AESTHETIX DEBUTS METIS LINESTAGE
Aesthetix is proud to introduce their Metis linestage featuring our innovative new Aesthetix Coupling Modules, an "Invisible" Separate Power Supply, and a stunning new chassis design.
AESTHETIX COUPLING MODULE (ACM)
The Metis linestage utilizes highly proprietary Aesthetix Coupling Modules (ACMs) in place of traditional coupling capacitors. "I have been dreaming of this design for 20 years," says Aesthetix founder and engineer Jim White. It is well known that capacitor quality is directly correlated with sound quality, and Aesthetix has a history of investing heavily in pushing the boundaries of capacitors. But Jim wondered, "Could even better sound quality be realized if capacitors were eliminated entirely?" The answer is yes, according to Metis, which uses an ACM in each channel between the gain and output stages and no interstage or output coupling capacitors. ACMs produce constant output impedance across all audio frequencies, while a standard capacitor’s output impedance rises as frequencies drop often yielding tubby bass and other sonic degradation. In contrast, the ACMs in Metis result in a sound stage with incredible added depth, dimension and resolution.
"INVISIBLE" SEPARATE POWER SUPPLY (ISPS)
The Metis chassis is designed around a suspended inner core that, when set on a flat surface, physically decouples from the main chassis. The power supply is housed in this inner core creating an "invisible" separate power supply chassis. When sitting on a rack, there is no physical connection between the power supply assembly and the main chassis, save for the connecting wires. This innovative design means Metis enjoys the sonic benefits of a separate power supply without the disadvantages of an additional chassis including extra cost, space and heat.
STUNNING DESIGN ALSO MEANS OPEN ARCHITECTURE
The Metis user interface was developed with both elegance and flexibility in mind. The glowing panel of LEDs not only looks stellar, but the logic board controlling it offers access to a virtually limitless array of features and functions, like home theater bypass and absolute phase selection. The Metis also features Remote Control, 12 volt trigger and RS 232 interface.
AESTHETIX AT HEART
With its radical innovations, Metis also personifies Aesthetix’ fundamental design principles. The linestage uses 4 tubes, 2 per channel for all amplification in a true dual mono configuration, is fully balanced, uses zero feedback and has our discrete switched resister volume control. All inputs can be used single ended or balanced, and single ended inputs are internally balanced. The Metis chassis has extra large footpads housing massive HRS Nimbus Couplers for harmonic dampening.
Anticipated US Retail $20,000
Available 4th Quarter 2014
DIGITAL REVOLUTION: ROMULUS SIGNATURE
Aesthetix is proud to annouce the release of Romulus Signature Vacuum Tube DAC and CD Transport and Pandora Signature Vacuum Tube DAC. Existing Romulus and Pandora units are factory upgradable to Signature.
TRUE NATIVE DSD
Romulus and Pandora Signature offer true native DSD 1x and 2x functionality over USB and 1x DSD over SPDIF (AES/EBU, RCA Coax and TosLink). The entire DSP processing section is replaced (pictured below). The new section includes an advanced Xilinx gate-array which allows the DSP to be completely bypassed for pure DSD 1x and 2x operation. No alteration of DSD data occurs. Many DACs in the market that claim to play DSD actually convert the data to PCM and thereby completely lose the purpose of DSD operation.
VISHAY Z-FOIL RESISTORS
In addition to the DSP processing section, an entirely new analog board is installed (pictured below). This new analog board also allows DSD data to pass directly to the DAC, a Burr-Brown PCM1792A running in pure differential mode. Extremely low noise, high linearity Vishay Z-foil audio resistors are utilized in the critical current-to-voltage conversion stage (pictured below).
As in all Saturn Signature products, critical coupling capacitors are replaced with Dynamicaps from Peter Moncrief. Four are installed between the vacuum-tube gain stage and output stage, all in full differential mode. These provide increased resolution, less grain, greater high frequency extension and naturalness, all while maintaining the basic strengths of Romulus' tonal balance. The eight 2uF output capacitors are replaced with 4uF Dynamicaps which provide greater resolution in addition to improved bass definition, drive and dynamics. (pictured below).
The four standard rubber feet are replaced with Harmonic Resolutions Systems' Nimbus Couplers specially made for Aesthetix. This change lowers the noise floor and adds more air and space.
Aesthetix made digital playback history with the release of Romulus and Pandora vacuum tube DACs. They offer ultra low jitter true asynchronous USB and SPDIF inputs made even quieter by galvanically isolating noise using optical couplers and precision clocking with fixed frequency crystal oscillators custom cut to exacting specifications. The proprietary Aesthetix DSP section adapts its oversampling filters to the incoming sample rate and isolates USB/SPDIF data from the DAC using selective static memory buffering.
The analog stage is fully differential, and the amplification and output stages use vacuum tubes also in a fully differential, zero feedback design. The digital, analog, output and control stages are each given separate power supplies. In Romulus, the CD transport is enclosed in Faraday cage with a separate power supply and retrieves data quietly via the IDE bus. An optional high resolution relay-based volume control can be added to both Romulus and Pandora.
Read more about Romulus and Pandora.