Multi award winning Aurorasound's VIDA in perfect working condition, and lightly used. Ship in original container with manual and power supply.
Flat shipping rate in Conus: $45,-
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More information about this incredible phono preamp:
One of Aurorasound’s latest development is a fantastic phono-stage called VIDA (Vinyl Disk Amplifier). State of the art semiconductor technology (LCR-type network) and innovative technology combined with old-world craftmanship makes this phono amplifier outstanding in many respects.
Key Kim, The StereoTimes (August 2015) wrote:
"...I could tell immediately the VIDA’s noise floor was very low, allowing the music to emerge infused with very detailed information... Bass performance was excellent with very deep extension, definition, and control. Pitch in the lowest octaves was accurately defined and to my delight the VIDA was able to delineate the contrabass pizzicatos and bass guitar snaps brilliantly with outstanding speed, pace and drive...The VIDA’s ability to illuminate timbre and detail was excellent. While rich and full, instrumental textures were not too ripe or romanticized. Attacks were fast and sharp, yet lively. Equally the midrange was impressive. The human and instrumental voices were reproduced naturally in a well- balanced texture, body, and tone. The voices were wonderfully rendered with revealing detail and nuance, providing for an extremely organic and involving presentation...
Key Kim, The StereoTimes (January 2015):
"...the elegantly built VIDA incorporates state-of-the-art semiconductor technology (LCR-type network) and old-world craftsmanship to create a top performing phono amplifier. I’m really enjoying my vinyl collection immensely with the VIDA; its black background is what sets the stage for its remarkable resolution, openness, and harmonic integrity..."
Nick Tate, Hi-Fi News UK (May 2013) concluded:
"...this quintessentially Japanese slice of analogue exotica is artfully engineered to give a coruscatingly incisive and detailed sound, yet one that’s genuinely musical too. Impressively devoid of noise, it provides a wide open window onto the vinyl groove yet it never sounds coldly forensic or overly romantic. The VIDA should win many friends here, as it already has in Japan..."
Mal Kenney, Part-Time Audiophile - THE Show Newport Beach (June 2013):
"...it’s dead quiet, it soundstages about as well as any solid state, and it has the propulsive impact that only LCR stages seem to bring to the table. On top of that, it’s small, it’s friendly, and it’s adjustable from the front panel. I’ve heard this a few times now, and its signature is one of easy authority..."
Kohji Yamamoto, Stereo Sound Japan (Fall 2012) wrote:
"...stunning three-dimensional, excellent depth - it makes each tone fuller and richer... It produced not only tight drums and bass but also a massive scale and spectrum which you could almost feel vivdly with your hands... I was impressed with the spatial dimension in which vocals and chorus harmonized togehter. The realistic illustration of percussion was also astonishingly impressive. I fell in love with this phono stage amplifer immediately, I personally recommend the VIDA to those who would like to seriously indulge in analog playback."
Most Wanted Component 2014 Award by "The StereoTimes" January 2015
Product of the Year Award by "HiFi Review" magazine December 2013
Recommendation Award by "HiFi-Critic" magazine (UK) July 2013
Highly Commended Award by "Hi-Fi News" magazine (UK) May 2013
Best Buy and Critics Applause award by “Stereo Sound” magazine winter 2012/2013
Technology of the year 2012 award by “MJ Musen-to-Jikken” magazine Dec. 2012
Analog Grand Prix 2013 award by “analog” magazine Winter 2012
Audio Excellence 2013 award by “Audio Accessory” magazine winter 2012
"...price is ridiculously low. Yes, without a doubt. This is a true ’high-end’ phono-stage, at middle of the road pricing. I genuinely doubt there is any worthwhile competition, even at twice the price of the Vida..."
"...vivid, rich tones, beautifully reproduced, without the slightest hint of grain or etched upper frequencies, often associated with solid state phono stages. Solid bass notes and captivating midrange shone out from a completely silent background... vocals were a joy and acoustic music had that ’right there’ in the room sound... one day, I really must check that there are no valves inside, such is the richness and smooth delivery of music that the Vida provides..."
- Adopted LCR type RIAA device. Unlike conventional NF & CR type for RIAA curve, VIDA uses L (coil) to generate precise RIAA curve, resulting in much fulfilling midranges.
- With use of the latest semiconductor devices and discrete amplifier circuit, it achieved a complete DC circuit design. As a result, capacitors in the signal path were completely eliminated.
- High resolution in the low frequencies and reduced distortions, it enables you to enjoy vivid music hall atmospheres coupled with the players positioning on the stage.
- A large-size MUTE switch together with other functions are aligned in the front panel for improved man-machine interface for user-friendly operation.
- High S/N ratio was achieved with use of an external power supply unit, having extremely stable and super low-noise and high–speed circuits.
- Compatible with MC and MM type cartridges. High/Low Impedance Selector switch on the front panel
Useful functions for analog playback...
MC/MM Selector, MC Impedance Selector, Direct/Subsonic Filter, Stereo/Mono Selector, and demagnetizing function are featured. All the functions plus a large-size mute switch are placed on the front panel for user-friendly configuration. Each selector uses a sealed small-size signal relay for high reliability and stability. Also, highly durable rhodium plated RCA terminals are employed to ensure very low level signal paths are warranted without any loss.
Precision DC circuit with the latest semiconductor technology...
...eliminated all capacitors in the signal path. It enabled a completely flat frequency response without any coloration across the entire audible range. The active DC servo circuit permits absolutely stable outputs regardless of fluctuations in the inputs and operating temperature. Especially, resolution and distortion in low frequency are improved significantly, therefore, you will be able to even sense and feel the atmosphere of the music hall, performers and the staging. The power supply uses toroid transformer, Schottky barrier diode which allows ultra-low noise. Any leakage flux noises are completely eliminated with use of a separate power supply by employing high-speed semiconductor-based stable power supply circuit.
LCR Type RIAA device...
Unlike conventional NF and CR type, an ideal circuit design with constant impedance LCR-type RIAA circuit is used. As a result, across the entire frequency range, RIAA curve correction is achieved with constant condition. In the past, vacuum tubes were used with a large chassis, but VIDA managed in a compact size thanks to the latest semiconductor technologies. Each component is placed according to the signal flow in symmetrical and the shortest route. The equalizer circuit uses the renowned Swedish Lundahl filter-coil, which is widely used in the professional equipment, for turnover and roll-off independently.
Small signals recorded on the vinyl disc must be precisely restored to a flat response using (L) coil and CR network circuit, which go through the RIAA curve having attenuated lows and boosted highs. At the same time, it must be amplified by roughly 1,600 times (In case of MC cartridges). Since amplification is very large, any noises from the power supply and the circuits must be reduced to the possible minimum. VIDA managed to achieve very high S/N ratio due to a careful selection of the components, circuit design and PC board pattern configurations.
Input: 1x MM Gain 39dB 47kOhm, 1x MC Gain 64dB (High 10-100Ohm, Low 0.6-10Ohm)
Output: Line Level, unbalanced RCA, optional XLR balanced
RIAA Deviation: 10Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.25dB
THD+N: 0.025% - MC - A-Weighted
Input Noise: -138dBV MC
Dimension: W260mm x D250mm x H100mm 3kg (Main Unit), W114mm x D200mm x H70mm 1.4kg (PSU)
Power Supply: AC 100V-120V 50-60Hz, Max 40W
Optional: 2x MC, XLR in- and output, rotary switch for 6 add. impedances for MC
Aurorasound is a company from Yokohama, Japan. Designer and director Shinobu Karaki has 28 years expierience working for Texas Instruments Japan Inc. He is also a passionate musican, music teacher and an audiophile first grade since many years. His love to music, trained ears and extensive know-how in electronics and integrated circuits makes Mr. Karaki the ideal person to design high-end
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
In this part of the world small brand Japanese audio has a caché that you just can’t buy, it takes years of consistently high quality in build and sound to achieve but once established gives even new companies a leg up. The good work of Audio Note Japan, Koetsu, Shindo, 47 Labs and many others rubs off on newcomers such as Aurorasound which has been making audio electronics for three years now in Yokohama. It’s founder Shinobu Karaki paid his dues at Texas Instruments and maybe that’s why the VIDA phono stage takes a less trod path to equalising of the signal produced by a phono cartridge.
The VIDA maximises its Japanese appeal with some distinctly retro styling, a look that was revived so successfully by Leben in recent years and clearly has plenty of appeal in certain niches of the market. I like the wooden frame surround but feel that the badge lets it down somewhat, its eighties styling being at odds with the fifties look of the cabinet. The huge button is for muting, not something I have often felt the need for on a phono stage but one way of providing a polished presentation devoid of the thump produced by the stylus landing in the groove. Paul Messenger always felt that this was as good an indication of a speaker’s bass extension as any piece of music!
The layout inside is almost the opposite of the external styling, this is a bang up to the minute phono stage that uses an LCR (inductor, capacitor, resistor) network for the RIAA equalisation, according to its maker it’s the first of its type in this regard. The main benefit of this approach appears to be that resistor values can be kept low and that the EQ stage presents a constant impedance to the first gain stage. The actual inductors used are Lundahl types and are the same size as that company’s step up transformers, Karaki has pictures of his visit to Lundahl in Sweden on his site. The only drawback that Aurorasound points out with this approach is that it is sensitive to noise from power transformers, but this is often the case with phono stages and the reason that many have a separate power supply chassis like the VIDA does.
As well as the rather obvious mute button there are more attractive switches for stereo/mono, direct or subsonically filtered, MC/MM and high or low impedance for moving coils. The fifth switch is a degauss facility. I would have liked to have seen more variety in terms of impedance options which are 100 Ohms for the high setting and 10 Ohms for the low, a slightly odd combination but a typically Japanese one as well.
I used the VIDA with a Van den Hul Condor MC mounted on the Series V arm of an SME Model 20/3 turntable and used my Trilogy 907 phono stage as a point of reference. The VIDA has rather less gain than the Trilogy (which is adjustable) but no shortage of grip in the bass, this end of the spectrum being taut and muscular which I enjoyed a lot. The midrange is rather different with a slight ‘glow’ or spotlighting that brings a freshness to the music but may be indicative of some emphasis in this department. There is plenty of space for reverb to expand into and low noise levels that let fine details through with ease. On Keb Mo’s slightly thick sounding Peace, Back by Popular Demand (Pure Pleasure Records) the organ pulls itself out of the mix more clearly than usual and the bass line delivers what can only be described as slam, things were beginning to get interesting. It appears to have Rega quality timing, eg high, and tube style openness, it was becoming apparent why tube amp maker Pure Sound had decided to bring in a tube free component.
It has something of the tube sound though, this became clear when I put on Patricia Barber’s What A Shame (Café Blue remix/remaster, Premonition Records – a superb piece of vinyl). The presence of the singer in the room was palpable and the space in the recording decidedly expansive. The Trilogy 907 brought more of the bass weight out and had better timing but the voice wasn’t as pure. It was a close call though, they are both fine stages with the ability to deliver a coherent, detailed sound that is replete with dynamic energy. Another fine pressing, the Grateful Dead’s Blues for Allah (Audio Fidelity) seemed a shade short on gain, the stage has a light touch inasmuch as it doesn’t add much to the sound and you can easily appreciate the effortlessness of the band but it could have delivered a bit more of the power from the groove. It occurred to me at this point that the VIDA was probably designed with an active preamp, my Townshend Allegri is not such a device and this could be critical with lower level recordings.
Moving over to a Rega RP6 with a Dynavector DV-20X2H proved a good idea, this high output MC cartridge and turntable doesn’t have the finesse and focus of the previous combo but boy does it swing. It also sounded better via the lower gain MM input which brings back some of the image focus and delivers a stronger sense of three dimensionality.
To balance things a little I also used the VIDA in a system with a Valvet P2c tube preamplifier and the same Condor cartridge, here gain was not an issue, nor was there any hint of hum. The results were very entertaining with loads of recording character coming through from every record played, the Mothers of Invention Live at the Fillmore East sounding ancient soundwise and not as good as they did with Flo and Eddie on Just Another Band from LA, but super nonetheless. The sound was open and transparent with plenty of detail and scale. Simon Spillet on Gearbox (Square One) sounded so authentically fifties that it’s hard to credit its contemporary creation. Al Green Explores Your Mind (Pure Pleasure Records) also provided a vibrant and rich pageant of soul dynamism that has rarely sounded more intense.
The Aurorasound VIDA comes closer to combining the qualities of tubes and transistors in a phono stage than most that I’ve heard and certainly any at the price. It has the quiet gain of solid state and the transparency and openness of tubes, in short it sounds better than it looks, and I like the looks.
I see that Aurorasound has produced a tube powered DAC/preamp called CADA, revealing Karaki san’s appreciation of glass audio despite his solid state background, I wonder what sort power amp he has?
MC Gain 64dB
MC impedance: High 10Ω, Low 10Ω
MM Gain 39dB 47kΩ
Output: Line Level, Unbalanced RCA
RIAA Deviation: 10Hz – 20kHz +/-0.25dB
THD+N: 0.025% MC A-Weighted
Input Noise: -138dBV MC
Size and Weight: W260mm x D250mm x H100mm 3kg
Power Supply Unit: W114mm x D200mm x H70mm 1.4kg