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Thanks for sharing, bugman03. I am surprised by the lack of discussion of the Atlantic here, but perhaps that will change as more people like you and me continue to buy them. There is a bit more discussion on other high end forums (Audio Circle and Audio Shark, to name a couple for those who might be interested).
Did you order yours stock, or go for any of the upgrades?
I ordered mine over the weekend with the tube rectifier and USB Superclock upgrades. Really looking forward to hearing it! For those of us who love the Lampizator sound but can't quite swing a Golden Gate, this just might be exactly what we are looking for. Time will tell.
I called the importer and ordered it. I did not know of upgrades at the time I ordered 5 or 6 weeks ago. I will contact the importer and find out. Oh boy, I might have to send mine back for the upgrades. I have about 120 hrs now and it getting much better than a few days ago! I think that the Golden Gate might sound a litter warmer but I don't believe it will be 4X better. The Atlantic has a large soundstage, great clarity and micro detail and it is emotionally engaging. I might get too lazy and never get up and play vinyl again. Too bad, I have a great and expensive analog system. I hope you enjoy your Atlantic as much as I am enjoying mine.
The early reviews have been very positive, and I believe most of those were reviews on the stock version you have. I don't think some of the upgrades became available until a bit later. It sounds as if you might just be pretty happy with the Atlantic as it is. I love your description of its presentation, which is more or less just what I am looking for. I had the Big Six and really found it to be emotionally engaging as well. I foolishly sold it and regretted it almost immediately, but I am looking forward to seeing how the Atlantic compares. That Lampi sound is mesmerizing and addictive, methinks.
The Atlantic has a larger soundstage, the background is quieter, has more micro detail information, the sound of each musical instrument is clearly heard (separation) on good recordings and they sound a little holographic, not quite as warm as the Luxman DA-06, sounds more like real music and is emotionally engaging IMHO. So, to my ears the sound of the Atlantic is very crystal clear with no brightness or grain at all. I can sit and listen for a long time like I can with my analog setup. I was going to get a Lampy Golden Gate but I am glad I got talked into the Atlantic. It is a great value.
Taken from a post on another forum:
Just to be clear, this demo Atlantic is souped up option-wise.
No preamp/remote option, BUT everything else for a SE dac!
Tube recti - Check (5c3 soviet)
Separate chipless DSD option - Check
Superclocked USB - Check (though not sure if just for 44.1khz family or also includes 48hz family)
Dual voltage switchable - check.
Physical comparison to the GG dac
The case weighs little comparatively, its the BIG iron underneath...chokes/transformers/power supplies, etc.
I picked up the units from the home of some pretty elderly friends and even they said the box, though huge, was light! Its true, its a double box and the inner box is tiny compared to the outer one. The GG weighs probably 3 times as much!
Anyone who knows Lampi knows that there are no fluff parts in any of his devices, quite the opposite. His philosophy is to jettison anything absolutely not necessary. Simplest signal path is best...that is his key design mantra.
B7/GG weighs THAT much because he went ballistic on the power supply design. The Atlantic is by comparison, just "significantly overspecified". He hit a sweetspot of SQ vs modest componentry with the Atlantic and that makes it a superb value. The GG is a more a "no holds barred" approach, but within the bounds of "sanity". No substitute for "big iron" though.
Very first impression:
The Atlantic is physically like a "toy" compared to the GG. Its about half the volume and 1/3rd the weight.
The GG is like the weight of a decent monoblock while the Atlantic is more like the weight of a relatively robust CD player. Clearly, the power supply in the GG is 2 to 3 orders of magnitude more hefty and (I assume) refined.
I just played a few tracks via CD transport and I really do like what I hear. Mind you, with the Atlantic being so light and easily manhandled, I started off with the 2nd hand Shun Mooks I bought from someone in Canada, so maybe that was not the wisest course for an evaluation. I have not used the SMs before on the GG.
This comment is pretty useless as I have not been using the system for a couple weeks (auditory memory faulty and all those diclaimers, yadda yadda), but the Atlantic (with Soviet 5c3 recti) did strike me as a bit more SS in that the highs were extended and crisp, but still retained the midrange lushness. I think this may be a supreme bargain from Lampi and a great intro to their Dac range....but I would say its a suped-up street car that kicks the butt of most anything street legal, while the GG is a Formula ONE beast with all the ability to fine tune to the extreme...all the Tools needed to gain access to the podium. Kinda like Ferrrai where the Enzo/La Ferrari are supreme road supercars, but would be crushed by the Formula one car that Vettel drives. Very preliminary, so take with a grain of salt.