I have an old hifi system which consists of an Oracle Delphi Turntable upgraded to Mark 4 , Zeta Tonearm and an Ortophon 2000 MC cartridge and a K&K headamp which is fed to an ARC SP 10. Amplification and speakers are ARC classic 60 & Leak TL50 monoblocks driving Vandersteen 2Cs.I have been considering buying the Aesthetix Rhea phonostage and Aesthetix Calypso linestage based on the reviews I have read in the hifi press. I do like the sound I get from my system and listen mainly to acoustic jazz, but I would like a phonostage with plenty of gain so I don't have to use an head amp and thereby have less of tube noise and I want to stick with tubed preamps as well. Unfortunately I don't have a dealer in my home town (Victoria B.C.) selling the Aesthetix line and that means a trip to Vancouver to listen to a demo in an unfamiliar room.
The dilemma I face is will I hear a significant difference to justify the cost of changing my equipment? I know that this forum has reviewers and members who have a lot more experience listening a variety of phono preamps than I have had and would especially like to hear from anyone who owned an ARC SP 10 and moved on to something new.