aestetix rhea - the groove - sutherland fono stage

I recently heard "the groove" in my system and I was very very impressed about sound quality. Now I am thinking to buy it.... Who can tell me if the groove is better then the rhea, or the battery powered sutherland? and... is the io signature a completely other legue?
My system is Emt 930 with emt tsd 15, pre fm acoustics, convergent jl2, eidolon diamond.
Thank you very much...
Hi costanzia,

Go for the Klyne Phono 7xxx or the IO.

with best regards Karl-Heinz
The issue with the sutherland is that batteries typically don't have the reserve or headroom for huge dynamic swings. I like the Klyne gear a lot, but my choice would be the Rhea FWIW.
The Io Signature is in another league altogether. The Rhea gives one a good slice of that, however. If you want solid state, consider the Kyne or the Pass Labs Xono. For tubes go with the Aesthetix Io Signature, given the rest of your system; you'll never regret it.
Hi folks,
I'm not sure what all the hoopla is about the Rhea. I had an early one and thought the thing sounded mechanical and not much like real music. I had a Thor on hand at the time and it trounced it. Too bad because I loved all the features. I'm currently using an odd piece I bought from another G'oner. The Electron Images. I wish I could tell you more, it's made in Canada by a designer that supposedly does work with Audio Note Japan. It does have all Audio Note caps in it. To me it was better than the Rhea, Thor, Joule, ARC and a couple of others I can't recall right now. I replaced the tubes with some NOS and the power cord and this will sing nicely until I can get my IO.
I own an Art Audio Vinyl One with volume pot and I think it is terrific. Not to confuse your situation, but how can you not get confused? I've heard the Rhea and liked it. Do you need that much flexibility? I'd prefer my dollars going for sonics.
I agree,to a good extent,with Rushton.I had a battery powered ROWLAND 8t amp that although is a diff. component,also similarly,had unacceptable dynamics,compared to the updated switchmode power supply that I had Jeff install,replacing the battery.I've never looked back,and,also,have Avalon speakers(the Fabulous,yet forgotten)Ascent mk-2.With the resolution of your system you should go for the best and look at it as a last purchase.

I currently have the Rhea which replaced an ARC PH 3SE. I have not heard the Groove but did hear the Sutherland briefly.

The reason I purchased the Rhea was the convenience it provides me. Since I have two cartridges and arm wands I can very easily change form one to the other and set load and gain on the fly. The only other phono pre amp that can do that is the Manley phono pre-amp.

The Groove must be ordered factory set and cannot be altered unless you return it to them. I have also read elsewhere that there might be a change over in command in the company. As to the Sotherland, I just could not live with the idea of all those batteries and them just running out of life ...that's just me?

As to the Rhea, I am very happy with it and have had no problems with tube noise or anything else after I got it. I heard so much about the IO from some of the folks here with good ears and systems, I felt that I would not being going wrong, so I auditioned the Rhea and bought it.

If i had to point out a fault in the Rhea is that it does sound like tubes with a bit of a darker taste. For me and my system it works fine and complements my power amp and speakers. You need to audition or rely on our experiences. The best of luck!
Well,the Aesthetix Rhea I listen to is absolutely quiet, even with 75dB Gain I hear absolutely NO noise.
When I am honest, this impresses me, and the Sound is not mechanical nor clynical. I think, it's a good unit.
I recently found a Groove Plus here on Audiogon and, while still breaking it in, am completely amazed. I had the Herron tubed pre before. I know there has been some discussion about Tom Evans Audio Design and its health. I have had many emails from dealers all over the country and am confident of thier strength and longevity. A new verson of the Groove began production at the begining of 2004 and offers even better Lithos regulation. I have heard good things about the Aestetix and the Connoisseur.
I'm not sure that I understand the comment that the Rhea sounded "darker". Maybe it is a system synergy thing. My Rhea sounds anything but dark although I am using SS amps.