Aesthetix Saturn Series: Saturn Eclipse available in the UK
Californian brand Aesthetix’ Saturn Series of hi-fi components have been around more than decade and its newest incarnation, the Saturn Eclipse edition, has just arrived on UK shores.Aesthetix’ audio components come in two series, Jupiter and Saturn, both of which share the same level of electrical and mechanical engineering along with special attention to power supply design.
Now, say Aesthetix, the Saturn Series pushes that bit further with the latest Eclipse edition upgrades. Enhancements include the use of new exotic StealthCap capacitors; electrical upgrades including hand-tuned capacitors, super-matched output devices and distributed node film capacitor technology; advanced mechanical chassis isolation; and sophisticated power supply grounding.
Peter Moncrieff’s StealthCaps are touted for their ability to reduce reflections. The Saturn Eclipse Series incorporates numerous StealthCap capacitors in critical inter-stage and output coupling functions. Each capacitor is individually hand-crafted and tailored specifically for Aesthetix Eclipse. Using new Stealth Technology (patents pending), these caps use new conductors, dielectrics, and exotic composite resins to further improve performance.
A typical capacitor behaves like a long plate and the signal's many reflections off the boundaries of this long plate can cause numerous echoes that mask your music, says the manufacturer. Further, according to Aesthetix, a good analogy is a typical gym. Stand at one end of the gym and try speaking to someone standing at the other end. The two of you can hardly understand what each other are saying, since the multiple reflections from the gym's boundaries garble the sonic message. As you speak more loudly and dynamically, the problem gets even more pronounced. The same reflection problem happens in all typical capacitors.
The new Stealth Technology in the StealthCaps, however, dramatically reduces corrupting signal reflections in the capacitor plate, in a similar way that stealth technology in an aircraft tackles radar signal reflections, they claim
In the Eclipse editions of the Janus and Calypso preamplifiers, high-frequency tuning capacitors are installed and hand-adjusted to tailor the frequency response to a tight 0.1dB standard. The Eclipse edition of the Atlas power amplifier features super-matched output devices, which serve to lower specific aspects of output stage distortion by as much as 40dB. In all editions of the Atlas, each bi-polar output device (16 per channel) receives its power supply through a copper bus bar design, reducing impedance compared to standard circuit board traces. In the Eclipse edition, distributed node film capacitors are added at each output device, further reducing impedance for increased current capacity and improved transient capability.
In earlier editions of the Saturn Series, the transformers are mounted directly on the chassis with a layer of damping material separating them. In the Eclipse edition, the transformers are isolated from the chassis using specially designed isolation mounts thus reducing the amount of mechanical vibration introduced into the chassis. Damping material is added at chassis points, particularly those with large surface areas, which reduces noise added to the system due to airborne or mechanical sources.
Eclipse editions of the Rhea phonostage and Calypso and Janus preamplifiers receive a new power supply with improvements in heat dissipation capability, overvoltage and spike protection
All Saturn Eclipse components now feature Harmonic Resolutions Systems' Nimbus Couplers made specially for Aesthetix, replacing the earlier four rubber feet. This upgrade, also found in the brand’s Signature editions, results in a lower noise floor and hence more air and space around the instruments.
Since the transformers are no longer electrically grounded to the chassis via physical contact due to their isolation mounts, a single-point system is now used to ground the transformer cases, significantly reducing the amount of ground-induced noise and thus further increasing dynamic range.
The new power supply found in the Eclipse editions of the Rhea phonostage and Calypso and Janus preamplifiers have been refined by improving trace routing to further reduce extraneous noise.
All components in the Saturn Eclipse Series are available now. Current Saturn Series products can be upgraded to Eclipse editions.
UK retail prices (incl VAT):
Rhea Eclipse all-valve phonostage £ 12,455
Calypso Eclipse linestage preamplifier £ 12,455
Janus Eclipse full function preamplifier £ 16,200
Atlas Eclipse power amplifier £ 18,700
Atlas Eclipse mono power amplifier (pair) £ 31,190
Pandora Eclipse DAC £ 14,950
Romulus Eclipse DAC/CD Player £ 16,200
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