Esoteric K-01X - Super Audio CD/CD Player

X is the unknown. “X” in a model name symbolizes the ultimate advancements of technology, craftsmanship and creative commitment.


A new “X” series inherits the solid pedigree and further refines the qualities of its predecessors K-01 and K-03 that have received wide acclaim. The new K-01X and K-03X Super Audio CD players are a true concentrated beauty in an all-in-one form which 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.


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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.

VRDS-NEO “VMK-3.5-20S” transport mechanism

The culmination of Esoteric’s most advanced mechatronics know-how, the VRDS system radically improves the reading precision of Super Audio CD/CD discs by mechanically correcting for surface run-out. The K-01X’s VRDS -NEO VMK-3.5-20S drive also features two sets of specially selected ball bearings supporting a duralumin turntable constructed to micron-level accuracy, and a 20mm-thick steel turntable bridge. The combined mechanical structure weighs an impressive 5.2kg (12kg including the rigid base). The drive employs proven Esoteric technologies, including a high-flux-density magnet-driven coreless three-phase brushless spindle motor, a thread feed control derived from the thinking behind the P-0, and a shaft-sliding pickup which consistently illuminates the disk with a precisely perpendicular beam of laser light. Additionally, the disc tray features a silent shutter mechanism* that further ensures the ultimate in operating precision.

* This mechanism closes the shutter when the tray is retracted, then mechanically locks it into place in the front panel to ensure a more secure environment that minimizes the effects of extraneous noise and airborne contaminants, etc. on sound quality.

VS-DD* Spindle Servo Driver and Proprietary Toroidal Power Supply.

At the heart of the VRDS-NEO drive is a spindle driven by Esoteric’s proprietary VS-DD servo driver circuit. This uses a discrete three-channel amplifier to optimize the motor drive current, minimize vibration and provide ultra-smooth spindle operation and high-accuracy servo control. The K-01X is also equipped with a proprietary toroidal power supply that greatly enhances noise isolation.

* VS-DD = VRDS Spindle Discrete Driver

Grandioso D1 Lineage Dual Mono D/A Converters with Separate Left and Right Channel Power Supplies.

The D/A converter uses the same design philosophy as our Grandioso D1. Incorporating Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation’ s 32-bit AK4495S DAC IC and MUSES 02 operational amplifier,* this exceptional DAC uses 8 parallel/differential circuits with 16 outputs driving each channel to achieve outstanding linearity and low distortion. Like the Grandioso D1, this D/A converter also features fully independent power transformers and power supply circuits for each channel to create a true dual mono configuration. The generous power supply capacity and total channel separation enabled by this arrangement provides excellent dynamics, with realistic stereo imaging and exceptional resolution of fine detail.

AK4495S is a branded product of Audio4pro™ and designed for professional studio and digital audio applications. MUSES 02 is a trademark of New Japan Radio Co., Ltd.

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