How's the Synergy between Lamm1.2ref and AR REF5

I am in the process of building a system around Wilson Sasha's and have narrowed my electronics down to either Lamm (1.2 Reference monoblocks/L2Reference pre) or Audio Research (REF 210/REF5).

Both sound great to me, but i have a couple of issues with going all Lamm (lack of remote) or all AR (tube hassle/cost with REF 210).

Thus, I am wondering how the synergy is between the combination of the Lamm 1.2R with the AR REF5?

Is anybody running this combo?


My friend uses the Lamm M2.2 (the 220 wpc Class A/AB version of the full Class A M1.2 ref.), with the ARC Ref. 5, and it sounds great. (Incredible actually - the best stereo I have ever heard, bar none.) I would be more than happy to live with that combo for the rest of my life, if only some rich uncle would donate them me. (So, I assume the M1.2 Ref. should work just fine with the Ref. 5.)

As far as the Lamm L2 Ref. preamp, I agree that I could not live with that preamp either. It is slightly dark sounding, but I could probably put up with, given how musical it is in the mid-range. However the lack of a remote, and the pseudo-balanced design definitely is something that I could not live with.

Good Luck in your search!
I have the combo you're thinking of having. The reason I went with Lamm is also the well-known synergy between the Sasha and Lamm M1.2s. Having a remote was also a major factor.

The combo sounds very good, but beware that the Ref5 break-in is somewhere in the region of 600 hrs or more, so don't jump to conclusions too early. I couldn't say if the Lamms needed that much break-in as both pre and power amps were new.

I'll be frank in saying I haven't heard that many great systems, but in my room the system sounded good enough, with just the mid-range that could use a little improvement. Some tube-rolling with the Lamms could help.

I use the Lamm M2.1 monoblocks and I use NOS Amperex Pinched Waist 6922 tubes, (as does my friend with the Lamm M2.2 monoblocks.) Both of us feel that this is about the best tube for our amps, although they tend to be a bit pricey, (around $3-400 a pair - Ouch! Thank the heavens that they only need one in each amp!). I did experiment a bit before settling on the pinched waist 6922, and I found that the Amperex Orange Globe 6DJ8's were almost as good. (And, these are much more affordable, as they typically run under $100 for a pair.)

One other thing I found that really helped get the most out of my Lamm amps was using Nordost Valhalla speaker cables. (My amps are a touch dark sounding, and these cables really helped to get the absolute best treble response out of them.) My friend also uses these cables, as does a couple of reviewers @ The Audio Beat, (Marc Mickelson and Paul Bolin), who also use Lamm amps, (the M1.2 Ref.), also, (or they did the last time I checked).

Just thought you might be interested.
No reason this should not be a superb match.Btw,Kur tank.....Those pricey tubes you and your pal splurged on,where actually a "supeb" investment in sound!

I did a little tube survey a few years ago,in my phono stage(of then)and the Amperex CCa's reigned supreme,by a big margin.I tested numerous alternative mfgrs.All the usual suspects.

Most were fine,but those Amperex tubes(mine were a small fortune too,but tested better than any others we knew of....they were really special) were amazing!!...I came just short of getting myself the Pinched waist variey,only because I wanted a matched set.You know how hard "that" is -:)

You are a fortunate fellow.

Good luck
I briefly owned the Ref5 and while I thought the mids and highs were nice, I thought the bass was so soft it was almost laughable, but I do wish I could hear it with the Lamm M1.2 as it has much better bass than the amp I had back then.
I wish I have a chance to try pinched waist Amperex 6922 tubes but I never even seen one myself. I did tried Blackburn Mullard NOS and Holland Philip/Amperex NOS tubes in my LAMM M2.2.
Basically what I would really like is a tube with Mullard midrange warmth and extension at both end of Amperex. It was suggested to me that I should try French Mazda 6922. I find it to be a good compromise of both tubes. Pretty much identical extension of Amperex with very nice warmth in the midrange but not so thick like Mullard. I am still looking around for more 6922 to try, if I ever find 2 pinched waist amperex, I certainly would like to try them and also Siemann CCA. Thanks god I only need 2 tubes :)
Suteetat, Try Telefunken 6922/E88CC or 60's Siemen's 7308. The former offers excellent balance of extension, articulation and natural harmonics; the latter has very nice extension (hi & lo) with a hint of warmth, more neutral than cool.
Thanks, I will be looking for those. A friend has a stash of Siemen CCA that I have been begging to try!
Thanks all for the responses.
Quick question, does anyone know how long the 6922 supposed to last in Lamm monoblock?
After Mazda, I got a hold of a pair of Gold Aero (I believe they are Mullard 7308) which also have very nice midrange and open top but the bass is a touch soft. Now I have Amperex pinched waist but the US version and not Holland (from around the same period, I believe) from a friend which are fantastic. Much better bass than Mazda/Gold Aero, the mid is not quite as rich but better focus and made Gold Aero/Mazda sounds soft in comparison. So far I am very happy but now am afraid what I would do if the tubes go bad eventually :( My friend has another pair of Holland Pinched waist 6922 but am not able to talk him into parting from him yet :)
Sorry for getting off the topic regarding ARC 5 a bit. Personally I went with Lamm L2 Reference when I bought M2.2 . I used ARC Ref3 in the past and was not all that impressed. I felt Ref5 was just a slight improvement so I decided to go all Lamm electronics including phono and found that I actually did not miss the remote all that much!