UK Design Doubles-Down on Power Supply in Handmade Unit: Two Chokes in Double Pi Configuration
Utilizes Western Electric 274B Rectifier Valve, Finest Such Device on Market
Tremendous Warmth, Inky Black Silence Equal 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 for 2013, 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.
That's how it should be, and while most competitors don't go to such
extremes, Icon is happy to do so.
Icon Audio gear is engineered in the UK and manufactured in China, with
final assembly and checking done in the UK. Warranty on all Icon Audio
pieces is 2-year, parts and labor. Tubes are warranted for one year on a