The new SA-50 is a:

  • Stand alone 32 bit dual mono D/A converter up to 88.2, 192 and even to DSD from S/PDIF, USB (Including PCM from a laptop) and optical inputs.
  • Digital pre-amp with attenuator (can feed directly into a power amp).
  • 32 bit CD/SACD player with PCM to DSD and DSD to PCM functionality.
  • A re-clocker with second PLL for external digital devices. (Plus master clock generator input for external clock).

VOSP Mechanism:

VOSP (Vertically-aligned Optical Stability Platform), features a specially designed shaft-mounted laser pickup assembly. This pickup system evolved from Esoteric's P-01 and P-03 transports. This pickup design ensures that the laser optical axis is always at the center of the data track for optimal reading capability. With VOSP implementation, no off axis error correction is needed because no off axis data tracking is allowed.

High mass / resonance-free mechanism stabilizer:

The VOSP mechanism is rigidly clamped by a steel plate and a large diameter stabilizer made of 8 mm-thick steel to reduce unwanted resonance caused by high speed disc rotation. The entire mechanism assembly is directly mounted to the bottom chassis and two interior steel brackets rigidly hold the mechanism for superior anti-resonance properties.

Full 32 bit processing D/A converter devices:

The SA-50 features the latest 32 bit processing "AK4392" advanced multi-bit DAC device produced by Asahi Kasei EMD. The AK4392 has a highly precise D/A conversion capability with extended 32 bit processing throughout all output stages. The 32 bit processor also has enough room for 24 bit or lower data flow, and greatly contributes to a "three-dimensional" audio imaging experience. The SA-50 uses 1 chip per channel, in a dual mono configuration gaining maximum performance out of the 32 bit AK4392. With this implementation, high purity digital signals are converted to well defined, high-density analog signals.

Highly advanced digital conversion capability:

DSD to 32 bit PCM conversion for SA-CD and PCM to DSD conversion for Redbook CD. The SA-50 features user selectable digital signal conversion capability. The highly advanced digital conversion functions of the SA-50 include 32 bit PCM processing to provide a wide range of options to match to your audio system, or, your general listening preferences based on your choice of software. (1) The SA-50 can directly process native DSD signals into analog signals, and, can also convert the DSD signal into a 32 bit PCM signal. Over sampling frequency is selectable from x2 (88.2 kHz) or x4 (176.4 kHz). (2) PCM to DSD conversion capability for Redbook CD sources and for PCM signals input from external digital devices. (3) PCM signals are processed with a high quality 32 bit digital filter to enhance natural reproduction capability. Over sampling frequency is selectable from x2 (88.2 kHz) or x4 (176.4 kHz). (4) 2 modes are selectable for PCM digital filter. (FIR mode / Short delay mode).

High quality 2 channel dedicated analog audio output for precise imaging and deeper sound stage:

The analog audio output circuits are also in a dual mono configuration producing exceptionally good channel separation. RCA (single-ended), output or XLR (fully-balanced), output is selectable. During playback of the selected output mode, the analog signal path that is not used is completely de-activated. This 2 channel dedicated circuit design further enhances precise imaging, transparency, separation and a deeper sound stage.

High speed power supply capability:

The large custom designed toroidal core transformer, has a highly efficient power supply capability. This provides electrical power to the drive mechanism and audio circuits very quickly, without adding noise or distortion to the signal path.

Word synchronization:

The SA-50 features a WORD SYNC input terminal to accept an incoming external WORD clock signal. The input can operate with 44.1 / 88.2 / 176.4 / 100 kHz clock signals. The unit can also operate using an ESOTERIC original 100 kHz Universal Clock signal (Single freq. compatible w/ SACD/CD and DVD). The incoming ultra-stable clock signal produced by external components such as a master clock sync generator (ESOTERIC G-03X or G-0Rb), effectively upgrade the unit, delivering higher performance with better acoustic transparency, improved channel separation and a more detailed and wider sound stage.

Dual PLL circuits reduce jitter when connected to a digital source device with no WORD SYNC function:

The SA-50 shares dual stage PLL jitter reduction with the ESOTERIC D-05 D/A converter, and is highly capable as a standalone D/A converter / re-clocker, when connected with CD transports, media servers, or other external digital devices. The second stage PLL circuit has its own voltage controlled crystal clock, and re-clocks the signal produced by the first stage PLL circuit. Dual PLL circuits, with two different characteristic responses in jitter reduction effectively purify the input digital signal, even when the unit is connected to a transport with no WORD SYNC function. You can set this second stage PLL to off when the unit is connected to a transport which has a WORD SYNC input function.

Highly rigid chassis construction:

The SA-50 front panel is made of thick extruded aluminum. This helps to insure chassis rigidity, reducing unwanted vibrations and resonance, while also providing a stronger support structure for the center mounted VOSP mechanism. The top and side panels are made of 5 mm thick aluminum. The bottom chassis features a heavy duty 5 mm thick steel plate. The toroidal transformer support base also features a 5 mm steel plate for added resonance absorption. Combined with three pinpoint isolation feet made of quenched steel, this chassis design helps to isolate the unit from external vibrations, allowing highly stable and precise VOSP mechanism mounting, and highly-rigid, resonance-free system construction.

Compatible disc types Super Audio CD, CD (CD-R/CD-RW compatible)
Audio output (Analog Audio) Jacks XLR jacks (channel) x1
Output impedance XLR: 100Ω

RCA: 100Ω
Maximum Output level (1kHz, full scale, 10kΩ) XLR: 2.2Vrms

RCA: 2.2Vrms
Frequency response 5Hz to 40kHz (SA-CD)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (S/N) 130dB
Total harmonic distortion 0.001% (1kHz)
Audio output (Digital Audio) Optical digital jack x1 15 to 21 dBm
Coaxial RCA jack x1 0.5 Vp-p/75Ω
Digital audio input Optical digital terminal x1 24.0 to 14.5 dBm peak
Coaxial RCA terminal x 1 (Input impedance 75Ω 0.5Vp-p
USB port B connector USB 1.1 or higher
Word Synchronization input format Jack BNC
Input impedance 75Ω
Input level Equivalent to TTL levels
The SA-50 can accept and synchronize to the following frequencies received from external clock devices (rectangular wave): 44.1kHz, 88.2kHz, 176.4kHz, 100kHz
General Power supply AC 120V 60Hz
Power consumption 15W
External dimensions
(WxHxD)
442 x 153 x 353 mm
(17 3/8 x 6 x 13 7/8 ")
(including protrusions)
Weight 18kg (37 15/16 lb)
Operating temperature +5°C to +35°C
Operating humidity 5% to 85% (no condensation)
Storage temperature +20°C to +55°C
- Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.
- Weight and dimensions are approximate.
- Illustrations may differ slightly from production models.
- Warranty 2 years parts and labor. Can be extended to 3 years with warranty registration
- The shape of the AC inlet and plug of the supplied power cord depends on the voltage rating and destination country.
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