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ESOTERIC K-05X Super Audio CD/CD Player
K-05X Super Audio CD/CD Player

Pursuing Radical Evolution, Not Nominal Improvements.

Reborn with a new 'X' designation, the K-05X and K-07X command central roles in Esoteric's superb lineup of Super Audio CD players, and should really be considered 'all-new,' having been infused with the very essence of our flagship Grandioso models.
These new players achieve the very tenets of Esoteric's design philosophy, conveying to the listener all the emotional expression of music without a hint of stress.
With totally revamped audio electronic circuitry, these two new 'X' models eschew all compromise, and renew the lineage of the K Series.

The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards 2018    The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards 2018
Best Buy Components 2017->2018    Stereo Sound "Best Buy Components 2017->2018"
Digital disc player category (300,000 - 1,000,000Yen)
The third prize

  • Stereo "Best Buy Component 2017"
    Digital player category (350,000 - 700,000Yen)
    The third prize

Best Buy Components 2016->2017    Stereo Sound "Best Buy Components 2016->2017"
Digital disc player category (300,000 - 1,000,000Yen)
The third prize
HiVi "Best Buy 2016 Winter"    HiVi "Best Buy 2016 Winter"
Disc player category (above 500,000Yen)
Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2017"    Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2017"
CD/SACD player category (500,000 - 1,000,000Yen)

  • Stereo "Best Buy Component 2016"
    Digital player category (350,000 - 700,000Yen)

HiVi "Best Buy 2016 Summer"    HiVi "Best Buy 2016 Summer"
Disc player category (above 500,000Yen)
Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2016 Summer"    Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2016 Summer"
CD/SACD player category (500,000 - 1,000,000Yen)
Stereo Sound "Best Buy Components"    Stereo Sound "Best Buy Components"
Digital disc player category (500,000 - 1,000,000Yen)
The second prize
Ongen Publishing "Audio Excellence Award 2016" Silver Prize    Ongen Publishing "Audio Excellence Award 2016"
"Silver Prize"

  • Stereo "Best Buy Component 2015"
    Digital disc player category (350,000 - 700,000Yen)
    The third prize

Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2016"    Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2016"
CD/SACD category (below 1,000,000Yen)
Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2015 Summer"    Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2015 Summer"
CD/SACD player category (below 1,000,000Yen)

VRDS-NEO [VMK-5] Transport Mechanism Improves Reading Accuracy

VMK-5 The unique VRDS-NEO VMK-5 transport mechanism featured in this new player incorporates high-precision turntable that greatly improves reading accuracy by mechanically correcting for disc surface run-out. It's hybrid construction integrates precision-machined aluminum with polycarbonate to help minimize rotational inertia.
Formed of high-rigidity BMC (Bulk Molding Compound) and steel, the hybrid turntable bridge also makes a significant contribution to the suppression of rotational vibration and run-out. The transports spindle motor realizes further improvements in reading accuracy with an advanced servo control that uses rotation detection circuitry.
Mechanical operations such as opening and closing the tray and clamping the disc are performed by a unique differential gear system. This proprietary* Esoteric technology ensures exceptionally smooth disc loading operation.

*Patent No.2861798 owned by TEAC Corporation.

Refined Dual Mono D/A Converters Derived From Top-of-the-Line Components

The D/A converters analog output circuitry features both excellent high-end resolution and natural musical texturing that only high-end components such as Esoterics K Series SACD players can offer. Centered around Asahi Kaseis high-end AK4490* 32-bit DAC, this circuitry accentuates the expressive power of these players with 4 parallel/differential circuits and 8 outputs driving each channel-twice that of conventional players in terms of circuit scale-to further enhance sound quality with excellent linearity and low distortion.
Arranged in a discreet dual mono configuration, the D/A converters and analog output circuitry are laid out in parallel on either side of the board, and are completely isolated from the digital signal processing circuitry, achieving superb channel separation.
Technology developed for the Grandioso C1 Linestage Preamplifier is also employed in the power supply, which features EDLC (Electronic Double-Layer Capacitors). This regulated power supply boasts an astounding total capacity of 500,000µF per channel for exceptional low-frequency sound reproduction.

*AK4490 is a branded product of Audio4pro™ and of Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation, and designed for professional studio and digital audio applications.

Dual mono D/A Converters

*EDLC = Electric Double-layer Capacitor   *HCLD = High Current Line Driver

34-Bit D/A Processing Achieves Outstanding Powers of Musical Expression

Employing a 34-bit D/A processing algorithm with an encoding resolution that is an astounding 1,024 times greater than that of 24-bit encoding, multiple 32-bit DAC devices were combined to convert the high-resolution 34-bit PCM signal to analog. In the digital range, full advantage is taken of high-bit data gradation to minimize calculation errors and provide faithful conversion to analog, thereby attaining outstanding powers of expression with even extremely small music signals.

34-Bit D/A Processing Achieves

Proprietary Esoteric-HCLD* Type 2 Current-Enhancing Output Buffer Circuit

Playing a critical role in the superb sound quality achieved by these new 'X' version SACD players, further improvements were also made to their analog output circuitry. Providing excellent current transmission capability as well as a strong drive output, both players now employ Esoteric-HCLD* Type 2 buffer amplifier circuitry like that first used in such high-end models as our C1 Linestage Preamplifier. Two of these buffer circuits are installed per channel and configured differentially to drive the XLR outputs, and in parallel to drive the RCA outputs. By transmitting the wide dynamic range of the musical signal in its entirety and providing a strong drive to connected equipment, the full dynamism of music is recreated with a sense of realism that will take your breath away.

*HCLD = High Current Line Drive

Block Diagram

High-Speed, Large-Capacity Power Supply

Power supply The K-05X is equipped with a large, high-efficiency, high-powered toroidal transformer, while the K-07X uses a full-sized EI-core transformer. Each is custom-designed to ensure excellent sound quality. High-output power supply circuitry further combines with an array of large capacitors to provide clean and steady power to all circuit blocks.

High-Precision VCXO Clock

VCXO A high-precision VCXO (voltage controlled crystal oscillator) supplies a highly accurate reference clock signal to the digital circuitry. The K-05Xs large, custom-designed VCXO was jointly developed with Nihon Dempa Kogyo (NDK), a leading manufacturer of crystal oscillators. Incorporating an unusually large crystal element, this VCXO realizes both excellent center accuracy (±0.5ppm*) and extremely low levels of phase noise to ensure exceptional sound playback quality.

(*at time of shipping)

External Clock Sync Function

Connecting the unit to a high-precision master clock generator (G-01, G-02) allows synchronization of the units operation with an external clock signal, thereby enabling an upgrade of system sound quality. Compatible with 44.1/88.2/176.4kHz input frequencies, both 10MHz and 22MHz direct master clock linkage* and external clock synchronization are also supported for both digital optical and digital coaxial inputs, as well as when the USB input is used.

*When an external clock generator is connected, its signal is also used to clock the D/A converter, bypassing the internal PLL circuit and providing straight, higher accuracy D/A conversion.

Comprehensive D/D Conversion Compatible With Wide Range of Sources

In addition to playback at the original sampling frequency, 2X, 4X and 8X up-conversion of the PCM digital signal is also provided. A range of D/D conversion modes are also available for the PCM format, such as PCM-to-DSD conversion.

Four Digital Filters Plus Filter OFF Mode

Four types of digital filter are available for PCM signal processing. Besides two FIR (Finite Impulse Response) digital filters, which have an established reputation for outstanding sound quality, two types of short delay digital filters are also included for a more precise and natural sound. A Digital Filter OFF mode permits both PCM and DSD digital filters to be bypassed if desired.

Digital Inputs Support DSD and High-Res PCM

Three digital inputs (USB, coaxial, and optical) enable connection to a wide range of systems. These inputs support 2.8MHz DSD and up to 192kHz/24-bit high-resolution PCM.

USB Support for 2.8/5.6/11.2MHz DSD, 384kHz/32-bit PCM and Asynchronous Transmission

In addition to playback at the original sampling frequency, 2X, 4X and 8X up-conversion of the PCM digital signal is also provided. A range of D/D conversion modes are also available for the PCM format, such as PCM-to-DSD conversion.

High-Quality Sound File Playback for Anyone
Windows/Mac Application for 11.2MHz DSD and 384kHz PCM Audio File Playback.

Available free for download from the Esoteric website.
The Esoteric HR Audio Player, for both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, is a high-quality audio playback application that ably handles high-resolution audio sources when used in combination with Esoteric SACD players and DACs. Superb audio quality playback of high-resolution audio sources, including DSD, can be enjoyed without complicated setup.

Supported file formats
DSF DSD 2.8 / 5.6 / 11.2MHz DIFF DSD 2.8 / 5.6 / 11.2MHz
PCM(wav) 44.1k to 384kHz,16 to 32bit FLAC 44.1k to 384kHz,16 to 32bit
MP3 32k to 320kbps


Featuring the same short-scratch hairline finish
used on the player's front panel, the remote
control's thick aluminum panel exudes a high-quality feel.

Remote control

Playable disc types Super Audio CD, CD (including CD-R and CD-RW)
Analog audio outputs Connectors XLR (2 ch) x 1pair
RCA (2 ch) x 1pair
Output impedance XLR: 20 Ω
RCA: 20 Ω
Maximum output level
(at 1 kHz, 10k Ω load)
XLR: 5.0 Vrms
RCA: 2.5 Vrms
Super Audio CD XLR output Frequency response 5 Hz to 70 kHz (-3 dB)
S/N ratio 117 dB
Distortion 0.0007% (1 kHz)
Digital audio output RCA jack 0.5 Vp-p (into 75 Ω) x 1
Digital optical port -21 to -15 dBm peak x 1
USB-B port USB2.0 standard x 1
Digital audio input RCA connector 0.5 Vp-p (into 75 Ω) x 1
Digital optical port -24.0 to -14.5 dBm peak x 1
USB-B port USB2.0 standard x 1
Clock sync input Connector BNC
Supported input frequencies
(±15 ppm)
44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, 192 kHz, 10 MHz, 22.5792 MHz, 24.576 MHz
Input impedance 75 Ω
Input level Rectangle wave: equivalent to TTL levels
Sine wave: 0.5 to 1.0 Vrms (50 to 75 Ω)
General Power supply European model: 230 V AC, 50 Hz
USA/Canada model: 120 V AC, 60 Hz
S. Korea model: 220 V AC, 60 Hz
Power consumption 23W
External dimensions
(W x H x D)
(including protrusions)
445 x 131 x 355 mm
(17 5/8 x 5 1/4 x 14")
Weight 14 kg (30 7/8 lb)
Included accessories Power cord x 1
Remote control (RC-1301) x 1
Batteries (AAA) x 2
Owner's manual x 1
Warranty card x 1
- Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.
- Weight and dimensions are approximate.
- Illustrations in this manual might differ slightly from production models.
K-05X K-05X K-05X
K-05X K-05X

International Distributors
Catalog Download
Driver Download
HR Audio Player