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Esoteric Grandioso D1X-SE Monoblock DAC (set of 2)

Esoteric Grandioso D1X-SE Monoblock DAC (set of 2)

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The Ultimate Esoteric Monoblock DAC for the Ultimate in Stereo Playback.

Grandioso D1X SE

Grandioso D1X SE

Since its inception in 1987, Esoteric has been at the forefront of innovation as a high-end audio brand from Japan, continually pushing the boundaries of high quality sound reproduction. The Esoteric brand is known for its outstanding acoustic engineering that has sustained its reputation and prestige, its massive investment without regard to cost, its "museum quality" craftsmanship, and its beautiful designs worthy of music reproduction. "Grandioso" is the top model in each product category that has reached the highest level of quality defined by the brand.

In classical music, a phrase that indicates how a piece of music should be played is called a conception motto. For example, "cantabile" (as if singing), "legato" (smoothly), and so on. A flagship model should have the dignity and stature of a top-of-the-line product. We named it "grandioso" (grand, majestic, dignified), which we likened to the motto of classical music. Grandioso has brought a number of highly original innovations to the world of high-end audio, including the legendary VRDS-ATLAS Super Audio CD transport mechanism, the Master Sound Discrete DAC and the Master Sound Discrete Clock, which consist of unique discrete circuits.

Finally, three SE models are now available with new discrete clock technology and improved analog circuitry in the DAC. We are proud of our brand and always strive for the best sound.
The SE model we are releasing this time reflects every conceivable technological accumulation from the time the original model was launched to the present. Enjoy the enhanced presence, dynamics, and beautifully organic and musical textures of the three new SE models.

Grandioso D1X SE key features (New features of the SE model are shown with the icon.)
Grandioso D1X SE
  • “Master Sound Discrete DAC” – In-house developed FPGA, 64bit/512Fs Delta-Sigma modulator
  • Up-graded DAC board with specially selected quality parts including IDM-01
  • “ES-Link5” ultra-wide range digital transimission (DSD 22.5MHz, PCM 768kHz/48bit)
  • “Master Sound Discrete Clock for Digital Player” – in-house developed discrete clock module
  • “Esoteric-HCLD” output buffer amplifier (slew rate: 2,000V/μs)
  • “ES-Link Analog” current signal transmission output
  • Clock sync function
  • Low-feedback discrete DC regulators
  • Two independent toroidal power supply transformers/ch
  • MQA decorder / up-convert function
  • USB input (DSD 22.5MHz, PCM 768kHz/32bit, asynchronous transmission)
  • Semi-floating top panel
  • Redesigned pinpoint foot 
  • Version up service from the Grandioso D1X to the D1X SE is available.
* A discrete designed power regulator circuit that minimizes an amount of feedback while stbilizing supplying the power, reaalizes open and wide-spreading sound.

Master Sound Discrete DAC

The Master Sound Discrete DAC features a totally original design that represents the culmination of Esoteric's quest for an original master sound. Its high 64-bit/512Fs resolution provides vast improvements over our earlier DAC's 36-bit resolution, and enables support for the latest technologies such as playback of 22.5MHz DSD and 768kHz PCM audio. All processing is handled by Esoteric's own FPGA algorithm, and a discrete circuit design forgoes the use of generic DAC ICs in order to actualize Esoteric‘s vision down to the finest detail.

High 64-Bit/512Fs Resolution

How close can digital come to analog? With Esoteric's Master Sound Discrete DAC, this question becomes a thing of the past. The Master Sound Discrete DAC's 64-bit/512Fs resolution is the highest in Esoteric history, reducing digital rounding error to an absolute minimum in order to enable the faithful reproduction of the subtlest of textures.

Support for DSD 22.5 MHz DSD and 768 kHz PCM

The Master Sound Discrete DAC easily supports a broad range of formats, and can provide native playback of high resolution DSD master files. This impressive performance is merely one of its superlative attractions.

Our Aim Was to Faithfully Reproduce All the Vibrancy and Energy of Music.

64-bit/512Fs resolution and overwhelming performance. However, the true essence of this DAC cannot be discussed merely in terms of its specifications. The fundamental goal in the development of the Master Sound Discrete DAC was to achieve an accurate, full-bodied reproduction of all the vibrancy and energy of music. Music is infused with all the passion that a performer brings to a passage, with instantaneous and explosive energy. We wondered if it was possible to use higher-grade parts than integrated chips, as well as more luxurious materials, to create a more powerful DAC that could deliver a superlative analog signal. This idea led us to the discrete DAC. Esoteric's top engineering team painstakingly invested their very pride into realizing this complete, full-bodied sound.

Grandioso D1X SE
Luxurious Materials and Powerful Electrical Current Output

Featuring four DAC circuits per channel, their eight circuit elements are arranged in a semi-circle for equidistant signal transmission within each DAC. This total of 32 circuit elements are arranged in two circles that present a luxurious structure with all constituent components, including resistors, logic ICs, and power supplies, separated for all 32 of the circuits. Since each of these 32 circuits utilizes an independent power supply circuit, the music's full burst of energy can be output in its purest form. Furthermore, by selecting the same sort of ultra-high precision resistors used in measuring instruments, the DAC can perform high-speed digital arithmetic processing with greater accuracy.

Upgraded with IDM-01 and Other Quality Parts

In the new SE model, the discrete parts of the analog circuitry on the DAC board have been refreshed for even better sound quality. The amplifier element is the original "Integrated Discrete-Amplifier Module IDM-01". The materials, circuit patterns, and layout have been carefully studied by Esoteric's engineers as if designing an amplifier with a discrete configuration, and the extremely short signal path that takes advantage of integrated circuits amplifies the vibrancy of music in a dynamic and subtle way. The IDM-01 and other analog parts, such as analog filter resistors and capacitors, have been carefully selected to achieve a more vivid live sound, improved audible dynamics, and a more organic texture.

Grandioso D1X SE
Advanced Quality Control

With a discrete DAC, where component tolerances are directly linked to arithmetic precision, highly advanced quality control is also required for the manufacture of electronic circuit boards. Esoteric's own in-house factory boasts some of the world's leading board mounting technologies, such as soldering performed in an oxygen-free furnace, which is located in a clean room featuring the same level of cleanliness found in a hospital operating room. Technologies cultivated in the production of electronic circuit boards for audio, medical, aerospace, and defense industries support the high production quality of the Master Sound Discrete DAC.

Our Flagship Monoblock DAC Designed for the Ultimate in Stereophonic Reproduction.

Monoblock DAC

Setting its sights on achieving the highest levels of D/A conversion capability, Esoteric created the world's first monoblock D/A converter in 2004 with the D-01. The latest in this lineage of flagship D/A converters is the Grandioso D1X SE. Brushed up and liberally infused with new technologies, the D1X SE lets you fully enjoy the excellent channel separation of a dual monaural configuration coupled with truly stereophonic sound.

Esoteric-HCLD Output Buffer*

A fundamental element of audio quality, the Esoteric-HCLD output buffer amp is mounted on a separate board from the D/A converter, and its circuits have been upgraded to double the scale of the original Grandioso D1. As an indicator of its response speed, the buffer amp's main components boast an astoundingly high slew rate of 2,000V/μs. This buffer amp also features a four circuit parallel configuration for RCA output, and an extravagant configuration of two hot and cold circuits each for balanced XLR output. This enables the D1X to approach the very limits of powerful current-mode transmission and speed, which are the most important elements of an analog output circuit, and help reproduce the full reality of music with breathtaking dynamic range and clarity.
* HCLD: High Current Line Driver

ES-Link5 Digital Transmission

Esoteric’s own ES-Link digital interface utilizes HDMI cables for signal transmission. With the introduction of the P1X SE / D1X SE, ES-Link has been further upgraded to Ver. 5 and supports an even wider range of superior sound quality formats (Max. 22.5MHz DSD and 768kHz/48bit PCM). HDMI's multi-conductor structure permits full balance transmission of audio data and LR clock and bit clock signals.
This differs from regular digital transmission as signal modulation is not required on the sender side and demodulation processing is not required on the receiver side, thus dramatically reducing digital processing loads on the DAC side and enabling ideal digital transmission.

ES-Link Analog for Current Transmission of the Highest Audio Quality

In addition to its XLR and RCA line connections to the amplifier, the D1X SE has also been equipped with Esoteric's own ES-Link Analog transmission system. Current-mode signal transmission is less susceptible to the effects of signal route impedance, thus enabling more powerful signal transmission. When connected to supported devices, ES-Link Analog offers an ideal transmission system for maximizing system potential.
* Ordinary balanced cables (with XLR connectors) are used for connection. These connectors can only be used with compatible devices, however, because the transmission format is unique.

Grandioso D1X SE
Complete Isolation of Digital Circuits and Analog Circuits

All analog circuits are electrically isolated from the digital circuits, and separate power supplies are used for the digital and analog circuits. Each channel features two large and powerful toroidal power supply transformers, which provide a steady supply of clean power to each corresponding circuit block.

Low-Feedback DC Regulators

Both the P1X SE and D1X SE feature low-feedback discrete DC regulators. The reduction in feedback level helps achieve a vibrantly energetic sound that seemingly overflows with a sensation of openness.

EDLC Super Capacitors

Both the P1X SE and D1X SE include EDLC* super capacitors throughout their power supply circuitry. The P1X utilizes a total of 38 EDLCs (with a combined capacitance of 1,400,00μF or 1.4F), while the D1X features a total of 50 EDLCs (for a combined capacitance of 1,300,000μF/1.3F) for the pair. Through this maximization of power supply capacitance, remarkable improvements in low-range resolution and audio quality have been achieved.
* EDLC(Electric Double-Layer Capacitor): Developed as next-generation power devices for the electric vehicle industry, these capacitors are attracting wider attention as cutting-edge technology due to their exceptionally high capacitance.

D/D Conversion

The D1X SE features the ability to upconvert a PCM digital signal up to 2, 4, 8 or 16 times higher sampling frequency (Max.768kHz). It also features a PCM-to-DSD conversion function (up to 22.5MHz), and a DSD digital filter that can be freely switched on or off.

USB Audio Interface Supports 22.5MHz DSD, 768kHz/32-Bit PCM, and Asynchronous Transmission

The D1X SE also includes a USB terminal for connection to a computer or network transport, enabling playback of studio master quality audio sources.

Master Sound Discrete Clock for Digital Player

It is no exaggeration to say that the clock circuitry is the biggest key to high sound quality in digital music reproduction. For its flagship master clock generator Grandioso G1X, Esoteric has perfected its own in-house manufactured OCXO clock module, the Master Sound Discrete Clock. The G1X's unique discrete circuitry has been highly acclaimed for its superior musical expressiveness, creating a buzz in the world of high-end audio that has traditionally been described only in terms of technical specifications.

Grandioso D1X SE

The "Master Sound Discrete Clock for Digital Player" used in the D1X SE applies the basic design concept of G1X's in-house manufactured OCXO module to the internal clock of the digital player models. The unique circuit design using carefully selected discrete components, such as a large crystal oscillator, achieves high sound quality that reflects Esoteric's philosophy in every detail, which cannot be achieved with an off-the-shelf clock module. The D1X SE can also be connected to the Grandioso G1X external master clock generator to improve sound quality by synchronizing the internal circuitry to an even more accurate 10 MHz clock.

Multilayer Chassis

Special care was also taken in the chassis construction of each unit, with a rigid, heavy-duty, thick aluminum panel enclosure to ensure thorough vibration control. The bottom chassis, to which each circuit component is attached, adopts a multi-layer structure using multiple steel plates. The power transformer and other components are fixed on separate layers and placed in a three-dimensional arrangement to prevent mutual interference between each component. Esoteric’s original Pinpoint foot*, which integrates a spike and saucer, has been replaced with a new foot that is not bolted to the lower chassis, but is held in place by the weight of the chassis when installed. By avoiding the stress concentration caused by screwing the Pinpoint foot body into the large surface area of the lower chassis, a more open sound is created.
*Patent JP4075477 / JP3778108

Grandioso D1X SE’s Newly Designed Pinpoint Foot

Grandioso D1X SE

Upper Section of the Grandioso D1X SE


Lower Section of the Grandioso D1X SE

Semi Floating Top Panel

The enclosure’s top panel utilizes a screwless semi-floating structure that further contributes to an open and expansive sound.

Spec description

Digital audio inputs  
Input signal formats Linear PCM (ES-LINK5 format)
44.1k to 768kHz 48bit
DSD (ES-LINK5 format)
2.8MHz, 5.6MHz, 11.2MHz, 22.5MHz
Input level 5.0Vp-p
Input impedance 110Ω
Input signal formats
(DUAL connection)
Linear PCM (DUAL AES format)
88.2k to 384kHz, 16bit to 24bit
Linear PCM (ES-LINK3 format)
88.2k to 192kHz, 48bit
DSD (ES-LINK1, ES-LINK2, DoP format)
Input signal formats
(SINGLE connection)
Linear PCM (AES/EBU format)
32k to 192kHz, 16bit to 24bit
DSD (ES-LINK1, ES-LINK2, DoP format)
Input level 0.5Vp-p
Input impedance 75Ω
Input signal formats Linear PCM (IEC60958 format)
32k to 192kHz, 16bit to 24bit
DSD (DoP format)
Input level –24.0 to –14.5dBm peak
Input signal formats Linear PCM (IEC60958 format)
32k to 192kHz, 16bit to 24bit
DSD (DoP format)
USB 1 (USB2.0 standatd)
Input signal formats Linear PCM 44.1k to768kHz, 16bit to 32bit
DSD 2.8MHz, 5.6MHz, 11.2MHz, 22.5MHz
Analog audio outputs  
XLR/ESL-A x 1 (mono) each for left and right channels
Output impedance 100Ω (XLR)
Maximum outout level 5.0Vrms (XLR, 1kHz, full scale PCM signal input, 10kΩ loaded)
RCA x 1 (mono) each for left and right channels
Output impedance 47Ω
Maximum output level 2.5Vrms (1kHz, full scale PCM signal input 10kΩ loaded)
Clock input  
BNC x 1 each for left and right channels
Input impedance 50Ω
Input level Sine wave 0.5 to 1.0Vrms
Frequency that can be input 10MHz (±10ppm)
Power supply  
  AC 220 to 240V. 50/60Hz
  AC 120V, 60Hz
  AC 220V, 60Hz
  AC 230V, 50Hz
Power consumption 20W
External dimensions (W×H×D) 445 × 132 × 448mm
17-⅝" × 5-¼" × 17-¾" (including protrusions)
Left channel 23.1kg / 51 lb
Right channel 23.0kg / 51-¾ lb
Included accessories Power cord × 1
HDMI cables × 2
Felt pads × 8
Owner's manual × 1
Warranty card × 1


Audio performance

Frequency response 5Hz to 30kHz (–3dB, 192kHz PCMsignal input)
S/N ratio 113dB
Distortion 0.0007% (when 1kHz, D/A converter operation mode set to M3)


  • This product is available in three different power supply variations shown in the specification section above. Make sure that the voltage shown on the rear panel matches the AC line voltage in your area.
  • The shape of the AC inlet and plug of the supplied power cord depends on the voltage rating and destination country.
  • Design and specification are subject to change without notice.

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