Aavik Acoustics R-580 Phono Preamp

“Scandinavian design with an international twist.” So says notable Danish company Aavik Acoustics about their R-580 phono preamp, so we figured we’d take a closer look at this cool unit before we head on into the extended holiday weekend ahead.

According to Aavik, the “key strength” of the R-580’s RIAA is “the sonic isolation of the ultra-low signals that emanate from the vinyl source, and the filtering out of any disturbing outside noise and vibration.”


Furthermore, the unit’s RIAA section is based on a discrete, floating balanced, ultra-low noise bipolar input circuit. That input circuitry is said to allow use of ultra-low noise bipolar transistors. By paralleling several transistor pairs, Aavik feels they have, quote, “created an absolutely quiet input section.”

Aavik also observes that the topology of a moving coil (MC) cartridge is a floating balanced signal generator, so the company decided to keep this topology concept in play throughout the R-580 phono preamp. The unit’s design philosophy follows the idea of “simplicity and minimalism” by featuring only a few buttons for “logical” operation, and its front face (seen in the photo of the R-580 at the very top of this story, and again in the one at the very end) offers a “huge” red display for ease of use and functionality.


The R-580’s cabinet design represents a core Aavik tenet. To eliminate potential sonic distortion, Aavik wanted to minimize the use of aluminium in the cabinet in order to ensure “sufficient” cooling. To that end, the company designed a natural-based composite material that is said to reduce “the mechanical influence, particularly the hysteresis.” To get to that point, Aavik says they looked into the design and construction of “musical instruments, both in terms of shape, as well as choice of material.”


Specs for the R-580 include a signal-to-noise ratio of 94dB at 1kHz, 62dB of gain, adjustable load impedance from 50Ω to 10kΩ, total harmonic distortion as <0.005% at 1kHz (0.5mV input), max input as 5Vrms, and output impedance as 120Ω.

Other R-580 features include 108 active Tesla coils, one pair of floating RCA inputs, one pair of RCA outputs, dimensions of 38 x 10.2 x 38.4cm (w/h/d), and a weight of 7.3kg.

The SRP for the Aavik R-580 is £20,000, or circa $25,280 at certain U.S. retailers (though the latter, U.S. dollar amount may vary).

For more about Aavik Acoustics, go here.
To find an authorized Aavik Acoustics dealer, go here.


eugeneharrington's picture

While not the norm with phono pre-amps, it is a little disappointing not to see a Balanced Output on this pretty costly design? I use an AYRE P5xe which is now quite 'elderly', but I keep it for the very reason that it has a set of Balanced Outputs. I recognise the rationale that the output from a MC Cartridge is balanced anyway, but nonetheless I would prefer a Balanced Output on a phono pre-amp at this price level, if only to eliminate noise, hum or radio interference. I guess I'll just have to wait for the folks in Boulder, CO to introduce a new phono pre-amp.

Glotz's picture

I find the lack of XLR connections surprising for a product like this. There MUST be a reason Aavik has though.