This review first appeared in the August 2011 issue of hi-end hifi magazine fairaudio.de of Germany. You can also read this review of the Esoteric I-03 in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer’s signature at review’s end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or Esoteric – Ed.
Conclusion: Esoteric’s I-03 is a very complete integrated amplifier that’s free from sonic gaps or dominant voicing. While this doesn’t eliminate character, it’s first and foremost an all’rounder which convinces with its breadth of sonic virtues rather than specific highlights. Only on second listen do certain micro tendencies present themselves. The design team does prefer silky fluidity to dry rhythmic élan. The tonal balance is a few degrees warmer than dead zero and the overall milieu is one of integration, not 100% neutral separation down to the molecular level.
To go directly to the review please visit: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/esoteric21/1.html
All materials are copyrighted by FairAudio.de, 6moons.com and Esoteric.co.jp
K-03 Digital Source Device / SACD-CD transport. Winner of The Absolute Sound’s 2011 Golden Ear Award, Hong Kong Best of Show 2010 and High Fidelity of France, Refererence Standard 2010! Uses 8, 32 bit AKM D/A chipsets, 4 per channel. To read the original review directly please visit: http://www.avguide.com/review/esoteric-k-03-tas-213
April, 2011 – E-03 Phonostage Hi-Fi+ April 2011 / E-03 review
Each E-03 L/R channel has its own identical power supply transformer, power board, and audio board. By not sharing components, Esoteric has designed the E-03 for ideal signal path and separation and as a bonus, power to spare!
The E-03 contains an MC head amplifier and an NF-CR type RIAA amplifier, which ensures extensive head room and transfer, and again, power to spare. There is no microprocessor in the E-03, and thus no microprocessor noise; input and load are switched on the audio board. And the dual split chassis design prevents flux leakage from the power transducer and effectively stiffens the body, already of industrial-grade construction.
April 27th, 2009 — by Arnie Williams
Esoteric has done an outstanding job resurrecting these recordings, producing very good sound for its period, if slightly hard-edged in a way that suits the Leningrad Philharmonic well. And the recordings are in stereo. As with all Esoteric reissues, these won’t be available forever. If this music is as vital to you as it is to me, don’t procrastinate.
January, 2011 – RZ-1 Product of The Year 2010 The Absolute Sound / RZ-1 review
RZ-1 combination 32 bit PC DAC, integrated amp, phonostage and SACD-CD player named Product of the Year 2010 by The Absolute Sound!
January, 2011 – The Audio Beat / Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 4, 5 and 6 review
Tchaikovsky • Symphonies Nos. 4, 5 & 6
Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra; Eugene Mravinsky conducting
Deutsche Grammophon/Esoteric ESSG-90037/8
Two Hybrid Stereo SACDs
January, 2011 – D-07 32 bit DAC Hi Fidelity France (In French). / D-07 review
D-07 32 bit dual mono DAC/Pre-amp scores 97 out of 100 in France!
November, 2010 – MG-20 recommended by TAS / On-line buyers guide 2010 / MG-20 review
MG-20 loudspeakers recommended by Playback on Line /TAS A/V Buyers Guide 2010
First feedback from Stereophile Magazine on Esoteric’s new E-03 phono-stage. Full review appears in the December 2010 issue of Stereophile.
August, 2010 – SoundStage Network / D-07 review
July, 2010 – The Audio Beat / X-01D2 review
June, 2010 – AVGuide.com / MG-10 review
June, 2010 – SoundStage Networks / A-03 review
March, 2010 – The Absolute Sound / SA-50 review
March, 2010 – SoundStage Networks / AI-10 review
February, 2010 – Dagogo on-line / D-05 review
February, 2010 – SoundStage Networks / E-03 review
December, 2009 – The Music Room Scotland reviews the A-03 / A-03 review
“The A-03 is a masterpiece which reviewers should compare to amplifiers at any price point. I don’t think you will find an amplifier better made. Sound, as always, depends on system synergy and personal taste. I suspect that Mr Ohmachi has played a major role here therefore we get a product of profound experience and craftsmanship.”Jack Lawson, The Music Room, Glasgow, Scotland.
“the Class-A 50W A03 stereo power amplifier ($12,000) were sounding pretty special driving large Verity Audio speakers. Punchy, yet not forced, Dvorak’s New World Symphony, filled the room with vivid, dynamic sound.
The A-03 is pure Class-A and completely dual mono. It sports two independent high capacity toroidal transformers, and current delivery of 24 amps (17 amps continuous. It’s beautifully built. ” – WesPhilips Stereophile CES 2009 Show Report
“If you are looking for the vaunted qualities of class A amplification implemented without any concession and pushed to the limit, check out the Esoteric A-03. It’s a real seducer”. – 6moons audio – Frederic Beudot
November, 2009 – HiFi Unlimited / SA-50 review
November, 2009 – www.6moons.com / E-03 review
November, 2009 – SoundStage Networks / SA-50 review
October, 2009 – AVGuide.com – Timing Is Everything / G-0Rb review
August, 2009 – Enjoy the Music.com / Dvorak – From The New World review
August, 2009 – Enjoy the Music.com / Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 20 review
August, 2009 – www.6moons.com – Audio Review / SA-50 review
August, 2009 – AVGuide.com / P-03 / D-03 review
May, 2009 – The Absolute Sound / A-100 review
March, 2009 – Hi-Rez Highway / X-05 review
March, 2009 – www.6moons.com / Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 20 review
March, 2009 – www.6moons.com / 7N-DA2100 review
March, 2009 – www.6moons.com / Beethoven – Overtures review
February, 2009 – The Absolute Sound / X-05 review
…”The Esoteric X-05 is a CD/SACD player that makes you want to gather very compact disc in your collection and give it another spin. And all the more so if you’re still listening to vinyl. Its that good”…………… …Neil Gader.
January, 2009 – Audiophile Audition / Beethoven – Overtures review
January, 2009 – Dagogo on-line / Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 20 review
December, 2008 – SoundStage Networks – Reviewers Choice Award…Dec. 2008 / C-03 review
November, 2008 – Tech Radar UK and Hi Fi Choice UK / X-05 review
November, 2008 – TechRadar.com / X-05 review
November, 2008 – Dagogo / AI-10 review
November, 2008 – www.6moons.com / X-05 review
October, 2008 – Positive Feedback on line / MG-20 review
October, 2008 – Home Theater Review / DV-60 review
August, 2008 – Stereophile – Class “A” rating – October 2008 / MG-20 review
July, 2008 – High Fidelity / France / X-01D2 review
June, 2008 – The Absolute Sound – June/July 2008 Golden Ear Award and The Absolute Sound – Dec. 2007.. MG-20 loudspeakers original review / MG-20 review
June, 2008 – SoundStage Networks / A-100 review
June, 2008 – UltraAudio.com / MG-20 review
May, 2008 – SoundStage Networks / MG-10 review
May, 2008 – HiFi+ / X-01D2 review
May, 2008 – Jazz Times (Last 6 paragraphs). / UZ-1 review
May, 2008 – 6moons.com / A-100 / C-03 review
March, 2008 – The Absolute Sound – Issue #180, page 124 / G-0Rb review
Comments by Robert Harley, Editor in Chief…”The Esoteric G-0Rb Master Clock Generator rendered a much bigger gain in musical realism that I would have thought possible… It had a liquidity, ease, and naturalness that I’ve never heard before from digital audio reproduction. The hardness in the midrange, the glassy shattering sound on leading-edge transients, and the dynamic constriction were all gone, replaced by a silky smooth yet powerful rendering… more vivid… involving… sounding more like the real thing and less like synthetic recreations.” ……. Comments by Robert Harley at Enjoy The Music.com from an earlier editorial on the G-0Rb that appears below …” I recently installed the Esoteric G-ORb rubidium clock in my digital front end, expecting perhaps a small-to-moderate step up from the already outstanding Esoteric P-03 transport and D-03 digital-to-analog converter. What I heard not only made my jaw drop at the stunning improvement, but showed that a significant limitation in digital sound quality is timing imprecision.”