K-01Xs Super Audio CD/CD Player
Eight years after the release of the K-01, the ultimate in integrated digital players, comes the birth of the K-01Xs, a condensed version of Esoteric's flagship Grandioso model. The K-01Xs features the K series’ classic construction with a high-rigidity chassis and a total of four power transformers in the power section, along with the high-precision VRDS-NEO [VMK-3.5-20S] turntable system used in the Grandioso P1 and K1 and a pair of differential 8-circuit/channel monaural DACs following the latest DAC platform developed for the K1. Its extensive specifications are the gold standard in digital players, including the latest DAC (IC AK4497), a 35-bit D/A processing algorithm developed with Esoteric's patented proprietary technology, an HCLD buffer amplifier, DSD-compatible USB and a large custom low phase noise clock.
Packed with Esoteric mechatronics, the VRDS uses a turntable to rotate CDs and Super Audio CDs, and mechanical correction of surface vibration is used to dramatically improve reading precision. Featured in the K-01Xs, the VRDS-NEO [VMK-3.5-20S] uses a pair of specially selected high-precision ball bearings for the spindle bearing as well as a duralumin turntable accurate within microns and a 20mm-thick steel turntable bridge. The weight of the transport unit is 5.2kg (12kg including the rigid base). It features a range of classic mechanisms including the coreless three-phase brushless spindle motor driven by a strong magnet and the VS-DD (VRDS Spindle Discrete Driver) . These are combined with a shutter mechanism* in the tray to provide the ultimate precision.
New Dual Mono D/A Converter
The D/A converter section was created based on the latest platform used in the Grandioso K1, with the very finest premium materials and circuit technology added to take it to the highest level of sound quality. The AK4497 32-bit premium DAC device from Asahi Kasei Electronics is combined with a high-quality operational amplifier MUSES 02. The K-01Xs has 8 circuits per channel parallel/differential circuit structure for powerful linearity with minimal distortion. The circuit patterns of the DAC's power section have been further improved, with independent left and right power transformers in the K-01Xs to achieve a clean and highly stable power supply. Both the digital and analog circuits have more thorough isolation than previous models, achieving true-to-life playback with outstanding purity and superb sound stage depth.
ESOTERIC-HCLD*: Esoteric's Exclusive Output Buffer Delivers Powerful Signal Transmission
The ability to produce comparatively large currents and high slew rates are two of the most important factors that enable an analog output circuit to accurately transmit the wide dynamic range of a music signal without degradation. The K-01Xs offers the ultimate performance as a line driver by adopting high-performance elements with a high current output and exceptionally fast slew rate (2,000V/μs) for excellent response speed. Two of these buffer circuits are employed per channel. By configuring them differentially to drive the XLR outputs and in parallel to drive the RCA outputs, the available instantaneous output current is maximized. By maximizing instantaneous current output, the K-01Xs reproduces the full dynamics of music with breathtaking realism. *HCLD=High Current Line Driver
"ES-LINK Analog" Method for High Quality Current Transmission
In addition to regular line connections (XLR and RCA), the K-01Xs features Esoteric's new "ES-LINK Analog" transmission method. This is a current transmission method that utilizes the high performance of the HCLD buffer circuit and its enhanced ability to supply high-speed current. This is the ideal analog audio transmission as it is free from signal route impedance, thus fully maximizing the system's potential when connected to a compatible device.* * A standard balance cable (with an XLR terminal) is used for connections, but the "ES-LINK Analog" method is a proprietary transmission method which can only be used with compatible devices.
Wide Range of D/D Conversion According to Source
In addition to the original Fs playback, this series has a function for up-conversion of PCM digital signals by 2x, 4x, 8x or 16x (maximum 768kHz). It also features a PCM > DSD conversion function using a proprietary algorithm. DSD is up-converted to 22.5MHz. The unit also features a DSD digital filter that can be turned on or off as desired.
Three digital inputs (USB, coaxial, and optical) enable connection to a wide range of systems. Coaxial and optical inputs support DSD 2.8 MHz (DoP) input and PCM of up to 192 kHz/24-bit.
USB Audio Interface Compatible with DSD22.5MHz, PCM768kHz/32bit and Asynchronous Transmission
The unit is equipped with a USB port enabling connection to a computer. The driver and playback software (Esoteric HR Audio Player) can be downloaded from the Esoteric website. The unit supports asynchronous transmission and a high sampling playback of DSD22.5MHz and PCM768kHz/32bit, and even enables high-quality playback of studio master quality sources. In addition to conventional asynchronous transmission methods, it supports the new Bulk Pet method for an even wider range of tone selection.
High-Precision VCXO Clock
The clock circuit supplies a high-accuracy reference clock signal to the digital circuitry. The Grandioso Custom VCXO (voltage-controlled crystal oscillator) is a high-precision custom clock that utilizes a large crystal element to ensure exceptional sound quality with excellent center accuracy (±0.5ppm) and extremely low levels of phase noise.
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