ESOTERIC K-05XD SACD/CD PLAYER / DAC
SACD/CD Player x DAC
Available in Black and Silver
The core model of ESOTERIC Super Audio CD players, the K-05, is finally available in an XD edition.
The design platform is completely revamped and now features VRDS-ATLAS and Master Sound Discrete DAC / Clock circuitry. This is an arrival of a completely new Super Audio CD player.
The first K-05 model was introduced in 2011, evolved into the K-05X in 2015, and K-05Xs in 2018. It has become the best-selling model at the heart of the ESOTERIC K Series. The K-05XD inherits the philosophy of the historic K-05 series but is totally redesigned as a Super Audio CD player; completely
different from the previous 05 models by way of revamping it with an all-new design platform.
A new VRDS-ATLAS transport mechanism “ATLAS 05” is designed exclusively
for this model, and the DAC section employs a discrete circuit with the “Master Sound Discrete DAC” to further refine the music reproduction capability.
The VRDS-NEO Super Audio CD transport mechanism, which has been adopted
by some of the world’s most prominent brands, and its superior performance,
which inherits the technical essence of the flagship models of the day, have has
been highly acclaimed and have won numerous audio awards worldwide.
Incorporating the fruits of our labour resulting from the development of the Grandioso G1X master clock generator, a unique discrete clock circuit for built-in players, the “Master Sound Discrete Clock for Digital Player” is employed.
An enlarged double-layer chassis accommodates the upgraded ATLAS mechanism,
each larger circuit block, and the power supply section, while it’s the elegant appearance of the K-05XD, – which is even closer now to the upper models, –
subtly asserts the richness of its content, worthy of being called a major innovation.
NEW VRDS-ATLAS “ATLAS 05”
The VRDS mechanism continues to evolve. The biggest highlight in its illustrious history is the new VRDS-ATLAS platform, which boasts the highest level of perfection and sound quality. The K-05XD edition qualifies utilizes the “VRDS-ATLAS Reference”, a flagship mechanism quality employed in Grandioso models, and is equipped with the newly designed VRDS-ATLAS “ATLAS 05”, which is exclusive to K-05XD.
ATLAS 05 – MECHANICAL CONSTRUCTION
Polycarbonate, the same material as the disc, contributes to natural sound quality with little coloration, and the hybridization with spoke-shaped aluminum effectively disperses vibration modes associated with high-speed rotation, successfully minimizing rotation noise and rotation inertia, while the bridge section supporting the turntable is larger and wider than that of the VRDS-NEO, and is made of a machined aluminum block 10 mm thick with a beautiful hairline finish, while its high rigidity and heavy weight construction effectively eliminate vibrations that affect sound quality.
WIDE AND LOW CENTER OF GRAVITY
Key to the VRDS-ATLAS design concept is mechanical grounding technology, which dampens vibrations more efficiently. The entire mechanism is designed with a wide and low profile design to achieve a low center of gravity. At the same time, by mounting the turntable drive motor on the underside of the turntable, the path for vibration to be grounded is greatly shortened and mechanical noise is reduced. The tray is minimally hollowed out to increase rigidity, and a plastic stopper prevents resonance when the tray is stored.
CHASSIS CONSTRUCTION AND COMPONENT LAYOUT
With the complete renewal of the 05 series, the chassis has undergone the most significant evolution in terms of appearance. To accommodate a larger ATLAS mechanism than the VRDS NEO and to further enhance the scale of the circuitry, a dual layer large chassis is employed instead of the previous slim, single-layer chassis, while maintaining the same depth. The VRDS-ATLAS transport mechanism is center-placed and rigidly fixed to a 5mm-thick steel bottom chassis via a 2mm-thick steel base plate, while the entire chassis is then supported at three points by a unique pin-point foot (Japan Patent No. 4075477 and 3778108).
Like upper class models, the bottom chassis has been laser cut with slits to effectively disperse and suppress vibrations from the rotating mechanism. Inside the dual layer chassis, audio circuit boards are mainly placed on the upper layer and power supply circuits and transformers on the lower layer to prevent magnetic flux leakage and vibration, and to minimize power supply wiring to refine the pure tone quality.
SEMI-FLOATING TOP PANEL
The semi-floating structure of the top panel, which is not tightened with screws, brings out extensive and open sound.
MASTER SOUND DISCRETE DAC
By assembling circuits with discrete components that have been carefully examined, we aim to perfectly reproduce the “vibrancy” and “energy” of music, which cannot be achieved with integrated chips. The pride of Esoteric’s top engineering team has been put to the test in the Master Sound Discrete DAC, a discrete D/A converter designed completely in-house.
The Master Sound Discrete DAC was first installed in the Grandioso D1X and was highly acclaimed for its live sound. On the K-05XD, it condenses the essence of the Grandioso K1X version, but with a simplified circuit configuration that takes the 05 series to a new horizon. The DAC consists of 16 elements per channel, and each element consists of components such as clock drivers, logic circuits, capacitors, and resistors, while each key component is independent of each other, and the luxurious configuration is a direct extension of the philosophy of the high-end models, so that all the energy of the music is output in its purest form.
HIGH PERFORMANCE DIGITAL PROCESSING
Employing a proprietary Delta-Sigma modulator supporting 64bit/512Fs, the K-05XD supports the latest formats including DSD 22.5MHz playback. The FPGA digital processing algorithms for optimal playback of DSD and PCM, respectively, are dedicated algorithms developed for the Master Sound Discrete DAC.
ESOTERIC-HCLD, A UNIQUE OUTPUT BUFFER CIRCUIT
The Esoteric-HCLD (High Current Line Driver) output buffer amplifier employs a device that boasts an astonishingly high-speed slew rate of 2,000V/μs, which represents the response speed. The most important current transmission capability and speed for analog output circuits are pursued to the limit, reproducing the reality of music with breathtaking dynamic range.
In addition to line connections (XLR, RCA), ES-LINK Analog, Esoteric’s original current transmission method, is employed for connection to an amplifier. By taking advantage of the powerful current supply capability of the HCLD buffer circuit, the signal is less affected by the impedance of the signal path and can be transmitted powerfully, maximizing the potential of the compatible equipment.
POWERFUL POWER SUPPLY
With the all-new design platform, the power supply section is enhanced to more than twice the circuit scale of the previous model, adding even more punch and depth to the tone. A total of two high-capacity toroidal transformers are installed to provide independent digital and analog power supplies. In addition, a separate EI core power transformer dedicated to the control section provides lower noise and purer reproduction capability.
LOW FEEDBACK DC REGULATOR/SUPERCAPACITOR
The power supply regulator is a discrete configuration that does not use integrated circuits in key parts, and employs a “Low-feedback DC regulator” that minimizes the amount of feedback to achieve a powerful and open sound. In addition, a separate EI core power transformer dedicated to the control section provides lower noise and purer reproduction capability.
USB AUDIO & MQA PROCESSING
Equipped with various digital input terminals including USB for DSD 22.5MHz and asynchronous transmission, the K-05XD behaves as a D/A converter unit, supporting MQA decoding from both MQA-CDs and streaming via USB. DSD converting from PCM digital audio signal is also supported.