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leftAmplifiers - Lamm 2.2
As usual, I am always in the quest of exceptional amplifiers, and I have got the chance to listen and review the  LAMM 2.2 mono blocs from the well known US worldwide acclaimed manufacturer.
The review has been done on the reference system #2.
For this review I have also used three master pieces for the comparisons:


The LAMM mono blocs are at the top amongst the worlwide audio products.
Here is the upper side with the 6922 tube. On the other side, there is the power supply made by PLITRON and a set of huge power supply capacitors.

 

lamm1.2a.jpg



Backside of the Lamm

lamm_rear.jpg

 

system_Lamm22.jpg

 

These monoblocs are acclaimed in each review as being the best, often reaching 20/20.

They are not so heavy with 32kg each one. They are hybrid with tube and MOSFET.

A 6922 driver tube is used. For the power, it is about 220 watts with around 41 watts in class A.
At the first look, you undestand that money as been put inside the product and not only outside. There are really similar but bigger than the MARK LEVINSON ML-2.
Build quality is extremely good.


1). There are many switches, I used + for preamplifier and put selector on the 1-6ohms position.

The reference system #2 is very difficult to drive because of the Apogee DIVA, which only have 87dB of efficiency.

These beauties are doing a perfect job for listining to new products: you rapidly ear all the defaults.
The LAMM reach their best after 2 hours: they are not the only ones in this case, but it is a bit long. Before, please do not listen to them !.
When the power is on, you immediatly ear the absence of  granularity in the sound, and feel that the depth is very well reproduced.

For the rest of spectrum, I am a little disappointed and sad: the sound is poor. The global sound is really not in the same league as my reference amplifiers (KRELL and THRESHOLD). Note that the JADIS are not convenient because they cannot correctly drive the ribbons.

The speed is not here whereas the Bass section is well reproduced.
I was waiting for a magical sound from these "marvellous" products, but ...I am still waiting.

Apogee should not have been so difficult to drive for the LAMM as they have a 4ohm average impedance and this LAMM amp is supposed to deliver a minimum of 600 watts into 1 ohm, so where is the problem ?.

I have tried a lot of CDs with forté and complex music, and again over 8kHz, there is an acid sound. This is maybe due to the class A to class A/B switch ?
And I cannot charge my preamplifier or any other components because they are the same in every review, so I know how they sound.

When I take the THRESHOLD back, it seems to have 2000 watts of power, and the sound is prodigious with a perfect accuracy; same for the KRELL with more power under 100 Hz.


2). I used + for preamplifier and put selector on the 6-16 ohms position.

With this configuration,  the amplifier became suddenly very good. The Music finaly came out of the speakers (ouf) !.
He also lost 90% of its previously mentioned acidity...

and it was only 20% below in terms of musicality compared with my reference amplifiers (before I would say it was more than 70% minus....).

I spent a long time before moving to the tap 6-16 ohms because I believed it was stupid provided that  my Apogee are 4 ohms speakers (average impedance).
When I looked at the brochure with the mentionned rated output current and maximum clipping, I discovered that when the switch is on the "high impedance" position,  14.84 A are allowed under 4 ohms; but only 10.49 A on low impedance position. It is the same for clipping with 44.72 amps (HI) et 39.5amps en (LO).
So, the Apogee need a lot of current and power and I am still very surprised that 6-16 ohms provides the best results...


3). Preamplifier

I am a lucky guy because I can change the sound by changing the 12AX7 tubes (the original tubes are from Telefunken).
By using  very sweet tubes like the Sovtek, you get less acidity.

As I am always unsatisfied, I tried something else.


4). Isolation products

The LAMMs are like a Formula one: they need a lot of patience to get the best from them.
Please , do not put these amplifiers directly onto the floor.

Even with very simple supports like wood, the result is great: better sound stage and more accuracy.

Finally, these mono blocs are surely wonderful with dynamic speakers, the more common in the actual standard products,  but are not designed for driving the Apogee and the ribbons. It seems to be very difficult nowdays to find a reference amplifier.

So, if you cannot find a THRESHOLD or a KRELL in second hand, you can chose a LAMM in third position.

 

Pro:

  • the build quality is excellent
  • very good musicality on low micro signals
  • no heat (rare) for that power
  • very quiet (congratulations)
  • no granularity for the sound, beautiful with voices, the ends of notes are excellent
  • very depth and large soundstage
  • a master for listening the music at low volume

Cons:

  • over 8 kHz, the sound changes and becomes too acid, is it due to the switch to the A/B class (?) or no isolation products ?
  • the bass section is not at the top
  • accuracy is not at the top
  • you must wait more than 2 hours before they reach their best
  • violins and piano are not that good (due to the 8kHz switch)
  • very (too) expensive in Europe (twice the U.S. price...)
TL_3.jpg

 

Review written by  Florent (provence13 on Forum).


Creation date : 03/01/2008 @ 18:20
Last update : 12/01/2016 @ 17:39
Category : Amplifiers
Page read 69 times


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