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EAR (Esoteric Audio Research) 834P MM/MC Tube Phono Stage

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Pickup currently unavailable at SkyFi 479

Ear (Esoteric Audio Research) 834P Mm/Mc Tube Phono Stage Preamplifier

EAR (Esoteric Audio Research) 834P MM/MC Tube Phono Stage

SkyFi 479

Pickup currently unavailable

479 South Broad Street
Glen Rock NJ 07452
United States


From our review this appears to be an Authentic EAR device, not a kit or Chinese copy.

It contains EAR marked tubes and matches the internal layout of the original units.

Click below to add our recommended matching cables from Kimber Kable, all brand new as SkyFi is an official Kimber dealer.

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Better

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Best

Kimber Kable - Phono Interconnects - Better

Kimber Kable - Flagship Tonearm Interconnects - Best

Kimber Kable - Base 14 Gauge Power Cord - Better

Kimber Kable - Ascent 14 Gauge Power Cord - Best

"The Phono Classic has one of the most liquid midranges we’ve heard… which makes it absolutely enthralling and addictive. Moving Magnet/Moving Coil selectable, with 70dB of gain in the MC setting making it compatible with virtually every MC cartridge on the market. There is nothing as affordable and versatile in a tube phono stage that comes close to the listening pleasure you will receive from this world-class design! Tubes are three 12AX7 to achieve great sound; these long-lasting tubes are easily accessible, allowing more ambitious users to roll a wide variety of tubes (the synergy with the stock tubes is difficult to beat). The EAR Phono Classic can hang with competitor components costing 3X as much" - Jaguar Audio

“Sonically the EAR was without electronic edge or glare, with a non-analytic cast to the proceedings. It tended to focus on the entirety of the music rather than breaking each recording down to its component parts. I find this ability more musically satisfying than components that neglect the forest for the trees. Transient control was very good, with good tracking of the decay of notes. Soundstaging and stereoscopy were believable and non-intrusive…I never found myself squinting with my ears or baffled by any aspect of the musical proceedings. I found noise to be a non-issue also.” - Paul Szabady, Stereo Times

“The EAR 834P is a remarkable piece of work: a reference-quality phono preamplifier that would feel at home in a system of any price. At its sticker _price_ it’s downright obscene. If you treasure analog as I do, particularly if you’re a fan of well-recorded classical works, you should treat yourself to an audition of the EAR.”_
– Robert J. Reina, Stereophile
SkyFi Service Notes:
• We removed, cleaned, and reinstalled the MM/MC Switch which was causing the unit to drop a channel in MC mode in our initial testing.
• We also noticed that some parts may have been "upgraded" in the past. The capacitors around the V3 socket showed evidence of previous desoldering and the installed parts are now polystyrene.

EAR (Esoteric Audio Research)

Moving-Coil / Moving-Magnet phono preamplifier
*Available from EAR with or without front-panel level control

Input sensitivity for 1V output at 1kHz:
2.2mV (MM)
220µV (MC)

Maximum output level:

S/N Ratio:
80 dB (IHF, unweighted)

Unit Dimensions:
5" W
4" H
11" D

1997 - 2003

The SkyFi Testing Process for Preamplifiers:

We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure that there are no signs of heat stress or damage. Capacitors are checked for telltale signs of predictive failure including bulging, shrunken wrappers, or physical leakage. We also inspect the PCBs for discoloration from resistors or transistors that may have been running hot. On vintage units we often spot check select capacitors for value and ESR.

When we first power on a preamplifier we connect its RCA output to a Sencore PA81 Power Analyzer which simulates real world loading conditions and gives us an oscilloscope interface. The first order of business is checking that the volume control works smoothly throughout its entire range with acceptable channel balance. This is accomplished by feeding a 1KHz sine wave into one of the preamp’s line level inputs while monitoring the preamp’s output on an oscilloscope. We then switch to a 1KHz square wave to test the tone controls, loudness function, and filters where applicable. During this step we are watching for equal alteration of the test signal by both channels. This also helps us identify dirty controls that will need treatment. Once the basic line stage functions are verified, we test each input individually. This is especially important for devices that use relays to select their sources. If the preamp is equipped with a phono stage we test that as well. We use an inverse RIAA filter which allows us to feed a reference test signal into the phono input with the proper RIAA equalization and level. A square wave or sine sweep is used to verify that the device’s phono stage is faithfully reproducing the RIAA curve. If the preamp under test has balanced inputs and/or outputs these are tested as well.

We finish up our bench testing with a listening test with our bench amplifier and reference speakers. During this test we check for hum or hiss that may not have shown up in earlier testing. We also check that all of the tone controls and filters perform as expected. If the preamplifier has remote control functions these are also tested. Preamps with tube circuits or complicated power supply topologies are connected at our long term test rig for extended stress testing under real world conditions.



Original Box

Not Included


Not Included


Not Applicable


Yes - Power Only

Physical Condition (Info Here)

7 / 10

Working Condition

10 / 10

SKU: 103754