Pacific dac: Lampizator's new top of the line dac

May 30, 2010
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Regarding hum and the CJ preamp. I had a similar situation where I was using the AudioNet Max amps with a Simaudio 740p preamp. I use balanced ic's from the preamp to the amp. I upgraded my preamp to the Stern and suddenly there was a noticeable hum coming through my speakers. You can imagine how upset I would be at this situation. I could switch back to the simaudio and the hum would go away. I tried a lot of things in troubleshooting but eventually (within a couple days) I contacted AudioNet and they had me try a pair of single ended cables and the hum went away. Turns out that the Stern preamp lifts the ground pin in balanced ic's. I purchased a pair of ground cables from Shunyata terminated with RCA's on both ends. I simply ran this cable in parallel from the back of the preamp to the amp and it provided the gournd. No more hum.

You don't have to necessarily sell your beloved CJ preamp if you can find the problem that is causing the ground loop. But the process can be maddening.

Good Luck,
Todd
Probably you were a victim of the famous "pin 1 problem" https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/chip-amps/269914-pin-1-a.html . Still an issue in many systems, it is one the reasons sometimes people experience big changes with grounding devices.
 
Sep 25, 2018
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If the hum goes away by replacing CJ preamp, and if the CJ preamp does not make the Lampi with the 242 tubes in it sound magical (this is very preamp dependent) sell it. There are many preamps. The best one is the one the gels with the 242 in the Lampi. People online will spend their lifetime comparing AR, VTL, CJ. It doesn't matter. All those preamps are mediocre and compared to what can be done once a preamp fits in with Lampi 242
Sir the understanding around the house is if it’s the Missus or the Lampi.... well yes it’s that serious. No plans on getting rid of my Lampi. And speaking of 242 tubes, anyone trying to offload a 4 set hit me up.
 
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bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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With all due respect Ked you don't know anything about my reactions and the 242 not working it's magic. I remain in awe about this DAC and yes I still have the RK-KR PX25 tube to try. I like to understand one tube before I try another and so far the 242 has been checking all of my boxes. As to the use of the volume control on the Lampi , I was advised by many users that this is the best way to go. I have stated here several times that I tune the gain on my preamp to suit my taste and then use the gain control on the lampi to further tune to satisfaction. I have done this so many times in the dark and with eyes closed and it seems for my ears I always find the sweet spot on the lampi gain anywhere from -10Db to -16DB with -12Db the most common place I listen.

There's nothing wrong with my preamp Ked and if you remember I have no hum with my Lampi
I didn't say anything about your preamp Steve. It is about the match of the 242 with the preamp. Regardless I was just trying to galvanize you to reply.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I have to say again that I remain in awe over the Lampi Pacific.. Initially as you all know I had every intent to buy a super expensive DAC but as luck would have it, I received my Extreme first and it was so good and so quick that I quickly realized that I could just as easily build the system around the Extreme rather than building the system around the DAC.

You all also know that my system is all tubes and the Lampi was my initial plan a few years ago when I began planing for a new DAC. The reservations I had both proved to be non issues in my system...specifically I was worried that the tube DAC could change the natural sound i had sought to achieve over the past 4-5 years with my Lamm gear and cabling as well as the underlying concern that many members were verbalizing concerns about a hum they developed when going with the Lampi DAC

I was glad that I put those predeterminations to rest and bought the Lampi and as stated it is totally quiet. It is the sound quality that is so real for my ears. I am tough to please but once there I rarely diverge. Well there are a few things on my radar that I have yet to try

1. HAL's tube damping rings (even though I do not hear the 242 ring

2. It seems that amongst you Lampi gurus, the love is split been the standard 242 and the RK-KR PX25. I have a set of the latter that I plan on using soon
 

bonzo75

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It is not split. Those who have heard the 242 sound good think Lampi 242 is the best thing in audio.

Then there are the have nots. Those who have not heard the 242 set up properly like the Lampi 45s and the PX25. Of those two, I prefer the Lampi 45s. They are very airy and tonally nice and great for vocal inflections. PX25 have better punch and gain.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
It is not split. Those who have heard the 242 sound good think Lampi 242 is the best thing in audio.

Then there are the have nots. Those who have not heard the 242 set up properly like the Lampi 45s and the PX25. Of those two, I prefer the Lampi 45s. They are very airy and tonally nice and great for vocal inflections. PX25 have better punch and gain.

So far for my ears the 242 is simply superb, so much so that I have yet to muster the urge to switch to the PX25's I have
 
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Alrainbow

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Dec 12, 2013
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With all due respect Ked you don't know anything about my reactions and the 242 not working it's magic. I remain in awe about this DAC and yes I still have the RK-KR PX25 tube to try. I like to understand one tube before I try another and so far the 242 has been checking all of my boxes. As to the use of the volume control on the Lampi , I was advised by many users that this is the best way to go. I have stated here several times that I tune the gain on my preamp to suit my taste and then use the gain control on the lampi to further tune to satisfaction. I have done this so many times in the dark and with eyes closed and it seems for my ears I always find the sweet spot on the lampi gain anywhere from -10Db to -16DB with -12Db the most common place I listen.

There's nothing wrong with my preamp Ked and if you remember I have no hum with my Lampi
Steve I have argued so many times to do as you’re doing and get bashed for it. I completely agree no lights are needed to dial it in. So many are against trying it as you have done. glad you are posting about it
 

bonzo75

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So far for my ears the 242 is simply superb, so much so that I have yet to muster the urge to switch to the PX25's I have
Ok then, you are set. You won't like the PX25 and the 242 will sound better than your analog.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Ok then, you are set. You won't like the PX25 and the 242 will sound better than your analog.
Now that’s the rub Ked. The digital side of my system has become so good that it has changed the way I listen to music. The interesting thing is that with all the money I had left over because I went Lampi DAC I bought an Etsuro Urushi Gold cartridge which I have yet to even install as I’m getting so much pleasure from the Pacific
 

Alrainbow

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Dec 12, 2013
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I think analog needs to be first if you are to have analog and digital. This allows a better direction to go in digital. having vinyl and tape has proven to me a very good guiding light
 

bonzo75

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Now that’s the rub Ked. The digital side of my system has become so good that it has changed the way I listen to music. The interesting thing is that with all the money I had left over because I went Lampi DAC I bought an Etsuro Urushi Gold cartridge which I have yet to even install as I’m getting so much pleasure from the Pacific
It won't change anything. The 242 creates some sort of gain and noise floor magic that grips you on a note to note basis. It has the best dynamic range, transparency, and compete start to end of note follow through
 

wil

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Jul 22, 2015
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With all due respect Ked you don't know anything about my reactions and the 242 not working it's magic. I remain in awe about this DAC and yes I still have the RK-KR PX25 tube to try. I like to understand one tube before I try another and so far the 242 has been checking all of my boxes. As to the use of the volume control on the Lampi , I was advised by many users that this is the best way to go. I have stated here several times that I tune the gain on my preamp to suit my taste and then use the gain control on the lampi to further tune to satisfaction. I have done this so many times in the dark and with eyes closed and it seems for my ears I always find the sweet spot on the lampi gain anywhere from -10Db to -16DB with -12Db the most common place I listen.
It's interesting that Lucasz's preference when using Pac w/ vol control plus pre amp:

" I use DAC fully open. The series resistance is shorted then, and parallel resistance is a straight 10k to the ground."

I'm going to try the LTA MZ3 1 watt as a pre between the Pac and the Bakoon 13r integrated amp. Being that the Bakoon's pre can not be by passed, I thought I would bypass the Pac vol control and dial in between the MZ3 and the Bakoon. Only 2 variables. 3 is too much for me.
 
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bonzo75

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It's interesting that Lucasz's preference when using Pac w/ vol control plus pre amp:

" I use DAC fully open. The series resistance is shorted then, and parallel resistance is a straight 10k to the ground."

I'm going to try the LTA MZ3 1 watt as a pre between the Pac and the Bakoon 13r integrated amp. Being that the Bakoon's pre can not be by passed, I thought I would bypass the Pac vol control and dial in between the MZ3 and the Bakoon. Only 2 variables. 3 is too much me.
Lukasz can tune his own dac pretty easily to match his own preamp. Also designers and manufacturers listen differently to audiophiles.
 

marty

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Apr 20, 2010
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Marty,

IMHO if an isolation transformer solves our hum problem we should carry research in our system to find on what exactly is causing the hum. Most probably it can be solved using common sense and basic grounding rules.
Francisco,
In principle, I agree with you. But from a pragmatic point of view, I just don't think that is possible in each case. Let me give you an analogy from the pharmaceutical industry. I know of a drug that when given as an eye drop, will lower the intraocular pressure. This is a useful property to treat glaucoma, which is a disease of high pressure in the eye. Unfortunately, the specific drug I mentioned also causes redness of the eye, which is not a desirable property. We call this effect a "Type 1" effect, which means that the mechanism by which the drug lowers the intraocular pressure is also one that causes the redness side effect. A tremendous amount of work has been done to try and separate these properties, but they have thus far been unsuccessful. So bottom line, if you want to use that drug, you have to take the "good" with the "bad". Both are inherently intrinsic to the same mechanism of action of the drug and one cannot be separated from the other.

Now, lets apply this to the research you propose to do to try and get to the bottom of what might be causing the hum effect in a particular piece of gear. Yes, with enough time, diligence and effort, you may be able to get to a root cause that might be able to be identified, and subsequently eliminated, thus removing the hum problem. However, that may not be the case. If, for example, my Lampi GG2 (or any piece of gear) may have, for whatever reason, some stray capacitance leak to ground that causes common mode noise and hence hum, that may not be able to be altered as it might be part and parcel of the overall design (even if inadvertently so).

post #28: https://www.whatsbestforum.com/thre...sing-rca-connections.30014/page-2#post-626565

I doubt any manufacturer intends to build in capacitance leakage to ground as part of their design but still, it might be there nevertheless. Moreover, if you ask them to check the product, they will likely respond that the product is perfect and that nothing is wrong. Sound familiar? It seems that this certainly happened to several owners who suspected their gear has a problem, only to be told it does not because it's "perfect".

So for all the good intentions that accompany identifying the root cause of hum in a particular piece if equipment, I'm skeptical that the result will be successful in all cases. (How many manufacturers are going to tell you their design has an intrinsic defect? Better yet, how many would even know how to test for one? Can you tell me of even a single one who checks capacitance leakage to ground, or common mode noise, before releasing their product? I have NEVER seen that as a published product specification for any audio product, have you?)

That is why, despite all efforts to find the culprit, the more satisfying solution might be simply to try and eliminate the hum even if a root cause cannot be found. And that brings us back to square one. Once you've tried and have take more Prozac than you think is reasonable, just try the obvious solution. Try something like a Furman isolation transformer. I repeat- it's easy to try, relatively cheap, and generally fully returnable within 30 days! What do you have to lose? If it works, great. If not, well, then it doesn't but at least you've checked off a very important box.
Marty
 
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May 30, 2010
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Portugal
Francisco,
In principle, I agree with you. But from a pragmatic point of view, I just don't think that is possible in each case. Let me give you an analogy from the pharmaceutical industry. I know of a drug that when given as an eye drop, will lower the intraocular pressure. This is a useful property to treat glaucoma, which is a disease of high pressure in the eye. Unfortunately, the specific drug I mentioned also causes redness of the eye, which is not a desirable property. We call this effect a "Type 1" effect, which means that the mechanism by which the drug lowers the intraocular pressure is also one that causes the redness side effect. A tremendous amount of work has been done to try and separate these properties, but they have thus far been unsuccessful. So bottom line, if you want to use that drug, you have to take the "good" with the "bad". Both are inherently intrinsic to the same mechanism of action of the drug and one cannot be separated from the other.

Now, lets apply this to the research you propose to do to try and get to the bottom of what might be causing the hum effect in a particular piece of gear. Yes, with enough time, diligence and effort, you may be able to get to a root cause that might be able to be identified, and subsequently eliminated, thus removing the hum problem. However, that may not be the case. If, for example, my Lampi GG2 (or any piece of gear) may have, for whatever reason, some stray capacitance leak to ground that causes common mode noise and hence hum, that may not be able to be altered as it might be part and parcel of the overall design (even if inadvertently so).

post #28: https://www.whatsbestforum.com/thre...sing-rca-connections.30014/page-2#post-626565

I doubt any manufacturer intends to build in capacitance leakage to ground as part of their design but still, it might be there nevertheless. Moreover, if you ask them to check the product, they will likely respond that the product is perfect and that nothing is wrong. Sound familiar? It seems that this certainly happened to several owners who suspected their gear has a problem, only to be told it does not because it's "perfect".

So for all the good intentions that accompany identifying the root cause of hum in a particular piece if equipment, I'm skeptical that the result will be successful in all cases. (How many manufacturers are going to tell you their design has an intrinsic defect? Better yet, how many would even know how to test for one? Can you tell me of even a single one who checks capacitance leakage to ground, or common mode noise, before releasing their product? I have NEVER seen that as a published product specification for any audio product, have you?)

That is why, despite all efforts to find the culprit, the more satisfying solution might be simply to try and eliminate the hum even if a root cause cannot be found. And that brings us back to square one. Once you've tried and have take more Prozac than you think is reasonable, just try the obvious solution. Try something like a Furman isolation transformer. I repeat- it's easy to try, relatively cheap, and generally fully returnable within 30 days! What do you have to lose? If it works, great. If not, well, then it doesn't but at least you've checked off a very important box.
Marty
I would love to read from the Lampizator designer on this subject before commenting on your post. The part of your post I wrote in bold is technically unclear and I do not want to comment on the situation with such ambiguous description.

A few simple measurements would easily identify the source and reason of the hum, although sometimes hum happens when we connect a piece of equipment but the fault is elsewhere and only shows when we close loops. When dealing with expensive equipment I expect such expertise.
 
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sbnx

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Mar 28, 2017
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Hummm, I hope you don't mind if I open another topic of discussion regarding Lampizator. I have written on this forum about the audiophile journey and what we listen for. Well, I have reached the stage where I am looking for more and more "tone" or timbre from my music making machine. Some might say "well then that is not what's on the disc" and at this point I'm not sure I care if I am listening to exactly what's on the disc. I have gone that route and I just don't think it leads to as much musical engagement and enjoyment.

Recently I took a big step in the "tone" department with the Mephisto. Well that fueled my appetite for more. I have the MSB Diamond V which is the best DAC I have ever owned (and like most of you I'm sure, have owned quite a few). I was initially thinking about the new MSB select ii. But then I am thinking maybe some tubes would give me the tone I am lusting after. I really don't want to give up transparency or imaging either but at the end of the day I want to believe that with the lights out that I am at the jazz club or symphony.

I am a tube noob. I have never owned a piece of tube gear as it causes cognitive dissonance with my engineering brain. Why would something that clearly has loads of distortion and a higher noise floor be the solution? So I am reaching out. Have any of you compared the Lampi Pacific to the MSB Diamond V? How would you say they compare or differ in their presenation? I have read the reviews and the Lampi followers are certainly bought in. However, it is hard to distinguish Hyperbole from reality.

Bozo75 mentioned in some thread that the Lampi connected to the Stern is the best he has heard. Well, since I have a Stern … I have balanced IC's so am thinking about the balanced version. Is it actually sonically better?

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Todd
 

LampiNA

Well-Known Member
Jul 1, 2015
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Hello Todd,

I'm Fred from LampizatOr North America. Just wanted to say that I was glad to read of your interest our statement DAC and that I am very confident it would be precisely the right move for a system of your caliber.

I can understand your difficulty wrapping your head around tubes having a place in digital, but as the almost 50 pages of this thread cover 'loads of distortion and high noise floor' are certainly not traits of the Pacific.

I try not to speak publicly on subjective comparisons of our products to other manufactures, but we do have some active customers who are active on the forum with MSB experience that I hope will chime in here.

In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions.

Best,

Fred A.

P.S. Where are you located?
 
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sbnx

Well-Known Member
Mar 28, 2017
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Hello Fred,

Thanks for the post. I sent LampiNA an email yesterday regarding AXPONA as I didn't see you in the list of exhibitors. Glad to hear you will be in Chicago. I am sure I will spend some time in your room but even with that it is very hard to tell the contribution of the Pacific in the hostile hotel room environment and a total system that I am not familiar with. But for sure I can see the DAC in person and ask questions etc.

Not trying to offend the Lampiztor products when I said "loads of distortion". Just a general observation of the measurements comparing the best of SS to the best of tube gear. But again I think I may just have to put my left brain aside and embrace my right brain.

I do hope someone with direct MSB experience chimes in.

I am located in Dallas Tx. If you know any Lampi owners in this area maybe I could speak or visit with them.

Thanks,
Todd
 

LampiNA

Well-Known Member
Jul 1, 2015
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Hi Todd,

You may have spoken to my partner, Robert (or my head is still spinning from last weeks show, lol). But yes, we will indeed be in Chicago with at least 2 rooms, probably 4. We will feature the Pacific and Super Komputer in room 546 where we will exhibit with VAC using their statement separates along with Deadlus Apollo and Wywire cabling.

Here's a taste of that system from last week:

We'll also have a more affordable room in 496 featuring either our Amber 3 dac or our Atlantic TRP.

No offense was taken--we know the reputation tubes have and take joy in converting skeptics. :)

Hmm, let me think on Texas for a moment. No one is coming to mind with a Pac, but I may have a Golden Gate guy or two out your way.

Best,

Fred
 
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