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Esoteric E-02 MM/MC Balanced Phonostage Preamp
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Esoteric E-02 MM/MC Balanced Phonostage Preamp

Product Code: ESO0000076

A Great review of the mighty E-02...


and another review


The E-02 is our choice for our ultra high end system It is an amzing phono stage and gets our highest recommendation!!! Todd

The Apex of Vinyl Playback

To meet the demands of vinyl lovers the world over, ESOTERIC has poured knowledge accumulated over many years of developing audio technology into the E-02, our newest phonostage preamplifier. The E-02 inherits the philosophy that guided our highly acclaimed E-03 phonostage to be a continual best-seller for the last 8 years, and adds the new fully balanced transmission and amplification circuit utilizing MC cartridges to achieve a level of analog playback that was previously unimaginable.

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.

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.

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).

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.

The Specs

Inputs XLR connectors 1 pair (MC) RCA connectors 2 pairs (MC/MM) Input impedance MC: 10,50,100,200,300,500,1k,10kΩ
MM: 47kΩ Outputs XLR/ES-LINK Analog Connectors 1 pair RCA Connectors 1 pair Output impedance XLR: 20Ω
RCA: 23.5Ω Audio
characteristics RIAA deviation (10 to 20kHz) ±0.2dB Total harmonic distortion
(1kHz, MM, rated output) 0.007% Rated output level RCA: 2Vrms
XLR: 4Vrms Gain RCA: MM 40dB, MC 66dB
XLR: MM 46dB, MC 72dB Input sensitivity
(1kHz, rated output) MM 20mV, MC 1mV Maximum input level
(at 0.1% distortion) MM 100mV, MC 4.8mV S/N ratio
(Input short, rated output, IHF-A) MM 100dB, MC 80dB Channel separation
(MM, 10kHz, IHF-A) <-96dB Sub-sonic filter 17Hz -6dB/octave General Power supply AC 220-240V, 50/60Hz
AC 120V, 60Hz
AC 220V, 60Hz External dimensions
(W x H x D, including protrusions) 445mm x 131mm x 377mm
(17 5/8″ x 5 1/4″ x 14 1/4″) Weight 12.5kg (27 9/16 lb) Included accessories Power cord x 1
Felt pads x 3
Owner's manual x 1
Warranty card x 1 - This product is available in three different power supply variations as shown in the chart above.
Make sure that the voltage shown on the rear panel matches the AC line voltage in your area. - The shape of the AC inlet and plug of the supplied power cord depends on the voltage rating and destination country. - Specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice. - Weight and dimensions are approximate.

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