With my pro background in the recording studio and live concert mixing, I wanted to build an amp that allowed me to hear music the way I know it should sound.
I wanted it to be easy to use, reliable and with plenty of power to drive the speakers. In short, I wanted power without compromising the music.
Class A Design
The tubes are always on, so you have power when you need it. Class A is fast and responsive. There is no lag, providing your music more punch, transient response, better dynamic range and transparency.
I choose a Class A Ultra-linear, Push-Pull circuit design to deliver the most precise, enjoyable and faithful reproduction possible.
The unsung hero of a power amp is its power supply. That’s why my design incorporates a custom Toroid power transformer and a choke-based, dual-mono power supply–to deliver all the “slam” you can handle.
Easy to use
With Auto Bias, you need no adjustments. It’s safe, consistent and the settings are always perfect so you can enjoy your music.
What is Bia?
In Greek mythology, Bia is the Titan Goddess of force and power.
Read entire review from Paul Seydor- The Absolute Sound- April 2012
For true audiophiles, nothing equals the warmth, dynamic range and fidelity of vinyl records. A critical component of every music lovers Vinyl playback system is the Phonostage or Phono preamp.
Why a Phonostage is So Important
When a vinyl record is made the volume of the bass is reduced and the treble is increased. Otherwise, the bass would cut a groove too big for a stylus to read or for the music to fit the record. The phonostage reverses the process by taking the delicate signal from your cartridge and adjusting it so that the bass and treble are restored to their original volume. This common standard is known as the RIAA curve.
The Andros PS1
Inspired by RCA’s vacuum tube circuit designs from the 1930s, the Andros PS1 has been engineered to bring you the clarity and depth of the original recording. Your highs will be crisp but not overly emphasized, your midranges clear and present without being shrill and your lows full and firm without being boomy.
A Startling Difference
As we went through testing our panel of audiophiles marveled at hearing subtle nuances, discovering new things in recordings they’d played many, many times. They appreciated its clear stereo image with maximum channel separation and minimal phase distortion.
Hearing is Believing
Words are inadequate to the task of explaining the Andros PS1. You simply must hear it to believe it.
What is Andros?
Andros is a Greek Island, and the home of my grandmother's family.
Inputs per channel
Outputs per channel
Four (4) Gold pin JJ ECC83S/12AX7 vacuum tubes with high quality ceramic sockets
Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price $4300
My design philosophy is to focus only on the important components and add nothing that could compromise the signal path. The only active components are the vacuum tubes that create a warm musical sound.
Balanced Means Lower Noise
As a longtime audio engineer and producer, I’ve worked with a lot of professional equipment. I always preferred “true floating balanced” inputs and outputs because of their foolproof ability to isolate one piece of gear from the next.
And that means lower noise for a strong, clean and quiet signal.
Easy to Use
The Leto preamp will compliment most systems: tube, solid state or digital. It will work with single-ended and balanced input source or power amplifier combinations.
Focus on the Music
With the Leto in your system it will allow the sonic detail to come through, so you focus is on the music and the hardware will seem to disappear.
What is Leto?
In Greek mythology, Leto is the mother of Apollo.
Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price $7500
Thank you to Paul Seydor and The Absolute Sound for the 2014 "Golden Ear Award" for the Bia 120
We are honored to be the winner of the 2014 "Spirit of Small Business" award as "Exporter of the Year" Read full article
See it and hear it at our next show:
New York Audio Show September 26th - 28th, 2014, Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge,
Paul Seydor - The Absolute Sound - April 7th 2014
Zesto Audio Bia 120 Stereo Power Amplifier
"Is the Bia perfect? Well, of course, nothing’s perfect, but no matter what I threw at it, I couldn’t make it sound anything less than beautiful..." Read entire review
Robert H. Levi
Bia 120 Class A Amplifier- Positive-Feedback Online - November 2013
"...I have never heard a better amplifier in my reference system, tube or solid-state. It is the best new tube amplifier to reach the market in the last five years priced under $50,000." Read Robert H. Levi's full review in Positive Feedback on line. Read entire review
Download the guide scroll to see Zesto Audio on pages 20, 66, 113, 117, 118, 119, 144 and 147.
Paul Seydor - The Absolute Sound - May 2013
Zesto Audio Leto Preamp - "Sonic Magic"
"The Leto preamplifier, a linestage that is the second product of George and Carolyn Counnas’ Zesto Audio, is cut so completely from the same sonic cloth as Zesto’s Andros PS1 phonostage I reviewed last year ... " Read entire reviews
Stereophile gives the Andros Phonostage a 2013 Class A Rating
Michael Fremer - Stereophile Analog Corner - March 2013
Zesto Audio Andros phono preamp
"...The Zesto had an addictive, warm overall sound, with plenty of impact, detail and grace. It's among the more enjoyable and satisfying phono preamplifiers I've auditioned at any price ..."
Robert H. Levi
Leto Premap - Positive-Feedback Online - September 2012
"New from Zesto Audio comes the tubed Leto Preamp, pushing the envelope in value and performance in its price range and beyond. With styling similar to the Andros Phono stage, the Leto is a powerful sounding, highly detailed, fantastically quiet, and superbly musical masterpiece that will complement the finest systems. Designed by a brilliant and pragmatic designer who knows great sound and ergonomics, the Leto performed like a thoroughbred in every way musical, and was a joy to control and adjust. The fun factor while working with the Leto made me rethink what has been missing in minimalist preamps that cost even more money these days. What a jewel! The Zesto Audio Leto is a killer design to my way of listening and loving recordings, and may just be the preamp you will buy and keep for the very, very long haul. The Leto receives my highest recommendation." Read entire review
Leto Line Stage Preamplifier - Audiophilia - September 14th 2012
"I have spent many hours listening to the Leto and Andros combination at Wes Bender’s NYC/Studio. I have also listened to the Leto with the EAR 324 phono stage. The sound of the Leto is on the warm side of the spectrum but not so much as to be in any way objectionable. To be clear, this is not an ‘old school’ tube sounding amplifier. From top to bottom, the sound is very well balanced. It has enough resolving power to allow vocal and instrumental textures to be clearly heard. The Fairfield Four’s Isaac Freeman’s bass vocals are presented with their full richness, bloom and textures intact. I have heard this group’s vocals on other line stages that glossed over these details resulting in a bland presentation. Not so with the Leto". Read entire review
Stereophile gives the Andros Phonostage a 2013 Class A Rating
Editor's Choice Award for the Andros PS1 Phonostage
Andros Phonostage PS1 - TONEAudio - September 2012
"After a solid month of intense audition, the Zesto Andros PS1 exhibits no weaknesses whatsoever. While it has a beautiful visual aesthetic, it continues to be a joy to listen to and is ultimately musical. With many audiophiles on a quest for gear that is increasingly more resolving, it might be easy to overlook the Andros PS1, but truly wise LP lovers will treasure the Zesto because the balance is just right. Much like a car with perfect 50/50 weight balance, along with equal amounts of stop and go, the Andros PS1 doesn't maximize any one parameter at the sake of another and that is its magic." Read entire review
THE NEWPORT SHOW "Steady As She Goes"
by Neil Gader Jun 05th, 2013
“Finally, system/room synergy is always in short supply at these shows but bravo to a couple exhibits–at the Hilton, to Zesto Audio, its phono and preamp and VAC amplification with TAD Evolution One loudspeakers, Merrill-Williams table/Tri-planar arm and Wywires cabling, and in a larger room at the Atrium, Constellation Audio electronics (Cygnus server, Virgo pre amp, Centaur mono amps) driving the Magico S1 via Kubala Sosna Emotion cables. Both of these systems vanished within the large projection of music and ambience that spread across the front of their respective rooms. These guys had it all going on with stunning resolution and extension and out of this world coherence”.
Zesto - WyWires - TAD
"An honest sound; clarity without detail being thrust forward at the listener,” read my notes from this room at the Hilton, which featured the superb-sounding TAD Evolution One speakers ($29,800/pair) that Kal Rubinson reviews in the July 2013 issue of Stereophile. Both Eva Cassidy singing “Fields of Gold” and the Sir Charles MacKerras’s “Living Stereo” recording of Sibelius’s Finlandia (the latter one of the first classical recordings I owned more than 50 years ago) were well-served by this system, which included Zesto’s Andros PS1 tube phono stage ($4300) that Michael Fremer liked so much when he reviewed it in his March 2013 “Analog Corner” column, Zesto’s new Leto tubed line stage ($7500), and A VAC Phi 200 power amplifier ($9990), all hooked up with WyWires wires. Turntable was the Merrill-Williams ($7200) fitted with a Triplanar arm ($6000) and a Dynavector XX2 Mk.II cartridge ($1985)".
TAD, Zesto, and WyWires
"I've heard TAD's high-tech CR1 loudspeakers ($42,000/pair) on other occasions, at other shows. But they've never sounded as good as they did at RMAF, where they were demonstrated with electronics from a new company called Zesto (a great, un-self-conscious name that sounds like an affiliate of Slusho, the imaginary Japanese soft-drink company created for the 2008 film Cloverfield). The source was a Merrill-Williams REAL 101 turntable ($7200) with Triplanar arm ($5800), Dynavector XX2 MkII cartridge ($1985), and Zesto Andros phono stage ($4300) and Leto preamp ($7500), plus GamuT D200 amp ($6000) and WyWires cabling— which, like the Zesto gear, comes from Thousand Oaks, CA. On selections by Illinois Jacquet and others, this system sounded richly textured and very involving". Read entire review
NG's Rocky Mountain AudioFest Highlights and Impressions
by Neil Gader Oct 17th, 2012
One of my favorite "small" rooms housed the TAD CR-1 speakers with Zesto phono, preamp and GamuT power & Wywires cabling
RMAF 2012 - A Photographic Journey, Part 1 by Dave and Carol Clark
Zesto Audio Andros PS1 phono stage, Merrill Williams REAL 101 turntable, Tri-Planar tonearm, Lindemann DAC, TAD CR1 loudspeakers and stands, Zesto Audio Leto preamp, all cabling by WyWires. Loved this room... easy, effortless, and musical. The TAD speakers are great, but then the rest of the system has to be up to snuff as well. Kudos to the people here! Read entire review
Confessions of a Part-Time Audiophile
Posted on October 25, 2012
"So, yes — Zesto is certainly one brand that gets it right — to me, at least. Much like their sweet demo at Newport, the sound here at RMAF was lovely: liquid, holographic, dynamic and detailed. This is, in my not-so-humble-opinion, a finisher system. Done, off the merry-go-round, go start investing in estate sales of giant record collections. If you have a huge room, you might want to go elsewhere, but for “normal” rooms, ska-doosh". Read entire review
CAS 3: Coming Home
After visiting a host of rooms that managed to seduce or at least beguile in one manner or another, but never presented anything close to the total gestalt of live music experience (whether acoustic or amplified), it was refreshing to discover in both this room and that of its Zesto/Wywires /TAD neighbor very straight ahead, honest, full-range sound that was impeccably controlled from top to bottom. With Focal Scala Utopias elevated on stands to decouple them from the floor and make their immediacy available to a room filled with audiophiles, a tape of Rimsky-Korsakov's Dance of the Tumblers from Reference Recordings' Exotic Dances at the Opera sounded right on. The midrange in Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane's "Why Was I Born" was just gorgeous. Sax and cymbals were a triumph on this system. It certainly impressed the San Francisco Symphony's recording engineer and producer, Jack Vad, who sent me an email calling the sound of Neil Young and Crazy Horse on this system "pretty transporting."
You already know that I was won over by the honest, straight ahead sound of this system. You can consider me sold on the Zesto Audio Andros PS1 vacuum tube phono stage (Now $4300) and Zesto Audio Vacuum tube Leto preamp ($7500), which I find manage to add bloom to the sound without skewing it too far in the direction of sweet, sweet, sweet. (Who wants Shostakovich to sound sweet?). Ditto for the TAD CR1 loudspeakers ($42,000/pair) on TAD speaker stands ($3600/set). All this works very well with the Merrill Williams Audio REAL 101 turntable ($7200) with Tri-Planar tonearm ($5800) and Dynavector XX2 MKII cartridge ($1985), Lindemann DAC 24/192 ($1099), Lenovo PC running J River 17 ($49.95), GamuT D200 power amp ($6000), and, for the sake of brevity, a host of what I discover to be very good sound WyWires cabling (approx. $7500 total) that was responsible for delivering all this good sound in so clear a manner. Oh, and a Steve Blinn Designs reference equipment rack ($1899) and Acoustimac Acoustic treatments.
"A violin that sounds more like a violin than in most rooms," I wrote. "Gets the harmonics. I love the inner warmth to the sound." The system may not have conveyed the full weight of cellos and basses, but it had one of the most neutral and pleasing tops of any system I heard at CAS3. I felt like leaving this room was an act of defilement. Lord, forgive me my sins; I have more rooms to cover.
Posted by: Robert Harley in the avguide, June 11th, 2012
Following the great success of the Andros phonostage, Zesto Audio debuted at Newport its Leto linestage. The all-tubed unit is based on a true balanced topology with transformer-coupled inputs and outputs. Two balanced and three single-ended inputs are provided, one of them with a “theater bypass” function. The front panel offers a balance control as well as a mono switch. The Leto uses two tubes per channel, the 12AU7 and 12AX7. This $7500 unit is handmade in the USA. The sound from the system, which included TAD CR-1 loudspeakers connected with WyWires cabling, was highly present, warm, and rich with great density of tone color.
Posted by:Paul Seydor in the avguide, June 11th, 2012
Not much new that I could see in phonostages, but Zesto Audio now has the Leto linestage ($7.5k) to match its Andros phonostage ($4k). The sound here was rich and bold with extraordinary imaging, especially the reproduction of depth. A Dynvector XX2 MkII ($1.95k) pickup mounted in a Tri-Planar tonearm ($5.8k) on a Merrill Williams REAL 101 ($7.2k) turntable furnished the source, while a Gamut D200 power amp drove the acclaimed TAD CR1 speakers (cabling by Wywires).
Zesto's new Leto line stage
Zesto was also using TAD CR1 speakers for the debut of their new Leto tubed line preamplifier ($7500, top), which, like the Andros phono stage (bottom), is made in the USA. With a system comprising a Gamut D200 power amp, a Merrill Williams turntable fitted with a Triplanar arm and a Dynavector XX2 Mk.II cartridge, a Lindemann DAC fed data from a PC running J River software, with WyWire cables used throughout, the Ozawa performance of Mahler's Symphony 1, with the Boston Philharmonic on a typically bright-sounding DG LP, had me sitting for the entire first movement, so low was the noisefloor and so high the dynamic range. AC power was being conditioned by Spiritual Audio's VX-9 power conditioner.
Confessions of a Part-Time Audiophile
Newport 2012: TAD, Zesto, WyWires
George and Carolyn Counnas of Zesto Audio were on hand and showing off something new — the Leto, their nifty $7,500 tubed preamp. If I were able to make something this pretty — and have it sound this good — I’d be pleased, too. The aesthetic should be familiar to show-goers as it follows the elegant, flowing lines of their $3,900 Andros PS1 phono stage, a unit that suddenly seems to be just about everywhere. I stayed for half an hour. And came back. Three times. I loved this room. LOVED it. The sound was rich and big and grand and totally inviting. Detail? Check. Immediacy? Check. Room filling? Check. Made me want to hang out all day? Checkcheckcheck. Read entire review
Reviewed by Paul Seydor - The Absolute Sound - April 2012
"Its sound is unbelievably smooth and velvety; harmonically rich, full, and vividly textured; marvelously rounded, tactile, and dimensional, with great body and solidity; and completely natural in its musicality and freedom from any of the usual sonic hype, audiophile style." Read entire reviews
2012 Buyers Guide to Vinyl Playback - The Absolute Sound
Read entire review scroll to page 80 and 103 for editors top picks.
Reviewed by Ray Seda - Dagogo - March 2012
"The sweetness and delicate nature of the Zesto Andros PS1’s delivery in the midrange and highs are almost counter-intuitive to its ability to also very competently amplify and deliver the sheer, explosive low frequency energy and dynamics that the record playback system sends to it." Read entire review
Posted by: Robert Harley in the avguide, January 18th, 2012
Jonathan Valin later in this report describes having a rare “epiphany” in certain rooms, in which the system so totally disappears that the music seems to just exist independently of the hardware. I heard this in the Perfect8 Technologies/BAlabo room along with Jonathan, but also experienced it in the Zesto Audio room at T.H.E. Show at The Flamingo. The Zesto system included the company’s Andros PS1 phonostage, Avid Volvere turntable, Origin Live tonearm, Dynavector XV-1S cartridge, Lindemann electronics, and TAD Compact Reference loudspeakers, all connected by WyWires cabling with Acoustic Field room treatments. The system, put together by Zesto, Lindemann, and retailer Audio Revelation, was absolutely jaw-dropping in its presence and realism.
Robert Harley's Best of Show
Best Sound (cost no object)
The new Hansen E series (Emperor and Prince), TAD/Zesto/Lindemann, Wisdom LS4, Magico Q7 with MIT cable, Venture Ultimate Reference, Perfect8 The Point Mk. 2 driven by the incomparable BAlabo electronics, and Talon Phoenix driven by VAC all produced great sound, but if forced to choose just one system that was “the best of show” it would be the stunning MBL 101 X-treme. Read entire review
Reviewed by Michael Peshkin - StereoMojo - Jan 2012
"If you have a significant investment in vinyl and an analog front end that merits the best of the best phono preamps, you should by all means audition the Zesto Andros. At its price, its performance competes with much more expensive units. In appearance and sexiness, there’s nothing that comes close." Read entire reviews
Reviewed by Dr. John Richardson - StereoMojo - Jan 2012
"It’s physically beautiful, adaptable to many different cartridges by merely accessing the switches on the back panel, and most importantly, it will do real sonic justice to your valuable vinyl collection." Read entire reviews
Reviewed by John Fritz - StereoMojo - Jan 2012
"Owning a phonostage with state-of-the-art sonics? Wonderful! Owning one with balanced circuits and infinite adjustability? Outstanding! Having those adjustments not be tiny, cheap dip switches but high quality knobs and switches on the BACK so you don't have to open the case to make adjustments in real time? Amazing! Having it look like it belongs in a Museum of Modern Art? Unbelievable!"Read entire reviews
Robert H. Levi - Positive-Feedback Online - November 2011
"As a brand-new company whose first product is a made-in-America phono stage, Zesto has introduced a break-out product and brought to market a winner! Their Andros tube phono stage sports tons of flexibility with bold musicality at an unheard of price point for this level of performance. I am shocked by what they have managed to include for the audiophile under $4000! Plus, the Andros is a world beater in quietude, a wonderful attribute for a phono section. I wish more designers paid attention to this when they design phono stages, particularly tube designers.
I think that you will love the sense of reality the Andros delivers; in addition, the flexibility of its controls, all placed externally for a change, are similar to units costing $10,000. Soundstaging is extraordinary, too. The Andros both over-delivers and under-prices the competition. If you need a phono stage, I wouldn't wait for the price to go up on this beauty. It begs the question, why spend more than the cost of the Zesto Andros PS1? The Andros receives my highest recommendation and top-choice rating for a phono stage anywhere near this price!" Read entire review
Fussy Can Be Good
I’ve loved music all my life – as a musician, record producer and audio engineer. That makes me fussy about sound. That’s a good thing.
If you want something done right…
Digital technology has its place, but true audiophiles know that for the truest, purest sound, nothing beats analog. As I returned “home” to the warm, wonderful world of vinyl, I looked for the gear that would deliver the highest fidelity. I wasn’t satisfied.
So I built my own.
So I have many years of experience designing, creating and bringing to market high-end electronic equipment. The difference here is that no one’s life is at stake.
My quest for perfection
I started doing research on past tube designs going back to the original RCA circuits of the 1930’s. Those guys got a lot of things right, even though their tools were slide rules and trial and error.
Their “classic” designs were my starting point.
But I had the advantage of CAD software to simulate electronic circuits. Ah yes, the old and the new. But even with the engineering skill, history, technologies, in the end it’s designed by how it sounds, by ear.
The resisters are very quiet, the capacitors are transparent, and the transformers have minimal distortion. To make sure its visual aesthetics lived up to its sound, I had an industrial designer (Musky Mistry) and an artist (Carolyn Counnas) collaborate to create an elegant enclosure that’s built like a tank.
In the end, however, it is about what you hear. Hearing is believing.
-- George Counnas, President of Zesto Audio
RAR33 Audio, Rafael Raymundo, +63 9178272715, 3 Taylor Street, Ayala Hillside Estates, Old Balara, Quezon City, Philippines 1100 firstname.lastname@example.org
We are located in Thousand Oaks, California, USA. Factory hours 9 am and 6 pm PDT