UK-Designed Icon Audio LA4 MkIII Tube Preamplifier Doubles-Down on Power Supply: Two Chokes in Double Pi Configuration Complement Western Electric 274B Rectifier Valve
Tremendous Warmth, Inky Black Silence Lead to Phenomenal Sound and Performance
A preamplifier without a first-rate power supply is about as valuable as the box in which it comes. Which is why Icon Audio double-downed on the power supply and associated design in its handmade LA4 MkIII line preamplifier. The all-triode component has two chokes in double Pi configuration, which translates into optimal smoothing and inky black silence. A Western Electric-designed 274B rectifier valve--the finest-sounding power valve on the market--adds to aural majesty.
Touting improved cosmetics, lower feedback, lower gain, and an enhanced circuit, the LA4 MkIII is a simple albeit profound-sounding single-stage unit followed by an output buffer. Icon employs three 6SN7 double-triode audio valves, 1940s vintage devices defined by their fluid character, large size, long life, and tremendous stability. Users can also experiment with modern types. Combined with the preeminent build quality (the heavy alloy and steel chassis looks and feels amazing), and you've a preamp that's made for long workouts.
Like all Icon amps and preamps, the LA4 MkIII is entirely point-to-point hand-wired and contains no printed circuit boards or transistors, which degrade valve performance and color the signals. It's all in the service of ensuring that you're hearing music in the finest-possible sound. In striving to attain the same goal, the approach allows for effortless upgrading to larger capacitors and provides for easy servicing.
A DC heater supply, remote control, high-quality 2W metal film and wire-wound resistors, Solen/SCR audio capacitors, four line inputs, tape monitor circuit and record output, and gold-plated input terminals are also standard. Icon takes any worry out of the purchase by providing a two-year parts-and-labor warranty as well as full service and support for the lifetime of the product. And, like all Music Direct products, the Icon Audio LA4 MkIII Tube Preamplifier comes with the 100% Music Direct Satisfaction Guarantee.
"It would seem that designer David Shaw has cracked the code for preamp excellence.... Tonal colors are reproduced with superb fidelity, vibrant and engaging. Dynamic shadings are nicely drawn out from soft to very loud, at times being nothing short of explosive.... The LA4's most compelling sonic attribute is tonal gravitas—an authoritative portrayal of the lower midrange, delivered with realistic timbral density. In all, the LA4 offers exceptional sound quality that does justice to the sonic promise of the 6SN7. Add superb build-quality and a bargain price, and you have our Tube Preamplifier of the Year Award winner."
—The Absolute Sound, 2021 Product of the Year Awards: Preamplifiers of the Year
- All hand-wired point-to-point
- No printed circuit board to 'colour' sound
- ALPs Blue motorized volume pot
- All Triode design
- 3x 6SN7 valves
- 274B Valve rectifier (also use GZ34/5AR4/5R4)
- Suitable for power amps 100mv-5v sensitivity
- High quality 2w metal film, & wire-wound resistors
- Solen/SCR audio capacitors (Jensen upgrade option)
- Silver PTFE audio cable
- Gold plated Input terminals
- Four line inputs
- Tape monitor circuit and record output
- Full instructions for valve change included
DC heater supply
Signal to noise level: -90db
Freq response: 20hz-20khz +0 – 0.1db
Total harmonic distortion: less than 0.1%
Gain: x4, 12db
Max input level: 5v for 20v output
Output impedance: 100Ω
C E compliant
Weight: 26 lbs.
Dimensions (WDH): 8.8" x 14.6" x 9" (7" without cover)
User Manual (PDF, 294 KB)