Lampizator evolution


3-4 years  ago, Lampizator DACs were all the rage and consumed a lot of space on this forum. Not so much today. What has happened?
The company now offers the Amber II model for just under $2;000. Did this DAC benefit from trickle down technology and become a great sounding, reasonably priced DAC?  Have any Lampi owners compared its sound to the earlier generations of Lampizator? Is the Amber II a no-brained purchase for someone (like me) wanting a killer DAC at a very reasonable price?
rockyboy

It seems so...but I dont know the Amber 2 personally. They guys at Audiocircle, plus Fred of LampiNA confirm its great.


Lampi B7and GG guys are enjoying their dacs and sharing tube Rolling suggestions a lot. hifiknights website

There are exciting new tubes from Kron, ie the RK homage series!


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Digital source components (servers, dacs, etc.) have been on a steep performance improvement trajectory during the entire time period you mention.  Not only have the Lampizator models changed/improved but so have many other DAC implementations and brands.  Most brands have benefited from trickle down technology.  You can indeed get 2014's $5K performance for about $2-3K today.  Lampizator DACs have a sound that does appeal to many but no single brand or type of DAC has a "house sound" that appeals to all.  I recommend listening before you buy.
i have an Atlantic II
gives my $8k Aesthetix Pandora SIG a decent go
for $2k
a steal IMO

I’m jealous. A little familiar with Aesthtix brand. Awesome equipment. Looked at Lampizator site and see Atlantic and Amber II but don’t see an Atlantic II. Did you mean Amber II? Have to ask .....why the need for  2 DACs?
I own the Lampizator Amber II.  It is tubed rectified and also has the super clocks installed.  It is gorgeous sounding and is "far better - different league" than the PS Audio MKII, Auralic Vega and Exogal Comet with external power supply I have owned.  I believe it replaced the Lampizator 4 and Lampizator 5 models.  I have audio friends who own much more expensive DACs from well known high end companies and it does not take a back seat.  As mentioned above no one DAC will please every one. 
Hi Thankful Please educate me. I’m assuming the super clocks were an add-on. Are they supposed to reduce jitter?  Is a person able to hear the difference?  To get the “tubes rectified “, was that also an additional cost?  What does that add-on do?  If/when I order my Amber II I am open to any affordable add-ons that improve sound quality. Do you recall what those 2 add-ons cost?

rockyboy,

The tube rectification and super clocks are add-ons.  When I first purchased the Lampizator I only ordered the tube rectification (based on Fred's recommendation).  Fred also recommended the super clocks but at the time I was not able to afford them.  I recently just had the super clocks installed and I am glad I did.  The Amber II is very musical which is my number one objective with components.  In regards to jitter I believe that is the goal of the clocks...

it is an Amber II with tube rectification....lucked out getting it used at a very good price from TMR ( The Music Room ) right here on Audiogon

I did not buy it to replace the Pandora which I have owned some 7 years now including sending it back to factory for the upgrade, i will most like eventually have them also do the Eclipse modification.

bought it for a 2 nd system
Thinking one or both of your DACs are feeling ignored. You should probably sell one.  :  )
ha....
maybe
but carting a dac 1,000 miles between systems just seems like a PITA
and the crux of the problem is system #1 is a killer, so #2 has to sound good, hence the Lampizator

just order a new one


Thankful....I talked to Fred today and he made the same suggestion. Since my budget is tight, he suggested I leave the clocks for a future upgrade. Can you tell me what you heard after getting the super clocks installed?  Was it an  upgrade worth the 500 euros? Thanks. 
I have been getting better bass, a little more information, more control and clarity (fidelity).  I would do it.  The Amber II with the tube rectification and super clocks allows this DAC to compete with much higher costing DACS.  As I stated previously I have friends who own much higher costing DACS from big name manufacturers and my Amber II is just as good.  

My goal down the road is to get into an Atlantic SE or better.  I love the Lampizator's because of their musicality.  I have owned nice DACs but none of them match the musicality of the Lampi's.  
Sounds nice. Appreciate your feedback. Here’s a thought.....there’s a couple Atlantics currently for sale here at very reasonable prices. You buy one and sell me your Amber for $1k. It’s a win - win  for everyone!!! 
Seriously, I plan to approach my wife today about buying an Amber. Keep your fingers crossed. 
My Amber II with tube rectification and super clocks is now on order. I want to thank everyone for their input. 
Congrats and enjoy!
Now I have to ask.....any recommendation on fuses and power cord for the Amber?
I I know I can look this up but does the Lampi Amber II decode MQA...? What’s the new price paid w/out clocks?
No it does not decode MQA. Pricing is in Euros. 1800 euros for base unit. 200 euros for tube rectification and 500 euros for the super clocks. Conversion rate when I ordered was $1.22/1 euro. 

I am using the Synergistic Research BLUE fuse. The BLUE is new and still burning in some but there is a noticeable increase in presence and voices lock in and sound stunning.


I am using an Audio Arts power cord. 

Appreciate it. I posed the question to Fred and he said he had better results with the HiFi Tuning than the Synergistic fuse. I didn’t realize that SR came out with a fuse replacing the Black. I failed to ask Fred about PCs. I will look into the Audio Arts pc. 
factory fuse
Isotek something or other power cord
dedicated circuit

Thankful....do you recall what size fuse the Amber takes?
I will do a double check on the fuse size and get back to you this evening.  Fred also told me he wasn't real crazy about Synergistic Research fuses in the Lampi gear but after talking to the folks at the Cable Company I decided to try the BLUE.  They told me it was something much better than anything SR had produced before.  So far I really like it.  I think a lot of this will be system dependent.  I am using an integrated tube amp to mate with the Amber II and I didn't want to get too soupy sounding.  I wanted a mix of the beautiful tube magic but yet with the detail, solid lower end, presence and great vocals.  As of today I feel like I am getting these attributes.  

Depending on your system I would consider the Audio Magic Beeswax fuse. 
My pre is tubed and monoblocks are solid state. Fred is familiar wth my gear and in fact owns gear from both designers/builders. I will look at both the Audio Magic and SR Blue. But will likely go with Fred’s recommendation.  
Assuming Fred told you to experiment with fuse direction. He found that it made a difference. 
please do keep posting on your findings with the Amber II

Should take delivery by end of month.  Will definitely give you my thoughts. 
The size the size I purchased was 3.15 amp 250v Slow Blow 5 x 20mm.  I recommend confirming with Fred.  
I really enjoyed my Amber II with tube rectifier while I had it.  Lampi dacs are excellent.  Very natural, organic, and musical sound.  I sold the Amber II yesterday due to moving up to Lite 7.  Lite 7 is definitely another step up from Amber II. 
Have had my Amber II.for about a week. Revealing a lot of low level details I wasn’t hearing with my Bryston. I can only imagine what the Lite 7 sounds like. 
Fuse is a 1.6 amp according to spec sheet. I will confirm with Fred. I’ll probably buy Hi Fi Tuning fuse as he recommended. 
Right now i’m looking at available DSD downloads from HDTracks and Acoustic Sounds. So many to choose from and so little money in my pocket. I’m open to suggestions. 
As stated earlier I purchased the SR BLUE.  Amazing!  You have to make sure it is in correctly because they are directional.  I thought I had it in properly but after listening for a while I decided to try the other direction.  All I can say is WOW, fabulous sounding.  Give the Amber II some hours and it just sounds flat gorgeous.  
thanks for the update Rockyboy
was wondering if you got it
sense of ease and organic character are what struck me .....
glad you are enjoying it.....
tomic601 and thankful.........can I ask what server you’re using with the Lampi? I’m looking at eventually replacing my Bryston BDP-1 with the Aurender N100h.  Wife has revoked my allowance; so  I’ll have to collect pop cans along the highway and try to sell my body for loose change. Lol. Obviously, it’s going to be a long while before I can afford the Aurender. 
I am using Aurender N100h with my Lampi right now.  Aurender sounds much better than a laptop or a mac.  A used N100h can be had for under $2k.
Respected - you worded that as if you plan to change out the Aurender. Any regrets?  What would you move to if you had the opportunity?
No plan to change out the Aurender.  It works great in my system.  I just recently moved from a laptop to the Aurender.  I've been using a laptop with JRiver for a couple years.  Didn't think a music server like Aurender was going to make much of a difference, but I was wrong.  Aurender is definitely a step up from using a laptop.  Would hope to be able to go to N10 one day, but it's currently out of my budget right now.
Glad to hear you’re happy with the n100h. When the day comes when you are able to upgrade, shoot me an email. I might be interested in your n100h. My Bryston server is ok but Manic Moose software needs a lot more work. I understand hat Aurender’s Conductor(?) software Is really nice to use. 
I am using the Auralic Aries "with" the Uptone Audio Iso Regen.   I connect a stand alone hard-drive to the Aries.  Sounds amazing!!!  Blows away Mac Book Pro with JRiver.....  

Note:  "In my system", without the Iso Regen connected to the Aries I would not keep the Auralic Aries.  I still have plans to try an Aurender or Melco down the road.  
I have been listening to/through:
Auralic Aries (w/Femto clocks) with directly connected externally powered 8TB WD USB HD library > Phasure LUSH USB cable .7m > Uptone ISO Regen & LPS-1 > DIY USB stubbie > Lampizator Gen 5 Level 4 DAC. HD and LPS-1 powered by HDPlex 100w LPSU. All digital equipment plugged into Blue Circle FX2 X0e CxT power conditioner which is fed by a dedicated 20 amp circuit.

Have used the Aries and Lampizator for nearly 3 years now.
Auralic has continually improved the Aries with periodic firmware upgrades and it functions and sounds better than ever. My Lampi has been tweaked to my system with a very synergistic tubes set (a lot of work and some $$ but well worth it).
It has dual a mono DSD engine installed that is particularly sweet and I upgraded the output caps to Jupiter Copper bypassed with Mundorf Silver/Oil. This setup really does "make music" and I’d do well to turn my attention to other parts of my system or just sit back and listen.

I’ve been tempted to try an Aurender, but only if I could manage to get one of their higher level models. The Auralic can still act a bit buggy at times, but most of that may be due to home network problems.

It will take something very special for me to give up my Lampizator DAC. I honestly have my doubts that a bare bones Atlantic would do that - but hearing is believing. Maybe one day I'll have that opportunity.
I am using the Lush USB cable as well.  Like it very much.  I tried various usb cables from the Cable Company and the Lush was more musical.   I have the High Fidelity Hemisphere conditioner.  Love the sound of my system, it is what I have been working to get for 15 years.  I still have a few tweaks but no major changes on the horizon.        
thankful, have you tried the Sablon usb?  I heard it works well with Lampi dacs.  Right now I am using the Audience Au24 SE, which is better than the Curious usb.
@rockyboy you can also add an external clock, like the ISO Regen to a dac. I think a good clock can improve the sound a lot.
Have you checked other dacs like the Soekris or Denafrips?
Thinking i’m Ok (well, with my new Amber I’m better than ok) Paid a little extra and got the super clocks. No never heard of Soekris and Denafris, but will google them today out of curiosity. You guys are amazing with your knowledge of all things audiophile. Just reading doak’s setup gave me a headache. I can ‘t imagine the systems you guys have. Tweaking is fun for me but my listening room is a stinker and investing a lot in tweaks at this point doesn’t gain me much. Yep, i’ll replace the fuse shortly but that may be it. We’ll see down the road if I can even justify the move up to an Aurender n100h. Got my taxes in the mail late yesterday so have some free time today and want to download a couple DSD selections from Hdtracks. Will be my first exposure to DSD. Will give you my impression. Also need to rip 25 cds I checked out from my local library yesterday evening.  Might rip a few as WAV (vs FLAC) just for chuckles. Regarding DSD, some reviewers panned the 5.6mhz DSD recordings and recommended the 2.8 instead. Can someone please explain in simple terms the diff between the two and why this would be the case? Thought the 5.6 was the “better” more desirable download. 
Quick update.....Extremely pleased with my Amber II. Have been busy converting vast majority of my FLAC files to WAV. The resulting sound quality on the Ambber is very impressive. I did however get out too far over my ski tips this past week. Since I now have a DSD capable Amber, I was anxious to hear one. So I purchased a DSD download from Acoustic Sound and then couldn’t figure out why i wasn’t getting any sound. Duh, I forgot that my Bryston player didn’t play DSD files. Well, my wife felt sorry for me and gave me her blessing on the purchase of an Aurender N100h. Should have it by next weekend. Said it before but this time I mean it. No more upgrades!I Well, maybe the fuses.  But that’s it. Oh, and maybe a batter usb cable down the road. And maybe a replacement for the Aurender’s stock power cord. But that’s all. And maybe a few more DSD downloads......
rockyboy

good on ya, was hoping you would appreciate the musicality of that DAC
......i use an Isotek cord..something like $299 at retail on mine, synergy good......

Thanks I’ll look into the Isotek cable. Right now I ‘m using a Shunyata entry level cable I had in my drawer. All I can say is the combination of the Lampizator Amber II and the Aurender N100H along with newly converted WAV files is mind blowing. 
I'm currently using a Lampi Atlantic Plus with tube rectification, super clocks and volume control. Very musical and the best dac I have heard to date. The best part is I don't need to spend money on a pre amp which is a real bonus to me. I haven't heard any other Lampi dacs so I don't know how much difference there is in sound quality other than what Fred has said. rockyboy, glad you are enjoying your Amber II? It seems like a sweet spot for the Lampi family to me. 

Greg
@rockyboy 

you did pretty good getting the Aurender that fast...must be great can and bottle collecting near you.....$$$$$

i missed the server ? but i use a NAIM Uniti-Serve with a Pardo LPS and very importantly HRS Nimbus feet and a damping brick...

the NAIM rips to .wav, magic..

i rolled the Lampi to brother as the DAC in the NAIM Atom is proving quite musical in a very WAF friendly package....

PM me and I can help you with Isotek cord or an MIT , bottlecaps accepted in trade....

jim
Hi Jim. Just returned last night from cruise on which I had no internet (too cheap to pay for the ship’s WiFi) Currently fighting gremlins in my system. Aurender and Lampizator have s connectability issue. Until I resolve that issue, i’m at a standstill. Appreciate your offer but i’m not unhappy with my wireworld usb, when my equipment is working. I’ll let you know how this turns out. 
server should never have been named that.....any stubborn JA name would have done..imo

power cords...thought you were looking for those.....Isotek sold but i still have a beast of a MIT on blowout.......