Packed with Esoteric mechatronics, the VRDS uses a turntable to rotate CDs and Super Audio CDs, and mechanical correction of surface vibration is used to dramatically improve reading precision. Featured in the K-01Xs, the VRDS-NEO [VMK-3.5-20S] uses a pair of specially selected high-precision ball bearings for the spindle bearing as well as a duralumin turntable accurate within microns and a 20 mm-thick steel turntable bridge. The weight of the mega-unit is 5.2kg (12kg including the rigid base). It features a range of classic mechanisms including the coreless three-phase brushless spindle motor driven by a strong magnet and the VS-DD (VRDS Spindle Discrete Driver). These are combined with a quiet shutter mechanism* in the tray to provide the ultimate precision.
New Dual Mono D/A Converter
The D/A converter section was created based on the latest platform used in the Grandioso K1, with the very finest premium materials and circuit technology added to take it to the highest level of sound quality. The AK4497 32-bit premium DAC device from Asahi Kasei Electronics is combined with a high-quality operational amplifier (MUSES 02 in the K-01Xs and MUSES 8820 in the K-03Xs). The K-01Xs has 8 circuits per channel while the K-03Xs has a 4-circuit parallel/differential circuit structure for powerful linearity with minimal distortion. The circuit patterns of the DAC’ s power section have been further improved, with independent left and right power transformers in the K-01Xs to achieve a clean and highly stable power supply. Both the digital and analogue circuits have more thorough isolation than previous models, achieving true-to-life playback with outstanding purity and superb sound stage depth.
Wide Range of D/D Conversion According to Source
In addition to the original Fs playback, this series has a function for up-conversion of PCM digital signals by 2×, 4×, 8× or 16× (maximum 768kHz). It also features a PCM > DSD conversion function using a proprietary algorithm. DSD is up-converted to 22.5MHz. The unit also features a DSD digital filter that can be turned on or off as desired.
Three digital inputs (USB, coaxial, and optical) enable connection to a wide range of systems. Coaxial and optical inputs support DSD 2.8 MHz (DoP) input and PCM of up to 192 kHz/24-bit. USB Audio Interface Compatible with DSD22.5MHz, PCM768kHz/32bit and Asynchronous Transmission The unit is equipped with a USB port enabling connection to a computer. The driver and playback software (Esoteric HR Audio Player) can be downloaded from the Esoteric website. The unit supports asynchronous transmission and a high sampling playback of DSD22.5MHz and PCM768kHz/32bit, and even enables high-quality playback of studio master quality sources. In addition to conventional asynchronous transmission methods, it supports the new Bulk Pet method for an even wider range of tone selection.
High-Precision VCXO Clock
The clock circuit supplies a high-accuracy reference clock signal to the digital circuitry. The Grandioso Custom VCXO (voltage-controlled crystal oscillator) is a high-precision custom clock that utilizes a large crystal element to ensure exceptional sound quality with excellent center accuracy (±0.5ppm) and extremely low levels of phase noise.
Clock Sync Function for Synchronization with External Devices
Connecting the K-01Xs (K-03Xs) to a high-precision master clock generator such as the G-01X or the G-02X allows synchronization of the unit's operation with an external clock signal, thereby enabling the quality of the system to be further upgraded. Synchronization with an external clock is also available when USB input is used.
The analogue audio output can be switched between ES-LINK Analog, RCA, and XLR. Hot 2 or Hot 3 XLR pin assignments can also be selected. Loss in audio quality is eliminated with a non-contact system by performing phase inversion in the digital domain.
Support for Future System Upgrades
RCA (S/PDIF) or XLR (AES/EBU) digital outputs are provided. These allow the player's performance to be upgraded by the addition of a top-end Esoteric D/A converter.
*This circuit can be turned off when digital output is not in use.
Chassis Construction and Parts Layout
The VRDS-NEO transport mechanism is positioned in the center of the unit, directly attached to the 5 mm-thick steel chassis bottom, and is supported at three points by Esoteric's proprietary pinpoint feet (Patent No. 4075477 and 3778108) to effectively suppress vibration. The chassis interior features a double-deck construction. The audio boards are located on the upper layer of the chassis, being isolated from the power supply components on the lower layer, and the power supply wiring has been made as short as possible. The K-01Xs features four large toroidal transformers: one for each of the two built-in monaural D/A converters, one for the audio circuitry, and one for the VS-DD spindle servo driver. The K-03Xs is equipped with two large toroidal transformers: one for the analogue circuitry and the other for the digital/mechanism drive circuitry. This design provides ideal power supply capability to all circuit blocks without interference.