Built to uncompromising standards, California-based Aesthetix Audio’s hi-fi components fall squarely into the elite separates camp. Only one thing was missing from the company’s stellar line up of ultra high-performance components: an integrated amplifier. Now, Aesthetix has “remedied this in grand style” with its first integrated model, the Mimas. Neil Gader of The Absolute Sound magazine is suitably bowled over.
“For years our customers asked – begged – us to combine our Calypso linestage and our Atlas power amp in an integrated model,” says Jim White of Aesthetix. “So we listened.”
Capable of 150W into 8 ohms and nearly double that into 4 ohms, the Mimas is a hybrid design with a valve input stage and a solid-state output stage.
A key part of the renowned Aesthetix sound is the company’s devotion to overbuilt, advanced technology power supplies: the Mimas incorporates seven fully regulated power supplies, and features an 800VA power transformer that’s designed and manufactured completely in-house by Aesthetix.
While the Mimas sports a wide array of features and options, it remains resolutely based on a singular Aesthetix condition: “We take a no-compromise approach to features,” says White. “A feature is only included if it will not impede performance in any way.”
Gader approves. “Unlike the new generation of integrated amps that are often packed with digital connectivity – DACs, Wi-Fi, streaming/server options, and the like – the Mimas is a straightforward linestage component,” he writes. “Which is not to say that Aesthetix is ignoring that segment or vinyl for that matter (a modular DAC card and modular phono card are in the works), but it also understands the culture and expectations of a purist enthusiast market.”
And speaking of being purist, “the amp was as quiet as a public library on Christmas Eve and established a black velvet noise floor so obviously free from electronic noise and debris that I needed to remind myself whether the Mimas was even functioning in the system.”
“Mimas produced an overall clarity, naturalism, ease, and immersion that seemed to beckon me into the recording studio.”
“Bass response was as nimble as it was weighty, a little like a tap-dancing sumo wrestler… it conveyed effortless power and control.”
“The more acoustic and naturalistic the recording, the more the amp’s charms were brought to the fore. Like all high-resolution electronics it rewards in accordance with the quality and complexity of the music being selected. However, the Mimas reproduced all genres of pop music effectively too, from Def Leppard to Daft Punk, from pulse-laden dance music to the power ballads from 80s-era rock ’n’ roll ‘hair bands’. But it truly came into its own with full-spectrum music that was harmonically and dynamically uncompressed.”
“For me, it is the very definition of what I am seeking in an integrated amplifier,” Gader concludes, “unalloyed transparency and musicality served up with rich reserves of power. It’s an amp I can recommend with no reservations.”
Discover more about the Aesthetix Mimas and read / download Neil Gader’s review (published in the May-June 2019 issue of The Absolute Sound) in full at www.aesthetix.net/mimas