It's one of the more affordable autoformer volume controls with remote not by motor-driven rotary. Execution is squeaky clean. Good-bye wiring of yesteryear's rat's nest. Pál's motto for 2020 is minimal shortest wiring for lowest noise. And there's more. "I'll still introduce the new Pro version with 67x1dB steps for +3/-72dB range, flexible connectivity, output selector with optional XLR i/o (balanced electronically or by twinned AVC pairs), multi-channel up to 8 channels for high-end active systems; and I'll stay affordable. I'd be very happy to ask for a review when that's out."

He'd signed this Pál the 'Passifist' from rainy Manchester. "I am even a pacifist" he'd added. "As a European immigrant to a 'great' and proud country, I do meet prejudice but I don't complain. It makes me even more determined."

Passive preamps inspire their own detractors and prejudices. So do their active brethren and sundry digital volume controllers. Racism exists in all walks of life. A solution like today's is for when you don't want redundant gain; when rather than add sonic effects, you want maximum resolution, clarity and compelling low SPL quality. That's where magnetic passives have a special edge over resistive types which burn off undesired signal and suffer impedance mismatches. As this 2017 TNT review shows, Pál and business partner Gary Gardner have been on the passifist path for a while. The icOn4 Pro promises to be their most ambitious effort yet.

Of course if your URL be passivepreamp.com, you kinda gotta – bring it.

Flash on that Tarrantino movie line. "Are you a Mexican or a Mexican't?"

The icOn should probably spell iCan. If you understand the passive and magnetic concept, nobody is being conned. It's a classic solution simply tricked out with all the mod cons.

Ah. There's the explanation. In the age of the i-generation, icOn must be short for convenience: I give you all of the purity plus all of the creature comforts. Cue applause.

Well played, Pál.

In 2007 when I reviewed this Music First Audio passive, its purely manual operation, absence of balance, display, mute or other niceties plus its red lace-work tangle of long wires was considered the epitome of purity.

2020 users will look at it now, shake their heads, mutter hair shirt or some other hairy expletive, then not give the concept a second thought. It's where Pál's modernization far eclipses even Bespoke's rethink of their earlier work for MFA. Stepped selector switches with their limited positions are so passé. Motorizing them to add remote is clunky. What about a display, input level matching, instant mute and other current essentials?

Where Bespoke add chassis bling like engraved cowls, gold plating and customized input marks, Pál spends your coin on features whilst significantly shortening his signal paths for best performance. He also switches taps with silent Fets or 48 hermetically sealed reed relays (your choice), not stepped rotaries. Perhaps that's why he owns that self-assured URL? He also owns tvcpreamp.co.uk!