Insider with Robert Harley -- Esoteric Universal Transport & DAC

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Digital-to-analog converters
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Esoteric D-03 DAC
Insider with Robert Harley -- Esoteric Universal Transport & DAC

Esoteric P-03 Universal Disc Transport & D-03 Digital-to-Analog Converter

I've just returned from a visit to the U.S. headquarters of TEAC, parent company of the Esoteric brand of high-end disc players. I was there researching Esoteric's unique technologies, primarily their unparalleled disc-transport mechanisms, in preparation for my review of the company's P-03 Universal Disc Transport and D-03 digital-to-analog converter in The Absolute Sound Issue 171.

After spending the day learning about the engineering behind the Esoteric mechanismsâincluding lots of hands-on time with raw transport parts and transport assembliesâI came away amazed by the products' technical sophistication, as well as by the Herculean design and engineering dedication required to create these mechanisms. Watch for my full review and technical exposition in TAS 171. In the meantime, I can tell you that the P-O3 and D-03 combination is extraordinary, both in its capabilities and sound. I'll also report on the brand new Esoteric SZ-1, a $3995 universal disc player that attempts to bring Esoteric's technologies to a lower price point.

I'll also use the review to explore the question of how differences in the digital signal recovered from a disc produce an analog-like variability in the analog output signal.

Esocteric D-03 Converter