The Sira is a seriously good sounding tube preamp. It sits two rungs down from their $17,000 flagship Epifania but will just about rival anything out there that cost up to $12,000. When we had this pitch against BAT’s REX II preamp and Audio Research’s Reference 3 preamp, the Sira held its own and for the money, was a worthy challenger to the other two more established brands. It may be a bit less refined or detailed as the other two but for under $3,000 now, we can’t think of anything better. The thing we like about Emotive Audio Design is how attentive they have been on the music and how they have kept their focus on every section of the preamp, like the power supply, circuit design and the parts use (like the Blackgate “Heart of Muse” cap) to deliver that music. Design and features are on the over “simplistic” side with only two toggle switches – on/off and mute/play and two knobs to select the input and volume level. No remote circuitry to “complicate” the signal path. Tube complements on the Sira are;
Listening to the Sira on a dimly lighted listening room is the best way to enjoy it (in our opinion). The warm orange glow from those tubes just adds to the magical atmosphere with its smooth, clean and full bodied sound. Imaging was excellent and vivid when listening to vocals. It paired very nicely with a variety of solid state and tube amps that we have in the store. If you like audio pieces that are painstakingly made with love and no over the top egress in design and features, this may be for you where music is the core of its identity.
Cosmetically, the unit looks very good (except for minor “finishing touches” that comes with handmade pieces). Minor scuff marks here and there but nothing major. We don’t have the original box but will securely pack this for safe shipping. Original manual included.