CES & THE Show 2012 • Hot Product

Esoteric isn't known for doing things the easy way with its digital components, and the new P-02 CD/SACD transport and D-02 digital-to-analog converter ($23,500 each) go to new levels of fanaticism -- and functionality -- for the brand. The transport still uses a version of Esoteric's VRDS disc-clamping drive system along with massive chassis parts and multiple power supplies, but a "PLL-less" 22.5792mHz internal master clock is new. The D-02 uses eight AKM 32-bit DAC chips per channel in a patent-pending configuration along with a new 35-bit algorithm, resulting in what Esoteric calls "analog decoding that is 2048 times smoother than 24-bit processing."

The two units communicate via a new proprietary protocol called ES-LINK3, which allows for transfer from transport to DAC at 48 bits and 176.4kHz. Dual AES connection is also available at 24-bits and 352.8kHz. The DAC can also decode downloaded data via asynchronous USB, S/PDIF or AES/EBU digital inputs at up to 24 bits and 192kHz.

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