Golden Gate DAC arrives.

Blue58

Active Member
Jan 20, 2013
482
150
43
London, UK
#1
Well here she is perched atop my AA La Fontaine. I know not the best place but had to hook up asap. As you can see, the latest version has the option for 45 or 2A3 tubes with nary a 101D in sight. EML 45 solid plates and EML 5U4G rectifier as standard but may roll my EML 45 globes from my amps at a later date.

AA used as transport with Auralic Aries playing duties with high res, both PCM and DSD.

So far I can say that out of the box the DSD performance is stellar particularly with those Blue Coast recordings and the HDTT Ella/Riddle albums. Just the best music and sonics I've heard from my system. I'll be assessing the PCM performance over the next few days and report back.

A huge thank you to Mark Coles from Sablon Audio for the temporary loan of this Golden Gate. He may not get it back! All Sablon Audio Panatela cables including USB used throughout. Just magical stuff.
golden gate.jpg
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,910
117
63
#3
Mark Coles at Sablon Audio Cables is a gentleman and a scholar...the real deal. He makes sota stuff at real-world prices, and truly loves this hobby of ours and caters to that mindset...constantly finetuning his work to satisfy the insanely particular.
 
Feb 21, 2014
107
12
18
England, UK
#4
Heard one of these today at a friends house, have to say the best Dac I've heard to date, my mate has had in the house over the past year or so all the Lampi Dacs including B7 and the GG Dac is in another league
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,845
975
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E. England
#5
Going to listen to at Blue's at the weekend. I'm firmly in the 16/44 bcd camp, but this should be fun. Blue is the best host!
+1 re Sablon cables. I've just completed a full loom (save for direct cart-phono wires), and the synergy brings a new meaning to the word "scary good!" (sorry, two words :p)
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#6
Heard one of these today at a friends house, have to say the best Dac I've heard to date, my mate has had in the house over the past year or so all the Lampi Dacs including B7 and the GG Dac is in another league
Interesting Lee
In what way(s) is the GG in another league
 
Sep 23, 2014
62
0
6
Brisbane, Australia
#7
Have used the EML tubes for a while, in my tube rolling experience, the best rectifiers are the:

Takatsuki 274B
Western Electric 422A
Mullard Metal Base GZ34

All of the above are significantly better than the EML tubes, both the mesh plate and the solid plates sound ordinary compared with the above.

I am very interested in this DAC, so I was intrigued that it sounded this good with those tubes. With SOC rectifiers it would be another league entirely. The 45's sound better than the 2A3's BTW.

Unfortunately there is no chance of listening to it in Australia. You guys have the best dealers.
 
Sep 6, 2013
416
0
16
#8
So far I can say that out of the box the DSD performance is stellar particularly with those Blue Coast recordings and the HDTT Ella/Riddle albums. Just the best music and sonics I've heard from my system. I'll be assessing the PCM performance over the next few days and report back.
Nice.

Based on my experience with the Lampizator DSD DAC, be sure to check out some of the DSD downloads from Opus 3/DSD File, Native DSD and the Analog Master Tape to DSD transfers on Acoustic Sounds/Super HiRez. Some excellent listening there with the Lampizators! :)

The big question with the Golden Gate is does the difference in sound quality merit the big increase in cost vs. the Big 7 ?
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,910
117
63
#9
Nice.

Based on my experience with the Lampizator DSD DAC, be sure to check out some of the DSD downloads from Opus 3/DSD File, Native DSD and the Analog Master Tape to DSD transfers on Acoustic Sounds/Super HiRez. Some excellent listening there with the Lampizators! :)

The big question with the Golden Gate is does the difference in sound quality merit the big increase in cost vs. the Big 7 ?
This is from one of the other Lampi threads. Not sure it helps, but perhaps you can speak with bonzo75:

I will be listening to the GG a couple of times next month, but I got it from very good ears with experience with both that if I had to choose between putting my money towards the GG or towards upgrading my B7 valves to original WE 101d, I should go with the 101D first
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,701
1,490
113
London
#10
Have used the EML tubes for a while, in my tube rolling experience, the best rectifiers are the:

Takatsuki 274B
Western Electric 422A
Mullard Metal Base GZ34

All of the above are significantly better than the EML tubes, both the mesh plate and the solid plates sound ordinary compared with the above.

I am very interested in this DAC, so I was intrigued that it sounded this good with those tubes. With SOC rectifiers it would be another league entirely. The 45's sound better than the 2A3's BTW.

Unfortunately there is no chance of listening to it in Australia. You guys have the best dealers.
I heard people love the GZ34 on this dac, and it's a cheap tube. I prefer 101Ds to the 45s
 

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
613
159
43
#11
Guys, thanks for the kind words - is good to know the GG is making a promising first impression despite not yet being fully run in. I have yet to listen to it in my own system however as it has been out on demos ever since it arrived a couple of weeks ago.

A few words about Lampizator if I may. Like many audiophiles, I made my path through the traditional high end brands over a couple of decades before discovering this brand 4 years ago and have since used Lukasz's source equipment exclusively in my reference system.

All different iterations of his DACs have been very sensitive to clean power, so I would recommend a good power cord ahead of tube rolling, and then look to the rectifier first as good synergy here can really turbocharge performance. Some great recommendations from Isquirrel, to which I would add Marconi U52 and Psvane 274b replica.

For the output tubes, I can't yet make any recommendations but wouldn't assume the preferences for the level 7 / Big7 will necessarily hold equally true as the GG has so many component changes which impact upon overall voicing. The latest preferred standard fitment for GG is now EML45 Mesh rather than 101 replicas, though I lent Barry my older solid plate 45s as they were nicely run in. Prospective purchasers should consider the Yamamoto Genius UX/UV sockets to accommodate the thin pin WE101D.

To give a little context on the impact of component upgrades, I first starting experimenting with some of these parts in my L4.5 DAC over 3 years ago (oversized duelund cast / furutech rhodium IEC inlet / better rca jacks / Teflon tube sockets) and they were all satisfying in their own right, so it's not too great a stretch of imagination to expect a considerable overall improvement when deployed so extensively. Inevitably some back to back comparisons with a Big 7 will emerge shortly once the GG model starts to find its way around and people can draw their own conclusions about value.

Finally, any London based WBF members wanting a home demo are welcome to drop me a line.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,845
975
113
E. England
#12
For me, this is a tentative step into the world of hi rez/streaming. No better way to go than via the GG, I suggest. Lampi is getting a great buzz, and I may pinch my nose and make the dive if demos like this leave a lasting impression.
 
Feb 21, 2014
107
12
18
England, UK
#13
Interesting Lee
In what way(s) is the GG in another league
Having heard all the Lampizator Dacs including the B7 ( my friend has had them all ) this Dac does what the other Dacs do which is a wonderful rich soundstage very analogue and spades of detail however it kind of takes it to another level, if I had to compare it to a motor car then it would have to be a Bugatti Veyron.

Sometime back I had the Big 6 Lampi Dac in the house playing Native DSD, which was an awesome experience, I still may take the plunge and buy one as I like you have quite a lot of DSD music stored on a NAS box, the guy that brought the Big 6 round is the same guy who has the GG Dac and I've heard both in his system and the GG Dac is simply wonderful
 

Blue58

Active Member
Jan 20, 2013
482
150
43
London, UK
#14
GG breaking in nicely with PCM now sounding even better than the AA, the initial smooth character has ameliorated and replaced by greater clarity and deeper soundstage. DSD still sounds the same, ie. Analogue like and immediately apparent to all who heard it today.

Bonzo and Spirit just popped over and I believe they were happy to have heard it. Not sure I changed Bonzo's view of the Duo's but at least it gave them a good workout today. The Duos not B and S.

The more I listen the more I want it. Sure wish I had a Uptone Audio Regen to play with. Mine due mid June.
Anyway, back to the music.
Cheers
Blue
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,701
1,490
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London
#15
Thanks for that Barry. Guys I couldn't compare the B7 with the GG, but this is the best I have heard duos sound. What Barry is referring to is the fact that I don't like duos (but love Trios). The midrange was awesome today, very smooth. It's fast and dynamic. We didn't AB anything.

ps: Barry I am not saying that to be polite on your thread, I did text Marc the same thing, that this is the best I heard the duos sound.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,845
975
113
E. England
#17
Concur w/Bonzo. Barry has a really well-sorted out sound, and the GG was sounding excellent. My lack of experience of standalone dacs, let alone exposure to dsd or 2xdsd, and inability to do any a-b's, meant I couldn't draw a meaningful conclusion, other than at the price point the GG would be first on my list. This means that I'd be in the market for it at c.£10k+ rather than the 3-4x pricier Trinity DAC.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,701
1,490
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London
#18
Has anyone here compared the Lampizator to the SOTA DACs? MSB, Trinity, Vivaldi etc.

We have a GG on order and are looking forward to hearing what it can do.
ALRainbow has the Big 7 with the MSB stack and prefers the Lampi. I have heard the B7 compared to the Trinity and preferred the B7. I have compared it to Esoteric K01 on two systems and both the two Esoteric owners and I liked the Lampi - well I liked it much more. There is one convert Playback designs to Lampi on the forum who friend also converted from OD to the B7. For me, it's 3 categories - digital, lampi, and TT. If not for Lampi I would stay at 2k dac level and invest money in TT.
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,271
313
83
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#19
We will have an extra data point next week. Folks that were in Munich, and that visit THE Show, will be able to hear a similar system (Avantgarde + Audiopax) and compare, this time with MSB Select, instead of Lampizator.


alexandre
 
Sep 6, 2013
416
0
16
#20
We will have an extra data point next week. Folks that were in Munich, and that visit THE Show, will be able to hear a similar system (Avantgarde + Audiopax) and compare, this time with MSB Select, instead of Lampizator.

alexandre
Yes, and I see the Lampizator will be just down the hall from the Avantgarde + Audiopax + MSB room with the West Coast debut of the Lite 7. So attendees at The Show Newport will also be able to make that comparison - Lite 7 vs. MSB.
 

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