Lejonklou Gaio/2 MM Phonostage
Gaio is a standalone high quality moving magnet (MM) phono preamplifier.
Gaio is housed in a very compact black anodised aluminium enclosure that occupies 59 mm in height, 103 mm in width and 180 mm in depth.
It is available in a European, a British and a North American version. Hidden Systems only sell the British and European version.
Gaio replaces our best selling product KINKI3. It was for several years recommended by the american HiFi magazine Stereophile. Gaio started out as a fourth version of Kinki, but after a month of fine tuning its design, so many changes and improvements were made that a new name felt appropriate.
In April 2018, a new and improved version of Gaio was released; Gaio 2. It borrows some components from my top of the range Moving Magnet phono preamplifier Slipsik and also benefits from improved high frequency tuning of the circuit board – lessons I learned from working on the Tarandus upgrades of my pre and power amplifiers. Gaio 2 is also manufactured entirely in Sweden.
What makes Gaio remarkable?
• Optimisation: Gaio is manufactured of components that are measured and selected into small groups. This makes every unit perform at a higher level than we have previously been able to achieve.
• The circuit board: A careful layout has a large impact on sound quality. Gaio has step by step been evaluated with different layouts, until the best and most compact solution was settled upon.
• Power supply: The power supply of Gaio has been developed over a long time. The aim is to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the musical signal. The encapsulated transformer is hand soldered directly to the circuit board and the power cord. The power cord from Volex is three times more expensive than the cheapest alternative, but makes a big difference to the final performance. It must not be cut down or replaced!
• Enclosure: The small enclosure is optimally damped from the inside with 77 square cm of bitumen and important fasteners are tightened with a precision torque tool. The ground to chassis connection affects sound quality and its assembly is therefore specified in detail. The feet are chosen for best sound performance and are adjusted so that the case sits perfectly stable on a flat surface.
• Attention to detail: Common to all products from Lejonklou is an extreme attention to detail. Every product we develop is crafted by hundreds of listening tests. Even seemingly unimportant details are carefully evaluated. As often as possible we use blind tests, because they make difficult decisions easier. Everything we do and all the results from tests are written down and later studied in an attempt at finding another angle. When we have described our development process to colleagues at other companies, they have considered us mad. That’s OK. Mad attention to detail is the single most important factor when making a HiFi product that has the ability to let the music reach out and touch you.
Introduced in October 2013
Introduced in April 2018