Jeffrey Jackson and Dave Slagle are about as far from ‘center’ in the world of audio as you can get. At the same time, if you’re around this world for very long you hear of them. For Jackson’s part, it may come when you are thinking of a horn system. (the Holy Grail of the indoctrinated) When you’re mating compression drivers to horns, the fellow designing your electronics better be a mad scientist; we’re talking flux capacitor time travel bright, because if there is even the mildest subtlest edge to the circuit, through 106-116 db sensitive horn speakers, it will sound like a cow patty has been placed in the mouth of the singer…at least compared to the sound from a perfectly executed 50 amp.
Dave is a natural counterpart to Jeffrey. Quality in iron is everything in a great tube design and Slagle lives for iron. Do you need an oversized output transformer for your DIY 211 amp? There’s only one guy to call. He’s also made great volume controls for the DIY community and OEM market. Do you want a field coil speaker-do you know what a field coil speaker is? Well, if you don’t, I could bore you with the scientific explanation, but for this space, let’s put it thusly; the magnet in the speaker is powered. It sounds better than about anything, and is no longer made because it’s damned pricey. Dave makes these too, because to make good iron you have to really know your magnetics; cobalt, nickel, permalloy, scrapings from from the hooves of goats from the top of the Himalayas, particularly Hector. The Emia Volume Control was recently called the finest passive preamp ever auditioned by Arthur Salvatore…and Arthur doesn’t hand out praise lightly.
For me, these guys are legend. Every 4 years or so Jeffrey will surface at an audio show, wipe the floor with everyone, and then disappear back into his laboratory. Everything they make is done by hand. To say that their work is in demand would be an understatement. In the past, there were likely three caveats:
When I heard that Jeffrey and Dave were putting out a line of products for the regular Joes and Jennys there was no question that I wanted to be a part of it. Their stuff has an industrial feel with a price/performance ratio that is imposing. I love the look, because I love industrial toys that harken back to theaters and Western Electric gear. To date, their products include a phono stage and two volume controls (one remote and one manual). In the works are an MC step up, a permalloy 50 SET, a Strain Gauge Phono, and a field coil MC cartridge.
So without further adieu, welcome to the world of Emia. You’re going to have oodles of fun here.