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Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,283
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 23128
Reply to: 23128
Remote control, problems, money and stupid journalism
I probably never get tired to mention the stupidity of the folks who write for Audio publications. This time my hero is Marshall Nack of positive-feedback. The hero just published a review about the Lamm updated preamp L2: 
 
http://positive-feedback.com/reviews/hardware-reviews/lamm-industries-l2-1-reference-preamplifier/ 
 
The “review” is very empty, juts shameful repeating of what Lamm has said at his site, which is nothing new. All manufactures keep on leash own bitches that they unleash when it time for them to bark and call sale. Interesting that it is very indicative for a person who read between the line and who know the rule of the game to observe which bitch a manufacture to paid with which product. Considering that Marshall Nack is kind of lightweight in the hierarchy of the industry bitches it is understandable that Lamm do not value his L2 preamp too high. This is kind of shame as I feel that L1/L2 were very interesting preamps. I do not know if L2.1 is advisement or a huge step back as it was with ML2.1 but to talk about L2.1 is not my objective. My objective is the foolishness that Marshall Nack is trying to institutionalize: that there is some kind of deep fundamental problem connecting a remote control with so sound quality.   I believe it is idiocy and as any idiocy   in audio it the best expressed by “audio reviewer” 
 
Marshall starting his “review” with a short anecdote: 
 
"I suppose there's no remote? Dual mono volume controls?" I was discussing the operation of his L2.1 Reference Preamp with Vladimir Lamm.
VL: "Yes, that's right."
MN: "Ah, determinedly 20th century."
VL: "Correction: 22nd century."
MN: "Huh? Don't you mean 21st?"
VL: "No. Sometime at the beginning of the next century, they will realize the contamination introduced by these controls." Who said Vladimir Lamm doesn't have a sense of humor?
  
 
Well, Marshall Nack, this is not about Vladimir’s sense of humor but about your own sense of reality and your absolutely fucking ignorance on the subject, which is very much qualified you to be audio industry professional reviewer, or a Moron in my language.  What contamination introduced by remote controls? 

A remote control is a voltage diver. There are dozens and dozens of them in any preams and they are not a problem. You want to have an adjustable analog voltage diver and there are zillions of them. The regular sliders attenuators are not so good and they do impact sound. They however seldom used in more of less demanding audio equipment. This is universally acknowledged, well sort of. It would be worth to mention that when some audio people scream from ecstasy describing the Sound of the “original” Wester Electric, Klangflm, Telefunkem and other vintage brands they are describing the sound that goes over many sliders attenuators. Let me to leave this subject aside and do confirm that sliders attenuators are not good. It does not prevent the audio shops to sell the horribly performing sliders attenuators for many hundred dollars but this is self-explanatory: they will sell you a dead rat on a stick if the audio people pay.
 
They there are switchable attenuators, basic contacts that switches a dingle or a group of resistors. If you use good resistors in switchable (or step) attenuators then you get pretty good results. There are very many of them on the marker, some invest money into resistors. Some in switches, some in shortening of signal path, some in shielding and some in the combination above. Lamm uses one of the step attenuators with switchable resistors. It is Japanese TKD step attenuators. They use I think surface mounted good resistors and generally they are very good, not the best but at very top flying off the shelf attenuators.
 
Now the argument that Vladimir makes and Marshall Nack spread around is that an ordinary switchable attenuator somehow “introduce contaminations”. Sure, it does but if it implemented foolish and cheap. Put on the very same TKD’s shaft a motor that cut off after the adjustment is done and you have a remoted controlled attenuator with no “contaminations”. The cost of the solutions to do it very much the same as the price Lamm pays for his TKD attenuators. Just from a top of my head I could name a dozen of companies that do it, probably staring from Polish Khozmo:  
 
http://www.khozmo.com/remote_attenuator.html  
 
The next level up would be to have a relay attenuator with switchable resistor. There is tone of the kits out there with all imaginable resistors and relays. Lamm has in his pream the signal flow over a few relays already, one extra will be not a big deal but it would be anyhow much better than any step attenuators. The cost of the relay attenuator solution is very much comparable to the cost of the TKD. What could be better than fixed relay switching voltage divider and control circuit drops power after the switching is done? Lamms not a fool and he can perfectly design his own switching resistor relay attenuator and I am sure that $20K price tag is not limit in there, particularly if he already pays his couple hundred bucks for his TKD. So, what prevent Lamm to do it. Well, in my mind it is the presence of the Marshall Nacks who has no own brain, ears or integrity to form a valid preamp usage argument.  
Now, it is important to make know that I am not against absence of a remote control. I did my opinion known: 
 
 http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=881
 
However, the argument I support based on educational aspect of usability of preamp with no remote control and has absolutely no relation to the absurd fear of introduced contamination. I think it is grotesque for Lamm induce a faulty fear of “introduced contamination”. He knows that it is BS and I am sure if he had a demand then he would “squeeze” in his $20K unit a problem-free $200 remote control. However, Lamm is manufactures, he can do whatever he wants and here is where Marshall Nack should act a consumer advocate but he is just an unfortunate Tampax of the manufacture’s mouth.
 
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
04-09-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
decoud
United Kingdom
Posts 235
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 2
Post ID: 23129
Reply to: 23128
Vector of power
Surely the psychology here goes deeper. Lamm does not like the very idea of a remote control, for that subjugates the device to the user. Each installation is for him an altar to his irreplaceable godhead,  worshipers  must come to it in prayer, not the other way round. The concern here is religious, not financial.
04-09-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,283
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 23130
Reply to: 23129
The "gatekeeper"... witch is kind of funny to me.
 decoud wrote:
Surely the psychology here goes deeper. Lamm does not like the very idea of a remote control, for that subjugates the device to the user. Each installation is for him an altar to his irreplaceable godhead,  worshipers  must come to it in prayer, not the other way round. The concern here is religious, not financial.

Decoud, interesting observation but it does not comply with practice I have observed in Lamm thinking. From what I remember about Lamm is that he has a very rigid correlation (in his head) between money he gets and the amount of his “personal geniusness” a consumer will be able to consume via use of his electronics. He is truly believing (or at least believed in 90s) that his electronics is some kind of God send Messiah to the world and of course Vladimair himself is the gatekeeper and “donations” collector. It is actually is very interesting to observe from many perspectives: educational, social, psychological, etc… Saying all of it I do not believe that he is driven by religious statements of any kind. Vladimir is a proverbial Catholic priest who after raping of 100a boys and spending church money to a heroin trafficking operation got very disappointed and angry that his church doers are blind to his sines. He knows well what game he plays in audio and he know the rules. He produce what assures to him the best cost-benefit ratio and to patch the rest he deploy the Morons like Marshall Nack stuffing them with proper “literature” and knowing that they are the type of the wolf that never run behind the flags…


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-09-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 4
Post ID: 23131
Reply to: 23130
Cost/Benefit
I defy anyone to "hear" the relays in my TVC/attenuator. In any case, who wants to get up to change volume, or balance, or phase, or to mute the system? Does anyone remember that Lamm started out by offering VR meters on his amp, but he deleted them from the ML2, which sold for $30,000 (supposedly...).  I am not talking about sound when I wonder out loud if he leaves off the remote to reduce his construction costs.

Paul S
04-11-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
decoud
United Kingdom
Posts 235
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 5
Post ID: 23134
Reply to: 23130
Imperial expansion
He might argue were it not for the market of the deaf he would not have the money to experiment for the benefit of those few with musical hearing. But it is odd that the desire to maximise his creative leverage has not yet compelled him to move into speakers. Were he to sell both amplification and transduction he would probably get away with making his margin quadratic. Perhaps he is worried he would have to make a DSET...  
Page 1 of 1 (5 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Lamm L1 vs. L2 preamp..  L1/L2 & Police Breathalyzer...  Audio Discussions  Forum     5  41624  06-25-2005
  »  New  The ultimate buffer – light in the end of a tunnel..  Placette input impedance: probably.......  Audio Discussions  Forum     31  205112  04-28-2005
  »  New  Preamplifiers: keys to mystery. (Lamm L1, L2)..  In analog domain...  Audio Discussions  Forum     2  36008  11-14-2004
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