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ESOTERIC X-05 Super Audio CD/CD Player
X-05 Super Audio CD/CD Player
An uncompromising and evolutionary development based ESOTERIC's high-end "X-01" series.
The newly developed "cutting edge," audio disc player model X-05 with VRDS-Neo VMK-5.


Stereo Sound “2011-2012 Best Value Component”    Stereo Sound “2011-2012 Best Value Component”
digital disc player category (¥200,000 ¥500,000) third prize

The Absolute Sound “2011 Editor's Choice Award”    The Absolute Sound “2011 Editor's Choice Award”
The Absolute Sound “2009 Product of the Year Award”    The Absolute Sound “2009 Product of the Year Award”
The Absolute Sound “2009 Golden Ear Award”    The Absolute Sound “2009 Golden Ear Award”
  • Ongen Publishing “Visual Grand-Prix 2011 Summer”
    Pure Audio Grand-Prix SACD player category winner (¥500,000 to ¥1,000,000)


A true hybrid of our highly acclaimed VRDS-Neo transport mechanism and stunning D/A converter technology, in a simple interface with a modern space saving factor - this is the product concept of our "X" integrated players originally evolved from the "X-01".

The newest member of the "05" series is an integrated player provided with VRDS-NEO (VMK-5), mechanism and the experience of the "01" and "03" series technologies.

The X-05 is a true evolution of musical expression presented for the 20th anniversary of ESOTERIC.

VRDS-NEO "VMK-5" mechanism - incorporating high reliability and exceptionally quiet turntable rotation

VRDS-NEO ( VMK-5 ) The VRDS-NEO "VMK-5" mechanism is a completely new development by ESOTERIC and an evolution of 20 years of ESOTERIC turntable disc drive mechanisms. The new "VMK-5" is optimized for high speed disc rotation of Super Audio CD software, incorporating a high precision aluminum turntable. The polycarbonate anti-resonance disc clamp is attached to the turntable to reduce unwanted vibrations associated with single material turntable design. As a result of this engineering implementation, the "VMK-5" keeps the rotational inertia within a minimum level, as compared to conventional designs. This ensures high reliability, controlled resonance and extremely quiet operation.

Highly rigid BMC + steel hybrid turntable bridge component

Turntable bridge components incorporate a highly rigid BMC (Bulk Molding compound) + a steel hybrid material. BMC has a high specific gravity and high internal loss that enables highly precise cast molding. This hybrid design reduces unwanted motor noise and vibration allowing very smooth turntable rotation.

ESOTERIC's proprietary disc loading mechanism

The series of operation from the tray closing (opening), to the disc clamping (release), is managed by a unique disc loading mechanism which uses ESOTERIC's proprietary "differential gear" system. This "differential gear" system enables exceptionally smooth disc loading operation thanks to the seamless engagement of the tray and disc clamp gears during the entire loading operation. (JP PAT. 2861798 TEAC CORPORATION).

Turntable motor spindle design

The turntable motor is placed under the turntable and the spindle is temporarily disconnected from the turntable to accept the disc during loading operation (PAT. Pend.). With this implementation, the "VMK-5" applies VRDS technology in a compact and low-profile design. The short spindle shaft design contributes to very stable turntable rotation, eliminating vibration and random movements associated with long shaft designs. @The spindle motor incorporates a Frequency Generation ("FG"), sensor enabling self detection of rotational speed. This design provides ultra fast motor response and optimal speed control capability. By comparison, conventional mechanisms cannot detect motor speed before reading disc information.

Pickup structure Pickup structure designed to prevent laser optical axis tilting during lens movement

ESOTERIC developed an ingenious component structure for driving the pickup lens using a highly accurate shaft-mounted laser pickup assembly. This system ensures that the laser optical axis is always positioned at the very center of the pit track for optimal reading, making it possible to minimize the adverse effects of disc surface shaking and offset tracking. This highly accurate pickup system design (also used by ESOTERIC in the P-01 and the P-03 transports), and vibration-free VRDS turntable are the primary factors defining the outstanding mechanical performance of the X-05. Furthermore, no off axis error correction is required because no off axis data tracking is allowed.

2 channel dedicated analog audio output / Precise imaging and deeper sound stage

The D/A converter incorporate Cirrus Logic's 24-bit / 192 kHz processing DAC device, model CS4398 in a dual mono configuration. The analog audio output circuits are also designed in a dual mono configuration producing exceptionally strong channel separation. This 2 channel dedicated circuit design contributes to precise imaging, exceptional detail and a deeper sound stage for the X-05.

Rich and high speed power supply capability

The large toroidal transformer has a highly efficient power supply capability. This provides electric power to the drive mechanism and audio circuits very quickly, without adding transformer noise or unwanted distortion to the signal path.

Word synchronization

The X-05 features a WORD SYNC input terminal to accept an incoming external WORD clock signal. The input can operate with 44.1 / 88.2 / 100 / 176.4 kHz clock signals. The unit can also operate using an ESOTERIC original 100 kHz Universal Clock signal (Single freq. compatible w/ SACD/CD and DVD). The incoming ultra-stable clock signal produced by external components such as a master clock sync generator, effectively upgrade the unit, delivering higher performance with better detail and a more natural sound. Because external master clocks generate a signal to re-time synchronization of the DAC and transport; acoustic transparency, staging, imaging, channel separation and detail often improve.

Highly rigid chassis construction for optimal resonance control capability

The X-05 front panel is made of thick extruded aluminum. This helps to insure chassis rigidity which reduces unwanted resonance and provides a stronger support structure for the center mounted VRDS mechanism. The top and side panels are made of 5 mm thick aluminum. The bottom chassis features a heavy duty 5 mm thick steel plate. The toroidal transformer support base also features 5 mm steel plate for better resonance absorption. Combined with three pinpoint isolation feet made of quenched steel, this chassis design helps to isolate the unit from external vibrations, allowing precise mechanism mounting and highly-rigid, resonance-free system construction.

Top panel window

The VRDS-NEO "VMK-5" and its operation are visible from the top panel window. The mechanism is illuminated with LEDs during disc load and unload operations, enhancing both its mechanical and cosmetic appeal.

System Super Audio CD, CD, CD-R, and CD-RW
Audio output (Analog Audio) Connectors XLR balanced (2 channel) ×1
RCA unbalanced (2 channel) ×1
Maximum Output level (1kHz, full scale) 2.2Vrms ±0.1V/10kohms
Frequency response 5Hz to 80kHz (SACD, DSD setting: Direct)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (S/N) 130dB
Dynamic range 107dB
Total harmonic distortion 0.001%
Audio output (Digital Audio) OPTICAL Optical digital jack ×1
*i.LINK (AUDIO) 6pin ×1, 4pin ×1 (Optional)
Word Synchronization input format Connector BNC
Input frequency 44.1/88.2/100/176.4 kHz
Input level TTL level/75ohm
General Power supply AC 230V 50Hz
AC 120V 60Hz
AC 220V 60Hz
Power consumption 15W
External dimensions (W×H×D) 442×153×353 mm (17.4×6.0×13.9 ")
Weight 17.2kg (38.9lbs)
- Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.
- This product is available in three different power supply variations shown in the chart above. Make sure that the voltage shown on the rear panel matches the AC line voltage in your area.
- The shape of the AC inlet and plug of the supplied power cord depends on the voltage rating and destination country.


i.LINK (AUDIO) board as an optional upgrade service
For multi-channel digital audio output capability, an i.LINK (Audio), board, equipped with 4P and 6P terminals is available as an optional upgrade service. For more information on this option please contact your local ESOTERIC importer.

x05 x05 x05

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