a good solid brit integrated, like the ones you are more familiar with....creek, naim, cyrus, arcam, etc... since it was unavailable in the US for awhile, there are those who think it is better.
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I can't comment on this particular LFD product but I can tell you that my experience as an owner of an LFD Mistral preamp is more than positive. I have owned this preamp for several years and I am still amazed at the performance to price ratio. As for the Stereophile review, I believe that in this case they have actually got it right. The description of the sound rings very true with my own experience using the LFD products.
i have a krell integrated. this fellow who says dont take much stock on everything of sam tellig. sam is right this time. hey, everybody out there. throw your amp in the garbage, and my krell, too. this is the best stereo component i have ever heard. the lfd integrated zero mk 3 has improved circuits that are designed as simple as possible for sound quality.the amp is not harsh. it is tuned for mid and high sounds, but just has enough of normal bass that instruments naturally have. chrystal clear. the background instruments kick with tubey sound.i have green mountain audio diamante speakers,that i have never heard of anything else as clear, and i am looking at green mountain callisto. and the cambridge audio 840c cd player, which is heavily advertized and smokes other cd players for the money.a rel t-3 8 inch sub thats clear sounding.all audioquest cabling.all these components are tuned for accuracy, not kick ass bass. all you stereo fanatics out there, quit searching. take my word for it. read on all this stuff here. get speakers first, amp next, next maybe get a blu-ray player, then cabling. hope i have helped.listen to tracy chapman- tracy chapman, dylan unplugged, last steely dan cd,jennifer warnes-famous blue raincoat remaster, cheapest jazz at the pawnshop on ebay,windham hill sampler 96, and beautiful cellos on gretchen yanover-bow and cello, on internet.
own a cambridge 840c cd player and i think it outperforms my naim cd5x/flatcap 2x . tried both hooked up to prima luna dialogue I integrated felt the cambridge had a lot more air between instruments better highs and lows without sounding harsh and better dynamics. Naim sounded vailed in comparison. Not sure if the prima luna and naim combo are a good matchup but i was disappointed in the performance of the naim cause i need to decide which one to keep and have a bigger investment in the naim
I have recently gotten my hands on one of the last MKII's that was kicking around new in box. Not sure exactly what the changes are to the MKIII but given how long the list was to get a MKIII, I figured it was worth a shot. My original plan was to get a Naim Supernait but the dealer suggested that I have a listen to the LFD before making final decisions.
Anyways, the LFD is here to stay and my old integrated(DK Ref MKII) didn't even get hooked back up for an A/B. What I found overall was that the LFD does an excellent job of nailing the signature of each instrument or voice regardless of what's being played and no matter how complex things get, the amp is easily able to portray everything that comes through very realistically. The best part is that it just likes to make music, the urge to pick everything apart subsides and you just want to kick your feet up and enjoy. As compared to the Naim gear that I heard the LFD is similarly lively and musical but is more smooth and is less rolled off on the highs. The only downside is that it's telling me that it's time for a new turntable but the upside is that what I paid versus the other gear that I was looking at + power supplies I can actually afford it now...
No experience with the LFD, but it caught my attention.
I agree bid time on the LFD paired with a Cambridge 840c.
Have been considering the LFD myself, from what I've read the natural and easy flow of the lfd should be a perfect counter balance to the very slight & only occasional diggie nature of the 840 (which i own and really like)
I also had the Naim cd5x/flatcap and also liked that.., with the same small complaint of "no space between the players", but in all other reguards liked it.
Hope you get the LFD and let us know what you think! Think it will be extremely natural sounding unit and probably a good match with Brit speakers and a more analytical front end, Ayre, opus 21, or the 840c.
Does anybody own a Plinius amp prior to trying the LFD Zero Mk3 amp? I am wondering whether the LFD integrated would be a significant improvement to my Plinius and ARC combination. I'm currently looking at some good high-end integrated as an alternative to my separates and the LFD(apart from the French-made Lavardin IT) has peaked my interest.
Has anybody compared the LFD Zero MkIII back-to-back with the Lavardin IT? Are these two integrateds in another level compared to the Plinius SA-100MkIII/ARC LS-16 combination in terms of quality and performance(taking system matching out of the context)?
Thanks in advance.
Now I understand why Sam Tellig and current LFD owners have such high admiration for the LFD Zero MkIII. This unit is indeed very special, and I wouldn't have said this after listening to the unit in my system myself.
Upon first listening from cold, this LFD integrated totally blew both my NVA and Plinius/ARC separates into pieces. I was shocked and wasn't really prepared to hear what the LFD was capable of doing. The transparency and dynamics came alive in leaps and bounds and PRAT was top-notch beats both NVA and Plinius flat to the ground. The midrange was clear as a bell and everything was very well defined with just the right amount of weight, not too thick or muddy like the Plinius or not too flat and lean like the NVA. Sound had attack and bite. Soundstaging, separation and imaging were first-rate as sizes and locations of the instruments across the soundstage were reproduced with aplomb. Highs were clean, smooth and extended without any glare or grain. Extension was superior to both NVA and Plinius. The bass was what impressed me the most -full, deep and taut with excellent speed and slam that made a whole lot of difference. The bass on the LFD made the NVA sounded like a broken record. All this while I had felt that the soft and plodding bass on the NVA was a problem and was worried the small LFD might exhibit the same. After listening to the LFD, the NVA is just not listenable anymore. The bass performance of the LFD already belied its dimensions as it even surpassed the artifical and bloated bass of the huge and heavy Plinius. It is amazing that the small and lightweight LFD can sound so convincing in the bass department. Vocals on the NVA were already superior to the Plinius with higher tonal accuracy but the LFD took this to even greater heights. Voices not only sounded more organic and real but possessed more energy and were fleshed out more prominently from the speakers. Music just came alive with the LFD.
There is nothing bad to say about the LFD. I am trying to find a weakness on the LFD but cannot seem to find any as everything just sounded very good right out of the box. I just enjoyed listening to everything that were thrown at it. Whether it's smooth jazz, instrumental, pop or rock the LFD takes all in its stride.
For anyone looking at a musical, transparent and dynamic amp with excellent PRAT, timbre and tonality, do give this LFD a serious consideration. I was very impressed with its performance. Highly recommended.
By the way, I have no affiliation with LFD or the dealer, just an enthusiastic end-user.
late response here...I have heard this amp in a local place w/ kudo speakers/ neat speakers. Despite not being familiar w/ kudo and only moderately familiar w/ neat (i owned the mystiques II), i would STILL have to agree with Ryder's enthusiastic post. It seemed to me that, regardless of knowing the speakers (and regardless of which of the two pairs was being used), the sound was gorgeous. I won't go on and on with the usual audiophile jargon to describe its sound, but I would urge anyone looking for an excellent integrated to give the LFD a try.
I love it and the NCSE. Buying the NCSE, but it may not really be worth the difference. The III sounded super to my ears. Caveat is I am listening to jazz/vocals/acoustic stuff on some HArbeths. I know, the combo is the "in" thing, but they do work very well together, and the simplicity is nice. I do not miss a remote at all.
I wanted to add, I have the LFD Integrated Zero MK III and Harbeth SHL5s. Fantastic amp! What everyone else said above... Also worked well with my previous Gallo Ref 3.1s, but was just enough power (would have liked a little more).
Now comparing the LFD to a Red Wine Audio 30.2 and a PS Audio GCC-250: the LFD won in all areas, except bass - in bass I gave the edge to both of the other amps with the PS audio being the best - but the LFD was still very good there too. I understand the next LFD model has improved bass....