Esoteric N-05XD Network DAC Preamplifier: Master Sound Discrete Converter and QVCS Volume Control

All TechWeek writers are indepentent and from many different countries. Some english misspelling and grammar mistakes may occur. Want to contribute? Join the team

The Esoteric N-05XD network DAC preamplifier inherits the “Master Sound Discrete DAC” philosophy already implemented in the Grandioso D1X reference DAC . The novelty includes a proprietary discrete transducer, which, according to the company, “strove for the original master sound.”

The device can be synchronized from an external 10 MHz oscillator. Esoteric N-05XD works with bitrates up to 32 bit / 384 kHz (PCM) and DSD 22.5 MHz – depending on the input interface.

The network components of the novelty are powered from a linear source borrowed from the N-01XD network player , which should provide increased musicality to the sound. The set includes a remote control, and the Esoteric Sound Stream app for iOS or Android will provide full control over the device. Roon certification has been promised in future updates. In addition, the model is equipped with a Bluetooth receiver.

At the same time, various systems are powered by their own power supplies – even separate transformers. For example, this applies to the indication circuitry serving the front panel display. The Esoteric N-05XD is built in a vibration-controlled chassis with semi-floating top and bottom body panels.

The Esoteric QVCS attenuator is responsible for volume control in the N-05XD – the same as in the Grandioso F1 integrated amplifier . It is a solution with independent left and right channels and positive and negative nets in them.

The buffered analog follower provides an output signal with a slew rate of 2,000 V / μs – the sound of a novelty should be truly dynamic. The N-05XD also received a proprietary ES-LINK Analog current output.

The balanced built-in headphone amplifier features a dedicated Esoteric-HCLD buffer circuit and provides a balanced signal to a 4-pin XLR connector (also available as an unbalanced 6.3mm jack). Headphones up to 600 ohms are supported.

The device received 11 switched inputs. Digital: XLR, 2 RCA, 2 optical, USB audio, Ethernet, 2 for USB sticks. Analogue: XLR and RCA. Analog outputs are available in XLR / ES-LINK and RCA options.

What do you think?

4 / 5. 42