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The Cha’am is clearly not just one more integrated valve amp. With its very own style, even the dimensions are rather singular and the overall elegance of design and execution are fully W.A.F. certified. A 48mm pillar reinforces the sturdy anodized aluminium chassis at each corner which together with the acrylic front and cover bestow upon the device a mineral appearance and real piece of art status. Adjustable conical feet serve vibration isolations and are intended to sit upon an additional Perspex platform to prevent damage to any supporting surface. Obviously folks looking for discretion and minimum physical encumbrance are not Emillé’s chief targets here. But considering this valve amp’s sonic abilities, I could also turn this statement around and say that it is far more reasonable than for example a Convergent Audio Technology pre/power solution. Furthermore, if you are looking for upscale integrated vacuum tubes amplifiers, your choices are peculiarly limited. Personally I considered this Emillé more of a powerful high-end amplifier with several variable inputs than integrated.

The Cha'am runs in Class AB1 push-pull with ultra-linear connection in full dual mono layout in a fairly conventional circuit based on a balanced matched-pair EH 6DJ8/6922 input stage followed by 6 x NOS RCA 6350 paralleled triode drivers. The 70wpc output is generated by 4 x Tungsol 6550 pentodes whose bias is adjusted directly from the frontal meter. The UL-tapped output transformers are handcrafted with M6-grade laminations and contribute significantly to the Cha’am’s weight. The trafos are aligned under the rear cover, with the mains transformer at the center in a completely insulated sub section. This main tranny is a 370VA shielded and highly regulated toroid. The low-impedance power supply runs off separate windings for the preamp, phase inverter, driver and output stages. Audiophile parts include precision resistors, an Alps Blue Velvet pot, Jantzen Superior silver/gold coupling caps, silver-plated wiring and silver-contact relays. The design accepts both single-ended and balanced connections via Lundahl input transformers.

The amplifier has been conceived as a zero-feedback design and all magnetic components save for the Lundahls are wound in-house and tightly matched. For extended frequency response, Emillé specified bifilar windings around a proprietary core. Emillé’s designers generally rely on JJ and Sovtek for their small signal tubes but for the Cha’am we get Electro Harmonix for the input stage and NOS RCA drivers, Tungsol reissues for power. Tube rolling is encouraged and a really easy operation (except for making the actual valve choices) since the fixed bias is adjusted directly from the VU meter. One suitable upgrade might be ECC88 or good 6DJ8 for the input stage. On the rear panel, the Cha’am offers 3 unbalanced inputs and one balanced. The remote offers the essential three functions of input selection, volume and mute.

Declared specifications are a 0.3V RMS input sensitivity, 10Hz to 30KHz (±1dB) response, dimensions of 545 x 460 x 262mm WxHxD and net/gross weight of 44/72kg. Measurements provided by Emillé’s technical staff attest to a very reasonable level of overall low distortion and an amazingly flat frequency response to 45kHz.

The THD+noise graph at both the amplifier's outputs is stunningly linear and ends at a very acceptable level.  Vs 1kHz continuous output @ 4 ohms:

Vs 1kHz continuous output @ 8 ohms:

The 10kHz square wave shows minimal well-damped ringing.