Asthetix IO users group

Sep 24, 2020
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If a forum already exists specifically for Aesthetix IO owners, please point me in the direction and I will delete this thread.
What prompted me to initiate this thread was someone posted about getting an Alnic and then I started looking for IO posts. IO postings are all over the map and in different areas, but nothing specific. So, Here we go.

All IO owners users, please join in.

I have a Single power supply IO Signature and am contemplating upgrading to two power supply partial eclipse with dual inputs and volume.

Has anyone done an upgrade to Eclipse, either partial or full? What are your thoughts compared to basic Signature?

Same with power supplies, has anyone upgraded to dual power supplies from one and like the upgrade, besides the heat, haha?

I have tube Rolled extensively and like where I am at. But, you know, curiosity. What tubes are you all using to get the best from the IO?

Join in and discuss IO...also how does one take care of the heat in the listening room? download-6.jpg
 
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Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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Suggest to reach out to Ron and Mik (108CY) on here who own IOs.
 

dan31

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Jul 22, 2010
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I have an older Io Signature no volume control with a single power supply. It has been my favorite component for some time. I think there a few Io owners who have updated to Eclipse as well as dual power supplies. I really appreciate Aesthetix keeping the Io going and making updates to older units, even partial updates. Such a wonderful phonostage. I am using stock tubes. I have a 3 year old so I have little time to listen let alone play with tube swaps. I would consider other el34's for the power supply and the 1st position tubes in the head unit per Albert Porters findings on optimizing the Io.
 
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Lagonda

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I own a Io Eclipse with 2 power supplies and recently had it upgraded with volume control and a extra phono input. I prefer only using the volume for gain setting and use a SS pre because i also drive separate subwoofer outputs. I use stock tubes and the Io is a little noisy with the Benz LPS’s 0,34mv output at high volume, i have not even tried my Benz TR with the Io, it only has 0,1mv output :eek:
 

Kcin

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Mar 27, 2016
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I have the Io upgraded to the Eclipse by Aesthetix, I have the volume controls and additional supply that was added only months in to my ownership.

I don't use a line preamp of any kind with it ( this is controversial - however, I get outstanding dynamics and drive- may be because of the rest of my system) I go direct to my direct drive tube amps that drive my electrostatic speakers. I also use subs driven from the Io directly - no issue . I go direct from my cartridge with balanced cables to the Io

What do you gain from the Eclipse upgrade?: more dynamic contrast, information, spatial information. It is a brutal upgrade transition- it will take 4-500 hrs to settle as the caps will go through a multiple transformations.

What do you gain with the PS addition?: solidity in the lower registers, more expansive soundstage and drive in terms of immediacy for me.

I have virtually no noise in my system. I use exclusively NOS tubes in all locations including the PS. For example, I use mullard xf2 in the pass el34 position there and mullard 12ax7 for the error amps . Getting the tubes right is a ton of work . I have the equipment to do it. If you don't then it would be worth it to pay for the service to do it correctly.

So what I have done is eliminate a line preamp, associated interconnects, output transformer on the tube amp for the speakers ( its direct drive) and step up transformer on the stats- I drive the stators direct from the plates of my direct drive amp.

Very revealing.
 

Lagonda

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I have the Io upgraded to the Eclipse by Aesthetix, I have the volume controls and additional supply that was added only months in to my ownership.

I don't use a line preamp of any kind with it ( this is controversial - however, I get outstanding dynamics and drive- may be because of the rest of my system) I go direct to my direct drive tube amps that drive my electrostatic speakers. I also use subs driven from the Io directly - no issue . I go direct from my cartridge with balanced cables to the Io

What do you gain from the Eclipse upgrade?: more dynamic contrast, information, spatial information. It is a brutal upgrade transition- it will take 4-500 hrs to settle as the caps will go through a multiple transformations.

What do you gain with the PS addition?: solidity in the lower registers, more expansive soundstage and drive in terms of immediacy for me.

I have virtually no noise in my system. I use exclusively NOS tubes in all locations including the PS. For example, I use mullard xf2 in the pass el34 position there and mullard 12ax7 for the error amps . Getting the tubes right is a ton of work . I have the equipment to do it. If you don't then it would be worth it to pay for the service to do it correctly.

So what I have done is eliminate a line preamp, associated interconnects, output transformer on the tube amp for the speakers ( its direct drive) and step up transformer on the stats- I drive the stators direct from the plates of my direct drive amp.

Very revealing.
Kci, are you using both balanced and single ended outputs to drive mains and subs simultaneously ?
 

Brucemck2

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I had an IO signature that I later upgraded to include the dual power supplies. It made a nice difference and was worth the money. (Fed by Koetsu Rosewood Signature cartridge on Graham arm, Basis table, and Vibraplane platform.). Putting the IO on a PS Audio power re-generator also made a nice improvement, as did putting the IO on a separate Vibraplane.
 
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dan31

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I think I read that Mick (108CY) has a highly modified Aesthetix Io. It would be interesting to get his take on learning and changes he has made to his Io. He has a slew of components and cartridge's so he is an authority on what has worked for him. I think I read that he changed some of the internal wiring to an exotic platinum wire.

Albert has a ton of advice on audiogon but it can be hard to find some of the old posts.
 

Kcin

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Mar 27, 2016
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Kci, are you using both balanced and single ended outputs to drive mains and subs simultaneously ?
I am. I have phase control on my sub. No issues with this impedance wise or drive swing. I have had some industry types here who deal in some very expensive speakers followed by many here and an audio reviewer that everyone would know and they claimed it was one of the best systems they have ever heard.... tons of work on the tubes and sub integration. The speakers are unique... but the Io pulls it together for analog. I have upgraded some wire there as well. More conventional systems may react differently YMMV. :)
 
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Lagonda

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I am. I have phase control on my sub. No issues with this impedance wise or drive swing. I have had some industry types here who deal in some very expensive speakers followed by many here and an audio reviewer that everyone would know and they claimed it was one of the best systems they have ever heard.... tons of work on the tubes and sub integration. The speakers are unique... but the Io pulls it together for analog. I have upgraded some wire there as well. More conventional systems may react differently YMMV. :)
I will give directly another try, maybe it is a impedance matching problem i use SS amps. I do not feel i loose the tube magic or resolution going trough my preamp, and i have better drive that way.
 
Sep 24, 2020
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57
I have the Io upgraded to the Eclipse by Aesthetix, I have the volume controls and additional supply that was added only months in to my ownership.

I don't use a line preamp of any kind with it ( this is controversial - however, I get outstanding dynamics and drive- may be because of the rest of my system) I go direct to my direct drive tube amps that drive my electrostatic speakers. I also use subs driven from the Io directly - no issue . I go direct from my cartridge with balanced cables to the Io

What do you gain from the Eclipse upgrade?: more dynamic contrast, information, spatial information. It is a brutal upgrade transition- it will take 4-500 hrs to settle as the caps will go through a multiple transformations.

What do you gain with the PS addition?: solidity in the lower registers, more expansive soundstage and drive in terms of immediacy for me.

I have virtually no noise in my system. I use exclusively NOS tubes in all locations including the PS. For example, I use mullard xf2 in the pass el34 position there and mullard 12ax7 for the error amps . Getting the tubes right is a ton of work . I have the equipment to do it. If you don't then it would be worth it to pay for the service to do it correctly.

So what I have done is eliminate a line preamp, associated interconnects, output transformer on the tube amp for the speakers ( its direct drive) and step up transformer on the stats- I drive the stators direct from the plates of my direct drive amp.

Very revealing.

Great feedback. What’s your special cocktail of wiring inside the IO? I like that you can go directly into the amps with the IO and volume controls...which could offer a more pure and direct line to the music with the elimination of the preamp and a set of cables. It’s always good to know one has options to run direct or through a preamp with the IO. I have done extensive tube rolling with the IO, mostly newer tubes. I posted my reviews on audio asylum. Getting tubes right in the IO is crucial. But, the factory tubes are glorious sounding too, but somewhat noisy. Currently, I opted to use low noise and matched Sovtek LP and LPS 12AX7 in the first and second stage of the IO and use Mullards 12AX7 in the third. The EL34 is an EH. The power supply tubes are all Mullards.

How long does the factory need to do the upgrade? I guess I will be calling Glenn Buckley to get an update on pricing too.
 

Lagonda

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Great feedback. What’s your special cocktail of wiring inside the IO? I like that you can go directly into the amps with the IO and volume controls...which could offer a more pure and direct line to the music with the elimination of the preamp and a set of cables. It’s always good to know one has options to run direct or through a preamp with the IO. I have done extensive tube rolling with the IO, mostly newer tubes. I posted my reviews on audio asylum. Getting tubes right in the IO is crucial. But, the factory tubes are glorious sounding too, but somewhat noisy. Currently, I opted to use low noise and matched Sovtek LP and LPS 12AX7 in the first and second stage of the IO and use Mullards 12AX7 in the third. The EL34 is an EH. The power supply tubes are all Mullards.

How long does the factory need to do the upgrade? I guess I will be calling Glenn Buckley to get an update on pricing too.
My volume control/input upgrade took almost 7 month, im in Europe, take one month out for transportation. Maybe with fewer orders because of covid it will be faster.:rolleyes:
 

Tango

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My volume control/input upgrade took almost 7 month, im in Europe, take one month out for transportation. Maybe with fewer orders because of covid it will be faster.:rolleyes:
Lagonda san. There are so many tubes in this thing. When one starts to go bad and effect sound how do you find that particular one?
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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I have the Io upgraded to the Eclipse by Aesthetix, I have the volume controls and additional supply that was added only months in to my ownership.

I don't use a line preamp of any kind with it ( this is controversial - however, I get outstanding dynamics and drive- may be because of the rest of my system) I go direct to my direct drive tube amps that drive my electrostatic speakers. I also use subs driven from the Io directly - no issue . I go direct from my cartridge with balanced cables to the Io

What do you gain from the Eclipse upgrade?: more dynamic contrast, information, spatial information. It is a brutal upgrade transition- it will take 4-500 hrs to settle as the caps will go through a multiple transformations.

What do you gain with the PS addition?: solidity in the lower registers, more expansive soundstage and drive in terms of immediacy for me.

I have virtually no noise in my system. I use exclusively NOS tubes in all locations including the PS. For example, I use mullard xf2 in the pass el34 position there and mullard 12ax7 for the error amps . Getting the tubes right is a ton of work . I have the equipment to do it. If you don't then it would be worth it to pay for the service to do it correctly.

So what I have done is eliminate a line preamp, associated interconnects, output transformer on the tube amp for the speakers ( its direct drive) and step up transformer on the stats- I drive the stators direct from the plates of my direct drive amp.

Very revealing.

How do you drive subwoofers directly from the Io outputs?
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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I was one of Jim's earliest Io customers. I purchased an Io with attenuators and one power supply through Mike O'Keefe of CSA Audio in New Jersey. I had that Io for about 18 years.

Someday in the future Jim will be delivering a new Io Eclipse with attenuators and two power supplies.

Jim came over for dinner last Saturday evening. He is absolutely wonderful! I hope other Io owners get to know him personally.

We know how exotic and difficult to build is the Io with attenuators and two power supplies. I learned at dinner that Jim devotes to each of his new products the same level of design dedication and development effort and birthing stress which attended the birth of the Io.
 
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Lagonda

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Lagonda san. There are so many tubes in this thing. When one starts to go bad and effect sound how do you find that particular one?
It’s not that bad Tango, it’s only 32 tubes. o_O You just change them all ! ;) No you use a tube tester, or swap tubes from left to right channel until you find the guilty tube. It does sound great, dynamics and bass of good SS with the magic of tubes. I do have very inefficient speakers, a little noise doesn’t bother me much. I have macro detail ears not micro detail ones like you horn guys ;)
 
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Ron Resnick

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I believe Jim does not feel strongly either way about tube rolling. I did not change any tubes in my original Io. I never really thought I would have the patience for it. But then I am not nearly as fussy as Kedar.

In anticipation of the new Io I have over the last few years aquired a variety of NOS tubes for different positions based on the posted recommendations of Albert Porter and others.

When Kedar visits I expect him to arrive with a sign which says: "Will Tube Roll For Food."
 
Sep 24, 2020
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I believe Jim does not feel strongly either way about tube rolling. I did not change any tubes in my original Io. I never really thought I would have the patience for it. But then I am not nearly as fussy as Kedar.

In anticipation of the new Io I have over the last few years aquired a variety of NOS tubes for different positions based on the posted recommendations of Albert Porter and others.

When Kedar visits I expect him to arrive with a sign which says: "Will Tube Roll For Food."
Yep...the IO’s stock tubes from the factory are really really great sounding. I know the last time I spoke with Glen he mentioned that they were balancing sound quality with background noise the best they could. Too bad your on west coast, would love to hear your system. If anyone is on east coast or visiting Virginia, the Audiophile Lounge is open for listening sessions. If any Owners live close to Virginia, I would not mind taking a day trip to hear some great gear.
 

Lagonda

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Yep...the IO’s stock tubes from the factory are really really great sounding. I know the last time I spoke with Glen he mentioned that they were balancing sound quality with background noise the best they could. Too bad your on west coast, would love to hear your system. If anyone is on east coast or visiting Virginia, the Audiophile Lounge is open for listening sessions. If any Owners live close to Virginia, I would not mind taking a day trip to hear some great gear.
You are not the only one who would love to hear Ron’s system, Ron would too :)
 

Kcin

Well-Known Member
Mar 27, 2016
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How do you drive subwoofers directly from the Io outputs?

To clarify I run balanced out from the Io to a SS sub amp that drives the RELs high level. I don't use an intermediary line stage for the Io . I go phono stage direct to my electrostat amps as well.
 

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