EMIA Elmaformer (volume control) review

advanced101

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Has anyone compared the copper and silver Volume controls? What do you think?
 

bazelio

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I have. Silver wins easily for me. The best way I can describe is copper sounds a bit fuzzy in comparison to silver where the sound is so clean and clear. Bass from the silver has a bit more heft and slam too. That said, I still prefer the copper over active preamps.
 
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advanced101

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I have. Silver wins easily for me. The best way I can describe is copper sounds a bit fuzzy in comparison to silver where the sound is so clean and clear. Bass from the silver has a bit more heft and slam too. That said, I still prefer the copper over active preamps.
Does one excel at tone and/ or color than the other?
 
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CKKeung

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I have. Silver wins easily for me. The best way I can describe is copper sounds a bit fuzzy in comparison to silver where the sound is so clean and clear. Bass from the silver has a bit more heft and slam too. That said, I still prefer the copper over active preamps.
I did the comparison too.

I brought my Bent Audio copper balanced passive preamp to compare with the Emia silver single-end passive preamp (the left-sided one in the photos on #16 of this thread).
Both employ autoformers made by Dave Slagle, copper ones for my Bent Audio and silver ones for that Emia.

The silver Emia won easily in all aspects!
Particularly in terms of speed, dynamics and soundstage.
It also got more colour and density too.

IMHO it's 200% worthwhile to invest more to get the silver Emia instead of the cheaper copper version!
:D
 

bazelio

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Agree with pretty much everything @CKKeung said. Though I don't consider the silver to have more color, but it seems more transparent so as to allow more color gradations through whereas copper adds a familiar copper tone to everything. Either way, once you step up to an AVC or TVC, you'd better like your upstream components, because their character will be revealed like you haven't heard previously.
 

CKKeung

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Hello Bazelio,
Your description is more accurate than mine.
Thanks!

The silver Emia is more transparent, allowing the true characters of the upstream frontend components and cables to be expressed more easily.
 

advanced101

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I have a copper Elmaformer in the system now, courtesy of Jeffrey Jackson. Ill have to write about the story of him going above and beyond to amend my previous issues noted earlier in the thread.
Long story short, I love it. Now Ill have to decide where to go from here, maybe silver. I never understood channel separation until I popped this in against the EAR. I can follow piano keys across a tight center image. Before, the center image just was one image.
I can imagine strapping tubes to an AVC/ TVC could be an ultimate solution but something like that would be outside of this year’s budget after the Allnic. I think the first goal is do no wrong, which this AVC achieves.
 
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advanced101

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I have had the Silver Remote Autoformer for a few days. Trying to wrap my head around the differences. It sounds very different from the Copper Autoformer. Playing them back to back the Copper sounds so exaggerated. I never noticed this until comparing against the silver. There is a certain degree of realism and naturalness with the Silver. Acoustic guitar strings sound waaay too vibrant with the copper whereas the silver sounds just right. I also have a few Audience Front Row cables burning in, so that's next. I will agree that the copper AVC still betters my EAR868PL Preamp. I will also agree that the SIlver is worth double the price of the copper. This will likely be the last preamp I have for a long time. At least until I can spring for the Silver DHT :p
 

djsina2

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I have had the Silver Remote Autoformer for a few days. Trying to wrap my head around the differences. It sounds very different from the Copper Autoformer. Playing them back to back the Copper sounds so exaggerated. I never noticed this until comparing against the silver. There is a certain degree of realism and naturalness with the Silver. Acoustic guitar strings sound waaay too vibrant with the copper whereas the silver sounds just right. I also have a few Audience Front Row cables burning in, so that's next. I will agree that the copper AVC still betters my EAR868PL Preamp. I will also agree that the SIlver is worth double the price of the copper. This will likely be the last preamp I have for a long time. At least until I can spring for the Silver DHT :p

I had the copper and agree fully. Everything was so explosive in my system. It was fun to listen to, like a home theater, but it was almost too much of a good thing much of the time. I never heard the silver.
 
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bonzo75

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Hi, what's the difference in the AVC, the TVC, and the elmaformer?
 

bazelio

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The Elmaformer is just a Slagle AVC soldered to a 47-position Elma switch. So, ready to go as a complete volume control unit. It's what is used in the non-remote Emia. It's what I used in my DIY version.

An AVC is a less complex device than a TVC, with only a single set of windings and lower measured distortion most of the time. A TVC is a transformer with the usual primary and secondary windings.
 
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bonzo75

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Thanks. What happens in a remote emia?
 

bonzo75

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bonzo75

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The Elmaformer is just a Slagle AVC soldered to a 47-position Elma switch. So, ready to go as a complete volume control unit. It's what is used in the non-remote Emia. It's what I used in my DIY version.

An AVC is a less complex device than a TVC, with only a single set of windings and lower measured distortion most of the time. A TVC is a transformer with the usual primary and secondary windings.

So if one was to use the AVC in another preamp, it would be just the AVC, not the Elma former, to buy?
 

bazelio

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This report says the slagle AVC has a forward sound. Is this true for those of you who have tried this?

http://www.intactaudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1072
No. The AVC is revealing the rest of your system like no preamp will. My system is laid back generally speaking. Very dynamic though. I've had a very difficult time trying to associate any particular signature with the AVC over the years. Forward certainly is not it.

In the remote Emia, I don't believe there is an Elma switch involved. I believe there is a relay network being controlled instead. But I'm not sure.
 

djsina2

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I had the copper Elmaformer. I don’t know if forward is the right word. In my system it made everything so powerful and vibrant sounding. Incredible bass. Exciting. I do not listen to classical or jazz.
 
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bazelio

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When I had both the copper and the silver, I felt that I could attribute a signature to the copper more easily than to the silver. Bass, as djsina says, is excellent with both. You've got to get way up there in the active preamp world to match it, IME.
 
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advanced101

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I agree with the above. Not sure I could afford something that easily beats the Silver Remote former. I wonder what the TotalDAC drivers would do. I also would love to compare it against something like the CH Precision Pre. Someday.
 

CKKeung

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Thanks. What happens in a remote emia?
There are remote-capable AVC passive preamps models made by Emia.
Both non-remote and remote models employ AVC made by Dave Slagle (Slagleformers).

Inside the remote models, there are excellent relay mechanism remote relay system made by John of Bent Audio :
http://www.bentaudio.com/index2.html

safboth-s.jpg
 
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bonzo75

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So if one was to use the AVC in another preamp, it would be just the AVC, not the Elma former, to buy?
 

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