I agree, I like the look ! Great preamp, I've heard a Rhea in my system before...good listening !
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Krugorg I too am more partial to silver than black but like you mentioned your setup would look at bit off with only one silver component. After seeing your picture the Calypso looks like a well built preamp. I was curious if you purchased this preamp based on reviews or you have had previous experience?
Thanks for the comments, guys. As my dealer said, the silver face "pops" better on display, but the black looks better with my blacker-than-black setup. I'm feeling a Spinal Tap quote coming on here...
Phd - I did check out the reviews, which got me interested in the Calypso (was only looking at BAT and Cary before that). I do have a great local dealer, Great Northern Sound Co. It sounded great at Steve's shop and so he let me borrow one over a weekend. Due to limited space, I am forced to have a dual-use audio and HT system. The demo Calypso did not play well with my existing Anthem A5 amp, I think due to the low impedance ratio mostly. So, I took a leap of faith and ordered the Calypso along with a new BAT 2-channel amp. I pretty much shot my audio budget for the next 12 years, but it sounds great!
One thing I have found with the Calypso is that it seems to be particularly sensitive to tube noise. I tried a new production pair of JJ 6922s that were supposedly tested low noise and I could hear tube noise at my seating position. Anyone else found this to be true?
Hard to understand why they are still shipping units w/noisy tubes. When I took delivery of my Calypso about 2.5 years ago, it had one noisy stock tube (Teslov 12ax7). The dealer sent me a new pair at no charge; one of them were noisy. But between the two pairs, I was able to make a good quiet pair. But they weren't in very long (a few hours), as I replaced them with different 12ax7's. Long story short, I've been through a few different pairs of 12ax7's, the latest being Mullards, along with Amperex 6922's. Well, one of the Mullards was getting very noisy, and it was again time to revisit 12ax7's. Then, my unit broke. A diode went out in the power supply. When I shipped it back to Aesthetix, I put all the original tubes in it, including the two noisy Teslov 12ax7's. I asked them to retube my unit with quiet tubes, which they did, at no charge. I thought I would give the stock tubes a chance, and after a couple of hundred hours, I'm pretty pleased with how they are sounding and I think I'm gonna leave as is. I may however pop the Amperex 6922's back in at some point, but again, it's sounding pretty darn good. At max volume listening level (jumpers set to -12db cut), one has to put your ear right next to the tweeter to hear anything. Dare I say, solid state quiet...
Perfectionist: It sounds like you have yours dialed in just right!
Sorry, I wasn't clear on my last post. The Sovtek 6922 tubes Aesthetix shipped with the Calypso are quiet with tube hiss only noticeable 1-2 feet away from the speakers. It is when I swapped in a pair of JJ E88CC tubes, tested low noise by Tube Depot, that I had tube noise and pops from my listening position (10 ft). I do have the jumpers set for -12 dB gain. I'm beginning to think my speakers may be overly sensitive... ProAc Studio 140s with 91 dB sensitivity.
I may order Upsale's Mullard 12ax7 copies (Groove Tubes) to give them a try. I need to stick with current production as this preamp is going to see a lot of hours running both audio and HT bypass.
I'm a little confused. Generally, it's the gain stage tubes that cause noise, or 12ax7's. Not the output tubes or 6922's. Also slightly confusing to me is "Sovtek 6922" tubes. I was under the impression that Aesthetix only used Teslov tubes in the Calypso, both in gain and output stages. This is what my unit was tubed with 2.5 years ago upon purchase, and again within the last couple of month's when it went in for service. My speakers sensitivity is rated at 89db. And may I recommend Brent Jesse Audio for tubes. Knowledgable, courteous, willing to talk, and great return policy... http://www.audiotubes.com/