Among “the gear that [TAS] editors and writers have selected as most worthy of consideration” in 2022 are seven products from Californian electronics ‘artisans’ Aesthetix. From to pre- to power amplifiers, from phonostages to integrated amps, and from DAC/CDs to accessories, there isn’t a product category in the Aesthetix portfolio that doesn’t receive an Award.
The Aesthetix Mimas integrated amplifier
The Mimas is an integrated hybrid amplifier intended for high performance audio and home cinema systems, designed to deliver a more accessible version of Aesthetix’ ultra high-end separates. “The Mimas is an old musical soul and not just another high-performance entrant in the über-integrated amp sweeps,” writes TAS. It is “the very definition of what we all seek from an integrated amplifier”.
It “can express the full palette of tonal and textural colors with harmonic ripeness” and “embodies many of the classic sonic virtues of the golden era of tubes, but with the ease, control, and extension that are the hallmarks of today’s finest solid-state.”
Two winning preamps and a phonostage
The Janus/Janus Signature preamplifier combines Aesthetix’ Calypso linestage with a scaled-down Rhea phonostage (also an award winner – see below) in a single chassis. “The units share numerous qualities: speed and detail; a low noise floor; precise rhythms; dynamics that are almost reference-caliber; and a laid-back perspective,” note reviewers. “The quiet background and smooth highs add up to long hours of glorious, fatigue-free listening.”
The all-valve Calypso/Calypso Signature, meanwhile, “delivers most of the performance of Aesthetix’ two-box Callisto linestage for about a third the price” and “competes with the megabuck preamps.”
The “versatile” Rhea/Rhea Signature phonostage sports three inputs, variable cartridge-loading – adjustable via remote control – and a front-panel display of gain and loading. It “exhibits transient quickness, effortlessness on crescendos, and a deep, layered sound-stage.”
The Atlas Stereo/Atlas Eclipse Mono power amplifier
The Atlas is a hybrid (tube input, solid-state output) amplifier available in Standard, Signature, and Eclipse versions, and as a stereo amplifier or a monoblock. The Atlas Eclipse Mono was named Product of the Year 2020 by The Absolute Sound, so it’s no surprise to find two Atlas editions in the Editors’ Choice Awards in 2022. “Whatever version you opt for, expect plenty of clean power coupled with a deep and convincing sense of space, lightning-fast transients, and high resolution without sounding analytical. Ultimately, the Atlas is a sheer joy—both sonically and musically—to listen to. A great value in high-powered amplification.”
The Aesthetix Romulus DAC with CD transport
“Another home run for Aesthetix”, writes TAS. The valve-based Romulus combines a disc player and DAC in a highly functional and great-sounding component. “ Sonically, the Romulus offers an exceptionally natural sound with a great sense of ease and an expansive soundstage.”
Aesthetix ABCD-1 MC Cartridge Demagnetizer
The first American designed and manufactured cartridge demagnetizer, the ABCD-1 is a battery-operated device that sends a special signal through your moving-coil cartridge, removing stray magnetism in the coils. “Used every two weeks or so, the ABCD-1 will restore tone colors and soundstage clarity” without residual sonic signature.
Find out more about all of these award-winners, along with details of UK dealers, at www.aesthetix.net
The complete TAS Awards are published in the magazine’s March 2022 issue.