What People
Are Saying


icOn user community

See where the icOn is used

After a month of owning the icOn 4 Pro, I must say that I like it very much. It has no (or perhaps very very little) signature of its own. The significant more volume steps and the ease of use brings also happiness. I did have many preamps over the last 50 years but this jewel beats them all…


The Netherlands

icOn 4 Zen happy buyer

Dear Pal,
I think by now I have a clear idea as to what I have got with your preamp. To cut the long story short – everything is great. Since I was always connecting my phonostage directly into the power amps, it was really easy to establish what – if anything – has changed with the introduction of the Zen. And the answer is: nothing. The only difference is a positive one – I can now listen to much lower volumes without any degradation in tone or dynamics. And that is not a small thing. Now, in addition to that, I can also connect a better DAC into the system, without being constrained by the need to use a DAC with its own volume control. And so I did, by, first, (re)introducing Metrum’s Pavane into the system, and then swapping it for Metrum Amethyst. Amethyst is a lesser DAC, of course, but then I can make use of Pavane’s balanced outputs to better effect where it really matters – in a headphone system in the office. So, all in all, I am really happy with what I have now.
Thank you very much again!

“The Worst Review ever”

Yes, you read it right.

Not because icOn would be expensive, on the contrary.

Not because of the looks; while not Electronluv style, it has a minimalist post industrial bijou presentation, which should prepare you for the …surprise.

Did I write “surprise” ? Wrong, we are talking about an electric shock! You unpack it, connect it, then it’s not there anymore …it really disappeared !?

Yes, free way to emotion on sound from my SD card direct input of an APL custom made DAC, till the end.

And believe me, the David Berning VT-52 ZOTL didn’t do anything to hinder it, then the Cube Audio single driver orgasmotrons were completing the trip.

Did I say trip? Yes, completely legal and real, and heavenly musical.

You don’t have to believe me, but at your own peril.

I spent the last 30 years learning and passionately experimenting (usually financially unwisely, says my accountant here) , I built 12 m long bass horns, browsed more than 50 amps and preamps searching for that elusive cost no object, “perfect” sound.

You’d ask, why the “worst” review; well, after Pal and Agnes sent their icOn to me, I had to get rid of its 20k predecessor, and my journey, which was so frustrating and rewarding at the same time, came to an end as well.

Don’t buy it, unless you’ll accept this is the last purchase you are making.

On the other hand, now my music flows noise and virus free, and makes me happy, my true companion which I can hug, without any kind of inhibitions or masks around.

Dan S.

Real pleasure

First, it is such an easy and fuss-free unit to use. It is a real pleasure.

Sound-wise, it is so natural and much closer to the real thing. It is so quiet that it let you discover everything which is on the recording.

Terrific design

Just to tell you how pleased I am with the sound quality of the Icon.  It’s remarkable!!  I’ve always believed the passive preamps do not have a signature sound of their own, but rather simply convey 100% of the source material without veiling or loss of resolution, etc;  Obviously I’m wrong.  The Icon is delivering an amazing quality to my system.   It’s much like the tube sound I had years ago.  Congratulations on a terrific design!
Thanks, Tom

The sound is really divine

The sound is really divine

“I am listening to Bill Evans at the moment and the sound is really divine. The combination of the cartridge and preamp really brings out the best of this vinyl recording.”

“Hi Pal, The icOn 4PRO arrived safely. Wow, what fantastic packaging, inside and out! Beautiful piece of equipment! It has been installed and connected. Everything is ship-shape. Just now listening to it in the system with a Soundsmith Strain Gauge preamp and cart via unbalanced RCA. And thank you for the chocolates!I must say that so far I am very impressed with the entire experience. Communication payment has been very easy and painless. It has been a real pleasure. The early shipment was a nice surprise and shipping was completely straight forward with no gotchas. And the packaging is beyond professional. Exceptionally well thought out. The final product is a pleasure to the eye and senses, not to mention to the ears. Well done.”

Thanks, best regards and Merry Christmas, Ron

Real balanced operation

Real balanced operation

When only the best will do! Double pair Slagle silver wired autoformers for real balanced operation, Lundahl silver input transformers for the single-ended signals coming from the silver WBT RCA sockets, rhodium-plated Furutech XLR sockets … all these built into the current audiophile superstar icOn 4PRO Model 4 balanced passive preamp. Not for the faint-hearted.

No signature of its own

No signature of its own

After a month of owning the icOn 4 Pro, I must say that I like it very much. It has no (or perhaps very very little) signature of its own. The significant more volume steps and the ease of use brings also happiness. I did have many preamps over the last 50 years but this jewel beats them all…


The Netherlands

I am totally satisfied

I am totally satisfied

I am an extremely satisfied customer. I was looking for a passive preamp to feed my Jadis DA5 with a signal coming from some  DAC’s (fed by a Prime Minias Nucleus core for running Roon). I needed three inputs (for the different voltages of the DAC’s (1, 2, 3 V)) and just one output. The output was adjusted to the particular max. output level of my Jadis (400 mV) to avoid clipping. Whenever the preamp is turned on, it starts at level 4 (almost silent).

All this tailor made by Pal, who was extremely helpful (we chatted a few days to get the optimalsetting).The price tag is hefty, yes, but for a tailor-made machine of this extremely good quality, it ismore than reasonable (although not a bargain). I refrain from any comparisons to describe the sound quality: I am totally satisfied and could not wish for anything better.5 stars!

Jürgen Dix

Simple, functional, elegant design

This is a very impressive amp, beautiful quality build and simple, functional, elegant design.  A famous designer and leader in the Victorian arts and crafts movement had a couple of sayings, “Less is more” and “Do not have anything in your house unless you know it to be useful or believe it to be beautiful “.  I believe your amp fits all those categories perfectly! You have produced an amplifier that sounds wonderfully detailed without a hint of harshness that clearly surpasses earlier amp I have and the xxxxxxx (another magnetic passive preamp) I have been comparing it to. Many thanks for the marvellous amp,

Best Wishes, Mark.

So open and clear, without coloring

Hi Pal

I listened a lot at the weekend, and the sounds heavenly.
So open and clear, without coloring, it looks like you are listening to real instruments.
Really wonderful, amazing.

Best regards,
Marcel from the Netherlands