Esoteric Grandioso C1

Esoteric Grandioso C1

ESOTERIC
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    Esoteric Grandioso C1

    Esoteric Grandioso C1

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    The C1's two-chassis construction physically isolates the power supply from the audio circuitry. This allows the unit to create a sound stage having exceptional transparency, as well as providing a liberating sense of musical vibrancy, without betraying so much as a hint of stress.

    The C1's separate 29kg linear power supply enables pristinely accurate amplification and ensures that the music signal is delivered to the power amplifiers without any loss of dynamics. This gives the music the power and vibrancy to captivate the listener. Due to the C1's monoblock internal construction, all the elements of each channel are completely independent: from the audio circuitry to the DC power supplies, and right down to the separate AC power cables. Creating the excitement of having every musical instrument accurately positioned before you, the C1 is the crystallization of an approach solely focused on accurate stereo sound reproduction.

     

    Main Unit

    The C1's main unit consists of two monoblock preamplifier modules and a logic control module. The input and output sections of each preamplifier module are constructed on separate boards, which are arranged one above the other in order to minimize the lengths of the signal paths. These modules are mounted on a unique leaf spring suspension system that was originally developed for Esoteric's leading lineup of SACD players. Its floating design helps achieve total left and right channel independence, and enhances the sense of spaciousness and ease in the sound.

     

    DC Power Supply Unit

    The C1's DC power supply features a fully independent two-channel design with dual AC inputs and DC outputs. Together with the careful selection of components one would expect in such a reference product,this produces significant improvements in sound quality. Especially notable in the power supply's construction is the use of five generously rated power transformers, high-capacity reservoir capacitors and silicon carbide (SiC) Schottky barrier diodes.

     

    Circuit Design

    All sections of the amplification circuitry are fully balanced, with the input buffer, volume control and high-speed output buffer laid out three-dimensionally to achieve the shortest possible signal paths. The C1's DC power supply provides a clean and stable output to each preamplification section, ensuring that the power amplifiers maintain full control of the loudspeakers, while at the same time preserving the music's delicacy and dynamics.

     

    Fully Balanced Configuration

    The C1's source signal is first received by the dedicated buffer amplifiers integrated with each of the five inputs (XLR x 3, RCA x 2), and the circuit configuration is balanced at each stage from there on. Through the elimination of common-mode noise and the reduction in circuit impedance,a pure signal, free from noise, is fed to the gain amplifiers via the shortest possible path.

    The C1's volume control features Esoteric-QVCS.* This employs four precision switched resistor ladder networks, which change in unison when the volume knob is rotated. This arrangement allows the signal paths for the left and right channels and the positive and negative phases to be kept totally independent and as short as possible. Consequently the sound has superb clarity, excellent channel separation and a highly accurate phase characteristic.

    *QVCS=Quad Volume Control System

     

    Advanced Output Buffer Circuitry Delivers Stronger Performance to Drive Power Amplifiers -ESOTERIC-HCLD*

     

    In its function as a line driver, the preamplifier must have the ability to fully drive the power amplifiers in a way that faithfully conveys music signals that have an extremely wide dynamic range, extending all the way from pianissimo to fortissimo. The key to achieving this is having a circuit with both a high current drive capability and high speed. The C1's output buffer circuitry utilizes high-performance components to deliver a very high level of current drive, together with an exceptionally high slew rate of 2,000V/μs. Each output has its own independent drive circuit, and for the XLR outputs, the instantaneous output current capability is maximized by the use of fully symmetrical circuitry for both the hot and cold phases.

    *HCLD=High Current Line Driver

     

    The C1 employs an EDLC* Super Capacitor array located close to the output buffer circuitry to function as an innovative, highly stable power source. Its compact physical size belies the fact that it provides the extraordinary capacity of 100,000μF (0.1F) for each channel, facilitating very high levels of instantaneous output power, which in turn provides strong and solid bass reproduction. With the integration of these two technologies, the C1 recreates a breathtaking level of audio reality by preserving the musical dynamics that would otherwise be lost if smaller current transmission levels were employed between the preamplifier and power amplifiers.

    *EDLC = Electric Double-layer Capacitor

     

    Ultra-Low-Noise Logic Control

    The logic control section is built into the front panel and is totally isolated, both physically and electronically, from the preamplifier module by the use of an optocoupler. The logic control further ensures low-noise operation by completely shutting down when not in actual operation, totally eliminating any possible influence on the C1's audio circuitry.

     

    Advanced Function

    Precision Controls Offer Outstanding Operational Feel

    The C1's input selector and volume knobs are machined from solid blocks of aluminum. The use of a VRDS drive mechanism bearing system for the control shafts enables silkily smooth rotation with absolutely no mechanical play in their movements. Rotational torque has also been fine-tuned to provide the luxurious feel of a precision analog control, in keeping with this top-of-the-line preamplifier.

     

    Other features

     

     

    Five preset volume curves permit selection of the most comfortable operating feel for the control.

    Adjustable individual input gains allow differences in volume between sources to be minimized. (Range: ±18dB; 0.5dB steps)

    Adjustable left and right channel volume balance control.(Range: ±6dB; 0.5dB steps)

    Selectable phase inversion can be individually set for each source.

    'RCA 2' terminal permits switching between normal line output and AV-through output, providing added convenience for systems which are operated in both AV surround and pure two-channel modes.

    High-quality aluminum finish remote controller can also be used to operate any of Esoteric's superb line of Super Audio CD players.

    Source component name displays can be programmed using the remote controller.

    Dimmer, mute, and auto-display-off functions also provided.

     

    Spec description

    Analog audio inputs

     

    XLR

    3 pairs

    Input impedance

    10kΩ

    Input sensitivity

    510mV (at reted output)

    Maximum input level

    12V

    RCA

    2 pairs (RCA 2 can be used as an AV pre-input)

    Input impedance

    10kΩ

    Input sensitvity

    510mV (at rate output)

    Maximum input level

    12V

    Analog audio outputs

     

    XLR

    2 pairs

    Output impedance

    66Ω

    Rate output

    2V

    Maximum output level

    15V (1kHz, 0.003%)

    RCA

    2 pairs

    Output impedance

    47Ω

    Rated output

    2V

    Maximum output level

    7.5V (1kHz, 0.003%)

    General

     

    Power supply

     

     

    AC 230V, 50Hz

     

    AC 120V, 60Hz

     

    AC 220V, 60Hz

    Power consumption

    25W

    External dimensions (W×H×D)

     

    Main unit

    445 × 132 × 457mm
    17-⅝" × 5-¼" × 18" (including protrusions)

    Power unit

    445 × 132 × 451mm
    17-⅝" × 5-¼" × 17-⅞" (including protrusions)

    Weight

     

    Main unit

    21kg / 46 lb

    Power unit

    29kg / 64 lb

    Included accessories

    Power cords × 2
    DC power connection cords × 2
    Remote control (RC-1301) × 1
    AAA batteries × 2
    Felt pads × 8
    Owner's manual × 1
    Warranty card × 1

     

    Audio performance

    Frequency response

    1Hz to 200kHz (–3dB)
    3Hz to 50kHz (–0.2dB)

    S/N ratio

    116dB (2V input, A weight)

    Total harmonic distortion

    0.0004% (XLR)
    0.0006% (RCA)

    Gain

    +12dB

     

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