Four years after the release of the K-01—the world’s leading
all-in-one digital player—the new K-01X debuts as a more compact version
of Esoteric’s flagship Grandioso model. Utilizing the same type of
highly rigid chassis construction as the Grandioso and a similar
four-transformer power supply, it integrates the Grandioso P1’s
high-precision VRDS-NEO “VMK-3.5-20S” turntable with two independent
monaural DAC units derived from the Grandioso D1 design, each configured
with a parallel array of 8 individual converters, which are summed to
optimize linearity and minimize noise.
Electronic circuitry has also been further improved with the latest
technologies, including a new AK4495S DAC IC, an advanced 35-bit D/A
processing algorithm, an HCLD buffer amp, a DSD-compatible USB
interface, and a large, low phase noise clock, all ensuring the K-01X
achieves the absolute pinnacle of sound quality.
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
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
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.