Thoress Phono Enhancer vs. Aesthetix IO Signature

bluepearl

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Nov 9, 2016
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#1
Good day,

It seems there are several users of both the Thoress Phono Enhancer and the Aesthetix IO phono stage on this forum, I am presently considering both phono units and I would greatly appreciate feedback from users, ideally from someone who has owned/auditioned both. I am specifically considering the Aesthetix Signature version for budgetary reasons. Although I would also appreciate user feedback regarding the sonic benefits of the IO Eclipse vs. the IO Signature model.

Thanks.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#2
Good day,

It seems there are several users of both the Thoress Phono Enhancer and the Aesthetix IO phono stage on this forum, I am presently considering both phono units and I would greatly appreciate feedback from users, ideally from someone who has owned/auditioned both. I am specifically considering the Aesthetix Signature version for budgetary reasons. Although I would also appreciate user feedback regarding the sonic benefits of the IO Eclipse vs. the IO Signature model.

Thanks.
I want to know this too, and eventually we will get some Thoress compares, hopefully with IO sig and Shindo, but can't say when.

The only one here who has any compares is Suteetat, seach on his posts.

He said they wer emore or less equal, he preferred Thoress when he had the Lamm M2.2 as the amp, and the IO Sig when he had the Ayon Orthos

https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/3652

"I would say that Thoeress is more similar to Lamm LP2 Very quiet although there it is an all active gain stage unit.
Big sound, a little dark in comparison to Aesthetix (IO Eclipse) but not quite as much as Lamm. Excellent bass. It matches very well with Lamm amplifier and while I had Lamm electronics, I felt that over all it competes very well with Aesthetix, I might had a slight preference over Aesthetix even. Aesthetix is more delicate, very natural sounding, uncolored in comparison. However, with Ayon amp, I felt Aesthetix has better synergy and its performance is a notch above Thoeress.
EQ option on Thoeress is a lot of fun and it works well on many of my LP but for most part, the RIAA option works very well already. With 6 inputs to boot, it really makes life a lot easier as I have 4 arms on my turntables for now.!"
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#3
"I have both Thoeress and Aesthetix Io Eclipse. I think you heard both Thoeress with TW/Lyra Atlas and a little of the Koetsu/FR/Aesthetix when you came to my place if I am not mistaken. I have 4 arms currently on 2 tables. It is still nice to have Aesthetix as I can change loading quickly when I want to experiment.l Thoeress has 6 inputs but loading on each input is fixed and I will have to change resistors which require soldering if I want to change loading any particular input. Luckily most of my cartridges seem to work best at 100 ohms so I have 3x 100 ohms input on my Thoeress Since I switch to Ayon amp, now I find Koetsu seems to work better with Thoeress than Aesthetix which was not the case when I had Lamm amplifiers. However, Lyra seems to work equally well with either now although I prefer Thoeress with Lyra with my old setup."

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?14815-Best-phono-stage&p=268512&viewfull=1#post268512
 

dan31

New Member
Jul 22, 2010
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#4
If you only use one table/arm/cartridge then the Aesthetix Io Signature offers additional benefit of future upgrading to the Eclipse and/or adding a second power supply. I have heard nothing but compliments for the Thoress. I only use one table/arm and wanted a more purist approach and chose the Io.
 
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gian60

Active Member
Apr 17, 2016
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#5
I am always agree with Bonzo.
I dont know Aesthetix,but i like a lot Thoress.
I listen it many times because my friend in Milan was distributor for Italy and i listen in his shop in a lot of different way.
The sound always natural,open,with good bass.
Fantastic option of EQ,every record improve a lot

I was interesting to buy but he stop distribution because thoress always delay a lot the delivery.
I bought now CH Precision P1,very very good with incredible option.
2 input in current,1 input in voltage where you can choose the impedence from 20 ohm to 100.000 ohm,and with gain from 35 to 70 db
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#6
Thanks gian, but I was actually quoting Suteetat's comments. I don't have experience with Thoress myself but keen to investigate as both Mike L and my Lampizator distributor have said good things about it (the latter distributing it)
 

bluepearl

New Member
Nov 9, 2016
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#7
I am also curious to know the functional benefit of the Thoress RIAA parametric equalization, if users found that they actually used EQ adjustment or simply left the knobs set to std. RIAA.

If the EQ adjustment is not needed, the Thoress 'full function' preamp includes 3 MC phono inputs and seems like a solid one box preamp/phono solution, similar to the Aesthetix IO w/ volume pots and line input.
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#8
I am also curious to know the functional benefit of the Thoress RIAA parametric equalization, if uses found that they actually used EQ adjustment or simply left the knobs set to std. RIAA.

If the EQ adjustment is not needed, the Thoress 'full function' preamp includes 3 MC phono inputs and seems like a solid one box preamp/phono solution, similar to the Aesthetix IO w/ volume pots and line input.
I did own one of these Thoress Phono Enhancer units for a few months. super performer, very elegantly built and beautiful. one of the great buys in phono stages....don't judge it based on it's retail price. it hits way above that.

I did not own it long enough to get too far into the EQ choices. although I did experiment a little. if one has lot's of very early pressings, the needle would get moved some. and it has a set-up specifically for a mono cartridge. really ingeniously designed.

here is a link to the manual for more detail.
 
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Mar 27, 2016
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#9
I've heard both. The distributor here carries both Aesthetix and Thoress.

I own the Io Signature with 2 power supplies , volume controls with the switching option for my two cartridges;Atlas and Koestsu on the Io.

The Thoress is very flexible with multiple input options,up to 6 I believe, and of course the various EQ choices. I don't collect the vintage of recordings that require alternative Equalization and when I do need it I use my Marantz Model 1 pair. If you don't have more than 2 cartridge choices and don't have a need for alternative EQ choices I would say that the Aesthetix with 2 supplies is my choice. Who needs the additional complexity of switching contacts with the Thoress for EQ at the mV level?

More depth and sense of space for me with the Io. The Thoress uses a FET input if that matters to you. The Thoress can have a lower noise floor, depending on the overall gain requirements of your system versus the Io ( room, cartridge, speaker sensitivity). The Thoress is "better value" - less expensive- than a decked out Io Eclipse.

I wouldn't trade my Io for a Thoress but if I were looking to upgrade from a lesser performing unit than the Io it would be at the top of my list.

Hope that helps a bit.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#10
Thanks, but I didn't understand the last sentence. When you upgrade from a lesser unit, will it be Thoress, and not IO Sig, that will be your first choice? If so, why?

Does Thoress give you the slam, bass, and tone that IO does?
 
Mar 27, 2016
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#11
Thanks, but I didn't understand the last sentence. When you upgrade from a lesser unit, will it be Thoress, and not IO Sig, that will be your first choice? If so, why?

Does Thoress give you the slam, bass, and tone that IO does?
I would say to my ears the Io bass is very textured , dynamic even through the upper bass it is authoritative. The Thoress might seem more impactful but there is less layering in the bass more a commonality to the register rather than the texture of the Io.

What I meant by my last statement is that I would probably not dedicate 3 chassis , heat and 30 some odd tubes in my front end today as I'd likely go for simpler kit. I have not had any issues with the Io and I am a vicious tube roller with this piece. I am 100% analog but I am experimenting with streaming hi res. So, unless I get rid of my software, unlikely, the Io is going nowhere.



Thanks.
 

dan31

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Jul 22, 2010
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#12
I am breaking in my Io Signature and can confirm the detail or nuance in the bass. It's worth the effort to audition if you have an opportunity. I have been enjoying the break in and have just past 100 hours.
 
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bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#13
I am quite convinced about the IO Sig bass. I am looking at alternative one box phonos that come close, possibly Thoress or Thrax, and will also do a compare with the Dartzeel as it is a one box pre and phono.
 

bluepearl

New Member
Nov 9, 2016
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#14
I have since had the opportunity to demo the Thoress Enhancer at home and it is quite nice with jazz and vocals with lots of air and space and excellent tonality, however I find it somewhat "slow" with more up tempo music (blues / rock) and a little soft overall, I think part of the issue is the gain, it needs more gain. In comparison my Modwright PH-150 is more dynamic, detailed and extended. I am now wondering if the Aesthetix IO Sig would be a step forward or back from the Modwright phono (?)
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#15
The IO Sig that audiophile Bill has is extremely punchy and dynamic, large soundstage, great bass and tone.

The Burmester 100 was very good as well
 

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
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#16
I have since had the opportunity to demo the Thoress Enhancer at home and it is quite nice with jazz and vocals with lots of air and space and excellent tonality, however I find it somewhat "slow" with more up tempo music (blues / rock) and a little soft overall, I think part of the issue is the gain, it needs more gain. In comparison my Modwright PH-150 is more dynamic, detailed and extended. I am now wondering if the Aesthetix IO Sig would be a step forward or back from the Modwright phono (?)

Interesting. I have the original Thoress/TW phono and its fast, punchy, airy, pretty tight bass and great with rock/electronic. I have also heard comments similar to yours from another friend of mine. Seems the added complexity with the ënhancer" has affected its ability to show instrument attack, transparency and boogie.
 

Kcin

Member
Mar 27, 2016
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#17
I have since had the opportunity to demo the Thoress Enhancer at home and it is quite nice with jazz and vocals with lots of air and space and excellent tonality, however I find it somewhat "slow" with more up tempo music (blues / rock) and a little soft overall, I think part of the issue is the gain, it needs more gain. In comparison my Modwright PH-150 is more dynamic, detailed and extended. I am now wondering if the Aesthetix IO Sig would be a step forward or back from the Modwright phono (?)
The Io has up to 80db of gain, it can swing a mean sinewave directly to your power amp(s) if you use the volume control option. Dynamic headroom is available because of not only the circuit configuration but the incredible power supplies that, if you use 2, just make everything so much more alive.

With the right source material and speakers the dynamic contrasts the Io can provide are startling.
 

andi

New Member
Apr 9, 2012
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#18
Hello,

I own the full function Thöress Preamp and it is not slow. It has a very similiar phono stage as the old TW one.
Beside of this, I heard the Enhancer several times on audio shows. It was really great.
But there was no comparison of course.

BR
Andreas
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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#19
What is the lowest output cartridge you have used with the Io?

Has anyone used a ZYX Universe Premium -- .23mv or .24mv output -- with the Io?
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#20
Guys - I haven't found any SET+horn owner of the IO. Both systems I heard it in, it's large stage, bass, muscle, dynamics, suited big speakers a lot. Any horn owners anyone knows with IO?
 

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