Lampizator Amber III Impressions
Oct 1, 2019 at 12:23 PM Post #16 of 112

Gopher

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Oct 10, 2019 at 6:47 PM Post #18 of 112

Zachik

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Subscribed. GOTL is coming soon so now it's time to start thinking about upgrading the Amethyst. Nice review so far. Looking forward to others.
The touring Amber 3 is currently in my possession, and I am auditioning it with my GOTL. My current DAC is the Amethyst...
@Velozity - how many times does someone audition stuff with the exact same equipment YOU have?! :wink:
Been only 2 days, so I am still listening and taking notes... Spoiler for @Velozity: don't "start thinking about upgrading". Instead: start saving money! :smiling_imp:
 
Oct 23, 2019 at 5:27 PM Post #20 of 112

Velozity

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The touring Amber 3 is currently in my possession, and I am auditioning it with my GOTL. My current DAC is the Amethyst...
@Velozity - how many times does someone audition stuff with the exact same equipment YOU have?! :wink:
Been only 2 days, so I am still listening and taking notes... Spoiler for @Velozity: don't "start thinking about upgrading". Instead: start saving money! :smiling_imp:


Zachik, how's it going? Are you still wrapped up in all that Amber goodness?! :grin: I can't wait to hear your impressions since you have the same DAC as I do. Your input will be invaluable to my purchase decision...but no pressure though! :wink:

@Gopher, is the Amber available in the candy apple red chassis as shown on the Lampizator NA website? That is a sexy mofo!
 
Oct 30, 2019 at 5:47 PM Post #21 of 112

Zachik

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Zachik, how's it going? Are you still wrapped up in all that Amber goodness?! :grin: I can't wait to hear your impressions since you have the same DAC as I do. Your input will be invaluable to my purchase decision...but no pressure though! :wink:

@Gopher, is the Amber available in the candy apple red chassis as shown on the Lampizator NA website? That is a sexy mofo!
The plan is to (finally) sit and write up my impressions this coming weekend!
 
Oct 31, 2019 at 11:57 PM Post #22 of 112

BunnyNamedCraig

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So update-

been since end of Sept that I had the unit and I’m getting tired of thinking about it...
I’m talking like, in the shower thinking about it randomly. Been a blessing and a curse hearing it lol
@Gopher you coming to CanJam NY? Might be the next chance to hear this thing.
 
Nov 3, 2019 at 12:21 AM Post #23 of 112

Zachik

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My impressions, being part of the Amber 3 tour...

About DACs and me:
My current DAC is the Metrum Amethyst, which is a decent DAC in the $1000 price range. In fact, before buying it - I compared its big brother (Metrum Pavane) to the Schiit Gumby, and was struggling to hear ANY differences. So, while the Lampizator Amber 3 was on its way to me - I was actually stressed over the fear I won’t be able to hear any difference between my Amethyst and the Amber…

My setup for comparing the DACs:
For the comparisons, I have connected my music server (Intel NUC PC running Windows 10) to Gustard U12 (USB to Coax / TOSLINK converter). I fed my Amethyst from Coax, and the Amber from TOSLINK. Later - I swapped to make sure that difference does not affect my impressions.
Both DACs were feeding my Glenn OTL (using random 6SN7 as driver, and a pair of Russian equivalent 6AS7 as output tubes). Using input select on amp - I was changing between the 2 DACs...
Headphones used: Sennheiser HD800 with stock 1/4" cable were used due to their very resolving and revealing nature.

OK, on to my impressions:
Remember I was stressed over whether or not I would be able to tell ANY difference between the 2 DACs? LMAO!!! The difference took me totally off guard. That is NOT subtle at all…
So, what are the differences? Switching from the Amethyst to the Amber, it sounds like moving from listening to music in a small room, to listening in an opera house! The music sounds much more grandiose, more detailed and with more meat (if you’re vegetarian, with more tofu…). The instruments are better separated, and each instrument sounds more detailed.

So, is the Amber the perfect DAC? No, it does have a couple cons…
First, and I have no idea whether or not it is related to being tube-rectified or not, it has a much higher noise floor. Now, this one needs some explanation and context. How do I test for noise floor? I pause the music and listen carefully for any hiss / static noise. I then turn volume knob to max, and listen again. With the Amber, at max volume, I can very clearly hear static / hiss. The Amethyst is dead quiet!! Now, back to the context: at listening volume that is a little too loud - noise floor is not audible. I have to crank volume to painful levels to hear it. My personal conclusion on this issue: it is real, but not really audible, so not a showstopper for me!

Second con vs. Amethyst is the price, which is roughly 2.5x. Considering it performs much better, IMHO, then it is a matter of whether or not it is worth the price difference. As usual, this is a very subjective question!

I would like to thank Fred @Gopher for the tour. My wallet will not thank Fred, though… :wink:

@L0rdGwyn - the Amber should reach you in couple days. Looking forward to hear your impressions!
 
Nov 5, 2019 at 12:57 AM Post #24 of 112

Gopher

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Thank you, Zachi for taking the time to share your impressions with us. To everyone I owe a response, I will catch up with correspondence very soon--I was away at Capital Audiofest 2019 overseeing 6 different exhibits in DC.

Speaking of--here is a very interesting write up from Herb Reichert of Stereophile putting our modest ($10,000USD) system featuring Spatial, Linear Tube Audio and Anticables among his very favorite exhibits of all of Capital Audiofest 2019!

https://www.stereophile.com/content...mplifier-lampizator-amber#gE4LH6FEuZTHAhDL.99
 
Nov 12, 2019 at 1:15 PM Post #25 of 112

L0rdGwyn

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Hey everyone - here to share my impressions of the Lampizator Amber III.

Chain: FLAC via Synology DS918+ > Foobar2000 > Lampizator Amber III > Glenn OTL > ZMF Auteur Cocobolo

Tubes used in the GOTL were primarily GEC L63 drivers, GEC 6AS7G or Toshiba 6BX7GT powers.

DSCF5501.jpg

DACs compared: Schiit Modi Multibit, Schiit Gungnir, Topping D50

Some background: I was most interested in demoing the Amber III as I had not yet heard a tube-buffered DAC. In the past, I had compared several solid-state output delta-sigma DACs and a handful of solid-state output R2R DACs. I take these types of A-B comparisons quite seriously, doing my best to be aware of and minimize expectation bias (that is, if you expect something to sound better, it will sound better) and confirming my initial impressions on multiple listening sessions. I admittedly have not heard appreciable difference between these solid-state DACs, so the role of the DAC in my audio chain has become something of an afterthought, with a "good enough" DAC doing the job and more time and resources devoted to improving other downstream components. I am happy to say my opinion of how DACs will affect my listening experience has now changed.

IMAG1324-2.jpg

Sound impressions: Immediately on first listen of the Amber III, I noticed something was different. That was enough to get me excited, as an undeniably different sound was not something I was used to hearing when swapping DACs. It took a few days of listening to characterize this different in my mind, with the juxtaposition of the Amber III with the above DACs helping to highlight its strengths.

What I found the Amber III was adding to my listening experience was a warmer, smoother, more organic presentation of the music. In addition, the Amber III was offering a larger sense of space, air, and deeper nuance to the sound. Before hearing the Amber III, I had felt some sense of unrest with how I was hearing my music, feeling it had a somewhat artificial and thin quality. After swapping back to the trio of solid-state DACs, I now wholeheartedly believe they are major contributors to the issue. The sound again became thin, hollow, brighter, and more harsh. I was absolutely shocked at the difference I was hearing; this was no subtlety, an absolutely undeniable change and improvement with the Amber III. Whether this change is directly related to the tube versus op-amp output stage, tube rectification, or other topological differences, I cannot say, but is there and easy to pick out.

I used the word before, but I think it is a good one to describe the Amber III's sound: organic. It sounds more like real music, and the emotional impact experienced is more vivid and palpable.

So without waxing poetic and pontificating on end with flowery language, I will say that the Amber III, to my ears (and in contrast to the other DACs I had on hand) offers a more warm, organic, spacious, full-bodied, and emotionally involving listening experience. Just prior to getting the Amber III, I had made some component and circuit modifications to my Glenn OTL. The combination of those changes with the organic quality of the Amber III made for such a pleasing listening experience, I am quite disappointed to go back! Hearing this DAC has opened my eyes (or ears?) to the role DACs will play in my audio chain, and I am grateful to have heard it.

Thanks again to @Gopher for the opportunity to hear this great piece of gear, I believe it will have a lasting impact on the sound I want to achieve going forward.
 
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Nov 25, 2019 at 5:41 PM Post #26 of 112

Monsterzero

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Also a burning question I've had about the Amber 3. Which DAC chip does it use, and are there multiples in parallel? And how would one characterize the sound vs. An R2R DAC? Because that has been my ideal preference for an analogue lifelike sound - but it still needs to do rhythm / PRaT well. A little off-topic so feel free to quote me on the appropriate thread for it.
Here's where this question could best be answered by those who have heard it.
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 7:50 PM Post #27 of 112

BunnyNamedCraig

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Here's where this question could best be answered by those who have heard it.
I got you fam

@DecentLevi-

I have owned the DAC 19 for some time, then from there went to the Young DAC (which is delta sigma and I much preferred it). Some time later I got to hear other R2R’s (Yggy, Kitune Spring, EAD ect ect)

SO-

i DONT like the kind of R2Rs that have the analogue sound that is distant (feels like 50 rows back in soundstage.... ok some exaggeration), soft edges, and “chill” sounding musical.

i DO like the R2R’s that can retain that edge to the music, are engaging and pull you in (yggy, Spring ) and still stay musical...

the Amber III is 100% the latter of what I do like in a DAC. It’s engaging to the point that I was glued to it. It’s fast sounding, edgy, “musical” and for me that means PRAT plus more... the bass was tight and realistic. It’s like everything was etched out and not bloated. I was able to make out words to TOOL music way easier (not easy since Maynard isn’t the most clear to begin with, coupled with an almost muddy sound around him). Just everything was fun and enjoyable with it.

so, this is not a chill listen IMO. I wouldn’t sip wine and listen to this DAC. It makes me want to drink beer and rage. Who knows I might punch a whole in my wall while listening?

the thing is- I haven’t stopped thinking about it after demoing it. I tried going back to my Young DAC and music isn’t the same. I miss the detail. I miss how freakin clear it all sounds. I got a bonus coming late Dec and I am between buying this DAC or buying a much needed new bed...

Hope this helps at all. If not, then I at least got to vent.
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 8:28 PM Post #30 of 112

Monsterzero

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Speak for your self please







:ksc75smile:
Man,if I dont sleep good im a mess.
Sleep or a private lap dance from an in-prime Jayne Mansfield would be a tough choice for me to make.
 

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