Aavik R-180 Phonostage - The first true "Silent" Phonostage?
I think it's fair to say that one of the biggest issues that any turntable user faces is noise. Unfortunately that normally stems from your phono stage do to the fact it has to amplify a tiny signal. It is a challenge however and it has been something which phono stage designers have been working around for many years. While undoubtedly modern day phono stages have improved this drastically, it is still a major concern for many customers.
The idea of a completely "silent" phono stage is something that seemed to be something that was never going to be solved. Until now...
Aavik electronics became popular due to their "quietness" (Ability to remove background noise) The designers from Aavik utilise Tesla coils, which dramatically reduce the noise levels. This in turns creates an "inky black silence" behind the music. When this technology is used in their amplification, it creates an incredibly natural sound, however the difference that this technology creates in their phono stage is on a different scale!
Vinyl is the desired source for many, so imagine hearing your vinyl but with complete silence. Imagine the instruments, vocals and detail which you can hear if all of that noise was removed? Honestly, perhaps many of you can't, as the annoying thing is the noise is something which many of us don't hear, as we have become so used to it. When you hear a system with the noise removed however (i.e. using Aavik electronics) all of a sudden you can understand just how much noise is actually present in your system. It is literally the definition of "You don't appreciate it until you take it away).
Other items on the market do similar things, such as the Entreq Macro Boxes which offering grounding to any speaker, Titan Audio Mains cables and blocks reduce noise in the mains supply and Ansuz Network Switch remove noise from streaming products.
All of the above offer huge sonic benefits, but in terms of improving your vinyl sound, there is very little than ca compare to the difference the R-180 Phono stage can create. Of course, the sonic benefits only increase when you go to the R-280 & R-580 but naturally so does the price, and of course it is system dependant.
While I appreciate this has been a very quick overview of the product itself, I hope it has given you enough encouragement to give the item a demonstration. The R-180 Phonstage is without doubt something which has to be heard to be believed. I know many claim "Its a must hear" or "This is the best phono stage on the market" but I encourage you to give this phono stage a chance if Vinyl is a really important part of your system. I assure you I don't say this lightly, but you haven't heard your system until you hear it with an Aavik product, and in particular their phonostages are something. The reduction in noise is something beyond words, and I do appreciate that sounds a bit dramatic but the difference is simply that big!
Check out our unboxing video on this phonostage: