Analog vs Lampizator

Audiophile Bill

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I have owned the big ASR Emitter II amplifier with its three power supplies, including batteries for the preamplfier section, and have listened to the ASR phono unit with the battery power supply. It is an excellent phono unit and as the ASR amplifier, represents good value for money, particularly in Europe. How it matches your system and preferences is a different matter.

I currently jump between three phono sections - an Adyton discrete solid state unit with separate power supply and mechanically decoupled amplifying devices , the Audio Research REF2 phono and the phono section of the Atmasphere MP1. The preference is most of the time due to the system I am listening - e.g. the ARC REF2 phono sounds fabulous and impossible to beat with the ARC REF40. :)

If buying on the used market remember that ASR products are in constant evolution and are being sold for more than two decades without designation changes and current units are quite different from the old units found at very cheap prices. As Marty refers Friedrich Schaefer is a very friendly person, that will promptly answer any mail or inquire about his units - he recently answered my questions about a precise Emitter and send me a link to his buying guide to used ASR equipment. http://asraudio.de/Epdf/IEEMUsed.pdf

Just for audiophile culture I would love to know about the pairing of a Lampizator GG with an ASR Emitter II exclusive ...

I reckon you are onto something with that pairing. I also like the Emitter II - whacking great soundstage should be mind bending with the GG one - must be crazy. Mind you, you'll need a mahoosive rack for the Emitter and GG, lol.
 

marslo

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Altough I have not much expertise with different phono stages I can compare my analog rig with Tom Evans Groove + SRX mk2 phono which is dead quiet ss design to lampi Big 7 & with Duelund Copper Pio caps.
I am unable to give the edge to one or another sound , they are quite different but in the very same, high league. I like to listen to both and I am often amazed how good the playback at home can be.
After I installed a few month ago a new Shelter Harmony cart , the sound of the analog part became so good than I decided to buy again vinyls. I considered also Nagra BPS but decided to stay with Tom Evans phono and upgrade from Micro Groove + to Groove + SRX mk2 which has 5k GBP retail price. Tom offers also Master Groove for 12 k GBP and Master Groove SR for ...20 k GBP . I cant say if I will upgrade one day to Master Groove but the improvement from Micro Groove + to Groove + SRX mk2 combined with Shelter Harmony and SME 5 made me really happy.
I would say that analog has darker background ,less noise floor due probably to its ss design, is more lifelike.
Lampi strenghts especially with native dsd are deeper sound stage and palpability but with a bit of hum coming from valves probably . Both phono stage and Lampi have very good power supplies, this one in Groove + is a separate unit.
The timbre depends very much on valves installed in B7 and quality of recordings. I find the sound from my ss phono a bit more precise and resolved while lampi has warmer, fuller but less selective sound .
I can't imagine what the Master Groove can do, anyone can share thoughts ?
 
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bonzo75

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Altough I have not much expertise with different phono stages I can compare my analog rig with Tom Evans Groove + SRX mk2 phono which is dead quiet ss design to lampi Big 7 & with Duelund Copper Pio caps.
I am unable to give the edge to one or another sound , they are quite different but in the very same, high league. I like to listen to both and I am often amazed how good the playback at home can be.
After I installed a few month ago a new Shelter Harmony cart , the sound of the analog part became so good than I decided to buy again vinyls. I considered also Nagra BPS but decided to stay with Tom Evans phono and upgrade from Micro Groove + to Groove + SRX mk2 which has 5k GBP retail price. Tom offers also Master Groove for 12 k GBP and Master Groove SR for ...20 k GBP . I cant say if I will upgrade one day to Master Groove but the improvement from Micro Groove + to Groove + SRX mk2 combined with Shelter Harmony and SME 5 made me really happy.
I would say that analog has darker background ,less noise floor due probably to its ss design, is more livelike.
Lampi strenghts especially with native dsd are deeper sound stage and palpability but with a bit of hum coming from valves probably . Both phono stage and Lampi have very good power supplies, this one in Groove + is a separate unit.
The timbre depends very much on valves installed in B7 and quality of recordings. I find the sound from my ss phono a bit more precise and resolved while lampi has warmer, fuller but less selective sound .
I can't imagine what the Master Groove can do, anyone can share thoughts ?

You can quieten the Lampi sound. Bill got a very quietened transformer and I will get the same thing. Shelter harmony is a very good cart.
 

marslo

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You can quieten the Lampi sound. Bill got a very quietened transformer and I will get the same thing. Shelter harmony is a very good cart.
Thank you Ked.
I managed to reduce a bit the hum with Lessloss firewall tweaks - usb and for power supply.
Will ask Lukasz about this transformer during the next upgrade of my B7.
 

christoph

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Hi Ked

If 10 years later I buy Apogee Grands, I can tell you - Lampi with two ASR Emitter II amps :D

Look what my friend Brad wrote about the ASR vs. Kronzilla:
"Apparently, the Emitter, with its huge power supplies, needs quite a long time to reach its potential, but at this listening session, the gap between the ASR and the Kronzillas was pretty close to the Grand Canyon. One listener swore that the Emitter was broken. This was not a joke, because this was a serious guy (he owned the Piegas), and the sonic differences left him shaking his head and muttering to himself in bewilderment."
Look here for the whole review: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue28/kronzilla.htm

Cheers,
Christoph
 

microstrip

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Hi Ked



Look what my friend Brad wrote about the ASR vs. Kronzilla:
"Apparently, the Emitter, with its huge power supplies, needs quite a long time to reach its potential, but at this listening session, the gap between the ASR and the Kronzillas was pretty close to the Grand Canyon. One listener swore that the Emitter was broken. This was not a joke, because this was a serious guy (he owned the Piegas), and the sonic differences left him shaking his head and muttering to himself in bewilderment."
Look here for the whole review: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue28/kronzilla.htm

Cheers,
Christoph

Can we know what were the speakers, source and cable being used in this listening? The ASR needs careful optimization of the system, otherwise it sounds sterile and aggressive. It sounded miserable with several CD players and DACs - but loved the tubed Audio Research CD8. I can easily imagine that if you drop an ASR Emitter in a system optimized for SET tubes it will not sound good.
 

morricab

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You said that "but pretty sure it is well above 2-3k"

Also more importantly if you read my post, you will see at no point that I have stated that I like Lehmann. I merely pointed out some ss phono stages that UK people like at that price point.

You did see the qualifier before...the "I don't know" part, didn't you. So, I was wrong about the price but I haven't heard it so I can't comment on whether or not it is really a contender or not.
 

Audiophile Bill

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You did see the qualifier before...the "I don't know" part, didn't you. So, I was wrong about the price but I haven't heard it so I can't comment on whether or not it is really a contender or not.

It is actually pretty good and a bargain for that price. Very clean and pristine sound if that is your thing. Total opposite of VPS. You would likely prefer VPS if you like the Icon signature.
 

morricab

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Can we know what were the speakers, source and cable being used in this listening? The ASR needs careful optimization of the system, otherwise it sounds sterile and aggressive. It sounded miserable with several CD players and DACs - but loved the tubed Audio Research CD8. I can easily imagine that if you drop an ASR Emitter in a system optimized for SET tubes it will not sound good.

Speakers were the Relco Mantis ribbon hybrids. Relco makes (or made) really excellent ribbons, better constructed than Apogees, which were no slouch, with an adequate bass section (fast and tight but not super deep). The impedance of the ribbon was a flat 4 ohms and the bass was an unproblematic sealed box design I think. Should have been a dream for the powerful ASR.

Since then I have heard their bigger Sinus One speaker, which goes toe-to-toe with the best Apogees I have heard...very nice sounding speaker.

As to the source, I am sorry but the time has erased that from my memory. i seem to remember the preamp used for the Kronzilla monos was a Kora preamp...now that I think about it the source might have been a Kora DAC with some basic transport...but I am not sure anymore. The ASR was fed from the source...whatever it was.

Whatever the situation, at least that day the mighty KRs knocked the crap out of the ASR, which had been on most of the day because one guy was looking into buying it and the dealer knew about the long warmup time. The KRs come on song in about 30 minutes from cold. I know KR intimately because I owned three of them and had them for about 7 years. A friend of mine had the smaller ASR Emitter I exclusive that he drove a number of speakers with, including a pair of Acoustat 1+1. I had 1+1s at the same time and he could never get them to sound good with that amp. He would come over to my place and leave depressed.

Not saying it is a bad amp but in this game better is the enemy of good and in this case KR was simply better.
 

bonzo75

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You are saying these Sinus One are as good as fully restored Graz Grands/FRs?
 

morricab

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It is actually pretty good and a bargain for that price. Very clean and pristine sound if that is your thing. Total opposite of VPS. You would likely prefer VPS if you like the Icon signature.

Clean and pristine usually indicates a lack of natural harmonic development. This is a particular type of distortion that people like to tout as "neutral" but in fact sounds nothing like live unamplified music. Now, I am not saying the BPS is like that but as you have described it then it would sound to me like it would sound somewhat harmonically underdeveloped and emphasizing the leading edges of notes. You might not realize this, but that leading edge phenomenon of transistors is largely a byproduct of their harmonic distortion patterns. However; I should be able to easily get one to try out...stay tuned and we will see how it fares agains the likes of my mighty Silvaweld SWH-650 (thanks K.S Park of Allnic fame!).

You probably don't know this model but it is fully tube, with tubes for rectification and regulation and a choke for additional filtering. Of course the circuit itself is tube. It is very transparent, harmonically close to correct (none are truly so), and very very dynamic. Haven't heard a SS yet that beats it and only tube ones cost way more have done better (the Vacuumstate RTP-3d for example). It was about 3500 euro when new about 15 years ago.
 

morricab

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You are saying these Sinus One are as good as fully restored Graz Grands/FRs?

Scale wise, no. Sonic quality, yes. Maybe you think the two are inextricably linked but tend to separate the two as it is clear that a smaller speaker cannot compete in scale with a gigantic one. Sonically, I preferred the sound of the Sinus one to any of the Apogees I have heard. They were a huge surprise to me even though those many years before I had been equally surprised by how good the Relco Mantis sounded...you would still need a good sub or two true full range sound but still... I also think that a lot of what I have heard from Graz'd Apogees sound thinner and more ghostly than Apogees with their original ribbons. I know I preferred the Grands I heard before being Graz'd more than after even though after was arguably higher resolution...they sounded more "metallic" to me.
 

bonzo75

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Henk's grand wasn't grazzed on the mids ribbon, the FR was.The bass panels were, and Henk said they were much better
 

Audiophile Bill

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Clean and pristine usually indicates a lack of natural harmonic development. This is a particular type of distortion that people like to tout as "neutral" but in fact sounds nothing like live unamplified music. Now, I am not saying the BPS is like that but as you have described it then it would sound to me like it would sound somewhat harmonically underdeveloped and emphasizing the leading edges of notes. You might not realize this, but that leading edge phenomenon of transistors is largely a byproduct of their harmonic distortion patterns. However; I should be able to easily get one to try out...stay tuned and we will see how it fares agains the likes of my mighty Silvaweld SWH-650 (thanks K.S Park of Allnic fame!).

You probably don't know this model but it is fully tube, with tubes for rectification and regulation and a choke for additional filtering. Of course the circuit itself is tube. It is very transparent, harmonically close to correct (none are truly so), and very very dynamic. Haven't heard a SS yet that beats it and only tube ones cost way more have done better (the Vacuumstate RTP-3d for example). It was about 3500 euro when new about 15 years ago.

I am very familiar with the sound of live classical music and I have never heard any hifi come close tbh.
 

morricab

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I am very familiar with the sound of live classical music and I have never heard any hifi come close tbh.

For large orchestral works I would agree completely. However, for solo instruments or small chamber ensembles I have heard these done rather convincingly.

Some of my own recordings that I made of my ex (a quite talented violinist and konzertmeisterin of an orchestra now in Germany) were reproduced very convincingly on my previous Acoustat/KR audio system.
 

Audiophile Bill

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For large orchestral works I would agree completely. However, for solo instruments or small chamber ensembles I have heard these done rather convincingly.

Some of my own recordings that I made of my ex (a quite talented violinist and konzertmeisterin of an orchestra now in Germany) were reproduced very convincingly on my previous Acoustat/KR audio system.

Yeah - agree with you on the small chamber stuff entirely. I am a trombonist and my father a pianist - never heard either of these reproduced in a manner that I would call fully realistic as solo instruments. Small string ensembles can get close though.
 

dctom

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My two penny worth on the Thoress phono stage - I had one in my system and found it very cartridge dependent (I guess all phonos are to a greater or lesser extent). It did not seem to suit my Lyra but worked very well with my VdH colibri. However the sound produced from both carts was very different to the one I was getting from, my then, Dartzeel phono. It is definitely a stage one would need to listen to within a familiar system to make a choice. Also, it is more expensive than quoted earlier it is around 10.5keuro inc VAT.

I have been comparing the Lampi GG with my vinyl set up and have been pleasantly surprised how close the Lampi is on some material.
It does seem the way the digital has been mastered/produced has a big bearing on the how close it is, imo.

For instance; on a Decca Chopin recording (originally recorded in analogue) the sound is very close, the vinyl giving just the extra visceral grunt on the lowest octaves, the performance sounding that little bit more real overall.

Wayne shorter Blue note vinyl reissues all sound much better on vinyl, the digital sounding artificially processed and less involving.

Neil Young Live Massey Hall - Digital and Vinyl extremely close, vinyl having a bit more harmonics in the guitar and inflection on the voice.

As a generalisation vinyl gives a wider deeper sound stage on my system.

These comparisons were carried out playing digital from a Linux mac mini using a demo version of HQplayer on auto upsampling 44.1 to 384 PCM. Jriver on my windows lap top does not come as close.
 

bonzo75

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My two penny worth on the Thoress phono stage - I had one in my system and found it very cartridge dependent (I guess all phonos are to a greater or lesser extent). It did not seem to suit my Lyra but worked very well with my VdH colibri. However the sound produced from both carts was very different to the one I was getting from, my then, Dartzeel phono. It is definitely a stage one would need to listen to within a familiar system to make a choice. Also, it is more expensive than quoted earlier it is around 10.5keuro inc VAT.

I have been comparing the Lampi GG with my vinyl set up and have been pleasantly surprised how close the Lampi is on some material.
It does seem the way the digital has been mastered/produced has a big bearing on the how close it is, imo.

For instance; on a Decca Chopin recording (originally recorded in analogue) the sound is very close, the vinyl giving just the extra visceral grunt on the lowest octaves, the performance sounding that little bit more real overall.

Wayne shorter Blue note vinyl reissues all sound much better on vinyl, the digital sounding artificially processed and less involving.

Neil Young Live Massey Hall - Digital and Vinyl extremely close, vinyl having a bit more harmonics in the guitar and inflection on the voice.

As a generalisation vinyl gives a wider deeper sound stage on my system.

These comparisons were carried out playing digital from a Linux mac mini using a demo version of HQplayer on auto upsampling 44.1 to 384 PCM. Jriver on my windows lap top does not come as close.

Wow cool - for those who don't know dctom's set up, it is a Kuzma XL4, Kuzma 4p, with Lyra and Shelter Harmony, Ypsilon phono. That's something
 

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