Esoteric E-02 Phono Pre-amplifier

Esoteric E-02 Phono Pre-amplifier.


What we Say:

The Esoteric E-02 Phono Pre-amplifier is a true high end phono stage. It features true dual mono construction inside. Each channel has it’s own transformer, power supply board and amplifier board. The E-02 has two single ended inputs on RCA and a third on XLR. Cartridge loading is adjustable in 9 steps. This allows the user to adjust to suit any cartridge. The E-02 is a fully balanced design from input to output.  In addition to balanced and singled ended outputs the E-02 output can also be set to ESL-A. This will give greater performance when connecting to  Esoteric ESL-A equipped Pre-amps or Integrated amps.

Care is taken inside the E-02 to isolate the amplifier circuits from sources of vibration as this can hamper performance when such small signals are in play. The case is designed to minimise vibration. The chassis sits on 3 feet with pin point de-coupling. Transformers are mounted to also help minimise the effects of vibration.

The E-02 also features Demag, Subsonic and mono buttons on the front panel. The Demag helps to remove stored magnetic field in the cartridge coils which can build up over time. Using this function removes this and restores your cartridge performance to what it should be.

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What they say:

Balanced Phonostage Preamplifier




Audio expression, symphonic beauty, artistic passion, the concert hall’s spatial feel, the excitement of the audience. Esoteric’s Master Sound Works is an audio product concept that recreates all of the music information in original master recordings with the most state-of-the-art technology available today.

Fully Balanced Circuit Design

The E-02 is a fully balanced phonostage preamplifier that features fully balanced circuits from the input stage right through to the final output stage. It is perfectly designed for handling the extremely low level signals from a MC cartridge, minimize noise interference and powerfully amplify signals with low impedance to bring the very best sound out of your beloved MC cartridge collection.

Dual Mono Construction

Identical power supply transformers, power boards and amplifier circuits are mounted independently on each channel. Outstanding channel separation and robust power supply components deliver solid, powerful, and exceptionally high quality audio playback.

Super High Quality MC Head Amplifier and RIAA Amplifier

The E-02 features a newly designed fully balanced MC head amplifier and RIAA amplifier. The NF-CR type RIAA amplifier achieves outstanding RIAA characteristics of ±0.2dB together with minimum Negative Feedback, and the high voltage power supply delivers an exceptionally wide dynamic headroom.

Equipped with ESOTERIC-HCLD, ESOTERIC’s Proprietary Current-Enhancing Output Buffer Circuit

The E-02 employs the same buffer amplifier technology as our flagship Grandioso C1 preamplifier, which features a high current output capability and an exceptionally high slew rate of 2,000V/μs. Each channel is equipped with two buffer amplifiers which drive the hot and cold signals separately when the system is in XLR output mode. When switched to RCA output mode, however, the amplifiers work in parallel to maximize the output linearity. This design achieves super-fast current output, resulting in breathtaking super-dynamic sound.

ES-LINK Analog Output

The E-02 is compatible with ESOTERIC’s unique ES-LINK Analog current transmission in addition to regular XLR and RCA outputs. ES-LINK Analog is a current transmission method that fully utilizes the high speed and powerful capabilities of the HCLD circuit to fully maximize the potential of compatible devices.

Three Types of Input Including XLR Balanced Input

The E-02 is equipped with one XLR (MC dedicated) input and two RCA inputs, with the RCA inputs also featuring fully balanced transmission throughout all stages after the input amplifier. Cartridge impedance, filter ON/OFF and MONO switch ON/OFF settings can be configured as presets for each input, and switched easily using the large dial control on the front panel.

Load impedance switching function that exploits the full potential of the cartridge

The E-02 enables you to select between nine different impedance positions (MC: 10Ω, 50Ω, 100Ω, 200Ω, 300Ω, 500Ω, 1kΩ, 10kΩ, MM: 47kΩ).

Various Control Functions

Simply playback a record for around 30 seconds with the DEMAG function switched on to demagnetize any unexpected magnetization of the cartridge’s coils or step-up transformers and recover the original sound. The E-02 is equipped with a sub-sonic filter (17Hz, -6dB/octave), a MONO switch and output switching (XLR, RCA, ES-LINK Analog) controls.

Highly Rigid Chassis Construction

Phonostage amplifiers that amplify extremely low signal levels are highly sensitive to vibration, which is why ESOTERIC pays special attention to chassis construction in order to control vibration wherever possible. The arrangement of each component is designed in minute detail, and a slit construction is used in the bottom chassis that supports all of the circuits to minimize interference. The highly rigid thick aluminum enclosure and proprietary pinpoint feet (patent no. JP4075477) are extremely effective in minimizing the effects of vibration from external sources.

Use of High Grade Components

In our uncompromising pursuit of superior sound quality, ESOTERIC uses nothing but the highest grade components including custom-designed power supply capacitors and machined gold-plated RCA terminals. The two large selector knobs on the front panel feature a ball-bearing structure based on the VRDS drive mechanism, providing a beautifully smooth analog feel without any wobble. Knobs are sculpted from solid aluminum for a truly refined, high-end look and feel.