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K-01Xs Super Audio CD/CD Player


    The Overview

    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.

The Features

VRDS-NEO [VMK-3.5-10]

 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.

Digital Inputs

 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.

The Specs

Playable disc types Super Audio CD, CD (including CD-R and CD-RW)
Analog audio outputs XLR/ESL-A connector 1pair (L/R)
RCA connector 1pair (L/R)
Output impedance XLR: 84Ω
RCA: 37Ω
Maximum output level
(at 1kHz, 10kΩ load)
XLR: 5Vrms
RCA: 2.5Vrms
Frequency response* 5Hz to 55kHz (-3dB)
S/N ratio* 120dB
Distortion* 0.0008% (1kHz)
* Super Audio CD, XLR output
Digital audio outputs XLR connector x 1 Output level: 3 Vp-p (into 110 Ω)
RCA connector x 1 Output level: 0.5 Vp-p (into 75 Ω)
Digital audio inputs RCA connector x 1
(input impedance 75 Ω)
Input level: 0.5 Vp-p
Optical digital connector x 1 Input level: -24.0 to -14.5 dBm peak
USB-B port
(USB2.0 standard)
1
Clock input BNC connector 1
Input impedance 50Ω
Frequencies that can be input
(±10ppm)
44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192kHz,
10, 22.5792, 24.576MHz
Input level Rectangle wave: equivalent to TTL levels
Sine wave: 0.5 to 1.0 Vrms (50 to 75Ω)
General Power supply AC 220-240V, 50/60Hz; AC 120V, 60Hz; AC 220V, 60Hz
Power consumption 35W
External dimensions
(W x H x D, including protrusions)
445 × 162 × 438mm
(17 5/8″ × 6 1/2″ × 17 1/4″)
Weight 31 kg (68 3/8 lbs)
Included accessories Power cord x 1
HDMI cable x 1
Remote control unit (RC-1301) x 1
Batteries for remote control(AAA) x 2
Felt pads x 3
Owner's manual x 1
Warranty card x 1
- These products are made available in three different power supply variations, as shown in the chart above.
Make sure that the voltage shown on the rear panel matches the AC line voltage in your area.
- The shape of the AC inlet and plug of the supplied power cord depends on the voltage rating and destination country.
- Specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice.
- Weight and dimensions are approximate.