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  #11  
Old 10-21-2020, 04:54 AM
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andreantunes andreantunes is offline
Andre Antunes
 
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Location: Lisbon, Portugal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crumhorn View Post
When my Esoteric X-05 SACD self-destructed this summer, I, too, looked into the Ruby vs the SA-10 (among others.) All my ICs are currently single-ended, as I like the ability to switch to my Hovland preamp sometimes, and it has no balanced connections. There seemed to be near-universal agreement that the SA-10 was better, but by how much varied person (& system) to Person. I also asked Marantz America what the differences were. They said that in addition to the balanced circuitry & shielded transformer, select components in the signal path (caps, resistors, etc.) of the SA-10 were of a higher quality.

Here is the opinion someone voiced in response to this question on a different forum: "The SA-10 has the same sonic character as the Ruby. The SA-10 just offers a bit more of everything. Piano has more weight, soundstage is wider and deeper, everything is just a bit more real. I think the SA-10 is a really special piece and the Ruby isn’t far behind at significantly lower cost. It is a real value for how great it sounds. I use my SA-10 as a DAC through its digital inputs most of the time, but it really sounds best spinning discs. You can’t go wrong with either option."

I ended up ordering the SA-10 (at the end of July.) I was informed a few days ago that it had finally shipped from Japan. I can't wait. If a comparably-priced Luxman had been available, I would have considered that as well.

SOTA Cosmos TT (vacuum, Electronic Flywheel), SME V, Koetsu Rosewood Signature
Marantz SA-10 SACD player, Alesis ML-9600 mastering CD burner, Nakamichi 700 ZXE Cassette Deck
Pass Labs XP-15 phono stage
Pass Labs XP-30 (SS) & Hovland HP-100 (tube) preamps
Edge G8+ laser-biased monoblocks & Classé M-700 monoblocks
Rockport Atria & Infinity IRS Beta Speakers
Audience AU24 SX Phono cable, MIT Shotgun ICs, Shunyata Alpha SCs
Revelation Audio Labs 'Passage' CryoSilver Reference DualConduit DB-25 umbilical cables for Pass XP-30
Shunyata Denali 6000T power conditioner (on BBA platform), Shunyata Alpha NR, Delta NR, & Venom HC PCs. Also PS8 & 2 Venom Defenders.
Audio Magic Ultimate SHD Bees Wax Fuse, Synergistic Research Blue & Black fuses, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses
Klaudio LP200 ultrasonic RCM
Hi,
I'm considering upgrading my source in the next months/years.
I was leaning towards the Esoteric K-05Xs but have been reading a lot of great stuff about the SA-10 from Marantz. Price is not that different and both give you the ability to use as DAC which would be great for me to hook my streamer.
Just curious. Why didn't you stick to Esoteric? Do you find the SA-10 a better sounding machine?
Thank you!
Greetings from Lisbon, Portugal
__________________
Plinius Hautonga amp, Monitor Audio PL200II speakers, CA 851N streamer, Pioneer PL15

Last edited by andreantunes; 10-21-2020 at 04:56 AM. Reason: typo
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  #12  
Old 10-28-2020, 03:08 AM
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Crumhorn Crumhorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreantunes View Post
Hi,
I'm considering upgrading my source in the next months/years.
I was leaning towards the Esoteric K-05Xs but have been reading a lot of great stuff about the SA-10 from Marantz. Price is not that different and both give you the ability to use as DAC which would be great for me to hook my streamer.
Just curious. Why didn't you stick to Esoteric? Do you find the SA-10 a better sounding machine?
Thank you!
Greetings from Lisbon, Portugal
Well, there are several reasons:

Firstly, contrary to the review I had read in The Absolute Sound, in my system the Esoteric X-05 never sounded as good as the reviewer said it did. It didn't have as much depth, dimensionality, naturally-rich timbre or analog-like "bloom" as I wanted. But played through the the tubed Hovland preamp for the first 7 years it was good enough. But for the last 3 years I have primarily used the Pass XP-30 for practical reasons, & the X-05 sounded "thinner", far more "digital" & usually less like real music through more-revealing Pass preamp. (Although a small number of recordings actually sounded better.) Whether that's a reflection of my system as a whole, or my musical preferences, or the Esoteric's performance, is hard to say. Perhaps a bit of all 3. So I was hoping for a more analog-sounding player this go round.

Secondly, I was not a happy camper about the much-vaunted Esoteric transport self-destructing, even though it was 10 years old. And there is only one authorized repair facility in the whole U.S., 3000 miles away from me, & if they needed a part from Japan it might take many months.

Thirdly, I did look into getting a new Esoteric, and was advised by 2 different, & trustworthy, Esoteric dealers that Esoteric had temporarily "abandoned" the U.S.: high-value orders they had already placed were unfilled, their calls to Esoteric were being ignored, & they eventually had to offer refunds (& apologies) to their customers. That was the final straw for me: I wrote off Esoteric & looked elsewhere. (Although apparently they are now back in the U.S. market, using a different distribution network.)

All that being said, I have seen some reviews, & read the Esoteric Forums of another online site, and the new Esoteric "XD" series (K-03XD & K-01XD) have gotten rave reviews & are supposed to sound far less "digital" & far more "real" than their predecessors. (Although not as analog as the Luxman D-10X.) But all those models are far more expensive than the SA-10 or the K-05Xs. I don't know if the Esoteric K-05Xs has the "older" sound or sounds more like the XD models, or if there will eventually be a K-05XD.

I would have considered a similarly-priced Luxman as well, but they discontinued all their old models, and so far have only released the D-10X, which I would love, but can't afford. There are not many choices for an SACD player between $5,000 & $12,000 in the U.S., so I went with the Marantz.

I can't comment on the sound of the SA-10 in my system, as I still haven't received it! (I ordered it in July.) Apparently Covid affected the supply chain. It is finally in transit, so I should have it soon.

If you have a chance to listen to the Esoteric in addition to the Marantz, see what you think... Good luck with your choice!


SOTA Cosmos TT (vacuum, Electronic Flywheel), SME V, Koetsu Rosewood Signature
Marantz SA-10 SACD player, Alesis ML-9600 mastering CD burner, Nakamichi 700 ZXE Cassette Deck
Pass Labs XP-15 phono stage
Pass Labs XP-30 (SS) & Hovland HP-100 (tube) preamps
Edge G8+ laser-biased monoblocks & Classé M-700 monoblocks
Rockport Atria & Infinity IRS Beta Speakers
Audience AU24 SX Phono cable, MIT Shotgun ICs, Shunyata Alpha v1 SCs
Revelation Audio Labs 'Passage' CryoSilver Reference DualConduit DB-25 umbilical cables for Pass XP-30
Shunyata Denali 6000T power conditioner (on BBA platform), Shunyata Alpha NR v1, Delta NR v1, & Venom HC PCs. Also PS8 & 2 Venom Defenders.
Audio Magic Ultimate SHD Bees Wax Fuse, Synergistic Research Blue & Black fuses, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses
Klaudio LP200 ultrasonic RCM

Last edited by Crumhorn; 10-28-2020 at 01:20 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-29-2020, 02:05 PM
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andreantunes andreantunes is offline
Andre Antunes
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Posts: 22
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Dear Crumhorn,

Thank you so much for taking your time to write such a
thorough reply to my question. Sorry to hear about your disapointment with Esoteric regarding performance and customer service. Totally understand your position.
Really curious about the Marantz performance compared to the Esoteric. Please let us know about your impressions.

Thank you and greetings from Portugal
Andre
__________________
Plinius Hautonga amp, Monitor Audio PL200II speakers, CA 851N streamer, Pioneer PL15
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