A new SOTA integrated tube amp

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
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67
Stockholm, Sweden
#1
I have for years looked for the ultimate amp for my Focal Grande Utopia Em speakers. They are one of the best ever speakers and deserv a great amp. Over the years I have tried many great amps but never felt that I got the ultimate result. The dan D agostino momentum amp so good on my Wilson Max speakers was lacking in bass extension and bass slam. Vtl s400 has very good smooth midrange but also lacking in bass and “speed”.
Pass xa100 monos seemed underpowered and sounded dull.

I hade for years LennArt labs mayro integrated amp and it was really good and disproportionate strong for its on paper 2x40 W. But it was made with economics in sight
four years ago LennArt labs constructor Lennart started to build a cost no objection developed mayro.
I got the first sample now and WOW what a great amp.it is in every parameter better than any amp I have tried.
For the first time I have bass extension and bass slam worthy of utopias EM woofer and that momentum and VTL lack. People listen at my place can’t get in their mind they listen to 40 w. Why the other 300 w amps fail in this respect I don’t know.
And the glorious midrange! Ever better than VTL. So smooth and musical.
Soundstage have tremendous deep and height. Macro and micro details you got it.
You can get a full description of the amp on lennartlabs.se. Choose English version.
The amp has a very nice name Sarabande!
 

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
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67
Stockholm, Sweden
#3
That’s because it is explained under the mayro amp project on the same site.
sarabande is a mayro on steroids
It is a Single Ended Push Pull amp SEPP. Some people says this is a non existence type but it was used in Phillips and other amps in the 50ties and 60ties and later abandoned.
The whole project mayro sarabande begun years ago when me and my Audiophile friends found an old integrated Phillips tube amp that sounded very musical but lacking in bass etc only 15w. The idea was to built an modern version.
 

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
18
67
Stockholm, Sweden
#4
Must add that the guy on the site beside the amp is not Lennart but me. Can you see that I look happy
Perhaps Lennart can upload this picture here
I will add that I have no economical or other interest in LennArt Labs. I am only a happy Audiophile just retired with lots of time
to listen to music.
 

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
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67
Stockholm, Sweden
#6
I have been in Italy on holiday last two weeks. In beautiful Sorrento, Pompei and gorgeous little island of Capri.
Fantastic pasta, pizza, wine and prosciutto

For dynamics I used Sheffield labs direct to disc vinyl King James Version by Harry James. Playing it on live level gives you are there feeling and when the trumpets kicks in it overwhelming. Playing that record on high volume for guests they can’t believe it’s only
2x40 W. Another track for dynAmics is cd Nils lofgren live and track bass & drum intro. Playing it at live level is gives smile on your face. Sarabande plays this tracks without any stress. My earlier amps Momentum monos and VTL s400 both around 2x300w cold also play this tracks at live level but neither has the bass extension and mid bass slam as Sarabande. The old saying that tube amps can play beautiful minds and highs but lack bass is not true here.

As for price you must ask LennArt labs. The amp is hard wire and built buy hand here in Sweden. It use premium expensive parts
I ordered my with extra expensive chassi. Fine woodwork and painting.
But it’s surly one of the most expensive integrated amps in the world but worth it.
 

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
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67
Stockholm, Sweden
#7
Back from some fantastic days at Munich high end show. I have the opportunity to listen to the mk 2 version of my Focal grande utopia EM the Evo. The amp was the enormous Naim Statment. 1500w and 200K. Playing in a very big room it make fantastic sound.
It is almost impossible to get classic symphonic music sounds as good as live but Rimsky Korsakov snow maiden was the closest I ever heard to live. I wish I have that big room!
But when played singer songwriter I felt a little edge on the voices. I have the feeling that my Sarabande is even better in that respect.At home voices are silk smooth and utterly musical.
 

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
18
67
Stockholm, Sweden
#8
I haven just changed my vinyl player
In Stockholm veteran hi fi shop, veteranhifi.se. is an institution when it comes to vinyl and tube amps.
The owner “Mirre” has constructed the player Maximus and it comes with the arm Cantus S. I still use my Mandake PU.
Price around 20k USd
The main difference to my old Hanss Acoustic player is that the MAXIMUS is the utterly quiet background and a lot fewer pops and clicks from the record. The result is you hear the micro details more clearly and it’s more fun to listen to my old vinyls.
It has also the same imperial red color that my speaker and amp has. Nice to see them together.
 

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
18
67
Stockholm, Sweden
#9
Rörglöd.JPG Närbild Sarabande.JPG
 

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
18
67
Stockholm, Sweden
#10
The volume control on Sarabande is very important for the excellent sound quality. Extensive listening test confirmed that Sarabandes hard to build and expensive volum control gives a superior sound quality compared to a more conventional type.
I asked LennArt labs to describe the control:

The volume control is based on Dave Slagle’s excellent autotransformers. A 24-step ELMA two-deck rotary switch is used for the volume settings. All switch wiring uses the same magnet wire as the autotransformers. To enable remote volume control, the switch is also docked to a stepper motor. A micro-processor is used for all logic processing, e.g. IR remote decoding and stepper motor control. Since the volume control may also be maneuvered manually, the processor must read its actual position and indicate it on the display. The amplifier chassis height does not allow for a third deck on the rotary switch, however, so the position is read from a position indicator coupled to the switch shaft via a mechanical gear.
 

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
18
67
Stockholm, Sweden
#11
1542626270325.jpeg 1542626270325.jpeg
 
Likes: adamaley

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
18
67
Stockholm, Sweden
#12
My Focal Grande Utopia EM speakers are in imperial red/black color. By far the most beautiful of the utopias differen colors including the new utopia evo’s colors.
LennArt labs asked Focal about the color code for that specific red color and so my Sarabande amp is color matched to the speakers.
Looks nice together.
 

Thieliste

Active Member
Aug 31, 2014
286
26
28
France
#13
Isn't VAC Statement 450iIQ integrated amp the world's best tube integrated to date ?
VAC_Statement_450i_iQ.jpg
 

Leif S

Industry Expert
Feb 14, 2015
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www.vonschweikert.com
#14

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
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67
Stockholm, Sweden
#15
With the reputation VAC has I understand that this 450ilQ is a world class amp
So is LennArt labs Sarabande. Which is the best we will never know, I doubt I will never have the chance to listen to the VAC in a controlled environment.

For decades the saying is that for true high end you need a separate preamp and monoblocs.
It refreshing that now true high end can be accomplished with integrated amps.


.
 

Thieliste

Active Member
Aug 31, 2014
286
26
28
France
#16
With the reputation VAC has I understand that this 450ilQ is a world class amp
So is LennArt labs Sarabande. Which is the best we will never know, I doubt I will never have the chance to listen to the VAC in a controlled environment.

For decades the saying is that for true high end you need a separate preamp and monoblocs.
It refreshing that now true high end can be accomplished with integrated amps.


.
For a budget of 150K most if not all will prefer separates.
 

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
18
67
Stockholm, Sweden
#17
I have no experience in home of amps costing around 150k but have tried at home numerous pre+monoblocs combos in the up to 60k region having learned that separates sounds better and of course looks heftier. Sarabande both sound better than all this combos and looks more impressive and beautiful. There is no reason than pre+ monoblocs should sound better than an integrated in this price range.
 

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
18
67
Stockholm, Sweden
#19
This is my new turntable in the same imperial red color as the amp and speaker

1545686234954.png 1545686234954.png
 
Likes: Leif S

ulf

Member
Aug 9, 2010
118
10
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67
Stockholm, Sweden
#20
I recently had a visit by the man who built my Sarabande amp - Lennart of LennArts labs.
He praised the sound of my new Nagra tube dac ( see another tread by me on this dac)

He told me that Sarabande is hard wire with about 500 soldering points,
The volume control alone is 55 soldering points with ultra thin cables that take an eternity to finish. No wonder that I have to wait a long time for the amp.
 
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