The Aqvox mated well with my PrimaLuna PL-2.
6 responses Add your response
I found the X-LPS painfully two-dimensional compared to a Wright WPP200c, Wright WPP100c, EAR 834P, Bottlehead Seduction, and Hagerman Cornet2. Any decent tube stage will sound better than the X-LPS. IMO, you don't need to spend an arm and a leg to get a phono stage that delivers air and spaciousness. If you're willing to build a kit, you can get amazing performance for a bargain. I'd put the Seduction, Cornet2, and Juicy Music Tercel in this category.
If kit building isn't your cup of tea, then it depends on your budget. What are you willing to spend?
My budget would be around $1500 or less, if possible.
The Aqvox is a unit I would definitely check out if I go the non-tube route. I don't need the balanced inputs right now, but I guess that would allow for future upgrades.
I know that the EAR834p has been a popular choice.
I don't really have the skills to put together a kit, but I'd be willing to go for something built by one of those manufacturers. The Tercel looks interesting.
The EE MiniMax substantially betters all units mentioned by a fairly wide margin in my experience. I've owned or heard all units mentioned. The MiniMax is within shooting distance of the best of the best.
No reason why it wouldn't mate nicely with your AES; in fact, I'd have to say it outclasses that linestage (which I've also owned, and it's good).