ESOTERIC S-1 GRANDIOSO STEREO AMPLIFIER
Design PhilosophyMusic Overflowing With Energy — A Sense of Space That Only High Power Can Achieve
That moment when the sound from your loudspeakers seems to make the audio system disappear before your very eyes is one of the most exhilarating moments of the listening experience. That indescribable sense of spaciousness, the feeling that the music you’re hearing is truly live, can only be generated by an amplifier that offers an abundance of power in order to properly drive the loudspeakers.
Employing the finest components, and massive power supplies, enables Esoteric’s amplifiers to achieve that high power output. As our new flagship stereo power amplifier, the S1 faithfully incorporates the design philosophy of our Monoblock M1, setting free every nuance of sound, and imparting to music all the vibrancy and richness of life.
600W into 2Ω Power Linearity for Outstanding Dynamics
A loudspeaker’s impedance can vary widely depending on the frequencies being reproduced. Continuous low bass and repeated fast transients from percussive instruments can impose a very demanding load on the amplifier that can require not only continuous high power outputs, but also repeated bursts of high power. Unless the amplifier’s power supply has the capacity to meet these stringent demands and do so consistently, the dynamics of the music will be compromised.
The finest materials and component parts have been used in the construction of the S1’s power supply. This enables the S1, which is nominally rated at 150 watts into 8 ohms, to deliver an impressive 600 watts into 2 ohms. This is a testament to the linearity of the S1’s power supply, and permits the full spectrum of sound dynamics to be faithfully reproduced at all volume levels.
Large-Capacity Custom Power Transformer — The Heart of the Finest Power Amplifiers
As one of the most important factors in deciding an amplifier’s ultimate sound quality, the S1’s robust power supply plays a critical role in its ability to deliver high power in a linear manner. The power supply’s large 2,180VA toroidal transformer provides the foundation for the S1’s exceptional power output. With the knowledge that an amplifier’s sound quality is ultimately determined by the quality of its power transformer, the S1 employs a custom power transformer that demonstrates Esoteric’s highly developed expertise in material selection, core size and even mounting technique. To preserve the purity of the sound, separate windings are used for the left and right channels, and the transformer is securely mounted on a rigid, 5mm-thick steel base plate.
The transformer is not fitted with a cover in order to avoid any degradation in sound quality, however slight, that this might cause. Three parallel rows of capacitors totaling 4,700F per channel shorten charge and discharge times, and provide a tighter and faster sound. The power supply wiring employs heavy-duty cable, and to reduce impedances to the lowest level possible, rather than use conventional connectors, joints are made using crimp terminals that are tightly bolted together.
Breathtaking Speaker-Driving Power Worthy of a Flagship Stereo Amplifier
An amplifier drives the loudspeakers by converting the musical information into an electric current. While this may sound simple, considering that the output current ranges from very small to very large, it is nearly impossible to accurately drive the loudspeakers in a way that is consistently faithful to the source musical signal.
In order to optimize the amplifier’s ability to drive the loudspeakers, ways had to be found to reduce the amplifier’s output impedance to an absolute minimum. To achieve this, Esoteric’s full range of expertise was devoted to the S1. A total of nine bus bars are used across the design, and the need for an output coil has been eliminated. In addition, exhaustive efforts have been made to simplify the circuit design and widen its range. The result is the achievement of the phenomenal DF(damping factor) of 1,000, which can be considered a guideline for woofer drive capability. Even large-diameter woofers, which are notoriously difficult to drive, are provided with accurate damping, and the sound is precisely reproduced with an expansive feel across a wide range that reaches to even the lowest frequencies.
Balanced Input Stage Configuration Enables High Clarity Signal Amplification
In the design of the S1, careful attention has also been given to noise reduction. Each channel’s audio input signal enters through discrete balanced input buffer amplifiers, and is then relayed to the amplification stage by way of a low-impedance signal path. By eliminating common-mode noise and making the signal path resistant to the effects of noise, signal clarity is accurately maintained through to the amplification stage, thereby achieving an extremely high signal-to-noise ratio for an exceptional listening experience.
The outstanding dynamic range made possible by the amplification of a clean, noise-free signal promises the listener a level of excitement that transcends mere numerical specifications. The S1 not only delivers the full dynamic expression of a high-powered amplifier, it also provides the fine sensitivity needed to reproduce the more nuanced gradations that exist between musical crescendos and silence.