Does anyone use Lamm M1.1's in their system now?

What are your real feelings about these amps? Are they as good as the reviews say they are? How is the sound real world in a home system?
These are terrific amps and you will need to go to a custom/non-commercial amp to do better.In absolute terms,the top-end is a little subdued and it won't flesh out every corner of the soundstage.It is extremely natural and will drive loads to 1 ohm-without a change in character.That being said,InSound builds monoblocs that will demolish it,in the very regions that it does so well.Brass,cymbals and upper octave ambience retrieval,as well as tonal color and texture in the mid/bass.The InSounds are 15W SETS and will never drive a 1 ohm load.But I don't need that,so the InSounds make me very happy-can't imagine better sound for what I paid {about $8500}.But then I couldn't imagine better than the Lamms,until I heard it.
SETs are very, very nice for the right speaker and there are a variety of designs (including the LAMM ML2) and tubes to chose from: 6C33C, 300B, 845, 2A3 etc. If your speaker can be driven by a SET the sound is very hard to beat.

But if your speaker is not both easy to drive and efficient, or you like hard-driving rock&roll, techno or other similar types of music, then a SET is (usually, there are exceptions) not the answer.

This is where solidstate and, in this case, a hybrid like the M1.1 (now M1.2, and also the M2.1 which is now the M2.2) becomes a necessity.

We have only heard the M2.1, and only for a week or so under controlled circumstances. During that time we were surprised at how good it was, with the VERY subtle deficencies as also heard by Tpsonic above. The midrange was startlingly real, the bass full and rich (in an almost tube-ish manner), the highs sweet and extended (minus the slightest bit of air), lots of drama and good imaging and soundstaging (but without the extreme levels of midrange detail of solidstate or SETs required for pinpoint imaging).

And that is where it sits: sometimes one wants the romance and musicality of tubes with the power and drive of a solidstate. It is at a very, very nice middle ground between the two.

-Mike (Lamm dealer and Audio Note U.K. Kegon 300B SET dealer/owner)
The M1.1s were one of a handful of amps that I would consider buying.I had been a "tube" person for eons.The 1.1s were the first amps to give the tonal structure/color to the music,while still preserveing the control of solidstate.Talk about a huge soundstage,with good specifity of instrumental outlines.No not etched.Very slightly soft up-top,but not to a degree that made me search for other amplifiers.Extremely reliable.
Hello Tpsonic and Mike,
The more I hear about these Lamm amps the more I think that they would be a great choice for my system. I will try to listen to a pair soon. Maybe the M2.1 or M2.2 may work better for me I do like to rock hard sometimes and don't want to be needing for power. Sounds like their would be plenty of sound quality over my current amplifier.
Thanks Don
You will be amazed at what 100w/ch pure class A operation will do.They sounded more powerful than a pair of Innersound mono ESL amps {600W}.Enjoy the Lamms ,should you perchase them {1.1,1.2,2.1,2.2}.
Hi Tpsonic,
Thanks that's info. I like to hear, it helps to make a purchase or what you may like to audition. I just need to find apair somewhat close by to listen to. 100W's in class A sure does sound like it would be sweet.
Thanks Don
Tpsonic and AudioFederation, have either of you heard the Tenor hybrids? I am considering the stereo 150. After reading this thread, it seems that I should also be considering the Lamm. Any thought on how the two compare would be helpful. Thanks.
With the Tenor OTL,you will need to be careful with impedance.An OTL driving a 4 ohm load,usually halves the power output.These are totally different beasts.The bottom of the Tenor is not as "controlled",but the top-end is more dynamic/extended..The Lamm will control the bottom,at the expense of the "ultimate" top-end.
Tpsonic, I was wondering about the Tenor stereo 150 hybrid.
Hi Brooksl,

I have only heard the Tenor 300 hybrid, in both its prototype incarnation and it recent incarnation, and only at shows. However, based on these experiences and what I know of the design and designers of the two amplifiers, I would say that both the M1.1, 1.2, 2.1, and 2.2 and the Tenor 150 are good choices and are more or less comparable in general terms.

No, I know that doesn't help, but don't worry, I won't wimp out, lol. To contrast the two, one can think about the Tenors as being mostly tube based with a little solidstate thrown in for additional power and stabilization. One can think about the Lamm as mostly solid state with some tubes thrown in for additional musicality and naturalness. They both try to use the best of both technologies. They also both run hot. The tenor is quite a bit longer than the lamm, with a somewhat more polished look. Oops, I'm back to not helping again.

I think Lamm has a more stately, majestic, romantic, powerful kind of sound (as a friend commented to me once - think of old Russian art masterpieces or the old Russian classical masters like Rachmonanov). I think of Tenor as having a voiced their amps to have a more firey, dynamic, detailed, almost adrenaline-based sound (I often think of Flamenco music when I think of Tenor).

You may find that you really do not know which of these styles you prefer - or you may find that you prefer one style sometimes and the other style another time.

Sometimes it really does come down to 1) the nitty gritty system matching issues: how does each amp work with your speaker, with your cables and room and sources and the music you like to most often play and 2) the ergonomics issues: heat, size, maintenance, attractiveness, and pride-of-ownership, etc.

Nope, I don't think that helped at all. Well, these amps are pretty comparable and you are just gonna have to do some listening. Geez, that sounds like fun, you say?. It can be - getting blown away by new gear can be quite exhilerating... But you also might be right back where you sit now if BOTH amps happen to blow you away...

Many dealers will send out amps for audition to serious inquiries - assuming they have one available. Or you can try borrowing one from a very, very, very good friend... that works too.

Mike, Thank you. Your descriptions are very helpful. You are right, however, I will need to listen. If you don't mind one last quesiton: The Joule Electra VZN-100 is the other amp that I am seriously considering. I originally was only thinking about the Joule. Then, I thought that the hybrids might run cooler, require less maitenance, and perhaps have a little better low end extention/control. Next Thursday, I will ahve the pleasure of hearing the Rights of Passage by Joule Electra. They will probably create an expection in me that I am not financially prepared to meet. What I hope is that the VZN-100s sound similar - just with less power. The next step is to hear the Tenor or the Lamm. Thanks for your input. Your posts are very helpful
I purchased a pair of M1.1's one year ago. In my country the price is very hefty (a new car comes to mind), but their performance is really first rate.
I use them with Sonus Faber Guarneri's.
I have enjoyed reading this thread. I have the Tenor 300's. They do not run hot. The OTL's run not only hot but very hot. I have had OTL's in my room. With all great equipment you can really tell the differences with cables. I won't go there but comparing the two both are wonderful but the Hybrid's win in a few areas. The main one being if you blow the output tube you have to do more than replacing the tube you have to send the amp back to Tenor. I have know people who have had the Lamms and made the switch to the Tenors but not the other way around.
as another Tenor 300 watt hybrid owner, i mostly agree with Mike regarding the contrast between the Tenor hybrid and Lamm M1.1. where i would disagree to some degree, would be that in living with them on a daily basis, they have plenty of weight and sense of control and are never lean or lightweight sounding.

the Tenors are very energetic, and to my particular tastes, are more 'alive' sounding than the Lamm. but your Audio Physic's are a fairly 'alive' sounding it may come down to balance and tastes. both these amps are excellent.

i haven't heard the Lamm M1.2's or the Tenor Stereo hybrid 150's.
I have enjoyed all the great responses and now it looks like I need to audition the Tenors also. I think it does really come down to mating the right components together and your tastes. Also if you like country-blues or any type of blues give Allison Moorer a listen you won't be disappointed.