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Phono-Stage off for renovations.....

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  • Phono-Stage off for renovations.....

    I have been procrastinating for too long. I finally packed up my Aesthetix Io for a Eclipse Upgrade over the past weekend. 165 lbs of shipping weight and 3 boxes off to sunny California.

    I had been reluctant as just over the past month or so the system just "locked in" after playing with some loading, VTA and the ground boxes. I'm sure the Atlas was just breaking in as well to the point it was comfortable.

    Now the agonizing trip and hopeful nothing gets lost or damaged. The guys at Aesthetix have been great and its nice to have a company that supports a full upgrade on their lineup.

    With 30 tubes and testing and pulling and packing it was a 3 hour ordeal.

    I get to look forward to breaking it in when it comes back. Now I will pull out some vintage preamps and set up the Quads and perhaps the Futterman and/ or the Wyetech for a change up when its gone. I'll report back if there is any interest.

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    Front end: Aesthetix Io Signature with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
    Brinkmann La Grange & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point , Brinkmann 12.1 , Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM
    Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2 - Custom Direct Drive to supply Beveridge Electrostatics
    Pre-Amps: ARC SP 3a, Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
    Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3, REL S/2 x 2

  • #2
    yikes, 30 tubes? I feel lucky finding just two that are matched good luck with that
    How Do You Beat Audiophile Nervosa?

    Step Number 1: Upgrade your music collection first. If you do it correctly that should keep you busy in perpetuity.


    • #3
      I think that's a keeper. I remember when it was "the one" and people complained about size, heat, tubes, etc. But, if you are willing to deal with that, are there demonstrably better phono stages what, now 20 years later? I have no idea what the upgrade involves, but I'm glad you,
      kcin are committed enough to own, use and maintain that unit. I guess you can suffer using those Consolettes- something you just don't see (or hear) every day, do you?


      • kcin
        kcin commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi Bill, I have had the units for 10 years without issue. Space is not a concern as the man cave is purpose built and the heat- well I live in Canada -so mostly ok except for the summers with the choking hot humidity.

        No question, it is a commitment, I have spent countless hours tube rolling for the right recipe- I think anyone would be pleased on how quiet it is. It might be difficult if you were not a geek like me- or you could leave it stock.

        I have had the opportunity lately to listen to CH Precision and Tenor - always the opportunity to listen to ASR , Thoress,VAC Phi and the small Lamm phono within our group. I have brief encounters with the current ARC reference gear but really not enough time to draw any conclusion- very nice though.

        The Aesthetix with the 2 supplies and volume controls is easily very competitive with all of them and IMO better that some of them. The Tenor is a special piece for certain its expense and limited distribution will not allow it to gain the attention it deserves.

        I'll slug through with the consolettes for a while.

    • #4
      Congratulations on making the leap to the Eclipse level upgrade. Will you keep the current chassis or upgrade to the new chassis?

      I will watch closely as I am enjoying the Io Signature. I believe the Io is still a top phono preamp.


      • kcin
        kcin commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi Dan. Partial Eclipse.. no chassis mods just the guts.

    • #5
      I had a buddy go from the Io Sig to the Eclipse versions. It's a BIG deal... I am sure you'll be thrilled ! Can't wait to read about your results...
      Speakers: Rockport Altair 2
      Amps: Nagra HD Pre Amp & HD Amps
      Cables: Transparent Magnum Opus Source and Opus Gen 5 Pre to amp and Speaker
      Power Transparent Opus Power Cords & Opus Isolators
      Power Shunyata DPC-6 v2
      Digital dCS Vivaldi full stack w/ Transparent Reference XL Digital cables
      Phono: Grand Prix Monaco TT, Spiral Groove Centroid, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2, Nagra VPS/VFS/MPS
      Racks: Grand Prix Audio Silverstone F1


      • kcin
        kcin commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi jfrech, I am looking forward to it. I will report back in due course. Thanks.

    • #6
      Good fortunes there with the Eclipse upgrade. I’m sure it will be worth the wait. For me the Signature upgrade on both my Rhea and Calypso together were quite staggering and enjoyable years ago. It has been some time now, would love to take the next step to Eclipse. I agree that the IO can well hold its own with anything available today. Jim White has seen to it that these components will continuously be setting a higher bar, now the Eclipse comes into orbit! Can’t wait to hear your impressions.