AudioAficionado.org  

Go Back   AudioAficionado.org > Manufacturers Forums > Lamm

Lamm Bringing you the magic of music

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-03-2011, 06:14 PM
MadFloyd's Avatar
MadFloyd MadFloyd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Holliston, Massachusetts
Posts: 156
Default Contemplating a Lamm preamp...

I've got the bug to try a Lamm preamp. I've previously dismissed them because of the dual-mono volume control and lack of remote, but at the moment I seem to be willing to try and get past that.

First a bit of history: after struggling for 3 years trying to get good 2 channel music in a dedicated, sound proofed media room and going through tons of equipment (speakers, preamps, amps, DACs, etc) I moved my system upstairs to my family room and finally got what I would call high fidelity sound.

I use Wilson Sashas, Lamm M1.2 Reference amplifiers, PAD cabling and currently using two preamps: a Pass XP-10 and a Joule LA-150 SE.

I am very sensitive to glare or harshness of any kind. It was very bad in my media room (perhaps due to low ceilings, not quite sure). The Pass is very smooth in the highs, more so than my Joule. Even in my family room the Joule can distract me with what sounds to my ears like distortion in the upper mids/low treble. Apart from that, I just love the body, depth and texture of the Joule. The Pass, being solid state, doesn't have the body and depth, but it is oh-so-clean and elegant sounding and throws a spacious soundstage - it's a real bargain preamp in my opinion.

It's sort of nice being able to switch between the two preamps, but I do wonder if it's possible to get more of the pros of each in one chassis...

I'm curious about Lamm - not just for synergy with my amps, but because it's a hybrid (at least the L2 Reference is, not sure about other models). Having owned other tube pre's (BAT REX, Cary SLP-05, Audio Valve Eclipse) I'm used to equating tubes with body and soundstage depth. Is the Lamm like this as well? How clean are the highs?

I'm also wondering what typical used prices are for Lamm preamps. If anyone has any info that they are willing to share, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-03-2011, 06:28 PM
cmalak's Avatar
cmalak cmalak is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7,600
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadFloyd View Post
I've got the bug to try a Lamm preamp. I've previously dismissed them because of the dual-mono volume control and lack of remote, but at the moment I seem to be willing to try and get past that.

First a bit of history: after struggling for 3 years trying to get good 2 channel music in a dedicated, sound proofed media room and going through tons of equipment (speakers, preamps, amps, DACs, etc) I moved my system upstairs to my family room and finally got what I would call high fidelity sound.

I use Wilson Sashas, Lamm M1.2 Reference amplifiers, PAD cabling and currently using two preamps: a Pass XP-10 and a Joule LA-150 SE.

I am very sensitive to glare or harshness of any kind. It was very bad in my media room (perhaps due to low ceilings, not quite sure). The Pass is very smooth in the highs, more so than my Joule. Even in my family room the Joule can distract me with what sounds to my ears like distortion in the upper mids/low treble. Apart from that, I just love the body, depth and texture of the Joule. The Pass, being solid state, doesn't have the body and depth, but it is oh-so-clean and elegant sounding and throws a spacious soundstage - it's a real bargain preamp in my opinion.

It's sort of nice being able to switch between the two preamps, but I do wonder if it's possible to get more of the pros of each in one chassis...

I'm curious about Lamm - not just for synergy with my amps, but because it's a hybrid (at least the L2 Reference is, not sure about other models). Having owned other tube pre's (BAT REX, Cary SLP-05, Audio Valve Eclipse) I'm used to equating tubes with body and soundstage depth. Is the Lamm like this as well? How clean are the highs?

I'm also wondering what typical used prices are for Lamm preamps. If anyone has any info that they are willing to share, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
MadFloyd...Serge (PHC1) owned the Lamm M1.2s with LL2.1 Deluxe pre I believe with Sahsas, so he should be able to give you a good sense of that combo. He also had the Ayre KX-R pre at same time. You should PM him or I am sure also he will chime in when he sees this. Good luck
__________________
Cyril
Speakers/Amp/Preamp: Thiel CS2.4 / ARC Ref 110 / ARC Ref 3
Sources: Basis 2001/Graham2.2/Nagra BPS/Benz Micro Glider SL, ARC CD7, Oppo BDP-83 SE
Cables/Power/Other: Nordost Heimdall ICs, SCs / Shunyata Hydra 8, Shunyata Python Helix PC / VPI 16.5, HRS Nimbus isolation system
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-04-2011, 12:40 AM
PHC1 PHC1 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pa
Posts: 19,515
Default

MadFloyd,

The distortion/ringing like sound you hear can be the amp loading down your preamp/impedance interaction, try the lower impedance setting on Joule preamp. Another thing to try is a different set of speaker cables, sometimes you get weird oscillations from the amp/speaker/speaker cable interaction. Third and more likely cause is flutter echoes, bad acoustics in your room, very often the ceiling is to blame as much as the parallel side walls. You simply may not notice it as much with the other preamp but it's still there.

As far as Lamm, I personally prefer the all tubed LL2.1D. I've heard both. My Lamm M1.2's were incredible with Lamm preamp. I've tried a few more preamps, mcintosh c500 and Ayre KX-R. Ayre offered a bit more resolution, detail, focus but neither preamp could match the synergy and musicality of the Lamm on Lamm combo. They are meant to compliment each other. Expect rich, harmonically saturated and colorful tone, perhaps just a touch darker up top than SS preamp but utterly musical and enjoyable! I loved the LL2Deluxe I owned with the M1.2's. Oh yeah, you'll be surprised at the bass texture/articulation, especially if you have a decent vinyl rig.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-04-2011, 10:50 AM
MadFloyd's Avatar
MadFloyd MadFloyd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Holliston, Massachusetts
Posts: 156
Default

Serge,

Thank you so much for your reply. I really appreciate the suggestion to try the other impedence setting on the Joule. I also can't dismiss your suggestions on the room acoustics as I think the lower ceiling in my media room was a major factor in me having a hard time with glare. I have today and tomorrow fee and will experiment with this.

Very interesting to get confirmation that the LL2.1 is all tubed and not a hybrid and that you preferred it over the L2 Ref. Doing some research yesterday I got pretty excited about the LL2.1 Deluxe since it's cheaper only to become very dissapointed when I saw that it had no XLR outputs (on Friday I received my new Purist Audio Design Canorus XLR 3.5 meter interconnects that were not inexpensive).

The fact that you preferred the LL2.1D to the L2Ref is very helpful. Nice to know that more expensive isn't always better. Would you mind sharing your thoughts as to what aspects you preferred in the LL2.1D?

I get the feeling from your post that you no longer own the LL2.1D - or maybe even the M1.2's?? I guess I can answer this one with a little more research on your posts... :-)

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
Ian
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:18 PM
soundslikemusic soundslikemusic is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Phil
Posts: 475
Default

Madfloyd

For many years before I got an LL2 a few months ago i used a variety of pre-amps with the Lamm M2.2s.
All of them sounded very good w/ the Lamm M2.2s. No doubt.
But when i added the LL2 into the chain, the best got even better. The sound is fuller, more analog sounding, the details is not as much as the other pre-amps I had on hand but i like the more organic sound with the Lamm combo.
I also tried the BAT pre-amp w/ the Lamm M2.2s and I felt the combo is also very good. Not as full sounding as the LL2 but nonetheless also very musical.
I personally would not mind having a BAT pre-amp in the future to change flavors w/ the M2.2s.
One tip: the LL2 is super super sensitive to tubes. With right tubes it is heaven, but w. a wrong tube set, it can sound very analytical & unmusical... my favorites are mullards & amperexes.
BUT, the LL2 is a definite keeper !!

Last edited by soundslikemusic; 09-06-2011 at 07:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-19-2012, 05:16 PM
thesaint519's Avatar
thesaint519 thesaint519 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,597
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadFloyd
I've got the bug to try a Lamm preamp. I've previously dismissed them because of the dual-mono volume control and lack of remote, but at the moment I seem to be willing to try and get past that.

First a bit of history: after struggling for 3 years trying to get good 2 channel music in a dedicated, sound proofed media room and going through tons of equipment (speakers, preamps, amps, DACs, etc) I moved my system upstairs to my family room and finally got what I would call high fidelity sound.

I use Wilson Sashas, Lamm M1.2 Reference amplifiers, PAD cabling and currently using two preamps: a Pass XP-10 and a Joule LA-150 SE.

I am very sensitive to glare or harshness of any kind. It was very bad in my media room (perhaps due to low ceilings, not quite sure). The Pass is very smooth in the highs, more so than my Joule. Even in my family room the Joule can distract me with what sounds to my ears like distortion in the upper mids/low treble. Apart from that, I just love the body, depth and texture of the Joule. The Pass, being solid state, doesn't have the body and depth, but it is oh-so-clean and elegant sounding and throws a spacious soundstage - it's a real bargain preamp in my opinion.

It's sort of nice being able to switch between the two preamps, but I do wonder if it's possible to get more of the pros of each in one chassis...

I'm curious about Lamm - not just for synergy with my amps, but because it's a hybrid (at least the L2 Reference is, not sure about other models). Having owned other tube pre's (BAT REX, Cary SLP-05, Audio Valve Eclipse) I'm used to equating tubes with body and soundstage depth. Is the Lamm like this as well? How clean are the highs?

I'm also wondering what typical used prices are for Lamm preamps. If anyone has any info that they are willing to share, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
So, what did you decide? Did u ever get the Lamm preamp? If so, which one? What were your findings? I'm a month or so from adding a Lamm L2 preamp to my system. I, therefore, am interested in hearing back from you. Thx.
__________________
Preamp: Lamm L2; Amps: Lamm M1.2 Monos; Speakers: Wilson Sashas - Gen I; DAC: Meitner MA-1; Source: Meridian Sooloos Ensemble; Power Dist: TA PowerIsolaotor 8; Power Dist: TA PowerIsolator MM; Cables: TA Ref XLMM2; Isolation: SRA Scuttle 3; Isolation: SRA VR-Series Amp IsoBases
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-19-2012, 06:49 PM
Whart's Avatar
Whart Whart is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 585
Default

i have been using the L2 with the ML2's on my horns for 5 or so years- they are synergystic together- I haven't really tried mixing and matching other amps or preamps with either of them, except: when my amps went down and needed service a few years ago, my friend loaned me those little Kharma solid state amps- while i appreciated the gesture, they sounded flat and electronic in my system. More recently, something happened to my L2- it started to buzz (literally, the power supply developed a nasty mechanical transformer buzz) and it was generating a 60 hz hum into the signal path. It still awaits service, since Vlad has been gone for nearly a month-and in the meantime, I bought a very clean Joule LA 150mkii to use temporarily as a stopgap, with the intention of selling the Joule once the Lamm line stage is back in service. The Joule is of course very romantic sounding, too lush for my taste, and is not a good match for the ML2, although it might be a great match with a big solid state amp that needs warmth and air- to me, the Joule, at least this model, lacks nuance in the midrange.
The L2 is a very fine line stage and the absence of a remote control or the need to adjust two volume controls rather than one is at most a trifling inconvenience. As indicated above, I haven't used it with amps other than my ML2 (apart from the few days I had those Kharma amps hooked up), so I can't tell you it is THE preamp for all systems, but in mine, it is a revelation. Keep in mind that as a horn listener, my system is pretty intolerant of electronics- it reveals everything. Now, if you were cynical, you might say the Lamms are reticient enough to tame the tendency toward brightness or glare on a horn system, but I don't find the Lamm line stage-amp combo to be glossing over information; to the contrary, they are extremely revealing, and almost untube like in their character. (As you know, the L2 has a solid state audio path and uses tubes in the power supply, so it is a sort of 'reverse' hybrid, but seems to offer the best of both worlds- the detail of solid state with the capability to react quickly and dynamically to changes in the music). i could go on, but you get the idea.
__________________

Kuzma XL/Airline Arm/Airtight Supreme/Allnic H3000 phonostage/Veloce LS-1 Line stage (Lithio)/ Lamm ML2 amps
Avantgarde Duos;Crosby Quads/Kubala Sosna cables/Grand Prix Monaco stands and HRS platform

Last edited by Whart; 05-19-2012 at 07:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-20-2012, 10:55 AM
MadFloyd's Avatar
MadFloyd MadFloyd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Holliston, Massachusetts
Posts: 156
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesaint519 View Post
So, what did you decide? Did u ever get the Lamm preamp? If so, which one? What were your findings? I'm a month or so from adding a Lamm L2 preamp to my system. I, therefore, am interested in hearing back from you. Thx.
I indeed purchased a Lamm preamp - the L2. It's a great preamp. I've had it for quite a while now.

It throws a huge soundstage, nice amount of bloom without sounding overly lush and it is very detailed. It certainly is one of the best tube preamps I've ever heard, incredibly musical and mates well with the M1.2 Ref amps.

Ironically in typical audiophile fashion and full disclosure, I am getting the urge to try something else so I don't know if I'll be keeping it, but that's par for the course for me.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-20-2012, 05:16 PM
thesaint519's Avatar
thesaint519 thesaint519 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,597
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadFloyd

I indeed purchased a Lamm preamp - the L2. It's a great preamp. I've had it for quite a while now.

It throws a huge soundstage, nice amount of bloom without sounding overly lush and it is very detailed. It certainly is one of the best tube preamps I've ever heard, incredibly musical and mates well with the M1.2 Ref amps.

Ironically in typical audiophile fashion and full disclosure, I am getting the urge to try something else so I don't know if I'll be keeping it, but that's par for the course for me.
I can't wait to hear one in my system. Sent you a PM to inquire more about your L2. Right now I'm running direct from a dCS upsampler/dac combo.
__________________
Preamp: Lamm L2; Amps: Lamm M1.2 Monos; Speakers: Wilson Sashas - Gen I; DAC: Meitner MA-1; Source: Meridian Sooloos Ensemble; Power Dist: TA PowerIsolaotor 8; Power Dist: TA PowerIsolator MM; Cables: TA Ref XLMM2; Isolation: SRA Scuttle 3; Isolation: SRA VR-Series Amp IsoBases
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-20-2012, 05:20 PM
PHC1 PHC1 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pa
Posts: 19,515
Default

I really preferred the more affordable and intoxicating, harmonically rich, all tube LL2D to the L2 hybrid but it would be system dependent as well. Wait, did I already say that last year?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Audioaficionado.org tested by Norton Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:54 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
ęCopyright 2009-2019 AudioAficionado.org.Privately owned, All Rights Reserved.
Audio Aficionado Sponsors
AudioAficionado Subscriber
AudioAficionado Subscriber
Inspire By Dennis Had
Inspire By Dennis Had
Harmonic Resolution Systems
Harmonic Resolution Systems
Wyred4Sound
Wyred4Sound
Dragonfire Acoustics
Dragonfire Acoustics
GIK Acoustics
GIK Acoustics
Esoteric
Esoteric
AC Infinity
AC Infinity
JL Audio
JL Audio
Acoustic Sciences Corportation
Acoustic Sciences Corportation
Legend Audio & Video
Legend Audio & Video
Audio by E
Audio by E
Canton
Canton
Bryston
Bryston
WireWorld Cables
WireWorld Cables
Stillpoints
Stillpoints
Bricasti Design
Bricasti Design
Furutech
Furutech
Shunyata Research
Shunyata Research
Accuphase
Accuphase