Looking for a more organic dac

musicfirst1

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Dear Bonzo and Christoph
Sorry for the Typo. I meant the big 7 (actually had the balanced version) as well as the Pacific.
And yes, I've owned all that I said I owned and FOR ME, the Lampis are a far from neutral as anything I've tried.
It is clear to me from each your gear lists, that you prefer a deviation from 'truth' towards 'beauty', which is fine, but please refrain from denigrating other's honest offered opinions made in good faith.

Yes, I did roll tubes, I bought Lampi LTD Edition tubes from Lukasz that he recommended when he shipped me the capacitors

Since you defend the Lampis so vehemently, let me just add these thoughts; the noise floor, particularly from the 7 balanced, was easily heard with no music playing and during quiet passages through 85db speakers 8 feet from the listening position. I contacted Lukasz and it was a known issue to him which he said could be remedied by the addition of a pair of capacitors. While this modification reduced this noise, it was, for me, still unacceptable for a product that portends to be SOTA.

Will some love the Lampis above all others? Of course! They offer a glimpse of tube beauty that is hard to replicate. (I would highly recommend trying the Aries Cerat Kassandra II if your serious about this type of sound though.)

Its unfortunate that in this day of PC, one cannot offer dissenting opinions on products without incurring the defensive wrath of others :(.

I stand by my original post (with the corrected typo :rolleyes:.)

Be kind to one another.
 
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bonzo75

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Dear Bonzo and Christoph
Sorry for the Typo. I meant the big 7 (actually had the balanced version) as well as the Pacific.
And yes, I've owned all that I said I owned and FOR ME, the Lampis are far from neutral.
It is clear from your gear lists, that you prefer a deviation from 'truth' towards 'beauty', which is fine, but please refrain from denigrating
other's honest offered opinions made in good faith.

Since you defend the Lampis so vehemently, let me just add these thoughts; the noise floor, particularly from the 7 balanced, was easily heard with no music playing and during quiet passages through 85db speakers 8 feet from the listening position. I contacted Lukasz and it was a known issue to him which he said could be remedied by the addition of a pair of capacitors. While this modification reduced this noise, it was, for me, still unacceptable for a product that portends to be SOTA.

I stand by my original post.

Did you try changing valves?
 

musicfirst1

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Did you try changing valves?
I did, I bought anniversary recti and signal tubes that Lukasz recommended (the specific valve types escape me now)
 

bonzo75

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I did, I bought anniversary recti and signal tubes that Lukasz recommended (the specific valve types escape me now)

The signal tubes need to be changed to find the difference. The ones that Lukasz recommends are usually the 300b and the most coloured and my least liked.

changing the signal tubes is changing the core of the dac
 

musicfirst1

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No, they were definitely not 300bs.
 

opm

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Aug 8, 2021
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View attachment 80947 SW1X DAC V

Para mí la pregunta si preferiría escuchar lo analógico o digital salió volando por la ventana escuchando el SW1X DAC III Balanced. Con el DAC V, la habitación simplemente desapareció. No haba duda.

Características de SW1X Audio Design ™ DAC V:

  • Sin sobremuestreo: filtrado digital cero Diseño R2R DAC
  • Calidad de componentes y materiales especialmente seleccionados y armonizados
  • Transformador de salida de señal desacoplado, cero NFB, etapa de salida de válvula de triodo de potencia con calentamiento directo
  • SW1X Audio Design Transformadores de salida de señal de núcleo de CC Super HiB con bobinado de cobre de diseño personalizado
  • Fuentes de alimentación de baja tensión reguladas por voltaje de derivación de transistor discreto
  • Emparejamiento dinámico de elementos (DEM) alimentado por válvulas con válvula rectificada, fuente de alimentación B + filtrada por estrangulador
  • Válvula de diodo doble, cuasi mono, calentada directamente, rectificada B + Fuente de alimentación
  • Admite entrada de señal digital coaxial S / PDIF de hasta 24 bits / 96 kHz (reproducción opcional de Purist Red Book de hasta 48 kHz únicamente)
  • Transformadores y bobinas de reactancia de núcleo M6 EI de grano oriental
  • Condensadores de desacoplamiento Black Gate para TDA1541 DAC


Extras opcionales

  • Etapa de salida de tubo completamente cableado en la placa de baquelita
  • Cableado de plata fina en la entrada, placa de baquelita y salida
  • SW1X Audio Design Transformadores de salida de señal de núcleo DC Super HiB con diseño personalizado y entorchado total o parcialmente plateado
  • Condensadores Black Gate VK en la fuente de alimentación B +
  • Condensadores Black Gate en fuente de alimentación de BT y condensadores de desacoplamiento para TDA1541A DAC
  • Resistencias de niobio no magnéticas de 2 W en una placa de baquelita cableada
  • Transformadores de red Super HiB de doble núcleo C para las fuentes de alimentación digitales y DHT / DHD
  • TDA1541R Seleccionado u opcional TDA1541A S1 o S2 Versión de corona seleccionada
  • Condensadores de desacoplamiento de señal entre etapas: 1. Lámina de cobre en aceite o 2. Condensadores de lámina de plata
  • Resistencias de tantalio no magnéticas de plata de 2 W
  • Entrada XLR AES / EBU o I2S
View attachment 80948
View attachment 80949
Thanks for the recommendation. I will investigate
 

Vangelis

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Oct 11, 2011
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Organic DACs to consider:

1) Aries Cerat Helene **** and Kassandra (the Kassandra II ****+ is the best DAC I've heard)
2) Mola Mola Tambaqui **** the digital volume control is the best I've heard and volume control is not available on the AC DACs.
3) Metrum Adagio ***+ a world beater, esp if you need a preamp
4) Sonnet Morpheous ***+ many prefe rthis to the Adagio, but not me. Close but no Cohiba...
5) Aqua HiFi *** (Optilogic ***+)

Others I've owned and would not Recommend:

Yggdrasil (way overrated, I have a 240v version that someone can have cheap)
Lampizator (Big 7 and Pacific) very colored IMO and extemely noisy
Chord Dave(really good ***+ to **** with the MScalar, but too expensive as a combo for what they do)
This year I decided to replace my ten year old Bel Canto DAC because it was dated technology and a three chassis front end (DAC, power supply, and SPDiF converter) that took up too much space, so I needed to reclaim the shelf space and upgrade.



I started the Bel Canto replacement journey with the DSC Bartok. I felt the Bartok sounded good but lacked the transparency and density I was seeking, subsequently, I bought the Deniflaps Terminator Plus, the Mojo Mystique Evo, and Bricasti M1se. Theses DAC all brought something different to the table, but ultimately none were engaging enough.



I was frustrated not finding the upgrade I was seeking to replace Bel Canto until I put the Lampizator Amber 3 into my system. With Amber 3, the music lit up not only with energy and drive but also in image density, detail and a vice grip bass. I was stunned that this 3k DAC pretty much crushed all the previous DACs, given the sonic qualities I value. The Lampitzators just bring a swagger to the music that I am not heard from any other DAC. BTW, I have never experienced any noise or tube rush even with my ear right at the speaker, and that’s in the high gain setting.



I was so smitten with the Amber 3 that I just had to hear what a better Lampizator could provide. I just took delivery of a Baltic 3 today.
 

opm

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Aug 8, 2021
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I appreciate your input.

It's funny because today I ordered an Amber 3 for a week-long evaluation. I guess I'll get it on Friday.

I will update my impressions.
 
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dbeau

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I was so smitten with the Amber 3 that I just had to hear what a better Lampizator could provide. I just took delivery of a Baltic 3 today.
I moved from an older version of Berkeley Alpha to Baltic 3 and upon first turning on the improvement was evident and has gotten better with breaking in the tubes - You'll be happy and congrats
 
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christoph

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This year I decided to replace my ten year old Bel Canto DAC because it was dated technology and a three chassis front end (DAC, power supply, and SPDiF converter) that took up too much space, so I needed to reclaim the shelf space and upgrade.



I started the Bel Canto replacement journey with the DSC Bartok. I felt the Bartok sounded good but lacked the transparency and density I was seeking, subsequently, I bought the Deniflaps Terminator Plus, the Mojo Mystique Evo, and Bricasti M1se. Theses DAC all brought something different to the table, but ultimately none were engaging enough.



I was frustrated not finding the upgrade I was seeking to replace Bel Canto until I put the Lampizator Amber 3 into my system. With Amber 3, the music lit up not only with energy and drive but also in image density, detail and a vice grip bass. I was stunned that this 3k DAC pretty much crushed all the previous DACs, given the sonic qualities I value. The Lampitzators just bring a swagger to the music that I am not heard from any other DAC. BTW, I have never experienced any noise or tube rush even with my ear right at the speaker, and that’s in the high gain setting.



I was so smitten with the Amber 3 that I just had to hear what a better Lampizator could provide. I just took delivery of a Baltic 3 today.
Congrats and thanks for your detailed path to the Baltic 3 :cool:
 
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christoph

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Congrats to you as well :cool:
 

opm

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This weekend I received an Amber 3 Lampizator with a built-in preamp to test. The dealer also left me an Innuos Zen mini (without PSU) as a streamer as I had no other way to broadcast as the Bartok has no digital outputs. Also added a nice usb cable.
When I heard this combo on my system, I felt that the sound change was very radical. At first I was a little taken aback until I got used to it.

The first change I noticed is that it sounded definitely more “analog” and smooth, and it was fine, but at the same time there was a very important reduction in transparency, detail and precision.

Then it occurred to me to run the Bartok through the preamp of the A3. This is when things became very even in the sound signature. The Bartok no longer sounded like it and had lost all the characteristic attributes: it sounded dirty, without detail, without transparency and the dynamics a bit truncated.
I realized that the preamplifier of the A3 was what marked the “analog” sound but being a very important bottleneck in the level and quality of the sound.

If someone had blindfolded me and traded the Bartok for the Amber without my knowing it, I would have sworn they had traded my AR Ref150SE for a vintage receiver from the 80s. It was like a trip back in time.

With all this I am not criticizing the A3 as a dac because I cannot know how it would sound straight to a quality preamp. Or if a Baltic vastly outperforms an A3. What I have clear is that the preamp of the A3 leaves a lot to be desired and editorializes too much.

I do not want to pass a negative judgment on Lampizator as it has been a somewhat strange test because I have not been able to evaluate the dac as such. But if I have to evaluate the A3 with preamp, I can say that it is at a very low level compared to the Bartok, and dCS plays in a completely different league.
I hope these comments do not imply anger on the part of Lampizator users. They are my impressions in my house with my system.
 
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Addicted to hifi

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This weekend I received an Amber 3 Lampizator with a built-in preamp to test. The dealer also left me an Innuos Zen mini (without PSU) as a streamer as I had no other way to broadcast as the Bartok has no digital outputs. Also added a nice usb cable.
When I heard this combo on my system, I felt that the sound change was very radical. At first I was a little taken aback until I got used to it.

The first change I noticed is that it sounded definitely more “analog” and smooth, and it was fine, but at the same time there was a very important reduction in transparency, detail and precision.

Then it occurred to me to run the Bartok through the preamp of the A3. This is when things became very even in the sound signature. The Bartok no longer sounded like it and had lost all the characteristic attributes: it sounded dirty, without detail, without transparency and the dynamics a bit truncated.
I realized that the preamplifier of the A3 was what marked the “analog” sound but being a very important bottleneck in the level and quality of the sound.

If someone had blindfolded me and traded the Bartok for the Amber without my knowing it, I would have sworn they had traded my AR Ref150SE for a vintage receiver from the 80s. It was like a trip back in time.

With all this I am not criticizing the A3 as a dac because I cannot know how it would sound straight to a quality preamp. Or if a Baltic vastly outperforms an A3. What I have clear is that the preamp of the A3 leaves a lot to be desired and editorializes too much.

I do not want to pass a negative judgment on Lampizator as it has been a somewhat strange test because I have not been able to evaluate the dac as such. But if I have to evaluate the A3 with preamp, I can say that it is at a very low level compared to the Bartok, and dCS plays in a completely different league.
I hope these comments do not imply anger on the part of Lampizator users. They are my impressions in my house with my system.
That’s good news For you.well done.
 

thomask

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It wil give warmer sound at reasonable cost.
 

Al M.

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It wil give warmer sound at reasonable cost.

Which cost? Less resolution?
 

bonzo75

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This weekend I received an Amber 3 Lampizator with a built-in preamp to test. The dealer also left me an Innuos Zen mini (without PSU) as a streamer as I had no other way to broadcast as the Bartok has no digital outputs. Also added a nice usb cable.
When I heard this combo on my system, I felt that the sound change was very radical. At first I was a little taken aback until I got used to it.

The first change I noticed is that it sounded definitely more “analog” and smooth, and it was fine, but at the same time there was a very important reduction in transparency, detail and precision.

Then it occurred to me to run the Bartok through the preamp of the A3. This is when things became very even in the sound signature. The Bartok no longer sounded like it and had lost all the characteristic attributes: it sounded dirty, without detail, without transparency and the dynamics a bit truncated.
I realized that the preamplifier of the A3 was what marked the “analog” sound but being a very important bottleneck in the level and quality of the sound.

If someone had blindfolded me and traded the Bartok for the Amber without my knowing it, I would have sworn they had traded my AR Ref150SE for a vintage receiver from the 80s. It was like a trip back in time.

With all this I am not criticizing the A3 as a dac because I cannot know how it would sound straight to a quality preamp. Or if a Baltic vastly outperforms an A3. What I have clear is that the preamp of the A3 leaves a lot to be desired and editorializes too much.

I do not want to pass a negative judgment on Lampizator as it has been a somewhat strange test because I have not been able to evaluate the dac as such. But if I have to evaluate the A3 with preamp, I can say that it is at a very low level compared to the Bartok, and dCS plays in a completely different league.
I hope these comments do not imply anger on the part of Lampizator users. They are my impressions in my house with my system.

At just above the cost of bartok you would get the Golden Gate which is superior to the vivaldi on every aspect of realism, tone, nuance, dynamic range, agility, flow, flexibility, transparency, soundstage, etc

The amber is such a basic model for the financially constrained what is the point of comparing it to something more expensive. It is being sold as a compromise.
 

Ian B

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I owned a Bartok for a couple months and it was not my cup of tea. Too harsh, not enough dynamics, sharp edges, just not that fun to listen to. The DCS sound does have a few interesting tricks, but ultimately too harsh and digital.

I approached the next DAC thinking more of how to fix the things I didn't like about the Bartok and expand on what I liked about my old PS Audio Direcstream. So this wasn't going for a completely different tack with tubes or NOS. Ultimately the EMM Labs DA2 delivered what I wanted, all the jagged and unpleasant artifacts remedied, musical, but without shifting to a drastically different sound texture.

I have heard one Lampi, a very early one from the DSD-only days, and it sounded fabulous the way the soundstage was so 3D and alive. I'm sure I could be happy with one of those, but at present the tubes are going to be elsewhere in the chain and the DA2 digital rendering is excellent if lacking the more colored sound.

There's more than one way to get an organic sound but the major elements to pick and choose from are DSD-based, R2R, NOS, and tubes in various combinations. I've always favored DSD, so I have a solid state DSD-based DAC. It surely isn't the most lush choice, but rather transparent/neutral without the digititus, harshness, or glare and with excellent transients and speed. In comparison, the R2R converters I know best are professional and ancient Pacific Microsonics Model 2 ADC/DAC (now Berkeley Audio) and I'd take the EMM Labs any day of the week. Or a Lampizator.
 

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