In the above picture the Emia Remote Autoformer is in the left hand corner of the second shelve. The box for the SoundSmith strain gauge cartridge is positioned in the other corner. My current reference front in is the Emia Remote Autoformer and the SoundSmith Strain Gauge cartridge. I also use the 47 Labs Midnight Blue CD Player Model 4735 for music not available on vinyl. I’ve never written a review of the Emia Remote Autoformer becuase the Emia is not always available and some effort to obtain. I should also mention that my Emia is a one off made with all silver autofromers for the RMAF a couple of years ago and at this time I far as I know it’s not a real world product. Matt at Pitch Perfect Audio once told me that a lot of audio products seemed to sound like they look and I have been surprised at how often this is true. In this case it is just the opposite.
Jeffrey Jackson and Dave Slagle created EMIA to fulfill the need for affordable high end audio components using clever design and quality parts. The unassuming chassis design and low ratio of manufacturing to retail cost make these products an exceptional value in high end audio. They like to say that EMIA is minimalism in chassis presentation and maximization in music presentation. That they have moved the bling from the outside to the inside. I like the minimalist look, but my son thinks it’s just ugly.
The Remote Autoformer provide seamless volume control from +7dB to -53dB in 1 dB steps. As an added bonus, there is a wonderful remote balance control in 1dB increments. Mine is wound with .9999 pure silver wound autoformers and has two inputs and parallel outputs.
I’ve owned some pretty fine preamps over the years from Audio Note, Audio Research, Placcette and Shindo. I have reviewed some great preamps from 47 Labs, Allnic, Electrocompaniet, Music First, Raven and Vacuum State Electronics. The Shindo preamps are the very best preamps I had ever used, but it seems a lot of that is the glory of their phono sections. The Emia is simply less colored and just as musical. The Emia is quicker, has more finesse, delicacy and is smoother sounding than any preamp I have ever heard at any price.