EMIA Elmaformer (volume control) review

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
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Hey folks, I am in the market for passive preamp and wondering if somebody has compared the Emia to others, like the Wyred4Sound STP-SE or the Hattor/Khozmo ? How is the Emia remote autoformer different from the well regarded Bent Audio tap-x avc-1 pre ?
Hi Devg,
The Bent Audio AVC-1 has been discontinued.
John of Bent Audio now concentrates in making remote mechanism for other brands.
I think my own full-balanced AVC-1 is his last piece. There are 4 copperSlalgeformers inside :

View attachment 71030

So if you want a Slagleformer-based preamp, Emia is the only choice.

BTW I personally think that amongst all passive preamp, those employing AVC or TVC give better sonic performance than other varieties of mechanism.
IMHO only of course.
It is not the only choice, I am ordering an Icon audio preamp with slagle autoformers inside. Fully balanced with 4 slagle autoformers.
Thanks for reminding.
I forgot the currently very hot iCON!
Haha
 
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Devg

New Member
Feb 17, 2020
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It is not the only choice, I am ordering an Icon audio preamp with slagle autoformers inside. Fully balanced with 4 slagle autoformers.

Icon audio is cheaper by quiet some. Anybody know the difference between Emia and Icon ? Which one will you be ordering ICON 2 or ICON 4 ?
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
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@CKKeung thanks for the info. I am familiar with Bent Audio moving to OEM work solely. His DIY kits were great when he had them. Many expensive pre uses dave slagle autofomers inside, one example

Icon preamp seems another choice for the price. Do they offer Silver version as well ?
Yes, customers can order silver version from icOn.
Actually Mr. Pal Nagy is friendly and entertain specific config/requests if they are technically feasible.
Please talk with your local dealers or with Pal directly.
 
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kodomo

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Apr 26, 2017
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Icon audio is cheaper by quiet some. Anybody know the difference between Emia and Icon ? Which one will you be ordering ICON 2 or ICON 4 ?
As far as the list prices goes, the Emia Remote Autoformer is 3900usd and it corresponds to iCon 2 which is about 2450usd (1900gbp) and silver option costs roughly double for both.

I will be getting a balanced version from iCon which is called iCon Pro 4 I guess and costs 3850usd (2999gbp) but Pal will add an unbalanced input with a Lundhall transformer behind it if one day I get an unbalanced source or may like to try something that is unbalanced.

The autoformers are from David Slagle but Pal told me these are built custom for him so they may be differing but I do not know to what extent.
 
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CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
2,368
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Hong Kong
As far as the list prices goes, the Emia Remote Autoformer is 3900usd and it corresponds to iCon 2 which is about 2450usd (1900gbp) and silver option costs roughly double for both.

I will be getting a balanced version from iCon which is called iCon Pro 4 I guess and costs 3850usd (2999gbp) but Pal will add an unbalanced input with a Lundhall transformer behind it if one day I get an unbalanced source or may like to try something that is unbalanced.

The autoformers are from David Slagle but Pal told me these are built custom for him so they may be differing but I do not know to what extent.
Yes, Pal can entertain diff requests.

Here are two versions of the icOn 4 and the lower one is ordered by the Hong Kong dealer for a customer :

20200928_184844~2a.jpg

IMG-20201031-WA0013_2.jpg
 

musklvr

New Member
Aug 11, 2020
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Here is the rear panel of my icOn4 pro model 3. Balanced in out, unbalanced in out, balanced to unbalanced converted electronically. Two autoformers. Tape out.
Icon 4 Pro model 3 rear panel.jpg
 
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bazelio

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Sep 27, 2016
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I wonder why balanced to unbalanced is converted electronically? This ceases to be a passive device in that case. Icon had also recently decided to add a FET device for source switching in lieu of relays. This would add another active component. In the case of the Emia, the signal path is fully passive, even in the remote controlled version.
 

musklvr

New Member
Aug 11, 2020
7
4
3
66
I wonder why balanced to unbalanced is converted electronically? This ceases to be a passive device in that case. Icon had also recently decided to add a FET device for source switching in lieu of relays. This would add another active component. In the case of the Emia, the signal path is fully passive, even in the remote controlled vbelersion.
From the article in 6moons on the icon (https://6moons.com/audioreview_articles/passivepreamp/4/) Pal will build a fully passive system if the customer asks for it. He thinks the electronic solution is sufficient, but without a head to head measurement, it is opinion.
The icon replaces the preamp stage of a Luxman L-507u. I can only say that when fed from a Soundsmith SG-200 the result is crystal clear neutrality with excellent imaging from speakers or headphones. Equally true when fed from a Meitner Ma-1 v2.
 
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bazelio

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Sep 27, 2016
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From the article in 6moons on the icon (https://6moons.com/audioreview_articles/passivepreamp/4/) Pal will build a fully passive system if the customer asks for it. He thinks the electronic solution is sufficient, but without a head to head measurement, it is opinion.
The icon replaces the preamp stage of a Luxman L-507u. I can only say that when fed from a Soundsmith SG-200 the result is crystal clear neutrality with excellent imaging from speakers or headphones. Equally true when fed from a Meitner Ma-1 v2.
Ah another Strain Gauge owner. @spiritofmusic will be excited to meet you. . Enjoy the Icon.
 

mr-particle

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2012
29
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345
Germany
From the article in 6moons on the icon (https://6moons.com/audioreview_articles/passivepreamp/4/) Pal will build a fully passive system if the customer asks for it. He thinks the electronic solution is sufficient, but without a head to head measurement, it is opinion.
The icon replaces the preamp stage of a Luxman L-507u. I can only say that when fed from a Soundsmith SG-200 the result is crystal clear neutrality with excellent imaging from speakers or headphones. Equally true when fed from a Meitner Ma-1 v2.
Just have received today my early Christmas present: icOn 4 PRO fully balanced with 4 silver wired autoformers.
The conversion unbalanced to balanced is made electronically for input 6 and with silver wired Lundahl transformer for input 5.
 

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microstrip

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May 30, 2010
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Just have received today my early Christmas present: icOn 4 PRO fully balanced with 4 silver wired autoformers.
The conversion unbalanced to balanced is made electronically for input 6 and with silver wired Lundahl transformer for input 5.
Can I ask what ratios you using in the LL 1948ag?
 

Lee Henley

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2014
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England, UK
Just have received today my early Christmas present: icOn 4 PRO fully balanced with 4 silver wired autoformers.
The conversion unbalanced to balanced is made electronically for input 6 and with silver wired Lundahl transformer for input 5.
Looks a nice pre amp, look forward to hearing your thoughts on the performance in your system
 

kma

Well-Known Member
Jul 6, 2015
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Has anyone compared the Townshend Allegri Reference with a Slagle silver based AVC preamp like the EMIA or the Icon? I'm wondering how Townshend's "fractal" copper wire compares to the silver wire approach used by Slagle for his autoformers. I hear a lot of votes for silver vs. copper on the Slagle, which is expected, but I have no experience with Townshend's claim to fame "fractal" processed wire. I'm leaning towards a silver Slagle, just because I have experience with the virtues of silver. Thanks!
 

musklvr

New Member
Aug 11, 2020
7
4
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66
Just have received today my early Christmas present: icOn 4 PRO fully balanced with 4 silver wired autoformers.
The conversion unbalanced to balanced is made electronically for input 6 and with silver wired Lundahl transformer for input 5.
Could you give an update on your impression of the Lundahl vs electronic conversion? Very interested if the upgrade makes enough of a difference to push me in this direction.
Thanks
 

mr-particle

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2012
29
13
345
Germany
Could you give an update on your impression of the Lundahl vs electronic conversion? Very interested if the upgrade makes enough of a difference to push me in this direction.
Thanks
Due to ongoing renovations in our house, I actually still have only my digital sources up running.
This is a Nagra HD DAC and a totaldac d1-12 mk.I.
With the Nagra HD DAC I have compared the Lundahl transformers with the Nagra (output) transformer, but not the electronic conversion.
With the totaldac d-12 mk-I, I have used both inputs of the icOn, the one with the conversion by the Lundahl and the electronic one.
But I have to say, that the totaldac d-12 without a buffer in the output followed by the Lundahl and then by the icOn autoformers is not a good match and it was no question, that the electronic conversion was superior.
Here I want to underline, that this comparison will not count, at least for me, due to the buffer less output of my totaldac.
I also have now purchased from Vincent 2 d1-driver mono, which just arrived 10 days ago.
The d1-driver mono are coming with a balanced XLR and a RCA SE output.
But due to a high work load I just have started to listen with the d1-driver conneted to the icOn via XLR a few days ago.
I hope to find time over the Easter days to compare the Lundahl input of the icOn with the electronic conversion using the totaldac d1-12 / d1-driver mono upstream with SE RCA connection.
This I also will repeat with the SE output of my Nagra HD DAC after it has returned from Nagra, where it is just getting an upgrade to the Nagra Tube DAC.
Later, in a few weeks, I also will have my phono stages up running again, which in a part are also having SE outputs giving another comparison.
Sorry that I can’t answer your question by now sufficiently.
 
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KyoichiOda

Member
Feb 10, 2021
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Since the best preamp I've ever listened is Bespoke copper version,
I am very interested in EMIA or icOn silver version at reading this thread.
Have anyone compaired them with Bespoke silver version?
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
2,368
1,812
630
Hong Kong
Since the best preamp I've ever listened is Bespoke copper version,
I am very interested in EMIA or icOn silver version at reading this thread.
Have anyone compaired them with Bespoke silver version?
I am a Bespoke Ultimate Silver user.
Please read the following thread. It's long but can answer most of your questions.

 

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