Esoteric Grandioso K1

Grandioso K1

SKU: Esoteric Grandioso K1 Category: Tags: ,



The Grandioso K1 takes its place at the pinnacle of this range as an all-in-one Super Audio CD player comprised of only the very best in luxurious materials expected of a flagship model.

It adopts a high precision VRDS-NEO VMK-3.5-20S transport mechanism and newly designed premium D/A converters with separate left and right power sources for each of its eight differential circuits.

It also includes the AK4497, which is the highest performance DAC in the history of AKM*.

Esoteric has also developed “ES-LINK Analog”, an original high quality current transmission method for connecting with the Grandioso F1 Integrated Amplifier.

Furthermore, every last corner of its electronic circuits has been refined, such as its 35-bit D/A processing algorithm, a HCLD buffer amplifier including 125,000 μF super capacitors, and a high-precision clock.

To put it simply, the Grandioso K1 opens up a new horizon for digital players.

 Grandioso is an Italian for “magnificent” or “majestic”.

*AKM: Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation

Grandioso K1

 Newly Designed Integrated Dual Monaural D/A Converters for the Ultimate in Quality

The D/A converters of the Grandioso K1 feature the lavish specifications expected of a premium all-in-one model in the Grandioso line.

This completely new design utilises the finest possible materials and circuit technology available in the world today.

The circuit incorporates the premium 32-bit AK4497 DAC chipset from AKM (Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation) in conjunction with the high-end MUSES 03 operational amplifier from New Japan Radio Co., Ltd.

Eight parallel/differential circuits drive each channel to achieve outstanding linearity and low distortion.

The D/A converter features separate left and right power transformers and eight power supply regulators for each channel located directly next to each circuit to ensure a clean and highly stable power supply.

The isolation of the digital circuits and analog circuits has also been made even better than before to endow listeners with vivid musical reproduction that is not only pure but also carries a superior image and depth.

35-bit D/A Processing for Outstanding Powers of Musical Expression

The Grandioso K1 combines multiple 32-bit DAC chipsets and utilises a 35-bit D/A processing algorithm to convert the PCM signal to analog at a high resolution of 35 bits.

35-bit processing achieves an astounding resolution that is fully 2,048 times that of 24-bit processing.

In the digital range, full advantage is taken of high-bit data gradation to minimise calculation errors and provide faithful conversion to analog, thereby attaining outstanding powers of expression even with extremely small music signals.

Esoteric-HCLD*1: Esoteric’s Proprietary Current-Enhancing Output Buffer Circuit

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 Grandioso K1 offers the ultimate performance as a line driver by adopting high-performance elements with a high output current capacity 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 maximised.

Furthermore, an EDLC*2 super capacitor array is utilised as the power source of the buffer circuits. Its amazingly high capacity of 125,000 μF for each channel provides unwavering low-frequency ranges and enables the reproduction of musical dynamism with breathtaking reality.

*1: HCLD = High Current Line Driver

*2: EDLC = Electric Double-layer Capacitor

“ES-LINK Analog” Method for High Quality Current Transmission

In addition to regular line connections (XLR and RCA), the Grandioso K1 features the new “ES-LINK Analog” transmission method developed by Esoteric.

This is a current transmission signaling that utilises 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 maximises the system’s potential when connected to a compatible device.*

Included in the Grandioso F1 as of September 2016. 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.

Comprehensive D/D Conversion Compatible with a Wide Range of Sources

In addition to playback at the original sampling frequency, 2X, 4X and 8X up-conversion of the PCM digital signal is also provided.

A PCM to DSD conversion function using a unique algorithm is also included, enabling the user to select the conversion method that suits their preferences.

Digital Inputs

Three digital inputs (USB, coaxial, and optical) enable connection to a wide range of systems.

Coaxial and optical inputs support DSD 2.8 MHz (DoP) input and PCM of up to 192 kHz/24-bit.

USB Support for 11.2 MHz DSD, 384 kHz/32-bit PCM, and Asynchronous Transmission

The Grandioso K1 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 K1 supports asynchronous transmission and playback at high sampling rates up to 11.2 MHz DSD and 384 KHz/32-bit PCM studio-master-quality source files. Native playback of DSD files is also supported.

High-Precision VCXO Clock

Often considered the heart of a digital player, the clock circuit supplies a high-accuracy reference clock signal to the digital circuitry.

The Grandioso Custom VCXO (voltage-controlled crystal oscillator) developed in a joint effort with Nihon Dempa Kogyo (NDK) is a high-precision custom clock that adopts a large crystal element to ensure exceptional sound playback quality with excellent center accuracy (±0.5 ppm) and extremely low levels of phase noise.

The quality of this VCXO is strictly controlled, and only the selected chipset is used for the K1.

Clock Sync Function for Synchronisation with External Devices

Connecting the Grandioso K1 to a high-precision master clock generator such as the Grandioso G1 allows synchronisation of the unit’s operation with an external clock signal, thereby enabling the quality of the system to be further upgraded.

The supported input frequencies are 44.1/88.2/ 176.4 kHz, as well as 10 MHz and 22 MHz.

Synchronisation with an external clock is also available when USB input is used.

Custom Clock Input Cable with MIL Standard SMA Connector

The clock input wiring uses hardwired connection with a custom coaxial cable of the finest quality.

This cable adopts a MIL-compliant gold plated SMA connector that was specifically developed for high frequency transmission and an original milled brass BNC terminal designed by ESOTERIC to achieve a secure connection, in order to minimise loss of transmission to the utmost limit.

Output Modes

The analog audio output can be switched between ES-LINK Analog, RCA, and XLR. Hot 2 or Hot 3 XLR pin assignments can also be selected.

Loss in audio quality is eliminated with a non-contact system by performing phase inversion in the digital domain

Specifications GRANDIOSO K1

Super Audio CD, CD (including CD-R and CD-RW)
Connectors XLR connector (2ch) × 1 pair

RCA connector (2ch) × 1 pair

Output impedance XLR: 20 Ohms

RCA: 23.5 Ohms

Maximum output level (1 kHz, 10k Ohm load) XLR: 5.0 Vrms

RCA: 2.5 Vrms

Frequency response 5 Hz to 55 kHz (- 3 dB, SACD, XLR out)
S/N ratio 120dB (SACD, XLR out)
Total harmonic distortion 0.0008% (1 kHz, SACD, XLR out)
XLR connector ×1 3 Vp-p (into 110 Ohm)
RCA connector ×1 0.5 Vp-p (into 75 Ohm)
RCA connector ×1 (input impedance 75 Ohms) 0.5 Vp-p
Optical digital connector ×1 -24.0 to -14.5dBm peak
USB-B connector USB 2.0 standard
Connector BNC
Supported input frequencies (±10ppm) 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, 192 kHz, 10 MHz, 22.5792 MHz, 24.576 MHz
Input impedance 50 Ohm
Input level Rectangle wave: equivalent to TTL levels; Sine wave: 0.5 to 1.0 Vrms (50 to 75 Ohms)
Power supply AC 230V, 50Hz

AC 120V, 60Hz

AC 220V, 60Hz

External dimensions

(W x H x D, including protrusions)

445 x 162 x 448 mm

(17 5/8″ x 6 1/2″ x 17 3/4″)

Weight 33 kg (72 7/8 lb)
Power cord set x 1; Remote control (RC-1315) x 1; Batteries for remote control (AAA) x 2; Owner’s manual x 1; Warranty card x 1




Pride and Mission of "ESOTERIC" They are to reproduce the Original Master Sound,

"The joy of the highest levels of musical elation." Their corporate philosophy, as their foundation, has been unremittingly developing excellent audio products to reproduce the original sound performed by musicians in studio or concert hall. Since the inception of TEAC corporation in 1953, audio equipment has gone through various phases of development. From analogue vinyl records to analogue tapes, CDs to Super Audio CDs in digital era, then streaming audio in nowadays, there have been undergoing several transitions and technical innovations in auditory media. ESOTERIC COMPANY, which was born in the midst of such transition, shall pursue a unique path as a high-end audio brand, by deploying Super Audio CD players equipped with the VRDS mechanism that has sublimated its original mechatronics technology, as well as D/A converters, network players, amplifiers, and clock generators. Despite changing times and whirlwind markets, there remain musical connoisseurs who are seeking true excitement. As long as there are such people, we shall with great care, develop and actively release new products, that improve upon the "state of the art," within each business category that we pursue. We believe this is our mission


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