Lyngdorf TDAI-3400


Well, after reading all the rave reviews of the Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 both here and other places, I decided to order a TDAI-3400 for myself.  I must admit I am still skeptical that such a diminutive piece of equipment can sound better than the Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP tube amp weighing more than 50 lbs, but I have been so intrigued by everything I have read I simply had to pull the trigger. 
I just unboxed it today, hooked everything up, and am listening to it for a while before setting up Room Perfect. 
I really want to hear the what the amp sounds like as-is for a bit to understand it better. 
First impressions:  Without Room Perfect it sounds like very nice solid state amps I've owned in the past, but to be honest, I don't find the sound to be particularly moving.  I moved to tubes after years of solid state, and I swore I would never go back.  That is where I'm coming from.  I should also add that I always try to keep an open mind.  While my initial take on it might sound like I don't like it, I hope folks just read this as me being as honest as possible about what I hear.  I know the tendency when buying new gear is to want so badly to love it in order to justify the expense that it's easy to fool oneself into believing it's an improvement over what you had before, even when it's not.  Of course I really want it to be as mind blowing as it has been built up in my mind to be, but if it's not I am OK with simply moving back to what I have liked so far.   
I have only been playing records through it so far.  Analog makes up 98% of my listening so that's where I am starting with it.  I have a nice CD transport that I will connect to it in the next day or so just to hear the DAC in the unit.  I will also experiment with playing files from USB sticks, computer audio from my MacBook Pro, and whatever else I decide.  I am not prepared to purchase a music server just yet, but it's something I have thought about for a while.  
My system:  speakers are Harbeth Monitor 40.1's.  Turntable is an SME 20/2 with SME IV.iv tonearm and Kiseki Purple Heart cartridge, fed to a Parasound JC-3+ phono preamp.  Power conditioner is Audioqest Niagara 7000.  CD transport is a Wadia 8.  
I will report back as I have more time to experiment and let the amp break in.  

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I would think that that your Prima Luna HP amp would be VERY hard to beat. Is the new amp Class D?  If it is, that could be your problem. I am like you, prefer tubes although In my case use an all tube pre with a solid state amp.   From my experience, if I am not smitten with a new piece of gear upon first listen, nothing will make me like it and back it goes.  

My friend has the Prima Luna HP Integrated with the KT150 tubes with Harbeth 40.2 speakers and the sound is rich and to die for.  It is a very well balanced combination. Best of luck with the new amp. 
Did you get the optional HQ analog module?  If not, an analog source may not be the best test.
Definitely try the digital input, and run Room Perfect.  Room Perfect noticeably improved bass for me.  I have a stand-alone file server (Bryston) so haven't tried the playback interface on the 3400.

I recently got the analog module and now have my Yggdrasil DAC feeding into it, using XLR.  I will try other analog sources at some point.  But to my ears, using the Ygg offers an improvement over the built-in DAC, even if it seems a bit counter-intuitive.
I owned a Primaluna Dialogue Premium and preferred the 2170 over it. It all comes to taste and system synergy. I still like tubes, but if I ever went back I would get a SET amp not a PP Tube Amp. Just my opinion and good luck. FWIW 3400 does not use a DAC if connected digitally only with the Analog inputs.
Stereo5,
If snackeyp doesn't ultimately prefer the Lyngdorf to his Prima Luna he will occupy a rare position. Based on owner feedback the Lyngdorf exceeds nearly all previously owned components.  Room perfect seems to be a very significant factor for overall performance. So it will be interesting to read his listening impressions once he utilizes this important feature. I don't doubt that the Prima Luna and  Harbeth 40.2 sounds beautiful. 
Charles 
Snackeyp,  thanks for posting your initial impressions.   I’ll be interested to read your thoughts as you listen to it with different sources.
Snackeyp,  thanks for posting your initial impressions.   I’ll be interested to read your thoughts as you listen to it with different sources.
Couldn't disagree with @stereo5 more.  You can't judge an audio component until it breaks in (and you break into it), so if you simply judge it on first listen you're not even close to evaluating it fairly or accurately.  I think you're very smart to listen without room correction first.  After 100-200 hours of breakin you'll have a very good baseline for the performance and character of the amp on its own.  My guess is that if after that breakin point the Lyngdorf is even in the general ballpark of your enjoyment level with the Prima Luna, the room correction (properly implemented of course) will smack the ball out of the ballpark.  Room correction, in all but the most meticulously treated rooms, can be HUGE and can overall greatly outweigh the differences between two electronic components IME, but of course this is all room and equipment dependent.  In any event, I'll be very interested in what you find as someone who is also very interested in potentially becoming a future Lyngdorf customer.  
You have not heard it yet. Break in is a must and that will take some 200-300 hours. At least 100 hours before she blooms and opens up.

- run Room Perfect....big improvement and what is so special about that piece.

- don’t turn the unit off. Leave it on 24/7. No stand by, but fully on. You can allow this in your display options. She really sounds most musical after being on 12 hours. No worries as it draws less watts than a light bulb and stays cool.

- make sure you do not use another dac. Use the 3400 only for best sound.

- USB input sounds the best

- she likes a decent cord and conditioner

Report back after this. Right now you really have not heard the unit. I know these units well and break in and keeping it on are vitally important for body, bloom and musicality. Room Perfect takes it to another level. Enjoy as your patience will be rewarded. Feel free to contact me should you have any RP questions. I had the 40.1s with the Lyngdorf and after burn in, staying on, and Room Perfect they were a great match. Room Perfect is the game changer in this piece and what separated it from the gaggle of SS and tube separates I owned in the past.

Remember the 3400 is nearly a complete system change and getting the most out of it will take time and effort. To just plop a new “system” in place ahead of the speakers changes a great deal and you will no doubt have to look at other things now. She does like a good power cord and conditioning.  I wish I could view your virtual system for more info on your source and cabling. 
To each his own...

I haven't used the USB input; as I understand it, 
USB  is not the best output on the Bryston BDP-2.  

But I tried both AES/EBU and coax into the 3400.  (I also tried BDP -> Ygg -> 3400 using RCA into the standard quality analog section), and --for me-- BDP -> Ygg -> 3400 HQ analog module (XLR) sounds best.  

The Lyngdorf is still pulling duty as room correction, pre, and amp.

Don't think it's too much of a stretch to believe that a well-regarded stand-alone DAC can be equal to or better than the one in the 3400.
Since room perfect is one of the selling points of this amp what's your opinon of it after running room perfect? To give the amp a fair assesment I would do everything the amp is capable of. It's like saying you're underwhelmed with a tube amp after only hearing it with cheap stock tubes. 
The unit sounds best when not using an external dac, most of the time, because there is no need for the added cables, complexity and longer signal paths. The 3400 really shines when used to take advantage of its design, short signal paths and inherent synergy. Now that is the case with most dacs, however I am sure some big dollar ones with great cabling, conditioning etc.. would sound fantastic also. With diligence and patience one can arrive at great sound with the 3400 using several different paths.   
When I used my Lyngdorf with no room correction it sounded fine and good in a conventional sort of way. A good music maker, but when I ran RP I was smiling big.  Next to my former TRL Dude preamp I have stuck with the Lyngdorf for a relatively long time for me 🙂.  It’s still staying put, but I may extract a tad more out of mine with additional mods. 

An important thread to follow for the big picture of where many new systems will be heading, is my take.

also

"The unit sounds best when not using an external dac, most of the time, because there is no need for the added cables, complexity and longer signal paths."

mg


"The unit sounds best when not using an external dac, most of the time, because there is no need for the added cables, complexity and longer signal paths."

>>>>I totally concur. In my particular case I’ve been able to eliminate the external DAC, AC power and AC Ground, power cords, interconnects, transformers, big honking capacitors, speaker cables, fuses. All of which obviously introduce noise and distortion to the sound. Also eliminated in one swell foop with small portable battery powered headphone system are requirements for the usual room acoustics devices, only the ones that operate outside the conventional modes are needed. You know....

These rather severe measures allow me to get down to the real nitty gritty.
Give it time and most importantly your ears time to adjust. The transition from tubes to ss takes time. I just can’t seem to get used to ss no matter how hard I try. The best I could do was get a tube hybrid and I’m pretty happy with it. Good luck! Hope it works out. 
2170 kicked the pants off everything I've owned ss or tube. Room perfect on.
Thanks for all the comments, folks.
I will be setting up Room Perfect soon.  I just didn't have time to set it up yesterday when I unboxed it, so I decided to give it some listening time without RP so I can understand by comparison the difference it makes once it has been implemented.  In my first post I meant to convey the message that this amp sounds very good right out of the box, even without RP turned on.  But it has a very solid state sound to it, and in my past I have always preferred tubes to SS.

I believe that with RP properly set up I will like this amp more than anything else I have owned, otherwise I would not have bought it.  

I can't wait to get the DAC in action.  This will happen soon.  Most likely I will plug in my Wadia transport using a coaxial cable to start.  I have a balanced digital cable but it's super short and won't reach.  I will probably buy a longer one at some point.  

Yes, I got the version of the amp with the high end analog inputs.  This was very important to me as I mainly listen to vinyl.  I skipped the HDMI inputs as I had no use for them. 

I will leave the amp on 24/7 per suggestion, at least for a while until it is broken in.  Thanks for this suggestion.

I will check back in a day or two.  I've been very busy sending my son off to college this week so it might take a bit longer for me to respond.

Cheers 
I hope you find it to your liking, the amp does have quite a following.
I have a problem.  I got the mic set up on the stand and proceeded to set up Room Perfect, but every time I started the process I got a mic signal error.  I checked the cables several times and everything looks good.  I don't believe I'm doing anything wrong but if anyone has experienced this please let me know what you did to remedy it.  
I might have a faulty microphone.

As an aside, the mic stand is not as good as could be.  First, there are not any assembly instructions included with it.  After a while I figured out how it goes together, but it seems ridiculous that no documentation is inside the box.

Also, the threaded pieces do not fit precisely, so they do not properly tighten to each other.  Seems like something was not done correctly in either the design or the manufacture of these parts.  

Make sure you are using the correct xlr jack on the back of the unit. Is the signal loud enough to be picked up by the mic? If the mic is bad the dealer will contact Lyngdorf and they will overnight one. 


The 3400 does not use an XLR into the back of the amp like on the 2170.  They use an adaptor to a mini RCA plug that goes into the front of the amp.  
I sent a message to Hi-Fi Heaven just now.  Hopefully it will get resolved quickly.  I honestly don't know if the mic is bad.  Is there any way to test it?  
I did try raising the volume of the test tones but still got the same error.  
Thanks
That's frustrating... hope you can get it worked out soon.  My mic worked correctly both times I ran RP.  Maybe you could test it with a tape recorder, or even a musician's amp?

Agree about the stand and lack of instructions.  Took me a few minutes too to figure out assembly.
I got the RP set up to work.  I don't know what changed, but I just tried plugging it in again after a day of wondering if I'd have to wait another week to get it resolved, and it worked!  
I did the set up and am now in critical listening phase.  I won't go too in depth in my assessment until I have had more time to listen, but I will say that so far it sounds really good.  I might redo the RP setup as I'm not sure I did it as well as I should have.  I failed to read the instructions fully, especially the part about pointing the mic in random directions.  When I set it up I pointed the mic between the speakers, regardless of the position I set the mic in. I think the sound might get better if I redo it, and other than the time it takes I really don't have much to lose.
Good food for you! You are right that you need to follow the instructions and shoot for at least a 97% room reading before stopping. The only way your room will be correctly understood and seen is my following those various mic placements in the instructions. Keep it fully on and now you are in business ✌️
Do you have a suggestion on an easier way to rename the inputs on this amp?  I tried to use the included remote, and got one of them renamed, but couldn't save it.  When I hit exit it would just erase it.
It would be nice if the phone app had this function.  Way easier to type the names on a phone than with the remote.  
It does... info is on page 11 of the manual.

Basically, open a browser window (phone, pad, desktop) and enter tdai3400.local/

You will get access to all features including setup which lets you name inputs easily.
Oh wow.  That's awesome.  I don't know how I missed it.
Thanks!
Greetings, I ordered my TDAI-3400 on Labor Day from Sound Science.  Neal was super professional and expediant getting my order place immediately for me directly with Lyngdorf as soon as I got off the phone with him.  I was told to expect the unit in 5-10 business days, but he was able to get it quick shipped out ups express, and I'll have it by Friday! I can't recommend Neal at Sound Science enough! 

Contrast that to my experience with HIFI Heaven, who's owner was curt, rude, unavailable, and unresponsive. So I cancelled my order with them.

I'm very excited to hear this piece in my system and report back my impressions!
 @jcarcopop I ordered mine from Neal around the same time.

I think, it was your order he was mentioning while I was going through the process of mine.

Neal has been great so far.

I can't wait to hear the TDAI-3400 in my setup.
Interesting video.  Thanks for posting the link.
@essrand congrats on the tdai-3400. Sorry for the delay, I forgot to follow this thread. Yes Neal is a good guy.  Since buying my unit, I've referred 2 people to him already that have made Lyngdorf purchases as well.

I'm very happy with my TDAI-3400. It's a very smooth, neutral, and natural sounding presentation (maybe with even a slight touch of warmth).  It's a tad less forward and polite sounding than my Benchmark DAC2 HGC/Nord NCORE Class D Monoblock combination, but I feel it's a more accurate portrayal of the music. It posesses excellent detail retrieval, isn't analytical at all, and is non-fatiging to listen to for hours at a time.  Very musical indeed!

The Room Perfect did indeed improve the sound quality by evening out the bass response aswell lifting some congestion and obfuscation in the midrange region

Prior to getting Lyngdorf I typically listened to my Art Audio Diavolo SET tube amplifier primarily and it's also currently connected to the preamp output of the Lyngdorf and to a Luxman AS-55 amplifier switcher so I can enjoy tubes when I'm in the mood or directly to the Lyngdorf's internal Class D amplifier when I'm in a different mood or simply want a change of pace. A best of both worlds approach, if you will, however I may very well end using my tube amplifier less and less since the Lyngdorf is quite good on it's own merits, but it's nice to have options and it's a very versatile piece allowing me to create separate Room Perfect profiles for both amps, which is very handy. 

I really love using the RoonReady and Spotify Connect feature which works adeptly. It was all very easy to setup and configure through the well thought out web interface and I love the Lyngdorf Remote mobile app and even the ability to control the tdai-3400 volume from within Roon's or Spotify's mobile app as well.  Very thoughtfully engineered and nicely executed. Well done! 

You know, I used to have an older model Lyngdorf before it could accept RJ45 as a streamer.

Now that it has streaming capabilities, I went to their site to see what formats it would take, hoping it would go up to at least DSD64. Well, there's no information of what formats you can play via Ethernet cable. Strange.

In fact, on their site it use to have a description of the technology they use to get the D/A conversion, but now it's just a blurb.

Does anyone know what files you can play using their streaming function?

@evolvist If you mean network streaming for RoonReady, Roon will convert the dsd to pcm if need be, but that being said the DSD section is missing in RoonReady under device setup, so it may only support flac files. I don’t have any dsd files or I would test it. The DSD menu is available over USB to the Lyngdorf which does allow for selecting between DSD OVER PCM V1 (DOP) and converting DSD TO PCM, but this doesn’t prove it supports it, only that it might. The only other streaming functionality is Spotify so that’s irrelevant. If you meant connecting a hard drive of music to it, I simplt don’t know. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. I would call Neal at Sound Science or contact Lyngdorf directly to find out the limitations of the supported file formats for the network streaming function.
Cool. Yeah, I'll check it out. Converting DSD to PCM is a no-go for me. Not that DSD is better quality than PCM, as some claim, but I have a number of remasters that are unique to SACD, so I have a lot of SACD rips.  

Converting to PCM is lossy, or rather, it doesn't quite work as you have to filter noise out in the conversation. 

Maybe I'll just stick to my Linn KDS/3. :)

Using an outboard dac or vinyl, isn't the amp still A/D/A'ing the signal?

The 2170 did.

I have been exclusively using DSD upsample through Roon/HQPlayer for the last 4 years. I was upsampling everything to DSD 512 through my T+A DAC8 DSD. It took the sound quality of my rig to new heights!! However, when I decided to simplify my system to Lyngdorf TDAI 2170, I was very skeptical of giving up the DSD512 upsample.

But anyway, after prioritizing simplicity I went with the 2170. Now I can only upsample to DSD128. I can clearly hear a significant difference between playing pure PCM vs upsample to DSD128. I know Lyngdorf converts everything to 24/96 internally. But it must be so transparent. I wish 3400 supports DSD too, especially in higher bit rate DSD. Also, if the streamer on 3400 doesn't support DSD, there's no point of using that streamer (for me).
What prevented me from even demoing the amp is that it digitizes the analogue signal no matter if the source is connected to the standard inputs or through the optional "high-end ""analogue"" module". A big no for a stereo system IMO but it should work fine in a HT.
@gallus It’s direct dac-amp why would expect it not to convert the analog to pwm digital? Why do you think there’s something inherently wrong with this? You can by an ADC for $25 that will work to convert vinyl or a AM/FM tuner to digital and feed it to a DAC to run source direct from said DAC, competantly. You can spend $1000-$2500 to do the same thing with a professional studio level grade device. Surely the quality of the ADC in the $7200 Lyngdorf loaded with the superior analog input stage would be far superior to a cheap spdif converter ADC. In the Lyngdorf the analog signal is simply converted to a PWM signal to be directly converted to amplified sound which is actually a very pure pathway imho because the signal is converted to analog in the amplifier and not in a conventional DAC, per se. People have posted excellent results with vinyl and other analog signals fed through the tdai-2170 and tdai-3400, and are happy with the results. A recording engineer friend once stated to me that a person couldn’t even tell the difference between an analog signal converted to digital and back to analog and back to digital and back to analog over 10 times and even at this point they wouldn’t notice an audible difference in A/B/X testing. This "digital is evil" notion is dated and played out to death. I respect your opinion of course, but disagree with it and that’s okay. I just think you’re ruling out an excellent sounding product out of hand.
Jcarcopo, thanks for the insights. Even though I was economical in my words there is no place to infer I demonized digital. Well, the very idea of considering anything Lyndorf makes it very clear.
I am aware and actually adept of the digitizing of analogue media but it makes no sense for the sole purpose of reproducing it through analogue sources, psychoacoustical considerations notwithstanding.  Sorry but as good, easy and clever as it is, digital still can´t beat a well thought and adequately set analogue system. 
That is why in my case TDAI does not present an optimal solution but if I decided to go 100% digital I would certainly consider it.
I own a 3400 and love it. It replaces a Mark Levinson 326S pre and 532H amp and a PS Audio Directstream DAC. Currently feeding it digital via a Bryston BDP-2 but have an Innuos Zenith Mark III on order. The Lyngdorf will play DSD files (I output via USB) and the Bryston is my Roon endpoint. I have Ethernet into the Bryston. The Lyngdorf can also be a Roon endpoint but highest resolution files are limited if you set up wirelessly. You have to use Ethernet to get highest. I expected the Directstream to better the Lyngdorf DAC but that wasn’t the case. I have the optional Analog and HDMI modules. I play my VPI Classic into a Sutherland preamp into the Analog. I find the digital playback superior. Heresy! I also have an Oppo connected via HDMI and I can play CDs, SACD, and DVDA (yep, still have about 10 of them). That being said, Room Correction is the big deal. I now exploit the bass response of my PSB T3s without boom or bloat! Iove being able to control everything from my desktop computer as well as IPad and IPhone. Using the desktop makes the Room Correction even easier. Usually l listen to the Neutral voicing, but my home office is also in the listening room so at low volumes I switch to the Bass2 setting. Remember the Loudness control? I bought the Lyngdorf from Tony Barnette at Ellington HiFi and have ordered the Innuos from him as well. Can not recommend him highly enough. Great follow up, and a genuinely good dude.
Very happpy for you and enjoy! I sold off almost $18,000 worth of tube separates and cables for my 2170 a couple of years ago and my sound improved. Great units!
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Yikes! Very sorry to hear that. I have had great service with very fast response and shipping. Perhaps your dealer can help? 
Hi Jonathan, 
I'd also suggest getting your dealer involved.  It seems to me that your problem is rare and thus an outlier. I believe this issue with your specific Lyngdorf can be rectified. 
Charles 
@charles1dad I originally was dealing with the dealer, but he encouraged me to reach out to Lyngdorf. Lyngdorf was responsive initially, but totally unresponsive after telling me they would get back to me through their engineering department. I submitted a 2nd ticket today with Lyngdorf. I also contacted Neal at sound science to let him know where I was at. I hope something will actually happen to rectify the situation. I’m so tired of this clipping sound when I know with certainty that at least 2 people with Encores and the TDAI-3400 aren’t having this issue. It’s very frustrating and I fear I’m damaging my speakers. I know room perfect is causing it, I just need to know how to fix it. I tried 3 sets of measurements so far and ultimately the problem occurs on heavy bass transients regardless.
@jcarcopo Very sorry to hear that your problem has not yet been resolved. I have not experienced similar issues with my 3400 playing through the Encores, though I also rarely turn it up louder than -16dB.

I hope you get it resolved soon!
It could be QC issue.

Just bad copy.

If that is the case, replacement can be requested.

I am looking at this product to find out whether it can replace my Accuphase Digital Equalizer, EMMLab Dac2 and tube amplifiers.

I also look forward to hearing from Waltersalas whether 3400 can match the good SET sound.