The core model of ESOTERIC Super Audio CD players, the K-05, is finally available in an XD edition. The design platform is completely revamped and now features VRDS-ATLAS and Master Sound Discrete DAC / Clock circuitry. This is an arrival of a completely new Super Audio CD player.
The first K-05 model was introduced in 2011, evolved into the K-05X in 2015, and K-05Xs in 2018.
It has become the best-selling model at the heart of the ESOTERIC K Series. The K-05XD inherits
the philosophy of the historic K-05 series but is totally redesigned as a Super Audio CD player; completely different from the previous 05 models by way of revamping it with an all-new design platform.
A new VRD-ATLAS transport mechanism ”ATLAS 05” is designed exclusively for this model, and the DAC section employs a discrete circuit with the ”Master Sound Discrete DAC” to further refine the music reproduction capability.
The VRDS-NEO Super Audio CD transport mechanism, which has been adopted by some of the world’s most prominent brands, and its superior performance, which inherits the technical essence of the flagship models of the day, have has been highly acclaimed and have won numerous audio awards worldwide.
Incorporating the fruits of our labor resulting from the development of the Grandioso G1X master clock generator, a unique discrete clock circuit for built-in players, the ”Master Sound Discrete Clock for Digital Player” is employed. An enlarged double-layer chassis accommodates the upgraded ATLAS mechanism, each larger circuit block, and the power supply section, while it’s the elegant appearance of the K-05XD, – which is even closer now to the upper models, – subtly asserts the richness of its content, worthy of being called a major innovation.
A wide variety of tones that expressively portray the details of music has been achieved,
while acquiring the flexibility to adapt to a truly diverse range of genres from silky
smooth arias to edgy rock. The lineage of the legendary models fascinating music lovers, and blissful sound brought by an encounter with new technology, the K-05XD invites you to enjoy it to the fullest.
VRDS (Vibration-Free Rigid Disc-Clamping System) is the core technology of the CD/Super Audio CD transport mechanism that Esoteric has been focusing on since the establishment of the brand. The disc is securely clamped to a turntable of the same diameter for rotation, thoroughly eliminating unwanted vibrations from the disc itself and the mechanism. Servo current is minimized by correcting disc warpage with the turntable and greatly improving the relative optical axis accuracy between the optical pickup and the disc pit surface. With these features, disc read errors are significantly reduced and achieves superior sound quality.
New VRDS-ATLAS “ATLAS 05”
The VRDS mechanism continues to evolve. The biggest highlight in its illustrious history is the new VRDS-ATLAS platform, which boasts the highest level of perfection and sound quality. The K-05XD edition qualifies utilizes the “VRDS-ATLAS Reference”, a flagship mechanism quality employed in Grandioso models, and is equipped with the newly designed VRDS-ATLAS ”ATLAS 05”, which is exclusive to K-05XD.
ATLAS 05 – Mechanical 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, embody the identity of the 05 Series Super Audio CD Players, which have a history of dating back more than 15 years, to the birth of the P-05.
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, while the bridge section supporting the turntable is larger and wider than that of the VRDS-NEO, and is made of a machined aluminum block 10 mm thick with a beautiful hairline finish, while its high rigidity and heavy weight construction effectively eliminate vibrations that affect sound quality.
Wide and low center of gravity design
Key to the VRDS-ATLAS design concept is mechanical grounding technology, which dampens vibrations more efficiently. The entire mechanism is designed with a wide and low profile design to achieve a low center of gravity. At the same time, 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 is reduced. The tray is minimally hollowed out to increase rigidity, and a plastic stopper prevents resonance when the tray is stored.
Chassis Construction and Component Layout
With the complete renewal of the 05 series, the chassis has undergone the most significant evolution in terms of appearance. To accommodate a larger ATLAS mechanism than the VRDS NEO and to further enhance the scale of the circuitry, a dual layer large chassis is employed instead of the previous slim, single-layer chassis, while maintaining the same depth. 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 (Japan Patent No. 4075477 and 3778108).
Like upper class models, the bottom chassis has been 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.
Semi-floating top panel
The semi-floating structure of the top panel, which is not tightened with screws, brings out extensive and open sound.
Master Sound Discret DAC
By assembling circuits with discrete components that have been carefully examined, we aim to perfectly reproduce the “vibrancy” and “energy” of music, which cannot be achieved with integrated chips. The pride of Esoteric’s top engineering team has been put to the test in the Master Sound Discrete DAC, a discrete D/A converter designed completely in-house.
Luxurious material input and massive current output capability
The Master Sound Discrete DAC was first installed in the Grandioso D1X and was highly acclaimed for its live sound. On the K-05XD, it condenses the essence of the Grandioso K1X version, but with a simplified circuit configuration that takes the 05 series to a new horizon. The DAC consists of 16 elements per channel, and each element consists of components such as clock drivers, logic circuits, capacitors, and resistors, while each key component is independent of each other, and the luxurious configuration is a direct extension of the philosophy of the high-end models, so that all the energy of the music is output in its purest form.
High performance digital processing
Employing a proprietary Delta-Sigma modulator supporting 64bit/512Fs, the K-05XD supports the latest formats including DSD 22.5MHz playback. The FPGA digital processing algorithms for optimal playback of DSD and PCM, respectively, are dedicated algorithms developed for the Master Sound Discrete DAC.
Sound quality corroborated by advanced quality control
In discrete DACs, where component tolerances directly affect calculation accuracy, a high level of expertise and quality control is required in the manufacturing of electronic boards. Esoteric’s own factory boasts world-class board mounting technology, including soldering in an oxygen-free furnace in a clean room with medical quality. The high quality of Master Sound Discrete DACs is supported by technology cultivated in the manufacturing experience of electronic circuit boards for audio, medical, aerospace, and defense applications.
Master Sound Discrete Clock for Digital Player
It is no exaggeration to say that the clock circuit is the biggest key to high sound quality in digital playback. Esoteric focused on crystal oscillator circuits, which had been previously packaged as general-purpose modules in ICs, and completed a unique manufactured clock module, the “Master Sound Discrete Clock” for the Grandioso G1X, our flagship master clock generator.
The G1X’s unique discrete circuitry has earned high acclaim for its superior musical expressiveness and has caused a stir in the world of clocks, which have traditionally been described only in terms of accuracy.
|Analog audio outputs|
|XLR/ES-LINK Analog||× 1 pair|
|RCA||× 1 pair|
|Digital audio outputs|
|Digital audio inputs|
|10MHz Clock input|
|AC 120V, 60Hz|
|AC 220-240V, 50Hz|
|Overall dimensions (W×H×D)||445 × 161 × 357mm (including protrusions)|
|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)|