In an area as competitive as this, with rivals including the heavyweight QED and Chord, combined with a smashing new cable from AudioQuest in the shape of the FLX-SLiP 14/4, Ecosse has it all to do to secure five stars for the CS 2.3.
Used as part of a reference system consisting of an Audiolab 8200CD player, Roksan Caspian M2 integrated amplifier, ATC SCM11 standmounters and Chord CrimsonPlus interconnects (all Award-winners in 2011), first impressions are good.
Ecosse CS 2.3: PerformanceWe set the ball rolling with Nine Days' End Up Alone, a showpiece of dynamics with sharp, thwacking snare drums and jangling, subtle guitars (not to mention a faint whistle tone right at the start – see if you can pick it out).
The Ecosse is nuanced, and also helps music sound reasonably bouncy and energetic. It doesn't convey the same dynamic range as the likes of Atlas's Equator 2.0 OFC or the aforementioned AudioQuest, but we do really like its easygoing approach.
It's a solid sound, well rounded and easy to listen to. For some folk that's more than enough to seal the deal, but we can't help wanting a little more dynamic punch.
More after the break
Overall, it's an inoffensive listen – it won't annoy you (which is a big plus), but then again, it might not make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up (which would be a big bonus). So, four stars it is.