How quite is the Aesthetix Calypso Vs Bat VK3i

Hi all,

Hope someone can provide some insights into how the Aesthetix unit compare with Bat. I have had the Bat close to 7 years and have paired it with a Plinius SA100MkIII. This combination worked so well that I have not found a combination that is significantly better.

The only reason I am looking at the Aesthetix is that it has two balanced outputs which could be used to biamp two Plinius amps in the future. Otherwise I am not really borthered by the performance of my Bat.

One thing I have noticed is that there are a lot of comments about how noisy this preamp is. I unfortunately can't audition the unit as I am buying used. The other thing that bothered me is that you can't actually contact the company or their distributor unless you go through a dealer. Where as I have been used to getting communication from Bat.

The dealer I contacted told me that if I believe whats on the net then I should not buy the unit. What's your experience with Aesthetix customer service?

I finally got the number of the distributor and will give him a call discuss. But just wanted to get some input from owners Stateside before I jump on this deal knowing that there is no warranty.

I bought one new. Kept it two weeks and sent it back. It was noisey with the stock tubes. I'm sure you will get replys to roll in better tubes, but I didnt feel a new product should be as noisey as it was. Why not just use splitters if you want to run two amps and keep the BAT or move up in the BAT line if your happy with your system now?
No noise problems with the unit I had.

Was the unit the recent one with the alternative gain setting? Did they agree that it was noisy? Also wanted to know if there are splitter for balanced connections. I was aware of splitters for RCAs but not seen for balanced. That would be a great cheap solution for me as I am happy with my system.

I bought mine new in early 2007. I returned it to Music Direct and they didnt ask me any questions, just refund my CC. yes there are XLR splitters.
No noise problems with my Calypso. Jim and Glenn at Aesthetix have been quite responsive to my questions.
The problem I had with the Calypso was the lack of dynamics compared to other high end models. Some may not care if playing music other than rock, pop, fusion, jazz or classical.
I've heard two Calypso and one Janus. No noise issues.
Jazzao1, Check out Techtalk forums. Find the thread "How to bi-amp preamp with 1 pair of XLR's" (Date 08-22-09), there are five web site address there that sells XLR splitters. Hope this help.
Agree verbatim with Dopogue's comments. My Calypso is superior to my previous preamps (BAT VK30 & Joule LA-150 MKII). However, good NOS tubes are required to make the Calypso sing... think Amperex white label 6922's & Mullard CV-4004 in the 12AX7 slots. I also use a Plinius amp (SA-102).
Pdreher, was the Calypso superior to the Bat even with stock tubes. I am already stretching my budget with the purchase and don't want to have to invest hundreds on NOS tubes to make it sound good in my system. Thanks
I think you'd be wasting your money if you plan to use the Calypso with stock tubes. Suggest you look at alternatives / older preamps from Audio Research & Conrad Johnson, or the Joule preamps. I'm just not a fan of BAT gear, although my experiences have been with mostly their entry level models.
Calypso is dead quiet with NOS tubes and gain reduced. Also was quiet prior to reducing gain.
Ellyjr, thanks for the heads up. I just contacted signal cables who made my balanced cable and they can make me the xlr splitter so will work out cheaper.
Earlier versions of the Calypso had noise issues,which I believe were a result of inferior resistors.I owned one of the latter iterations,no poblemo,it was very quiet that issue having been resolved.
No problem with noise on my Aesthetix Calypso with good NOS tubes. The Calypso is more to my liking and would be a sound improvement to the BAT VK3i IMHO.
Are the newer calypso's quiet, or does one still need to get nos tubes??