LammLP2 vs. Arc PH_7

Hi gang,
Would any of you who have owned or experienced either of these phono amps care to evaluate them one on one?
My system is s.s. and i'm not looking to start "tube rolling" these products, just want to know if there is a clear winner between them.
Kuzma t.t. and arm and MBL pre and amps...

I am puzzled about your latest post. I thought you were moving to a Wilson turntable? It appears that our discussions may have been premature? Please email me to clarify before I put much effort into our prior discussions.

Thank you.
I have limited experience with the Lamm LP2, (a friend owned one) and none with the PH-7. If you choose the Lamm, you should REALLY make sure that your cartridge is set up to work with the Lamm, as the Lamm has only two settings, MC and MM. It does not allow you to adjust gain or loading. (However, if you do get the right cartridge, it will sound very good.)

As you are obviously looking at a top end phono preamp, I would suggest taking a look at the ASR Basis Exclusive. This is a dual battery powered phono preamp that can handle two inputs, so you can run two turntables and/or tonearms. It is fully adjustable, as far as gain and/or loading. It has plenty of gain, so you can easily run very low output MC cartridges. It is dead silent with virtually no background noise. (And being solid state, there no tube noise to worry about, or tube rolling.) It is very musical, and is the best phono preamp I have heard.

My two cents worth.
I heard LP2 many many times.
Magic,black silence and all was so alive...
Need more?
I own a Lamm LP2 Deluxe, but haven't heard the ARC (though I far preferred the Lamm to prior ARC units I had heard, just seemed more like music, the ARCs being more to the analytical side). To my aging ears the Lamm is slightly dark-sounding, excels at layering of images in a soundstage, is tonally correct, has excellent dynamics and, as Damaradona points out, is very quiet. However, part of that quiet is because it only has 57db of gain. Kurt tank is correct, it can be magical with some cartridges, but its limited gain means that it may disappoint with very low-output MCs (I ultimately gave up with my Koetsu RSP, just not enough volume to convey power music or records cut at a low level). And the inability to play with the impedance is also a drawback. I solved those problems to my satisfaction by getting an EMT cartridge with its matched step-up transformer, though there are certainly many cartridges that will work fine with the Lamm by themselves.

Hopefully some PH-7 owners will give their observations for you.
Rcprince, I'm actually in the market for a new cartridge. I have the Lamm LP2-d and started with a Denon 103. It's time for a new cartridge, my initial thought was the Shelter 901. Have you had any experience with this cartridge? Any others with the LP-2?
I considered the Shelter, which is a very nice cartridge and should have more than enough output to work well with the Lamm. However, I preferred the EMT JSD5, as it had much of the midrange of my Koetsu RSP, better bass and dynamics, and a good deal of gain (I only use the step up because it was ideally matched for the cartridge and a better loading match than the transformer in the Lamm's MC stage, not for the additional gain). Works well with my Graham 2.2, also, so it should work nicely with your Phantom. The Shelter sounded a little less vivid and lush to me (I almost want to say a little homogenized in comparison, but that would not be fair to the Shelter, which really is one of the better ones out there), and I wanted those qualities because I listen primarily to classical music and admit that I like the Koetsu "sound". A lot of the modern cartridges are sounding more and more like CD to me, which is what a lot of people like; I prefer a little more of the old-fashioned vinyl warmth.

By the way, very nice system!

Fwiw, current TAS has a Valin PH7 review with brief comments on comparo with the Lamm and a few other top tier phono stages. My own extended thoughts on the PH7 are here.

Past experience finds me agreeing with Rcprince's comments on ARC leaning toward the yang, however their most recent top-o-the-line offerings (PH7, Ref3) wholly changed my view on this. Gone is the slightly aluminized slant. One of the true strengths of the PH7 is a gorgeous tonality across the frequencies.

The new TEA phono stage from CJ should be out sometime this year. Its a good time for analog.


Thank you for sharing your experience. I thought about it a bit, and considering my record collection isn't very large, I went ahead with a Denon 103 R cartridge. I figure when my record collection gets serious, then I'll move into a nicer cartridge.

I will look into the EMT JSD5 however.

Thank you for the suggestions and compliment.
Thank you all for your comments and contributions!