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Aesthetix Io Signature Phono Stage
Io is an all-tube phono stage suitable for the most demanding cartridges including low-output moving coils. A proprietary differential circuitry design achieves high gain with extremely low noise. A separate power supply chassis removes any possibility of transformer noise corrupting delicate audio circuitry. Peter Moncrief Stealth Capacitors are used in the Eclipse Edition for unparalleled sound quality. An optional innovative mechanically-switched discrete resistor volume control yields precise resolution at all listening levels.
• High gain / low noise capable of handling low output moving coils.
• Zero feedback.
• 80dB 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).
• Separate vacuum tube regulated power supply utilizing 8 tubes.
• Two sets of XLR and two sets of RCA outputs per channel.
• Input can be either RCA or XLR.
• Optional: Innovative and unique mechanically switched discrete resistor volume control with 46 positions using Roederstein resistors, one for each channel.
Signature, released in 2001, was the first major step forward for the Io and Callisto. Incorporating improved componentry such as Dynamicaps from Peter Moncrief and hand tuning the individual gain stages, greater resolution and inner detail were achieved without sacrificing the richness and dynamic bloom of the original design.
The Signature version uses custom-made inter-stage Teflon coupling capacitors, replacing the polypropylene units, between the 1st and 2nd gain stages. This change results in very high resolution of the very low signal level. Between the 2nd and 3rd, and 3rd and 4th gain stages (4 total per channel), the standard Rel-Caps are replaced with .22uF Dynamicap. The change in these capacitors results in higher resolution, extension, less grain and more air. The 2uF output coupling capacitors (4 per channel) are also replaced with 4uF Dynamicaps. This change provides more drive, bass extension, resolution and dynamics while also reducing grain. Highly specialized adjustable air-core capacitors, used primarily in the radio-frequency realm, are installed and adjusted to “tweek” each unit to a rigid standard.