X is the unknown.
“X” in a model name symbolizes the ultimate advancements of technology,
craftsmanship and creative commitment.
The K-01 and K-03 have won high acclaim as leaders of Esoteric’s line of all-in-one Super Audio CD players,
and their extraordinary ability to reproduce the essential qualities of a musical performance continues to enthrall listeners to this day.
Now, a new “X” inherits that solid pedigree and further refines these qualities in the new K-01X and K-03X Super Audio CD players.
Concentrated beauty in an all-in-one form is a hallmark of Esoteric’s flagship Grandioso models.
The philosophy and technologies found in these high-end digital players reveal a new dimension of sound appreciation
unlike anything you have ever experienced before.
K-01X / K-03X Common Features
High-Bit D/A Processing With Outstanding Powers of Musical Expression
Both the K-01X and K-03X combine multiple 32-bit DAC chipsets and utilize a high-bit D/A processing algorithm to convert the PCM signal to analog at a high resolution in excess of 32 bits. The K-01X supports 35-bit processing and the K-03X 34-bit processing. 35-bit processing achieves an astounding resolution that is fully 2,048 times that of 24-bit processing (34-bit processing being 1,024 times that of 24-bit processing). In the digital range, full advantage is taken of high-bit data gradation to minimize calculation errors and provide faithful conversion to analog, thereby attaining outstanding powers of expression with even extremely small music signals.
USB Support for 2.5/5.6 MHz DSD, 384 kHz/32-bit PCM, and Asynchronous Transmission
The USB input supports asynchronous transmission and rates up to 2.8/5.6 MHz DSD and 384 kHz/32-bit PCM. Esoteric’s original PC driver software achieves outstanding playback of even studio-master-quality source files. DoP and ASIO 2.1 are also supported.
Esoteric-HCLD* : Esoteric’s Proprietary Current-Enhancing Output Buffer Circuit.
The ability to produce comparatively large currents and high slew rates are two of the most important factors to enable an analog output circuit to accurately transmit the wide dynamic range of a music signal without degradation. To obtain the ultimate performance, the K-01X employs the same Esoteric-HCLD buffer ampliﬁer circuitry found in the Grandioso D1. Two of these buffer circuits are employed per channel. Their high output current capacity and exceptionally fast slew rate (2000V/μs) provide an indication of their excellent response speed. By conﬁguring them differentially to drive the XLR outputs and in parallel to drive the RCA outputs, the instantaneous output current available is maximized. The Esoteric-HCLD circuitry enables the K-01X and K-03X to recreate the full dynamism of music with a sense of realism that will take your breath away.
* HCLD = High Current Line Driver
Comprehensive D/D Conversion Compatible with Wide Range of Sources.
In addition to playback at the original sampling frequency, 2X, 4X and 8X up-conversion of the PCM digital signal is also provided. A range of D/D conversion modes are also available for the PCM format, such as PCM-to-DSD conversion.
Digital Inputs Support DSD (DoP format) and High-Res PCM
Three digital inputs (USB, coaxial, and optical) enable connection to a wide range of systems. Coaxial and optical inputs support DSD in DoP format and high-resolution PCM of up to 192 kHz/24-bit.
High-Precision VCXO Clock
Often considered the heart of a digital player, the clock circuit supplies a high-accuracy reference clock signal to the digital circuitry. Its voltage-controlled crystal oscillator (VCXO) was originally developed for the Grandioso P1/D1 in a joint effort with Nihon Dempa Kogyo (NDK), a major manufacturer of crystal oscillators. As a high-precision custom clock worthy of the world’s leading equipment, this circuit ensures exceptional sound playback quality thanks to an exceptionally large crystal element with excellent center accuracy (±0.5 ppm*) and extremely low levels of phase noise. (*at time of shipping)
Clock Sync Function for Synchronization with External Devices
Connecting the unit to a high-precision master clock generator (G-01, G-02) allows synchronization of the unit’s operation with an external clock signal, thereby enabling the sound quality of the system to be upgraded. Input frequencies are 44.1/88.2/176.4 kHz, as well as 10 MHz and 22 MHz direct master clock linkage.* Synchronization with external clocks is also supported when the USB input is used.
When an external clock generator is connected, its signal is also used to clock the D/A converter, bypassing the internal PLL circuit and providing higher precision D/A conversion.
Support for Future System Upgrades
RCA (S/PDIF) or XLR (AES/EBU) digital outputs are provided. These allow to player’s performance to be upgraded by the addition of a top-end Esoteric D/A converter. This circuit can be turned off when digital output is not in use.
Chassis Construction and Parts Layout
The VRDS-NEO transport mechanism is positioned in the center of the unit, directly attached to the 5 mm-thick steel chassis bottom, and is supported at three points by Esoteric’s proprietary pinpoint feet (Patent No. 4075477) to effectively suppress the effects of vibration on the turntable mechanism. The chassis interior features a double-deck construction with ﬁve compartments. Each circuit block is isolated within its own compartment to minimize interference between circuits. Two separate audio boards for each channel are positioned nearest the rear terminals. The audio power circuitry and power transformers are also isolated from the audio boards, and the power supply wiring has been made as short as possible to minimize the inﬂuence of magnetic ﬂux leakage, vibration, and the like. The K-01X features four large-capacity toroidal transformers: one for each of the two built-in monaural D/A converters, one for the audio circuitry, and one for the VS-DD spindle servo driver. The K-03X is equipped with two large-capacity toroidal transformers : one for the analog circuitry and the other for the digital/mechanism drive circuitry. This design provides ideal power supply capability to all circuit blocks without interference.