Saturn Series Line-Stage Preamplifer
The Aesthetix Calypso is a high quality tube linestage suitable for audio and home cinema systems. Fully balanced circuitry from input to output, including internal balancing of single-ended inputs, results in common mode signal rejection and a very clean sound. The innovative discrete switched resistor volume control maximises resolution at any listening level. Every input is both single-ended and balanced for greater versatility. Home theatre bypass mode, absolute phase setting and full function remote are added conveniences. The aluminium chassis is rigid, acoustically inert and simply beautiful.
The Calypso has the following features:
- Fully balanced differential circuitry with ability to internally balance a single ended input signal.
- Zero feedback.
- Discrete switched resistor volume control with 88 1dB steps.
- All tube amplification and output (4 tubes in total).
- Two sets of XLR and two sets of RCA outputs per channel.
- Bypass mode for home theatre processor throughput.
- Absolute phase, selectable via front panel or remote control.
- Full function remote included.
All of this attention to detail has resulted in a linestage that transcends what is normally expected from an audiophile piece of equipment. The Calypso scales heights that are normally the realm of uber-expensive products and it does it with ease. Sound quality is the prime objective here and the Calypso is a phenomenal achievement. This value for money quality is spoken about in all the audio press and the Calypso has accumulated many awards & accolades. These reasons are why Aesthetix products have developed a passionate following around the world.
Select a Specification to Suit Your Needs
The Calypso is available in 3 versions, depending on the level of specification required.
- Tube linestage using high-grade Rel-Cap polypropylene coupling capacitors.
- Standard edition.
Calypso Signature Series
- The Signature version uses custom-made inter-stage Teflon hybrid coupling capacitors, replacing the polypropylene units, between the gain stage and output stage (2 per channel). The change in these capacitors results in higher resolution, extension, less grain and more air.
- The 2uF output coupling capacitors (4 per channel) are replaced with 4uF Dynamicaps. This change provides more drive, bass extension, resolution and dynamics while also reducing grain.
- Highly specialised adjustable air-core capacitors, used primarily in the radio-frequency realm, are installed and adjusted to “tweak” each unit to a rigid standard.
- The five rubber feet are replaced with Harmonic Resolutions Systems’ Nimbus Couplers specially made for Aesthetix. This change results in a lower noise floor and more air and space.
- Any tubes that can be bettered by our special stock of graded and matched tubes are replaced.
- Any other improvements needed to make the unit current are installed, including software updates, etc.
- A new lens with “SIGNATURE” stencilled is installed.
- The cost of these specialized parts alone is about 1/4 the manufacturing cost of a brand new unit!
- Existing Calypso units are factory upgradable to Signature specification.
Calypso Eclipse Series
- The Eclipse version uses .22uF / 600v Stealth coupling capacitors located between the gain stage and output stage. Four of these exotic capacitors are used.
- There are four 2uF / 400v coupling capacitors used in each channel of the output stage of the Calypso. In the Eclipse version, these are replaced with Stealth copper foil 4uF/400v, improving low frequency response.
- High frequency tuning capacitors are installed and hand-adjusted to tailor the frequency response to a tight .1dB standard (as also found on our Signature version).
- The high voltage transformer, heater transformer and high voltage choke are all re-installed on isolation mounts.
Harmonic Resolutions Systems’ Nimbus Couplers specially made for Aesthetix replace the four rubber feet of standard units (as also found on our Signature version).
- The new power supply is installed with enhanced ventilation. All Eclipse Rhea, Calypso and Janus units receive a new power supply, which has been refined by improved trace routing to further reduce extraneous noise.
- Additional damping material is added to key chassis points.
- A single point ground system is used to ground the transformer cases as they are no longer electrically grounded to the chassis via physical contact due to their isolation mounts.
- Existing Calypso units are factory upgradable to Eclipse specification.
AV2Day.com, Lam Seng Fatt, 2015
The Aesthetix Calypso linestage sounded colourless, but not in a bad way as it was doing what a preamp was supposed to be doing – that is adding nothing to the sound. It had no character of its own…The Aesthetix simply recreated what was recorded on the CD without adding any artifact or removing any artifact. It just did its job. If the recording is dynamic, you will hear dynamic sound. If the recording is dull and congested, you will hear dull and congested sound.
What Hi-Fi?, 2007
When paired with the Aesthetix Atlas power amp, the Calypso preamp makes one of the most natural-sound amplifiers money can buy. 5 stars!
Stereophile, Michael Fremer, 2005
The Aesthetix Saturn Calypso was one of the most enjoyable, musically satisfying preamplifiers I have had the pleasure of reviewing. Your money buys you a beautifully built, smartly designed, crisply functioning, versatile, and, most important, sonically brilliant preamplifier. I could live with it happily ever after. You could spend a great deal more and get more for your money, but you’re just as likely to get less—that’s how good the Saturn Calypso is.
Features & Specifications
All-tube Linestage (Preamplifier)
5 line RCA or XLR (balanced), plus 1 tape, RCA or XLR
2 RCA (SE) and XLR (balanced), 1 tape RCA
Line Level Gain
23 dB single ended (SE), in/out, and 29 dB balanced/out
Switched resistor network volume control with 88 1 dB steps
+- 0.25 dB, 20 Hz – 20 Khz
Signal to Noise
Measured at 70 dB min, A-weighted (ref 1 mv input, 75 dB gain setting)
Line Input Impedance
40 k ohms (SE), 80 k ohms (Balanced)
Maximum Line Input
3.5 volts (SE), 7.0 volts RMS (Balanced)
1K ohms (SE), 600 ohms (Balanced)
Front Panel Controls
Main input, tape input select, volume, balance, phase, mute, display, and bypass.
Main input, tape input select, volume, balance, phase, mute, display, bypass and standby.
Recommended Amplifier Load
10K ohms or greater (SE), 20K ohms or greater (Balanced)
Tubes (per channel)
Line section V1 (12AX7 or equivalent), V2 (6922/6DJ8)
20 watts standby, 60 watts active
457 (W) x 111 (H) x 457 (D) mm
Black or Silver.
3 years, non-transferable.
The manufacturer reserves the right to change specifications without notice.