Any thoughts about the synergy between an aesthetix pre and Atma-sphere M-60's. These would be matched with Merlin VSM's. I've been in process of changing my system and am looking for a preamp that has both phono and balanced to go with the M-60's. Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks.
When I had my Aesthetix Callisto Sign. I used (or tried) several amps, also with M-60's. I had 99dB Speakers, easy load but the match wasn't really good. It worked, but imo, it was not a match. The Callisto worked MUCH better with my Pass Aleph 0.... I was trying to get some technical specs from Aesthetix at that time, but I didn't get it.
I would recommend a Atma-Sphere Preamp but order it with the SUT's, even when Ralph does not really recommend them. I had one without those and the Phono was nothing special with a 0.25mV cartridge. I always used a separate Phonostage with it ( I had a few at that time and it was always better sonics with them...)
The M-60 are great, really, and normally easy to drive. Outstanding match was with Klyne 7 series (adjustable gains for both channels) and also with a Lamm LL2 via RCA connection.
Thank you for this advice. Do you think that the atma-sphere phono stage would handle a mm cartridge well. I use a cartridge man.
The Atma-Sphere preamps are very good. They are a great match to any of the Atma-Sphere amps. The MP-1 is superior to the MP-3, as one might suspect. If you get an A-S preamp, follow Ralph's advice and avoid the SUTs.

To address your question, I run an Aesthetix Io Signature with volume controls directly into a pair of Atma-Sphere MA-2 amps. This is a great combination with excellent synergy.