Aesthetix Pallene

Has anyone heard or seen the new preamp from Aesthetix its called the Pallene any information would be greatly appreciated
128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xtomstruck
I suggest calling John Rutan at Audio Connection in Verona, NJ. He has sold at least one of them. The unit is basically the preamp section from the Mimas Integrated amp and is supposed to be in the same chassis as the Mimas. Good Luck!
Joe good seeing you at Johns yesterday
Pulled the trigger on the amp and preamp when with the Aesthetix Atlas and the Pallene for the same reason you when with the Mimas being able to put in the Phono or DAC down the road is great
For now I'm going to stick with the Arye Codex and the Nova 2  
@tomstruck should be fantastic- I have heard the Mimas and Atlas ( many many times on the later ) both are wonderful. I think Jim certainly knows his way around a DAC. I have his Pandora- Signature and find it very musical.
enjoy !!!!
@tomstruck Did you compare the Calypso with the Pallene? What is the Pallene replacing and can you describe its strengths?
Thanks tomic601 very psyched can't wait until it comes

jc4659 No could to compare it to the Calypso Audio Connection doesn't have one yet the closest thing to it is the Mimas the Pallene is the preamp section of the Mimas and that sounds a lot like the Atlas and Calypos combo and its more in my budget 
I don't think anything is being replaced its just a new item for Aesthetix 
Tommy, I'm sure you will love the Atlas on your speakers. One of the best amp/speaker combos I have heard! Good Luck!
Tommy, I'm sure you will love the Atlas on your speakers. One of the best amp/speaker combos I have heard! Good Luck!
@tomstruck I guess I was really asking what the Pallene pre amp was replacing in your system.  The reason I ask is I have been considering replacing my ayre k-5xeMP pre with a tube pre and have been seriously considering a calypso.  My amp is the Vx-5 twenty.  I am not in a rush b/c I enjoy my current pre + amp (also use a Codex).
Sorry about that jc4659 maybe i misunderstood so the Pallene is replacing my Rogue Cronus Magnum integrated  I have had it with my Vandersteen 2cesigII when i got my Quatros i had the highpass filters put in at Rogue to run the Quatros until Iput the money to gather to move up To the Altas and Pallene
now on to the Ayre great stuff by the way Iam at Audio Connection a lot and all time that I have heard Ayre apms I don't think John has ever play it with anything but an Ayre preamp I would look in to maybe moving up to the KX-5 pre
Love the CODEX I'm the guy who can up with the Codex Cradle  

I have heard the Atlas but not the new Mimas. 
Can you speak about the presentation and sound of the Mimas?

Happy Listening!
I know you asked tomic601 but here is my thoughts on the Mimas like the Atlas and Calypso the Mimas has well rounded sound with great bass control mid range like tube just great sound in HD all in one chassis
you can add up grades like phono ,DAC and highpass filter for speaker like Vandersteen 

Thank You for the brief on Mimas integrated amp. What other gear including cabling was in the demo system?

Happy Listening!
The speaker were Vandersteen Treos CT
speaker cables Audioquest Meteor double Bi-wired 
interconnects Audioquest not sure
Blu Sound vault
Ayre CODEX with Codex Cradle 
I have heard Mimas with Treo CT, Vandy Sub 3 in a moderate sized room, approx 15’x18’, table was a VPI with a Delos, I missed IF it had the phono card.

sound was punchy and tight and Vandersteen smooth with zero fatigue.

last time I heard an Atlas it was in a system w Ayre CD spinner, ARC Ref 5 preamp and Vandersteen 7 mk 1 speakers. I have heard the Atlas signature since w other speakers. I would characterize the Atlas as MORE with drive a stake thru the center of the earth tight groove bass. The Mimas for the money is incredible!

now having said that, I have a soft spot in my heart for ARC tube preamps with SS Ayre power.

and in my reference system, I am blessed to have the Vandersteen 7 amplifier..

Thank You for mentioning the demo system. I agree that it is a terrific value.  Now, I have to find an audition.

Happy Listening!
@jafant i would call Jim White at Aesthetix, he will know who has what and where close to you as I recall you are South of Atlanta?


Thank You. Yes, I am close to Atlanta. Nashville,  could be a second option, as it is a little farther away.

Happy Listening!
I should probably list this under Cables but since it has to do with the new amp and preamp I will list it here
Went to see John at Audio Connection yesterday to talk about cables for the Pallene and Atlas  always a good time going to John's and for the cables I went with AQ Water of Interconnects and I was going to up grade the power cords on the amp and pre but John suggested to do the cable on the Codex first with AQ Thunder and down the road do the others 
I bought my Aesthetix Pallene from John R at Audio Connection a couple of months ago. i think I had the first or second that he sold. I had ordered it late last summer on John’s recommendation. More on that later.

The Pallene is a really impressive piece of equipment. It is essentially the preamplifier section of the also-excellent Mimas integrated amplifier. It looks and operates exactly the same way. In fact, I had John’s demo Mimas for a week operating in preamp out mode, and the Pallene sounds exactly the same. It uses a pair of the 6922 tubes, the same ones my Modwright phono preamp uses. As in that unit, I find that this tube walks that fine line between neutrality and musicality.

So how does it sound? It is neutral, and the tubes lend more smoothness than outright warmth. It’s accurate without being clinical. It’s greatest attribute is scale, though. The source material just seems to have no constraints- the music never sounds shuttered in or limited in any way. Even on more compressed recordings, it just knocks out the walls and opens it up. It matches beautifully with my Quicksilver V4s, and my Vandersteen 5As.

The interface of this preamp is similar to the Rogue RP series, or a more modern AR. There are no knobs, just buttons and an LED screen. Or maybe it’s LCD? The screen is simple, but the interface has a lot of functionality, including the very useful feature of being able to set different gain levels to different inputs. No longer will your CD seem louder than your vinyl. It took some getting used to, but I like it. The optional remote is a must, too.

It might also be helpful to know where I came from and how I ended up with the Pallene. I had been on the preamplifier musical chair game, quite unintentionally, for a while. I originally had a Rogue Perseus Magnum, also bought from John, matched with a Stereo 90 Super Magnum. The Perseus is not neutral, but has a big, fun, full, juicy sound that just makes music enjoyable. I switched from my Vandersteen 2 CE Sigs to a pair of Treos, and afterward started looking for something a bit faster and more accurate. On the recommendation of a friend, I tried a Modwright LS100 tubed preamp. It uses 6SN7, and I probably should have known better. It’s not the quietest circuit, and it’s not fast, or accurate. The looks of the aluminum chassis are gorgeous, but beauty is only skin deep. I changed power amps to solid state on a lark, and went with a Modwright KWA 100 SE, and then a KWA 150SE. The 150 is a beast, it’s fast and accurate. Not at all like tubes, but not etched or harsh - it just gives effortless scale to whatever you feed it. Anyway, those NW amps led me to try a pair of gorgeous, handmade Daedalus speakers. They are true works of art, handcrafted in custom finish for their prior owner. I enjoyed their musicality over the relentless precision and fussiness of the Treos. But, they are 96 dB efficient, and that LS100 was now LOUD at idle. It always sounded like it was raining outside. On Dan Wright’s suggestion, I tried to trade down (but really a trade up) to his newest design, the entry level SWL 9.0 Anniversary preamp. I loved it’s pace and it’s relative quiet (note my original Rogue was still more silent), but it had this weird EFI noise in one channel. After two attempts to fix it, Dan traded it back on a brand new LS100. I thought maybe the latest version would be better than my first, but alas, same result. Lots of noise.

Finally I got off the Internet and called up John. After hearing about my trials and tribulations, he recommended the Pallene, even though he couldn’t sell me one right away. He just thought the match with the Quickies and my Daedalus would be great. He wasn’t wrong! Everything snapped into focus.

So after getting everything just right, In moved to a new house and the Daedalus with subs no longer looked good in my living room. On Join’s suggestion, I picked up a pair of Vandersteen 5As. This system now is really, really enjoyable, and I haven’t even had the 5As professionally set up yet (they are hugely complicated with the run eq and all).

 Highly recommended.


Thank You for the in-depth review on Aesthetix Pallene.

I have only spent time with the Atlas and Calypso separates on Treo speakers back in 2015.

Happy Listening!

Thanks for the review drew_k I would have respond sooner but I been under the weather for the pass week on to more important things the Aesthetix Pallene congratulations on both the Vandersteen 5s are a great Speaker I have Quatros once you get John out to dial them in you are going to be amazed on to the Pallene I know few people running Aesthetix ,Quicksilver V4s and Vandersteen I haven't heard it with the Pallene yet can wait until my Pallene comes in enjoy the music and stay healthy 
My Aesthetix Pallene has arrived after week and a half at FEDEX John and I got our hands on it unfortunately delayed by the covid19
Now about the Pallene what a preamp and match with the Atlas amp I won't be missing the sound stage of my all tube Rogue Cronus  The sound stage on this combo is amazing detailed like I have never heard before  Listening to Rodger Waters Amused to Death the first track his guitar notes seem to go on for ever and to think as the Pallene breaks in it's just going to get better and better  If you are in the market for a new preamp take a look at the Pallene   Jim White is a genius and  Thank you Jim for your personal touch I will enjoy the music and John from Audio Connection Thanks for all your help building the best systems I have ever owned  
I will be posting new photos in virtual systems 
Thanks everyone for your comments,insight and reviews 
Update for @jafant  I have been helping a local guy w TREO CT get system dialed into room with MIMAS he has the Aesthetix card based DAC option and is streaming from Apple TV box to DAC via Toslink cable - speaker wires are AQ Rocket 33 in a bi-wire configuration- sound is punchy and super smooth - no hint of glare in a fairly large reverberant room. I can highly highly recommend this integrated amp w Vandersteen 

Thank You for the update on the Mimas integrated amp.
Monday,  I took delivery on an AYRE AX-5 integrated amp.
The presentation and sound is superb especially matched w/  my DX-5 universal spinner.  I have only heard this combo w/ AQ cabling.
Anxious to try a different brand as a starting point. Strongly considering Transparent Cable, as I am a previous owner of the MM2 Musiclink Super models.

Happy Listening!
Hi hasmarto
input gain is 24dB maximum w/gain jumper @ 0dB
input impedance 470 Kohms single ended or balanced

sorry I can't find the output impedance in the owners manual 
what amps are you thinking of using it with 
You can always call Jim White at AESTHETIX great guy and I'm really enjoying my Pallene if I can help you any more you can PM me

Enjoy the Music