Unveiled at the UK Hi-Fi Show Live 2019 at Ascot Racecourse over the weekend, the Esoteric Grandioso flagship range will get a successor to its K1 all-in-one digital player after its three years in service.

The K1X may look outwardly similar to the model it replaces, every aspect of the player’s internal engineering has been completely revamped.


Firstly, the K1X incorporates a new Esoteric-developed VRDS-Atlas transport mechanism and DAC technologies.

At 6.6kg the new mechanism eschews the predecessor’s aluminium construction in favour of a solid-steel block. Also, it is much wider, more rigid and weighs 127% more than the previous version. Furthermore, the motor (equipped with a newly designed thrust-bearing system) is now located below the disc tray, rather than above it. The new positioning lowers the centre of gravity and so further reduces vibration. 

Esoteric believes the VRDS-Atlas to be the best transport it has ever created. 


The K1X also gets Esoteric’s new, MQA-compatible Master Sound Discrete (MSD) Digital to Analogue Converter. 

Based on the original circuit used in the Grandioso D1X monoaural DAC, the 64-bit MSD DAC, as the name suggests, is entirely discrete (based on a custom Field-Programmable Gate Array) with one independent, 32-element circuit board dedicated to each stereo channel. 

The DAC can handle 22.5MHz DSD and 768kHz PCM signals, as well as being able to function as a standalone converter, accepting digital signals via its USB/coaxial/optical inputs.

Also borrowed from the D1X DAC/ Grandioso P1X transport is an evolved version of the Custom VCXO II clock circuit. If you feel the need to supercharge that, the K1X can even be connected to a Grandioso G1 Master Clock (offering the same precision as an atomic clock).

The Esoteric K1X promises “an unparalleled standard of current transmission and speed, resulting in an incredibly dynamic analogue signal offering musicality that’ll stop listeners in their tracks.”

The Esoteric K1X CD/SACD Player is available to order now by local pricing has not yet been announced. In the UK, it sells for £36,200.

Visit Esoteric for more information.


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