The iPhono is definitely NOT etched. I own the AMR PH77 and I have an iPhono and I had a Graaf GM70 phono stage with about $1000.00 worth of tubes in it. The iPhono once fully run it has a signature just like the AMR PH77 but not quite the weight and gravitas of the PH77. I would say that the iPhono was the equal of and better in some ways than the GM70. You could easily spend $5k and not come anywhere near the equal of the iPhono.