I am thinking of buying either the Marantz SA-7S1, Esoteric X-05 or Ayre C-5xeMP cd/sacd player. Would welcome any advice or recommendations. Thanks !
If you look at actually what most of the reviewers own, it's the Ayre. Mark Michelsen, wes philips, john atkinson, and a few others actually paid their money for the ayre. the ayre also plays all formats. you will be looking to purchase sacds and dvd-a's as they sound glorious. maybe the best one box player there is. ayre also are generous with their upgrade program. the mp upgrade is $200. the downside is it is a small company run by a guy who almost got killed in an accident a couple of years ago. if he goes, so does the company.
esoteric introduces new models every 3 months. is one model better than another? they all sound different, not better to my ears. this kills the resale value.
marantz killed their brand a while back when they got into mid-fi. it's kind of like mercedes producing a yugo with a mercedes logo. although their stuff gets reviewed positively occasionally, no audiophiles really are rabid about it. even if it is good, and you don't have confidence in your taste, you will always be wondering if there is something better. the brand is dead.
as always, best to listen for yourself, of course.
Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I live in a small town in Asia with no high end hi fi dealers - so I have to buy my products based on reviews. I have actually decided on the Ayre and have just placed the order for 1 unit from an overseas dealer. I hope it lives up to the reviews .
In the same boat you are. Also looking at the C5xeMP. Have seen very few people who don't like it. Most seem to love it. Appears to take a VERY long time to break in. Don't judge it to quickly. Please post how you like it.
Thanks for your advice. I don't have access to high end hi-fi dealers where I live so I buy based on reviews. Anyway I have placed my order for the Ayre C-5exMP. Can't wait !!!