There is always something special about battery powered phono preamps. Sutherland is another brand that comes to mind but if want something from across the pond, the ASR Basis Exclusive is a top tier phono stage that offers an alternative to Sutherland. One thing for sure, the battery pack on the ASR is far bigger. It also accepts inputs from two turntables which ASR said its essentially two phono preamps in one chassis. All you need to do is use select which turntable you want to listen to via the front rotary knob and fine tuning the gain and resistive loading via DIP switches internally. This was by far, the quietest phono preamp we have used so far. The Sutherland phono preamps we have used so far were quiet too but the ASR was “darker”. Music also had a bit more weight, a bit more bloom and was more revealing in comparison. The ASR excels when a top tier turntable and more importantly, a top tier cartridge is used. So plan that in mind if you are considering getting the ASR.
This unit was a reference piece used by an Absolute Sound reviewer. It was recently sent back to ASR by the dealer where it underwent a complete battery replacement and a full “checked through”. So this unit works like new and will be good for many more years to come. We also have a less expensive unit in another listing that didn’t go through the factory check up at $3,900. Cosmetically, the unit looks really good. A few minor scuff marks that are very typical from use but nothing major. This is a two box shipment. Units will be securely packed for safe shipping.