Sneak peek: Charisma Audio’s upcoming Musiko phono stage

Bernard Li visited us here in Ancaster yesterday, mainly to deliver and set up a slightly different version of Pre-audio’s BT-1301 linear tracking turntable (review coming soon). But he also brought along a prototype of his new Charisma Audio ‘Musiko’ MM/MC phono stage. This unit is due to be available this fall, and is expected to retail for between $1500-2000 USD. The final power supply choices are still being decided, and the production version will also have a slightly larger faceplate, and no bare metal surfaces.


Prototype of the Musiko, alongside the Pre-audio BT-1301

Time was very limited, but – via the Charisma MC-1 mounted on the Pre-audio – we played the first couple of tracks from Bill Evans Trio’s famous Waltz for Debby (Analogue Productions), and it sounded wonderful – clean, detailed and rich, with a meaty low end. The Musiko also has a lot of gain, it should have no trouble driving systems that use passive preamps. This phono has been in development for some time, and is clearly a project of passion for Bernard, who has gained a large fanbase for his cartridges and has become known for his mastery of the analog arts. I have no doubt it will be a great success in its production iteration.


Bernard says the production version will have a black backplate, and a larger, thicker granite faceplate

Probably the best way to follow the Musiko’s status is to check out Charisma’s Facebook page. I’m looking forward to having the chance to do a full review in the near future.


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