Lampizator DAC review
I've had the Lampizator DAC, L2, for about 6 weeks. The rest of my system is an Arcam CD73, a Placette active pre, Edge m8m amp, and JMR Trentes. I also have a Duet.
I did not have an outboard DAC before I received the LZ, so I can't compare it to other DACs. I was happy with the CD73, but was looking for the next step up. When I first got the LZ, I listened A/B from the CD alone vs the CD/DAC. I did this for a while, then moved the AN cables to the DAC as I was very happy with the sound.
With the LZ, the music opened up. The presentation became more accessible in several ways. Clarity improved, the soundstage became wider, instrument placement was more easily discerned, and the overall sound more forward and less veiled. There is more space between instruments, and depth is more apparent as well. The band image is easy to grasp, particularly when it's a small combo which has been two-miked. Before the LZ, I could easily visualize the band with the lights out and my eyes closed. Now I can do it in the daytime with my eyes open.
I listen to internet radio through the Duet (I dig KCRW). Though the quality of this sound has improved markedly, it's no match to the CDs I play. Still, the MP3 based sound is more full within its limitations.
I love to put people in 'the chair' and play music for them; they hear what they have never heard before. A friend with an expensive system fronting Von Schweikert VR-5s is stunned with what he hears at my house. Another friend who has listened to many audio systems tells me mine is great. So though I don't have a lot of direct comparisons to make, I'll tell you that I am very happy with what I hear.
I recommend the LZ. I like supporting Lukasz Fikus, and have enjoyed reading his reviews and experiments for years. I respect the fact that he has quit his corporate job to build and sell these DACs. Lukasz is great to deal with, and has a money back guarantee. He told me that no one has invoked that yet. I will not be returning mine.
Just for grins, some of the music I knock peoples' socks off with includes Señor Blues by Taj Mahal, Fever Ray, Nos by Virginia Rodriguez, Miles Gurtu, Frou Frou, and No More Mr Lucky by Randall Bramblett. And of course there is always the Steve Gadd drum solo at the end of Aja.