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I am in the market for a new line stage and I found an Aesthetix Calypso for sale, currently under $600 on eBay. The auction ends on Sunday the 12th.
I'm curious what is considered to be a good price for this preamp? I'm hoping to get it for under $2,000 - is that realistic?
Here is the listing:
Any guidance is greatly appreciated!
I see that the winning bid was $1890 so if your luck held and it was you, congratulations.
On the other hand shipping now shows as $828!
The shipping rate is calculated, by eBay, based on the carrier, the sellers address & the bidders address. Many times it is not accurate.
$2200 - $2600 would be my guess, if it's in good shape. I owned the Aesthetix Calypso and the Calypso Signature back around 2011 and to be honest, I didn't hear a whopping difference between the two. The non-Signature is by far the better value IMHO.
I preferred Aesthetix over my ARC LS-25mkII. The Aesthetix had more 'soul' and was little more lush compared to the ARC. The ARC could have been any solid-state preamp as far as I was concerned but one that was comparatively a little light in the bass.
You might need to do some tube rolling to 'tune' the Aesthetix to your taste. Keep in mind that this preamp can exhibit some 'hiss', more or less depending on tube selection and the sensitivity of the rest of your setup including speakers. I rolled 12AX7, Mullard CV4004, Russian 6H23P-EB (6DJ8), 5751, 6922.
I preferred the JJ/Black Sable tubes
Tried to make Brystons listenable w/tube preamps like ARC then Aesthetix. Didn't work. Sold the Brystons. That fixed it.
Interesting! Why do you think that the Brystons were so troublesome?
I just didn't care for the way they sound. I heard early Brystons in the 1990's and decided on Classe instead. It seemed that these two Canadian makes competed head to head back then, maybe even today. I don't know.
Back then the Brystons I auditioned were grainy and harsh sounding. The newer ones, or at least the ones I had (7BSST2) were not grainy or harsh. They were much improved but sounded too lean and clinical to me. The midrange had zero warmth, lower mids and bass lacked that robust full-bodied sound that I prefer in tubes, etc.
I tried 'fixing it' first with the ARC LS-25mkII then the Aesthethix Calypso which was much better IMHO. For me, the real 'fix' was to replace the amps. However, the Aesthetix was a very nice sounding preamp that responded well to tube rolling. Something I can't say for the ARC since there aren't any (or many) 6H30 tubes around to roll.
Nice pics! Abe.
Checking around the going rate seems to be around $3,000 for a non -signature version. Getting it for under $2,000 tomorrow when the bidding stops will take a lot of luck.
In that case - wish me luck!
$123.49 For shipping is a bit much , even though they say this in the listing :
" Important shipping note: Due to the nature of this item, I will hire an established shipping company to pack and ship the Calypso professionally. I have used them in the past to ship other audiophile equipment and they are excellent. The Calypso will double boxed and reinforced with professional shipping materials."
I have shipped a pair of Magnepan 3.6r's that were double boxed that didnt cost this much to ship, and I know that the Magnepans weigh more than this Calypso does.
I wanted the item to arrive without being damaged. FedEx Air is really the best IMO. So I paid for it to go air freight.
For a item worth $3,000 why try to cheap out on shipping?
Sending it regular UPS is like giving the item an immediate death sentence!
Agreed, FedEx Air is a superior shipping method.
I suppose that is a high price, but if I can get the Calypso for a reasonable price I won't be bothered too much about that.
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