08. September 2021 · Comments Off on Zesto Audio Andros Téssera Reference Phonostage · Categories: Hifi News · Tags: , , , , ,


Zesto Audio of the USA has announced the launch of their new Reference Grade Phonostage.

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The Gold Note PH-1000 Phono Stage is the high-end Italian brand’s new premium phono stage and we have one here at Hifi Pig Towers, watch out for the review soon.

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The Hegel V10 is the Norwegian company’s first foray into the land of phono-stages. It costs £1350 and is distributed by Auden Distribution in the UK. Stuart Smith gets into the grooves with it. More »

Norwegian brand Hegel has just launched the V10, their first ever Phonostage, read on for more info and find out what we thought in our review.

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Rega previewed the Aria MK3 switchable phono stage at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show back in February.

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The Lampizator Vinyl Phono MC1 is a result of a long period of research that Lampizator have undertaken regarding, they say, “the feasibility of creating the no compromise Phonostage that is worthy of our reputation in DACs”. From the look of it, it is as High End as you were expecting!

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The melto2 from Lab12 has different equalisation curves, mono and stereo options, three inputs, balanced outputs and on paper at least looks like an interesting proposition. But does this flexibility come at the expense of great sonics? Stuart Smith finds out when he listens to this €3750 phono-preamplifier.

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Gryphon Audio Designs has introduced the PS2-S MM/MC Phono Stage Module. The PS2-S (S for Superior) is an updated version of their PS2, but offering an extended range of MC-cartridge load impedance options.

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The recent revival in vinyl and explosion of new turntables has spawned an equal number of new phono stages from the bargain basement models to the highly specialised audiophile units costing thousands. Nick Gorham from Longdog Audio noticed that the market was short on quality budget units, so he decided to design one to appeal to most newcomers to vinyl or those on limited funds. The result is a very straight forward moving magnet only unit costing £199. Ian Ringstead takes a listen.  More »

Taga Harmony have been pretty busy with a trio of new products announced. More »

Gryphon Audio Designs of Denmark have never abandoned the LP format, maintaining, as they say, ‘a consistent commitment to vinyl reproduction from the creation of the company in 1985, right up to the launch of the new Gryphon Sonett Phonostage’. More »

Longdog Audio have released their wallet friendly PH1 Moving Magnet PhonoStage. Longdog say that the PH1 “combines years of experience designing high end phono stages and ultra low noise replacement power supplies into a simple, affordable and no nonsense unit”. More »

Cambridge Audio have announced two new phono stages, the Solo and the Duo. More »

Sound Carrier Audio are a Croatian based company that have specialised in making valve amplifiers and hifi equipment for over 25 years. More »

New affordable phono stages with digital output options join the Pro-Ject range. The E-Line of affordable accessory electronics from Box Design by Pro-Ject Audio Systems was introduced to combine Pro-Ject’s knowledge of stereo hifi systems with price points that could appeal to audio enthusiasts on a budget. More »

The Gold Note PH-10 has a host of features including various equalisation curves, nine load impedances, facilities for MM and MC carts and a whole lot more to boot. Janine Elliot takes a listen to what on paper looks almost too good to be true for the £1315.20 asking price.  More »

The rPhono is the latest addition to Arcam’s Black Box rSeries. Previewed at CES and launching to the public at Bristol’s hifi Show at the end of February, the Arcam rPhono is designed specifically to upgrade an in-built phono stage or to add a turntable input to an existing amplifier. More »

Lancashire based Rothwell Audio Products Ltd have announced the release of their Signature Two discrete transistor moving coil phonostage which is the result of over twenty-five years’ experience in the design of these devices. Within the phonostage itself, there are neither transformers nor op-amps resulting in, say Rothwell, “a stunningly clear aural experience”. More »

Exposure Electronics has launched its new ‘XM’ series of hifi components. Responding directly to the resurgence of vinyl amid a digital age, the series offers a solution for those who seek performance across multiple media but don’t want the size or cost of their system to spiral out of control. Kicking off the series, the XM5 integrated amplifier includes both a phonostage and a DAC in a compact half-width size. More »

Italian manufacturer Gold Note have had a busy month. They have introduced both their new Donatello and Vasari cartridges and also new vinyl care products. Kymyas is a restoring treatment for scratched vinyl, to help you preserve the quality of your favourite LP’s and enjoy it to the fullest, and to remove every trace of dust, there is the new Gold Note Carbon Brush, 100% anti-static and with high quality carbon fibre.


Also vinyl related, they have announced the PH – 10 which they hail as ‘the most innovative Phono Preamplifier available’ With two separate RCA inputs you can connect two different tonearms and adjust settings independently for each single cartridge plus PH-10 offers 4 different selectable GAIN levels -3dB, 0dB, +3dB, 6dB to precisely match any kind of output level for MM and MC cartridges. Perfect matching is easy and quick to achieve with 9 different load options 10Ω, 22Ω, 47Ω, 100Ω, 220Ω, 470Ω, 1000Ω, 22KΩ, 47KΩ.


You can select the record modulation between the internationally recognised RIAA, DECCA-LONDON or AMERICAN-COLUMBIA curves, and then “enhance” it with their proprietary technology to achieve the best vinyl experience. SKC is a unique technology that paired with TFT display allows quick control of the unit’s functions through the single knob. The display shows every information and lets you rapidly select and modify the settings. Gold Note modular design allows upgrades with external units, including: External Inductive Power SupplyCurve Equaliser Extender unit, Class-A Tube Output Stage and Gain Stage Enhancer. Made of solid aluminium and fully machined, the PH – 10 shell body guarantees low frequency resonance, feedback vibration control and low magnetic inertial field. The front panel and case are brushed anodised aluminium available in Black, Silver, Gold and Red.


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This new addition to the Renaissance Amplification range has a compact A5 footprint, self contained Phono Stage for moving magnet and moving coil RAPHONSGEcartridges.  Housed in an attractive all-aluminium case with a metallic paint finish in black or outrageous red/pink with a blue LED power indicator.

Designed as a “fit, forget and enjoy” addition to your system, the fixed characteristics will suit the vast majority of moving magnet and moving coil cartridges.  Alternative loading and/or gains can be accommodated upon request.

Complete with High quality gold plated RCA connectors for inputs and outputs.  Earth terminal and rear panel jumpers for selecting moving magnet or moving coil operation; it is possible to configure one channel for MM and the other for MC (for those with 2 turntables fitted with mono cartridges).

With discrete low noise first stage with fixed 50 ohm input impedance for moving coil cartridges; Gain 20dB with an overall gain in MC mode being 60dB @ 1kHz.

Second stage op-amp (LM4562 low-noise, high slew rate, ultra low distortion, high current) gain stage and RIAA filter with fixed 47k input impedance.  Gain 40dB @ 1kHz.

Dimensions:      205W x 60H x 153D (168D including connectors)

Weight:               approximately 0.5kg

Solid Aluminium Electrolytics

PPS film caps throughout

Surface mount except PSU

Low energy PSU and small (3VA) toroidal transformer for low stray fields

Triple regulation for first stage (shunt regulator for final regulations)

Double regulation thereafter

RRP £749.00 inc.


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Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs, LLC has announced the Jens Phono stage pre-amplifiers, which they say is merrill-jens-phono-stage-hifinews“certain to set a new standard for Phono stage Preamplifiers”. Prices at $15,449, the Jens Phono stage preamplifier.

Built specifically for Low Output Moving Coil Cartridges the Jens Phono Preamp allows for load setting from 25 Ohms to 5 kOhms , 70dB gain with better than 0.1dB RIAA equalization with the aim for it to be very fast and is ultra quiet.

Jens Phono stage was in development for 7 years, including 3 years of listening tests with veteran vinyl experts.  The unit is hand built in the USA and build features include external power supply, steel chassis for maximum EMI/RFI shielding, Stillpoints Ultramini riser footers for isolation, Furutech pure copper Rhodium plated RCA, Double fused AC lines, silver plated Teflon sleeved pure copper wires, hand matched high tolerance components, hand routed circuit board designs,  multi-stage power supply filtering and proprietary circuits.


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Timestep are not your average hi-fi manufacturer, they are also internationally renowned designers and T-01MC frontmanufacturers of state-of-the-art weather satellite systems of all things and now Timestep have announced the launch of the new T-01MC moving coil phono stage.

The T-01MC is a minimalist design, avoiding any unnecessary switching that would “introduce extra contacts and therefore noise and distortion” and should offer great performance with 95% of moving coil cartridges. It has been developed and tested with a wide spectrum of cartridges ranging from the Denon DL-103 to the Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement and overall design has been by the renowned Dave Cawley. The phono stage can be ordered in custom configuration to suit specific cartridges, and subsequently T-01MC PCBreconfigured to perfectly match any moving coil cartridge.

The design of the T-01MC avoids the use of integrated circuits and instead FETs (field effect transistors) are used in a fully discrete dual-mono zero negative feedback design.

The gain and input loading are fixed as in most situations this feature is a set-once process.  The settings chosen  should be great for the vast majority of moving coil cartridges on the market however, custom input loading can be specified and can be altered by Timestep at any time.  The company say that this method saves “considerable cost over switchable units, as well as providing the shortest, cleanest signal path ensuring the highest performance”.

The unit comes in at £995 and has a whopping 6 year guarantee.


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