Aesthetix Saturn Calypso Linestage

Aesthetix Saturn Calypso Linestage

Calypso is an all-tube linestage suitable for audio and home cinema systems.
Demonstration by appointment
Phone (03) 5628 4428 Fully balanced circuitry from input to output, including internal balancing of single-ended inputs, results in common mode signal rejection and cleaner sound.

The innovative discrete switched resister volume control maximizes 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 all-aluminum chassis is rigid, acoustically inert and simply beautiful.

• 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 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.

Calypso is available in two versions: Standard and Signature.

The standard version uses high-grade Rel-Cap polypropylene coupling capacitors. The Signature version uses exotic and expensive coupling capacitors and other critical parts to bring the performance to a higher level. All versions of Calypso can be factory upgraded to Signature.


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 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.

Reviews & Accolades

HiFi+ Guide to The Crème de la Crème (UK, 2011): CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage

The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award (2010): CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage

The Absolute Sound Product of the Year (2003): CALYPSO linestage

"The Calypso Signature is in a different league, its lack of musical constriction, character or emphasis allowing it to perform just as a great linestage should - almost invisibly" -Roy Gregory

HiFi Plus (UK, 2011): CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage

"The sheer all-round ability of the Signature means its not too fussy about partners...Calypso will gladly uncover astonishing levels of detail and impressive scale."

What Hi-Fi? (UK, 2011): CALYPSO SIGNATURE receives "5 Stars"

"...characterized by extremely wide dynamics, with an effortlessness in reproducing dynamic shadings along a continuum... transparency and detail resolution are first-rate... competes with the megabuck preamps... musically stunning and beautifully built."
-Robert Harley

The Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Award (2005-2011): CALYPSO and CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage

"A beautifully built, smartly designed, crisply functioning, versatile, and sonically brilliant preamplifier."

Stereophile Class A Recommended Component: CALYPSO and CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage

+9.5 LPs - "extreme lack of noise and distortion offers natural detail and harmonics to be heard to the limits of the recording... a wonderful feeling of rhythm and flow..." (2011): CALYPSO SIGNATURE linestage, Read review

"Arguably the most natural-sounding preamp for this money"

What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision Magazine (UK, 2008): "Five Stars" to CALYPSO linestage, read review

"one of the most enjoyable, musically satisfying preamplifiers I have had the pleasure of reviewing" -Michael Fremer

Stereophile (2005): CALYPSO SIGNATURE, read review

"Calypso provides the kind of performance that you just won't hear with anything else anywhere near its price point, and it's better than many things that cost twice as much." -Shane Buettner

Audio Perfectionist Journal (2003): CALYPSO linestage


Inputs: 5 line RCA or XLR (balanced), plus 1 tape, RCA or XLR
Outputs: 2 RCA (SE) and XLR (balanced), 1 tape RCA
Line level gain: 23 dB single ended (SE), in/out, and 29 dB balanced/out
Volume control: switched resistor network volume control with 88 1 dB steps
Front panel controls: main input, tape input select, volume, balance, phase, mute, display, and bypass
Remote controls: main input, tape input select, volume, balance, phase, mute, display, bypass 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)
Line input impedence: 40 k ohms SE, 80 k ohms balanced
Maximum line input: 3.5 volts SE, 7.0 volts RMS balanced
Output impedence: 1K ohms SE, 600 ohms balanced
Recommended amplifier load: 10K ohms or greater (SE), 20K ohms or greater (Balanced)
Tubes, each channel: (line section) V1 (12AX7 or equivalent), V2 (6922/6DJ8)
Power consumption: 20 watts standby, 60 watts active
Physical dimensions: 4 3/8" high, 17 7/8" wide, 18" deep including jacks
Shipping weight: 40 lbs.

Specifications subject to improvement or change without notice.

Technical Documents

Calypso owners manual

Calypso vacuum tube placement

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