LSA Voyager GAN Amplifier


Just got mine last week.  After 24 hours of play all I can say is that this is not your father's class D amplifier.  There is not one thing about its sound that reminds me of the class D gremlins that I do not like.  The low end filled in and now has deep impact, the midrange is the love child of a beautiful tube and clean hybrid amp - just gorgeous.  Highs are very clean and extended. Spatial cues are top notch. My system has had some damn good tube and solid state amps in it before and it has never sounded this good.  I am blown away with the quality of sound coming from class D amplification at this price point.

This 300 wpc amplifier is a real winner.....
82b242bd 92ab 4859 8d1e 9de74afe8308Ag insider logo xs@2xjaymark


With these sort of gain selections (below), perfect for using a dac direct into it that has a digital domain volume control, set the LSA gain so the dac’s volume is just 30-10% down from max for normal loud listening level and still have some left in reserve, that way you won’t be "bit striping"

Mid or low would be the one in most systems
  • INPUT SENSITIVITY
  • Low-Gain = 2.7 Vrms, Gain = 22 dB
  • Mid-Gain = 1.4 Vms, Gain = 28 dB
  • High-Gain = 0.55 Vrms, Gain = 36 dB
  • Gains Selectable via DIP Internal Dip Switches
Cheers George
George or Jaymark,
Where does this gain setting info come from? The website says 26db....and no mention of internal dip switches.

Actually, for very sensitive speakers even lower than 22 db would work best. Some DACs put out more than 4Vrms in balanced mode.

This is a great first review. I would like more info. What amps did it beat and in what ways?
Hopefully, there will be more comments and reviews soon.....and with plenty of info (system details, types of music tested, direct comparisons.....well, you get the idea).
Congrats, I have had my eye on this amp and the underwood guy has been very good to deal with in the past.
Ooops my bad!
That was for the LSA Discovery Warp One amp

The LSA Voyager it’s even better though not selectable still at low sensitivity 2v, good for direct still and even better 100kohm input impedance
: Sensitivity: Two volts input, gain: 26dB
: Input impedance: 100K Ohms


Cheers George
I don't doubt it is as good, or better than advertised. I should have one in my home in about 10 days. Im not as excited as I would have been had I not replaced an optical cable with a Pangea XL coax ($150/1.5m), which has ripped the cover off how good my Audio Alchemy DDP-1 + PS 5 actually is with my EVS1200, an amazing class D amp based on dual mono IcePower modules with lots of Ric Schultz magic dust
350 wpc not 300.  Again, I am just stunned at how good this amplifier actually is.  
Not surprised.  
Can you elaborate what are the Class D gremlins that you mentioned?  Is that based on any specific ones?
Gremlins for me has been the class D amps I have listened to did not have the heart, soul, guts nor finesse of the best solid state class A or AB, hybrids or tube amps.  The Voyager has a beautiful midrange presence and bloom with rock solid low end and extended bur very clean highs.  Straight out of the box, the highs were hard, harsh and irritating yet I could sense this amplifier had promise. 

I have not listened to many of the top notch class D offerings available.  I had a pair of class D monoblocks built for me and they were just not my cup of tea.  Years ago, I had  class D amp from Underwood Wally that had an exceptionally smooth sound despite missing the midrange presence and bloom.
Very exciting times for audiophiles.  I am listening to ricevs’s EVS1200 and am awestruck! If this new GAN amp is better, or can be made better with some mods, then I bet the OP is mesmerized! 
Cant wait for more people to chime in on how this amp sounds....

Thanks
Grannyring, I will be very tempted to mod this amp trying to eek out a bit more performance.  That is just my audiophile sickness.  Always chasing better sound.  However, based on what I am now hearing, getting it modded won't be a high priority.
Mod you say?  Just listed the basic mod on my website.  I cant help it...improving things is in my blood.
@ricevs I told you last month that I would buy and send you the VTV Purifi amp to mod. However, I changed my mind on that and bought the LSA 350 today. I will give it a few hundred hours and give you a call to mod. 
Op,

Where did you get your Voyager?  
All the best.

JD
Or let me rephrase my question.  Is Underwood the only Hifi company handling the line?

All the best

JD

Wish I had waited 8 months.  I liked but didn’t love my NAD class d amplifier.  Went to class a 30 wpc but at 3x the price of the LSA

Curiousjim,  I ordered the Voyager from Underwood Wally.  LSA is his company so I suspect that he is the sole distributor for this amp. 
Correct.  Lsa is proprietary for Underwood. Also exclusive for audio gd.   Bought the r7 dac from them 
In another thread I recently read that Underwood offers no home trial/return policy.  If I'm remembering correctly it was tvad w.r.t. some power conditioning equipment. Can anyone confirm?
Post removed 
I spoke to Walter on the new amp and said there is a 15% restocking fee. Most likely he is offering this on his LSA line only.   Pretty expensive trial if you send it back! We spoke late last week. 
Peachtree Audio is proud to announce the GaN400. The GaN400 is a “class-D” stereo power amplifier that utilizes GaNFETs (Gallium Nitride Field-Effect Transistors), an 850-watt RMS regulated power supply, a fully balanced topology and a low global negative feedback design to achieve an astounding 400 watts-per-channel while achieving sound quality that is remarkably neutral, musical and faithful to the input signal.

Thanks jay and yy.  Now things make more sense to me.

All the best

JD
15% restocking on a tiny amp? Ouch. That’s definitely a downside.  Can’t win them all. 
Hmmm,

-15% and return shipping is really a damper for me!  It’s not like I can pop over to Hawaii and have a listen.

Oh well ☹️
JD
You would think that they would have several amps set aside for home trials. If you decide to buy they send a new one and you send the trial unit back. Later they can sell those units as demo units.
I was not put off by the restocking fee.  I really did not expect to like the Voyager amp but was intrigued by the gallium aspect of the amp.  I was prepared to send it back and pick up the Audio GD class A monoblocks.  That is, till I got about 24 hours on them.  No way I am sending them back.  However, modding this amp is a different story. . 
@jaymark, I see Ric has a list of simple mods already up on his tweakaudio site, better wiring, and a Furutech AC connector, no major mods until he sees one in person. What are you thinking of changing already jaymark? I wonder if Ric can  change the output inductor from a ferrite core inductor to a custom made high gauge OFC air core coil like he does on the Purifi mod? Most importantly, the Voyager is superb after a brief burn in without any enhancements. 
I love how people are already enhancing the amp they haven’t even heard yet. Sure why not?   First to market often wins. 
I decided today to try and get it shipped directly from Walter to Ric. I just started getting that going tonight. Not really about being first. More about not having to spend time setting up and tearing down and shipping. 

I have a 20 year old modded Sony SCD-1 SACD player and am still blown away by that. Ric told me he was actually in line to do those SCD-1 mods 20 years ago in the Bay Area, CA but did not have the time to do that business. We also talked about the mods he has done and that made me want to try it out. This Voyager amp is going to be my RAAL SR1a headphone amp (if it is good enough). I traded in my headphone amp for the Voyager.

I will compare a CODA #8 amp, a Benchmark AHB2, and a Voyager 350 with my Thiel CS3.7 (hard to drive) and also my RAAL SR1a headphones (likes power). Everything will be connected to my CODA 07x preamp which has dual XLR outputs for 2 sets of amps. It is real easy to make Thiel CS3.7 comparisons. I will likely have 2 RAAL amp/speaker interface boxes by then to make the headphone amp comparisons even easier.
Very interested in comparing this amp sans mods with the Benchmark
I don’t think the mods will be a huge factor but what the heck and try it out given the glowing posts here by Ric’s customers.

The descriptions of the Voyager make me believe it sounds more like my CODA #8 than the AHB2. The AHB2 is a little clearer and not as warm (but smooth) as the CODA. Though the CODA #8 blows the AHB2 away with my Thiel CS3.7. It is a power spec thing with this speaker and amp.

The AHB2 (mono) is my favorite sounding amp especially so with the CODA 07x preamp.  I use the AHB2’s in another system.

I need a 3rd amp for my RAAL SR1a and that is where I hope the Voyager fits in. My old amp was good but not as good as the AHB2 on the RAAL SR1a. I just don’t want a 3rd AHB2. I was thinking Purifi but the current implementations did not excite me. The Voyager hype has pulled me in.
This thread is extremely interesting to me as I am considering the new GaN amp from LSA, Audio-GD 2A monos, PSA M1200 monos and the Coda No. 8.  Coming from a McIntosh C8 pre/dac with Wyred4Sound SX-1000R monos, driving Magico A5s.  I'm looking for a bit more dimensionality and lushness in the mids and sparkle in the highs.  The Wyreds are great...but I'm thinking that's the weak link for me right now.
@jaymark


Very happy for you, and for Underwood. They went through quite a few hiccups, but to their credit they held off shipping earlier versions until they were satisfied.

Based on numerous class D amps I have owned, 200 hours is a magical moment in time, so if you are excited now.....


Mine is supposed to ship by tomorrow

My SUGGESTION to anyone thinking to send it to Ric (everyone should know I am a major fan based on my EVS1200 experience) ought to put a couple hundred hours on it first

hth

@jkscherk

I had been thinking I needed to upgrade my Audio Alchemy DDP-1 + PS 5. Not having that kind of money, first I replaced an optical cable that I had been using since I first got the DDP-1 between my Audio Alchemy DDP-1 + PS 5 and my Oppo 105 with a Pangea 1.5m XL coax ($150!), I was and remain flabbergasted at the transformation to my EVS1200 and the rest of my system

hth

Wonder how this will compare to the Peachtree gan fet amp? Seems like more of these amps may be on the horizon. 
@ricevs 

Could you do an a/b comparison between the Voyager before and after your mod and your Evs1200 amp? I’m leaning toward sending you my Mivera 1200 but wondering if I should wait for one of these GAN amps.
This thread is extremely interesting to me as I am considering the new GaN amp from LSA, Audio-GD 2A monos, PSA M1200 monos and the Coda No. 8. Coming from a McIntosh C8 pre/dac with Wyred4Sound SX-1000R monos, driving Magico A5s. I’m looking for a bit more dimensionality and lushness in the mids and sparkle in the highs. The Wyreds are great...but I’m thinking that’s the weak link for me right now.
I demoed the Magico A3 with Mark Levinson gear and I thought it was great match. I think the CODA #8 would be even better with the Magico A3. I have not heard the A5. The CODA would give you the sound characteristics that you are looking for. If the Voyager is like the CODA #8 then that would be something else at half the price.

I should say that I tried the CODA #8 with a Topping pre90 preamp and it was not a good match. The CODA #8 is gorgeous with the matching CODA 07x preamp. The Topping pre90 ($599) is an excellent preamp and I use it in my living room system with AHB2. I think it was an impedance mismatch with the CODA #8. So system matching with the Voyager would also play a factor.
Wow! Did not know about the Peachtree.....the revolution is happening! You have to understand....every GaN amp will sound different and every new amp has different potential (burn in and mods).

I do not own an EVS 1200 amp. I have a Mivera that I am modding right now but it will be gone next week. You already own the Mivera so the mod will not cost you much......but you want the best you can afford.....of course. There are so many new GaN amps coming that it will be impossible to know which one is best until there will be A/Bs of all the amps......and then again with modded amps. I am afraid that will mean never.....he he. You just have to decide sometime and realize that whatever and whenever you choose......that choice is temporary. There will always be a better amp......this has always been so. This is why I tell people not to spend over $5K on an amp......you are going to lose big, otherwise.

Here is the list of contenders.....too bad it took LSA so long to get their amp out.....they could have dominated the market. Now, they are one of many new GaN amps:

1. LSA Voyager 350 $3000
2. Wyred for Sound amp $3000  not yet released
3. Peachtree 400 amp $3000
4. Orchard Audio amp $2500  about to ship

up in price is:
5. Mytek Manhattan $6000   due out this summer
6. Mytek Empire mono blocks $20,000  shipping any day now
7. AGD Audion mono blocks $7500
9. AGD Gran Vivace mono blocks $18K
10. Merrill Audio Element 116 amp $16K

down in price is:
11. Premium-Audio/Class D Audio Mini GaN amp $750
12 Orchard Audio mono block baby amps....$1500.

Don’t blink.....there might already be another new GaN amp about to be released.....he he.

A year from now there will be a dozen more GaN amps....some from the mega buck high end companies. I am sure you will see some hybrids using tubes on the input, as well.
With any new technology of value it is always best to wait in order to get more for less.

I will continue to look for all opportunities to hear new amplifiers of interest that appear to offer a true technological step forward. When I hear one I can afford that sounds better than what I have then I may take a plunge. Or if what I have just goes up finally and I need a replacement (or spare). 

One thing for sure technology always marches forward and products then tend to folllow.
Everyone will have a different take on the "ever evolving game of high end audio".  There was a cartoon in the old Audio magazine where this guy is sitting on a park bench with an unopened preamp box on his lap and his head is down and he is obviously forlorn.  The captions says...."John just realized that his brand new preamp was already out of date"

Yes, by the time you buy the latest thing the designers are working up the mark II version.......and so it goes.  Enjoy the ride.  Live in the now.
Doesnt even mention CHERRY AMPS or the Huge Line of LEGACY Amps.
The list was for GaN amps.......yes, the Cherry amps are great and the stock IceEdge modules in a box Legacy amps can be made (by me) to sound way better. Then there is the IceEdge modules in a box with tube on the input (PS Audio 1200 amps)......those I can make better, as well. Then there is modded Purifi amps. So, lots of great Class D available (GaN and non GaN). 

Everything being equal.......it makes sense to make a new amp using GaNs as these things are just faster than Mosfets.....so it makes sense that they would also make better sound.  You cannot substitute GaNs in a circuit where there are Mosfets now.  They have completely different packaging and require circuit tweaking.  This is why it has taken so long for GaN amps to be available.  Each manufacturer has to design the thing from the ground up.  No Ice, or Hypex modules in a box here.  I emailed Wally (of LSA) in March of 2020 and he said had they had already gone through 3 "board mods".  Who knows how many revisions they had to do before they were satisfied with the sound.  No wonder it took almost 2 years to release.  For this reason, I trust that this LSA amp MAY be the best of the $3K amps.
Looks like more players are coming out with their GaN amps. Peachtree can now be added to the mix:
https://darko.audio/2021/08/peachtree-announces-gan400-power-amplifier/
And you get a rather big discount if you buy the matching preamp.

All the best,
Nonoise
@ricevs  You missed Atmasphere's GaN monoblocks, which I believe are in beta testing, and were provisionally quoted at something like 5K the pair.  These could be the amps to give the Audions a run for their money.
I just received the orchard audio starkrimson GaN amp a couple days ago. How many hours did it take for the LSA sound to develop?

Last week I got the mini GAN from class D audio. I have been very impressed with this little amp. I also have the Carver Crimson 275 tube and Van Alstine synergy 450  SS amp. Frankly I like it better than AVA amp and as good as the Crimson 275 with much more power and bass impact. I have also ordered the Voyager 350 and waiting for its delivery.

Voyager versus less expensive mini GAN will be interesting. 
There is not even a picture of a proto of the Atmasphere amp.  He said this year he would bring it out (he has been talking about it for 2 years).  I am not holding my breath.  Hopefully, it will happen....good be great.  Except for the Wyred for Sound amp (waiting on a reply from W4S) the other amps on the list are all solid for now or about to be released.