Replace a PS DSDAC and DSMP with an Esoteric K-03XD?

So, anyone feel this move would be a sonic improvement? Replace a PS DSDAC and DSMP for an Esoteric K-03XD.

Honest thoughts.

Anyone make this move? Anyone ever demo an Esoteric?

Well I’ve demo’d Esoteric products (not sure about that particular one), but never heard the DSD, so can’t comment directly.

That said, Esoteric dacs are known for having a very neutral sound, with high clarity, and this also my impression comparing them with many other dacs. From what I’ve read on these forums, historical DSD was much warmer, although Sunshine (or Sunrise, whatever the final update was called) was reportedly less warm and more neutral.

If you are looking for more neutrality, it might be worth exploring would be my guess, but if not maybe not?? Dunno that’s about as much as I could say

Contact me :
Will tell you all about my K-03XD I’m going to list very soon.

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@waymanchen11 uses an Esoteric SACD transport, and an Esoteric digital transport (streamer) with PSA DS DAC. He could give you some insights into his experience!

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I can’t comment on the sound quality comparison you’re asking about. But for sheer quality of construction, the Esoteric is peerless imo. Everything about it, every tactile interaction is magnificent and leaves me understanding the price.
That said, I’m very pleased with my PST/DSD. And I’m a “separates” kind of guy. I don’t want my DAC playing in the same box as my transport. It’s just a thing with me.


I have some experience with the characteristics of Esoteric gears.
Esoteric has a romantic, full, rich sound, but it has speed, detail and is very transparent as well. It has an extraordinary sense of ease to the sound also, much like the PS Audio DAC’s sound that I love. That is why they pair so beautifully together for me. One reason I didn’t get an Esoteric Dac also was I got the PS Audio DAC first and it sounded so good together, I didn’t have the urge to change the DAC, especially after all the mods I did on it. Actually I’m waiting for PS Audio’s upcoming DAC’s to upgrade. The other reason I didn’t go for an Esoteric DAC is it doesn’t have I2S inputs. To play higher rate materials, I would have to use USB which probably would be OK with Esoteric, but I’m used to the superiority of I2S.
As to my feelings about a SACD player with built in DAC, I’m With @RonP on this one. Keep it separate for the best sound possible.

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I currently have an PS DS DAC with latest ( last firmware ), and a Signature Aesthetix Pandora DAC . I use a Aesthetix Signature Janus preamp and Maggie 20.7, JL Audio F113V2 subs. PS Audio BHK 300 mono’s with mostly MG Audio cables. I like the sound on the Aesthetix Pandora over the PSA. It’s better base, more open organic sound. Wider, deeper soundstage. Nor natural, same level of detail. I still enjoy the PS Audio DAC it’s no slouch, just mentioning what I like better. All powered by a pair of P20’s

Contact me : xxxx
Will tell you all about my K-03XD I’m going to list very soon.

@twablt I edited your post above to remove your email address so it is not picked up by a bot or otherwise misused. I suggest you send it direct via PM.

I would have but have never used PM before.
A little guidance from you would be nice.

I don’t want a silver one. Black

I have a silver K-03XD.
I’m here if you change you mind.

Sending a PM is easy, just click on the user’s name. In the upper right of the little window which opens, click on Message. This allows you to send a private message to that user.

Please let me now if you need further assistance of any kind.