I think your reasoning is excellent about applying tubes in the source. I have not owned any Lampizator products, but his progression over the years was perhaps the most intense ever applied to analyzing every aspect of digital and especially how to best handle the signal once converted to analog with tubes. My only concern with tubes is that they are applied in a linear and neutral way to not impose colorations that you might soon identify and tire of. Tubes can be very neutral and honest, but many designers seem to lean on coloration to make their product stand out as having a different sound. My experience is with Audio Logic and Altis, both made by a now deceased designer, Jerry Ozment. Upon first hearing his 24/96 updated Model 34, it simply sounded more real to me than any SS DACs I had heard and I won't budge and am never disappointed or wishing for something I think I am missing.
21 responses Add your response
Here is another way you can add some 'tubiness' to your system...Buy the DAC of your dreams but add a tube buffer
TPB.V1 Tube Preamp Buffer | Tortuga Audio
How does it sound?
Review: Tortuga Audio’s LDR3.V25 Passive Preamp And TPB.V1 Tube Preamp Buffer | Wall of Sound | Audio and Music Reviews
Please don’t use a Mac mini with Lampizator DAC...that’s like putting a Corolla engine in Ferrari. And yes, the quality of streamer / server just as important as DAC.
With your Accuphase gear, I would recommend that you audition Lampizator Pacific and EMM Labs DA2. DA2 is SS but it is one of best DAC’s currently available and synergy with Accuphase is impeccable. I can say unequivocally that my digital competes favorably with my Analog rig (SME 15A-V with Hana Umami Red cart).
Lampizator makes awesome DACs. I have a few customers running them and they love how musical they are. The stock tubes stink so assume you are going to need to replace those to get the most out of it. This is a bit below what I would define as "cost no object".
Regarding Roon, it has two parts. Roon Server and Roon Player. If a DAC is "Roon Ready" it is equipped with Roon Player software and serves as a renderer. It is always best to have those two things happen on separate devices. This is the approach taken by Antipodes with its servers and players though the player is unnecessary if you have a good Roon ready DAC. Off hand, I can't think of a tube DAC that is Roon ready.
To go beyond Lampizator, check out Jadis. The JS1 MkV is insanely good and is based around the AKM 4197 chip which is used in many of the worlds best DACs. Gorgeous in terms of aesthetics, and it sounds better than it looks.
Another alternative would be the Ypsillon NOS DAC. This is one of the most natural sounding DACs in the world and uses a very interesting approach.
Either of these is going to give you insanely good sound and naturally would be best paired with something like an Antipodes K50. PM me if you are interested in either as an alternative to Lampizator.
uwiikz: I own a Lampizator Golden Atlantic since two years. I am very, very happy with it, it is musical and detailed. I mainly listen to classical music and it is fantastic, with it and with all other ones.
I sincerely recommend it.
Regarding your requirements and as you do not have any problem with cost, the Lampizator flagship model: Pacific is Roon ready or Roon bridge or the way that you want to call it and offers WiFi and Ethernet connectivity.
They offer a 7 days trial period although I do not know if this is worldwide.
I have only heard a few DACs.
NAGRA HD DAC X
I would pair it with an Innuos Statement music server
I did hear these two together and thought it was outstanding
Good luck with your search
When or two things to consider ,matching a very good power cord to the dac makes a world of difference , as well as the Digital cable . Lampi recommends and I own the Final touch audio USB cable it is a very detailed natural cable
all built one at a time using a very unique method ,the Copper has a high degree of Silver in it ,only found in a few places in Europe and then hammered annealed
it is a winner. I had the Wireworld platinum 7 which had a bit more resolution
but was not as real or involving , the New Wireworld 8 usb will be out