The K-05 Super Audio CD player is the core model in the K series, following the legendary K-01 and K-03 players.


1 year warranty

Finance example

£1,600.00 initial 20% deposit then £213.33 per month for 30 months. Other finance terms available. Finance subject to status



The first version of the K-05 was launched in 2011, and in 2015 this evolved into the K-05X. The K-05X instantly became a top seller because of features such as the VRDS-NEO Super Audio CD transport mechanism. This mechanism uses a unique construction that enables it to provide an outstanding level of musical performance, which is why it was adopted by a number of other world-famous high-end audio makers. In its third generation form, the K-05Xs, incorporates the best qualities of Esoteric’s flagship model, the Grandioso K1. It combines established class-leading features, such as the VRDS-NEO(VMK-5)mechanism and a high-rigidity aluminum chassis, with the latest K1 DAC platform employing a new dual-mono D/A converter, high current output buffer amplifiers and a new power supply.


The unique VRDS-NEO VMK-5 transport mechanism featured in this new model 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.

Following in the Footsteps of the Grandioso K1: The New Dual Mono D/A Converter
The digital-analog converter section has been fully redesigned based on the latest platform used in the Grandioso K1. An AK4493 32-bit DAC from Asahi Kasei Electronics has been combined with premium components and the latest design technology to provide an exceptional level of sound quality. Four converters are used in each channel in a parallel differential configuration, to provide class-leading linearity and extremely low distortion. Like the K-01Xs and K-03Xs, additional buffer amplifiers are placed immediately after the DAC outputs and this gives a more powerful bass and better reproduction of low-level signals. The layout of the DAC power section has been revised to provide further improvements to the noise performance and stability.

34-bit D/A Processing for Outstanding Powers of Musical Expression
The K-05Xs combines multiple 32-bit DAC chipsets and utilizes a 34-bit D/A processing algorithm to convert the PCM signal to analog at a high resolution of 34 bits. 34-bit processing achieves an astounding resolution that is fully 1,024 times that of 24-bit processing. 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 even with extremely small music signals.

Esoteric-HCLD: A Unique Output Buffer Circuit that Optimizes Current Transmission
For an output stage to faithfully convey the wide dynamic range of a musical performance to the next component in the system, it needs to be able to deliver high currents at high speed. To achieve this, the K-05Xs uses the same Esoteric-HCLD (High Current Line Driver) output buffer as our top-of-the-line-models. This buffer uses high-speed output devices to provide an exceptionally high slew rate of 2,000V/μs. Each channel uses two buffer circuits. These are configured differentially for the XLR output and in parallel for the RCA output to provide outstanding linearity and dynamics.

ES-Link Analog: A High Sound Quality Current Transmission Analog Interface
As well as the standard XLR and RCA analog interfaces, Esoteric’s proprietary “ES-Link Analog” analog interface is also fitted and this is incorporated into the XLR output circuit. This takes advantage of the high current drive capability of the HCLD buffer circuit, making it less susceptible to the effects of the impedance of the signal path and enabling the audio signal to be transmitted with improved clarity and dynamics. The maximum potential of this system is obtained when it is used with compatible equipment such as Esoteric’s F Series integrated amplifiers*. * Optional OP-ESLA1 input board is required.

Generously Rated High-Speed Power Supply
Together with the D/A converter and output buffer amplifier, the quality of the power supply is also a key factor in achieving high sound quality. In the K-05Xs, this has been re-engineered to provide greater stability and lower noise, combining a large toroidal power transformer with new capacitors designed for exceptional sound quality and a set of super EDLC capacitors.* This set has an extremely large capacity of 330,000μF, enabling the power supply to provide each section with a clean and stable power source.
* EDLC = Electric Double-Layer Capacitor

Wide Range of Upsampling Options
In addition to playing back a digital audio source at the original sample rate, the K-05Xs can upsample PCM signals to 2x, 4x, 8x and 16x (maximum 768kHz). It can also convert a PCM source to DSD 512 (22.5MHz). A DSD filter may be switched in according to preference.

Tech spec


Super Audio CD, CD (including CD-R and CD-RW)

Frequency response

5 Hz to 55kHz (- 3 dB)

S/N ratio


Total harmonic distortion

0.0013% (1 kHz)

External dimensions (W x H x D, including protrusions)

445 mm x 132 mm x 357 mm


approx. 15.1 kg

For more information click here to visit the Esoteric website


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