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RE: I found an Aesthetix Calypso for under $600. What's a reasonable price for this line stage?

$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.

Edits: 03/12/17

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