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    Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Lampizator Big 7 Review
    By Michael Bovaird




    Preface:
    First off, a big thank you to my good friend Jerry for loaning me his Lampizator Big 7 to listen to and review. Jerry mentioned that there were more than a few people in the Lampi circles who didn’t want me to do the review. Since that point, I kept wondering, what are they afraid of? I’ve never given anything but a fair and honest review on any product, and unlike most of the mags out there, I look at a product from all angles without fear of ad revenue loss. Despite this, Jerry KNEW the Lampizator story was a good story to tell and he knows, above all else, I’m always fair and honest.

    And what better way to open our new Lampizator forum than a review!

    Introduction:
    I have been intrigued by the work of Lampizator founder Lukasz Fikus for a long time. In fact, about 4 or 5 years ago, back when Lukasz started out building amps and DAC kits for the DIY’ers, I tried to reach him many times. We may have even spoken, I can’t remember. The distance between us and the time change made for a frustrating experience in those early days. Lukasz is part mad scientist, part genius, part businessman, but 100% committed to his passion.

    Lukasz is one smart guy. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialty in High Voltage Physics and an MBA to boot. It appears to me, someone who has watched him and his company bloom, that Lukasz is really now hitting his stride and fulfilling his dreams.

    It will come to no surprise to anyone reading this review, that I have been pretty critical of Lampizator. I have raised concerns based on discussions with Lampi owners about build quality, noise, humming, and even pointed out those like Ted Brady who had some serious challenges with Lampizators in their system - all without even having one in my system. That might be one of the biggest audiophile faux pas committed. Was some of this criticism warranted? Perhaps….perhaps not. I wanted to get my hands on a Lampizator to really experience the Lampi for myself.

    To put these second hand criticisms to the test, I want you all to know, I made many many requests to the good folks at Lampizator USA to send me a demo unit to play with and review. No go. They were quite busy barely meeting the demand of paying customers to have an extra one for review. Fair enough.

    Setup:
    For my setup, I first used a MacBook Pro running JRiver before switching to an Auralic Aries. USB cable was the new WireWorld Platinum 7. IC’s are the top of the line all copper Kimber Select. Power cable was the top of the line Kimber Select (Palladium PK10). The Lampizator was running into my Pass XS Preamp and amps were my Pass XS150’s. I used JRemote first before switching to the Auralic Aries Lightning DS ipad app for control. Tubes in the Lampizator Big 7 were the Emission Labs 45’s and 5U4G rectifier tube.

    The Lampizator is a big BIG DAC, worthy of its name “Big 7”. It needs a lot of space. It measures 20 inches deep, by 17 ¼ inches wide. You also need quite a bit of clearance on top as well. I wouldn’t want much less than 15 inches to allow for proper ventilation, although admittedly, the tubes didn’t get that hot. I placed mine on the very top of my rack where the unit had complete ventilation.

    On the back of this particular BIG 7 was a USB input and a S/PDIF (RCA Coax) input. The unit had two outputs, both were doing the same function. This Big 7 was also equipped with a preamp. I did NOT try the preamp, because of the required 11 meter run from the equipment rack to my amps.

    The BIG 7 is finished with wood sides and black Plexiglas top. The overall build quality will not give Accuphase or T+A anything to worry about, but it certainly didn’t look out of place at all. The overall size of the Lampizator makes it a piece that is guaranteed to get a lot of attention from visitors to your listening room. Like a beautiful looking turntable, the Lampizator is for the digital aficionado, a Statement piece, if for nothing else than its sheer size. There is no chance of it getting lost on your rack among the other pieces.

    The Lampizator BIG 7 has a small, but clear digital display. It displays your source selection (DSD USB, PCM USB, SPIDIF PCM, Preamp, etc.) I actually liked the look and size of the digital display. It was big enough and clear that you had all the information you needed, but it certainly didn’t call attention to itself and the chosen lighting was “soft” and not in your face.

    The included Lampizator remote is perfectly adequate and very similar to other remotes in my system, such as the Auralic Aries.

    Listening (DSD):
    Upon first firing up the Lampizator, I noticed two things. First, it’s quiet – DEAD QUIET. Wait a minute…wasn’t I told that Lampi’s were noisy? HA! Not this baby. It was DEAD quiet. Second, I noticed that from the MacBook Pro running JRiver, I had to crank the heck out of my preamp. A full 20 steps more than any other digital source. NOW…interestingly, switching over to the Auralic Aries almost reduced the difference in gain between the Lampizator and other digital sources. I would say those 20 steps were reduced slightly to 10. I suspect this remaining difference is due to the Lampizator being single ended. The new balanced Lampizator may eliminate this difference.

    I began by listening to the entire DSD album Friday Night in San Francisco by Al Dimeola, John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia. I was immediately struck by the raw, natural pureness of the guitars. This DAC oozed musicality and it was just beginning to warm up! I found that the Lampizator takes a good 20-30 minutes to really warm up and start sounding its best, but even from the get go, it won’t disappoint.

    Next up was Steely Dan’s Aja (DSD). Wait a minute, I’ve heard this album a hundred times. It’s never sounded this good. Listening to this entire album was when I realized I wasn’t left braining this album, I wasn’t nit picking the sound. I was just enjoying the music.

    Next up, a little Direct Straits from the Alchemy Album (DSD). On the track, Romeo & Juliet (live), it struck me, I was there! This is when I started thinking back to the first album I heard through the Lampizator and how good it was at reproducing the nuances of a live recording. Think about a very natural reverb. The acoustic affects of the concert hall with its great big size was recreated in my little listening room. I felt like I was sitting about 10 rows back and taking it all in.

    Next up, a few Mahler Symphonies. Listening to a large scale symphony was a double edged sword with the Lampizator. First, the subtle ambiences of the hall were created beautifully, the tonality of the instruments were perfect, with dead quiet backgrounds throughout the quietest passages, but the Lampizator wasn’t quite up to the task of handling the great big dynamics of the Mahler symphony pieces. The thunderous dynamics of Mahler were lacking. But let’s face it, this isn’t the space where the Lampizator plays. Like comparing the dynamic attributes of a great low powered SET amp to a pair of Soulution 701’s, there are bound to be trade offs.

    Next up was James Taylor’s Hourglass album (DSD). One of my favorite tracks is Gaia. I’ve used this track as a test track for many years. I’ve never heard it sound so good. So sweet. So perfect. Everything was right there. It gave me the feeling that I wasn’t in the engineers booth at the recording studio, I was in the studio, in some big room with all the musicians playing around me.

    Having just attended a Diana Krall concert Thursday night, I first started listening to the Lampizator and having listened all night to her stand up bass player, listening to Jacintha’s Here’s to Ben (DSD), I was struck by just how good the Lampizator handled the stand up bass of Darek Oles. Furthermore, listening to the Eagles album Hotel California (SHM Remaster DSD), I was really impressed by the Lampizator’s bass. It represented the Goldilocks principle – it was just right! Naturally and accurately defined, with not too much and not too little. It sounded natural – how real bass sounds, nothing manufactured or manipulated.

    On to Jazz at the Pawnshop Volume 1 by Arne Domneurs (DSD). I love this album and once again the Lampizator was a champ at reproducing the acoustic hall ambiences of the live recording. What struck me was how balanced the sound was. What I mean is that some DAC’s I’ve heard have a tendency to over emphasize the clarinet at the sacrifice of the drums or the xylophone. But not so with the Lampizator. Everything was right there in front of you presented in a balanced manner, much like I imagine you would have experienced had you been there.

    Staying in the jazz theme, I moved on to Oscar Peterson’s We Get Requests (DSD). I know this album inside and out. What struck me about this album through the Lampizator was a few things. First, once again the immediacy or should I say intimacy of the musicians. Second, with every digital source (and even analog), the bass player on the first track is 10 feet behind the right speaker. Not so with the Lampizator. He was front and center and gave the listener the impression that he was ever so slightly in front of the right speaker.



    Listening (Native PCM):
    Up to this point, it’s been all DSD. Time for a switch to PCM. Let’s see how the big 7 handles native redbook and high res pcm. I switched the DAC over to PCM and off I went.

    I started out with Diana Krall’s new album, Wallflower. I had just seen her live Thursday night, so I had a pretty good point of reference. As I listened to each song, I realized the magic was gone. The Lampizator Big 7 with native redbook sounded different. Certainly not bad, but perhaps not up to the level of the Lumin S1 or T+A PDP 3000HV (when switching back and forth) or certainly the current PCM champion of the world, The Berkley Alpha Reference DAC (if you trust the fickle audio memory) for example.

    I moved on to Mark Knopflers new album, Tracker (high res pcm). This album is a real gem. As I listened through the album, it hit me: the Lampi DSD magic was definitely gone. I don’t think this loss of magic is the Lampizator’s “fault” per say, I think it has to do with the source – redbook/pcm. I guess you really can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. If there is a DAC out there that can make native redbook sound like the Lampi’s DSD, I’ll take a bakers dozen to go please.

    I moved on to the latest album from Andrea Bocelli, Passione (High Res PCM). I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the album like I always do. It sounded very much like it always has in my room. One positive for the Lampizator’s handling of PCM was at low volumes, I didn’t feel anything was missing or recessed.

    I moved on to Rumer’s wonderful Into Colour album. She has a voice that is like a cross between Karen Carpenter and Nicolette Larson. The Lampi sounded good, but I felt like the life was sucked out of the music. Native PCM is just not up to the magical standards of DSD through the Lampizator. Listening to PCM, my connection with the music was gone. I was out of the recording session and back in my room. The Lampi handled DSD with such a magic touch, but not so with PCM. Was this the result of the material or was PCM on the Lampi an afterthought? I think it’s definitely the former.

    Upsample PCM to DSD:

    As I sat there listening in the wee hours of the morning, I began thinking about the magic that was lost with switch to native Redbook/High Res PCM. I began wondering about how much magic the DSD produced and whether we could “trick” the Big 7 back to delivering its magic by upsampling PCM to DSD. I quickly unplugged the USB cable from the Aries since it doesn’t offer any upsampling capabilities at this time and plugged back into the Macbook Pro. Fired up JRiver and fiddled with the settings until I was sure I had everything upsampling to DSD, checked that the USB Driver was Amanero Combo and it was time to listen.

    I went back to listening to the same list of PCM albums I had just listened to natively. From the first note of Knopfler singing Mighty Man (from his new Tracker album), some of the magic had returned! Yes! This wasn’t a silk purse, but it was certainly at least silk-like. Upsampling PCM to DSD brought back some of the magic I had heard with native DSD. The timber, the decay, the richness, the meaty full sound, the natural roundness to each note strum on Mark’s guitar were much better via upsampling the album to DSD. Was it as good as the T+A PDP 3000HV playing the same redbook material? No. But it was very good and much better than native PCM.

    Just as I began to enjoy the album upsampled to DSD, I heard a click, pop, then JRiver crashed, once again reminding me of why I love my Lumin. Razzin’, frazzin’….a quick reboot and I was up and running again.



    300b or not to be?

    The next day I woke up and wanted to give the Big 7 the best 300b’s I had, so in went my vintage Western Electric 300b’s. I flicked the switch on the back to “300b”, fired up the Big 7 and I was off and running. The attributes of this great 300b tube shined through. The midrange was everything and all you would expect from a 300b tube. Sure it gave up a little in the bass definition, control, impact, etc., but you can now truly experience the sonic characteristics of this wonderful tube in your system – regardless of your speaker’s efficiency.

    Switching to the PSvane 300b Replica’s produced a similar sound I had heard through my Cary 300b SET amps. The Psvane’s had a bit more of a modern sound, and not quite as romantic as the old Western Electric 300b’s. A bit more bass, more bass definition, but a little less of the old WE’s midrange magic.

    As I experienced the slightly different sonic characteristics of the 300b tubes, my mind started wondering to different combinations. EML 45 Globe Anniversaries, Psvane Replica 101D’s, maybe even a Western Eletric 422A for fun. Oh, the combinations of rare tube goodies the Lampizator permits.

    I switched back to the Emission Labs 45’s and much preferred the overall presentation. Richer, fuller, more meat on the bones and much better bass. Sure, I gave up a little in the midrange, but not much and the gains elsewhere in the presentation more than made up for it. I also found the 45’s had a better ability to capture the ambient cues and nuances of the recording.



    So, who is the Lampizator for?

    Someone with a large rack! All kidding aside, it’s for the DSD fan who wants the best. It’s for the music lover who doesn’t mind tweaking with his DAC to find the right combination of tubes. It’s for the music lover who craves the beauty of a great SET amp over the raw power and dynamics of big gigawatt monoblocks. It’s for the audiophile who wants to add a little right brain magic to his well thought out left brain system. It’s for someone who appreciates the subtleties and nuances of decay and the recreation of the hall where the live recording was performed. Ultimately, it’s for someone who wants to get off the DAC merry-go-round, at least until Lukasz’s newest creation hits the market.

    Once you find the right tube combination to suit your fancy, I would recommend using a source, which allows you to easily upsample everything to DSD. I would investigate something like an Aurender or similar. Unfortunately, at this time, the Auralic Aries cannot upsample PCM to DSD.

    Once you have everything upsampling to DSD, you don’t need to worry about switching between DSD and PCM on the front of the DAC. I don’t think the Lampizator will give the Berkley Reference DAC or the T+A PDP 3000HV and Lumin S1 (in my system) anything to worry about as far as being the champion of PCM is concerned, but its still very very good and capable with PCM material – provided you upsample your PCM to DSD. There were some listening periods where it was as good. There were others where even the upsampled PCM to DSD was not. I guess these inconsistencies are part of the downsides of the whole modification/upsampling business. But, it was never, ever, ever, bad. PCM upsampled to DSD on the Lampizator always varied from very good to excellent.

    Depending on your source, muting between Albums may still be required to avoid the snap, crackle, pop. That being said, with gapless Jriver, I did not experience any real issues to worry about. I heard a small crackle if I switched between albums mid song, rather than let the playlist play out. But this could have as much to do with JRiver and my MBP as it does with the Lampizator. In the end, it was nothing to worry about.

    During my comparisons, I reached this conclusion: The Lampizator is not the best recommendation for the Audiophile who doesn’t give two hoots about DSD and only has a redbook/high res PCM collection (that would be the Berkley). The Lampizator isn’t the best recommendation for the guy who wants to just “set & forget” his digital front end or wants an all-in-one PCM/DSD/iPad control solution (that would be the Lumin). The Lampizator, obviously, is not the best recommendation for the Audiophile who still loves to spin CD’s, SACD’s and wants his spinner to have a USB/SPDIF DAC as well.

    But if you have a sizable DSD collection or you plan on burning up the internet with downloads from Super HiRez and similar sites, than the Lampizator will provide you with a intimate connection, a richness, an unbelievable listening experience each and every time. And you know, as good as the other products are, it was the Lampizator with the right DSD material that was special. Oh, so special. Kondo Kagura special.

    Concerns:

    NO PRODUCT IS PERFECT, and despite a few niggly concerns, there was nothing about the Lampizator Big 7 that was a deal breaker in my book.

    •If you wanted to stay true to the native format, it required a little more work while listening (switching inputs, etc.)
    •The Lampizator is BIG! It measures 20 inches deep x 17 ¼ inches wide and it also needs quite a bit of height space for the tall tubes and proper ventilation. If you thought you were going to slide the Lampizator in some little cubby hole in your rack, think again. This baby needs a dedicated spot on top – and deservedly so. Did I mention, it’s BIG?
    •The outputs on the back are not clearly labeled.
    •When I switched between ALBUMS (not songs) with the Auralic and JRiver, there was a pop, then a click and what sounded like a match being lit. I have to admit, it did give me the willy’s. I had visions of my tweeters frying. I quickly learned to mute my preamp when switching between albums. All was ok. With JRiver in gapless mode, I only experienced a slight “crackle” when manually switching between albums.
    •If you want to stay native, you have to switch between DSD to PCM and that required more than a few clicks on the remote as you have to cycle through various other options. If you’re the type of person that selects this DSD song, then the next one PCM, then the next one DSD and so on, you may find the switching back and forth a bit of a pain. Staying native, I learned to listen differently: album by album. Listening to the Lampizator is so rewarding, that I really didn’t mind it at all. That being said, once you experience PCM upsampled to DSD through the Lampizator, you will be probably quite content to stick with that path.
    •Like many SET tube amps I’ve owned, if you are playing the music at a rather loud level and stop the song, you will hear a few seconds of very soft ringing. Nothing major and nothing that should cause any listener concern – but its there and should be pointed out.
    •Music is presented in front of the speakers by the Lampizator. It won’t win any holographic, 3D, depth of soundstage contest. The bass player for Oscar Peterson won’t sound like he’s 10 feet behind the right speaker. He will sound like he’s slightly in front of the right speaker. But this characteristic could be one of the reasons why the Lampizator provide such an intimate listening experience.
    •While using JRiver, I found I really had to drive my preamp hard with DSD material coming from the Lampizator. To give you an example, via the Lumin, I was receiving an average of 95db with my preamp on -20. I had to take the preamp to 0.00 to achieve the same thing from the Lampizator. Let’s keep in mind, that a large part of this is likely because this Lampizator Big 7 is Single Ended.
    •As I’ve mentioned, the Lampizator is not a big banging, slamming, dynamic DAC. Your music flows through it like a world-class ballerina performing at the MET. If you’re looking for a slam bam thank you ma’am DAC, look elsewhere. For those that crave big dynamics for Mahler Symphony’s for example, it might not be their cup of tea. For those that already have a pair of low powered SET amps, it MIGHT also be too much of a good thing. But the Lampizator is just like a beautiful sounding pair of SET amps, you have to give up something to get something.
    •There are DAC’s that handle sibilant recordings better. The Lampizator wasn’t bad, but the T+A PDP 3000HV for example was the best in this department when I conducted my comparisons.
    •The Lampizator is sheer magic with its handling of DSD content. I dare you to find better. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for how it handles native PCM. It is a good native redbook/high res PCM DAC, but its handling of native PCM is not quite up to the level of the Lumin S1/T+A PDP3000HV nor certainly the Berkley Alpha Reference DAC in my system. This isn’t to say it still isn’t enjoyable with native PCM – it is – but compared to the inconceivable magic it works with DSD, native PCM sounds, well, average.



    Summary

    From Ella’s voice to Louis’ trumpet to David’s sax to Elton’s piano to James’ guitar, the Lampizator Big 7 was tonally pitch perfect. If you are a big fan of female vocals like I am, then listening to Ella, Norah and Diana never sounded better. The Lampizator was able to reproduce this airiness in Ella’s voice that is often lost in digital translation.

    If you only take away one thing from this review, it’s this: The Lampizator Big 7 will create an intimate listening experience like no other.

    I have reviewed quite a few digital products – Lumin A1, Lumin S1, Marantz NA-11S, Meitner/EmmLabs and the list goes on. I have personally owned over 20 DAC’s, too many to list. Those who have read my reviews know that I like to say “comparing DAC’s is a lot like trying to pick the tallest midget.” Well, I’m here to tell you that the Lampizator stands out like a rose among thorns.

    How does the Lampizator sound? Let me tell you, with DSD material, it doesn’t sound like ANY other digital product I have heard. It’s not even close. It’s like comparing a Shindo WE300b amp to a pair of Classe CAM600’s or like comparing a pair of Kondo Kagura’s to a pair of Bel Canto Class D amps.

    The Lampizator Big 7 is very rich in tone. It has meat on the bones. It has purity to its delivery. It is not soft, but rather sweet. It has this uncanny ability to add another dimension to your music. This dimension that sounds like hall ambience, a slight decay/reverb which makes the music seem all that more real. Bass through the Lampizator was a real surprise for me. Bass was big and full, detailed, and controlled and most importantly, very natural. Stand up bass had this natural “thump thump thump”. It was the most natural bass I’ve heard from any digital source.

    The Lampizator sounds like a beautiful sounding SET amp among an endless tribe of Mega watt solid state amps. It reproduces all your DSD albums in an intimate manner without anything artificial. It is truly a distinguished DAC in a sea of sameness. Simply, it sounds different. VERY VERY different. No DAC better captures the subtle nuances of the recording session better than the Lampizator. None. No DAC I have heard comes close at replicating the ambiences of the hall of a live recording than the Lampizator. And no DAC provides the listener with such an intimate experience.

    Does the Lampizator sound like any other DSD capable DAC I’ve had in my system? No. Does it sound like my turntable? No. Does it sound like my R2R? Maybe. People reading this review will immediately wonder about comparisons. Well, as I've already mentioned, I compared the Big 7 to my Lumin S1, A1 and T+A PDP 3000HV. The Lampizator was the undisputed champion of DSD – it wasn’t close. However, the Lampizator fell short with native PCM. Upsampling PCM material to DSD brought the Lampizator a lot closer to the others and maybe with a little more time and tube swapping, it would get there…in fact, I have no doubt.

    At the end of the day, when feeding the Big 7 DSD material, it just doesn’t sound like any other source, let alone any other DSD DAC. It sounds like music. It’s like having the live performers in your room. Listening to Ella and Louis sing Stars Fell on Alabama gave me goosebumps. Listening to James Taylor’s Hourglass denied me another hour of sleep. Listening to Alison Kraus Live put me front and center.

    The Lampizator has an uncanny ability to recreate these subtle recording ambiences and natural reverbs which made me believe I am there or better yet, they are here! There is nothing plastic sounding about the Lampizator, nothing phony, nothing contrived, nothing artificial, and certainly nothing digital sounding. Frankly, it’s as pure as pure gets.

    If the PS Audio DirectStream is the DAC equivalent of the Hegel H30 and the Berkley Reference DAC, the equivalent of the pair of DartZeel 458’s, then the Lampizator was to me, the Shindo WE300b or the Kondo Kagura of DAC’s. It’s special, very special.

    In conclusion, I started out my Lampizator exploration with concerns and ended with a musical revelation as far as DSD through the Lampizator is concerned. Playing native DSD through the Lampizator will cause a steady stream of very late nights, I know it did for me. Listening to the Lampizator Big 7 the past few days straight was a real eye opener (no pun intended). The Big 7 Lampizator performed flawlessly while I had it. I want one (Fred, are you listening?), if for nothing else than to just listen to my DSD files with a pureness and magic that can’t be found anywhere else.

    The Lampizator story is not one without a few bumps along the way, but their travels today appear to be on a newly paved road. For those always wanting the magic from a low powered SET amp, but not able to pull it off due to speaker inefficiencies or other reasons, can now purchase a Lampizator Big 7, install their favorite tube, grab some DSD albums and have that SET magic and more. I have now heard what all the fuss is about. Lampizator fans definitely have something to talk about when it comes to the Big 7’s DSD magic. My only question: Lampizator USA, why did it take this long to get a Lampizator in my hands? Regardless, it was certainly worth the wait.

    Scoring Comparison Chart:

    Lampizator Big 7
    Native PCM Score: 8/10
    PCM Upsampled to DSD Score: 9/10
    Native DSD Score: 11/10
    Convenience/Ease of Use: 8/10
    Overall Score: 9/10
    HIGHLY Recommended

    Products Compared To:
    Lumin S1
    Native PCM: 9/10
    PCM Upsampled to DSD: 9.5/10
    Native DSD: 9/10
    Convenience/Ease of Use: 9/10
    Overall Score: 9/10

    T+A PDP 3000HV
    Native PCM (redbook CD & USB DAC): 9.5/10
    PCM Upsampled to DSD: N/A (Not Tested)
    Native DSD (SACD & USB DAC): 9.5/10
    Convenience/Ease of Use: 9/10
    Overall Score: 9/10

    Berkley Alpha Reference DAC (going from fickle audio memory)
    Native PCM: 11/10
    DSD converted to PCM: N/A (Not Tested)
    Native DSD: N/A
    Convenience/Ease of Use: 8/10
    Overall Score: 9/10

    Associated Equipment:

    Sonus Faber Stradivari Speakers
    Pass XS 150 amps
    Pass XS Preamp
    Kimber Select all copper cabling
    WireWorld Platinum 7 USB cable
    Auralic Aries w/Lighting DS iPad app
    JRiver 19 w/JRemote iPad app
    MacBook Pro


    Music Selections:

    DSD Albums:

    Aja – Steely Dan
    Alchemy – Dire Straits
    Friday Night in San Francisco – Al Dimeola, John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia
    Café Blue – Patricia Barber
    Covers – Norah Jones
    Dad Loves His Work – James Taylor
    Ella and Louis – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
    Mahler Symphony No. 6 – San Francisco Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas)
    Feels Like Home – Norah Jones
    Elton John – Elton John
    Alison Kraus Live (Discs 1 and 2) – Alison Kraus
    Here’s to Ben - Jacintha
    Time Again – David Sanborn
    Hotel California (SHM Remaster) – The Eagles
    Jazz at the Pawn Shop – Arne Domnerus
    We Get Requests – Oscar Peterson
    Midnight Blue – Kenny Burrell

    PCM Albums:

    Wallflower – Diana Krall
    Tracker – Mark Knopfler
    Into Colour – Rumer
    Passione – Andrea Bocelli
    Inspiration – George Benson
    That Girl – Jennifer Nettles
    An Acoustic Evening At The Vienna Opera House (Live) – Joe Bonamassa
    Unplugged – Larry Carlton & Robben Ford
    Michael Buble – Michael Buble
    Graceland – Paul Simon – 25th Anniversary Edition
    Genius Loves Company – Ray Charles
    Tchamantche – Rokia Traore
    Bridge Over Troubled Waters – Simon & Garfunkel
    The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars
    Yesterday Once More – The Carpenters
    Singles 1969-1981 – The Carpenters
    Live At Grossman’s – The Jeff Healey Band
    Use Me – Vanessa Fernandez
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by joeinid; April 19, 2015 at 11:50 AM.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Mike, 10/10 for what has to be one of the most thorough non-professional reviews i've ever read! I suspect your review will become a benchmark for other reviewers on this site. It's midnight here down under, but I will come back to your review tomorrow night when I can read it through .

  3. #3

    Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Mike...well done and thanks for such a comprehensive and well thought out review. Just a quick comment on the DSD rating of Berkley Ref DAC, that should be n/a as the Berkley does not do DSD native or otherwise but other than that, sounds like you had a great time listening to the Big 7. Sounds like there will be a Lampi in your near future :-)
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  4. #4

    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Concur with David, great review. Really balanced calling all the good, bad, and ugly. Kudos, Mike!


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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by cmalak View Post
    Mike...well done and thanks for such a comprehensive and well thought out review. Just a quick comment on the DSD rating of Berkley Ref DAC, that should be n/a as the Berkley does not do DSD native or otherwise but other than that, sounds like you had a great time listening to the Big 7. Sounds like there will be a Lampi in your near future :-)
    Thanks Cyril. It was either wishful thinking or the fact I haven't slept much the past few days. This Lampizator causes serious insomnia.
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  6. #6

    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Mike...I know. I just thought I'd point it out. Very well written review So are you going to pull the trigger on the Lampi to have the DSD magic chez Mike??
    Cyril
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by cmalak View Post
    Mike...I know. I just thought I'd point it out. Very well written review So are you going to pull the trigger on the Lampi to have the DSD magic chez Mike??
    Yes. I plan on arm wrestling Fred for one at Axpona. I would love to explore the balanced one. Curious as to its gain level vs the SE version. Also want to clarify tube rolling with the balanced version, or not. Tube rolling is a very attractive characteristic for me. If I stick with the SE, than my Pass preamp will just have to work harder to earn its keep!


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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    The magic is in Lampi's DSD raw playback methodology. I would speculate that if you converted/upsampled your PCM to DSD256 with HQPlayer on a adequately designed caps your PCM Upsampled score would improve to 10.5. Jriver is no match for HQP and the upsampling device needs the proper horse power to do DSD256 justice with HQP.

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexibleAudio View Post
    The magic is in Lampi's DSD raw playback methodology. I would speculate that if you converted/upsampled your PCM to DSD256 with HQPlayer on a adequately designed caps your PCM Upsampled score would improve to 10.5. Jriver is no match for HQP and the upsampling device needs the proper horse power to do DSD256 justice with HQP.
    You could be right. Would love to try it. If it gets close to native DSD, it would be scary. Very scary.


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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexibleAudio View Post
    The magic is in Lampi's DSD raw playback methodology. I would speculate that if you converted/upsampled your PCM to DSD256 with HQPlayer on a adequately designed caps your PCM Upsampled score would improve to 10.5. Jriver is no match for HQP and the upsampling device needs the proper horse power to do DSD256 justice with HQP.
    Paul, downloaded and installed, but I can't find any ipad app for which to control it. Thoughts?
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    WOW. Thank you for your time and review on lampi.

    I always appreciate your honest opinion which you rarely see these days from any reviewer . Oh and your picture skills getting better and better
    Paul

  12. #12

    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    WOW. Thank you for your time and review on lampi.

    I always appreciate your honest opinion which you rarely see these days from any reviewer . Oh and your picture skills getting better and better


    Mike, a very thorough, honest and comprehensive review. Great Job.
    Makes me want to buy a Lampizator now !




    P.S I have bragging rights, my doorbell uses the same PUSH BUTTON as the Lampizator. Its the best push button you can buy !
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    I'm surprised you heard such a huge difference between PCM and DSD. I've heard a Big 7 a couple times now through a nice system and the differences to me were negligible at best.

  14. #14

    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Outstanding review Mike, the care and thought that went into this should be obvious to everyone . I'm just a little peeved that you've managed to hack into my NAS & steal my playlists , I would have given them to you if you'd just asked

    Shodhan

  15. #15

    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Thanks for your time Mike - this Big 7 review is really great. I was however very worried about your honest comment "Lampizator wasn’t quite up to the task of handling the great big dynamics of the Mahler symphony pieces. The thunderous dynamics of Mahler were lacking. " Can you give us more details about this aspect? Did you listen to any large choral pieces? Did you find the same characteristic in PCM mode?

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Mike ins glad you liked and very much loved you reviews and honesty. To many reviews are just all raves and we have to come down somewhere. Great read.
    As I win the DS dac is the lampi is a cut above and if you had it you would feel same I feel.
    What way did you feed he dac ? Sub or coax. I know usb for dsd. But what was you source. A good sever will improve any dac you try at what ever level it is. Tube rolling is fantastic as you know. I have a head dac coming some day it's all the B7 is and driver tube as well do more output. Love you cander and really glad you loved it. For me it does pcm very well too. But I do have a server and we all hear what we like To us as individuals too and I respect your review and views in it.
    Also the Al dimiola live is great album. I just payed it the order day. What dynamics and clarity
    Al

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Thanks for the full review with pros and cons- so few people do that these days.

    Fred used to be a big Zu fan / owner before he started working for Lampi- I know several Zu folks with their dacs.

    Cheers!
    Brinkmann Bardo w/ 47 Labs MC Bee cart, MSB Premier DAC --> Music First Baby Reference v2 --> Ampzilla 2000, 2nd Edition --> YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Mike that was a very comprehensive and detailed review, and I really want to commend you

    You really nailed it. The Lampi sound has that right side brain connectivity( goodness ). But it also has that ability to suspend disbelief, which to me is what this hobby is all about.

    To be mentioned in the same sentence as Kondo and Shindo is as good as it gets for high praise.

  19. #19
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Great review Mike. I fall in the camp that wants to keep my digital easy, I'll stick with my streamer and an iPad app.
    Last edited by MDP; April 19, 2015 at 04:40 PM.
    Mark

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  20. #20

    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Allow me to congrats on such full bodied and honest appraisal --agree one of the best "believable" Reviews I've read

    Kudos

    Bruce

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Nice review.

    A few comments:

    1. PCM to DSD upsampling was not created eaqual. As good as Jriver is in terms of features / ease of use, it is no match to HQ Player in terms of sound quality;

    2. server used has a big influence on sound quality. A Macbook is no match to full blown CAPS v3 or v4 servers. It is like comparing $500 CD transport to $10.000 one;

    3. Try the WE 101D replica tubes if you have a chance. Many Lampi owners consider them the best sounding option, and this is what Łukasz recommends (and this is also the tube that comes standard with Golden Gate).

    I agree that the Lampi deliveres out of this world experience with DSD.
    Adam

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Elbroth i conpletly agree. But I am happy he like as much as he did. Mike has come along way and I do agree can go further with a sever.
    I have a custom caps all out assault one pc setup and the new AO beta with jplay is amazing with any dac I have a tried
    Truly another level stuff as said and for me it's true.
    The 101 d is the most detailed tube for the lampi. It's level of detail is mind altering.
    But for be its hyper detailed but looses some of the note thickness that make it real for me. But if you want to hear anything that was on that recording it's the one. You can the mixing on the fly as it happens in realtime not just after its mixed in.
    Enjoy mike

  23. #23

    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Mike, great review. Really good info. I'm of the same belief as Mark though. iPad app and streamer. I monkey enough with vinyl


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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Hello, Mike.

    Reading your review today was a very pleasant surprise. Thanks for taking the time and effort to pen your thoughts honestly, the 7 is a truly marvelous unit. I have a Big 7 and a Lite 7 in my own home which I enjoy daily.

    One thought I wanted to add with respect to fine tuning the presentation -- different tubes can change the presentation dramatically. For the full scale orchestra, for example--a modestly priced pair of electroharmonix 2a3s may have given you that last bit of dysmic expression you craved. The EML you listened to is somewhat of a jack of all trades, but hardly the last word in tube rolling (though the EML 45 Anniversary Globes are mind blowing).

    In any event, thanks for the review and for adding this discussion forum.

    Best,

    Fred A.
    LampizatOr North America

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Elberoth View Post
    Nice review.

    A few comments:

    1. PCM to DSD upsampling was not created eaqual. As good as Jriver is in terms of features / ease of use, it is no match to HQ Player in terms of sound quality;

    2. server used has a big influence on sound quality. A Macbook is no match to full blown CAPS v3 or v4 servers. It is like comparing $500 CD transport to $10.000 one;

    3. Try the WE 101D replica tubes if you have a chance. Many Lampi owners consider them the best sounding option, and this is what Łukasz recommends (and this is also the tube that comes standard with Golden Gate).

    I agree that the Lampi deliveres out of this world experience with DSD.

    Adam, I have tried to get you to weigh in on a very difficult question in the past and I know you are reluctant, but, respectfully, please allow me to try again. If you were forced to live with one and only one dac (assuming your entire collection was magically converted and upsampled to the format of your choice) would you choose the Trinity (pcm) or Lampi (dsd)?

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Drum roll please................

  27. #27
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Since I have more than one I like I think answer is both . Why not if we could afford more than one car would we still have just one. It's moot point of you ask me.

    On another thought as I wait for my head dac return I wanted to share something. I had planed a while back to buy the woo audio wa234. IT rolls all the tubes the head dac does. Now since my woo wa5 is bested by the head dac amp section it's simple and far cheaper to own the head dac . I think when it comes back and gets known it's to be the next big thing for lampi .

  28. #28
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Elberoth View Post
    Nice review.

    A few comments:

    1. PCM to DSD upsampling was not created eaqual. As good as Jriver is in terms of features / ease of use, it is no match to HQ Player in terms of sound quality;

    2. server used has a big influence on sound quality. A Macbook is no match to full blown CAPS v3 or v4 servers. It is like comparing $500 CD transport to $10.000 one;

    3. Try the WE 101D replica tubes if you have a chance. Many Lampi owners consider them the best sounding option, and this is what Łukasz recommends (and this is also the tube that comes standard with Golden Gate).

    I agree that the Lampi deliveres out of this world experience with DSD.
    Please take this as constructive criticism. The first two points are the kinds of things that drive 95% of audiophiles away from purchasing a Lampizator. It reminds me of the 1990's and why people tuned out all the nerdy computer talk of mother boards, faster ram, video cards and the like. There was ALWAYS the next best thing coming along. There was always some faster RAM that would eek out the previous one by 1/1000 of a nanosecond. There was always a bigger hard drive. There was always a slightly faster video card. But all this geek speak is one reason why Apple made a roaring success. They didn't engage in it. Instead, they turned the computer into an appliance and made it seen as something people would want to use - and it worked. Sure, the specs were there buried in the data somewhere, but Apple realized, it was about the USER EXPERIENCE and not the geek speak.

    I have an IT background. I own two IT consulting companies. I can speak the geek with the best of them. But when I come home, I don't want to nerd out. I just want to listen and I suspect 95% of the audiophiles reading this will feel the same way. Yesterday JRiver was the favorite son. Today its HQPlayer. Tomorrow it will be something else. Today its a full blown CAPS V4 hand delivered by virgins from the mountains of Peru. Tomorrow it will be something else.

    My advise to the Lampi crowd is this: you have a great story, but you need to find a finished, polished, front end solution to recommend for the 95%. The Devialet guys are having this discussion now. Sure, they could nerd out, but instead, they are discussing Aurender, Auralic Aries, and similar. Sure, sure, sure, the simple solution might not have that last 1% of tech greatness, heck, it may not even have the last 10%, but it will appeal to the average audiophile. What I'm talking about is something like the Aurender N100 or X100L (and skip the NAS part). The Aurender (and products like it) are plug and play front-end solutions. The Aurender and similar have an iPad app. The average audiophile can turn on his Lampi, sit back and enjoy. He/she can build playlists from the wonderful iPad app. He/she can upsample PCM to DSD without ever leaving their chair. The Aurender is just one product, there are many others out there which are polished and easy to use.

    Sure, tube rolling is fun. I don't think most audiophiles will object to that, quite the opposite.

    But all this geek speak which changes like the weather and seems to be discussed on one site and changed tomorrow as to what's best is deterring would-be Lampi buyers.

    I think Aurender or someone similar would be a pretty good demo/show partner for Lampizator. Just my two cents.
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Alrainbow View Post
    Since I have more than one I like I think answer is both . Why not if we could afford more than one car would we still have just one. It's moot point of you ask me.

    The point of my question to Adam is to address the age old question argued in these forums ad nauseam regarding pcm vesus dsd. Many of the arguments are based on hearing a particular format on a less than optimum dac and blaming the outcome on the format not the dac. It is rare IMO to have an opportunity to hear each of the formats on a true sota dac in the same system, ergo my keen interest in getting Adam to weigh-in. Jerry is also in a unique position to opine on this topic given he has the Big 7 and the Berkeley Ref.

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Please take this as constructive criticism. The first two points are the kinds of things that drive 95% of audiophiles away from purchasing a Lampizator. It reminds me of the 1990's and why people tuned out all the nerdy computer talk of mother boards, faster ram, video cards and the like. There was ALWAYS the next best thing coming along. There was always some faster RAM that would eek out the previous one by 1/1000 of a nanosecond. There was always a bigger hard drive. There was always a slightly faster video card. But all this geek speak is one reason why Apple made a roaring success. They didn't engage in it. Instead, they turned the computer into an appliance and made it seen as something people would want to use - and it worked. Sure, the specs were there buried in the data somewhere, but Apple realized, it was about the USER EXPERIENCE and not the geek speak.

    I have an IT background. I own two IT consulting companies. I can speak the geek with the best of them. But when I come home, I don't want to nerd out. I just want to listen and I suspect 95% of the audiophiles reading this will feel the same way. Yesterday JRiver was the favorite son. Today its HQPlayer. Tomorrow it will be something else. Today its a full blown CAPS V4 hand delivered by virgins from the mountains of Peru. Tomorrow it will be something else.

    My advise to the Lampi crowd is this: you have a great story, but you need to find a finished, polished, front end solution to recommend for the 95%. The Devialet guys are having this discussion now. Sure, they could nerd out, but instead, they are discussing Aurender, Auralic Aries, and similar. Sure, sure, sure, the simple solution might not have that last 1% of tech greatness, heck, it may not even have the last 10%, but it will appeal to the average audiophile. What I'm talking about is something like the Aurender N100 or X100L (and skip the NAS part). The Aurender (and products like it) are plug and play front-end solutions. The Aurender and similar have an iPad app. The average audiophile can turn on his Lampi, sit back and enjoy. He/she can build playlists from the wonderful iPad app. He/she can upsample PCM to DSD without ever leaving their chair. The Aurender is just one product, there are many others out there which are polished and easy to use.

    Sure, tube rolling is fun. I don't think most audiophiles will object to that, quite the opposite.

    But all this geek speak which changes like the weather and seems to be discussed on one site and changed tomorrow as to what's best is deterring would-be Lampi buyers.

    I think Aurender or someone similar would be a pretty good demo/show partner for Lampizator. Just my two cents.
    True Mike but I hope Lucasz ignores your counsel, the backlog is already too long.

  31. #31
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexibleAudio View Post
    True Mike but I hope Lucasz ignores your counsel, the backlog is already too long.
    I actually have full confidence that he's just hitting his stride. I'm sure a bigger production facility is just around the corner. Lampizator Big 7 Review


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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I actually have full confidence that he's just hitting his stride. I'm sure a bigger production facility is just around the corner. Lampizator Big 7 Review


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    And I have a feeling his next gen products will address your points regarding ergonomics by making DSD conversion and upsampling a no brainer interface. In addition, I expect his DSD methodology will be copied by many. Raw DSD playback without conversion (using filters only) approaches analogue as a matter of science not just sound (especially 256).

  33. #33

    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Please take this as constructive criticism. The first two points are the kinds of things that drive 95% of audiophiles away from purchasing a Lampizator. It reminds me of the 1990's and why people tuned out all the nerdy computer talk of mother boards, faster ram, video cards and the like. There was ALWAYS the next best thing coming along. There was always some faster RAM that would eek out the previous one by 1/1000 of a nanosecond. There was always a bigger hard drive. There was always a slightly faster video card. But all this geek speak is one reason why Apple made a roaring success. They didn't engage in it. Instead, they turned the computer into an appliance and made it seen as something people would want to use - and it worked. Sure, the specs were there buried in the data somewhere, but Apple realized, it was about the USER EXPERIENCE and not the geek speak.

    I have an IT background. I own two IT consulting companies. I can speak the geek with the best of them. But when I come home, I don't want to nerd out. I just want to listen and I suspect 95% of the audiophiles reading this will feel the same way. Yesterday JRiver was the favorite son. Today its HQPlayer. Tomorrow it will be something else. Today its a full blown CAPS V4 hand delivered by virgins from the mountains of Peru. Tomorrow it will be something else.

    My advise to the Lampi crowd is this: you have a great story, but you need to find a finished, polished, front end solution to recommend for the 95%. The Devialet guys are having this discussion now. Sure, they could nerd out, but instead, they are discussing Aurender, Auralic Aries, and similar. Sure, sure, sure, the simple solution might not have that last 1% of tech greatness, heck, it may not even have the last 10%, but it will appeal to the average audiophile. What I'm talking about is something like the Aurender N100 or X100L (and skip the NAS part). The Aurender (and products like it) are plug and play front-end solutions. The Aurender and similar have an iPad app. The average audiophile can turn on his Lampi, sit back and enjoy. He/she can build playlists from the wonderful iPad app. He/she can upsample PCM to DSD without ever leaving their chair. The Aurender is just one product, there are many others out there which are polished and easy to use.

    Sure, tube rolling is fun. I don't think most audiophiles will object to that, quite the opposite.

    But all this geek speak which changes like the weather and seems to be discussed on one site and changed tomorrow as to what's best is deterring would-be Lampi buyers.

    I think Aurender or someone similar would be a pretty good demo/show partner for Lampizator. Just my two cents.
    Hallelujah and Amen!
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  34. #34
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Hahahahaha funny mike very funny

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Alrainbow View Post
    Hahahahaha funny mike very funny
    I'm assuming you were referring to my virgins from the mountains of Peru and not the content of my suggestion?


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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexibleAudio View Post
    The point of my question to Adam is to address the age old question argued in these forums ad nauseam regarding pcm vesus dsd. Many of the arguments are based on hearing a particular format on a less than optimum dac and blaming the outcome on the format not the dac. It is rare IMO to have an opportunity to hear each of the formats on a true sota dac in the same system, ergo my keen interest in getting Adam to weigh-in. Jerry is also in a unique position to opine on this topic given he has the Big 7 and the Berkeley Ref.
    I own a big7 and msb stack do I qualify ?? Lol.

  37. #37
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by cmalak View Post
    Hallelujah and Amen!
    Thank you Cyril. Others have already PM'd me to say they agree. I personally will be looking at an Aurender N100. I love simple. The Aurender iPad app is superb and easy to use. Total plug-n-play.


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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexibleAudio View Post
    And I have a feeling his next gen products will address your points regarding ergonomics by making DSD conversion and upsampling a no brainer interface. In addition, I expect his DSD methodology will be copied by many. Raw DSD playback without conversion (using filters only) approaches analogue as a matter of science not just sound (especially 256).
    It must be heard to be believed. It isn't just better sounding DSD - it's in another league entirely.


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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Mike yes of course. And at one time I did feel,like you and it's why I spent the money I did ona msb stack with the umt plus as well plug and play. But truth be told although complex there is much more that can be had. But agin I see and respect ypur point . I to have ankrell connect for,jus that purpose at my office plug and play from my iPhone or iPad. Very simple.
    Pal

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Alrainbow View Post
    I own a big7 and msb stack do I qualify ?? Lol.
    Fire away. I am all ears.

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Mike,

    That was a tremendous review. Thanks so much for taking the time and care to write it. It's extremely rare to read such honesty about the performance of a component. The folks at TAS and Stereophile could take a lesson from you. The end result was actually what I was expecting, ground breaking DSD performance and very good to excellent PCM performance. I wouldn't mind adding a Big 7 to my system for DSD only. I would keep my K-01 for CD/SACD and high res. PCM. Problem solved!

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexibleAudio View Post
    And I have a feeling his next gen products will address your points regarding ergonomics by making DSD conversion and upsampling a no brainer interface. In addition, I expect his DSD methodology will be copied by many. Raw DSD playback without conversion (using filters only) approaches analogue as a matter of science not just sound (especially 256).
    Paul,

    I agree with your statement 100%. Lukasz appears to have made a revolutionary breakthrough with raw DSD playback without conversion. When other manufacturers come to the realization that this methodology produces superior DSD performance, they are going to follow suit. This is why I wouldn't purchase a K-01X right now.

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  43. #43

    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexibleAudio View Post
    The point of my question to Adam is to address the age old question argued in these forums ad nauseam regarding pcm vesus dsd. Many of the arguments are based on hearing a particular format on a less than optimum dac and blaming the outcome on the format not the dac. It is rare IMO to have an opportunity to hear each of the formats on a true sota dac in the same system, ergo my keen interest in getting Adam to weigh-in. Jerry is also in a unique position to opine on this topic given he has the Big 7 and the Berkeley Ref.
    I just answered the DSD/PCM question in the other running Lampi thread, but will post here as well. I find exceptional quality in both formats, with neither able to claim being best. But I do find many more well recorded albums in the DSD format. Maybe more care is taken, knowing that the audiophile market seeks higher quality ?? I am not sure DSD gear is more adept at fleshing quality than PCM gear. My Berkeley Reference can absolutely floor me at times......but the DSD recordings and Lampi dac deliver on a more consistent basis.
    As far as a smooth front end, we must remember this DSD rage is still pretty new. The market is now strong enough for companies to support it. By this time next year......it will be a whole different ballgame.
    I do love my S-1 Lumin for its simplicity and wonderful app.......but it is a closed system. I ultimately prefer a dedicated computer-based music server, as it allows for DSP correction. And I believe DSP will rule in the future.

  44. #44

    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Very interesting read. Places the G5 PCB model into perspective. Look forward to where they will take the Big7 GG Balanced version to....I'll hang out 'till then.
    Steve

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  45. #45
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Lampizator Big 7 Review
    By Michael Bovaird
    [...]
    Music is presented in front of the speakers by the Lampizator. It won’t win any holographic, 3D, depth of soundstage contest. The bass player for Oscar Peterson won’t sound like he’s 10 feet behind the left speaker. He will sound like he’s slightly in front of the left speaker. But this characteristic could be one of the reasons why the Lampizator provide such an intimate listening experience. [...]

    Hi Mike, I was wondering about the above statement. Where is the correct soundstage position for the bass player in the above track and do you have an opinion on why relative to your analog and other digital sources the Lampi would place musicians (differently / incorrectly?) in the soundstage?
    Borresen Acoustics Loudspeakers, Borresen Model 01 Compact monitor loudspeakers with Ansuz Darkz T2s Supreme resonance control, Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH (AVM) Inspiration amplifier & streamer, Innuos Zen MKII music server, Ansuz Acoustics cables & accessories. Please visit my system thread hosted on Audioshark for more details. Disclosure: The author is materially connected to Ansuz, Aavik & Borresen Acoustics via friendship with an owner.

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Well done Mike!
    _______________

    Mike

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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi_1282001 View Post
    Hi Mike, I was wondering about the above statement. Where is the correct soundstage position for the bass player in the above track and do you have an opinion on why relative to your analog and other digital sources the Lampi would place musicians (differently / incorrectly?) in the soundstage?
    One typo correction (I will fix in my review): the bass player is on the RIGHT speaker, not left. As for what most resembles the Vinyl I played this morning of the same album, it's the Lampi. With the Lampi perhaps even creating more of an intimate performance likely due to the tubes at source. It just seemed to move you up a few rows if you know what I mean. I suspect a good tube phonostage would do the same thing.
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Mike if I may ask you a question. Going from vinyl to dsd with the lampi. Do you find the dsd to be a little more dynamic over vinyl ?

  49. #49
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Alrainbow View Post
    Mike if I may ask you a question. Going from vinyl to dsd with the lampi. Do you find the dsd to be a little more dynamic over vinyl ?
    Not really. I would say the opposite, but I am using the new ZYX Universe Premium Cart which is very dynamic. The Lampi seemed richer though and obviously dead quiet!


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  50. #50
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    Re: Lampizator Big 7 Review

    Your reply is what I wanted to hear.
    If the source is from analog it should be about the same.
    Only pure dsd is somewhat more dynamic. Love your honesty.
    Al

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