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The only issue I had with the Emitter was that front and rear panel input labeling did not match. At first I thought my loaner was DOA when I connected DAC to CD input and had zero signal with the source selector turned to CD. CD was actually XLR and Ta was CD. ASR informed me that they had accidentally attached the wrong front panel to my review loaner. Since several input options are available, ASR will supply plates with matching labeling for whatever input options a customer might choose. In fact, ASR will customize the input names upon request. If you want the inputs to read 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C or anything else, ASR has you covered.

Rather than regurgitate the reams of technical information available for the Emitter series of amplifiers, point your browser here, here and here. You’ll find plenty of excellent photos of each Emitter model and probably more specs and technical information than you knew existed.

When first firing up the Emitter, it proceeds through a programmed check list after which it’s ready to rock. There are literally dozens of various programmable features accessible via the nice Corian remote’s Mode feature and confirmed by flashing LEDs on the front chassis panel. You can match input levels, trim balance, adjust the brightness of the front panel display and even adjust which LEDs light up during various operating modes. As mentioned above, you can also adjust the volume level at which the amp switches from energy-saving to full-power mode. I don’t recall ever seeing an amp with such a wide variety of user accessible features. It can be a bit daunting at first especially with four different settings on the power on/off knob. Reading the comprehensive manual will help somewhat. Unfortunately, the English translation requires a rewrite. Some portions were a little confusing and will no doubt prove frustrating to some. Furthermore, some of the info ASR sent me via the North American distributor, Musical Sounds only added to my initial perplexion.

While each Emitter is run in and tested prior to leaving the factory, ASR recommends a further 200 hours of steady use to stabilize all electronic parts. I left it on and casually listened for several weeks before critical listening. As Musical Sounds’s Zed Hussain wanted me to sample the Emitter’s balanced input option, he sent along a pair of $1.000/pr Accustic Arts Silverline XLR terminated balanced cables which I could use with the Cullen-modded PS Audio DLIII. As I didn’t have single-ended versions of the same Accustic Arts cables, it was impossible to make any sort of meaningful comparison. However, my sense was that the balanced inputs were a tad more punchy and vivid while the single-ended ones where a touch more relaxed and less upfront. I thought the Silverlines were excellent cables that matched well with the Emitter and were quite flexible and easy to route. Nevertheless, since my Audiomat Tempo 2.6 DAC sans balanced outs was the superior digital source by a wide margin, I mostly stuck with it and the single-ended cables on hand.