Lampizator DSD DAC

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
12,745
1,253
588
Thank you, I will:)
I auditionned at home Vivaldi Dac , Metronome c 8 and a new Gryphone Kalliope feeded from W20. All of them had some advantages over La Fontaine, but the overall presentation of Audio Aero is closest to my preferences : fast, detailed and precise sound but on the musical , rich and warmer side. My former player before I switched to AA was ARC Ref 8 and I liked it a lot during nearly 3 years. Then I decided to go " files" and that's a pity AA is closed - my next upgrade could be La Source.
I will go dsd with Lampi instead.
Congratulations for your sophisticated system.

Wow...that is quite a roster of the best of the best! I have heard the Vivaldi and Metronome but never the Gryphon Kalliope.

I honestly can say if we remove the Zanden transport from my system...and use the Audio Aero La Source as a transport to the Zanden instead, it is not so easy to tell the difference between the Zanden DAC and La Source DAC. The dealer and I spent hours going back and forth, and with the La Source as the transport, it was not easy for either of us to differentiate other than in certain minute elements of the treble. Needless to say, I was very impressed with the La Source and would describe it as you say about your La Fontaine.

One key difference (I believe?) is your La Fontaine can do hires where Zanden is RBCD only.

How does the Kalliope compare with these other SOTA digital sources (including yours)? Most curious!
 

marslo

VIP/Donor
May 2, 2014
887
536
440
Poland
Well, the first impression I had after installing Kalliope - the pace of the music slowed down. It was more musical than La Fontaine, but not sweet as Metronome. It was precise and transparent like AA but I missed some dynamic contrast. The edge of tones was less sharp if I remember well.It was very quite , the noise floor was lower compared to AA, with Avantgarde it's easy to evaluate.
From those 3 I would go for Kalliope but I am not ready to get rid completely of cd player. The advantage of AA is that it has built in Esoteric mechanism. When my internet connection break down I can still play cd or sacd.
If on the one end of the scale you put sharp, precise sound and warm and musical on the other than my ranking would be : Vivaldi, La Fontaine, Kalliope, Metronome. The friend of mine Sly is of the opinion that Kalliope is the best of them.
IMO the decision depends very much on synergy with the rest of the system and personal taste and preferences.
I hope it helped.
And yes, La Fontaine does play pcm hires up to 24/192, it plays even DXD 24/352,8 but on the display is 24/192 then. The SQ of HRX Recordings is just awesome.
 
Last edited:

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
1,964
595
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NYC , USA
Getting back to lampi I had two level 5, s and a 4 . They all,played very well both dsd and PCM. I have a level 7 on order.
I own a MSB stack and umt plus . I also have a server 2012 on Order. The lampi,s all sounded very good and had many qualities of the MSB stack. This was from several infinity speaker rigs as well as a host of heardphones . My point in this is judgements that are made with our brains and mostly one system are inherently wrong . I feel any review should be from several people listening on more than one system or type. As ribbons or cones or headphones all have the own colorations and type of details they excell on.
So as much as read reviews it is in my systems where I want it want to sound Its best.

Al
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
12,745
1,253
588
Well, the first impression I had after installing Kalliope - the pace of the music slowed down. It was more musical than La Fontaine, but not sweet as Metronome. It was precise and transparent like AA but I missed some dynamic contrast. The edge of tones was less sharp if I remember well.It was very quite , the noise floor was lower compared to AA, with Avantgarde it's easy to evaluate.
From those 3 I would go for Kalliope but I am not ready to get rid completely of cd player. The advantage of AA is that it has built in Esoteric mechanism. When my internet connection break down I can still play cd or sacd.
If on the one end of the scale you put sharp, precise sound and warm and musical on the other than my ranking would be : Vivaldi, La Fontaine, Kalliope, Metronome. The friend of mine Sly is of the opinion that Kalliope is the best of them.
IMO the decision depends very much on synergy with the rest of the system and personal taste and preferences.
I hope it helped.
And yes, La Fontaine does play pcm hires up to 24/192, it plays even DXD 24/352,8 but on the display is 24/192 then. The SQ of HRX Recordings is just awesome.

Thank you. I realize this is a Lampi thread, but nevertheless I wanted to thank you. Very helpful.

...back to Lampi...
 

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
6,860
269
520
Snohomish, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
Well I've had this DAC for just over a week now and it's been running constantly with no stop. It has about 200+ hours on it now and while I was sitting here doing nothing, waiting for some file transfers, I decided to crank up volume. It's been running in the background the whole time.
Listening to some 70's rock, I can't believe the clarity and transparency this thing has. I know with some 70's rock the sound isn't that great sometimes. Most of the time it's pretty homogenized with not much separation between instruments and such.
Listening to Boston, Dylan, CCR and such I can't believe how much this DAC has improved since the first inception that I reviewed months ago. I listened some to it last weekend and I'll tell you the truth. I wasn't really impressed. It was good, but no where near the PBD or PS Audio. I'm listening to it now and it's a total transformation! This is certainly the best DSD I've heard from any DAC! Again, on 70's rock, sometimes the guitars can wear on you and the vocals, especially on Boston, can become strident. Now they take on a roundness that will only encourage you to turn it up!! The snare has snap, the bottom end bass guitars have a clear beginning and end and not lost in the kick drum. You can hear a definite separation between the two. I particularly listened to the cymbals. I know they can get lost in the hiss and sibilance but not with this DAC.
On Dylan, I feel some of his music can become pedestrian and boring. Not with the Lampi. I've been listening to "Blonde on Blonde", "Nashville Skyline", "Oh Mercy", "Love and Theft" and "Planet Waves". Dylan is exciting again. I'm enjoying my server much better. It's definitely closer to tape, but with the convenience of digital.
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
1,964
595
270
NYC , USA
Dam Bruce I really want mine now even more
After reading this. I hope to have it next week
But judging by your post it will be another week after till I hear what you do
Thanks for sharing
Al
 

bmoura

Well-Known Member
Sep 6, 2013
417
2
248
Well I've had this DAC for just over a week now and it's been running constantly with no stop. It has about 200+ hours on it now and while I was sitting here doing nothing, waiting for some file transfers, I decided to crank up volume. It's been running in the background the whole time.
Listening to some 70's rock, I can't believe the clarity and transparency this thing has. I know with some 70's rock the sound isn't that great sometimes. Most of the time it's pretty homogenized with not much separation between instruments and such.
Listening to Boston, Dylan, CCR and such I can't believe how much this DAC has improved since the first inception that I reviewed months ago. I listened some to it last weekend and I'll tell you the truth. I wasn't really impressed. It was good, but no where near the PBD or PS Audio. I'm listening to it now and it's a total transformation! This is certainly the best DSD I've heard from any DAC! Again, on 70's rock, sometimes the guitars can wear on you and the vocals, especially on Boston, can become strident. Now they take on a roundness that will only encourage you to turn it up!! The snare has snap, the bottom end bass guitars have a clear beginning and end and not lost in the kick drum. You can hear a definite separation between the two. I particularly listened to the cymbals. I know they can get lost in the hiss and sibilance but not with this DAC.
On Dylan, I feel some of his music can become pedestrian and boring. Not with the Lampi. I've been listening to "Blonde on Blonde", "Nashville Skyline", "Oh Mercy", "Love and Theft" and "Planet Waves". Dylan is exciting again. I'm enjoying my server much better. It's definitely closer to tape, but with the convenience of digital.

Which model of the Lampizator is this? The Level 7?
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
1,964
595
270
NYC , USA
I think his is the level 6 pure dsd lampi.
Al
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
9
0
I'm going to keep my mouth shut about the Lampi Level 4 DAC until after my review is published. And please, no one take that as a negative because that is not my intent.
 

rbbert

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2010
3,697
178
460
Reno, NV
I'm going to keep my mouth shut about the Lampi Level 4 DAC until after my review is published. And please, no one take that as a negative because that is not my intent.

Where will it be published?
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
9
0
I'm going to throw out a little tease and say that the Lampi Level 4 DAC in combination with my REF 5SE and REF 75, is doing something via DSD that I have never heard digital do before.
 

wisnon

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2011
3,320
438
440
Bruce has the special DSD-Only model. It is the Lampi DSD-Only DAC with Duelunds and balanced configuration. Fred and Rob can confirm this.
 

bmoura

Well-Known Member
Sep 6, 2013
417
2
248
Bruce has the special DSD-Only model. It is the Lampi DSD-Only DAC with Duelunds and balanced configuration. Fred and Rob can confirm this.

So this is a pro model that has balanced outs and doesn't play PCM files? Is it comparable otherwise to one of the Lampi levels ?
 

wisnon

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2011
3,320
438
440
No, its a normal consumer model with optional duelunds and balanced config. It is like having a Level 4 without the PCM part.

In all Lampi (Level) models , the DSD module is an option, except in this model where its the raison d'être. DSD takes centrestage and it occupies it alone.

Levels 3 to 7 are essentially PCM Dacs with DSD as an optional module.
 

rbbert

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2010
3,697
178
460
Reno, NV
No, its a normal consumer model with optional duelunds and balanced config. It is like having a Level 4 without the PCM part.

In all Lampi (Level) models , the DSD module is an option, except in this model where its the raison d'être. DSD takes centrestage and it occupies it alone.

Levels 3 to 7 are essentially PCM Dacs with DSD as an optional module.

So I remain confused about how or why the DSD DAC would sound better (or even different) than for example a L5 or L4 with Duelands and the DSD module?
 

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