Aesthetix IO

Mar 23, 2015
1,441
14
38
UK
#1
Hi all,

Just wondering whether there are any former or current IO owners out there on wbf? Looking to connect to gain insights about this beast.

Best,

Bill
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,850
44
48
London
#2
Hi all,

Just wondering whether there are any former or current IO owners out there on wbf? Looking to connect to gain insights about this beast.

Best,

Bill
Ron - 20 years. Also try the Gon and shark, many there. Better if you search on it and PM them. Suteetat has it too, and Mike L owned it previously
 
Feb 19, 2014
28
0
0
#5
Bill,

Front end on consists of a Clearaudio Master Solution table , Minus K isolation System, Graham Phantom II S, Siltech Avondale II phono cable and a Lyra Etna cartridge. Overall I would consider my system well balanced and certainly not warm. IO brings to the equation a lifelike presentation without attracting attention to itself. I use stock tubes, I tried NOS tubes but I found it imparted a level of warmth I didn't like.

I've heard stories in the past that this pre was noisy, I suspect they are isolation issues more than anything else. I run it at 68 dB gain

Would I buy it again, hell yes!

Dan
 

thekong

New Member
May 10, 2012
105
0
0
#6
Hi Bill,

I am also using the IO Eclipse, together with the Callisto Eclipse, both with dual power supplies! Very nice combo indeed!
 
Mar 27, 2016
112
1
18
Canada
#7
I've got the Io with volume controls and 2 supplies signature version- I still believe it to be highly competitive in today's environment. If it meets your sonic priorities and you can deal with the space - it is a special piece.
 
Mar 23, 2015
1,441
14
38
UK
#8
Hi guys,

Thanks for the input so far. I have the IO in situ and have been listening all evening - this is the signature with extra power supply (i.e.3 boxes).

Well it is utterly stunning beyond my wildest expectations. I am bowled over by it tbh - this is a very special product indeed. Soundstaging is massive and perfectly layered, resolution exceptional, gorgeous tone, and beastly bass.

My wife and I were listening to the Ella let no man write my epitaph (analogue productions) album that she bought me a few years back - my goodness. I think that is the closest to real sounding I ever heard my system.

Listening now to Oistrakh Beethoven violin concerto and it is truly goosebumps time.

So what cartridges are you thinking work best? I see you can use really low output carts such is the huge gain (upto 80db). Would guess it is very versatile and will work with a very wide range such is the adjustability but interested in your user experience. I am using this with my Kuzma ref II and Triplanar VII.

Best,

Bill
 
Mar 27, 2016
112
1
18
Canada
#9
Hi guys,

Thanks for the input so far. I have the IO in situ and have been listening all evening - this is the signature with extra power supply (i.e.3 boxes).

Well it is utterly stunning beyond my wildest expectations. I am bowled over by it tbh - this is a very special product indeed. Soundstaging is massive and perfectly layered, resolution exceptional, gorgeous tone, and beastly bass.

My wife and I were listening to the Ella let no man write my epitaph (analogue productions) album that she bought me a few years back - my goodness. I think that is the closest to real sounding I ever heard my system.

Listening now to Oistrakh Beethoven violin concerto and it is truly goosebumps time.

So what cartridges are you thinking work best? I see you can use really low output carts such is the huge gain (upto 80db). Would guess it is very versatile and will work with a very wide range such is the adjustability but interested in your user experience. I am using this with my Kuzma ref II and Triplanar VII.

Best,

Bill

Hello,

My philosophy is to use the highest output cartridge that can resolve to your taste. You want to control noise by not extending the gain of the unit more than required. Overall gain is a function of the source, amplification, speakers and room interface.

I've used and have used cartidges with as little as .23mV output with no ill effects in my systems. I have never had noise issues with my system as a result of the Io. Now, will a Boulder 2008 be quieter, sure , but it is missing some other things that I value in the Io.

I had a Klyne 7 series top of the line phono stage next to the Io - I loved it. The Io just made me smile a bit more.

Koetsu, Lyra, Benz and ClearAudio in recent times all work well - budget , taste and your arm all come into play.

Congratulations on the Io - l'm sure you will enjoy it for some time.
 
Mar 23, 2015
1,441
14
38
UK
#11
I am using the miyahima Madake cartridge with my Io eclipse and the sound is fantastic.
I have been utterly enchanted by the Io all week I have say. The lift to my analogue rig is monumental. I would love the eclipse but it is an expensive upgrade here in U.K. I think I will do the electrical eclipse upgrades with a local engineer since I can acquire all the stealth caps for £2k max - likely much less.

Always fancied the Madake - what arm/cart are you using and how would you describe the Madake?

I have a Lyra Kleos and the logical upgrade is the Etna but there is just something the Lyra lacks - just a smidge more natural warmth and harmonic content.
 
Feb 19, 2014
28
0
0
#12
I have been utterly enchanted by the Io all week I have say. The lift to my analogue rig is monumental. I would love the eclipse but it is an expensive upgrade here in U.K. I think I will do the electrical eclipse upgrades with a local engineer since I can acquire all the stealth caps for £2k max - likely much less.

Always fancied the Madake - what arm/cart are you using and how would you describe the Madake?

I have a Lyra Kleos and the logical upgrade is the Etna but there is just something the Lyra lacks - just a smidge more natural warmth and harmonic content.
Bill,

Happy to hear you like your IO, It's an amazing piece of gear. I'm somewhat surprised it has fallen off the top tier components in terms of market appreciation, it's probably the complication of having all those tubes as well as problems some individuals have with noise (which I always thought to be related to other problems in the chain).

As for Lyra, they do have some warmth although a very neutral cartridge, pretty hard to set up right. I often times hear them setup and dialed showing too much emphasis on the upper register which makes them sound cold and shrill. I had both a Kleos and now own an Etna FYI.

Dan
 
Apr 27, 2014
195
0
16
Orchard Lake, MI
#13
The Madake has a .23mv output. I never really liked the Lyra sound, they always appear more detailed than natural. The Madake has the midrange beauty like the Koetsu, but has detail and tighter bass. It has a natural warmth, but is also very open as well. This replaced my ZYX Universe II. I am using the Basis Debut with vacuum and the Basis Superarm 9 tonearm.
 
Mar 23, 2015
1,441
14
38
UK
#14
Bill,

Happy to hear you like your IO, It's an amazing piece of gear. I'm somewhat surprised it has fallen off the top tier components in terms of market appreciation, it's probably the complication of having all those tubes as well as problems some individuals have with noise (which I always thought to be related to other problems in the chain).

As for Lyra, they do have some warmth although a very neutral cartridge, pretty hard to set up right. I often times hear them setup and dialed showing too much emphasis on the upper register which makes them sound cold and shrill. I had both a Kleos and now own an Etna FYI.

Dan
Hi Dan,

Yeah - no problems with noise. Just some tube rush when I am absolutely leathering it - I don't find tube rush intruding only hum bothers me (and I am exceptionally fussy about it).

I do like my Kleos a lot - the speed, dynamics and resolution are first class. I just yearn for a fraction more midrange beauty. My Kleos is not analytical or cool but balanced. When you moved to Etna, what did you notice as improvements. I have loved the Etna all the times I heard it and the Lyra upgrade scheme makes it very easy. I don't have any shrillness at all - just need to get sra bang on for that ime.
 
Mar 23, 2015
1,441
14
38
UK
#15
The Madake has a .23mv output. I never really liked the Lyra sound, they always appear more detailed than natural. The Madake has the midrange beauty like the Koetsu, but has detail and tighter bass. It has a natural warmth, but is also very open as well. This replaced my ZYX Universe II. I am using the Basis Debut with vacuum and the Basis Superarm 9 tonearm.
Thanks, Jeffy. Do you listen to classical at all - curious how Madake fairs on that. Do you get any noise with such low output and having to use a lot of gain on the Io?
 
Feb 19, 2014
28
0
0
#17
Hi Dan,

Yeah - no problems with noise. Just some tube rush when I am absolutely leathering it - I don't find tube rush intruding only hum bothers me (and I am exceptionally fussy about it).

I do like my Kleos a lot - the speed, dynamics and resolution are first class. I just yearn for a fraction more midrange beauty. My Kleos is not analytical or cool but balanced. When you moved to Etna, what did you notice as improvements. I have loved the Etna all the times I heard it and the Lyra upgrade scheme makes it very easy. I don't have any shrillness at all - just need to get sra bang on for that ime.
Bill,

Etna has the same signature as Kleos, it's just way more refined and natural. It's the best i can explain it. It's so frigging natural it's mind numbing.

Dan
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,850
44
48
London
#18
I heard Bill's system with this phono and the phono is transformational. I haven't heard such a magic component before. Unfortunately not much experience comparing phonos, but plenty comparing dacs, amps, and to some extent even TTs, but moving from the BMC phono to this was mind boggling. Makes me feel I have been wasting my time in HiFi not embarking on the analog route. Any record that we picked off his shelf sounded musical with it.

What's more frustrating is I heard it first at a dealer's and recommended it to Bill, so now I feel like a bargain slipped through my fingers. I am intimidated by the three boxes and forever NOS and shun mook upgrades possible on it though.
 
Mar 23, 2015
1,441
14
38
UK
#19
I heard Bill's system with this phono and the phono is transformational. I haven't heard such a magic component before. Unfortunately not much experience comparing phonos, but plenty comparing dacs, amps, and to some extent even TTs, but moving from the BMC phono to this was mind boggling. Makes me feel I have been wasting my time in HiFi not embarking on the analog route. Any record that we picked off his shelf sounded musical with it.

What's more frustrating is I heard it first at a dealer's and recommended it to Bill, so now I feel like a bargain slipped through my fingers. I am intimidated by the three boxes and forever NOS and shun mook upgrades possible on it though.
Yeah thanks for that feedback, Ked. I wholeheartedly agree with your conclusion - what a monstrous transformation! That Io is an absolutely epic machine without question.
 

About us

  • Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing