Ayre Codex vs. Lampizator Amber II


I am using the Ayre Codex as a stand-alone dac in my 2 channel system right now, and it sounds great.  I am now interested in the Lampizator Amber II dac and wondering how both dacs compare in terms of sound quality.  Has anyone ever heard of both dacs?  Thanks.
respected_ent
Any comments on Lampizator Amber II dac are also welcome.  Thanks.
I own the Lampizator Amber Mk 2, which I consider an exceptionally good DAC. Unfortunately I haven't heard the Ayre Codex, and can't offer a comparison. 

I reviewed it last year for another forum (read it here: https://www.avforums.co.za/index.php?topic=61239.0)

My summary comments were:

"In my opinion, it is true to timbre in the way a very good multibit DAC can be (reminding me of both the Theta and the Audiomat here); with vocals, it conveys a kind of essential quality, bringing forth richness and depth rather than thinning out voices in a way I’ve heard with some DACs; the soundstage is generous but not overblown, and possessing of a realistic sense of depth; its bass won’t make Mike Moffat blush, but rather it’s a case of everything in its right place. The low end is ample to the point I've dispensed with a sub altogether! But none of this matters, if the music doesn’t flow, and this is the Amber Mk2’s greatest strength: it allows the music to impress rather than trying to be the fifth Beatle."
Looks like the Lampizator Amber II ($2,000) replaces the Level 3 ($3500) and 4 ($4850) units.  That's impressive!  I am surprised that there are no other owners out there commenting on this dac.
I also own the Amber II. It is tube rectified.  I am currently having the super-clocks installed.  Hope to have it back this week.  This is a very nice DAC, no complaints.  I have own the Exogal Comet, PWDII, Auralic Vega and the Amber is my favorite.  Much more musical.  I also am going to try the SR Blue fuse once I do some listening for a few weeks. 
i have an Amber II and the considerably more expensive Aesthetix Pandora Sig with a brace of very nice tubes....the Lampi gets very close and like the Pandora errs on the side of musicality.. An incredible value....no doubt...
thankful

what did that run $$$$ if you dont mind me asking
did the DAC have to go to Poland for the mod or ?????
Resurrecting an old thread instead of starting a new one.. 

The Lampizator Amber 2 was recently updated to a 2019 spec, including the digital engine that trickled down from the upmarket Pacific DAC.  It now has full PCM support, as well as up to DSD512.  Supposedly it’s a whole different animal from the original Amber 2.

Anyone experience one yet?
Codex measurements are awful. Probabably is not necessary to spend that much to upgrade.

BTW I just looked at the Lampizator site and there are not data of the performance of their DACs, just blah, blah. Huge red flag for me. 


https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-ayre-codex-dac-amp.7282/
Ayre DACs have a listen and measure switch for a reason
try them out before passing judgement on the fruits of an incredible engineering team, who are also nuts about music.
As for Lampizator, another genius engineer who loves music.
hard to go wrong with either.
disclosure: I own an Ayre A2D and. Lampizator DAC, along w others...
((((Codex measurements are awful. Probabably is not necessary to spend that much to upgrade.)))
 
Hey Probabably is a new word in NJ you could even be told, hurry up ,. spit it out ya studderin prick ya.

The only thing we like more than SPs are
 parrots repeating what they read of course without even listening and probabably spew worthless chunks like half a sissy.
 
I promise you its beautiful and have run the Ayre Codex up to pretty much all Dacs at 5 k and it easily competes and then some.
 JohnnyR

News flash...NJ isn't the only state where "probabably" is considered to be a new word. Come to think of it, the phrase "half a sissy" is a bit of a head scratcher as well. And, what the hell...what are "SPs"?
I promise you its beautiful and have run the Ayre Codex up to pretty much all Dacs at 5 k and it easily competes and then some.
Jim Smith wrote pretty much the same although he cautioned that he hadn't heard everything.
There seems to be some inconsistencies between JA’s measurements and the Audio Science Review ones. Not sure, of course, which are correct.


Disclaimer, I own (and love!) a Codex.
Codex measurements are awful. Probabably is not necessary to spend that much to upgrade. 

BTW I just looked at the Lampizator site and there are not data of the performance of their DACs, just blah, blah. Huge red flag for me. 
Yeah, don’t go after Lampizator if you purchase and listen via measurements only. Lampi is for sure for music lovers, as they get to the soul of the music better than many. To discount this brand after a skim of the website is short sided. 
I’m sure they measure fine, as they sound fantastic. Besides, what audio company doesn’t use “blah, blah” on their website and instead posts measurements? Next to none. Measurements are typically done and posted by third party. 
Codex measurements are awful. Probabably is not necessary to spend that much to upgrade.


The Codex measure very very very closely to the Pono in Stereophile, and the Pono was one of, if not THE best sounding portable I’ve ever heard, especially with IEM’s. This makes me think that there's no relationship to the numbers AND that Ayre reused the design practically lock stock and barrel.


ASR’s entire process is deeply flawed. It isn’t science, it is quality assurance. The Oppo though, also measured poorly and man, I hated it from first listen. So, their measurements have no correlation to user experience. If you want to listen the way a scope does though, follow them.


To actually review these DACs scientifically they need to listen first, or independently before measuring, otherwise it is just confirmation bias.


Best,
E
I have a Ayre Codex in my system, and it appears to be one of the best purchases I ever made. Got a used one about 2 years ago at a bargain basement price and it is still going strong with no issues. Buying a new one at regular price is a good value, but a good used one at a discount is a "no-brainer."
I heard the Codex at Audioconnection and ended up getting two used ones (Sorry, Johnny). 
Like mr_m, one of my better purchases.
I'd be curious as to how the Lampizator stacks up to the Codex- 
And, the Brooklyn DAC, too.
I also own a Schiit Gungnir, and it comes pretty close to the Codex.
Bob
I too, am curious about Lampizator. Have heard many fine things about them.
Hey Bob, I've been getting thoughts about buying a second used Codex too!!!
I used this old thread more to try to learn about the Lampizator, but I just saw the spirited replies about the Ayre.  LOL.  I've heard the Ayre a bunch of times, and I was an original Kickstarter supporter of Pono so I have a Pono Player - easily one of the best values ever in personal audio.  My thought here, though, was to take advantage of an introductory sale of the entry level product of a superpremium "boutique" brand.

I ended up trying a brand new Lampizator Amber 2.2 SE DAC, which was just introduced quietly within the last month or so.  It apparently has the same digital engine as their TOTL Pacific DAC.  It has tubes, and it can run basically anything you can throw at it.  Lots of break in and listening to come, but I'll report back.  Their US importer/distributor claims this is a wholesale change to this product, but that they have been very quiet about the internal changes.  It is a simple box with just a power switch on the back, a toggle for RCA/TOSLINK SPDIF in the back, and a front panel mounted (trademark) "O" LED which on this unit is the toggle for USB or SPDIF circuits.  Quirky fact - you can get the LED in any color you would like.  It arrives shipped from their factory in Poland, via two day express shipping.  No manuals, no power cord.  This is a very odd little company.  But, the unit feels like it's built like a brick sh*thouse, and quality appears to be excellent.  They do not encourage tube rolling on the Amber 2 or even opening the case, but a flashlight reveals inside orderly layout and wiring.  The back panel is a printed piece, with serial number and date of manufacture.  Sound?  It sounds great so far, and plays perfectly- both PCM and DSD - with my Sony HAP Z1-ES, and a Rega Planet 2000 CDP.  For a tubed DAC, it is dead quiet - absolutely no hiss.  It is detailed and has good punch, yet there is some detectable sweetness to the midrange, especially in vocals.  Another quirky aspect is that they use a higher-than-industry standard output (I believe 3V instead of 2V).  I'm looking forward to listening more and reporting back.
Lampi and Ayre both musical w magic midrange...

The Lampi is in brothers system in Florida, otherwise I would borrow a Codex and do a quick side by side listen.
  1.  @drew_k  unclear to me with no digital outs on your sony , how are using the Lampizator DAC with  it ????
@tomic601 The Sony HAP Z1 ES does indeed have a USB out.  For the first several years, this USB port was enabled only for auxiliary storage, but firmware changes a couple of years ago allowed this port to be used for a digital out to an external DAC.
 @drew_k Thanks so much - that opens up a world of possibilities for that fine unit.
thanks
jim
@tomic601 With the digital out, it does make the Sony a compelling option as the DAP, especially with prices used hovering around $1,100.  The hard drive is easily replaced with a solid state version, if desired.  It sounds pretty good without a separate DAC, but the Lampizator has kicked it up a notch (especially with headphones).
The New Lampizator Amber-3  is noticably better still the the
Amber-2.   They took a year to upgrade with new Venus engine.
a bunch trickle down technologies to their flagship Pacific .
i just ordered one for just under $3k delivered who cares about 
measurements it sounds very Natural undigital for sure.
Vacuum tubes for the most part will never measure as good
As solid state  but when it distorts much more smooth even harmonics .when solid state distorts Odd etched harmonics.
IMO the best sounding dac besides Lamizaders $4500 dac 
under $6k .i have owned PS audio latest flagship dac ,Schitt Yaggs, Brooklyn dac Aurender, very detailed 
 maybe more so but it does not pull you in like a real  instrument !!
just check it out then make your own decision. Everyone  has 
certain things they  find important .
Still no answer to the OP's original question??????
I was at Audioconnection a week ago and Johnny had an Aurender connected to the Codex (after running the Bluesound Node with the Codex).
In short, I was amazed at how much cleaner the sound (esp. Bass), was.
I contacted Aurender to find if I can hook up two of their units and play them synced (like Bluesound), they said there will be a new unit for sale soon, as well as software. Though it seems it will be limited to only 2 systems, according to the website.-Which is good enough for me.
I am still messing around with The Memory Player Mini, which I need to have Sam sort out.
In short, if things go well, I may have an interesting shoot out coming up.
Bob