VRDS-NEO mechanism:
Ultra-high-precision turntable system
When a SACD or DVD disc is played, the higher-speed rotation required for playback causes increased and unwanted vibrations. These vibrations cause the disc surface to shake, making it difficult for the laser pickup to accurately read the data. The VRDS turntable is designed to physically correct all vibrations and fully stabilize the disc so that adverse effects during high-speed rotation are minimized. High-speed rotation also necessitates that the spindle shaft be more rigid. The turntable, (the heart of the VRDS mechanism), is supported by several high-precision, highly rigid mechanical components.

Coreless motor with no rotational irregularities
Esoteric has developed a long-life three-phase brushless spindle motor for high-speed rotation. Development of the magnetic circuit, consisting of a neodymium magnet structure, was completed through numerous tests and scientific validations including magnetic field analysis. The optimized magnetic circuit minimizes rotational irregularities in the motor and makes it possible to reduce fluctuations in the motor drive current, thereby lessening any effects on audio circuits and other areas that may be subject to the injection of noise.

Duralumin turntable
During SACD or DVD playback, the maximum rotation speed is approximately 4.5 times greater than the rotational speed during conventional CD playback. To ensure that the turntable can handle this high-speed rotation, Esoteric selected duralumin as the turntable material of choice. This material is best known as the outer body material used in hi-speed hi-elevation aircraft. Esoteric has developed new technology for processing duralumin into lower mass with higher precision. This enables smooth turntable response and stable data acquisition properties by preventing disc vibration. The turntable is dyed black to absorb any diffused reflections of the laser beam from the pickup. Rigidity and precision are significantly improved by the use of highly specialized ball bearings used in the spindle shaft bearing assembly.

Precision bearings
A pair of precise ball bearings is used in the spindle shaft bearing unit and a preload is applied to the inner bearing rings to
significantly reduce rattle and shaft shake during use. This dramatically increases the precision of the bearing unit and greatly improves rotational and positioning accuracy. As a result, the correlation precision between the disc and pickup is
improved, a factor which is closely related to transport performance and data acquisition. Esoteric has collaborated with a bearing manufacturer and has newly specified and developed an original bearing optimized exclusively for the VRDS-NEO mechanism. A pair of ceramic ball bearings support precisely controlled turntable rotation from low speed to high speed.

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Massive bridge unit made from SS400 steel supports the turntable and spindle unit
The precision and rigidity improvements to the turntable and spindle alone will not ensure good results if the bridge supporting them has not also been improved. Therefore, Esoteric selected 20mm (3/4") thick,SS400 steel for the support bridge. Any vibrations originating from the spindle during rotation are subsequently attenuated by the mass of the bridge.

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Advanced pickup technology - thread servo section
Esoteric developed an ingenious component structure for driving the pickup lens and a horizontal sled structure to move the pickup unit with an extremely high level of accuracy. This system ensures that the laser's optical axis is always positioned at the very center of the pit track for optimal reading. These modifications to earlier VRDS mechanisms (P-0) make it possible to minimize the adverse effects of disc surface shaking and eccentricity at higher rotational speeds.

Pickup structure designed to prevent laser optical axis tilt during lens movement
Optical pickups in ordinary players are designed so that the lens hangs from a wire or a group of wires. This design is not only low in rigidity but allows the laser's optical axis to tilt away from a vertical orientation to the disc as the lens moves. When this occurs, major error correction is required (data is lost and must then be interpolated). In contrast, the pickup used in top Esoteric players has a shaft-sliding structure that prevents the laser's optical axis from tilting even when the lens is moved. Esoteric has also increased the rigidity of the parts supporting the lens on a horizontal platform. Although this is expensive to accomplish, Esoteric's design implementation greatly improves data acquisition and eliminates the need for off-axis error correction.

Speed feedback-controlled sled transport with superior response and minimal extraneous pickup lens movement
In order to provide a very high-performance pickup capable of smooth continuous movement, a proprietary hall element sensing-type three-phase brushless motor is used in the sled transport. Powerful electronic speed feedback circuits control this sled mechanism.

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Vibration isolation for spindle motor system and sled moving system
The spindle system, which may generate fine vibrations during rotation, is isolated from the sled moving system. Since the sled mechanism requires very delicate movement control, this isolation from high-frequency vibrations is another Esoteric implementation that ensures superior data read and acquisition.

High-precision mechanism and new software-controlled servo system for superior playback
This precision-machined proprietary mechanism combines with new system software to provide optimal servo control for each type of disc.

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Additional Peychev comments
With the exception of Denon, all high-end audio manufacturers use original Philips, Sony, Pioneer, Sharp and Sanyo transports. Some of the manufacturers like Audiomeca mount the transport (Philips) on their own subassemblies to reduce vibrations. The only other truly massive transports were in Sony's SCD-1 and 777ES which are no longer in production. As nice as those were, the VRDS-NEO is still light years ahead. Its full-size magnesium clamp is the actual spindle motor as well. The 2-inch stainless steel bridge on the top and the precision ball bearing hold the full-size magnesium clamper/spindle motor to become an integral part of the transport unlike the Silver Dollar-sized spindle in all other transports including the CDM PRO2. Furthermore, the VRDS-NEO features a very unique laser pickup which has an air-suspended focus lens on a magnetic field. The tracking is a combination of radial and linear tracking. The tracking motor is a brushless/slotless high-precision motor unlike the cheap and noisy DC tracking motors used elsewhere.

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All digital players currently in existence (including Denon and Marantz) are built around Sony, Pioneer, Matsushita, Philips, Sanyo, Sharp, Toshiba, Yamaha, MediaTek, Mitsubishi, NEC, Samsung and STi digital signal and servo control processors simply because the development of such devices is very expensive and requires huge design resources. This also applies to the Teac Esoteric products which mostly use Sony DSP and servos. Still, to my knowledge they are the only manufacturer who decided to make a difference and design a true state-of-the-art digital transport of their own - the VRDS-NEO. Nothing else comes even remotely close. Since Esoteric holds the patents on the VRDS-NEO, the only way other manufacturers can obtain this transport quality is to OEM with Esoteric. Wadia did this for a number of years using the smallest CD-only VRDS. The newest player available to use the lighter VRDS-NEO is the Spectral SDR4000S which is CD only and around $25,000. There are other manufacturers strongly considering the OEM VRDS-NEO. That comes in two versions. The lighter and cheaper one is around $3,000 to OEMs, the big one around $6,000. Minimum purchase quantity is 50 pieces. Compare this to the Philips CDM RPO2 at around $450, probably the most expensive 'normal' transport money can buy. All things considered, the VRDS NEO is truly in a league of one.

Esoteric comments
Mark Gurvey of Esoteric USA who kindly submitted the above images had this to say about the NWO 3.0-GO: "During the recent CES 2008, we heard this unit in a presentation by Alex. Yes, we were all very impressed. Reminds me of the AMG version step ups from Mercedes-Benz or the M series step ups from BMW. It is certainly a lot more than just supercharging the old Camaro. As you know, any product can be modified in the after market. If this is done, then our warranty no longer applies."

Alex Peychev comments
"Both the representatives of Esoteric USA and Japan were very impressed with the sound of the NWO 3.0-GO. At the end of the demo session in their own suite in the Venetian (the rest of the electronics and speakers were Esoteric too), they all clapped just like at a live concert. It was a huge reward for me!

"We have signed a mutual non-disclosure agreement with Esoteric a few years ago. Although it is true that the original warranty is voided, both Esoteric Japan and USA have provided me with a level of support that is truly exemplary. I am authorized to purchase any part I might eventually need for supporting the NWO line. APL Hi-Fi offers a 3-year warranty for the NWO players. After the warranty period, repairs will be performed at the actual parts cost and modest labor charge. Very special thanks to Esoteric for their tremendous help throughout the years!"