The ESound CD-E5 SE (Signature Edition) is a hefty player by any means. It is bigger and heavier than my power amp, and weighs 13 kilos. The casing is made out of substantial slabs of aluminium, the thinnest of which is the top plate, at 3 mm. Do the knuckle test on the side of this player and you'll hear a sound, or better the absence of a sound, that will make even high-end loudspeakers jealous. It really feels as if it is made out of solid aluminium. The side and front panels are 13 mm (half an inch) thick and the two front corners have extra chunks of aluminium attached just to make it all look even more substantial. The bottom plate is steel, and I did notice that the transport sits on an extra metal plinth for enhanced stability and isolation.
And it shows. Press 'open' and the tray rolls out with a soft, almost subsonic rumble that seems to come from deep within the machine. Nothing is flimsy with this player. All buttons have a nice solid action that feels very reassuring against the mass of this machine. It also sits very securely, with all that mass, on 4 nice rubber feet. Feature wise things are fine too, with RCA and optical digital outputs and single ended as well as balanced analogue out. To finish things off, it comes with the most solid and heavy remote control I've ever seen. It totally matches the player in build quality and was the object of jealous looks and admiring touches by visitors.
Balanced XLR / RCA outputs
24 bit/192khz DAC 64 over sampling Elna filtering Black gates
Philips transport Optical
Aluminum chassis plate
weight 28 lbs
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