Home / Products / Saturn Series / Calypso linestage


Calypso is an all-tube linestage suitable for audio and home cinema systems. Fully balanced circuitry from input to output, including internal balancing of single-ended inputs, results in common mode signal rejection and cleaner sound. The innovative discrete switched resister volume control maximizes resolution at any listening level. Every input is both single-ended and balanced for greater versatility. Home theatre bypass mode, absolute phase setting and full function remote are added conveniences. The all-aluminum chassis is rigid, acoustically inert and simply beautiful.

  • Fully balanced differential circuitry with ability to internally balance a single ended input signal.
  • Zero feedback.
  • Discrete switched resistor volume control with 88 1dB steps.
  • All tube amplification and output (4 tubes total).
  • Two sets of XLR and two sets of RCA outputs per channel.
  • Bypass mode for home theatre processor throughput.
  • Absolute phase, selectable via front panel or remote control.
  • Full function remote included.
  • Available in black or silver faceplate.

Calypso is available in three versions: Standard, Signature and Eclipse.

The standard version uses high-grade Rel-Cap polypropylene coupling capacitors. The Signature version uses exotic and expensive coupling capacitors and other critical parts to bring the performance to a higher level.

All versions of Calypso can be factory upgraded to Signature.


The Signature version uses custom-made inter-stage Teflon hybrid coupling capacitors, replacing the polypropylene units, between the gain stage and output stage (2 per channel). The change in these capacitors results in higher resolution, extension, less grain and more air. The 2uF output coupling capacitors (4 per channel) are replaced with 4uF Dynamicaps. This change provides more drive, bass extension, resolution and dynamics while also reducing grain. Highly specialized adjustable air-core capacitors, used primarily in the radio-frequency realm, are installed and adjusted to "tweak" each unit to a rigid standard. The five rubber feet are replaced with Harmonic Resolutions Systems' Nimbus Couplers specially made for Aesthetix (Earlier Signature Saturn pieces did not incorporate this, please contact Aesthetix for this free upgrade if you have an earlier Signature piece without the Nimbus Couplers). This change results in a lower noise floor and more air and space. The cost of these specialized parts alone is about 1/4 the manufacturing cost of a brand new unit! Any tubes that can be bettered by our special stock of graded and matched tubes are replaced. Any other improvements needed to make the unit current are installed, including software updates, etc. A new lens with "SIGNATURE" stenciled is installed. Each Signature unit undergoes rigorous test procedures and listening.


First phase: Internal changes to the Calypso start with .22uF / 600v Stealth coupling capacitors used between the gain stage and output stage. Four total of these exotic capacitors are used.

There are four 2uF / 400v coupling capacitors used in each channel of the output stage of the Calypso. In the Eclipse version, these are replaced with Stealth copper foil 4uF/400v, improving low frequency response.

Second phase: High frequency tuning capacitors are installed and hand-adjusted to tailor the frequency response to a tight .1dB standard (as also found on our Signature version).

Third phase: The high voltage transformer, heater transformer and high voltage choke are all re-installed on isolation mounts. Harmonic Resolutions Systems' Nimbus Couplers specially made for Aesthetix replace the four rubber feet of standard units (as also found on our Signature version). The new power supply is installed with enhanced ventilation. Additional damping material is added to key chassis points.

Fourth phase: A single point ground system is used to ground the transformer cases as they are no longer electrically grounded to the chassis via physical contact due to their isolation mounts. All Eclipse Rhea, Calypso and Janus units receive a new power supply, which has been refined by improved trace routing to further reduce extraneous noise.


...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 (August 2013) read post

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, CALYPSO and JANUS SIGNATURE)

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? (UK, 2012, CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage and ATLAS MONO amplifiers), "30 Stunning Stereo Amps"

Natural, sophisticated and accurate sound." -Như DũngSồhóa (Vietnam, 2012, CALYPSO linestage), read review

-Nghe Nhìn (Vietnam, 2011): CALYPSO linestage

HiFi+ Guide to The Crème de la Crème (UK, 2011): CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage

The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award (2010): CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage

The Absolute Sound Product of the Year (2003): CALYPSO 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, HiFi Plus (UK, 2011, CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage), download PDF (4 MB)

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."- What Hi-Fi? "5 Stars" (UK, 2011, CALYPSO SIGNATURE)

...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, The Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Award (2005-2011, CALYPSO and CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage)

A beautifully built, smartly designed, crisply functioning, versatile, and sonically brilliant preamplifier." -Stereophile Class A Recommended Component: CALYPSO and 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..." -10Audio.com (2011, CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage), read review

Arguably the most natural-sounding preamp for this money" -What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision Magazine "Five Stars" (UK, 2008, CALYPSO linestage), read review

one of the most enjoyable, musically satisfying preamplifiers I have had the pleasure of reviewing" -Michael Fremer Stereophile (2005, CALYPSO SIGNATURE), read review

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, Audio Perfectionist Journal (2003, CALYPSO linestage), download PDF (1/2 MB)


click any image to enlarge


Inputs: 5 line RCA or XLR (balanced), plus 1 tape, RCA or XLR
Outputs: 2 RCA (SE) and XLR (balanced), 1 tape RCA
Line level gain: 23 dB single ended (SE), in/out, and 29 dB balanced/out
Volume control: switched resistor network volume control with 88 1 dB steps
Front panel controls: main input, tape input select, volume, balance, phase, mute, display, and bypass
Remote controls: main input, tape input select, volume, balance, phase, mute, display, bypass and standby
Frequency response: +- 0.25 dB, 20 Hz - 20 Khz
Signal to noise: measured at 70 dB minimum, A-weighted (ref 1 mv input, 75 dB gain setting)
Line input impedance: 40 k ohms SE, 80 k ohms balanced
Maximum line input: 3.5 volts SE, 7.0 volts RMS balanced
Output impedance: 1K ohms SE, 600 ohms balanced
Recommended amplifier load: 10K ohms or greater (SE), 20K ohms or greater (Balanced)
Tubes, each channel: (line section) V1 (12AX7 or equivalent), V2 (6922/6DJ8)
Power consumption: 20 watts standby, 60 watts active
Physical dimensions: 4 3/8" high, 17 7/8" wide, 18" deep including jacks
Shipping weight: 40 lbs.

Specifications subject to improvement or change without notice.



   All Products


•• Mimas


•• Io
•• Rhea


•• Metis
•• Callisto
•• Calypso


•• Atlas

(Full Function)

•• Janus


•• Romulus DAC + CD   
•• Pandora DAC



•• Jupiter Series
•• Saturn Series



Aesthetix Audio Corporation
5220 Gabbert Road Suite A
Moorpark, CA 93021
+1 805-529-9901


Owner's Manuals
Tube Placement Guides
Privacy Policy


United States Dealers
International Distributors


Product Line Overview
Design Philosophy
Product Reviews


Email List


mobile | desktop