Aesthetix Rhea

From AUD $10,400.00

Saturn Series Phono Preamplifier

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Description

The Aesthetix Rhea is an all-tube phono stage, suitable for moving coil and moving magnet cartridges. It offers high maximum gain at 75 dB, making it ideal for low output cartridges. The Rhea broke new ground as the first phono stage with 3 phono inputs, the first with gain and loading settings stored in memory for every input, and the first with full remote control adjustability. Dual-mono audio boards provide superb channel separation and soundstaging. A cartridge demagnetiser is a built-in convenience that can also be operated by remote control. The all-aluminium chassis is designed for rigidity and acoustic inertness and the brushed anodized panels give it a sophisticated visual presence. The Rhea has enjoyed worldwide acclaim for its sound quality, build quality, flexibility and ease of use.

The Rhea has the following features:

  • Three RCA inputs.
  • Each input has its own gain and loading setting that is saved even when in standby mode or the unit is turned off.
  • Zero feedback.
  • 40-75dB gain maximum, selectable via front panel or remote control.
  • 9 MC loading settings: 75-47,000 ohms, selectable via front panel or remote control.
  • Remote control of gain, loading, input switching, mute, and demagnetizer.
  • Built-in MC cartridge demagnetizer.
  • Two sets of XLR and two sets of RCA outputs per channel.
  • All tube amplification and output (10 tubes total).
  • Full function remote included.

All of this attention to detail has resulted in a phono preamplifier that transcends what is normally expected from an audiophile piece of equipment. The Rhea 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 Rhea is a phenomenal achievement. This value for money quality is spoken about in all the audio press and the Rhea has accumulated many awards & accolades. These reasons are why Aesthetix products have developed a passionate following around the world.

Aesthetix Rhea Saturn Series Phono Preamplifier

Select a Specification to Suit Your Needs

The Rhea is available in 3 versions, depending on the level of specification required.

Rhea

  • Tube linestage using high-grade Rel-Cap polypropylene coupling capacitors.
  • Standard edition.

Rhea Signature Series

  • The Aesthetix Rhea Signature version uses custom-made inter-stage Teflon hybrid coupling capacitors, replacing the polypropylene units, between the 2nd and 3rd, and 3rd and 4th, gain stages (4 total per channel). The change in these capacitors results in higher resolution, extension, less grain and more air.
  • The 2uF coupling capacitor between the 1st and 2nd gain stages is replaced with a 4uF Dynamicap by Peter Moncrief (1 per channel). This change removes grain and provides more openness, while also increasing bass dynamics and slam.
  • The 2uF output coupling capacitors (4 per channel) are also replaced with 4uF Dynamicaps. This change provides more drive, bass extension, resolution and dynamics while also reducing grain.
  • Highly specialized adjustable air-core capacitors, used primarily in the radio-frequency realm, are installed and adjusted to “tweek” each unit to a rigid standard.
  • The five rubber feet are replaced with Harmonic Resolutions Systems’ Nimbus Couplers specially made for Aesthetix (Earlier Signature Saturn pieces did not incorporate this, please contact Aesthetix for this free upgrade if you have an earlier Signature piece without the Nimbus Couplers). This change results in a lower noise floor and more air and space.
  • The cost of these specialized parts alone is about 1/4 the manufacturing cost of a brand new unit!
  • 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” stenciled is installed. Each Signature unit undergoes rigorous test procedures and listening.

Rhea Eclipse Series

  • Internal changes to the Rhea start with .22uF / 600v Stealth coupling capacitors used between the second and third gain stages, and the third gain stage and output stage. Eight total of these exotic capacitors are used.
  • There are four 2uF / 400v coupling capacitors used in each channel of the output stage of the Rhea. In the Eclipse version, these are replaced with Stealth copper foil 4uF/400v, improving low frequency response. This capacitor is also used between the first and second gain stages.
  • High frequency tuning capacitors are installed and hand-adjusted to tailor the frequency response to a tight .1dB standard (as also found on the 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 the Signature version).
  • The new power supply is installed with enhanced ventilation. 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. 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.

Awards

the Absolute Sound - Editors' Choicethe absolute sound Product of the Year AwardStereophile Recommended ComponentStereo 100 Sound Pointsthe absolute sound - High-End Buyer's Guide

Reviews

Product Specification

Item Phono Preamplifier
Inputs 3 discrete phono inputs with RCA (SE)
Outputs 2 RCA (SE) and 2 XLR (balanced)
Gain Settings 8 total; 75, 68, 62, 56, 50, 44, 38 dB, and off (selectable for each input)
Load Settings 9 total: 47 K ohms, 10K, 5K, 2.5K, 1K, 500 ohms, 250, 125, and 75 ohms (selectable for each input)
Output Impedance 1K ohms RCA (SE), 600 ohms XLR (balanced)
Front Panel Controls Phono input, mute, gain, loading, demagnetiser and standby
Remote Controls Phono input, mute, gain, loading, demagnetiser and standby
Frequency Response ±0.25 dB, 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Signal to Noise Measured at 70 dB minimum A-weighted (ref 1 mV input, 75 dB gain setting)
Recommended Load 10 k ohms or greater
Tubes (per channel) V1 & V2 (12AX7LP-factory graded low noise), V3 & V4 (12AX7 or equivalent) and V5 (6922)
Power Consumption 20 watts standby, 100 watts active
Dimensions 457 (W) x 111 (H) x 457 (D) mm including jacks
Weight 18.2 kg
Finish Black or Silver
Warranty 3 years, non-transferable.