Lampizator Amber III Impressions
Nov 25, 2019 at 9:39 PM Post #31 of 112

DecentLevi

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@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.

Cool to get your reply. I think I've seen you around here somewhere before(?)

So you like DACs that are engaging and pull you in. Me also I love the effect of being pulled deep into the scene akin to the Holo Audio 3 I tried a few times, but moreso with the Hugo 2. Have you tried that or even its' big brother Hugo TT2, and if so any words on a vague comparison between those and the Amber 3?

You do say it retains that edge to the music, sounding fast and tight. So detailed but does that also mean harsh or fatiguing? While I also like an edge and deep into the scene sound, I also like a more laid back sound at times. I like rock, techno, world music, etc. but also some retro pop and smooth jazz for instance so I wonder if it really is a jack of all trades DAC? If I use it with a tube amp, will tube rolling be able to substantially change the signature for the occasion that I do prefer more of a laid back, moderately distant sound?

Also anybody know the type of / how many DAC chips this uses?
 
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Nov 25, 2019 at 9:53 PM Post #32 of 112

Monsterzero

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Also anybody know the type of / how many DAC chips this uses?
I believe all current Lampi DACs use a proprietary Engine 53(?)
Dont quote me on that fact,nor number,but thats my understanding.
Perhaps @Gopher can clarify...either that or he is too busy enjoying the USB cable he picked up tonight :frowning2:
 
Nov 25, 2019 at 9:53 PM Post #33 of 112

DecentLevi

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Wow, only 2 pages so far on the thread for this up & coming DAC?

Oh also as I understood from comments on the Amber 3 from another thread, it does not necessarily have an overtly warm, euphonic / tubey sound, although it does use a tube buffer on the output stage. Is that the general consensus or does anyone disagree? Because I would also use pairing this with a tube amp and I often like a fairly SS-like sound, hopefully not double-tubiness LOL.

Also @Gopher feel free to chime into this and my post above too.
 
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Nov 25, 2019 at 10:39 PM Post #34 of 112

leftside

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I go a bonus coming late Dec and I am between buying this DAC or buying a much needed new bed...
Get the DAC.

it does not necessarily have an overtly warm, euphonic / tubey sound, although it does use a tube buffer on the output stage. Is that the general consensus or does anyone disagree? Because I would also use pairing this with a tube amp and I often like a fairly SS-like sound, hopefully not double-tubiness LOL.
I pair my Lampizator GA with a tube pre-amp, tube headphone amps and tube main amps. I wouldn't have it any other way.
 
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Nov 25, 2019 at 11:17 PM Post #35 of 112

Gopher

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We do not make a statement as to what comprises our engines and have advoided this on all of our dacs. The engines aren't off the shelf, but more importantly we want people to listen with open minds instead of deciding they do or don't like it equipment before they even hear it.

As a couple of points of information, it isn't buffered, but a full tube output stage.

The engine employed in the Amber 3 is actually delta sigma solution.

Finally, I would agree with the general assessment that the Amber 3 is not voiced to be warm and syrupy like a one might associate with tubes, but neutral, dynamic, liquid and fast.

I would say though, that I find it scales with the music it plays... No desires to punch things here.:beyersmile:

I believe all current Lampi DACs use a proprietary Engine 53(?)
Dont quote me on that fact,nor number,but thats my understanding.
Perhaps @Gopher can clarify...either that or he is too busy enjoying the USB cable he picked up tonight :frowning2:
 
Nov 26, 2019 at 12:07 AM Post #36 of 112

BunnyNamedCraig

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Cool to get your reply. I think I've seen you around here somewhere before(?)

So you like DACs that are engaging and pull you in. Me also I love the effect of being pulled deep into the scene akin to the Holo Audio 3 I tried a few times, but moreso with the Hugo 2. Have you tried that or even its' big brother Hugo TT2, and if so any words on a vague comparison between those and the Amber 3?

You do say it retains that edge to the music, sounding fast and tight. So detailed but does that also mean harsh or fatiguing? While I also like an edge and deep into the scene sound, I also like a more laid back sound at times. I like rock, techno, world music, etc. but also some retro pop and smooth jazz for instance so I wonder if it really is a jack of all trades DAC? If I use it with a tube amp, will tube rolling be able to substantially change the signature for the occasion that I do prefer more of a laid back, moderately distant sound?

Also anybody know the type of / how many DAC chips this uses?
Really funny you mention-before I heard the Amber III I had been scouring the for sale pages for a Hugo 2 lol.

that DAC was my front runner for the longest. It would obviously be best to do a side by side comparison, But by memory the Amber III has more slam and throws more weight then the Hugo 2. Both share the clean articulation that I LOVE.

the Hugo 2 (on neutral settings) is probably more neutral sounding, where the Lamp seems to have a bass boost (or is just more slam?)

Like you thought, this is not a tubey sounding DAC. I think it will surprise a lot of people expecting the bass to be a little bloated and having that syrup on the notes you can sometimes get, but quite the opposite!

to answer your other question I don’t know if tube rolling could achieve the chill that you will sometimes want. I’ll leave that question to someone who spent the time to roll chill tubes. (I put my most aggressive set into my Glenn!)

I thought the treble was more then present and has that incredible sparkle. It was one area that I wanted to hear more opinions on. I thought it was perfect (without piercing) but I’m curious of others take if it was the same for them, or a tad much.

and speaking on that- the Glenn OTL with the Amber III was what I used in my review. I thought the synergy with it was dynamite. Quite literally too lol.

edit- this just hit me and I forgot to say- the Amber III Spanks the Hugo 2 for musicality in my opinion. PRAT ect. It just flows... it sounds almost wet if that makes any sense lol

also to note- the synergy with the HD800/Amber III and Glenn was exceptional.

I don’t even use that headphone to listen to music anymore (with the ZMF’s I don’t see the point for my tastes) but I use it for gaming. when I review though I obviously pull it out for that. I was actually taken back by how much I enjoyed the combo! The detail was amazing yet it took away the sterile sound that the HD800 can sometimes adopt. It was really special to me.
 
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Nov 26, 2019 at 12:34 AM Post #37 of 112

Velozity

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I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one torn between buying this DAC and a much needed household item.
Refrigerator or DAC...fresh food or aural nirvana...how can a man choose?! :thinking:
 
Nov 26, 2019 at 3:04 AM Post #38 of 112

Zachik

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synergy with the HD800/Amber III and Glenn was exceptional
Funny, that's exactly the setup I've used to audition the Amber!
Totally agree it sounded soooooo good together, and the HD800 is not even my favorite, but it's great for audition amps / dacs.
 
Nov 26, 2019 at 3:38 AM Post #39 of 112

DecentLevi

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We do not make a statement as to what comprises our engines and have advoided this on all of our dacs. The engines aren't off the shelf, but more importantly we want people to listen with open minds instead of deciding they do or don't like it equipment before they even hear it.

As a couple of points of information, it isn't buffered, but a full tube output stage.

The engine employed in the Amber 3 is actually delta sigma solution.

Finally, I would agree with the general assessment that the Amber 3 is not voiced to be warm and syrupy like a one might associate with tubes, but neutral, dynamic, liquid and fast.

I would say though, that I find it scales with the music it plays... No desires to punch things here.:beyersmile:
Quite interesting to see a D/S DAC gaining this much praise, especially to have been compared favorably to other flagships such as Hugo 2 that can be considered as even better than R2R. From what I'm reading there no doubt must be something special goin' on with the 'engine' of this DAC. Is it more implementation, more because of proprietary DAC chip, or a level combination of both? That's something to ponder, unless our insider friend cares to share just a little more insight? The descriptors I'm getting here such as handling or PRaT, detail, etc. have definitely got me interested though.

I wonder if anyone here has an opinion on a comparison of this to a newer model Benchmark DAC? They both seem somewhat comparable in a few ways.

I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one torn between buying this DAC and a much needed household item.
Refrigerator or DAC...fresh food or aural nirvana...how can a man choose?! :thinking:
Just get the Amber, and for a bed you can look for a cheap or giveaway on Craigslist. Just make sure to buy a vinyl mattress enclosure to keep out dust mites.
 
Nov 26, 2019 at 10:29 AM Post #40 of 112

Gopher

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Speaking as a someone with pretty significant sleep apnea, I can attest to getting far more pleasure form LampizatOrs than any mattresses. :ksc75smile:

DecentLevi,

The answer is a bit of both--implementation and our proprietary spin, is what makes our units special--much of our magic happens in the analog stage as well.

What you mention above is a good example of our reasoning to take the focus off the engine and place it on the product. Many people have assumptions and biases towards topology such as R2R being king which we don't find helpful to the end user.

The Amber is an amazing piece, but our own flagship tops out at about 11-13x the price and it too is based on a similar Sigma/Delta engine which made people skeptical, but we are comfortable to put it up against any DAC at any price in the world.

When we did our first high end Audio show it was CES in Las Vegas 2013 and our slogan for the room was "Just Listen". We've moved away from that wording but it's still in line with our philosophy. :-D
 
Nov 26, 2019 at 11:01 AM Post #41 of 112

Zachik

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What you mention above is a good example of our reasoning to take the focus off the engine and place it on the product. Many people have assumptions and biases towards topology such as R2R being king which we don't find helpful to the end user.
Totally agree with Fred!
I was skeptical, but all it took was couple songs to turn me into a believer :L3000:
 
Nov 26, 2019 at 8:39 PM Post #42 of 112

DecentLevi

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I havent heard the Amber 3 personally,even though I helped get the tour going,but my TRP vs. an R2R is no contest. Again more air,space,wider staging,better PRaT,smoother,simply better everything. My previous R2R DAC was the airiest,cleanest,brightest,best R2R DAC I've heard,but in comparison to the TRP it sounds muffled and congested. Gopher maintains the Amber can hold its own vs. the TRP,so take that for what its worth.

Awesome. Which R2R DAC were you comparing the Lampi TRP with?
Also is it a general consensus that the Ember 3 performs comparably to the TRP?

And feel free to post sometimes about your USB & RCA cable journey. I think others here wouldn't mind.
 
Nov 26, 2019 at 9:49 PM Post #43 of 112

Monsterzero

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Awesome. Which R2R DAC were you comparing the Lampi TRP with?
Vinshine(Denafrips) R2R Reference

Also is it a general consensus that the Ember 3 performs comparably to the TRP?

AFAIK only approx 5 Head- Fiers have heard the Ember,and im the only one who has heard the TRP.
Fred has yet to steer me wrong,and that is his contention.

EDIT: Leftside has the precursors to the TRP and Ember 3 both in his collection,but both of his are older and R2R.

And feel free to post sometimes about your USB & RCA cable journey. I think others here wouldn't mind.
I have four high end RCAs here,and no good USBs,unfortunately. I will share my thoughts in the Glenn thread.
 
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Nov 28, 2019 at 9:07 AM Post #44 of 112

warp2600

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The Amber is an amazing piece, but our own flagship tops out at about 11-13x the price and it too is based on a similar Sigma/Delta engine which made people skeptical, but we are comfortable to put it up against any DAC at any price in the world.

When we did our first high end Audio show it was CES in Las Vegas 2013 and our slogan for the room was "Just Listen". We've moved away from that wording but it's still in line with our philosophy. :-D

So if I want a DSD-only Lampi DAC, all of them use a Sigma/Delta engine? What happened to the chipless engine? Outperformed by the S/D solution?
 
Dec 4, 2019 at 4:46 PM Post #45 of 112

Gopher

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So if I want a DSD-only Lampi DAC, all of them use a Sigma/Delta engine? What happened to the chipless engine? Outperformed by the S/D solution?

We have discontinued what was referred to as the 'chipless' DSD engine in Generation 6, having arrived upon what we believe is a better sounding solution.

If someone were very particular in wanting an older engine in a current dac, we could probably accommodate the request--one of the beauties of being a custom shop. :)
 

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