Golden Gate 2 Reactions

Mr P

New Member
Apr 17, 2015
4
0
1
Phuket, Thailand
#1
In April of this year I had my GG upgraded to include the R2R, superclocks, 512 DSD, Etc.. Subsequently a relay failed on my volume control that required me to send the GG back to Poland for warranty work. While it was there I heard about the new Pacific and the Golden Gate 2. As I am now retired I knew the Pacific would be more than I would want to spend so I reached out to my favorite US distributor Fred, aka Gopher, regarding the upgrade to the GG2. Below is his description of the upgrade.

“A few of the things the Golden Gate 2 will get are:

- Lukasz' own new design super clocks (better than the Crystek and very close to the Pulsars the Pacific will get)
- auto-switching between DSD and PCM (this gives best sq between two formats)
- updated firmware to allow native DSD up to 512 in linux
- a new psu scheme and main analog pcb
- power supply capacitors
- a new tube heating scheme which contributes to the lowest noise floor possible
- a much improved volume control (relays and a metal remote)
- new custom footers by STACORE
- a new AC filter built in
- new grounding scheme with grounding lug

It will also get a new birth certificate and spec sheet and five year warranty as a new DAC.”

Everything was as described except the firmware. It is still limited to DOP 256 for DSD and is being worked on.

So how does it sound? In my system it sounds stunning, simply stunning. In my opinion this upgrade totally redefines the GG. It is much more than a few tweaks. The foundational level of the music has increased dramatically. Bass, mid bass and lower mids are all much fuller. It adds a gravitas to the music that the previous version was lacking. Resolution and transparency are also improved, but I tend not to notice them as the music is so engaging. The new grounding scheme makes for a blacker background. The music just flows.

A few other comments as follows:

The R2R and DSD 512 now auto switch.

With the digital volume control you get a slight clicking when you change the volume remotely. I had the same clicking in a preamp I previously owned with digital volume control.

When you go to the standby mode by either pressing the button on the front of the unit or by pushing “off” on the remote the rectifier is totally deenergized, but now some current is still applied to the power tubes so they remain very warm to the touch. You may want to inquire about having all the tubes deenergized if you live in a warm climate.

The new metal remote is much, much nicer than the old plastic one.

There are now 2 separate switches on the back to designate tube selection.

You will definitely want to add a grounding cable. There was a noticeable decrease in background noise when I added the cable.

I like the solid base the Stacore footers provide versus the rollerblocks that were used previously.

For those of you not moving to the Pacific, you definitely need to consider the upgrade to GG2. It offers a large step change in performance. I do not think you will be disappointed.

(Usual disclaimer. I have no affiliation with Lampizator, just a very happy customer.)
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,877
59
48
London
#2
Thanks Mr. P.

Can you please tell me what caps you had in your GG, and now have in your GG2? Also, what tubes you are using?
 

Mr P

New Member
Apr 17, 2015
4
0
1
Phuket, Thailand
#3
Thanks Mr. P.

Can you please tell me what caps you had in your GG, and now have in your GG2? Also, what tubes you are using?
Jupiter caps in my original GG. Did not look to see if they were changed as part of the GG2 upgrade.

For tubes I switch between:
JAN RCA 5U4G Blackplate (VT244 Military Style) with PSVANE 101Ds (Metal Base)
And
KR Audio 5U4G with KR PX-4s.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,877
59
48
London
#5
Yes there are those tubes as well. Personally will get rid of those 101D output replicas now, there are better tubes. They are dynamic but less tone and dimensionality
 
Dec 17, 2015
214
0
16
Moscow
#8
Interesting, Mr.P did not say anything about active triode loading in his GG2.
Mr. P, does your GG2 have the smaller tubes like in the above picture?
Thanks.
 

Gopher

New Member
Jul 1, 2015
28
0
1
#10
Hi guys.

I just want to correct something here. Yes, you are looking at active triode loading, but that is a prototype model and not a commercial GG2. The Golden Gate 2 will not have active triode loading available (standard or optional). Aside from not fitting the chassis alongside all of the other components which are in the commercial version of the GG2, this feature will be reserved for the Pacific.

Best,

Fred A.

P.S. This information is from Lukasz directly. I'm speaking to him as I post this.
 
Dec 17, 2015
214
0
16
Moscow
#12
Hi Fred and guys,

If I were to order GG2 now, what options I have with regard to PCM and DSD engines? Is Soekris R2R still an option? Is it the best engine for the PCM playback? What about a separate DSD512 chipless board? Is it still available for GG2?
For me it is now between the GG2 and the new Aqua Formula and I wonder what the latest recommended GG2 configuration is.

Thanks,
Aziz
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,877
59
48
London
#13
get either duelund or Jupiter caps instead of the Mundorf ones. Tune it for 242 and, if you can get one from the used market, the special EML Lampi 45s. Get the tube cages that audiophile bill has. These things are more important for the sound than PCM vs dsd imo.
 

Gopher

New Member
Jul 1, 2015
28
0
1
#14
Hi Aziz,

You will continue to have the option between delta sigma and R2R with the Golden Gate 2. As far as 'best engine' it remains subjective. I'm partial to R2R (not off the shelf Soekris, mind you) while Lukasz has a preference for his DS engine. I could live happily with either though. A newly revised 512 engine will indeed be included with the GG2.

The GG2 is a significant step forward from the original Golden Gates (even late model GGs with R2R and super clocks like Mr. P's) and I'm very confident it would satisfy you.

Best,

Fred
 
#15
Hi Aziz,

You will continue to have the option between delta sigma and R2R with the Golden Gate 2. As far as 'best engine' it remains subjective. I'm partial to R2R (not off the shelf Soekris, mind you) while Lukasz has a preference for his DS engine. I could live happily with either though. A newly revised 512 engine will indeed be included with the GG2.

The GG2 is a significant step forward from the original Golden Gates (even late model GGs with R2R and super clocks like Mr. P's) and I'm very confident it would satisfy you.

Best,

Fred
Sorry for my OT question but does anyone know the output impedance of the optional preamp and volumes control unit for Lampizator DACs?
 

Gopher

New Member
Jul 1, 2015
28
0
1
#16
The output impedance is variable based on output tube. From the ones we have measured you can see as follows:

The results are as follows:
101D: 4,2k
45: 1,9k
300B : 1,6 k
In balanced version the given values are PER PHASE.
 
#17
The output impedance is variable based on output tube. From the ones we have measured you can see as follows:

The results are as follows:
101D: 4,2k
45: 1,9k
300B : 1,6 k
In balanced version the given values are PER PHASE.
Hi Fred

Thank you very much for your appreciated answer.
Do you think the output tubes in the Golden Atlantic (4P1L) will have significantly lower figures or even higher?
With these high values it is obviously not advisable to directly drive an SET amp...
Do you possibly happen to have measured the 242 as well?
 
#18
Hi Fred

Thank you very much for your appreciated answer.
Do you think the output tubes in the Golden Atlantic (4P1L) will have significantly lower figures or even higher?
With these high values it is obviously not advisable to directly drive an SET amp...
Do you possibly happen to have measured the 242 as well?
The thrills of running a tube output without a transformer I would say. If you use a well designed transformer on the output you can then drive full band to almost any power amp and have output impedance as low as 40ohms or even less. You can also manage the line level without resorting to resistors right at the output. I am not a tech, only relaying what I have read on various DIY forums and speaking to my buddy amp building in the UK.:b
 

morricab

Active Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,314
12
38
Switzerland
#19
The thrills of running a tube output without a transformer I would say. If you use a well designed transformer on the output you can then drive full band to almost any power amp and have output impedance as low as 40ohms or even less. You can also manage the line level without resorting to resistors right at the output. I am not a tech, only relaying what I have read on various DIY forums and speaking to my buddy amp building in the UK.:b
Well it is possible to get a low output impedance with a tube without a transformer...you can parallel multiple tubes or run a variant of a cathode follower. This will get you under 1K ohm pretty easily but drive could be limited.
 
May 30, 2010
13,977
48
48
Portugal
#20
The thrills of running a tube output without a transformer I would say. If you use a well designed transformer on the output you can then drive full band to almost any power amp and have output impedance as low as 40ohms or even less. You can also manage the line level without resorting to resistors right at the output. I am not a tech, only relaying what I have read on various DIY forums and speaking to my buddy amp building in the UK.:b
This an hobby populated with diversity - some people hate transformers, but one of the most famous amplifiers in the high-end, the ultra exotic Marantz Project T1 uses four transformers per channel ...
 

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