arguably the maker of the best cd transport mechanism in the world, esoteric has landed in malaysia with the help of its authorised dealer, centre circle audio.

robert harley, the editor-in-chief of TAS, is currently using esoteric as his reference digital source. famed for its VRDS transport mechanism in the mid-80s till today, esoteric the brand has eluded malaysian audiophiles for some years. VRDS is inhouse developed by esoteric and said to be the finest transport mechanism ever developed. many audiophiles here are still playing older esoteric models with nary a complaint.

the business savvy folks at centre circle have so far brought in 3 models - SA60, SA10 and X03. the SA60 can play all audio formats,including SACD, CD and DVD. it features esoteric’s custom up-sampling capabilities, the same custom engineered transport mechanism (VOSP) - not VSOP the liquor, mind you - the same incredible build quality and the same incredible sound!

the custom designed VOSP transport mechanism is one of the finest made (except for esoteric’s own VRDS-NEO used in the X-01 and X-03). the VOSP transport uses esoteric’s proprietary horizontal sled and vertical pick-up/optical assembly, which eliminates off axis vertical tracking errors and the corresponding need for error correction. esoteric boldly tauts that VOSP is one hell of a killer transport and nothing “off the shelf” can compare.

give me the VSOP now! i mean, VOSP ;-) with such credentials, make an appointment to see centre circle now! (03-77282686)


Carl said...

couldnt understand why It has taken so long for the Esoteric to reach M'sia's shore.The Cd players are among the finest there ever was.And I cant help noticing that other Top notch makers of digital front are solely absent {Spectral,emm labs,wadia etc]My guess is that Most people spend all their money on amps and speaker and added CD player as an aftertought

richard said...

There is no arguing that when it come to digital transport Esoteric is King.The fact That Parent company{TEAC}invested heavily on OEM to manufacture the transport is good news.
I always feel GOOD cd front is the hardest to get right.Esoteric is one of those few that got it right

aboon said...

If you consider some so called 'hi end' manufacturer uses cheap PLASTIC lens for their laser and dvd -rom transport{I lost all my respect for Meridian when I discovered this} Esoteric products sound like a bargain.You allhas to read at how far the people at Esoteric go to make their Audiophile transport.Now that's a company that earn my respect!!!!

Ericloh said...

the peple at centre circle seems to be forward thinking..Maggielurva can you congratulate those folks on my behalf?

Julian said...

Aboon, you are touching a very sensitive subject there about Meridien!!!!!!!!!! There are a lot of Meridien owners in Malaysia you better watch out! I have to agree with you though a lot of those people would be better served spending their money on Esoteric or Wadia. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

If you like big solid and beautiful CD players, the Oracle 2500 CD players looks much better than any Esoteric CD player. And you know what, it is available in Malaysia...not sure how come you folks do not know ;-)
Check out

Anonymous said...

But the Oracle name recognition and credential cannot compare with Esoteric lah.... sound quality wise that is a different debate.

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi carl,

spectral is distributed by norman audio (019-3189911) and wadia used to be handled by absolute hifi (it still is for their singapore's HQ).

it is a complex business decision on the part of the dealers as to which brands to bring into malaysia, a tiny market no less. it is also true that most malaysian audiophiles don't place so much emphasis on digital sources.

hi julian,
it is ok for aboon to express what he feels about meridian. he is entitled to his opinion. i myself is a meridian owner and i don't feel offended at all ;-)

hi eric,
why don't you pick up the phone and call and congratulate nelson? i am sure he will be elated to receive a potential customer's endorsement ;-)

just a note for the younger audiophiles among you - we used to have many more brands in malaysia in the heyday of hifi (late 80s to 1997, before the financial crisis) and big boys like absolute hifi, audio image, elpa were adventurous in bringing in big names/brands. sadly, all these dealers have either slowed down or closed its business since.

Anonymous said...

Oracle Audio already a big brand name way back in the late 80s when Esoteric was still sold under Teac with VRDS mechanism.
Anyway, Esoteric brand is overhyped nowadays. The plain unmodded X01-D2 still loses out to a lot of players out there like EMM, Oracle, Accustic Arts etc. That's why got this company called
APL to do modding of the Esoteric X-01 player to make it outperform the rest ;-)

Anonymous said...

More here

hanson said...

To anonymous,Oracle was known mainly for it's turntable.I think The mistake that A lot of Manufacturers made is to think that if they know how to make turntables,or amplifiers it would be easy to make CD.That is why a lot of us are fed with many bad CD players.
As far as I am concerened having heard many CD players when I was in the US,You should only leave the work to the specialist.IF you Havernt heard a Spectral/EMM lab/Wadia/Esoteric you havent heard digital sound at all.period

Yong said...

Hey How come all the good stuffs are in Singapore?hong Kong.Called Normanaudio and said ihave to go to tiny dot to listen to spectral
no fair!!!!

Anonymous said...

To Hanson,
Have compared the Oracle 2500 CD player to the Esoteric X-01 D2 and preferred the Oracle, Esoteric is way overhyped, unless you of course have it mod it by APL or Reference Audio Mods in the US

Sam Elliot said...

Wow This is getting hot..
Agreed both with Hanson and anonymous,Both Esoteric and Oracle are good cd players.One of the reasons why esoteric is so hyped is because they are the only one making audiophile Quality transport at the moment.But transport is only one part of the story.As I see it you've gotseveral different group of manufacturers
1.Wadia,Esoteric,EMM Labs,Spectral;these are ROlls Royce of digital front
2.Simaudio,Metronome,Oracle ,dcs, meridian,Chord,Cary audio this are the mercedes of digital front
3.You"ve got electronic i'e amp manufacturers who got absolutely no business messing around in digital [Audio Research is a classic example;Superb tube amps but lousy Cd player


Anonymous said...

Hey what about zanden?That is beyound expensive isnt it.I believe they still doesnt upsample them to 24-bit

alain said...

To Sam,I would like to add Weiss Digital and dcs to the Rolls-Royce list.I know a lot of people would be wondering why we are talkingabout Hardware again,Well frankly you can't runaway from talking abt h'ware especially when you are talking abt Digital Music reproductions.I must say talking to my M'sian Audiophiles friends ,good digital source{together with good cables] are undervalued.
It can induce goosebums as much[if not more]as your Turntables.The secret is to listen .For long hours..thats when you hear the difference.Like day and night .Like black and white.

Anonymous said...

Bde careful about these high-end brands for a CD player...for which ones, check out the below thread

Anonymous said...

Emm Labs is only Mercedes Benz at best, the physical construction design not solid and lousy remote
Check out the pics at

Add Accustic Arts into Roll Royce category. Solid aluminium build and internals

Anonymous said...

Anybody remember the infamous Zanden review on Stereophile...
Put Zanden inside Toyota category ;-)

Here's to stir up the memories...looks good but measures like a junk

tommy said...

Dear Anonymous,
I wonder whether you have actually listened to the EMM labs and actually see,touch and feel them in person .As an owner of cdsd se/dcc2 se combo it doesnt look at all bad.Of course being Canadian[just like Oracle}they spend the money on where it matters...the sound.Granted a lot of people ,most people get deceived by the look.They say the secrect of good CD sound is you could listen to them for hours without getting tired,In this regards,the EMM labs are peerless....

Anonymous said...

Emm Labs may be good in sound, but for that kind of money paid, please invest in some cosmetics.
Thus if considered as a whole, can only be Mercedes ;-)
Built quality counts when you want to be considered as a Rolls Royce, people pay for fine detailing in addition to performance.

Besides the Audiogon censorship on selling and bad critique about EMM Labs on its websites (try posting something bad about EMM labs there and it gets removed asap) tells a lot of the insecurity about this brand


hifi newbee said...

i have always been thought by my sifu to stick to stereophile recommended components[latest oct 2007]
how come none of the digital players in the so called Rolls Royce list made it to the recommended component?
I'm confuse!!!!Maggielurva please help!!!!!!!I trust you!!!

mafan said...

Hifi newbee,
The stereophile recomended components is a very "safe"place
You wont get spectacular choice,only mainstream one.
Those in The RR team Plus some 'hardcore' japanese and italian players are better bet if you are looking"goosebum' sound
BTW confusions is part of the fun of this hobby'Wellcome to the world of Hi end.You 'll never be bored....

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi newbee,

mafan couldn't have answered it better, with humour too ;-)

my belief is - any decent piece of equipment is fundamentally good if you know how to mix and match. there are few duds in hifi over a certain price point. it is a matter of mix and match and taste and preference.

take those "recommended components" with a pinch of salt. even if you were to buy all the class A gear there is, with all your money that you have, and if you don't know how to put them together, it would still sound lousy. high end does not always equate more money spent. having said that, there is no free lunch in this world. if you want to get 5% more of the high frequency, you may have to spend 30% more, that's the rule of diminishing return. and don't be audio cheapskate either and think you RM2K system can sound better than RM20K system.

my best advice to newbies is to get and learn from a mentor who has "been there, done there", who has seen the light of the day and who is totally enlightened. not easy, but you will find one if you persevere. good luck!

Norman Audio (Malaysia) said...

Hi Yong,
Yes, the Spectral SDR-4000 CD Processor should best be auditioned in a full Spectral setup in S'pore. Nevertheless, if you have any further queries regarding Spectral and want to explore further, I can be contacted at 019-3189911.

Best regards,