Aurorasound VIDA MK.II Phono Stage
Aurorasound VIDA Mk.II Vinyl Disk Amplifier
After 10 years on the market Karaki-san released a new, improved version of his outstanding, highly praised phono stage - the Aurorasound VIDA Mk.II.
State of the art semiconductor technology (LCR-type network) and innovative technology combined with old-world craftmanship makes this phono amplifier outstanding in many respects.
- Adopted LCR type RIAA device. Unlike conventional NF & CR type for RIAA curve, VIDA uses L (coil) to generate precise RIAA curve, resulting in much fulfilling midranges
- With use of the latest semiconductor devices and discrete amplifier circuit, it achieved a complete DC circuit design. As a result, capacitors in the signal path were completely eliminated
- High resolution in the low frequencies and reduced distortions, it enables you to enjoy vivid music hall atmospheres coupled with the players positioning on the stage
- A large-size MUTE switch together with other functions are aligned in the front panel for improved man-machine interface for user-friendly operation
- High S/N ratio was achieved with use of an external power supply unit, having extremely stable and super low-noise and high–speed circuits
- Compatible with MC and MM type cartridges. High/Low Impedance Selector switch on the front panel.
Useful functions for analog playback...
MC/MM Selector, MC Impedance Selector, Direct/Subsonic Filter, Stereo/Mono Selector, and demagnetizing function are featured. All the functions plus a large-size mute switch are placed on the front panel for user-friendly configuration. Each selector uses a sealed small-size signal relay for high reliability and stability. Also, highly durable rhodium plated RCA terminals are employed to ensure very low level signal paths are warranted without any loss.
Precision DC circuit with the latest semiconductor technology...
...eliminated all capacitors in the signal path. It enabled a completely flat frequency response without any coloration across the entire audible range. The active DC servo circuit permits absolutely stable outputs regardless of fluctuations in the inputs and operating temperature. Especially, resolution and distortion in low frequency are improved significantly, therefore, you will be able to even sense and feel the atmosphere of the music hall, performers and the staging. The power supply uses toroid transformer, Schottky barrier diode which allows ultra-low noise. Any leakage flux noises are completely eliminated with use of a separate power supply by employing high-speed semiconductor-based stable power supply circuit.
LCR Type RIAA device...
Unlike conventional NF and CR type, an ideal circuit design with constant impedance LCR-type RIAA circuit is used. As a result, across the entire frequency range, RIAA curve correction is achieved with constant condition. In the past, vacuum tubes were used with a large chassis, but VIDA managed in a compact size thanks to the latest semiconductor technologies. Each component is placed according to the signal flow in symmetrical and the shortest route. The equalizer circuit uses the renowned Swedish Lundahl filter-coil, which is widely used in the professional equipment, for turnover and roll-off independently.
Small signals recorded on the vinyl disc must be precisely restored to a flat response using (L) coil and CR network circuit, which go through the RIAA curve having attenuated lows and boosted highs. At the same time, it must be amplified by roughly 1,600 times (In case of MC cartridges). Since amplification is very large, any noises from the power supply and the circuits must be reduced to the possible minimum. VIDA managed to achieve very high S/N ratio due to a careful selection of the components, circuit design and PC board pattern configurations.
Awards of the original VIDA Mk.I version:
Most Wanted Component 2016 Award by "The StereoTimes" magazine January 2017
Most Wanted Component 2014 Award by "The StereoTimes" magazine January 2015
Product of the Year Award by "HiFi Review" magazine December 2013
Recommendation Award by "HiFi-Critic" magazine (UK) July 2013
Highly Commended Award by "Hi-Fi News" magazine (UK) May 2013
Best Buy and Critics Applause Award by "Stereo Sound" magazine winter 2012
Technology of the Year 2012 Award by "MJ Musen-to-Jikken" magazine Dec. 2012
Analog Grand Prix 2013 Award by "analog" magazine winter 2012
Audio Excellence 2013 Award by "Audio Accessory" magazine winter 2012
Reviews of the new VIDA Mk.II:
Kermit Heartsong of AudioKeyReviews writes (November 2023):
"...the Aurorasound VIDA MK.II phono stage is simply a wonderful piece of playback gear. It had no flaw that I could put my finger on, sonically or ergonomically. It looks amazing, is built with precision and craft, and has more features than most vinyl enthusiasts are accustomed to. Clearly, founder and designer Shinobu Karaki's 30 years of experience with Sony and Texas Instruments has paid off in his circuit designs. The real wood enclosure, which can also be ordered in black, is the icing on the cake..."
CLICK HERE to check out AudioKeyReviews Best of 2023 Winners
Ken Kessler of Hi-Fi News wrote:
"...Aurorasound’s VIDA MkII might be classified as a cult product due to its esoteric origins, but it is nothing of the sort. This delicious little phono amp is ergonomically ideal, comprehensively equipped, beautifully made and – as our review reveals – is as sweet sounding as deserved of the finest analogue systems. Fresh out of the box, it caressed everything from budget MMs to £5k-plus MCs. It’s a delight!" CLICK HERE to read the entire review
Jerry Seigel of 10Audio.com wrote:
"...the VIDA Mk.II sets a very high bar for sonic performance and is an even better value than the lower cost VIDA Prima. This is a very truthful, very neutral, high resolution and enjoyable phono preamplifier. The VIDA Mk.II is an excellent performer, offering more than a suggestion of the best phono preamps. Anyone shopping for a phono stage under about $20k might be surprised at this unit’s truly excellent and musically satisfying abilities. The VIDA Mk.II could possibly let you delete the word 'upgrade' from your thoughts..." CLICK HERE to read the entire review
Reviews of the original VIDA Mk.I version:
Darren Henley of thenewworld.co (August 2019):
"...the VIDA displayed its considerable chops by delivering 3D images that fluttered across the stage, tactile and perfectly saturated mids, and then dropped low-frequency charges that I felt in my chest..."
CLICK HERE to read the entire review
Jason Kennedy of hifiplus.com (January 2018):
"...the Aurorasound VIDA is a very easy phono stage to enjoy. It makes the most of all manner of cartridges and turntables, emphasising the qualities of each, and letting you forget about the mechanics. It won’t be the first choice of those looking for maximum bandwidth, but it does offer a lot of tube charm without the noise and hum issues often associated with the breed. Just as importantly, it is very nicely built. If the company could just find a Leben style badge, it could be a worldwide hit!"
CLICK HERE to read the entire review
Dirk Sommer of HiFiStatement.net (July 2017):
"...with the Vida, Aurorasound offers a phono amplifier that can, within wide limits, be adapted to your individual requirements. The housing design is almost as independent as the circuit topology. The sound of the Vida is completely convincing. It is a true “emotion machine” - and at an unrivaled price: a very hot tip!"
CLICK HERE to read the entire review (in German)
Clement Perry of The StereoTimes (January 2017):
"...Key Kim's 2014 MW award and subsequent review (here) piqued my interest in this elegantly built phonostage from Japan. The Aurorasound VIDA incorporates state-of-the-art semiconductor technology (LCR-type network) and old-world craftsmanship to create a top performing phono amplifier. I concur wholeheartedly with Key's sonic descriptors: "...its black background is what sets the stage for its remarkable resolution, openness, and harmonic integrity..."
CLICK HERE to check it out
Marja & Henk of 6moons.com wrote:
"...in conclusion, your two tube fanciers here were very impressed by what Karaki-san has designed and built up with just transistors. Fortunately there's a tendency for current LP releases to differ from the CD and streaming releases of the same recording. The latter two are prone to dynamic compression whilst the analog version rejoices in the full dynamic headroom. With a phono stage like the Vida, all of vinyl's hidden treasures are revealed fully and out in the open yet the phono stage itself stays courteously in the background like the perfect butler with white gloves..."
CLICK HERE to check out the entire review.
Key Kim The StereoTimes USA (August 2015) wrote:
"...I could tell immediately the VIDA’s noise floor was very low, allowing the music to emerge infused with very detailed information... Bass performance was excellent with very deep extension, definition, and control. Pitch in the lowest octaves was accurately defined and to my delight the VIDA was able to delineate the contrabass pizzicatos and bass guitar snaps brilliantly with outstanding speed, pace and drive...The VIDA’s ability to illuminate timbre and detail was excellent. While rich and full, instrumental textures were not too ripe or romanticized. Attacks were fast and sharp, yet lively. Equally the midrange was impressive. The human and instrumental voices were reproduced naturally in a well- balanced texture, body, and tone. The voices were wonderfully rendered with revealing detail and nuance, providing for an extremely organic and involving presentation..."
CLICK HERE to check out the entire review.
Key Kim, The StereoTimes USA (January 2015):
"...the elegantly built VIDA incorporates state-of-the-art semiconductor technology (LCR-type network) and old-world craftsmanship to create a top performing phono amplifier. I’m really enjoying my vinyl collection immensely with the VIDA; its black background is what sets the stage for its remarkable resolution, openness, and harmonic integrity..."
Read the entire review
Nick Tate, Hi-Fi News UK (May 2013) concluded:
"...this quintessentially Japanese slice of analogue exotica is artfully engineered to give a coruscatingly incisive and detailed sound, yet one that’s genuinely musical too. Impressively devoid of noise, it provides a wide open window onto the vinyl groove yet it never sounds coldly forensic or overly romantic. The VIDA should win many friends here, as it already has in Japan..."
Read the entire review
Kohji Yamamoto, Stereo Sound Japan (Fall 2012) wrote:
"...stunning three-dimensional, excellent depth - it makes each tone fuller and richer... It produced not only tight drums and bass but also a massive scale and spectrum which you could almost feel vivdly with your hands... I was impressed with the spatial dimension in which vocals and chorus harmonized togehter. The realistic illustration of percussion was also astonishingly impressive. I fell in love with this phono stage amplifer immediately, I personally recommend the VIDA to those who would like to seriously indulge in analog playback." Read the entire review
Mal Kenney, Part-Time Audiophile - THE Show Newport Beach (June 2013):
"...it’s dead quiet, it soundstages about as well as any solid state, and it has the propulsive impact that only LCR stages seem to bring to the table. On top of that, it’s small, it’s friendly, and it’s adjustable from the front panel. I’ve heard this a few times now, and its signature is one of easy authority..."
1x MM Gain 40dB 47kOhm, 1x MC Gain 65dB (comp: High 10-100Ohm, Low 0.6-10Ohm)
|Output:||Line Level, unbalanced RCA, optional XLR balanced (+$1000)|
|RIAA Deviation:||10Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.25dB|
|THD+N:||0.025% - MC - A-Weighted|
|Input Noise:||-138dBV MC|
|Dimension:||60mm x D250mm x H100mm 3kg (Main Unit)
W114mm x D200mm x H70mm 1.4kg (Power Supply Unit)
|Power Supply:||AC 100V-120V 50-60Hz, Max 40W|