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Esoteric Transport, DAC Step Up Bandwidth

Upper Saddle River, N.J. – A trio of flagship Esoteric stereo components shipping in April include an SACD/CD transport that uses a pair of HDMI cables to transport 352.8kHz/48-bit PCM, DSD and double-DSD digital audio to a pair of companion monoblock DACs.

Previously, the company delivered DSD, 176kHz/24-bit PCM, and 352.8kHz/24-bit PCM over a pair of XLR cables from an SACD/CD transport to a companion stereo DAC.

Esoteric developed a new proprietary data-transmission format called ES-LINK4 to transmit ultra-wideband signals between the transport and the new monoblock DACs.

The two-channel transport and monoblock DAC, part of the new Grandioso series, are the $44,000-suggested P1 and $22,000 D1, respectively. The transport comes with separate power supply and included pair of HDMI cables to connect to two D1 DACs. A dual-mono configuration like this delivers a richer stereo image and greater sonic depth, the company said.

The third Grandioso component is the $23,000 M1 monoblock amplifier, rated at 300 watts into an 8-ohm load and 1,200 watts into a 2-ohm load.

Esoteric’s ES-LINK4 data-transmission technology enables the transport to perform a large amount of digital signal processing to reduce the processing load on the DAC, the company said. Both units apply a proprietary 36-bit D/A processing algorithm to convert PCM signals to analog signals with 36-bit resolution. Esoteric said it’s the first audio company to offer 36-bit D/A processing.

The resolution of 32-bit encoding, Esoteric said, is 256 times higher than that of 24-bit encoding, and 36-bit encoding delivers resolution that is another 16 times higher. Thirty-six-bit resolution is therefore 4,096 times higher than the resolution of 24-bit encoding, making subtleties and details in recordings much more audible, the company said.

With the D1 monaural DAC, all analog circuits in the D1DAC are electrically and mechanically separate from the digital circuits to further enhance clarity, the company noted. The two DACs must be connected to each other via an included HDMI cable.

 Last October, Integra began distributing the audiophile-oriented Esoteric brand in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Both brands are owned in part by Gibson, which has ownership stakes in Integra owner Onkyo Corp. of Japan and Esoteric owner TEAC of Japan.

 Integra designs and manufactures premium A/V receivers, processors, amplifiers, and Blu-ray and DVD players targeted to custom audio/video systems installers.

Esoteric manufactures CD/SACD players, transports, DACs, amplifiers, phono stages, preamplifiers and audiophile cables.