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Esoteric K-03X - Super Audio CD/CD Player

The K-03X all-in-one player is designed to offer as much of the stellar performance provided by the K-01X as possible. Using the same design philosophy as the K-01X, it also derives its leading technology from this model. Its VRDS-NEO VMK-3.5-10 drive mechanism now incorporates Esoteric’s advanced VS-DD servo driver for even smoother spindle operation. Its dual mono DAC, also found in the K-01X, is configured with 4 individual converter circuits operating in parallel and summed to optimize linearity and minimize noise. It also employs Esoteric’s innovative 34-bit D/A processing algorithm. With a pedigree extending directly back to the Grandioso D1, the K-03X is clear in its stunning sound quality, ease of use and wide functionality, including such recent developments as its DSD compatible USB interface.


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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-3.5-10” transport mechanism

Originally developed for the Grandioso P1, the VRDS-NEO drive mechanism achieves ultimate levels of transport accuracy. Its high-precision turntable was specially designed to spin Super Audio CD/CD discs, radically improving reading accuracy by mechanically correcting for surface run-out. To provide a comparable level of precision, the K-03X is equipped with the VRDS-NEO VMK-3.5-10 drive, placing Esoteric’ s superlative music reproduction capabilities within reach of an even greater number of music lovers. The new addition of its VS-DD spindle servo driver further assures smoother high-precision servo control. With its duralumin turntable and 10mm-thick turntable bridge, the unit’s massive weight of 4.4kg (11.2kg including its highly rigid base) is proof of the drive’s robust construction. Other proven VRDS-NEO features include a high-flux-density magnet-driven coreless three-phase brushless spindle motor, high-precision thread feed control, and a shaft-sliding pickup that assures consistently perpendicular laser illumination.

VS-DD Spindle Servo Driver

The proprietary VS-DD spindle servo driver previously used only in Esoteric’ s top-end models is now made available to the K-03X. Its discrete three-channel amplifier circuitry optimizes the waveform of the current supplied to the motor for quieter and smoother spindle operation and high-precision servo control.

Dual Mono D/A Converters Follow the Design Philosophy of the K-01X

Due to the exceptional performance of its D/A converters, the K-03X offers a level of sound quality on a par with the K-01X in terms of clarity and musical presence. Its multiple DAC design philosophy, carried over from the Grandioso D1, allows extremely accurate digital to analog conversion. This is exemplified by the outstanding linearity and low distortion achieved by the arrangement of 4 individual DAC circuits operated in parallel in each channel. The K-03X uses the same AK4495S DAC chipset featured in both the Grandioso D1 and the K- 01X. To minimize noise, two large toroidal transformers supply power independently to the digital and analog circuits in each channel. The excellent channel separation and stereo imaging of the K-03X’s converters provide listeners with a mesmerizing musical experience.

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