Yesterday I featured the Pro-Ject Limited Edition Metallica turntable for vinyl enthusiasts who love a bit of metal. Now it’s time to go into the stratosphere with the first-ever turntable from high-end Japanese brand Esoteric. The brand was born from the premium audio brand TEAC as its high-end offering. To commemorate its 35th anniversary, Esoteric has announced the Grandioso T1.
This incredible turntable encapsulates Esoteric’s unique design philosophy as well as its cutting-edge mechanical and electronic technology. The turntable has a 10MHz clock sync capability for regulating its motor drive unit and an independent chassis configuration made up of three parts.
The new turntable has a patent-registered and contact-free drive mechanism called the Esoteric MagneDrive System. This uses induction to synchronize the rotations of a magnetic driver and platter, producing a quiet and ultra-smooth rotation at an extraordinarily accurate speed. Esoteric’s patented contact-free drive system uses a Magne-Float platter that Esoteric claims significantly reduces spindle bearing friction by lowering the platter’s effective mass from 19kg to a more manageable 4kg.
The drive system consists of three separate units: the center, the motor and the power supply. A high-quality VCXO motor driver ensures precise platter rotation while the Micrometer knob on the front panel provides the fine-tuning capability of the strength of the magnetic force applied from the magnetic driver to the platter.
Triple-layer chassis of the Grandioso T1 is made of aluminum and wood for effectively controlling vibrations. The mid-chassis is coated with high-gloss piano lacquer, while the turntable’s isolation feet have a special damping mechanism to eliminate external vibrations.
In addition to the launch of its first-ever turntable, Esoteric has made technological and design updates to its Grandioso M1 “X” Edition mono amplifier. The M1X’s chassis has been tweaked to optimally control any vibrations that may affect the sound quality to achieve what Esoteric calls “Master Sound Reproduction”. Like a Formula One racing car, its sleek and clean appearance and mechanical engineering is designed to push the limits of the balance between rigidity and flexibility.
The M1X is supported by Esoteric’s largest-ever power supply, which occupies some 60% of the unit’s internal layout. The 3,000VA/19kg main power transformer has been refined in terms of its rectification capability by implementing a heavier winding gauge. In addition, high-capacity Esoteric custom capacitors with a total capacity of 60,000μF have been adopted to refine the amplifier’s signature tone.
Even at the climax of a full orchestra, the M1X has been designed to draw forward the most nuanced detail from every instrument with its high-resolution capability. Incorporating a dedicated power supply unit for the pre-drive stage (voltage amplification stage) that handles extremely low-level signals from the preamp, the M1X eliminates the influence of the drive stage with its large current fluctuations and this improves resolution.
All 24 transistors on the amplifier’s drive stage are controlled so that they operate at the same temperature for balance and stability. The phase compensation circuit uses a simple single-pole configuration, which enables the final stage to work without the need for a coil.
Pricing & Availability: The Grandioso T1 turntable will be available in Europe this year and will cost $74,029 / £58,830 / €70,000. The Esoteric M1X amplifier is available now and retails for $36,300 / £28,899 / €34,000 although you will need two if you want stereo.
More info: www.esoteric.jp/en/