SoulNote S-3 CD/SACD player & transport, D-3 DAC,..

SCAudiophile

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Sep 11, 2010
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#1
SoulNote S-3 CD/SACD player & transport, D-3 DAC...I've heard the rumblings from friends in Japan and HK and
found some info and read through the translated pages.

Would definitely like to know more about this CD/SACD player, usable as a Transport and what is reported to be a great DAC.

Both interestingly enough were built to include the concept of use of an external 10Mhz masterclock input...
 
Likes: CKKeung
Apr 11, 2018
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#2
It is about a month since I have started to use S-3 with SFZ 10M clock. The most obvious character of the sound from this machine can be summarized as no veiling of the sound. It reveals a plenty of what is recorded In clear sound. If the CD contains more higher frequency it is hard to listen but in the opposite case the entire sound by the orchestra reminds the scale and resolution with large And deep sound stage . I have not felt the superiority of SACD sound until S-3. S-3 revived my SACD/CD library. I do not think you can use this as a transport.
 

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
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#3

SCAudiophile

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Sep 11, 2010
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Greer South Carolina (USA)
#4
It is about a month since I have started to use S-3 with SFZ 10M clock. The most obvious character of the sound from this machine can be summarized as no veiling of the sound. It reveals a plenty of what is recorded In clear sound. If the CD contains more higher frequency it is hard to listen but in the opposite case the entire sound by the orchestra reminds the scale and resolution with large And deep sound stage . I have not felt the superiority of SACD sound until S-3. S-3 revived my SACD/CD library. I do not think you can use this as a transport.
Thank you....
 

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
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#5
Yesterday I started to work on the assignment given to me by SCaudiophile and Mtakeda.
I called the Esoteric showroom for a serious audition of the Esoteric K1X.

20200613_140255_HDR~3.jpg

The K1X was warmed-up and given a G-02 10M clock.
20200613_140255_HDR~4.jpg

The amps were Eaoteric C-02X preamp and Grandioso S1 stereo poweramp.
Speakers were Chario Academy Sovran.
20200613_140255_HDR~5.jpg

My frd Raymond brought cd and sacd for the audition. Here are some of them :
20200614_102757~2.jpg
20200613_142227~2.jpg
20200613_142541~2.jpg

What a surprise!
To be frank the AKM-chip-era Esoteric digital frontends are never my cup of tea.

The resistor-array-era Esoteric is a totally diff story.
There is a quantum leap in term of musicality!
:cool:

In fact I personally think that it's a bit resembling the personality of dCS.
:oops:

Let's talk more after I have listened to the Soulnote S-3 and Luxman D-10X.

But one thing is for sure : all cuurent Esoteric digital frontend owners must go to liaten to the new resistor-array-based series.
Many of you will take out your wallets at once!
:p
 

moby2004

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2018
121
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#6
Thanks for the report !
I am very curious as well and plan going for a listening once the external PSU will arrive!
 

SCAudiophile

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Sep 11, 2010
881
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180
Greer South Carolina (USA)
#7
This should be a great review in the making,...thank you!
 
Aug 26, 2012
1,431
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#8
Look forward, CK thanks for making the effort ,
 

Marcin_gps

VIP Donor/Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2015
102
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jcat.eu
#9
Thanks for the report on the K1X @CKKeung

It's on my DAC ilst to audition. I'm no longer interested in any DACs based on integrated circuits. R2R is superior imho. The only interesting DAC I heard based on D/A chip was Gryphon Kallliope, but still, the treble from Sabre is not acceptable to my ears.
 

awsmone

Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2014
1,378
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Canberra Australia
#10
+1

very interested in r2r version of esoteric, likewise the chip very were detailed but unmusical...
 

marslo

VIP/Donor
May 2, 2014
706
256
260
Poland
#11
Thanks for the report on the K1X @CKKeung

It's on my DAC ilst to audition. I'm no longer interested in any DACs based on integrated circuits. R2R is superior imho. The only interesting DAC I heard based on D/A chip was Gryphon Kallliope, but still, the treble from Sabre is not acceptable to my ears.
Marcin,
This was also my opinion when I had Lampi Big 7 with R2R PCM board.
I was sceptical about the supremacy of Pacific before Lukasz brought it to my place for the listening session.
I needed less than 2 hours to be sure that the new top of the line is superior to my beloved B7 with Duelund Cast Pio.
I am of the opinion that with the new integrated Pacific circuit this is PCM playback which mostly improved.
DSD was and still is outstanding, now PCM is equal to DSD imho. In audio designs application seems to be a key question.
I believe Esoteric with R2R could be a significant leap compared to AKM chip though.
I did not find Kalliope to be special btw, it’s probably a matter of the synergy with the system.

Sorry for OT .
 
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Likes: Marcin_gps

John57

Well-Known Member
Sep 29, 2015
185
13
48
Saudi Arabia
#12
Yesterday I started to work on the assignment given to me by SCaudiophile and Mtakeda.
I called the Esoteric showroom for a serious audition of the Esoteric K1X.

View attachment 66206

The K1X was warmed-up and given a G-02 10M clock.
View attachment 66207

The amps were Eaoteric C-02X preamp and Grandioso S1 stereo poweramp.
Speakers were Chario Academy Sovran.
View attachment 66208

My frd Raymond brought cd and sacd for the audition. Here are some of them :
View attachment 66209
View attachment 66210
View attachment 66211

What a surprise!
To be frank the AKM-chip-era Esoteric digital frontends are never my cup of tea.

The resistor-array-era Esoteric is a totally diff story.
There is a quantum leap in term of musicality!
:cool:

In fact I personally think that it's a bit resembling the personality of dCS.
:oops:

Let's talk more after I have listened to the Soulnote S-3 and Luxman D-10X.

But one thing is for sure : all cuurent Esoteric digital frontend owners must go to liaten to the new resistor-array-based series.
Many of you will take out your wallets at once!
:p
I listened to this set on YouTube and remain unconvinced they have addressed the major issue of being too sharp on leading and trailing edges of music. This gives rise to sharpness and discomfort.
Indeed I don’t know if the Esoteric design team are aware of their reputation in the market. The widespread commentary on these units’ sound signature. I prefer to deal with this at the source rather than try and fix with cables electronics or speakers. Thus I look forward to two options down the track. Listening to my D-06u stuck in the USA and perhaps later on, trying to (arrange) mod of my K03Xs.
Sadly a second problem of cds sticking in the drive persists with my unit. I’m told to spray the inside of the cd hole with some hairspray but don’t have any on hand. But this is supposed to be the definitive cd loader. In six months of ownership I’ve scratched more cds than I care to think about. At USD$250x2 shipping costs it’s a trifle annoying to say the least.

 
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SCAudiophile

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2010
881
93
180
Greer South Carolina (USA)
#13
Great feedback....thanks!
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,963
1,206
240
Hong Kong
#14
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