How well respected our EAR products

You rarely here about them and their U.S. Distribution is fairly limited. A gentleman that repairs EAR gear told me they use the cheapest parts. He said the designer is more concerned with circuit outlay than premium parts.
I had a CD player once. Great sound. But after a while it developed problems reading CDs. The company was no help. The U.S. representative was great and put me in touch with their #1 technician. The problem turned out to be a manufacturing flaw that was relatively easy (and inexpensive) to fix. I also owned one of their amplifiers. Again, great sound, but a real pain to remove the tube cages to change a tube that had become damaged during shipping.
I have never sold or owned any EAR (Esoteric Audio Research) gear, but have listened to it many times.

Tim de Paravicini is one of the best and brightest designers in audio...has been since the early 70's.

EAR has always gotten excellent reviews and seems to be held in very high regard.
I used to have 509 monos on my studio monitors....never had any trouble with them....still sorry I sold them.
EAR's Tim de Paravicini is sort of England's Roger Modjeski (Music Reference). They are both circuit and tube experts, old-world electronic engineers with a distain for high-end tweaks like boutique parts and after-market power cords. Both companies are relatively small operations with a few select U.S. dealers.

EAR owners tend to keep the pieces they install in their systems for years, and are "I'm done" (a Michael Fremer expression I rather like) purchases. Meaning they sound so musically satisfying that cases of upgraditis amongst owners of EAR products are more rare than with many other brands. One tends to forget about the sound for it's own sake, and listen rather to the music itself. EAR products are also fully developed before they are put into production, with very few Mk.2's of any given model, the models staying in the EAR line-up for years without the frequent, expensive updates to the products of some of the larger companies.
EAR makes excellent gear if looking for a neutral and transparent sound.

Only trouble I had was an 890 amp fuse blew that took out the fuse holder. Dealer was long gone and US importer wasn't much help so I ended up repairing it myself.

I no longer own EAR gear but highly recommended!