How much power do you need?
That will help you decide which model to get.
They have a SET with 18wpc. (ML2.1)
They have a standard tube model with 90 wpc. (ML1.1)
Then they have their hybrid amps with 110 & 220 wpc. (M1.2 and M2.2 respectively)
(I have the older M2.1 (200 wpc hybrid) amp, and I doubt I will ever upgrade amps again! Solid state like bass, with tube like mid-range.
If you were using a CA-301, (300 wpc, right?) I would guess you need the M2.2. (If you prefer a std. tube amp, the ML1.1 would probably work great too, and the M1.2 would proably work as well! Realize these later amps are a great deal less powerful than what you are used to using though.)
If it were me, I would get the M1.2, as it is pure Class A, but be warned, they run HOT. (The M2.2 also runs hot, but not quite as much.)
My two cents worth.
It is my understanding that your speaker is 89db effecient and rated at 4 ohms. I would say that the ML2 at 18 watts would probably not be enough. The ML1.1 at 90wpc would probably be pretty good as long as the impedence curve is rather flat. If the Tenors did well with you speakers I imagine the ML1's will also do well. The hybrids of course should have no problem with this speaker.
I would vote for the M1.2 Ref. I have been very happy. I wouldn't say they're HOT ... warm, but you can certainly always touch the fins on the side and the top. They do help keep my room warm during the winter, but do need A/C in the summer to keep the room bearable on the third floor of our house. Of course, the Tenors were my second choice, specifically the hybrids. But, unfortunately the company's financial situation scared me towards Lamm.
Best amp I ever heard was the hybrid 2.1. I heard a while back but I didn't get to hear the tube models. I agree with Kurt on that I just couldn't afford it.
I run my AA Capitole direct to Lamm M 1.2
The combination of tube and solid state is just fabulous
I asked Vladimir about changing to the ML tubes
I won't give his exact response but I still own the 1.2's
I've auditioned a lot of great amps None sound better to me than the Lamm M1.2
I second the 1.2 Refs - they are incredible and a noticeable improvement from my former 1.1s - which I owned for 5 years. They are more much more powerful than their conservative 110 watt rating. I also have the Tenor 300 watt hybrids and the Lamm 1.2s drive my speakers just as easily and with just as much authority.
Since the 1.2 Refs are virtually all Class A whereas the 2.1s are not, I think you will get a bit better sound from the 1.2s but if you need the extra power you don't give up too much with the 2.1s.
Good luck with your search - I don't know of too many Lamm owners who are unhappy. Not that reviews are the be all and end all, but have you EVER seen an even remotely negative review of a Lamm amp?
I have not heard the all tube Lamm's but I have the 1.2 reference amps and they are the best amps I have ever heard. They are warm but not hot as long as they are not in a cabinett to allow the heat to dissapate. They are the best amps spacailly I have ever heard. I still can't believe what they do to music. You can not go wrong with these amps.
Thanks everyone. These are the opinions I so wanted to hear. Now I just have to wait for them...Anticipation....
>Now I just have to wait for them...Anticipation....
I assume by this that you have ordered some Lamms or made a decision ?
Bryanhod et al..........you mention the cabinet thing....I really want to put a pair of 1.2 ref's in my cabinet - I have custom built the cabinet with vents in the base, semi open front and an open back, I'm thinking of adding silent fans to aid air flow. My Krell barely runs warm - am I mad?
FYI: My buddy used to have his M2.1s in cabinets as you have proposed.
The cabinet got very, very warm, but he said he never had any problems with them overheating, so assuming you have really good ventilation, I think it would be okay.
However, the idea of adding a silent fan makes sense to me.
(Personally, I have mine on amp stands next to my speakers, so I can shorten the speaker cable lengths.)
I had mine in a cabinet. There was no overheating but I have a bunch of collectable tuners in it so I decided the heat was not a good thing for them. I do not know if I notice any difference in sound moving them out. Almost everyone I know that owns Lamms, uses Silent Running Audio amp stands. I just ordered a pair and they will be here in a week. I think you will be fine leaving them in the cabinet. I am really interested in what you think of the sound. I was immediately blown away.
Lamm's naming convention really needs an overhaul.
Agreed. Can't tell the players w/o a program.
Since a few 1.2 Ref. owners are on this thread, have any of you done any tube rolling? I just got a pair and was wondering if I should leave well enough alone or try some other tubes. Since there's only one 6922 per amp this shouldn't be too difficult. I'm almost new to the tube world and would appreciate anything you can share with me.
I'm in the same position as Frank, so I would like to know your opinion on tube rolling the Lamms, too.
I have owned a lot of amps in over the past 33 years--most recently ARC Ref 600 Mk lll's at 600 wpc. I made an about face 6 months ago and sold them for Vladimir's ML 2.1 SET mono's at 18 wpc. I am using them to drive my Wilson X-2's. They do it with ease and plenty of headroom to spare. Having said this I can also comment that the ML 2.1's are the most musical amp I have ever owned. I don't see another amp purchase down the road even with Vladimir's upcoming mega amp the ML 3 SET which will have MSRP of $135K--rumored to be b/n 30 and 35 wpc.
As far a tube rolling I have recently bought 2 different pair of 12AX7's for the ML2.1's
I managed to get a pair of circa 1965 NOS Telefunken ECC83 with rib plates as well as circa 1957 Mullard's with long plate and square getter halo.
I was simply amazed at how different and much better the sound is comp[ared to the tubes supplied by Vladimir. The Telefunken's probably get the nod but the Mullard is also excellent--much warmer but not as much bass and less articulate.
Thanks Doc. I appreciate your input. The ML2.1's must sound wonderful. Don't know if I'll get simular results with just replacing one tube but I'm always looking for an improvement even if it's small. I was also thinking about the Telefunken's but don't know which one to try.
Elberoth2. If you find out anything specific to the M1.2Ref.'s please let me know.
I found the best 6922s for Lamm Hybrids are the Amperex Pinched Waist 6922 and Seimens CCa. For some reason, I was not impressed with the Telefunken CCa. Power cords also make a significant improvement.
I've seemed to stay on the tube side of things and you haven't heard the ML2 until you actually do hear them with your own ears. When you do, you will be in for a shock to hear how un-hifi it is, with transparency beyond what I imagined from all the rave reviews. Timing becomes the very essence of the overall musical structure, add that with an ease of delivery and speed.
For me it all started with a preamp first, and then the rest of my system was broken or sounded wrong. Start small if you're not sure at first, get a preamp and experience a taste of what's possible. It's not for everyone (trying to be biased here) but if you like it, it will change the way to listen to music.
My system can play plenty loud, but I enjoy listening at very low levels, because nothing is missing, and it's simply there, why listen loudly?
With all that said, I have not heard the hybrid brotheren.
If you are looking for a really clean tube that is a drop in for a 6922 that won't cost you $200 try the under recognized but really better sounding Mullard CV2493 not the 70s 6922 or even the CV 2492. I think I got mine from Tubemonger I'm not sure though. It is in a class of its own and really has a superbly clean but great tone simply a different sound than any other 6922 variants. I tried a boatload except for the ridiculously expensive collector's trophies. Contact me offline and I'll give the run down. (I don't understand the use of a 12AX7 in a circuit that is made for a 6 volt tube not a 12volt, be careful or you will destroy your cicuitry.)
I, too, chose the Lamm M1.2s to mate with my Wilson Sashas. It can't get any better than that.