LampizatOr Baltic 3
Ever since LampizatOr DAC's got their new names inspired by bridges and water the feeling (to me) has been that the lower end models like Amber and Baltic (and what even happened to the short lived Euforia?!) have been living in the shadows, not really drawing any particular interest or getting any praise from either longterm Lampi fans or new audiences.
When Amber 3 was released something changed. Of course most die hard fans where already at least on Golden Atlantic or Golden Gate level, but still there where quite some fuzz about the new Amber. I've told my story before, but in short I came from Level 4 DSD, Atlantic, Golden Atlantic, then tried to live without a Lampi for some time. When I realized my mistake, perhaps the most obvious choice would have been to aim for Golden Gate or (not at the time released) Golden Atlantic TRP models. For some reason though, Amber 3 was what caught my curiosity, of course money played some part of it too, but I had a strong feeling that I just needed to try the new Amber.
Being the new entry model, Amber 3 took me by surprise! Maybe it wasn't as refined, effortless or polished as GA, it was a bit rougher, but it was a lot of fun and incredibly musical, it had something very engaging and attractive going on, and for the price I thought it was a giant killer. My feeling was that this was a new beginning, this was the new entry level of the "next generation" LampizatOr DAC's.
While Amber 3 perhaps "got me back" and I was perfectly happy with it, I simply had to upgrade to Baltic 3 when it was announced. I thought about it for a few days but I knew from the beginning that this new DAC had my name written all over it already. It has now been playing continuously in my system for the last 60 hours, not yet fully broken in I assume.
The press release was bold, it positioned Baltic 3 between Amber 3 and Golden Gate 2. While I have admittedly only listened to the latter in shows and not in my own system, the step up from Amber 3 is simply ridiculous! My feeling with Baltic 3 is similar to what I felt before, this is the next step of an evolution that was started with Amber 3. This time it's not only a new beginning or a giant killer though, this time it's a game changer!
My words are big, the press release was bold, it's easy to get into the hype. I'll try to report my listening impressions as burning in continues, but if there is one thing I want to leave with you now it is that Baltic 3 needs to be taken seriously. This DAC does not belong among the lower end models anymore, this thing is for real! I'll be impatiently waiting for the reviews and hopefully other happy new owner impressions, but this DAC is in one word amazing! I'm deeply impressed.