I was waiting for Eric to throw his wrench in the works but it seems like he's holding off for now.
This may be just adding oil on the fire but the recent blind test performed in France did highlight that all bets are off when you leave expectations / preconceptions and other placebo effects aside.
That is, again I am fracturing an open door here, differences between amps are typically blown out of proportion, orders of magnitude lesser than differences between stax transducers.
Once level matched, and in true blind testing, it appears even golden ears have a tough time differentiating gear, at least on short term listening.
To make things worse, visual attributes / brand reputation (the famous house sound thing) / design topology (for those that can understand it) all appear to strongly influence perceived sound quality to the point that, in the listener's mind, differences between 2 amps are very very real / obvious.
I am not saying peter and birgir are imagining things that aren't there. Actually the output capacitance issue mentioned by birgir sounds like a clear objective sign that LL is no way a transparent amplifier.
But, I can certainly imagine opinions differ (just like between mid-/high-range sources) because we're talking about differences that are in the range of subtle and that, unless you're searching hard for them / expecting them, you simply may not notice.
Personally, I am not giving up on upgrading my rig at some point, but certainly I don't have huge expectations after all I read after these many years. Mind you, I personally am much more influenced by and technically familiar with mechanical and acoustic aspects of the the transduction than the electronics side.Edited by arnaud - 9/19/13 at 5:20pm