Rega Aethos vs Aavik i-180 comparison

I have the Aavik d-180 dac partnering a Rega Aethos int amp. Really good performance with significant increases in sound stage , imaging ,detail retrieval and incredible bass delivery over the previous Pontus II dac. So, makes me wonder if acquiring an Aavik i-180 to replace the Rega Aethos would continue this positive upward trend or just not offer any significant improvements. Plenty of class D power with the i-180 vs the refinement factor with class A of the Rega Aethos. 

If anyone has compared these two amps head to head, please jump in and offer your insights. 


we are a dealer for Rega and were an Avik dealer

they are totally different sounding. the Aarvik has greater punch and clarity the Rega is slightly richer, the Aavik throws a wider soundstage and images appear out of a quieter background.


Dave and Troy audio intellect Nj.

rega dealer and former Aavik dealer.


Thx for jumping in audiotroy.

I recently purchased the d-180 dac from Aavik & immediately impressed with the sheer drive and delivery of this dac. Although richness of tonality is a forte of the Rega Aethos , it seems to be limited in terms of sound stage (quite narrow) but with reasonably good depth. 

From my initial listening to the Aavik sound print, it does lend itself well to good dynamics and a fun aspect to add to the genuine high end audio maker credentials. 


I agree with audiotroy's assessment of the Aavik amps. The dark/quiet background it offers is certainly one of the best I've heard to date. The soundstage with, depth, and imaging is quite tube-like and has similar warmth. But unlike tubes, the sound it makes is not colored -- which might be a no-go for some folks. For my tastes, the Aavik integrated amps check all the boxes though.

Lastly, I don't find the Aavik amps lacking in refinement. I use to own Luxman 590AXII which was one of more 'refined' sounding amps I had the pleasure of listening to. I find the Aavik to be just as refined if not more. But it adds more warmth and lowers the noise floor even more so compared to the Luxman .. IMO, of course :)

I concluded, the Aavik dac and Rega integrated amp are quite an impressive pairing. The immediate increase in forward momentum, transient attack and better sound staging over the Pontus II is quite evident. While the Rega Aethos provides a counterbalanced delicate touch and poise.  When added together, , this combination makes for a rewarding sound experience. As in I like what I am hearing and no temptation lingers in the minds eye for another upgrade anytime soon.