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Anyone use the Esotric D-03?

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I brought my BADA to a friend's house today to hear it in the context of a much higher end system. He writes reviews and gets to spend time with "samples". I also suspect that he gets good pricing on the items that he purchases but that is the subject for another post.

We inserted the BADA between his esoteric x-01 and his JRDG Criterion pre and listened to redbook using the bada to decode and then letting the x-01 do the work. Everyone's taste is different but fo rme I preferred the esoteric doing its own decoding in his system. The test was far from scientific. All I really took away from it was that I wanted to hear an esoteric dac in my system taking data from a lynx card. He suggested the d-03. I am pretty sure it is also about 3x time cost but I am curious if anyone here has used one.

The x-01 sounded so much better doing it's own decoding that it almost makes me want to have a disk player again (almost.).

Thanks in advance for your comments.


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I have a D-05 and G-03X, both purchased pre-owned. The G-03X clocks both the D-05 and my Lynx AES16e. I think the combo is awesome. . .the D-03 would be somewhat better.


BPT 3.5 Ultra/Reference 3A Reflectors/MSB Technology S201 Amplifier/MSB Technology Analog DAC/MSB Technology Network Renderer/Audirvana +

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Honestly, it's difficult for me to get a handle on the effect of the stand-alone clock. The D-05 can also serve as a master clock, but I've never taken the time to make a comparison.


I've also never tried to compare externally clocked vs. using the Lynx's clock feeding the D-05. I'm fooling around with that now, as one downside of using an external clock is that you sacrifice the convenience of automatic sample rate adjustment. I just started using the latest (unstable) release of Play which has this feature, but comparisons are not easy to make due to the need to switch settings on both the D-05 and the Lynx.


BPT 3.5 Ultra/Reference 3A Reflectors/MSB Technology S201 Amplifier/MSB Technology Analog DAC/MSB Technology Network Renderer/Audirvana +

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Greetings, I am the friend that Jimmy has mentioned.


Berkeley was inserted in my system consisting of Esoteric X-01 Limited, Jeff Rowland Criterion pre, Rowland 312 stereo amp, Vienna Mahler speakers, all wiring/cabling/pc was Furutech Flux seires, power distribution was Furutech ETP-309. All components were powered from 309. 309 was connected to a dedicated outlet. Only heterogeneous connection was coax for connectin Alpha to X-01 provided by Jimmy with a BNC2RCA converter at the X-01 end.


Furutech material are review samples. Rest of system is my own. Breakin on all components in several thousand hrs. including relevant inputs on Criterion pre. Breakin of wiring is approx 1,000 hrs.


Pure X-01 connected to XLR input 2 on Criterion. Alpha connected to Criterion XLR input 1.


Alpha DAC appears to have slightly better deep bass definition/handling than X-01 Limited. But starting with mid bass, a hump appears that creates non specificity and a humming on string bass, percussion etc. . . the hump appears to continue into the midrange. Treble of Alpha is slightly more emphasized than on X-01, but suffers of some slight raggedness and can intermodulate on chords and transients. General impression is of a slightly more energetic but also fatiguing presentation and less transparency than X-01.


Granted, the coax wire we used may not have been ideal.


Regards, Guido



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much more clearly put guido. It was a truly ear opening experience. For me, the next step is to try and seperate "transport" limitations from "dac" limitations if that makes any sense. I really like the user interface that I have with the pc based system. I have a little netbook that I use as a remote and I like media monkey. But for me the steo up in quality that we experienced yesterday was just too big to ignore.

I hope that my equiment envy didnt read through too much in my original post...


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