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The Aesthetix IO Signature Phono Stage Preamplifier is in a league of its own.

Aesthetix IO Signature Tube Phono Preamplifier with Line Stage

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Price: 6500.00 USD Price is negotiable
Contact Mino 360-994-9596
Added 2018-09-12 10:58:47
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Once upon a time, performance mattered more than appearance. In fact, drawing attention to yourself cosmetically usually engendered audiophile mistrust. “If it looks that good, what are they trying to hide?” The Aesthetix IO Signature Tube Preamplifier is dark and silent on the outside, rich and accurate on the inside. When I listened to it, I wanted to see, did it really do what people claimed? Or, was it just heavy and expensive? This preamplifier was unique because, although it was designed primarily as a phono stage, it was the ‘Signature’ model, as well as having been upgraded with line stage and two imposing volume controls. The Aesthetix acquitted itself well. Even so, would it perform even better with a state-of-the-art power distributor giving it backup? Or, would it continue on as it had, unmoved? Once I heard the richer soundstage, crisper detail and presence without forwardness, I knew that I had not yet heard the potential of which the IO Signature is capable. In a better system, it would perform at an even higher level.

In addition to a capable phono stage this rare model include the Line Stage, permitting some versatility in choices for source. In addition, it has been completely recapped, and, while there are no special attention paid to tube choice, the new owner has some discretion in enhancing its performance even more. These don’t appear on the market very often. After a eyebrow-lifting afternoon of listening, I can see why.

This is the original Aesthetix IO Signature - when the insides were exceptional and the exterior low-key. What makes this Aesthetix preamp special is:

1. It is the IO Signature model which offers superior performance over the non-Signature model
2. It was sent back to the factory for the line stage upgrade.
3. It has been completely recapped and refurbished.

Two 1/8 inch scratches on top of preamp. Very lightly perceptible - a studied eye can see them only at an unusual angle.

Smoke-free home with electronic dust filters.

The IO Signature is unique in that, the original owner had unit outfitted with a line stage. The line stage includes two extremely well-built volume controls for either phono or non-phono. This means versatility in the variety of sources to pick from.

In addition, the unit has been refurbished with all new capacitors, rendering a performance that is exceptional. When tested with power distribution of a Shunyata Research DPC6 and Shunyata C19 power cord into the wall, superior soundstage took flight, indicating that, in the right system the IO is a keeper.

The tubes are equivalent for the original production model but no special attempt has been made to use special tubes. They work having been replaced when the unit was refurbished and have a light number of hours on them.

Second owner. Whose been performing with the Aesthetix? current system - Krell KSA 200s, Musical Fidelity NuVista CD player, Wilson Witt II speakers with MIT cables, CocktailX50D music streamer/network server, Project RM 9.1 turntable with Sumiko Celebration MC cartridge. Good company.

Original Packaging.

The Aesthetix Io Signature is an upgraded version of the Io Mk II, a no-compromise all-tube phono stage. Its features include:

  • High gain / low noise capable of handling low output moving coils.
  • Zero feedback.
  • 80 dB maximum gain, internally selectable down to 56dB.
  • Flexible user selectable loading on the back panel from 47Kohms down to 10ohms.
  • All tube amplification and output (16 tubes total).
  • Two sets of XLR and two sets of RCA outputs per channel.
  • Input can be either RCA or XLR.

Part of Aesthetix's Jupiter Range of Components

The Io Signature has a completely separate power supply, using eight tubes, linked to the main audio unit by an umbilical cord. The power supply has two main sections, the heater supply and the high voltage plus and minus supplies. At the heart of the heater supply is its massive, low flux, 210 VA power transformer which has fourteen separate secondary windings that are individually regulated and supply both the power supply and main unit heaters. The high voltage supply is composed of a similar massive 170 VA transformer which feeds a common-mode choke input filtering network and then high current vacuum tube regulators (one EL34/6CA7, three 12AX7 tubes per regulator). Each regulator is capable of supplying 600 volts at 100mA.

A single stereo power supply is standard.  This Io Signature was upgraded with two mono power supplies, each with its own mains connection, effectively making the unit fully dual mono.

Another option is a dual mono volume control, allowing the Io Signature to drive a power amplifier directly. With this option, a second set of inputs is included, configurable as either a line-level input (for example, for use with a CD player) or a second phono input. This Io version has been factory upgraded to include a two volume controls, one for each channel.

The Io Signature can also be factory upgraded to Eclipse status. The Signature version uses exotic and expensive coupling capacitors and other critical parts (the Mk II version uses high-grade Rel-Cap polypropylene coupling capacitors).



Seattle, United States, North America
, 98502



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