Electrocompaniet ECP 2 MKII
Electrocompaniet ECP 2 MKII
Electrocompaniet ECP 2 MKII

Electrocompaniet ECP 2 MKII: A classic phono stage from Norway

The Electrocompaniet ECP-2 MKII phono stage is based on solutions developed by the legendary company Dynamic Precision for its ultimate preamplifier. It was released simultaneously with the first vinyl player in the history of the company and is logically intended to work together with it. However, our readers know that the compatibility of a phono stage with a system does not depend at all on the model of the player, but on the pickup head, and Electrocompaniet does not produce its own cartridges. Therefore, we will consider the new product in complete isolation from its corporate environment.

It’s no secret that the most fanatical vinyl lovers exclusively accept moving coil heads with low sensitivity and low internal resistance. Only step-up transformers that are matched with them have the right to amplify the delicate signal from them, and only then can the phono preamplifier come into play. Preferably a tube one. And everything would be fine and smooth in this ideal scenario, if not for some ravines.

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Firstly, selecting the right transformer for a specific cartridge takes a lot of time, and often turns into a process for the sake of a process. And by no means always a formally suitable option allows you to reveal the potential of even a very expensive head; there have been plenty of such cases in my practice. Secondly, even the best of cartridges tend to break, wear out, and simply become boring. And then replacing your favorite head with another, “better” one may entail replacing not only the step-up transformer, but also the corrector itself. Therefore, for those music lovers who value not only the ultimate sound quality, but also the convenience and flexibility of operation, phono stages like the Electrocompaniet ECP2 MKII are produced. In his person, the user receives a solution for all cases of his analog life.

The new model of the proprietary corrector differs from the previous one, firstly, by the presence of a full-fledged internal power supply built on a toroidal transformer, and secondly, by a more flexible and convenient way of switching the parameters of gain, capacitance and resistance to match a wide variety of gas stations. Essentially, with the Electrocompaniet ECP2 MKII you can use any head of any type, with sensitivity from 0.05 to 10 millivolts, providing it with the correct electrical load.

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The Electrocompaniet ECP-2 MKII is the ultimate in versatility, allowing the phono preamp to work with any MC or MM cartridge and fit any cartridge and cable combination. A wide range of capacitive load and input impedance selections are available. Gain is adjustable in 5dB steps, which is important for fine tuning, especially when using low output moving coil cartridges. The model features impeccable accuracy in terms of compliance with the RIAA curve, which guarantees a natural and natural sound. At the same time, RIAA correction is available in the ultra-low frequency range, which is especially important when playing curved or slightly deformed vinyl discs. This filtering eliminates low-frequency hum and other distortions that occur in the range below eleven hertz. The phono stage uses a full-fledged built-in linear power supply, which is based on a high-quality toroidal transformer with exceptionally low noise levels.

All adjustments related to capacitance and load resistance, as well as the gain function, are made through sets of DIP switches located on the rear panel (separately for each channel). The fact that the Electrocompaniet ECP-2 MKII belongs to the premium class is also indicated by the fact that the model’s output is made in two versions – conventional unbalanced (RCA connectors) and balanced (XLR). The phono stage is assembled in Norway and is of high quality.

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As in the previous model, the corrector uses not voltage gain, but current gain; the gain level is adjustable from 39.8 to 71.4 dB with a conventional unbalanced connection and from 45.8 to 76.4 dB with a balanced connection in steps of 5 -8 dB. The resistance is set in the range from 10 to 47,000 Ohms, the capacitance is from 0 to 350 picofarads. There is also an ultra-low-pass filter that prevents signals below 11 Hz from entering the audio path. This flexibility of settings is good news; any head in a music lover’s collection, be it vintage or modern, can be used with this corrector without any problems.

Electrocompaniet ECP2 MKII is a heavy and full-size device, and its weight is like that of another integrated amplifier. The design is an example of the classic minimalist style from Electrocompaniet: a polished black front panel and a minimum of controls. In the center of the front panel is the company logo, which is pleasantly and dimly illuminated with a soft blue light. Like every other Electrocompaniet device, the phono preamplifier is entirely made in Norway.

Characteristics Electrocompaniet ECP-2  MKII 

Supported cartridge types MM, MC
Gain adjustable: 39.8–71.4 (1 kHz, RCA); 45.8 – 76.4 (1 kHz, XLR)
Load resistance, RL 10 Ohm – 47 kOhm
Capacitive load, CL 0 – 350 pF
Maximum output voltage 17.5 V (+ 25 dB V)
Overload tolerance more than 31 dB (1 kHz)
Output impedance 100 ohms (RCA), 200 ohms (XLR)
Frequency response 20 Hz – 20 kHz (+/- 0.2 dB)
RIAA equalization accuracy ± 0.1 dB
Subsonic filter – 3 dB (11 Hz, 24 dB/octave)
Channel separation greater than 85 dB, 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Harmonic distortion less than 0.003% (1 kHz)
Signal-to-noise ratio 96 dB, 1 kHz, A-weighted, 10 dB V output; 91 dB, 1 kHz, A-weighted, 5 mV input; 67.4 dB, 1 kHz, A-weighted, 500 µV at input
Inputs 1 x RCA
Outputs 1 x RCA, 1 x XLR
Other switching ground terminal
Dimensions (WxHxD) 465x78x371 mm
Weight 9 kg