ARIES CERAT IANUS ESSENTIA REVIEW PART 1

I try to avoid hyperbolic language and words as much as possible. It's too easy to fall into excess and create a universe of exaggeration where each new iteration of writing becomes just another exploration of flowery language. Still... This time I will not hold back my excitement, going a paper tiger in full. 

I have known Stavros Danos for a very long time. It should have been over a decade and I distinctly remember his early explorations of "out of the box" ultra-high-end creations. He came a long way with his brand and products. Way farther than some of the competitors expected of would love to. 

I have my deep respect for how he chose the uncertain path and not traded it for the high-level, well-paying job already on offer in the aerospace industry while being on the crossroad. At the time the path was unclear, but 10+ years later he has managed to become one of the most daring and outlandish high-end audio designers. 

With each new product, I have had the pleasure of experiencing with my own hands, there are a clear evolution and progress. Not only in sonic performance, but also in bold and unexplored ideas. 

When Danos told me about the new Ianus line and shared his enthusiasm, I was naturally interested, but somehow could not concede his excitement. Until the Aries Cerat, Ianous Essentia Triodefet power amps came along. Now I cannot keep my enthusiasm bottled :). 

Hours of listening and a sleepless night are behind me and I am still trying to grasp what I am experiencing. So what is the special thing that keeps me high octane?

Essentia is a full-blown sonic chameleon. Imagine a multitude of different amplifiers in a single box, with the ability to permute the inner core so that the amplifier can sound completely changed and match the surrounding system. Yes, there were a few amps that explored the singular particular ideas to a certain degree, but nothing so far, that I know off came even remotely close.

This is possible because of the unique "virtual" element that I am slowly trying to understand. I have been around and done my share of soldering, but I can not even remotely fathom Danos' genius.

The Essentia allows two different types of tubes to be used at the same time. Danos supplied Valvo 280,  Siemens 282F, and 280F tubes. Up to nine different equivalent tubes from the same family can be used and mixed. The circuit is designed to accept tubes of the same type as well as two different tubes or a single tube at one time. This requires setting the current, which is a simple matter once you get used to it. The dual-display on the front always shows current and current idle percentage status.  

The Triodefet is a virtual active element. Before the creation of this element, a single stage single ended amplifier was not possible.

So with about nine types of compatible tubes, there are about 81 tube combinations.

To get even deeper into fringe science. The tube curves are copied and magnified when a single tube is used.when dual are used, the curves are combined, then copied and magnified

But, that's not all. There is another unusual feature that has been seen but not implemented in this form. Essentia offers four different feedback settings.;0 dB, 6 dB, 12 dB and 16 dB. 

Here another realm is opening, with tinkering with the sphere of second-order harmonics and more. More is not disclosed as it is a business secret, but it's not the typical feedback adjustment, that could be found elsewhere. 

And. there's more. The two settings of current (T1 and T2) is adjusted for each tube combination. 

T1 sets the amount of current and T2 is a percentage of a given quiescent current. The factory recommended settings are providing the optimum operating point of the tube or tube combination. From there, the sonic discovery and journey begin. Even a small readjustment of the current and current idle percentage creates a different sonic imprint and changes the character of the Essentia. 

It's mind-blowing how many sonic permutations Aries Cerat Essentia amp allows, and so far my dopamine and adrenaline levels are constantly high, thrusting me to explore as much as possible and share my experiences with you. 

With all the combinations Essentia allows, new circuits can be virtually created that were not possible before and I am completely blown away by the effect. 

It's not like I am theorizing about different types of sound impressions. With the various combinations, I have already managed to morph through a staggering amount of different new virtual combinations, all of which produce an instantly remarkable and easily identifiable sonic signature. 

Most strikingly, these results do not sound the same at all or offer a slight change. They sound like completely new and different amps. 

I am not sure what Dano's original idea was with Ianus Essenta and its bigger brother Gemini, but Essentia is an extremely flexible amp that acquaints something that is both evolutionary and revolutionary. 

There have been a few attempts at similar ideas, but I have yet to see or use anything that even comes close to the simplicity and directness of the Essentia. 

We always talk about simplicity and purism in high-end audio.  As simple as possible is always the forte of any purist, but even for Aries Cerat, such an approach has not been possible before. By implementing an active virtual element, extremely high linearity is achieved in combination with a high voltage gain, high current gain, and very high input impedance, delivering a purity that can be actually used within different audio systems. The Essentia as the name implies essential and consists of only one TriodeFet stage fed directly and is used as a simple SE amplifier. It uses only the "Essense" of the Ianus series technology.

There are already numerous inquiries about the Aries Cerat Essenta amps. I am sure that after reading this initial description, you will have a clearer view and realize the compelling quality of the Essentia. 

To put it shortly. It is a dream device. Not just for the reviewer, where every new component or wiring disrupts the system synergy and brings a new equation. There is always a long road to find the right system fit when such a thing occurs. 

With Aries Cerat Essentia I can imagine distributors loving this kind of music machine because they can practically show how it can change the sound hands on. Perhaps even more importantly, the professional can adjust the Essentia on-site at the customer's home at the coveted performance level and find a proper system synergy. 

Whatever the setting, the familiar and much appreciated Aries Cerat leitmotif is preserved at all times. Yes, it can sound like an Aries Cerat amplifier, like a tube amp, solid-state amp. Yes, it has the well known and appreciated Aries Cerat fine upper-level resolution, the firm instantly locking lower range, and the unsurpassed system gain. Still. It doesn't really like any other Aries Cerat amplifier. 

Aries Cerat Essentia power amplifiers come with a genuine grande sonnerie quality, that by each minute reflects in the pure music intake, unlike anything I've come across so far. 

Like all of the Aries Cerat products, Essentia is brazen and unapologetic in its raison d'être. I'm both smitten and struck by the Essentia juxtaposition ability to offer a made to measure subjective reality so riveting. 

Every change attracts immediate, non-forcing attention, and Essentia is literary of all stripes. In its diversity, the stars align easily never in the harm of resolution, speed, dynamism, and most importantly the music.  

What can I say? Despite the crazy times we live in, 2021 started amazingly exciting. 

So how does the Triodefet sound like. Ghastly realistic, utterly believable and with a staggering sonic density. Stay tuned for more. 

Matej Isak

PRICE

  • 39.000 EUR (with VAT)
  • 1200 EUR TVC input 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Power delivery: 40W at 8ohm, 65-75W at 4ohm (depending on T2 bias)
  • Frequency response at full power: -3db at 5Hz and -3db cut out(limited)at 80khz

CONTACT 

Aries Cerat LTD

52 Vasileos Pavlou A’

Limassol, 3052

Cyprus 

Web: http://www.aries-cerat.eu

Email: info@aries-cerat.eu

Fax: +357 25565916

Mobile: +357 99307099