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Lamm Industries, Inc. L1
2 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
MSRP  6990.00
Description: hybrid class A zero-feedback design with one vacuum tube high voltage regulator; one solid-state low voltage analog non-switching regulator; output muting circuitry; 5 inputs; 2 tape loops


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by David a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I thought of writing a lengthy review of this linestage, but honestly, there's no point. If you are a music lover instead of a gear lover, you need to hear the Lamm. If it had a phono stage with it to make it a true preamp, it would be the perfect product. I do wish it looked nicer compared to, say, the gorgeous Rowland or the hip-looking Thor, but such things are superficial; and after-all, the Atma-Sphere and ARCs are equally plain in appearance. With the exception of the Cary SLP-98, a real music-maker (though ultimately colored) and a nice value if found used, the Lamm is the only one of the linestages I listened to that I would unhesitatingly recommend to a friend, no audition required.

Now if only the amplifiers were more reasonably priced...

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Brian Edwards a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 14, 1999

Bottom Line:   
It has been a very long time indeed since I posted here. I guess I finally have a system that takes me so far away everytime I hear it that I lost interest in audiophilia. Of course it was after years of searching and spending lots of money of various components that this happened. There was no shortcut, at least for me, but I wanted to thank the many people in this forum for all their insights and help. Especially Joe Sanders who turned me on to LAMM, and Hyperion to AudioNote Anz cables, for these components are the true keepers in my current system (though the other components are all fine).
My review of the LAMM m1.1 monoblocks is in the amplifier section, so anyone curious can go there. They are magnificent.

Later, though I was sceptical that the LAMM L1 preamp could offer any large improvement worth the money over my Pass aleph P, I tried one anyway. I have always thought that poweramps play a much larger role than pres, so when the Lamm m1.1 trounced the (still wonderful im my opinion) Pass Aleph 2's, I was not so surprised. But surely the pricey Lamm L1 pre would not offer such an improvement?

Wrong pretty much. The odd thing was that unlike the m1.1's, it is much harder to put your finger on what is so good about the L1. In a way then, it is even a superior component to the m1.1's because where the monoblocks thrill and caress you, the L1 just seems to dissapear. As I thought the Pass Aleph P did! But there are many depths to that word "dissapear" and the Lamm dissapears much more, chiefly in the department of texture. It sounds much more again like live music--compared to many components the Pass Aleph P sounds stunningly present and real, but plug the Lamm L1 in and another layer of "electronic distraction" is removed. So much that in fact you forget about the equipment. The Lamm L1 (until I hear better anyway) is the most unindulgent piece of audio equipment I know of. And though it does not *zing* you at first, it has the amazing effect of making you forget about it. It makes the whole experience of listening quite different. I do not exaggerate--please try if for yourself. Whether or not it will have this effect partnered to non-Lamm amps I do not know. And it is expensive too, but since I have had it I've had no desire to listen to new equipment anymore.

Well, there is one more catch till my satisfaction came, that was the Audio Note An cables which Hyperion kept ranting on about and wrote a long review of in the cables section. Since he lauded their aplomb with classical music, and I am primarily a classic and ancient music fan, I tried some out. The suprising thing is, is that Hyperion's gushing review is true! He gushes, but his observations are very accurate and spot on. This is the casmere of cables--music is clothed in such beauty and sweetness, yet with tremendous transparency and effacing neutrality. "Lord this sounds so right!" these cables make you shout. Best of all, when I first put them in I was working around the apartment and kept being drawn back into the listening room. These cables make you want to listen--they capture some level of ambience (Hyperion calls it harmonic decay) that sounds like real live music. The overprecise (and initially impressive) soundstaging that most fine cables offer is gone here, replaced with something only describable as organic. And when you go to the concert hall you affirm, yes that organicness is how it sounds. These cables have that quality in spades, and though the lack of giant bass offered by such cables as transparent reference, Nordost, or on a subtler scale my previous Nirvana's may seem a fault at first, you soon realize that the huge and impressive bass is coming at the cost of obscuring depth and solidity. You feel like you are listening down to the center of the earth with the audio note cables (at least with LAMM amps which are champs in the depth category). Hyperion is also right that they do sound slightly soft up top, possibly rolled off, but the overall effect is nothing less than pure enchantment.

So combined with the L1 and my previous system Lamm m1.1, Wilson Benesch Act One speakers, Denon D1 transport and Mccormakc dna DAC, and a nice Magnan ref power cable/conditioner (highly recommended) I have forgot all about audio, audio discussion forums, magazines, shows etc. I don't know if that's good or bad, but it certainly is saving me lots of money. As Hyperion said of the An cables, though it applies to my system as a whole now, "it inhibits audiophile Nervosa and exponentially increases listening sessions"

So thanks again to all who helped me on my search, and of course I recommend you try out some of the products in my system, especially the Lamm and Audionote cables. Although the other components are fine they still are on "this side of the river" Somehow the Lamm and Audionote have crossed over to the lonely other side.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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