EMF Audio was a brand that Mike Creek (from Creek Audio fame) setup back in the early nineties that was priced a bit more than the budget price Creek brand. The Crystal is a dual purpose unit – DAC and digital preamp. It has three digital inputs – two coaxial and one optical and through its variable output (other is a fixed output), you can hook the DAC directly to an amp. The onboard Delta Sigma DAC is actually very good sounding. The volume pot is very neutral (almost like a passive preamp) and actually sounded better than a couple of integrated amps that we tried the DAC with through its fixed output. Music was pretty transparent with good soundstaging and detail. Compared to other similarly priced DAC like the PS Audio DLIII, the Crystal has a slightly more natural, less “glaring” sound than the PS Audio. For the price and its rarity in the used market, this is quite a steal.
Cosmetically, the unit is in good shape with some scuff marks and a bit of “scarring” on the faceplate. See the pictures, they are very minor. We don’t have the original box but will securely pack this for safe shipping.