include on their players. The beautiful appearance of the Esoteric K-03 is enhanced by its clean flowing lines and smooth simplicity.

The Esoteric K-03 does not come ready to play right out of the box like many other manufacture’s digital players. Those unfamiliar with the K-03, as I was when I first put my hands on it, must turn to the owner’s manual for guidance. Once you have decided on which analog outputs to use, either balanced or unbalanced, you must then enter the menu to select the outputs used. The setup menu is selected by pressing and holding the Mode button on the left side of the front panel display window. The Mode button is a multi-purpose control that accesses other functions as well, such as XLR output level, attenuation On or Off (the K-03 can be used to drive power amplifiers directly), upsample settings, and digital filter settings. The Mode button, if pressed without holding it in, also serves to cycle through the digital inputs and back to the SACD/CD player. There is a lot going on with the K-03 that requires familiarization before pressing the Play button.

The Esoteric K-03 offers the option of no upsampling (referred to as Original), 2Fs, 4Fs, and DSD upsampling. In addition, there are four different digital filters available, two of which are apodising filters designed to eliminate pre-echo. After a substantial period of time playing a particular track from Tom Grant – Solo Piano over and over while listening to the different upsample settings, digital filter settings and combinations of both, I finally settled on 4Fs oversampling and the S_DLY2 apodising filter as sounding the most natural.

The K-03 came to me with just over 200 hours already on the player. Adding to the break-in period, I allowed the K-03 to run continuously on repeat for 172 additional hours using Donald Fagen – Morph the Cat, only interrupting this disc in the late evenings to spin some other CD’s for pleasure. I also tested the USB asynchronous transmission for connecting with my Sony Vaio laptop. I use JRivers Media Center software and have a dozen HDTrack hi-res albums downloaded on the laptop hard drive. The K-03 now has approximately 372 hours on it. Although I have heard from others that 500 hours is the magic number, I am comfortable the K-03 is performing at a level that will allow me to perform critical listening for this review and compare it to the respected McIntosh MCD1100.

I balanced the output levels between the Esoteric K-03 and the McIntosh MCD1100 to within 0.3dB of each other using the Rives Audio Test CD2 and my Extech sound pressure level (SPL) meter. The K-03 required that I use the XLR +6 setting for its output to be close to the MCD1100’s output level, then using the C1000C/P input trim control I was able to accurately fine tune the level of the MCD1100 to the K-03.





The sound system gear used for this review included the McIntosh C1000C/P, MCD1100, MC2301 power amps, Olive 04HD music server, and Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario speakers. All interconnects are balanced Wireworld Silver Eclipse, digital cables are Wireworld Silver Starlight and Supernova, power cords are Wireworld Silver Electra on all components, and speaker cables are Wireworld Silver Eclipse.

I started my audition with identical CD’s of Gerald Veasley – At the Jazz Bass, placing one CD in the K-03 and the other in the MCD1100. The K-03 was connected to the CDR input and the MCD1100 was connected to the CD input on the C1000C/P. This made it easy to do direct A/B comparisons using the McIntosh remote to select either of the two inputs without delay. The K-03 is slightly slower to start playing after pressing the remote’s Play button than the MCD1100, so I had to press the Esoteric’s Play button about one second ahead of the MCD1100 Play button to get the two CD’s as closely synchronized as possible. The track I selected was “Bread Puddin”. Gerald Veasley’s lead electric bass is prominent, with support from a Hammond B3 organ, saxophone, electric guitar and drums. The first thing that caused me to sit up and take notice was the K-03’s sound stage. It was wide and deep with pin point localization of instruments and musicians. The depth of the sound stage created the illusion of a large stage where one could see the drums in the rear, saxophone to the right behind the lead bass, the B-3 organ to the left front, and electric guitar on the right. The resolution delivered by the K-03 reproduced the instruments with rich tonal integrity. I could hear the drum skins continue to vibrate after impact and cymbals rang crisp with clean metallic vibrancy. Gerald’s electric bass was strong and deep, well defined without bloat. Leading edge dynamics from the bass lead riffs had just the right bite and always sounded in proper dynamic perspective to the other instruments. The complete absence of any audible smearing kept each musician’s instrument fully present and precisely located. Switching to the MCD1100 I was surprised to notice a small loss in upper frequency clarity. It was not dramatic, but cymbals did not ring with quite the same shimmer as the K-03. There was also an increased weight in the low frequency range that made Gerald Veasley’s electric bass sound thicker. The combination of these differences caused the MCD1100 to sound darker by comparison. I noticed a shallower sound stage depth as well. The sound stage width remained intact but not the depth. It did not collapse by any means, but the drums seemed to move forward while at the same time sounding less distinct and separate from the other instruments. Returning to the Esoteric K-03, the overall essence of the band’s performance regained sharp focus where the McIntosh MCD1100 had delivered a slightly subdued upper frequency range and fatter bass.

Placing Lee Ritenour’s – 6 String Theory CD’s in both players I selected “Drifting”, starting both players as before to closely sync the song in each player. This easy paced jazz tune begins with hand slaps on drums, acoustic guitar and electric bass. The Esoteric K-03 presented the sounds of hands hitting the drum skins with such dynamic realism that it was truly attention grabbing. The acoustic guitar chords and string harmonics floated on both sides of the drum tones but not in front of the drums. The sound stage was holographic. As the electric bass joined in with a long sustained low bass note played in key with the acoustic guitar chord, the combination of the instruments and the hand slaps on drum skins remained distinct and separate from each other in space without a hint of crowding. Switching to the McIntosh MCD1100 reduced the sound stage depth as before by a small margin but held the width. Once again there seemed to be a trace of softening in the upper frequency range whereby the acoustic guitar chords and sustained harmonics were reproduced with slightly less brilliance from the string’s overtones and harmonics. At the same time bass grew denser which drew my attention in comparison to how bass frequencies are reproduced on the K-03. Something else I notice while comparing the McIntosh MCD1100 to the Esoteric K-03, there was a minute reduction in space, the special quality commonly referred to as air around instruments. The sound of the guitar and bass shifted closer together by a few degrees in the MCD1100, leaving me with the impression of a slight loss of resolution. Differentiating individual instrument’s sounds became a bit more difficult when compared to the same presentation on the K-03.

Selecting a Blues CD seemed like a solid test of the K-03 and MCD1100, so I placed Joanne Shaw Taylor – White Sugar in both player’s trays, selecting the song “Bones”. For those not familiar with Joanne Shaw Taylor, this lady can sing the blues and play that guitar. The Esoteric K-03 continued to reveal itself as a remarkably invisible musical conduit, simply stepping out of the way of the performance. Joanne’s voice was forward and centered, her guitar only slightly left of center as if her guitar amplifier might be sitting right next to her, and the band spread across the stage behind her from left to right. The dynamics of the drums, the effervescence of the cymbals, the solid bass riffs, Joanne’s vivacious voice and electric guitar licks were placed before me in a precise and thoroughly believable performance. Once again selecting the McIntosh MCD1100 the three dimensional aura slipped to a shallower depth, the glistening cymbal vibrations softened, seeming slightly muted, with the lower frequencies gaining weight, presenting the bass as marginally inflated compared to the K-03.

I have only one SACD copy of Gary Mulligan Meets Scott Hamilton – Soft Lights & Sweet Music, so I played the SACD independently in each player. This SACD is an Original Master Recording on the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab label. The recording is clean and quiet which pleases me to no end since I am a big Gerry Mulligan fan. His talent playing baritone saxophone is legendary. Listening to the recording of “Gone” in the Esoteric K-03 I was mesmerized by a highly impressive performance. The interplay between Mulligan’s baritone saxophone and Hamilton’s tenor saxophone was deliciously intoxicating. Mike Renzi’s piano, Jay Leonhart’s acoustic double bass, and Grady Tates drums were spread across the sound stage in a cozy jazz club setting that oozed warmth and familiarity. Moving the SACD to the MCD1100 demonstrated a very minor shrinking of the sound stage depth, but surprisingly the overall presentation held itself up better against the K-03 than did standard redbook CD playback. Grady Tates rhythmic drumming and cymbal work came through with sparkling clarity. The acoustic double bass held itself taut with less fattening, remaining rich with plenty of vibrating bass string energy and warm wood overtones. SACD performance with the MCD1100 was quite close to the K-03’s performance.

CD’s were reproduced very well in the K-03. Despite comments I have read that CD playback was not this player’s strongest suit, I did not experience that impression at all. SACD playback in DSD was even better, although during playback of a well mastered high resolution file through the K-03’s DAC’s this player became illuminated with twin stage spot lights. High resolution FLAC files (24bit/96kHz) fed from the Olive 04HD to the Esoteric K-03 were almost spooky in their realism. Bass texture and firmness was elevated to a new level as is clearly presented on the 24bit/96kHz download of Lee Ritenour – Rhythm Sessions. Some of the cleanest bass frequencies I have ever heard on any recording are delivered on this recording. Dynamics are astonishing at 24/96 and so is separation of instruments and voices. Playing the same Lee Ritenour hi-res file from the Olive 04HD through the MCD1100 was equally impressive, with only a slight reduction in sound stage depth.

After loading the Esoteric USB high speed driver on my laptop, I played a few high resolution FLAC files from my Sony Vaio through the K-03 USB input using JRiver Media Center software. The Esoteric display window properly showed a 96kHz file was being played. The K-03 USB presentation was every bit the equal of the hi-res playback from the Olive 04HD. Sound was crystal clear, resolution developed all sounds and subtle nuances without restrictions, and dynamic impact was focused and powerful. Everything was there in full measure. USB playback through the Esoteric K-03 will thrill even the most reclusive digital holdouts. Since both of my MCD1100’s went to a McIntosh dealer today for the USB upgrade I decided not to wait for them to be returned before posting this review. I will make a comparison of the Esoteric and McIntosh USB playback quality if the MCD1100’s are returned before the K-03 has to be returned.

OK then. It should be apparent by now that the Esoteric K-03 gave the McIntosh MCD1100 a run for the money. In my humble opinion the MCD1100 received a spanking. It was not a runaway, knockdown, drag out brawl, but the MCD1100 took some licks, particularly with redbook CD’s. Without direct A/B comparison the differences between the two players appears slight enough that only someone familiar with both players would take notice. The McIntosh MCD1100 is a very fine SACD/CD/DAC and its five digital inputs make it more useful in a digital system where three digital inputs might be inadequate. I don’t mean to leave anyone with the impression the MCD1100 is anything but a stellar performer. It most certainly is. The differences between these two players was often subtle and on a more forgiving sound system these differences may not be as apparent. None the less, this was a source component shootout and the gold only goes to one winner. The Esoteric K-03 takes the honor for a performance level that consistently raised the digital audio performance bar across the board.


.


Now before you go thinking I am totally smitten with the Esoteric K-03 let me mention a few things that I would have done differently had I designed this player. First, as attractive as the fancy leather wrapped remote control may look, it is too long and heavy. It may appear well designed on an engineering drawing, but it is not ergonomically shaped to fit comfortably in your hand. If you don’t hold the remote snugly in the center balance point, its weight will cause it to quickly fall forward or aft. It will be very easy for an inattentive person to drop this heavy remote control. Another issue, the remote has too many buttons not applicable to the K-03 and do nothing when pressed. In addition, there are functions that should have been on the remote that were left off, functions like upsample selection, and digital filter selection. I want these control functions from the comfort of my seat. Granted, the upsampling and digital filter settings will typically be set and forget, but at this price point ($11,300) full function of all controls should be available from the remote control. The MCD1100 provides input switching from its remote and so does the K-03, but pressing the Input button on the K-03 remote does nothing, rather it is the Group Title arrow buttons on the remote that allow input switching. Esoteric was also a bit stingy with digital inputs. There are only three, one coaxial, one optical, and one USB. In today’s digital world that is not enough. Two coaxial, two optical plus a USB digital input would be more advantageous. The McIntosh MCD1100, with five digital inputs, is considerably more versatile to an owner with multiple digital sources. I have four digital sources in my system. Do these criticisms constitute a major deal breaker? No, not in my opinion, but these issues are worth taking note of since they may concern potential new owners.





Ultimately, the Esoteric SACD/CD/DAC lives up to its reputation as a premium level digital audio player. After all is said and done, the sound is what drives us to seek and treasure high performance audio components. This amazing digital source component is a worthy contender for inclusion into any high-end audio system. Were it not for Esoteric’s minimalist approach to digital inputs, I would have said this is the perfect digital component. Despite a few small caveats, the Esoteric K-03 is a true thoroughbred expertly packaged in a solid, luxuriously striking display quality case that will certainly look fabulous gracing a high-end audio rack. Best of all, it sounds astonishingly real. The Esoteric K-03 will provide owners with years of premium audio performance. If this sounds like the direction you want your audio system to go, bring home the Esoteric K-03. You won’t be disappointed.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A

Last edited by jdandy; 01-17-2018 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:40 PM
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nice
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:41 PM
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Dan... What an Extraordinary review; thank you for taking all the painstaking time and effort to perform this comparison for everyone here on AA to read and enjoy.
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MX136, MC1.2KW(10) MC2KW(2), MCD1100, MS750(2) MVP881, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, HT-2 SUBS(2) HT3F(2) WS350(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) XCS350(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" MOTORIZED SCREEN, CINEMA-TECH SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: ACCUPHASE A250 AMPS, C3850 PRE-AMP, DP950 CD/SACD TRANSPORT, DC950 DIGITAL PROCESSOR, DG-58 DIGITAL EQUALIZER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS1230 POWER SUPPLY, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
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MX150, MC501(2) MC1.2KW(10) MC2301(2) MR88, MVP881, MCD1100, MDA1000, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, ESOTERIC K-01X 30th ANNIVERSARY (BLACK) SACD/CD PLAYER, G02-X CLOCK, HT3F(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) JL GOTHAM SUBS(2) JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(4) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) KALEIDESCAPE STRATO & TERRA SERVERS, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" SCREEN, SONUS FABER STRADIVARI, SILENZIO, FORTRESS SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Analog Rig: CLEARAUDIO INNOVATION WOOD, UNIVERSAL ARM w/ Da VINCI' CART, 2nd UNIVERSAL ARM w/ GOLDFINGER STATEMENT CART, HRS-MXR REFERENCE RACK-GLOSS BLACK w/ M3X SHELVES, AESTHETIX RHEA SIG PHONO-PRE, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: BURMESTER 911MK3 AMP(3), 088 PRE-AMP, 089 CD PLAYER, 100 PHONO PRE-AMP, 948 POWER CONDITIONER, AVID ACUTUS REFERENCE SP TT, GRAHAM PHANTOM II SUPREME ARM, BENZ MICRO LP-S CART, GRANDIOSO P1/D1 STACK, G01X RUBIDIUM MASTER CLOCK, N05 NETWORK PLAYER, SILENZIO, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, SONUS FABER AIDA SPEAKERS, JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(2) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES

Library System: GRANDIOSO M1 MONOBLOCK AMPS, C1 LINESTAGE PRE-AMP, K1 CD/SACD PLAYER, G1 MASTER RUBIDIUM CLOCK, E02 PHONO-PRE, SILENZIO, AERIAL ACOUSTICS 20T V2, AERIAL SW12 SUBS(2), CANTON REF K1’s, VPI HRX TT w/ SDS POWER SUPPLY, ORTOFON CADENZA BLACK CART, KLAUDIO RCM, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Bryston/Esoteric System: ESOTERIC C02-X PRE-AMP, P-02X TRANSPORT, D02-X DAC, G02-X CLOCK, BRYSTON 28B3 CUBED MONOBLOCK AMPS, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2(2) AMR-DP777-SE DAC, SILENZIO, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, QUADRASPIRE RACK, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Accuphase/Canton System: ACCUPHASE E650 INTEGRATED, DP560 CD/SACD PLAYER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS530 POWER SUPPLY, CANTON REF K3’s, CANTON REF K5’s, SILENZIO, HRS MXR REFERENCE MAHOGHANY RACK w/ M3X2 SHELVES, WIREWORLD GOLD CABLES
Bryston Active System: BP26 PRE-AMP, MPS2 POWER SUPPLY, BAX-1 CROSSOVER, BDA-3 DAC, BDP-3 PLAYER, BCD-3 CD PLAYER, BIT15(2), MODEL T ACTIVE SPEAKERS, 21B3 CUBED AMPS, SILENZIO, TARGET RACK, WIREWORLD SILVER CABLES

On Deck: Accuphase E-800 inbound...
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:44 PM
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Thanks Dan, a thorough and well-written review. I felt as if I were sitting in the chair next to yours during the listening test.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:45 PM
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Dan, great review. Thanks for you efforts and honesty.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterlu View Post
Dan... What an Extraordinary review; thank you for taking all the painstaking time and effort to perform this comparison for everyone here on AA to read and enjoy.
Ivan.......Always my pleasure. Your gracious hospitality in getting the Esoteric K-03 to me made my part of the task most enjoyable. The K-03 is absolutely fabulous. I can see now why you included it in your Burmester system along with the Sonus faber Aida's. It is worthy.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:47 PM
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Great review!
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Home Theater: Sonos->MCD1100,Oppo 105D,Cary 306/200,MVP-871->SP3->C500T->MC501x3+MC402x2+MC252->PL300+F113x2+PL350+4xPL InWall+PL100,PL100 in games room,VPL-VW500ES, Shunyata Sigma HCx3, Shunyata Analogx2, Alpha HCx2, Alpha Digital, Wire World Silver Electra x8
Great Room: BDP-09FD,Sonos->MCD500->MX119->MC501x3+2xMA700s->PL200+PLC150+GRFX+F112,PRO-141FD
Kid's Room: Sonos,Oppo 95->MX119->HCA1200mkii+4xMA700s->GR20s+FB210+GRLCR+2xGRFX,PRO-101FD
Home Gym: Sonos->Oppo 105->MC252->GR10s+FB210,TC-P55ST60
Office at work: Cary 306/200, Michell Gyro SE w/TechnoArm+Meastro Wood->6900->GR10s+SB12-Plus
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:18 AM
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Aside from the concise review, there are some terrific music/artists mentioned here.
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MX136, MC1.2KW(10) MC2KW(2), MCD1100, MS750(2) MVP881, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, HT-2 SUBS(2) HT3F(2) WS350(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) XCS350(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" MOTORIZED SCREEN, CINEMA-TECH SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: ACCUPHASE A250 AMPS, C3850 PRE-AMP, DP950 CD/SACD TRANSPORT, DC950 DIGITAL PROCESSOR, DG-58 DIGITAL EQUALIZER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS1230 POWER SUPPLY, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
CAPE COD

MX150, MC501(2) MC1.2KW(10) MC2301(2) MR88, MVP881, MCD1100, MDA1000, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, ESOTERIC K-01X 30th ANNIVERSARY (BLACK) SACD/CD PLAYER, G02-X CLOCK, HT3F(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) JL GOTHAM SUBS(2) JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(4) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) KALEIDESCAPE STRATO & TERRA SERVERS, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" SCREEN, SONUS FABER STRADIVARI, SILENZIO, FORTRESS SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Analog Rig: CLEARAUDIO INNOVATION WOOD, UNIVERSAL ARM w/ Da VINCI' CART, 2nd UNIVERSAL ARM w/ GOLDFINGER STATEMENT CART, HRS-MXR REFERENCE RACK-GLOSS BLACK w/ M3X SHELVES, AESTHETIX RHEA SIG PHONO-PRE, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: BURMESTER 911MK3 AMP(3), 088 PRE-AMP, 089 CD PLAYER, 100 PHONO PRE-AMP, 948 POWER CONDITIONER, AVID ACUTUS REFERENCE SP TT, GRAHAM PHANTOM II SUPREME ARM, BENZ MICRO LP-S CART, GRANDIOSO P1/D1 STACK, G01X RUBIDIUM MASTER CLOCK, N05 NETWORK PLAYER, SILENZIO, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, SONUS FABER AIDA SPEAKERS, JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(2) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES

Library System: GRANDIOSO M1 MONOBLOCK AMPS, C1 LINESTAGE PRE-AMP, K1 CD/SACD PLAYER, G1 MASTER RUBIDIUM CLOCK, E02 PHONO-PRE, SILENZIO, AERIAL ACOUSTICS 20T V2, AERIAL SW12 SUBS(2), CANTON REF K1’s, VPI HRX TT w/ SDS POWER SUPPLY, ORTOFON CADENZA BLACK CART, KLAUDIO RCM, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Bryston/Esoteric System: ESOTERIC C02-X PRE-AMP, P-02X TRANSPORT, D02-X DAC, G02-X CLOCK, BRYSTON 28B3 CUBED MONOBLOCK AMPS, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2(2) AMR-DP777-SE DAC, SILENZIO, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, QUADRASPIRE RACK, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Accuphase/Canton System: ACCUPHASE E650 INTEGRATED, DP560 CD/SACD PLAYER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS530 POWER SUPPLY, CANTON REF K3’s, CANTON REF K5’s, SILENZIO, HRS MXR REFERENCE MAHOGHANY RACK w/ M3X2 SHELVES, WIREWORLD GOLD CABLES
Bryston Active System: BP26 PRE-AMP, MPS2 POWER SUPPLY, BAX-1 CROSSOVER, BDA-3 DAC, BDP-3 PLAYER, BCD-3 CD PLAYER, BIT15(2), MODEL T ACTIVE SPEAKERS, 21B3 CUBED AMPS, SILENZIO, TARGET RACK, WIREWORLD SILVER CABLES

On Deck: Accuphase E-800 inbound...
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2012, 12:23 AM
Freestone Freestone is offline
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Very nice. Thank you.

It sounds like it would be a good DAC to run a sonos into?
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2012, 12:23 AM
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redm redm is offline
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Great review and history lesson. I'm a bit surprised about the remote, I thought it would be a strong point with the leather. For me, all that matters is the USB so I hope you you can compare the upgraded MCD1100.

Also, you might steer clear of "bountiful load" in future reviews, sounds like one of my wife's books

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