LampizatOr Golden Atlantic + TRP

Last weekend I had a pleasure with several good and dear friends to hear at mine and at @wisnon place new reincarnation of LampizatOr Golden Atlantic Plus TRP where TRP stands for Tube Rollers Paradise. Where this name came from - actually the catch is that as output tubes this one uses pentode tubes working in triode mode ranging from El34, 6L6, KT88,90,120,150 and many more, while as recti tubes same ones can be used as for the rest of the Lampi family. What Norman told me, choice of tubes is getting into hundreds (considering variables of producers, types, etc.).
We rolled few El34s and KT120 as we had those on hand and El34 is/was clearly better than KT120 especially the NOS ones with Blackburn codes on them (xf3, xf4).
Sound wise what to say - maybe I could say is that this DAC is a nuclear bomb in a small package - just fantastic in every sense...speed, presentation, musicality, you name it.
Compared to my GG2, i still prefer mine, due to larger scale of everything and also having a bit more of that tube seductive character, but when things are put into perspective and if being realistic I could live happily ever after with TRP.
Again a fantastic DAC from Lampi team and they really nailed it. Respect!
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When I asked LampiNA about spdif vs USB for use with a streamer/server, Rob said USB sounds better. Between a modified digital only Oppo 203 and TRP I use an iFI spdif iPurifier supplied by a Paul Hynes LPS, with a couple of High Fidelity magnetic connectors. The Oppo doesn’t have USB out.
 
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I bought my cherished Atlantic TRP (R2R board, Amanero USB) pre-owned from Lampizator Poland. I, too, asked whether it was advisable to use a DDC thru the AES input instead of USB. Lukasz replied that the AES input would be at best equal but not better than the USB. So I use an Allo USBridge Signature to feed the USB input and I am very happy. The new USB board (JBS, JBL?) is even improved.
 
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@morricab I've started with the M2Tech orange USB to coax converter, really can't recall what model that was exactly. It sounded much better than optical from the PC motherboard. Then I used SOTM sMS-200. I know it's a network bridge, but I believe we can call it some sort of DDC. I've had an opportunity to listen to Denafrips Iris some time ago and it sounded really nice. I think that the effect of using DDC strongly depends on DACs' implementation of digital inputs. Knowing Lampizator, they put an emphasis on USB input and DSD playback.

@highstream my dad uses Oppo 105D, thanks for giving me an idea for a Christmas present!

@Blake using I2S is a super interesting concept, as it's very straightforward in terms of the signal path. On the other hand, this signal is extremely susceptible to timing errors, so using it outside the box requires some extra care. It's a new idea and format, I'm looking forward to seeing how it evolves.
 
@highstream my dad uses Oppo 105D, thanks for giving me an idea for a Christmas present!

The key, other than a good quality spdif cable -- mine is the PAD Neptune -- is replacing the OEM wall iFi supplies. Just not worth it sonically otherwise. The 203 mod was done by Ric Schultz of http://tweakaudio.com/, although for a lot less than the current 205 mod price. He replaced the analog board with a beefed up power supply, plus a number of other changes.
 
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@highstream thanks for your input. Yes, we understand the effects of good power supplies, that's why we provide better ones for our products in form of the iPower, and the iPower X. I can see, you went all-in with a linear power supply for your SPDIF iPurifier. That's quite some mods you have done! Never heard PAD cables, why have you chosen them?
 
@highstream thanks for your input. Yes, we understand the effects of good power supplies, that's why we provide better ones for our products in form of the iPower, and the iPower X. I can see, you went all-in with a linear power supply for your SPDIF iPurifier. That's quite some mods you have done! Never heard PAD cables, why have you chosen them?
I like a modestly warm sound and that’s how reviewers and the developer, Jim Aud, described it. It is or was second down in PAD’s line. For best consumer (vs. industry insider) pricing on PAD, PM).
 
I like a modestly warm sound and that’s how reviewers and the developer, Jim Aud, described it. It is or was second down in PAD’s line. For best consumer (vs. industry insider) pricing on PAD, PM).
Well, I need to check them out then. Sounds like my cup of tea. Have you tried other cables before PAD?
 
Well, I have bought a matched pair Siemens f2a and the F2a to EL34 adapters. I can say that these tubes are fantastic. Sound is more in line with the Tesla EL51, and very much different from the sound of the WE350B. The Siemens F2a is a ‘better’ version of the Tesla EL51. It is more detailed. You really hear very deep into the recording. As if an extra layer of haziness is removed. A very transparent sound. Mesmerizing. It has great tone. Very easy to hear over- and undertones of instruments. It has great presence, a bit similar to the Tesla EL51. Bass control and deep bass also great. But that was great on the Tesla EL51 as well. It betters the Tesla especially in transparency and naturalness. It sounds less forced, probably because it is more transparent. Again , it is a ‘better’ version of the Tesla EL51 type of sound. I prefer it over the WE350B and Tesla EL51 by quite a margin.

It is the combination of transparency & cleanness. You hear so much more of the nuances in music. It is addictive. That combined with presence, dynamics, and great bass control makes it my new reference. The WE350 is nice. It is open, natural, airy and friendly. Music in one big open space. But is nowhere near as detailed, nor does it have the presence and the bass control of the Siemens F2a. The only reason to prefer the WE350B over the Siemens F2a is as you prefer a more easy going type of sound.

I use the Siemens F2a with the Elrog 274B rectifier. A fantastic combination. The Elrog 274B is also very transparent, very detailed and natural. If you like the Siemens F2a/ Tesla EL51 type of sound, I think you like the Elrog 274B (or Elrog in general) type of sound as well.
 
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I don’t know the WE350, but did use the Tesla for some time before going over to the Sophia EL34 and now KT88. But we all have different sonic preferences and how or what we listen to. Which leads to my question that will (hopefully) better understand your posts about the Siemens: What is the Tesla EL51 kind of sound to you?
 
I don’t know the WE350, but did use the Tesla for some time before going over to the Sophia EL34 and now KT88. But we all have different sonic preferences and how or what we listen to. Which leads to my question that will (hopefully) better understand your posts about the Siemens: What is the Tesla EL51 kind of sound to you?
The Tesla EL51 is very dynamic, upfront, powerful sounding with deep bass. But it is not aggressive because it has good tone. That is what makes it a great tube in my opinion. The KT77 Gold lion is less dynamic, but more aggressive. Still a nice tube but I much prefer the Tesla. The WE350 is not agressive but also less powerful soudning. It is a bit lean sounding because of the lack of deep bass. It is very airy sounding. The Tesla and Siemens F2a do not sound very airy.
 
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I assume you can articulate your priorities. What do you mean by great tone? If you follow discussions such as this, you probably know that listeners with incompatible tastes will say that very same thing, or perhaps use the term “natural.”
 
I assume you can articulate your priorities. What do you mean by great tone? If you follow discussions such as this, you probably know that listeners with incompatible tastes will say that very same thing, or perhaps use the term “natural.”
Fair point. The WE350B is bass light, it is therefore a bit thin in tone. Typcial British tubes (Mullard etc) are often bass heavy, they miss the extended treble. They sound a bit heavy, warm and dull.

The Tesla and the Siemens are extended in both treble and bass. That is a good start for 'good tone'. The most important criteria for good tone however is transparancy. The more transparant a tube, the more you hear the over- and undertones of notes, the subtle nuances of each individual instrument. The Siemens F2a excels in transparancy. That is what makes it natural. That is what makes 'good tone'. Instruments sound like real instruments. it is very easy to distinguish between different type of instruments and different types of guitars for instance. That is what makes the Siemens f2a sound so great to me.

That is also what I meant with removing haziness. There is just a more direct contact between you and the sound of each musical instrument. Because instruments sound so natural you can play loud without it becomes tiring. The Siemens F2a has great presence, the sound is front row, exciting. The Tesla EL51 has this too, but is a bit less transparant than the F2a. That is why it can sound a bit forced, less natural, and therefore a bit more fatiguing when played very loud. The Siemens because of its transparancy does not suffer from that, and that is why I really like this tube. I like exciting front row sound, and long is has great (natural) tone (extended in bass and treble, combined with great transparancy).
I assume you can articulate your priorities. What do you mean by great tone? If you follow discussions such as this, you probably know that listeners with incompatible tastes will say that very same thing, or perhaps use the term “natural.”
 
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By tone, I was really trying to get a sense of the Siemens’ degree of warmth. Achieving a modest bit is my starting point. After that comes the degree to which instruments resemble the real thing in pitch (given that this is reproduction).. Without those two, instead of losing myself in the music, I find myself distracted, if not annoyed — or worse. All the rest is added benefit. I found the Teslas compatible, but I’m not sure your perception of what you call the Tesla sound derives from a similar approach or tastes.
 
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By tone, I was really trying to get a sense of the Siemens’ degree of warmth. Achieving a modest bit is my starting point. After that comes the degree to which instruments resemble the real thing in pitch (given that this is reproduction).. Without those two, instead of losing myself in the music, I find myself distracted, if not annoyed — or worse. All the rest is added benefit. I found the Teslas compatible, but I’m not sure your perception of what you call the Tesla sound derives from a similar approach or tastes.
All I can say to that is that bad digital recordings with a sharp edge sound beter than ever. There is no false sense of detail because of emphasis on the treble.Absolutely not. I 100% need enough 'warmth' so I can play all my recordings also the very bad recordings. I do not buy music because it is well recorded, I buy music because it is great music. The Elrog tubes also have this 'warmth'. It is high;y detailed/transparant but very natural. Not sharp, or edged. Hope this helps. If not, I did my best:)
 
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Great comments of the Siemens tubes, Wjhen! I also have in house the Siemens F2As, Tesla el51s (and el50s), the Sophia el34's, and a few others. The ones names are in the upper echelon of tubes for me, and I could listen to any very happily, and each particulary with different types of music or albums. I also find that as I swap different other components (e.g. amps) that I favor one over the other generally. In broad strokes:

-Tesla el51s: Closest to good vinyl dynamics and great energy and extension, although can be edgey/aggressive at times (truth hurts?)
-Tesla and Mullard el50s: A less edgy version of the Tesla el51 with a little less bass and energy, very enjoyable
-Sophia el34ST: Ahhhh, tubes....is my reply. Nicely resolved, warm, wonderful, dense, mesmerizing, and current production !!!
-Siemens F2a: "Everything is Awesome" from top to bottom and so holographic, waters off the coast of Kauai clear presentation, and spacious, if less warm, yet revelatory.

The Siemens vs Sophia change is somewhat akin to going from a good tube amp in triode to a good Class A SS amp type of experience in my system. Both are excellent in their own ways.

I've settled generally on the Brimar CV1863 over quite a few other nice rectifiers (although I'd love to hear the Elrog one day).
 
All I can say to that is that bad digital recordings with a sharp edge sound beter than ever. There is no false sense of detail because of emphasis on the treble.Absolutely not. I 100% need enough 'warmth' so I can play all my recordings also the very bad recordings. I do not buy music because it is well recorded, I buy music because it is great music. The Elrog tubes also have this 'warmth'. It is high;y detailed/transparant but very natural. Not sharp, or edged. Hope this helps. If not, I did my best:)

Thanks. Didn’t get notification, so didn’t see it. I’ve found that modest warmth and a high degree of transparency rarely come in the same package, which is why given the emphasis of your posts, I asked. Socrates appears to find the Siemens less warm than the Sophia EL34, which I found somewhat less so than the Sophia KT88. But a lot of times how tubes express themselves depends on the circuit.
 
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This thread has been quiet for awhile. Happy listening?

Something that might be of interest... The dealer who delivered my ATC SCM 50ASLT's last month also brought over the very highly regarded Weiss 502 dac for comparison with my TRP. Listening with the TRP, he commented about how clean the sound was (not clinical). Switching in the 502, the clean was no longer, but there was a pleasing warmth, and I politely commented about that. Considering that the TRP is fifth in Lampi's line, that's saying something, although to be fair, the TRP was using a QSA Red fuse.
 

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