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Esoteric Balanced Phonostage Preamplifier
Esoteric Balanced Phonostage Preamplifier 0
Esoteric Balanced Phonostage Preamplifier 1
Esoteric Balanced Phonostage Preamplifier 2
Esoteric Balanced Phonostage Preamplifier 3

Esoteric Balanced Phonostage Preamplifier

Model #: E-02
At a Glance
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.
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$9,500.00Save $NaN

Get to know this product.

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 / dual mono architecture
  • DEMAG function
  • MM / MC
  • 2 inputs / 1 output (balanced or single ended)
  • ES-Link Analog output
  • Proprietary ‘Pinpoint Isolation Feet

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.

Useful Documents


XLR connectors1 pair (MC)
RCA connectors2 pairs (MC/MM)
Input impedanceMC: 10,50,100,200,300,500,1k,10kΩ


XLR/ES-LINK Analog Connectors1 pair
RCA Connectors1 pair
Output impedanceXLR: 20Ω / RCA: 23.5Ω

Audio Characteristics

RIAA deviation (10 to 20kHz)±0.2dB
Total harmonic distortion (1kHz, MM, rated output)0.007%
Rated output levelRCA: 2Vrms / XLR: 4Vrms
GainRCA: 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 filter17Hz -6dB/octave


Power supplyAC 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″)
Weight12.5kg (27 9/16 lb)

Included Accessories

Power Cord1
Felt Pads3
Owner's Manual1
Warranty Card1

Misc. Specs

Product Weight (lbs.)27.56
Depth (in.)14.25
Width (in.)17.63
Height (in.)5.25
WarningProposition 65 Warning for California Residents