Avkmusic,unfortunately,the future,for you,is set!As you will NOT be able to rationalize the lack of potential improvement,which comes with more headroom,from a more powerful amp,should you keep the Avalon.
That being said,your current Lamm,is one of the finest amps available.I have heard it many times,though NOT on Eidolons(I own Ascents,btw,which are a very easy load).
Based on my own observations(which is SOLEY opinion),and I have heard the Eidolons,I do believe that you would be best served by weighing which component(the Lamm,or the Eidolon)is the "stronger" component.Then,if you still feel the need to replace one,making a decision as to what potential combination,of speaker/amp interface(which is SUPREMELY important to think of in THAT way)would best serve you.
Based on my own tastes,though the Eidolon is a superb design,it IS a tough load overall,and needs a more complex amp to drive it(one reason I stayed with my Ascent MK-2).This brings more complexity,in circuitry,into play,and is potentially not so good.
The Lamm,as you know,is a simple design,containing a superb sense of the all too rare,in this hobby,"organic flow" of what makes music SO wonderful.HARD TO GIVE UP,once experienced on a suitable speaker.Why not try some easy load speakers,to hear the Lamm magic,then make a decision.I'm not saying sell the Eidolon.Just try to audition the Lamm on some suitable speaker alternatives,which might really surprise you,and change your perspective.
Best of luck!
While I have never heard the pairing, I would think the glory of the Lamm would be hampered by such a load. You may want to contact Audio Federation as they have Marten Design speakers of similar build (ceramic/diamond) and sensitivity being powered by low powered Audio Note s.e.t. They also carry Lamm and may have run them on the Marten speakers.
I think you would be making a mistake. The ML2s are great amps, but you will never get their magic when they are partnered with the wrong speakers. Think of your speakers and amps as a single component when you make your choices, it's the best way to go. Just my humble opinion.
Avk - I just got my Lamms M1.2 Reference. I thought they sound great ... untill I borrowed an Ancient Audio Grand Silver Mono 16W SET amp last week, based on parallel 300Bs. What a sound ! Astonishing ! It blows EVERYTHING I have ever heard in my life. Microdynamics, soundstaging, decays, resolution, purity of tone. What a synergy with Eidolons. Who would have thought ... only 16W. Impossible and incredible at the same time.
I think I will have to sell the Lamms, LOL. They are 2 weeks old.
The guy that builds those amps is positively crazy.
So who knows - maybe the 18W Lamms ML2.1 will work too ?
Some very nice points in this thread. I have not had the privelege of hearing the Lamm Amps, but I have owned Avalon Eidolon speakers. I was immediately struck by the fact that the Eidolon's character was unchanged at any volume level. This was rather asounding to me, because I have heard many high end speakers and found this not to be the case. The point I am trying to make is that if you do not listen at a high volume level then maybe you should try the combo!
How much are those Ancient Audio Grands?
What are the input/driver tubes?
Who's the designer?
Why not bi-amp? Perhaps the extra muscle applied to the low end will do the trick.
I don't think it would be powerful enough either.
My friend uses the Eidolons, and he went through various tubes amps of varying power (from 100 wpc to 450 wpc), and it took the hybrid Lamm M2.2s to really bring the Eidolons to life. Without that firm control, the bass was always a little rolled off. With that power, the Eidolons have come to life! (And not only in the bass, which is now rock solid, but the treble has a decay like nothing I ever heard, and without being bright either.
The vocals are awesome as well, at least as good as any of the tube amps he tried.
(FYI: I found the sound of his Lamm M2.2s so enticing, that I bought the M2.1s (used, as I can't afford new Lamms!), to power my Revel Studios. While it is not quite as good as the M2.2/Eidolon combo, it is pretty close!)
My two cents worth anyway.
Good Luck in your search!
As a former Eidolon owner, I must chime in with a vote for "crazy". The Avalons are pure magic if driven by the correct amp. They become rather uninvolving and ordinary if not mated to a synergistic piece in a well treated room.
IMO, those amps are relatively few. I will say that the common thread in every one of them is high current, high power. I am a total tube fanatic these days, but would not have run the Avalons with anything generating less than 300W/channel. Given that many consider the Eidolon not to be "tube friendly, I always thought they would "kick @##%" with the VTL 750s, or big ARs. (And maybe the Hybrid 300 Tenors)
Personally, I ran them with Pass 600s, with very nice results (although not spectacular). Boulder, Spectral, and a few others will provide a a special match. Most of the time you will see them mated to SS gear in reference level systems.
I would not dream of mating them to my currently owned Tenor 75s. IMO the Lamms won't be much different, and the load on the amps will likely adversely impact tube life.
F1a - they are 25k EUR. That is a lot, but as I said they just BLOW AWAY my Lamms M1.2, which cost almost the same here in Europe. Those amps use some NOS ECC88 tubes and Full Music 300B tubes. Wiring is all-silver, including the silver wired output transformers. It also uses V-Cap teflon capacitors throughout.
There has been a very positive review of their player in one of the latest issues of HiFi News. I have also heard that player, but to me, this is the amp which is the star of the game.
I was to wright a separate thread about that amp, but never had the time.
Ad03 - Tenor 75s are OTL design - quite a different story than Lamms ML2.1.
Thanks. You're correct, as the OTL is going to have trouble with the low and non-stable impedance of Eidolon, however, the main point of my response relates to necessary output power.
The Lamm is simply not going to provide the power necessary to realize the full potential of the Eidolon compared to many other amps. I also still believe you will be taxing the Lamm, regardless of design.
Ad03 - I have just tried a 16W SET amp with my Eidolons, and it was by far the best combination I have triead. Before that I have tried a 30W SET amp based on GM30 tube - also absolutely NO problems.
So IMO it is rather a question of QUALITY not QUANTITY. I know all those stories about 200/300/600W power amps needed for Avalons. And yet, my OWN expirience says otherwise.
My theory is, that If the amp has a SOTA power supply, even 16W is enough.
Thanks for all the replies. I do suppose the ML2 on the Eidolon is crazy.
I am still tempted to try the ML1.1 and, while I suspect it wil better the M1.1 I had been using, I expect even the ML1.1 may still cheat both itself and the Eidolon.
One person had mentioned the Convergent Audio Technology JL-2 for the Eidolon. I suppose I will consider that. But it seems likely I will try to find a replacement for the Eidolon and keep with Lamm equipment, a fork in the road to which I have been heading for some time now.
Anyone here have expectations for either the CAT JL2 or the Lamm ML1.1 on the EIdolon?
I do have the Avalon Ascent in combination with CAT JL2.
I think it will combine well with the eidolon, i suspect there will be more detail.
Eidolons are much easier to drive than Ascent or Radian.
You simply need about 60 Watts or so of Class A Tube power
and you can even play firebird or Carmina Burana through a pair of Eidolons... they are tube-loving but you cannot use Audio Research amps unless you retube them with good KT88s and recap the coupling caps.
I had Ascents and Monitors before, they are much much harder to drive and amp without sufficient current will
smear and breakup simply with piano music.
I am not sure how magical those LAMMs are but I have used
VAC Vintage, BAT VK60Monos, and now VAC PHIs with amazingly stunning results.
Do you know if Ancient Audio have any dealer in the US? I would love to try them out. Thanks!