To Uday Reddy,
I read your interesting review of the Luxman L-509u and I would like to ask if you know how the Luxman DU-80 universal player sounds compared to the Wadia 581ise? Have you had a chance to compare it to an Esoteric player? Some owners of the DU-80 said that this player sounds too soft. Is that real? I am asking because I have a fair offer to buy this player and I do not want to own a player that sounds dull with slow and inaccurate bass. My other my audio gear includes Zingali HM112 loudspeakers, a Graaf GM 20 power amplifier, and a GM 12.5B preamp. Thank you a lot for your answer.
I've been a Wadia partisan since 2000. While I really liked the sound of the 581ise, and even considered buying it, the DU-80 was clearly the better of the two players. Additionally, the DU-80 plays both DVD-A and DVD-V discs, making it more flexible. Although I've not had a chance to hear any Esoteric players, reviews of their universal disc players and CD/SACD players have been uniformly positive, so they would be worthwhile to have on your list of players to audition.
With your tube-based Graaf amplification, I can understand your concerns with regard to softness in the bass. While it was not in a review situation, nor in my own system, I did hear the DU-80 paired with a tube-based Luxman integrated amp and I did not hear any evidence of softness or dullness in the lower frequencies; the bass was very tight and tuneful. The only way to know for sure is to audition the DU-80 in your own system, if that's possible. . . . Uday Reddy