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REVIEWS & ACCOLADES
The Absolute Sound 2017 Editor's Choice: Aesthetix is honored to have the following products designated "Editor's Choice": ATLAS power amplifier, CALYPSO and CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestages, JANUS and JANUS SIGNATURE preamplifiers, RHEA and RHEA SIGNATURE phono stages and ROMULUS digital-to-analog converter and CD transport.
The Absolute Sound Prouduct of the Year (January 2015) and The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award (September 2014): ROMULUS digital-to-analog converter and CD transport, "This all-tubed CD player and DAC is one of the greatest bargains in high-end audio today. What makes the Romulus special is that it sounds so "un-digital," particularly at this price. Rather than sounding flat and congealed, the Romulus opens up the spatial presentation and gives instruments and voices room to breathe. The player has an expansive quality along with a sense of top-octave air and openness. The tonal balance is rich and warm in the bass, which, coupled with the treble smoothness, results in an immediately engaging and fatigue-free presentation. The Romulus doesn't sound "tubey" in the classic sense, but neither does it sound like solid-state. The design and build-quality are beyond what's expected at this price. If you have no analog sources, the Romulus can serve as a preamplifier and DAC with multiple digital inputs, provided you purchase the variable-output option ($1000). Thanks to an innovative hybrid analog/digital volume-control, there's no loss of resolution no matter what the volume setting." -Robert Harley
HiFiNews (UK, December 2014): ATLAS STEREO SIGNATURE power amplifier, "Atlas Stereo Signature is a glorious sounding amplifier that successfully marries the airy openness of valves with the grip and grunt of a solid-state powerhouse. As the company's products are hand-built by artisans and have limited distribution among selected specialist dealers, audiophiles with pockets deep enough to own them are guaranteed pride of ownership as well as audio bliss." -John Bamford
TheAudioBeat.com (UK, September 2014): JANUS SIGNATURE preamplifier and ATLAS STEREO SIGNATURE power amplifier, "(You) have lucked out and discovered just about the only really high-end, high-powered, genuinely versatile two-box vacuum-tube amplification option out there -- the Aesthetix Janus Signature and Atlas Signature." -Roy Gregory, read review
The Absolute Sound (May/June 2014): ROMULUS digital-to-analog converter and CD transport, "The Romulus is another home run for Aesthetix, combining innovative circuit design, premium-quality parts and construction, and first-rate sound. This player was never anything less than musically communicative and immensely enjoyable, even in the context of a cost-no-object system. The Romulus is a flat-out bargain at its price, and invites comparison with much more expensive players. In fact, I’d call the Romulus a giant-killer, offering one of the highest price-to-performance ratios in digital playback today." -Robert Harley, download PDF.
Stereophile Recommended Components (2014): Stereophile Recommends Aesthetix ROMULUS digital-to-analog converter and CD transport, Excellent dynamic impact and bass slam with sweet mids and highs. - Jon Iverson
What Hi-Fi? (UK, June 2014): ROMULUS digital-to-analog converter and CD transport, "The Romulus delivers sound with a wonderful sense of space and ease. And detail? There’s loads. The player uncovers subtleties with considerable skill." - read review
HiFi+ (UK, March 2014): ATLAS STEREO SIGNATURE power amplifer, "Atlas (Stereo Signature) walks that fine line between control and creativity, precision and dynamics, command and freedom. The results are, quite literally, awesome." - read review
HiFi+ (UK, February 2014): JANUS preamplifier and ATLAS power amplifer, "Big, bold, solid and surprisingly agile, these amps are good enough and communicative enough to put you really close to the performers and their performance. With unforced power and a real sense of presence, they project music with an uncannily natural sense of pace, flow and colour. Having run the Atlas in a few systems now, it has become a real go-to amp." -Roy Gregory read review
Stereophile "Best Sound at CES" (January 2014): IO ECLIPSE phono stage and CALLISTO ECLIPSE linestage honored as part of "Best Sound at CES" system by John Atkinson, together with Vandersteen and Brinkman - read review.
Hi-Fi i Muzyka Product of the Year Award (Poland, February 2014): digital-to-analog converter and CD transport, "(Romulus) has that combination of honey and of detail that enables you to listen to music for hours and never get tired or irritated." - read review
What Hi-Fi? (UK, 2013): ATLAS power amplifier, "...this amplifier is cohesive, with the bass, midrange and treble dovetailing brilliantly to make a seamless whole...it remains the best we've heard at this price level or anywhere near it." - read review
Stereophile Recommended Components (2013): Stereophile Recommends Aesthetix CALYPSO linestage, CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage and ATLAS amplifiers.
Stereophile (October 2013): ROMULUS digital-to-alalog convert and CD transport, "...Romulus worked flawlessly and was a joy to use... the design, engineering, and build quality are top-notch for its price—and for the tube enthusiast, it's a no-brainer." - Jon Iverson, read review
The Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Award (2013-2017): ROMULUS digital-to-analog converter and CD transport
PS Tracks (August 2013): CALYPSO linestage, "...this preamp, in this system, brings a magic to the music I have been searching for." -Paul McGowan, CEO and Co-Founder of PS Audio in his blog PS Tracks read post
ClassAudio.com (Fall 2012): ROMULUS digital-to-analog converter and CD transport, "...aimed at listeners interested in the new digital wave, but not willing to give up the immersive and emotional presence of an analog source. (Aesthetix) invites listening with uncompromising absolute resolution, but with much musicality and emotion." -Robinson C. Freitas, read review
PC World Vietnam (Fall 2012): ROMULUS digital-to-analog converter and CD transport, read review
What Hi-Fi?: 5 Stars to Io Eclipse Phono Stage (UK, July 2012): IO ECLIPSE awarded 5 Stars from What Hi-Fi?, "This is the most natural sounding phono stage we have ever heard... exquisite design and build."
PC World Vietnam (Spring 2012): RHEA phono stage, read review
Stereophile Recommended Components (2012): Stereophile Recommends Aesthetix CALYPSO linestage, CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage and ATLAS amplifiers.
The Absolute Sound High-End Audio Buyers Guide (Spring 2013): ATLAS amplifier "Great resolution and reflexes... a deep convincing sense of space... a sheer joy - both sonically and musically - to listen to."
The Absolute Sound High-End Audio Buyers Guide (Spring 2013): CALYPSO and JANUS SIGNATURE "Speed and detail... highs without a glint of shrillness... low noise floor... hours of glorious, fatigue-free listening."
The Absolute Sound High-End Audio Buyers Guide (Spring 2013): RHEA and RHEA SIGNATURE phono stage "...transient quickness and speed without etch, a feeling of effortlessness on crescendos, and a deep layered soundstage..."
What Hi-Fi? (UK, 2012): CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage and ATLAS MONO amplifiers "30 Stunning Stereo Amps" "The sound is huge in scale and reach. Stereo imaging is among the widest we've ever heard, and lacks for nothing in precision or intimacy. Add the exceptional build quality and you have one of the finest pre/power amps that money can buy." -What Hi-Fi?
Sồhóa (Vietnam, 2012): CALYPSO linestage, read review "Natural, sophisticated and accurate sound." - Như Dũng
What Hi-Fi? (UK, 2012): IO ECLIPSE phono stage receives "5 Stars" "This is the most natural sounding phono stage we have ever heard ...the casework is immaculate...beautifully crafted." -What Hi-Fi?
STEREO (Germany, 2012): ROMULUS digital-to-analog converter and CD transport "Klanglich einer der musikalischsten Player überhaupt... harmonisch, farbig, schnell und kraftvoll ... vom Computer gelieferte Files habe ich persönlich in dieser Qualität noch nicht gehört." -Michael Lang "Tonally one of the most musical players there is... harmonious, colorful, fast and powerful ... I have never heard computer audio of this quality." -Michael Lang
HiFi Review CD Player of the Year (Hong Kong, 2012): ROMULUS digital-to-analog converter and CD transport
HiFi Review (Hong Kong, 2012): PANDORA and ROMULUS digital-to-analog converters "...vivid dynamic contrast... vibrant sound... excellent analytics... with a taste of vinyl texture..." -Sam Ho
STEREO (Germany, 2012): "100 Sound Points" to ATLAS MONO amplifiers "...sie verbinden ungewöhnliche technische Wege, aufwändige Verarbeitung und außergewöhnlich guten Klang... klingen unabhängig vom verwendeten Lautsprecher neutral und emotional" -Michael Lang "...combines a unique technical approach, extraordinary workmanship and exceptionally good sound... neutral and emotional sound independent of the loudspeaker..." -Michael Lang
Hi-Fi News Outstanding Product Award (UK, 2011): IO ECLIPSE phono stage, "...a magical ability to transport you... a heavyweight that can claim to be one of the finest phono stages money can buy... uncommonly articulate, and quiet..." -John Bamford, download PDF.
HiFi+ Guide to The Crème de la Crème (UK, 2011): RHEA SIGNATURE phono stage, CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage, and ATLAS MONO amplifiers "These are neutral and honest, yet powerful, controlled... they get out of the way of the music like all good amps should..."
Nghe Nhìn (Vietnam, 2011): RHEA phono stage, CALYPSO linestage, ATLAS STEREO amplifier
Stereophile Class A Recommended Component: ATLAS STEREO amplifier "build quality is top notch... characterized by a control, ease, and dynamic command that allowed music to jump to life" -Wes Phillips
HiFi+ (UK, 2011): ATLAS MONO amplifiers, "Aesthetix amplifiers set the standard... at once delicately responsive and effortlessly powerful, capable of driving most speakers but doing so without ever sounding muscle-bound." -Roy Gregory, download PDF.
What Hi-Fi? (UK, 2011): ATLAS MONO amplifiers receive "5 Stars" "Plenty of power... top-class grace... terrific build quality... The stereo image is among the widest we've ever heard, yet lacks for nothing when it comes to precision or intimacy."
10Audio.com (2011): ATLAS STEREO amplifier, +9 LPs - "Atlas is consistently musical... tonally gorgeous... convincing virtual sound stage...", read review.
The Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Award (2005-2017): RHEA and RHEA SIGNATURE phono stage "...redefines what's possible at this price level not only sonically, but functionally... transient quickness and speed without etch, a feeling of effortlessness on crescendos, and a deep, layered soundstage..." and "The metal work, industrial design, interior layout and build quality are exemplary." -Robert Harley
Stereophile Class A Recommended Component: RHEA phono stage "Rhea's most remarkable accomplishment is to put together an extraordinary combination of sonic performance and useful features at a price that is within reach." -Michael Fremer
SoundStage!HI-FI (SoundStage.com, 2011): RHEA SIGNATURE phono stage comparison with Parasound Halo JC 3 and Ayre P-5xe phono stages, "...where the Rhea really shone was dimensionality... senses of heft, depth, and height... a musical flow that is more like a live performance... (Rhea) clearly distinguishes itself as the most accomplished of the three." -Peter Roth, read review
HiFi+ (UK, 2011): CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage, "The Calypso Signature is in a different league, its lack of musical constriction, character or emphasis allowing it to perform just as a great linestage should - almost invisibly" -Roy Gregory, download PDF.
What Hi-Fi? (UK, 2011): CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage receives "5 Stars" "The sheer all-round ability of the Signature means its not too fussy about partners... Calypso will gladly uncover astonishing levels of detail and impressive scale."
Stereophile Class A Recommended Component: CALYPSO and CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage "A beautifully built, smartly designed, crisply functioning, versatile, and sonically brilliant preamplifier."
The Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Award (2005-2017): CALYPSO and CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage "...characterized by extremely wide dynamics, with an effortlessness in reproducing dynamic shadings along a continuum... transparency and detail resolution are first-rate... competes with the megabuck preamps... musically stunning and beautifully built." -Robert Harley
10Audio.com (2011): CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage, +9.5 LPs - "extreme lack of noise and distortion offers natural detail and harmonics to be heard to the limits of the recording... a wonderful feeling of rhythm and flow...", read review.
AudioReference.it (Italy, 2010): RHEA phono stage, "I loved the Rhea...very well built, pleasant aesthetics...quality similar to my reference phono stage which costs double" -Marco Benedetti, read review
CAЛOH Audio Video (Russia, 2010): RHEA phono stage review
CAЛOH Audio Video (Russia, 2010): "Showroom" Feature: PANDORA and ROMULUS digital-to-analog converters, CALYPSO linestage, JANUS preamplifier
The Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Award (2010-2017): JANUS and JANUS SIGNATURE preamplifier
The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award (2010): CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage
The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award (2010): ATLAS STEREO amplifier
Dagogo and AudioReview.com (2010): IO ECLIPSE phono stage, read at Dagogo or AudioReview.com "a very special product... natural sounding air... bloom and harmonic correctness... dynamics, it's the best I've ever heard" -Jack Roberts
Stereophile (2010): ATLAS STEREO, "...for all its strength and grunt, the Aesthetix Atlas revealed itself to be quite graceful in its portrayal of music and music's physical, insubstantial substance... it's one of the really great amplifiers I've had in my system" -Wes Phillips, read review.
The Absolute Sound Product of the Year (2009): RHEA SIGNATURE phono stage
The Absolute Sound Top Pick (2009): RHEA phono stage
UltraAudio.com (2009): RHEA and RHEA SIGNATURE phono stage, "Ultimately, the essence of the Rheas proved to be their ability to capture the gestalt of the music being played -- a communication of the wholeness of the performance with its emotional impact intact." -Peter Roth, read review.
The Absolute Sound (2009): JANUS SIGNATURE preamplifier
"...inserted the Janus Signature. What I heard then was nothing short of a transformation." -Alan Taffel
The Absolute Sound at AVguide.com (2009): IO ECLIPSE, "At the summit have stood the Io and Callisto. Now they have been forged into even mightier products." -Jacob Heilbrun, read review
The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award (2008): IO ECLIPSE phono stage
What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision Magazine (UK, 2008): "Five Stars" to ATLAS STEREO amplifier, "A sophisticated brute, the Atlas sounds great with all types of music", read review.
What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision Magazine (UK, 2008): "Five Stars" to CALYPSO linestage, "Arguably the most natural-sounding preamp for this money", read review.
The Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Award (2005-2007): IO MKII and IO MKII SIGNATURE phono stages "...exquisite dynamic contrasts... relaxed presentation... glorious midrange, excellent bottom octave..."
Audio Perfectionist Journal (2007): CALLISTO linestage "The Callisto is as fast, neutral, dynamic and authoritative as any preamp I've ever heard, solid-state or not... entirely worthy of the high esteem in which it's been held..." -Shane Buettner
Positive-Feedback.com (2006): CALLISTO linestage with remote, "In practice, (the remote) is a marvel to use and makes listening to music a joy." -Albert Porter, read review.
AudioAsylum.com (2006): IO SIGNATURE phono stage, "neutral in presentation ... no over or under emphasized artifacts ... it blooms and explodes ... a profound moment in music listening", read review.
Stereophile (2005): CALYPSO SIGNATURE, "one of the most enjoyable, musically satisfying preamplifiers I have had the pleasure of reviewing" -Michael Fremer, read review.
Positive-Feedback.com (2004): RHEA phono stage, "...a top choice for smooth, accurate, uncolored, highly detailed sound." -Robert Levi, read review.
Stereophile (2003): RHEA phonostage, "The Rhea's (performance) was further proof, if any were needed, of the microdynamic magic of fine tubes... Judged by the high standards Jim White set for himself in designing it or considered strictly on its own merits, the Aesthetix Rhea is a runaway success." -Paul Bolin, read review.
The Absolute Sound Product of the Year (2003): RHEA phono stage
Audio Perfectionist Journal (2003): RHEA phono stage, "Rhea's ability to layer and separate images on the stage is extraordinary... excellent sense of depth, space and focus." -Shane Buettner, download PDF.
The Absolute Sound Product of the Year (2003): CALYPSO linestage
Audio Perfectionist Journal (2003): CALYPSO linestage, "Calypso provides the kind of performance that you just won't hear with anything else anywhere near its price point, and it's better than many things that cost twice as much." -Shane Buettner, download PDF.
The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award (2003): CALLISTO SIGNATURE linestage and IO SIGNATURE phono stage "simply phenomenal inner detail, vast soundstaging, and a dynamic and harmonic bloom that seems to bring every kind of music to vivid life"
The Absolute Sound (2002): CALLISTO linestage "Centerstage" and "Harry Pearson's Workshop" feature "stunning dynamics, remarkable transparency, and a life-like recreation of space and volume... jaw-droppingly three-dimensional" -Wayne Garcia
The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award (2000): IO phono stage "The Aesthetix Io is a singularity. It does everything better than any phono stage I have heard..." -Paul Bolin
The Absolute Sound (2000): IO phono stage "...astounding range of dynamic contrasts... uncompressed ease... full of bloom when the music so dictates, yet never loose or out of control... the phono preamp of choice today... I bought my review sample." -Don Saltzman