Home Hi-Fi Terrason Audio shows off Esoteric gear

Terrason Audio shows off Esoteric gear

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Terrason Audio shows off Esoteric gear

Recently, Dutch Audio importer Terrason Audio announced that they have been allowed to embrace the wonderful, Japanese brand Esoteric. This of course calls for a cozy introduction event! We traveled to the Winkel van Sinkel in Utrecht to admire some fine equipment.

Fans will know that Esoteric is – simply put – the high-end branch of TEAC. And pro enthusiasts will probably also know that TASCAM is part of that again. But let’s keep the focus on Esoteric.

History

Esoteric as a brand in itself is not very old. The brand was founded in 1983. However, the parent company – TEAC – has been in business since 1953.

Esoteric is especially famous for its famous VRDS drive mechanisms. And let’s face it: those are also really insanely beautiful drives. All new players from Esoteric have VRDS drives that can play both CDs and SACDs.

In addition to the VRDS-drives, the Japanese high-end brand also offers reference clocks, amplifiers and streamers, dacs and record players. And as befits the Japanese: everything is considered in the development and production of an Esoteric device. From the floating top plate to decoupled feet to the momentums of screw tightening.

Music

In front of us is an Esoteric F-01 integrated amplifier. This delivers 2 x 30 watts in class A. The beauty of this amplifier is that an upgrade is possible with an external power supply. This can feed the preamplifier. We listened with and without the power supply.

Below the amplifier is the N-05XD streamer and G-05 master clock (10 MHz). This combination was used as the source.

Finally, the amplifier drives a pair of Vivid Kaya 45. A fairly compact speaker, but with dynamics and power that is unprecedented. What a special speaker that is!

First impression

Esoteric Event

Now, of course, this is not a review. After all: we have heard three tracks, we don’t know the room ánd we don’t know the system.

The first impression left by this system is that it plays with remarkable smoothness and ease. It’s all very insightful, soft and pleasant. We know that the Vivids play very cleanly and can be critical of the source. So the fact that we hear no roughness says something about the Esoteric gear.

As mentioned, we played with and without the optional power supply. That difference is very audible and – if the budget allows the stretch – a no-brainer. The power supply lifts the amplifier up a class. More depth, and less coloration. Striking: usually you get more warmth and power, but that is not the case now. Rather, a veil goes off.

Top-tier stuff

Now here we are talking about a system with a serious price tag. So it should also just play well. And fortunately, it did.

Still, we want to make a small addition. Those in the market for devices in this class should consider themselves very lucky. However, also know that there is quite some choice. And to be fair: it is all top notch gear. Whether it’s Ayre, Pass labs, Moon, Esoteric, Mark Levinson or McIntosh, for example…. it’s just fine gear. And depending on taste, something fits or not….

What matters in the end is that you get well informed by a decent dealer who takes decent time and prepares good demos. Don’t go overnight… compare… let it sink in…. and preferably try it at home on your own gear and in your own room!

Pictures Terrason Event

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