I suspect the Kondo will be hard to beat.
9 responses Add your response
Regarding the Audio Note, whether there is a difference or not (I'm sure they sound different); I can't possibly imagine any possible difference that could be worth the difference in price; unless you have basically unlimited assets (the money just does not matter) and you happen to prefer the sound of the Audio Note; which is not a given. I also wonder, does anyone (not a dealer, a member of the press, or someone who works at AN) actually have one of these Audio Note preamps in their home system?
I agree that the M77 is ridiculously priced. Assuming you could pick one up used at half-price, however, that would be around $21k for a phonostage and linestage.
I think the Aesthetix Io phono and Callisto line with dual power supplies would be around $26k brand new.
The new Aesthetix Eclipse would set you back even more.
I'm not sure what the current ARC combo goes for.
The final Audio Perfectionist Journal reviewed both these preamps, and (in?)directly compared them.
I don't have my issue around, but I think I remember the reviewer felt the Callisto produced more of holographic space, and perhaps a more natural presentation... I think the ARC was also reviewed highly, and had slightly more of its own "character"... you might want to check that issue for their viewpoint...