The Munich High End show wrapped up nearly a month ago and being such a vast show we are still seeing show reviews and videos coming out. For us, we travel out there each year to make sure we have the latest and most excellent high fidelity products on the market!!! The German beers and bratwurst are merely a happy by-product of the show.
This year, I went intending to find another reference digital source, one that offered something a little different to our current range but also complements our selection of reference amplifiers and speakers.
So in between all the meetings scheduled, I mapped out my tour of highlighted rooms and started my critical listening. Funnily enough, it was one of the first rooms I entered that gripped me most and despite there being plenty of options and stunning systems at the show... It was this particular signature that I kept coming back to.
After visiting all on my to-do list, I wandered back for an extended listen. The room in question belonged to Esoteric where they were showing off their Grandioso C1 PreAmp, M1 Monos and all new D1X mono block DACs, G1 Master clock and P1X SACD among many other goodies. It was one of the smaller demonstration rooms at the show and some difficult acoustics to work with, but there was a high level of detail resolved, Esoteric had a remarkable ability to delve deep into the recordings with an uncoloured truth, and this is what I had been looking for.
So no messing around, mission accomplished, deal signed and sealed!!! This week we're fortunate enough to start receiving our demo stock and have been giving them a little burning in time.
Upon unboxing, the first thing to strike you is their solid aluminium chassis, with sleek curved corners and striking lines! Certainly looks and feels the part of being a reference audio brand. I've spent most of the last couple of evenings listening to a wide range of music, with even a little Flamenco thrown into the mix and a fantastic rendition of Fever by Petra Magoni & Ferruccio Spinetti. The results? Captivating and immersive! I was using the Esoteric G-02X master Clock, D-05X DAC and N-03T Network transport being fed into a Boulder 1110 pre with 1160 Power Amp running some Marten Mingus Quintet speakers. The Boulder/Marten combination is very transparent in nature and superb at revealing what your source is actually supplying. I am delighted to say Esoteric did not falter; a magnificent digital front and one worth auditioning if you are looking for the pinnacle in digital audio playback.
Esoteric has always had a unique way of approaching digital playback, the most obvious is their implementation of the "ES-Link" which has since trickled down from their Grandioso series. It looks like an HDMI connection and links between the source and DAC for broadband PCM digital transmission of up to 22.5MHz DSD and 48bit/768kHz PMC. Furthermore, they put a significant emphasis on their clock circuits, internally D-02, P-02 employing voltage controlled crystal oscillators (VCXO) which gives a highly accurate clock signal to the digital channel to reduce jitter and distortion. Additionally, they provide you with an upgrade path to use an external clock. Esoteric manufacture their own "Master Clocks" using oven controlled crystal oscillators (OCXO) in the G-02X and Rubidium Oscillators in the G-01X and Grandioso G1 for a clock signal accurate down to +/- 0.05 parts per billion. The result of all this, is a more accurate and spatial sound, musicians and vocalists more precisely placed in space and one which has to be experienced.
If you wish to have a listen to any of the equipment above, please feel free to give us a call or drop us an email to arrange a demonstration. We will also be organising an open day with Esoteric to show off their marvelous equipment.