Upgraded at the Aesthetix factory to Signature in December 2014 at a cost of $3,000, per the invoice. Includes a new set of factory tubes from Aesthetix. Has seen very little use since I bought it in January 2017 as I planned to use it for a turntable project that did not work out.
Shipping to USA only via UPS ground. Buyer pays PayPal fees
Description: Tubed phono preamplifier. Cartridge demagnetizer Gain settings (dB): 75, 68, 62, 56, 50, 44, 38 Loading settings (ohms): 47k, 10k, 5k, 2.5k, 1k, 500, 250, 125, 75.
Dimensions: 18" W by 4 3/8" H by 17 5/8" D. Weight: 39 lbs (17.5kg)
From Robert Hartley Absolute Sound Reviewhttp://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/tas-196-aesthetix-rhea-signature-phonostage-1/
I was really quite shocked by how much better the Rhea Signature sounded than the standard Rhea. In fact, I had planned on many long sessions of going back and forth between the two products to discern and describe the differences, but quickly realized that was unnecessary. Moreover, I enjoyed music so much through the Signature that it was hard to go back to the standard Rhea.
As great a phonostage as the Rhea is, the Signature version is on another level of performance. Yes, it’s nearly twice the price ($4000 vs. $7000), but the Signature is that much better. If you already own the Rhea, upgrading to the Signature will give you a new perspective on your record collection and favorite music. It did for me.
The metalwork, industrial design, interior layout, and build-quality are exemplary. Moreover, the feature set—three inputs, adjustable gain and loading via remote control, built-in cartridge demagnetizer, balanced outputs—makes the Rhea compatible with a wide range of systems. RH
See information below from the Aesthetix website:
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. 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 demagnetizer is a built-in convenience that can also be operated by remote control. The all-aluminum chassis is designed for rigidity and acoustic inertness, the brushed anodized panels are beautiful too. Rhea has enjoyed worldwide acclaim for its sound quality, build quality, flexibility and ease of use.
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. Available in black or silver faceplate. Rhea 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.
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.
And now the fine print:
The Gabriel DeLeon rule: You can audition the unit at my place. Once you buy it it's yours, as it comes with no express or implied warranty of any kind.
The Franz rule: By buying this unit you acknowledge that you hereby waive any protection plan that is offered by your payment service that exceeds the 48 hours you have to report any issues with the unit. So if for example you choose to pay by Paypal and the unit fails 40 days after you bought it, you hereby agree that you will not use Paypal Protection to get a refund from me.
Have been on Audiogon for a while, but Gabriel and Franz forced me to add some fine print.