I have owned both and the Calypso wins out on IMO. Of course better is in the ears of the beholder.
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I think the easiest thing for me to say is it just sounds more natural to me. It seems to capture the essence of the music better. It's not one of those cut and dried things like this is better or that is worse. It is the overall performance. The Calypso just sounds more right to me. The JE actually had a tiny touch of hardness in comparison and just didn't exibit that total ease of reproduction.
My system consists of the Calypso, the Theta Dreadnaught I, a Wadia 861se with AQ balanced Cheetahs and biwire Kilimanjaro's. I use Vandersteen 3a Sigs (soon, very soon, to be replaced by the 5A's.)I was using a pair of 2Wq's but they have since been sold to make way for the upgrade.
Unfortunately no. I got out of the phono stuff back in the early 90's and never returned. I used a VPI HW MKIV with a Rega RB300 with Incognito wiring and a few other goodies as my last table. I quit to concentrate on CD, SACD and the like. However, I'm reconsidering the plunge now that it looks like SACD and/or DVD-A will become a niche at best. (Too bad the 24/96 CD's didn't catch on. They really do sound good also!)I would like to find a nice Linn table at some point and build from there.
I've read good things about the Janus (Calypso + phono or Rhea)but I know there are plenty of really excellent phono pre's out there now with some at good prices.
Funnily enough, I had the exact opposite experience. Goes to show how the same component in different systems can yield diametrically opposite results.
My System consists of the Cary 308T, Joule Electra LA150, Plinius SA250 monos, Magneplanar 3.6 and a pair of Vandersteen 2Wqs, DH labs revelations, and biwired JPS labs Superconductors . I guess my tube heavy source favors the JE. The calypso sounded good but a little too dry, The JE had no trace of hardness in my system. As an aside, the wadia 861 (which I also auditioned) made my maggies sound very clinical.
I would expect the warmth of the Vandersteen 5a ( in my opinion probably one of the finest speakers made) would mesh well with your current set up.If you want a lovingly cared for Linn LP12/Ittok, let me know ( it's mothballed right now). Like you I took the plunge into CDs but have not succumbed to SACDs and the like, hence my quest for a vinyl sound from a digital rig.