Esoteric's new flagship integrated amplifier model, I-03, based on the award winning pre-amplifier model C-03 and over 55 years of amplifier design. The unique characteristics of sound and the flavor of music that were cut in the original master recordings are passed on to our listeners. Esoteric is committed to new technology developments in order to fully apply the Esoteric-original Master Sound Works concept to the integrated amplifier.

Each circuit block is placed in a dedicated compartment. The compartments are assembled three-dimensionally to minimize interference between circuits and use the shortest signal paths. The internal chassis is divided into five parts, with two separate preamplifier boards for each channel mounted in dedicated compartments closest to the rear connectors. This design keeps the audio signal path short and direct. Two Esoteric MSW power amplifier blocks are connected from the preamplifier using the shortest signal path. These blocks are assembled in dedicated compartments on both sides of the chassis and mounted via aluminum plates on both side panels. Using the side panels as heat sinks, this integrated amplifier efficiently discharges heat without compromising its sleek form.

Ingenuity that breaks from conventional concepts and use of materials without cost constraints:

Esoteric has consolidated audio technologies it has fostered over years of developing separate types of amplifiers, and has without compromise, applied them into creating an integral type of "leading edge" integrated amplifier. The result has been the birth of Esoteric's flagship integrated amplifier I-03.

When you look at the simple body form that eliminates all excessive features, you can discover the passions of our engineers in their devotion to developing new high-end models and the true "flavor" of reproducing music in its original form.

Esoteric MSW* Pure Class D mono block power amplifier:

*MSW= Master Sound Works

Introducing design know-how of professional studio-use power amplifiers:

The power amplifier section is the core of our integrated amplifier, I-03. Esoteric has introduced extensive know-how collected through designing professional studio-use power amplifiers to the power amplifier sections of I-03. The power amplifier of the I-03 continuously balances outstanding drive power and natural tones, and conveys the essence of a master sound recording regardless of the size and efficiency of speaker combinations.

Using Esoteric MSW Pure Class D power amplifier technology with dual mono architecture:

The I-03 is equipped with a MSW Pure Class D power amplifier that is mounted with ultra-high-efficiency and uses the latest high-speed MOS-FET devices in a 3-parallel push-pull configuration.�This allows us to achieve superior speaker drive performance.�The I-03 uses power amplifier blocks mounted in a dual mono architecture, separately for each channel to obtain a high practical-use maximum output of up to 320 WRMS x 2 at 6 ohms.

Analog power circuit support for robust drive performance:

A solid power supply unit makes the music pulse. The I-03 adopts powerful analog power circuitry configured using large-size capacitors and high-capacity custom transformers (Each
transformer weighing approximately 10 kg /22 lbs). After months of exhaustive "tuning," the I-03 MSW Pure Class D power amplifier produces an optimal and distinctive tone that is both robust and smooth.

High-grade dual mono preamplifier with C-03 technology:

The I-03 preamplifier section inherits stereo preamplifier C-03 technologies that are highly reputed worldwide and have received numerous awards. This type of preamplifier uses a dual mono architecture with a completely independent board for each channel. The chassis compartment dedicated for the preamplifier is partitioned using a 2 mm thick steel plates to install two preamplifier boards for the left and right channels, therefore eliminating any
potential for cross channel distortion.

Volume controls based on our dual-mono concept Esoteric DVC System*

Esoteric's DVC System uses a rotating control to transmit signals to two preamplifiers located on both sides of the I-03 and simultaneously drives both volume control amplifiers, (which are installed separately on left and right preamplifier boards). Volume controls are provided independently for left and right channels to maintain the left and right audio signals separately, and to achieve a clear sound quality with exceptional channel separation. Furthermore, there is no audio signal wiring from the audio board to the volume control, which significantly reduces the signal path to prevent deterioration of sound quality.
*DVC=Dual-mono Volume Control

Delicate and dynamic sound with low-noise operation:

The Esoteric DVC System control board, used for central control of the left and right channels, is installed in a compartment separate from preamplifier boards and has a separate power supply. This design assures low noise operation with a complete shutdown of the control microcomputer except at the time of receiving an operational request.

Bi-amplifier and multi-amplifier drive support:

The I-03 responds flexibly to system upgrades of the future. The I-03 is equipped with a RCA output terminal that can be switched between PRE OUT and REC OUT. Any level offset can be set for signals sent to the power amplifier during the PRE-OUT output stage. The I-03 also offers a bi-amplifier architecture that allows connecting various types of external power amplifiers with different input gains.

Making the most of the preamplifier function with the power amplifier shutdown function:

The I-03 is equipped with a "power amplifier shutdown function," that shuts down the power amplifier blocks for users who want to use the standalone high-grade preamplifier function. The I-03 is also provided with a headphone jack that enables users to listen to its high-grade preamplifier sound through the privacy of their own stereo headset.

Other features:

  • Equipped with a number of input terminals (RCA x 3 channels, XLR x 2 channels).
  • Enables fine adjustment of gain and L/R channel balance for each input.
  • MM/MC/LINE can be switched for the RCA1 connections.
  • The AV throughout function bypasses volume adjustment, which is convenient for systems with AV surround environments and pure two-channel environments.
  • Enables selecting the change curve of the audio signal, while operating the volume control from five types of curves.
  • Supplied with a high-grade aluminum remote that can operate Esoteric disc players.
  • Power amp blocks implemented in dual mono design with high capacity transformers
  • Main preamplifier boards are also implemented in an isolated dual mono architecture.

For more information please download the detailed PDF file in this section.

Speaker Outputs: Rated output power 180 W + 180 W (1 kHz, 8)
240 W + 240 W (1 kHz, 6)
300 W + 300 W (1 kHz, 4)
Maximum output power: 250 W + 250 W (1 kHz, 8 ohms)
320 W + 320 W (1 kHz, 6ohms)
380 W + 380 W (1 kHz, 4ohms)
Total harmonic distortion less than 0.03 %
Frequency response 5 Hz - 70 kHz
Signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) greater than 110 dB
Minimum required impedance: 4 ohms
Speaker output terminals: Binding posts x 1 stereo
Analog audio inputs: RCA jacks x 3 stereo
RCA2: can be connected to an AV-amplifier’s pre-output
RCA3: can be switched among LINE, PHONO/MM and PHONO/MC
XLR jacks x 2 stereo
Input impedance: LINE: 100k/PHONO/MM: 47k / PHONO/MC: 100k
Analog audio outputs: Jacks RCA jacks x 1 stereo
Output impedance:
General: Power supply AC 230V 50Hz
AC 120V 60Hz
AC 220V 60Hz
Power consumption 280 W
External dimensions (W x H x D) 445 x 162 x 468 mm (17 1/2” x 6 3/8” x 18 3/8”)
Weight 31 kg (68 lb)
Design and specifications subject to change without prior notice
I-03 Brochure
I-03 Brochure
965.4 KiB
I-03 Owners Manual
I-03 Owners Manual
659.5 KiB
I-03 Photo01
I-03 Photo01
41.9 KiB
I-03 Photo02
I-03 Photo02
63.6 KiB
I-03 Photo03
I-03 Photo03
30.8 KiB
I-03 Photo04
I-03 Photo04
39.4 KiB
I-03 Photo05
I-03 Photo05
39.5 KiB
I-03 Photo06
I-03 Photo06
108.6 KiB