Esoteric E-02

Esoteric E-02

Balanced Phonostage Preamplifier

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    Esoteric E-02

    Esoteric E-02

    Balanced Phonostage Preamplifier

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    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.


    Spec description

    Phono inputs



    1 pair (exclusive for MC)

    Input impedance

    10, 50, 100, 200, 300, 500, 1k, 10kΩ (MC, switchable)

    Input sensitivity

    1mV (MC, 1kHz, at rated output)

    Maximum input level

    4.8mV (MC, THD 0.1%)


    2 pairs (MC/MM)

    Input impedance



    10, 50, 100, 200, 300, 500, 1k, 10kΩ (switchable)



    Input sensitivity



    1mV (1kHz, at reated output)


    20mV (1kHz, at rated output)

    Maximum input level



    4.8mV (THD 0.1%)


    100mV (THD 0.1%)

    Analog audio outputs (switchable)


    XLR/ES-LINK Analog

    1 pair

    Output impedance


    Rated output level



    1 pair

    Output impedance


    Rated output level




    Power supply



    AC 230V, 50Hz


    AC 120V, 60Hz


    AC 220V, 60Hz

    External dimensions (W×H×D)

    445 × 131 × 377mm
    17-⅝" × 5-¼" × 14-¼" (including protrusions)


    12.5kg / 27-⅝ lb

    Included accessories

    Power cord × 1
    Felt pads × 3
    Owner's manual × 1
    Warranty card × 1


    Audio performance

    RIAA deviation

    ±0.2dB (10 to 20kHz)

    Total harmonic distortion

    0.007% (1kHz, MM, rate output)

    S/N ratio



    80dB (Input short, rated output, IHF-A)


    100dB (Input short, rated output, IHF-A)




    72dB (MC)
    46dB (MM)


    66dB (MC)
    40dB (MM)

    Channel separation

    < –96dB (MM, 10kHz)

    Sub-sonic filter

    17Hz –6dB/octave

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