Price: $1,800
Carousell Store:

“This sense of specialness, of otherness, of breaking away from the fray, is a big part of the Japanese analogue scene. In a way, it explains why Aurorasound’s products don’t look anything like those of the country’s vast consumer electronics giants. While the latter are often gaudy and shiny, with lots of bells and whistles, the former are wilfully quirky and rather retro in a timeless sort of way. Stylistically the brand’s phono stages could pay homage to the ’50s, ’60s or ’70s – one is never quite sure.”

“Most ‘affordable’ phono stages are decent enough sounding, even if they don’t really dig deep into what’s at the bottom of the record groove. The VIDA Prima does better, however, with a particularly smooth tone and an open and detailed nature that’s a serious step up from a budget design. Typically, it delivers wide soundstages that are well proportioned front-to-back and, alongside its jaunty rhythmic gait, allows the music to come alive.”

“And because it has such good manners – with a conspicuous lack of noise or hum – there’s little sense of strain, regardless of the gain selected (the moving-magnet having only a slight advantage over the moving-coil input here). Either way, the VIDA Prima’s insight, grip and evenness means that whatever front-end you use or recording you play, the music will be offered up with a spirit of joyfulness.”

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