D-05X 34-bit Dual Mono D/A Converter


A DAC following in the footsteps of the Grandioso D1, with uncompromising audio quality

The D-05X uncompromisingly inherits the DAC design philosophy of the Grandioso D1 flagship device and updates all the circuit components from the original D-05 model to obtain sound quality that should be considered the standard for ultra-high end devices. It includes a large capacitance power supply with two large toroidal transformers at the core for independent left and right channels. The circuit size of the DAC has been doubled to have four differential circuits per channel. In terms of functionality, the D-05X features ES-LINK4 digital transmission, 34-bit D/A processing, the well-received ESOTERIC-HCLD line buffer from the Grandioso C1 preamp, and the unique ES-LINK Analog line transmission for high audio quality. It also supports playback at high resolutions such as DSD 22.5 MHz to obtain even more outstanding audio playback overall.


34-bit Resolution Accentuates the Most Delicate Sound Textures
The D-05X uses 8 (4 + 4) DAC circuits to achieve its low-noise and phenomenal linearity. Its AK4497 chipsets are produced by Asahi Kasei Microdevices. In addition to directly processing DSD signals, a new 34-bit D/A processing algorithm performs analog conversion of the PCM signal at 34-bit resolution for smooth, delicately detailed high-resolution sound quality.

ESOTERIC-HCLD*: ESOTERIC’s Exclusive Output Buffer Delivers Powerful Direct Current Transmission
The ability to produce comparatively large currents and high slew rates are two of the most important factors that enable an analog output circuit to accurately transmit the wide dynamic range of a music signal without degradation. The D-05X offers the ultimate performance as a line driver by adopting high-performance elements with a high current output and exceptionally fast slew rate (2,000V/μs) for excellent response speed. Two of these buffer circuits are employed per channel. By configuring them differentially to drive the XLR outputs and in parallel to drive the RCA outputs, the instantaneous output current available is maximized. By maximizing instantaneous current output, the D-05X reproduces the full dynamics of music with breathtaking realism.
*HCLD=High Current Line Driver

“ES-LINK Analog” Method for High Quality Current Transmission
In addition to regular line connections (XLR and RCA), the D-05X features the new “ES-LINK Analog” transmission method developed by ESOTERIC. This is a current transmission signaling that utilizes the high performance of the HCLD buffer circuit and its enhanced ability to supply current at high-speed. This is the ideal analog audio transmission as it is free from impedance of signal route, thus fully maximizes the system’s potential when connected to a compatible device.*
*Included in the Grandioso F1 as of March 2017. A standard balance cable (with an XLR terminal) is used for connections, but the “ES-LINK Analog” method can only be used with compatible devices since it is a proprietary transmission method.

Wide-Range D/D Conversion Compatible with Many Sources
In addition to playback at a source’s original sampling frequency, the D-05X also features PCM up-conversion capability (2x, 4x, 8x) and PCM-to-DSD conversion that uses a proprietary algorithm to convert the PCM signal to fixed 22.5MHz DSD, enabling significantly smoother musical reproduction.

Digital Inputs Support High Sampling Rates
The D-05X’s coaxial and optical inputs support PCM signals up to 24-bit/192kHz and 2.8MHz DSD (DoP). Two XLR inputs support 48-bit/192kHz (ES-LINK3), 24-bit/384kHz (Dual AES 8Fs) and 5.6MHz DSD (DoP Dual XLR mode).

USB Support for 22.5MHz DSD, 768kHz/32-bit PCM, and Asynchronous Transmission
IThe D-05X includes a USB terminal for connecting to computers, and the driver and “ESOTERIC HR Audio Player” playback software can be downloaded from the ESOTERIC website free-of-charge. The D-05X supports asynchronous transmission and playback at high sampling rates up to 22.5 MHz DSD and 768 KHz/32-bit PCM studio-master-quality source files.

Changeable XLR Output Pin Assignment
As phase can be digitally inverted in a contactless system, either Hot 2 or Hot 3 can be selected with no deterioration in sound quality.

Analog Audio Outputs
Terminals XLR: 1 pair (L/R)
RCA: 1 pair (L/R)
Output impedance XLR: 44 Ohms
RCA: 22 Ohms
Maximum output level (1 kHz, full-scale, into 10k Ohms) XLR: 5.0 Vrms (when set to 0 dB)
RCA: 2.5 Vrms
Frequency response
(192kHz PCM signal input)
5 Hz to 65 kHz (- 3 dB)
S/N ratio 120dB (1kHz, A-weighted)
Total harmonic distortion 0.0008% (1 kHz)
Digital Audio Input: ES-LINK Terminals
Terminals 1 pair (L/R)
Input signal format Linear PCM (ES-LINK4) 352.8 / 384kHz, 48-bit
Digital Audio Input: XLR
Terminals 2 (Selectable: Dual AES×1 or Single AES × 2)
Input level 5.0 Vp-p
Input impedance 110 Ohms
Dual Connection
Input Signal Format
88.2-384kHz, 16/24-bit Linear PCM (DUAL AES)
88.2-192kHz, 48-bit Linear PCM (ES-LINK3)
Single Connection Input Signal Format 32−192kHz, 16/24-bit Linear PCM (AES/EBU)
Digital Audio Input: RCA
Terminals 1
Input level 0.5 Vp-p
Input impedance 75 Ohms
Input signal format 32-192kHz, 16/24-bit Linear PCM (IEC60958)
Digital Audio Input: Optical digital
Terminals 1
Input level -24.0 − -14.5dBm peak
Input signal format 32-192kHz, 16/24-bit Linear PCM (IEC60958)
Digital Audio Input: USB
Terminals USB port B x1
Input signal format 44.1-768kHz, 16/24/32-bit, Linear PCM
DSD 2.8MHz, 5.6MHz, 11.2MHz, 22.5MHz
Clock Output
Connector BNC x1
Output frequency
44.1kHz, 88.2kHz, 176.4kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz, 192kHz
22.5792MHz, 24.576MHz
Same as input frequency (when set to through output)
same frequency as input (when output set to thru)
Output level TTL level equivalent (into 75 Ohms)
Output frequency precision ±0.5 ppm (when shipped new)
Clock Input
Connector BNC ×1
Input frequency compatibility  

44.1kHz, 88.2kHz, 176.4kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz, 192kHz
10MHz, 22.5792MHz, 24.576MHz (±10ppm)

Input impedance 50 Ohms
Input level TTL level equivalent
Power supply AC 220-240V, 50/60Hz
AC 120V, 60Hz
AC 220V, 60Hz
Power consumption 25W
External dimensions
(W x H x D, including protrusions)
(17 5/8″ × 5 1/4″ ×14 1/4″)
Weight 14.0 kg (30 7/8 lb)
Included accessories
Power cord ×1, HDMI cable ×1, Felt pads ×3, Owner’s manual ×1, Warranty card ×1


D-05X Manual English, French, Spanish (PDF) TBD
D-05X Manual German, Italian (PDF) TBD