Golden Gate DAC arrives.

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
14,942
4,279
840
London
#21
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.
One more for you

The Lampi Big 7 is much better than the The MSB Diamond DAC IV (even the plus version, with Galaxy Femto Clock option). I had both (and still own Lampi).
 

Blue58

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2013
607
268
310
London, UK
#23
With great sadness I had to return the Golden Gate Dac to Mark Coles of Sablon Audio and wanted to thank him for the extended loan of the unit.
Why sadness? Because I had no idea how large a leap forward in musical communication the GG could bring, with a little attention to the details.

My initial reservations about its PCM qualities compared to the Audio Aero LaFontaine have been blown out of the water with the addition of the best power cord I have ever heard. The new Sablon Audio Reserva. Without a doubt this cord improved my LaFontaine but did much more for the Golden Gate bringing out all the detail and ambience but more importantly the LIFE of the performance. The gap between AA and GG was now substantial. How can I now go back to the AA and be happy?

Surprisingly, the DSD performance, already at an incredible level prior to the power cord introduction, gained further presence, and ambient detail but the PCM was now much closer to it than ever before. Why PCM is improved to a greater degree than DSD I don't know. I'm sure Mr. 'Sablon' knows.

This Golden Gate had EML solid plate 45s and EML 5u4G as standard. I tried a GZ34 but this reduced the soundstage, dynamics and detail making for a boring sound. The solid plates I know are dynamic champions with plenty of detail but would have liked to hear the mesh plates with a 274b driver. I believe this would have been the ultimate combination in the context of my system. I'm guessing a 101d would be too detailed in my system. The Duo Omega are revealing speakers.

So, the combination of GG, Sablon Reserva power cord and Sablon Panatela USB are as we say in the UK, the dogs b....ks. One heavenly combination.

I now need to fundamentally re-evaluate my system after hearing what the GG can do with both PCM and DSD after paying attention to power cord and tube rolling.

This is the biggest leap forward in sonic performance I've ever witnessed in my 40 yrs of listening. Congratulations to Lukasz and to Mark for phenomenal products.

Ps. Musical selections ranged across, singer songwriter, jazz, classical, rock and electronic/dance. Everything was handled superbly from my Auralic Aries with HD.

Ppss. Bonzo, you have to hear your B7 with the Reserva.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
14,942
4,279
840
London
#24
Hi yes, the Lampi changes character based on the power cord which makes it more enjoyable. Adding mooks under it also transforms it tremendously. What I like about it is that not only does it sound great out of the box, but is also a tweakophile's wet dream with tubes, cords and isolation all affecting its sonics in a big way.
 

wisnon

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2011
3,251
391
455
#25
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
Yup,

Greg told me that the Mundorf caps are known to take up to 5 months to break in fully. Thus many months of the PCM improving is what you have to look forward to in the GG.

Here is a Big7 with the regen in Munich: http://www.audiostream.com/content/lampizator-hq-player-audiopax-avante-garde-digital-done-right

That is the Regen with Tellurium Q USB cable.

I have a Regen with the Corning Optical USB cable and stock SMPS powering the Regen on my Big7 and its a WOW! I cant wait for the upgraded AMBER Regen to use "normal" USB cabling and compare to the Corning.
 

marslo

VIP/Donor
May 2, 2014
731
274
455
Poland
#26
Blue58,
Me too. Very interesting read. Have to approache " Mr Sablon" . Btw, do you have any experience with top acrolinks powering lampi and La Fontaine?
 
Last edited:

marslo

VIP/Donor
May 2, 2014
731
274
455
Poland
#27
Wisnon,

I wonder if this Uptone Audio Regen device may improve the sound if usb cable is only one strand transmitting only data but not the 5v supply.
I am using a custom version of jcat reference and when connected to big 7 I switch off the ps of the usb audio output from the aurender side.
What's your opinion?
 
Last edited:

wisnon

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2011
3,251
391
455
#28
Wisnon,

I wonder if this Uptone Audio Regen device may improve the sound if usb cable is only one strand transmitting only data but not the 5v supply.
I am using a custom version of jcat reference and when connected to big 7 I switch off the ps of the usb audio output from the aurender side.
What's your opinion?
Marslo, in a word…YES.

Clean power is just a side goal of the Regen, not the main one.
It doesnt improve the sound of the cable per se.

JS did his experimentation and found out that USB packet noise is not a continuing stream, but rather a relay. Packet noise causes low signal integrity and that causes the PHY (physical layer of the USB receiver apparatus) to work harder and create ITS OWN noise downstream, eg in the Dac itself. So the noise you experience in the dac didnt come from upstream, rather the upstream noise dies, BUT, it induces the Dac's USB receiver to create new commensurate noise. These noises have at least 2 sources, in the PHY and the MAC. Regen does nothing to the MAC and that noise continues unabated. Not much can be done for that at present by any developed system. However, the PHY noise can be and is addressed by the Regen. In optimizing the Power Distribution Network (PDN) in the Regen (which is basically a specialized/high quality USB hub), carefully matching impedance (with the multi layer PCB plus carefully inserted resistors) and finally running separate power (this is about having a different grounding pathway from the Dac), the Regen causes a significant decrease in induced packet noise generation in the Dac. You block the handovver of the baton in the noise relay. He also somehow manages to lower the overall impedance in the Dac itself, which he asserts is a very good thing.

In summary, given his objectives and the fact that the Regen is placed as close as possible to the Dac's USB receiver (solid metal adapter is best), then the USB cable coming from the source to the Dac is less important and separate from the "magic" of the Regen itself. Of course, the better the upstream components, the less the Regen has to work and the better the overall result. The Regen has its own PHY, dont forget.

The working theory of why the Corning Optical USB cable was so good with the original GREEN Regen, was that it introduced more than 3 ohms of resistance to the Regen and that seems to improve the bass a lot. The new AMBER Regen incorporates similar resistance in the Regen PCB itself andf so is more cable agnostic than the Green.

Better explanations can be found at the Uptone site in the FAQs.
 
Last edited:

marslo

VIP/Donor
May 2, 2014
731
274
455
Poland
#29
Thank you very much, will try amber for sure.
 

Blue58

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2013
607
268
310
London, UK
#30
Wisnon,
5 months! I know full well how caps break in slowly. My Amps have combination of Vcaps, Jupiter, Mundorf etc and partial silver outputs. I'm still not convinced they've broken fully in after 12 months from my experience. Just shows you have to live with a product to understand it. Too many audiophiles listen then dismiss and move on.
Marslo,
I have an amber regen due this month for the AA and will purchase a Sablon Reserva too. This will give me a 'stop gap' until I can purchase a GG and decide whether to abandon analogue altogether so I don't require a preamp.
I'm missing that GG already.
Blue58
 

marslo

VIP/Donor
May 2, 2014
731
274
455
Poland
#31
Blue58,

Pls keep me updated once you receive amber regen. I will try to borrow a standard version from Elberoth , I know he has just received one.
I tried to find more informations about Sablon Reserva but it seems that their website needs an update. Is Reserva much more expensive than Gran Corona?
 

Alpinist

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2014
445
64
233
USA
#32
From the Uptone Audio Website:

"The USB REGEN takes the digital audio stream from your computer or other music streaming device, and generates a completely new USB data signal to feed to your DAC. It accomplishes this by combining a carefully chosen USB hub chip with an ultra low-noise regulator and low-jitter clock. Importantly, it does so with ideal impedance matching—right at the input of your DAC."

I'm interested in this device but I am wondering what's the purpose of the low jitter clock? Does this clock override the DAC clock, which in some cases is extremely high quality? Does this device work with asynchronous USB?

Thanks,
Ken
 

wisnon

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2011
3,251
391
455
#33
It's depressing.

I thought the GG would just be a blingier version of the B7 with a few minor improvements here and there. Initial opinions seemed to confirm this, but we all forgot that brand new - unbroken - GGs were being compared to 1 year old B7s and it was not a fair fight. Now that GGs have a month or 2 on their clocks, they seem to be blowing away the B7. Unbelievable. All the minor parst upgrade seem to be more than the sum of their parts and redefining Lampi SoTA performance.

This has really taken a bit of shine off my B7. Sigh.

Oh well, cant stop progress.
 

wisnon

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2011
3,251
391
455
#34
Blue58,

Pls keep me updated once you receive amber regen. I will try to borrow a standard version from Elberoth , I know he has just received one.
I tried to find more informations about Sablon Reserva but it seems that their website needs an update. Is Reserva much more expensive than Gran Corona?
Amber is standard. Green was the first batch of 100 and is officially obsolete. There is an upgrade program for us in "the 100".

I use the Corning cable with the Green and just SMPS at the moment. Solid adapter as provided.
 
Last edited:

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
14,942
4,279
840
London
#35
Amber is standard. Green was the first batch of 100 and is officially obsolete. There is an upgrade program for us in "the 100".
I am one of the 100. Haven't tried it yet on the Lampi though.
 

wisnon

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2011
3,251
391
455
#36
From the Uptone Audio Website:

"The USB REGEN takes the digital audio stream from your computer or other music streaming device, and generates a completely new USB data signal to feed to your DAC. It accomplishes this by combining a carefully chosen USB hub chip with an ultra low-noise regulator and low-jitter clock. Importantly, it does so with ideal impedance matching—right at the input of your DAC."

I'm interested in this device but I am wondering what's the purpose of the low jitter clock? Does this clock override the DAC clock, which in some cases is extremely high quality? Does this device work with asynchronous USB?

Thanks,
Ken
Yes, it is async.

To completely regenerate the signal, and keep Signal Integrity (SI) high, you need clean power, low jitter clock, impedance matching and optimized PDN. These are the supporting pathways for the main objective....HIGH SI! These are necessary but not by themsleves (in isolation) sufficient conditions for high SI.


When you pass on the high SI to the Dac USB receiver, then you cut down packet noise and all else functions as as one would desire. Dac clock takes over, etc.
 
Last edited:

marslo

VIP/Donor
May 2, 2014
731
274
455
Poland
#37
"It's depressing."

Wisnon,
Maybe we should be addicted to " good enough" instead of " the best " ?;)
 
Last edited:

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
14,942
4,279
840
London
#38
"It's depressing."

Wisnon,
Maybe we should be addicted to " good enough" instead off " the best " ?;)
Yes, I am sure I am not upgrading from B7 - else I will get stuck on the dac upgrade path forever without upgrading speakers etc
 

Blue58

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2013
607
268
310
London, UK
#39
Yes, looking forward to the Amber Regen and will post comments. I'd be interested in Elberoths comments too.
The Sablon Reserva is so new it's not on the website and I can't quote a price until Mark launches it as part of his new range of Reserva cables. If it's under $3000 it's a no brainer. Trouble is I need 5 for my system to replace the VHAudio Airsines that have been my mainstay for a long while.
Wisnon is correct about it not being fair to review the GG unbroken, ie. 3 weeks, compared to 1yr old Big 7. I can only imagine what the GG sounds like after 1 yr. Hence plans to radically alter my system. I can see a W20 somewhere in there too.
Blue58
Blue58,

Pls keep me updated once you receive amber regen. I will try to borrow a standard version from Elberoth , I know he has just received one.
I tried to find more informations about Sablon Reserva but it seems that their website needs an update. Is Reserva much more expensive than Gran Corona?
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing