Country of Origin


Emitter 1

This review first appeared in December 2019 on By request of the manufacturer and permission of the author, it is hereby syndicated to reach a broader audience. All images contained in this piece are the property of fairaudio or ASR – Ed.

Reviewer: Michael Bruss
Analog sources: J. Sikora Initial table with Kuzma Stogi Reference S12 arm and Transrotor Figaro cartridge
Digital sources: LinnenberG Telemann DAC, Norma Audio Revo DAC, Auralic Aries streamer, MacBook Pro
Integrated amplifiers: Linn Classik Movie II
Preamps: Norma Audio Revo SC-2 line, Neukomm MCA112S phono
Loudspeakers: Qln Prestige Three, Nubert NuPro A100
Cables: Gutwire Chime 3, EON-Z  and Synchrony 2 SE, Fastaudio Black Science,  Audioquest Yukon, fastaudio Black Science Phono, Graditech Kide 3 und Kide, JIB Boaacoustic Silver Digital Xeno USB, AudioQuest Vodka, Cinnamon Ethernet, Carbon RCA, Graditech Kide Digital
Cords and grounding: Audioquest Tornado, Gutwire SV-8, Gutwire G Clef 2, AudioQuest NRG, Gutwire Ultimate Ground
Rack: Roterring Belmaro 33 customized
Sundry accessories: Tsakiridis Super Athena power filter, YDOL Relax 60 and fastaudio absorber, Acoustic System resonators, The Gryphon Demagnetizer
Room size: 24.5m², 2.7m ceiling
Review component retail: €8'500 +

50kg net loaner. 4th-floor reviewer. No elevator. Usually that'd call for a delivery guy with motorized stair devil. But the ASR Emitter I makes life easier. This classic integrated spreads its weight over two boxes, each sized like a sea-going trunk.

Anyone terminally infected by the hifi virus knows just why. First introduced in 1982 and repeatedly updated since, already by 1984 this model had split into at least two chassis, namely a head unit and one external PSU for the Emitter I, two PSU for the 150kg Emitter, plus an optional battery bank for just the amp's input stage. If you aim for an Emitter I with batteries, you should eye the Emitter I Exclusive (54kg, €11'625) or the version which integrates them [80kg, €14'750]. But that's not the end of your decision-making decisions. To pick from, there's a blue front with matching LED, extra i/o, additional XLR, a see-through acrylic housing like above, chromed footers, upgraded line- and speaker-level connectors, gold-plated fuses and higher capacitance banks. If you can think of it, they probably already have it.

Which version did I get? My loaner was an ASR Emitter I Basic with one upgraded WBT 210cu RCA pair (€125 surcharge) aside from the remaining standard gold-plated brass jobs, an extra XLR input (€375) plus 'Blue Display' trim (€375). Nomen est omen, that entails a blue display with blue LED. With the two latter options having no aural effect, we can fairly base this review's sonics on the bill for an Emitter Basic + WBT RCA. That's €8'625 and in my book a surprisingly attractive figure given the packed tech that stashed in my hifi rack. But first, let's back it back out for a good look.

At 32kg, the external power supply hits the shipping tax hardest. Encased in immaculately worked thick steel sheet with a nicely engraved logo on top, the front is smoky acrylic to show off light-emitting diodes of different colors in the lower middle. For each channel, those indicate the operating voltages for the output, driver and input stages plus controller. These eight supply lines snake out from three transformers with 32 Schottky diodes for the regulators (56 such diodes with the Exclusive).