Since the current owners of Lampizator DAC are being kind of shy. I think this unique dac needs its own thread. I'm planning on acquiring one in the near future so I thought this thread could have useful information for those considering it as I am. Unlike most DACs, some amount of tuning is possible since its uses various tubes for power and rectifying so hopefully owners can share their experience. I'm going to keep my comments away from a review as I don't have one yet to fully test.
www.lampizator.eu (ugly site, but lots of info but a bit hard to navigate hence my links)
Lampizator is the product of Lukasz Fikus and Lampizator (the company) is based in Poland. He built his reputation first doing tear downs on high end audio equipment and calling BS on companies who were essentially taking low end products and repackaging them with a high end case and a few "enhancements." Unlike most critics, he would then suggest mods to enhance the sound so DIYers could get the better than the high end equivalents.
Here are some examples with some of the biggest names in audio:
From there, they started doing mods similar to modshop, before venturing on their own with the release of the Lampizator DAC. Lampizator DAC is pretty unique. It's unclear which DAC chip he is using to build his DACs around, but it is most likely to be a ladder based DAC given his previous comments around which DAC chips he liked but I haven't been able to discover it. He seems to try to minimize the use of digital processing and liberal with the use of tubes. He builds the rest of the DAC with carefully chosen parts similarly to how some of the high end semi-custom head amp guys do (Headamp comes to mind) and tests through variations of the same part to arrive at his decisions. While he is technically trained, he seems to approach the whole process with much more of an artist's touch. DACS are semi customizable and they are upgradable as new generations come out for reasonable amount (at least compared to others and so far).
Here is their description of their DAC:
VARIOUS LEVELS (MODELS)
Basically level 3-5 is ever increasing quality of parts but same basic design. Level 6 is a no compromise "redbook" solution. Level 7 is a 2A3 solution trying to minimize digital parts as much as possible. Please note that a "BIG 5" exists also but not explained in link below. BIG 5 is level 5 in one big box instead of 2. As for size of BIG 5, excluding the front knob, depth is a touch under 19 and 3/4 inches, width is 17 and 1/4, height just a smidgeon over 5 (from bahamaman).
One other interesting thing is the DSD solution which can be added/included in standard DAC or a self contained unit. The DSD solution either way is basically an entirely another DAC and is very simple/elegant in its design. Most other DSD solutions involve some type of conversion around the PCM side of the DAC which probably would involve some kind of compromise. As Lampizator's DSD function is basically a separate DAC, you basically need to manually switch (via remote) when you want to play DSD or PCM even though they can both feed the same USB port.
Here are some links to some reviews/discussions on Lampizator DAC
Hope that helps and that Lampizator owners add their own reviews as I tried to stay away from commenting on the sound.
Edited by Crashem - 7/5/14 at 3:26am