Esoteric - K-05XD SACD/CD Player & DAC

Esoteric - K-05XD SACD/CD Player & DAC

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Discover unparalleled audio quality with the Esoteric K-05XD, a top-tier SACD/CD player and DAC, engineered to deliver exceptional performance and fidelity.
Indulge in Sonic, Engineering, and Build Extravagance: Japanese-Made Esoteric K-05XD SACD/CD Player and DAC Delivers Reference-Standard Performance

With a VRDS-ATLAS reference disc mechanism taken from Esoteric's flagship Grandioso models — as well as a new Master Sound Discrete Clock, 64-bit Master Sound Discrete DAC, and dual-mono construction — the K-05XD SACD/CD player and DAC is a reference-standard for disc and high-res file playback. Bolstered by an exclusive-to-this-machine ATLAS 05 transport mechanism — a hybrid turntable made of high-precision aluminum and polycarbonate, and fittingly inspired by a master tape reel — K-05XD kills vibration and read errors dead. Factor in a level of construction found in luxury watches, DSD 22.5MHz and MQA capability, and the Esoteric-HCLD (High Current Line Driver) output buffer amplifier with an astonishingly high-speed slew rate of 2,000V/μs, and this hefty 46.1-pound benchmark has everything to deliver music with astonishing degrees of realism, naturalism, energy, presence, clarity, detail, and dynamics. 

Made under the strictest quality-control measures in Esoteric’s Japanese factory — renowned for its world-class board-mounting and soldering in an oxygen-free furnace in a clean room — the K-05XD includes a power supply section that has been enhanced to more than twice the circuit scale of the previous model, thereby adding more punch and depth to the tone. It abets two high-capacity toroidal transformers that provide independent digital and analog power supplies. The power-supply regulator follows a discrete configuration that does not use integrated circuits in key parts and employs a low-feedback DC regulator that minimizes feedback in order to achieve a powerful, open sound. In addition, a separate EI core power transformer dedicated to the control section helps account for low-noise, ultra-pure reproduction.

Equally impressive, the in-house-devised Master Sound Discrete DAC in K-05XD condenses the essence of the Grandioso K1X version with a simplified circuit configuration that takes this unit to new horizons. It consists of 16 elements per channel; each element is comprised of components such as clock drivers, logic circuits, capacitors, and resistors — many of which are independent of each other. Also onboard: A Master Sound Discrete Clock for Digital Player that applied the Grandioso G1X master clock circuit design to the internal clock of a digital player. This unique circuit design leverages discrete components, such as a large crystal oscillator, to produce sonics that cannot otherwise be achieved with a general-purpose clock IC. K-05XD also works with an external master clock generator to upgrade the sound quality by synchronizing the internal circuits to an even higher-precision 10MHz clock. 

All the aforementioned benefits circle back to the stunning VRDS. The entire mechanism claims a wide and low profile design to achieve a low center of gravity. And 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 reduced. Also, the tray is minimally hollowed out as to increase rigidity, while a plastic stopper prevents resonance when the tray is stored. Last but not least, the VRDS-ATLAS is center-placed and fixed to a 5mm-thick steel bottom chassis via a 2mm-thick steel base plate. The entire dual-layer chassis is supported at three points by unique, double-patented pin-point feet. 

When it comes to connectivity, K-05XD touts XLR and RCA outputs as well as  proprietary ES-LINK Analog for connection to an amplifier. By taking advantage of the powerful current supply capability of the HCLD buffer circuit, the signal is drastically less affected by the impedance of the signal path and maximizes the potential of your equipment. RS-232C control, a trigger input, remote control, and three-year manufacturer warranty help complete a strikingly beautiful component that epitomizes everything to love about high-end audio. 

Want to learn more about Esoteric or K-05XD? Reach out to a Music Direct audio consultant and we’ll happily answer any questions. 

ATLAS 05 Transport Construction 
The core of the ATLAS 05 transport mechanism is a hybrid turntable made of high-precision aluminum and polycarbonate materials. This beautiful design, inspired by a master tape reel and its superior vibration control capability, embodies the identity of Esoteric. 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. The bridge section supporting the turntable is larger and wider than that of the prior VRDS-NEO, and is made of a machined aluminum block 10mm thick with a beautiful hairline finish. Its high rigidity and heavyweight construction effectively eliminate vibrations that affect sound quality.

Chassis Construction and Component Layout
A dual-layer large chassis is employed instead of the previous K-05X model’s slim, single-layer chassis. 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. The bottom chassis is 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. The semi-floating structure of the top panel, which is not tightened with screws, brings out extensive and open sound.

ES-LINK Analog: Proprietary Current Transmission
Esoteric's unique current transmission system, ES-Link Analog, is the ideal method for preamp to amplifier transmission where the signal level is extremely low. Compared to the conventional voltage transmission, it transmits approximately 100 times more current, making it less susceptible to noise and sending the full energy of the music to the amplifier. Also, it is not affected by the impedance of the interconnects running between the preamp and amplifier, so it maintains a perfect integrity between the output signal of the preamp and the input signal to the amplifier.

Frequency Response: 5Hz to 70kHz ( – 3dB, SACD 0dB, DSDF: F2, XLR Output)
S/N Ratio: 110dB (IHF-A, SACD 0dB, DSDF: F2, XLR Output)
Total harmonic distortion: 0.0007% (1kHz, SACD 0dB, DSDF: F2, XLR Output)
Analog audio outputs:
   XLR/ES-LINK Analog: x 1 pair
   RCA: x 1 pair
Digital audio outputs:
   XLR: x 1
   RCA: x 1
Digital audio inputs:
   USB: x 1
   RCA: x 1
Optical: x 1
10MHz Clock input: BNC
Power: AC 120V, 60Hz
Dimensions (WHD): 17.5" x 6.3" x 14.1"
Weight: 45.6 lbs.