For the Ultimate Audio Connoisseur
Andros II Phonostage
Fall in love with your entire vinyl collection all over again!
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Downloadable: Andros II manual
Why Vinyl Records
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.
Inspired by RCA’s vacuum tube circuit designs from the 1930s, the Andros 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. You simply must hear it to believe it.
What is Andros?
Andros is a Greek Island, and the home of my grandmother’s family.
- The Circuit is specifically designed to provide sufficient amplification to match your cartridge with the rest of your system.
- Each unit is hand built “Made in the USA”.
- 50 hour factory burn in on all circuits and vacuum tubes.
- A low Noise level of -80 dBv below maximum output allows the quietest passages of you music to be heard.
- The output circuit is designed to drive your cables and isolates the output from the influence of the next stage.
- RCA connectors are high quality, Gold plated, recessed with an isolated ground.
- Isolated ground RCA connectors plus the Ground On/Off switch will allow you to choose the best ground configuration.
- Recessed RCA connectors are durable and will hold up to the typical Audiophile who loves to change their configuration.
- All switches and knobs are easily accessible, nothing hidden inside to adjust.
- Two position MM switch 47K and 15K Ohms to accommodate more cartridges.
- 10 position MC load switch from 20 to 1000 Ohms and more in the sweet spot above 200.
- Accommodates both high and low MC output cartridges
- Elegantly designed 16 gauge steel enclosure to help isolate the electronic “chatter” from nearby equipment.
- On/Off power switch conveniently mounted on front side panel
- Easy to read large type on back panel
Downloadable: Andros 1.2 manual
Inputs per channel
- Separate MM and MC inputs
- MM/MC switch
- MM impedance switch 47K or 15K Ohms
- MM capacitance 200pf
- MC Single Ended RCA with isolated ground or Balanced XLR3F
- MC ground on/off switch
- MC load impedance adjustable 1000, 800, 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100, 50, 20 Ohms
- MC Internal step up transformers
- MC High/Low switch with ~ -3dB gain for high output MC cartridges
Outputs per channel
- Impedance 10K ohms
- +8.5V max output level
- Four (4) Gold pin JJ ECC83S/12AX7 vacuum tubes with high quality gold pin ceramic sockets
- Newly designed internal power supplies using Toroidal transformers, 1 high voltage 300V and 1 low voltage 12V
- Ground binding post
- Power consumption 24W , 0 drain when off
- Voltage 100 to 120V AC 60Hz
- Optional factory installed 220V to 240V AC 50/60Hz
- Standard 3 pin IEC power connector
- ON/OFF power switch conveniently located on the front side
- Gain MM input 47dB
- Gain MC input 67dB
- Noise – 80dBv below max output level
- Frequency response complies with the original RIAA curve within +or- 0.5 dB
- RIAA curve is achieved using a passive filter
- 1% metal film resisters throughout
- Polypropylene capacitors throughout the audio path
- “Made in the USA” using US and imported parts
- Each unit is built by hand
- 50 hour factory burn in on all circuits and vacuum tubes
- Dimensions 17″ W X 12″ D X 5″ H
- Weight 20 lbs.
- 16 gauge zinc plated steel enclosure
- Two year limited warranty
- Six months warranty on Vacuum Tubes
The Best of the Best! Andros 1.2 Phonostage
The 12th Annual PFO Writers’ Choice Awards for 2015 by Mark Pearson
“The Andros 1.2 just does everything right. It is dynamic, it has gorgeous tonal colors, it throws a big and deep soundstage, and it’s super quiet. .” Read about the award
Andros 1.2 Phonostage
Mark Pearson – Positive Feedback – August 11th 2015
“I have had lots of phono sections in my system(s) over the years, but I have never had one this good or this quiet.” Read entire review
Andros 1.2 Phonostage- Positive-Feedback Online – April 2015…..
Robert H. Levi
“The new Zesto Audio Andros 1.2 Phonostage Preamplifier clobbers the original, and may just be the best piece of audio gear designed by George Counnas to date. ” Read entire review
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND BUYER’S GUIDE TO ELECTRONICS 2015
Download the guide scroll to see Zesto Audio on pages 74, 75 and 76.
Zesto Audio Andros phono preamp
Stereophile gives the Andros Phonostage a 2013 Class A Rating
Michael Fremer – Stereophile Analog Corner – March 2013
“…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 …”
Andros Phonostage PS1
TONEAudio – September 2012 Jeff Dorgay
“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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Zesto Andros PS-1
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.”
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!”
|Please note that this is not a complete list. This list is based on a survey of Zesto Audio dealers and customers. The other components of their system was not part of the survey.|
|MC Moving Coil|
|Manufacturer||Model||MC load range in Ohms|
|Dynavector||XX MK II||200||400|
|Ortofon||Royal GM MK II||20||100|
|Ortofon||GME MK II||20||100|
|Ortofon||CG 25 Mono||20||100|
|Shelter||501 MK III||500|
|Shelter||502 MK II||100|
|MM Moving Magnet and Moving Iron|
|Clear Audio||Virtruoso V2 Ebony||47K|
|Grado||Moving Iron-Platnium Signature||1000|
“When I was told that Zesto was upgrading the Andros 1.2 to the Andros II I was intrigued but really didn’t think there would be much difference to warrant an upgrade. Wow, was I wrong! Jeff from Reference Analog, in Oklahoma, brought over the new Andros II so we could do a side by side comparison. It was not a subtle change. As soon as the music started the difference between the two was immediate. The sound stage was wider and cleaner and the lower end had more punch and control. If you have heard the Andros before I know that statement is hard to believe. I have never heard an update to a component make this much of a difference. Jeff did not leave with the Andros II. Great Job Zesto!”
Clifton L. – Happy Customer – September 2020
What is the ESP Supply?
Click here for ESP Supply comparison specs
(Energy Source Power Supply) We named it the ESP Supply because it anticipates the energy needs of the music. The new ESP Supply unlocks the true potential of the circuit, so it is at ease and doesn’t have to work as hard. It allows more music to flow through with more detail. It also creates a more dynamic presentation, the quite passages are quieter and louder passages have more punch. The sound quality is an improvement throughout the frequency spectrum, so you have better clarity on the bass, midrange and highs evenly.
Here are the top 8 improvements:
- The transformer changes from an IE to a Toroid design, which generates significantly less noise because it does a better job of concentrating the magnetic field.
- The high voltage increases by 17% from 250V to 300V which provides more headroom.
- Dynamic range opens up with increases from 90dBV to 122dBV depending on the model.
- The ESP Supply is designed with bigger, fewer and heftier parts, which delivers more power with improved reliability.
- The rugged design of the ESP Supply makes it more resilient to power surges.
- Both the high and low voltage supplies provide more current, so it’s less restrictive to deliver more music.
- Maximum output level before clipping is increased up to 3V RMS, depending on the unit to allow more punch.
- In the Phonostages, the Noise level is 5 dBV quieter, which increases the black levels considerably.