Would a Lamm ll2.1 deluxe slay a Parasound JC2?


Hi. 

I have been thinking of adding a tube preamp to my chain to get a little more body and feel to the music. 

I currently have a Parasound JC2 which is detailed and dynamic. Very good really. But I may have trade and cash opportunity for a Lamm ll2.1 deluxe. It would be going into a new Bryston Cubed power amp. 

I havent heard a Lamm. Would it be a much better piece? Worthy of trying to work a deal?

argon66
I would. I really think you would find it more enjoyable in just about every way.
It will be different, let's just say that.  The bass will probably be a little less taught than through the JC2, and the highs might seem a little less extended, but the midrange on the Lamm is just right by my ears, and the music just flowed beautifully and naturally through it when I had one on loan in my system.  These days, those are my priorities (that's why I have a Shindo preamp); only you know what yours are.  One unknown to me is how well the Lamm would interface with your amp, though.
the Lamm has an output impedence of 250 ohms and the 3B3 has an input imp of 60k ohms. So at least from that point of view it should be fine. 

But to your point RC...synergy is a different thing all together. Glad to hear you did like it. Im looking for more richness in the mids and was thinking it would make a difference. 

Have you owned the JC2 previously?
No.  I've heard it and other solid state preamps in various systems, and while I appreciate the solid state strengths, there's something about the tubed preamps and amps that keeps drawing me in to the music and lets me not be bothered by a slight loss of high frequency extension or a little fatter bass.  The Lamm is among the best preamps (along with Jadis, VAC and Shindo) I've heard in my systems, but my system is all tubed--I might not have appreciated it as much when I first started in the hobby with an all solid state system.  Any chance you could listen to a Lamm or another tubed preamp?
I had an older version VTL TL2.5 a few years ago (not the 2.5i)
It was pretty good. Very liquid. maybe a little too much. It is not in the league of the Lamm and other higher end ones though (especially shindo). 

A few years back I had a 2a3 tube integrated. About 11 watts. it was pretty nice too. 

My speakers are Volent VL3...about 87 db. Like some power. I do miss the richer mids for sure. 

Do you think the Lamm is nicer than some of the CJ or ARC hybrids?

Not sure which ARC preamps are hybrids anymore, but I did own an SP-11 Mk 2 (hybrid) and was using a Vendetta phono stage with it (one of the best around, and a reason I respect John Curl's designs so much).  I decided to replace the SP--11 with a line stage since I wasn't using its phono stage, and was all set to buy an LS2 hybrid line stage until my dealer let me compare it to a Jadis JPL.  The ARC hybrid, and my SP-11, had a much drier solid state sound, almost bleached in comparison; the Jadis was as liquid as you could imagine, and I bought it on the spot, even though I doubt it was as neutral as the ARC line stage.  The newer ARC preamps I have heard are really quite good, not nearly as dry as the old hybrids, but are still probably more neutral, not as fleshed out in the mids, as the others I've mentioned.  Can't comment on CJ, haven't heard any of them.  I liked the Lamm better than the ARCs I've heard, it is a little more fleshed out in the mids to my ear, and while it was a little fatter in the bass, that wasn't unpleasant and gave it the impression of having a bit of bass weight.

I had a chance to audition some very large Volent speakers a number of years ago; they were really nice speakers, but a bit too big (and expensive) for my room at the time. Only caveat I have about them with a Lamm is whether the Lamm's slight bass fullness might be too much of a good thing with the Volents, which I recall went pretty low in the bass. How do they sound in that area with the JC2?

They sound very good with the JC2. I dont think they go super low, but probably get down to 38 or so. No slouch. Bass it very tight and punchy. 

The Volents are very detailed with very good extension. They have dual ribbon tweeters. Image like crazy. I would say they are on the cool side however. So with the JC2, Bryston Cubed and Volents, im thinking my chain could use some midrange boost with a good tube pre. Especially for digital. 

My digital is through a Chord Dac and vinyl is from a VPI Prime and Zesto. 


I believe that your upgrade with the Lamm will probably surprise the hell out of you and you won't look back, plus the  lamm is tube rectified which I seem to be drawn to, by the way I love mine.
Post removed 
Are you using balanced cables?
Argon66 are you looking to buy new, if so contact Lamm and they will recommend a couple of their dealers, I did and got 1,200.00 off retail and it shipped direct from Lamm to me.

Parasound JC2 seems to offer more performance for less money paid. Lamm products including 2.1 seem to be blown like soap bubble... In other words overly-over-valued.


I was looking to potentially do a trade with the owner of the Lamm. 

I always do wonder about whats in the box to justify the cost. 
I guess less can be more so to speak. 
In the end, the true test is what one hears...which is always a challenge if you cant A/B whats on the table
go for the LAMM you can always sell it if its not to your liking and buy another Parasound as they are all over the place. the Tube pre will add so much more musicality to your system then the Parasound can. I went from all SS to Tube and never looked back.  I'm listening to much more music now then I used to that is what keeps me with the Tubes.
I have the LL2 deluxe and love it. It drives a tube amp, though. The LL2 responds very nicely to tube rolling, so that's also a turning tool for your system.

Of course you get no remote control and you even get 2 volume pots. A deal breaker to some. I don't mind.
Yeah...i need the freaking exercise. 
Thought id really want a remote but in practical terms its no biggie really. 

lewinski..can you comment on what you thought the LL2 brought to your system?
What does everyone think a used Lamm ll2.1 deluxe is worth?
I had a McIntosh MC275 with a Rotel preamp. The Lamm was an improvement across the board, which was not surprising given the price difference. In my case even the bass seemed deeper, let alone the midrange improvement. It was way more spacious.

I also purchased directly from Lamm. They have always been very good to deal with.

At the time I carefully studied some reviews by Mark Michaelson  (spelling?) on Soundstage about preamp in that price range. I thought valuable comparisons.

I have never looked back. Thought it wold  e a pie e to never leave my home. But I'm parting with it after deciding for a overall change in system approach. It will remain my last pretty, though ☺
I sure hope so given the price-point of Lamm gear.

Happy Listening!
Used ones are rarely up for sale/resale so guaging pricing is tough. 

Thoughts anyone?
There was a used LL2.1 deluxe offered just about 3 weeks ago for I believe 3,600.00, it actually was listed twice, which surprised me because they don't come up often, it was a dealer add where the owner moved up the Lamm line. 

Here a some good ibro on the lamm: 

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?12728-lamm-ll2-1-or-ARC-ref-3-or-5-for-my-ML-2-1-amp-la...

Seems that the lamm will be more laid back and "slower" in comparison to the solid state parasound.  Just depends what kind of sound your are looking for and the synergy with your amp.  Parasound will be
more punchy and dynamic, so the more expansive lamm may not be an upgrade if the type of sound you are looking for  fits more with the parasound.  
Personally I don't like to use tubes to distort the sound to my liking.  I use EQ instead of heat loss to tune my music. 
Thanks so much to all.
I've decided to go for it. Should have it in a few days. Will post my thoughts. 

I sure hope a lamm is better
 All around.  I would buy if i did not
Switch to a.   Ars- sonum
Well I have had the Lamm for under a day now and what a stark contrast. 

Not as detailed but So much more weight and body to the music. My goodness!!!


Argon, I too have the Lamm and have built my system around it. I went thru around 13 preamps in 2 years to get to it after having and selling the LL2 Deluxe that was part of the 13 pres tried, it was the best in my system hence the purchase of a new LL2.1 Deluxe to end the quest for a pre. I have found some tubes that really are nice in the 12AU7 spots and some siemen 6922, if you get the itch  to tube roll we can work something out to get them to you to try to see if you might want to go that way, I have extras. Go take a look at my system and good luck.
Beautiful system tooblue!
Wow. 13 pres to land on the Lamm. i too have a VPI prime with Weights. It goes into a Zesto phono pre. Digital is all flac into a Chord Dac. Speakers are Volent vl3. 
Thank oh so much re the tube rolling option. I'll follow up for sure.

Man the majic of tubes in a well designed circuit!