Lamm introduces a new product, the LP1 Signature phonostage. Vladimir was planning to do it for a long time as his parley into “reference” series and after his from my point of view failure with LL2 phonostage.
The new LP1 Signature phonostage truly surpassed me with boldness of tribulations:
I did not hear it, neither did I heard any of Lamm’s post 2002 models but some of the features of the LP1 Signature phonostage are truly eyebrow raising.
First: the two chassis power supplies and one chassis control box. Come on, that is ridicules. I do understand the need for manufacturer to charge mode for extra boxes for a devises that draw ultra low current (4 low current gain stages) to build up two boxes PS is a bit strange. Lamm use cokes in PS after capacitor it means the it will be no nigh entrance ripple PS, even if it was there is absolutely no need to have two box PS. The PS for this unit is very small and I am sure that the PS boxes in there are virtually empty. There is no danger of any crosstalk in PS and the last caps still will be on the side of control units.
Next: No Feedback loop is employed. OK it meals a passive filtration. That is fine but this thing has not enough gain in my estimation to be universal phonostage. 40, 60 and 70dB gain. 40 is MM level gain, the 60 probably for high output MC and 71dB is for MC level. 71dB is not enough, the right level of today’s MC phonostage is 80-85dB. Sure one can crank more gain by preamp but it is not the same. The new phonostage from Lamm most likely will be expensive (I think it will be 30-40K) and therefore it has to accommodate any cartridge in context of playback that has unity gain pre-amplification. The .135 RMS Volt of output is ridiculously low and I presume that Lamm did it in order to prise himself for low noise floor, which is not so low BTW.
Next: Input impedance is 31R for MC … that is not all encompassing value. How it might be changed?
Next: the output impedance or 1.5K. Come on this is ridiculously high. Any person who would drive his milliamp directly from this thing, with any additional buffer will lose a lot of sound.
Next: this is two stage design that gives 71dB, it means it has a step up transformer. To have a transformer is not wrong but the transformer that Lamm made for LP2 was horrible, a true nightmare. I do hope that the phono transformers for new phonopstage are better but I do have my doubts. Lamm users are idiots in their majority, not only ignorant in the subjects of audio but the people who willing to kiss Lamm in his ass during his diarrhea. The transformer for his former phonostage were horrendous but no one took him on it and no one challenged him. So, why Lamm would make any efforst to make transformers better if his old phonostages with shitty transformers were flying off the shelf. You tell me.
Next and the biggest thing: Lamm use two stages with 6C3P in entry stage and 6C45PE in output. The 6C45PE is not particularly Russian replica of Western Electric 437A. The 6C45PE is not very good sounding tube in output stage. The 6C3P is Russian replica or 5842/WE417. It is also know to be very poor sounding tube. I am not a huge fun of 5842/WE417 to begin with but to use a shitty Russian equivalent is chip thing to do. Russians do have some (very few) good sounding tubes but they are all pure Russian development. Nether 6C45PE or 6C3P are acceptable for any serious sound as they are very vulgar sounding tubes. If Lamm presume that he will be selling his unit and it will be a responsibility of the owner to employ WE417 and WE437A then his is mistaken. Bothe 437 and 417 are very high transconductance tube, with huge microphoniks among them and huge amount of other problems. The selection of those vintage tube have to be done by a person who relay know what he does. Nevertheless, those tube very frequently turn bad after a few month of use. In the end I do see that most of the people who will use this phonostage will stay with default shitty Russian tubes – they shall as they do not know better.
In the end I was very disappointed to see this phonostage. I did anticipate that it will be fully active 3-4 stages unit with no transformers; the way how Vladimis planned to do many years back. What he did was basically taking his old badly sounding LP2 phonostage, added unnecessary second box PS and announces to the customers that new round of buying is due. Lamm did not even invested into writing his new marketing material but copy the text from his 10 year old booklets. This is very very cynical. Romy The Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche