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  »  New  Lamm LP2 phonostage: review of review...  Another stupid Lamm LP2 review....  Analog Playback Forum     2  43148  03-05-2005
  »  New  Jonathan Valin smokes Lamm LP2..  Jonathan Valin smokes Lamm LP2...  Analog Playback Forum     0  18073  03-27-2006
01-06-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,515
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 18857
Reply to: 18857
Lamm’s new phonostage.
fiogf49gjkf0d

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:

http://www.lammindustries.com/PRODUCTS/LP1%20booklet.pdf

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
01-07-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,515
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 18859
Reply to: 18857
It is $33K for some empty boxes.
fiogf49gjkf0d

There is more information about the Lamm new LP1 phono preamplifier, including the price of $33K

http://www.monoandstereo.com/2012/12/lamm-new-lp1-signature-phono.html

The images do charley show two step up transformers at the entrance and pair of gain stages per channel. It also shows the DIP switches with wish presumable users might set MC impedance loading and MM capacitance loading. The large “last” cap look like in the right location, which is good.

The PS boxes and the condoler box are quite empty with long traces spread all over the boards. That was very expected. I have no idea why Vladimir did not make two controller boxes – than he would be able to charge $38K-$43K

In the end, even disregarding the bad selection of cheap tubes, in this corrector there is a lot will depends from the quality of the step up transformers. Vladimir for sure knows how to make good transformers but considering his cynical history the question if he went for any serious transformers or juts used the same crap as he used in his LP2?

There an interesting moment in this corrector. Lamm use regulated filaments, this is controversial subject.  My experiment with regulation of filaments indicated that it was not good move as sound become slightly more “flat”. I used cheap SS regulators and large external tube regulated PS. Lamm, I am sure use some SS regulation and I wonder why he deseeded to do it as I do not see any sonic benefits. My feeling is that in pursue of his habitual cynicism he put the heater regulation just to feel the empty space in those PS boxes.

I do not see the Lamm’s new phono preamplifiers to be as popular and as interesting to use as his ML2.0 power amps was or as his L1 preamp was – two best models Lamm did in my estimation. I am sure it will be a few idiots out there who would pull from Vladimir hands anything he made just to feel good about themselves but it has absolutely nothing to do with Sound.

Among the equitable to Lamm LP1 phono preamplifiers are made with much less cynicism I would name for instance Allnic H-1500 II. It is somewhere around $4K-$5K, it has better RLC equalization, it has the same slightly over 70dB gain and it has to be a direct competitor (as a unit) to what Lamm did now. I am sure the contemporary Lamm idiots-users would consider something as Allnic is beneath them but there is a reason why I call them idiots. I am sure the glowing reviewers from Marks Michelson and the rest of the Lamm’s obsequious-sycophants are coming.

Rgs,
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
01-09-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
decoud
United Kingdom
Posts 241
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 3
Post ID: 18862
Reply to: 18859
Reversal
fiogf49gjkf0d
I suppose at least you can give him credit for reversing the switch from electrocube 935s back to your favourite 950s....
01-09-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,515
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 18863
Reply to: 18862
No credit is given and the subject is wider then Lamm.
fiogf49gjkf0d
 decoud wrote:
I suppose at least you can give him credit for reversing the switch from electrocube 935s back to your favourite 950s....

Nope, I do not see any reason to extend any credit in there. I have no idea where those caps are installed.  I have no idea what caps they are – on the picture it is not visible. Lamm switched from 950 to 935 on one of the ML2 that I seen and it was in super important coupling application. Electrocubes 935 and 950 are VERY different caps. They are Metallized Polypropylene vs. Polypropylene and Foil, they sound drastically different and Metallized 935 must not be used in that application. Some people use Metallized if they need significantly larger value from small size, let say 29-30uf where Film and Foil would not give you more then 2-4uF. Lamm installed 2uF Metallized 935 and only reasons for it that 950 cost $5  but 935 costs somewhere $3.75. The key in that story was not the fact that Lamm intentionally used inferior parts in successful design of his knowing that it will significantly degrade sonic result but the demonstrable level of cynical arrogance that Lamm has and his assurance that his users are non-critical idiotic who do not know better. Lamm, for sure, is not wrong about that and he is perfectly in his rights to do what he does what I however deny him to do is bringing to the shows, expose to photography and to give to reviewers the units with 950 caps and then stuff his “regular” gullible customers with 935 caps. I question: if he did such a cynical and unethical actions with primitive caps then how many other places in this equipment Lamm has where he did the same? In the larger scale: what is default sound of Lamm’s unit? If you and me have let say some kind if Lamm’s amp then only model number and the way we use it shall determine how the unit sounds. It looks like it is not the case with Lamm equipment. The change between coupling caps imply very significant change in sound. I have seen early production of ML2.1 power amps with drastically different sound due to Lamm presumably used different output transformers. That all happens because he has no quality re-enforcement neither from consumers nor from reviewers.  Not only him BTW, this is very wide spread tendency in the industry, where a vintage of the unit sometimes as important as the model name. How would you feel of you buy a gold cable for a few grand with tested quality of could but receive the same cable model made with aluminum with completely different sound?

Rgs,
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
01-09-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
decoud
United Kingdom
Posts 241
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 5
Post ID: 18864
Reply to: 18863
The test....
fiogf49gjkf0d
Page 2 of the pdf you link to has four 2.0uf 950 caps: the writing is legible. So if anyone opens his unit and finds 935, well, it is an open and shut case...
01-16-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,515
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 18908
Reply to: 18863
The new Lamm’s strange layout.
fiogf49gjkf0d

A Federated Mike started his new venture ultimist.com, the portal where he feel people would like to go to do “purchase research”. Those poor audio dealers do not get that someone might have interests in audio outside the brands, shopping and needs to develop owner pride. Anyhow, mike customary do very good pictures at audio shows – probably the best out there and this time he was in his ‘amplua’ – posted great pictures from CES.

There is very little that attracted my attention during the CES but one aspect of the new Lamm phono did raise my brow. Take a look at:

http://ultimist.com/hifi/events/international-ces/ces-2013/jan-08-2013/8882/the-lamm-wilson-neodio-room

… the image where the new control state with no top. You might click the magnifying glass and will starch to the higher resolution. In my view the control unit is virtually empty with insultingly far distance between the step up transformer and grid of the first stage. Frankly all those two arguably needles power supplies and control box are very empty and signal-caring traces spread very far. I do not say that it is bad but I do insist that if it was closer then it would be better then it is now.

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
01-16-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 7
Post ID: 18909
Reply to: 18908
SUT-to-grid
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:
In my view the control unit is virtually empty with insultingly far distance between the step up transformer and grid of the first stage.


While I agree that they are typical "full of nothing" boxes and in no way I'd like to defend anything connected to them, but
I doubt that the SUT-to-grid distance is such a critical layout parameter: 1) this wiring is within the box so in principle in a well controlled environment; 2) after the SUT the signal is amplified, so less noise critical; 3) The cart-to-SUT distance is anyway much much larger than SUT-to-grid, at lower levels, and outside the box.

Cheers,
N-set

 



Cheers,
Jarek
01-16-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,515
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 18910
Reply to: 18909
Sorry, you are wrong.
fiogf49gjkf0d
 N-set wrote:
While I agree that they are typical "full of nothing" boxes and in no way I'd like to defend anything connected to them, but
I doubt that the SUT-to-grid distance is such a critical layout parameter: 1) this wiring is within the box so in principle in a well controlled environment; 2) after the SUT the signal is amplified, so less noise critical; 3) The cart-to-SUT distance is anyway much much larger than SUT-to-grid, at lower levels, and outside the box.
  
The cable or wire that connects SUT to first gain stage of phonstage is the most critical cable in the entire system. Your explanations are very much incorrect. The wiring within a box is not necessarily a well controlled environment. Lamm does not use point-to-point connections but circle boards with traces - that made for easy assembly, service and box filling. After SUT the signal is NOT amplified.  A transformer is a passive element and therefore there no extra power obtained. The increase in voltage comes with a corresponding decrease in current. So, a transformer modifies load impedance proportionally to square of the turn ratio. Now we have a cartridge with a few Ohm own impedance and virtually no current produced driving an impedance multiplication devise. If you have 25 times transformer and let say one feet of cable after the transformer then the transformer let cartridge to see 25 feet cable with 25 magnifications of any issues that this cable has. The cart-to-SUT distance is much larger but this is distance that cartridge drives directly. The distance behind the SPU the cartridge has a LOT of difficulty to drive. If you never did those experiments then you might try.

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
01-17-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 9
Post ID: 18914
Reply to: 18910
Cable itimacy
fiogf49gjkf0d
I must say I've never came in to intimate contact with cables and avoid it untill I can, so yes all my arguments are theoretical.
By amplifying I ment of course voltage, not power and ass-u-med that the external noise as well as the cable
distortion appear in the grid circuit as voltage sources... maybe wrongly? 
Here possible comes into play secondary vs primary cart loading:
with primary loading, the cable behind teh SUT passes virtually no current as the 1st grid impedance is huge, while with the secondary load
there is some current in the SUT-grid circuit as well. Which scenario is better, no idea as there are quite a few more factors being changed
(e.g. FR characteristic of the SUT may change with secondary loaded or not, etc).
Cart point of view is ineteresting, must give it a thought, but unless the cable has a huge capacitance why would it be difficult for the cart to drive?
There is also incomparably more cable in the SUT windings, which is usally an ordinary magnet wire....
Anyway, indeed I've never experimented with this particular cable (I've always though that separate SUT boxes + 2 more RCA plug crap + extra cable
in teh chain is a stupid idea and changing 5" chassis wire to 2" I leave to AA folks).

Cheers,
N-set



Cheers,
Jarek
09-17-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,515
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 22001
Reply to: 18857
How easy to test the Lamm LP1 phonostage
fiogf49gjkf0d
Marc Mickelson published his new infomercial about Lamm LP1 phonostage. I do not use Lamm products but as former Lamm product user I naturally keep looking what Lamm does. 

http://www.theaudiobeat.com/equipment/lamm_lp1_signature.htm
 
I did not read the Mickelson review in details but rather glanced over it in restroom. Even with superficial reading I saw a few factual and logical mistake he did but that is not the point. Marc like any other industry Morons is a spineless creature with integrity of bus stop whore, so my expectation from him is not different then it would be from Adolf Hitler to make TED talk presentation. I would like to talk about something different- about the conceptual testing of a phonostage similar to Lamm’s new unit. 
 
We know that Lamm is potent and that he made a few in my view spectacular products: to a degree L1/L2 and certainly the magnificent Lamm ML2.0. It is very alarming that most of the products that came after Lamm 2.0 were inferior and it started with LL1 and truly reached the summit of misery with LP2. The LP2 phonostage was an interesting beast. Let presume that a perfect phonostage has some kind of abstract index of performing quality with maximum equal to 100. In my estimation LP2 was around 60 in MM mode and around 20 in MC mode. The reason the MC section of LP2 sounded like crap was the Jenson transformer that Lamm used. I do not know if it was off the self Jenson or Lamm developed the specks and made Jenson to wind it, it is truly does not matter. What mattered was that Lamm’s own reference points permitted the final result. 
 
Today Lamm making his Lamm LP1 phonostage that should 35K and shall be reportedly better. It is possible and it still has 2 Jenson transformers. I very highly suspect that they would be the very same crap as Lamm used in LP2 and as in the case of LP2 it would be very few people out there who have brain, eats or guts to recognize that the sound that LP2 did was horrible. So, what the Lamm LP2 users shall be and how all conversations about LP2 shall start? What need to be done is some methodological honesty. A good sounding, stand along step up transformer has to be taken and used with LP2 MM section. If the result were inferior compare to build in transformers then there is all reason that Lamm approached in his LP1 phonostage was serious and sensible. If an external transformer of let say $2K-$3K would be able significantly over perform the built-in transformer then the whole $36K 3- chassis contraption need to be stuck in the ass of the Morons who sell and promote it. 

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
09-18-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,139
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 11
Post ID: 22002
Reply to: 22001
The Ongoing Price (and Size) of Greatness
fiogf49gjkf0d
I have to say, this might be the "best" review by MM that I've read. Certainly it is more thoughtful and less hysterically fawning than usual. I agree that with a stock Jensen SUT (if, in fact, this is what he's done) Lamm might have gone too far with his hatred of "boutique" parts. Just thinking about it, I am not sure why one would want such a massive phono stage, and what, if anything, could be gained from that approach, other than wowing punters. Anyway, I would very much like to play with the thing under "controlled" circumstances. And certainly I would use the MM input to compare Lamm's idea of MC gain (Jensen SUTs) vs. my own ideas. While I hate to think that (at this price) any "custom" configuration could better the stock unit, in practical terms I let go of such (quaint) prejudices long ago, in favor of results.

Mickelson did at one point (in his comparison with the Audio Research phono stage) make the usual "reviewer" "mistake" of suggesting that price is a good/fair indication of quality. This is something I always hate to see in any review, since it is bullshit, and I especially hate the way it is always "taken for granted" and promoted as a "given".


Paul S
09-20-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,515
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 22007
Reply to: 22002
There is no "good" review from those idiots.
fiogf49gjkf0d
It is true; to have anything sensible from those idiots is impossible as the only thing they have in audio is a suffrage from a heavy version of the Concorde Fallacy multiplied by absolute absence of any liability...


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  »  New  Lamm LP2 phonostage: review of review...  Another stupid Lamm LP2 review....  Analog Playback Forum     2  43148  03-05-2005
  »  New  Jonathan Valin smokes Lamm LP2..  Jonathan Valin smokes Lamm LP2...  Analog Playback Forum     0  18073  03-27-2006
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