LFD Mistral Amplifiers

Mistral

User Reviews (13)

Showing 1-10 of 13  
Roland K C Tan   AudioPhile [Jan 14, 2008]
Strength:

What I have described previously in my earlier review about the sound of my LFD MI100 (SE) amp now takes the sound quality of my system much further to a brand new height! Clarity, details, realism, bass, vocal, etc, etc, etc, are now many notches above my previous set up. If you enjoy listening to vocal & acoustical instruments, the combo is simply amazing - the sound is so natural and realistic. I guess the design philopsophy behind Harbeth and LFD just sync so well. I just can't help spending so much time now with my hifi in my leisure hours. Both components are also handcrafted with the usual British high quality standard so it's really worth every dollars considering the fact that many high-end hifi gears these days could have easily cost many times more but are mass produced!

Weakness:

As in my earlier review. Just to add further that a few friends who have seen my LFD MI100 (SE) amp have nice things to say about the simple design.

This is a follow up to my earlier review that I have posted in Dec 2007. I have upgraded my loudspeakers from the Monitor Audio Bronze 2 to a pair of Harbeth Super HL5 about 3 weeks ago. My CD player have remained the same with the Meridian Audio 206B. Guess the next thing I would love to do is to be able to upgrade my CD player in the not-too-distant future (I hope).

Similar Products Used: Marantz PM57, Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Year 2000 model), Marantz CD4000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Roland K C Tan   AudioPhile [Dec 10, 2007]
Strength:

First of all, I’m very pleased with the imaging, vocal now appears in the centre between the two loudspeakers. The high is clear, not harsh like my previous setup. The mid-range (especially female vocal) is very pleasantly smooth and very easy on my ears. Another interesting thing is that certain pop CDs which I had felt that it sounded terrible with my previous system now sounds pleasantly good (eg. WestLife & Sarah Brightman). Yes, and there is now bass from my hi-fi at last although with just a pair of entry level bookshelf speakers. It’s amazing to be able to distinguish each individual beat/tone at the low frequencies (bass guitar and kick drum), not just “a lump of bass”. In fact on the whole, it’s amazing to be able to hear and distinguish the details of each instrument clearly. I have also discovered certain instrument sound not heard previously with my previous system could now be heard. Soundstage is also excellent, I no longer feel that the sound comes from a pair of loudspeaker boxes. Depth is good with the vocal appearing closer to you than the other instruments such as the drum. After more than 6 months now, I am still very amazed and impressed with the sound quality of my new LFD MI100.

Weakness:

No remote control. No treble & bass control. No balance control. Not a problem for me at all since sound quality is of the highest priority. Design may be a little simple but anyway, it is very presentable in its own sense and that sound is still more important than looks.

Not satisfied with my budget hi-fi setup that I have been listening to for over 7 years, I decided to upgrade my Marant PM-57 and bought myself the new LFD MI100 (SE) integrated stereo amplifier at around US$4,800. The MI100 (SE) is a dual mono amplifier in one chasis and rated at 90W per channel. Along the way, I have also upgraded my Marantz CD-4000 to a used Meridian Audio 206B CD player. I am still having my Monitor Audio Bronze 2 loudspeakers which I have been having since year 2000 but intend to upgrade to a higher-end loudspeakers.

Similar Products Used: Marantz PM-57
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bbcradio   AudioPhile [Apr 23, 2004]
Strength:

Beautiful tonal accuracy , sweetness smoothness ,unbeleivable voice and instrument reproduction, and passion.

Weakness:

No remote if you require one.

I have been a loyal Krell fan for years.My second system is Mark Levenson.However , 18 months ago while on a social visit to my solicitor friends home I came across a British integrated which completely changed everything in my listening requirements.I was completely bowled over by this amp. You may not have heard of it as they rarely if ever advertise. The name is LFD Mistral LE. It is a hand made masterpiece putting out 75 w.p.c of the purest, most musical,most enthralling music I have heard in 18 years of audiophile listening.It absolutely destroys the Krell and Levenson amps as good as they are. Anyone contemplating an upgrade or who wants to be really serious about their music should advertise their present integrated or separates and RUN to their nearest LFD dealer or pick up a used one on the net.Try Audiogon. I know about which I speak - My company designs accoustic requirements for all the major theatres throughout this country , and being a musician I know the real thing when I hear it.

Similar Products Used: EAR, Krell , Mark Levenson, Naim,Audionote.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Peter Dapple   Audio Enthusiast [May 20, 2003]
Strength:

Upper end.

Weakness:

No bass. Lack of dynamics. No remote.

I had this amp (SE Version) for a couple weeks and ended up sending it back, it simply did not have the drive of my Naim Nait 3R. The Mistral was pretty awesome with regard to upper end, soundstaging and how delicate it could be, but it lacked a certain something. The bass was dramatically less than the Nait 3R and it did not ever get me tapping my toes. Not much PRaT. If you don't need much power this would be a decent amp, but all in all, I found it without 'cohones'.

Similar Products Used: Naim Nait 3R.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Jim Severs   AudioPhile [Jan 07, 2003]
Strength:

Communicates the music exceptionally well. Tonal accuracy. Midrange. Transparency, air.

Weakness:

Hard to find faults. For what it is and considering the price there really are none.

This review is for the standard Mistral integrated amplifier. If there were ever a piece of gear that was a sleeper it's this amp. It's popular but not as well known as others but if it were it would surely be one of the most sought after integrated amplifiers out there. I've owned or heard a good share of integrated amps in and around the $1-2,000 level and I can easily say this is the very best amplifier I have ever heard. It's based on sheer simplicity from it's understated and classy British style to it's very simplistic circuit design. This is definitely a music lovers amplifier. The sound is quite musical, very neutral and uncolored but with a slight sweetness and a slight warmth making this amplifier sound so natural and realistic. It's definitely true to the music sounding both open and detailed with excellent transparency which gives you a high sense of presence and hearing a live event. It's two biggest strengths, which is hard to call out as the entire spectrum is superb, is it's midrange and tonal accuracy. In both instances this amp excels at sounding quite accurate in it's portrayal of voices and instrument tonality. I've not heard an amp anywhere near it's price that sounds this true and right in these regards. The upper registers are beautifully extended and airy, natural and smooth. The bass is excellent as well- both deep and colorful. Soundstaging is quite dimensional and large with excellent ability to communicate the venue and carry fine ambient cues and microdynamic tones. Imaging is also excellent. The Mistral is powerful and dynamic and should be able to drive a wide variety of speakers in a variety of room sizs. All in all it's somewhat of a challenge to describe this amplifier. It offers little character of it's own, very little colorations that help define it's sonic character. It's slight sweetness is a character that can be described but that is definitely what helps make this amp so realistic and natural sounding. It does not sound "hifi" nor does it sound engineered to sound overly smooth or warm. This amp just is. It gives you the music. In my opinion the LFD Mistral can compete with about anything when it comes to communicating the music.

Similar Products Used: Audio Refinement Complete, Creek 4330, Rega Mira, Rogue Tempest, Jolida 1701 hybrid, Ayre AX-7
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Denvelle   AudioPhile [May 30, 2002]
Strength:

Musicality - soundstage, detail, pure sweet highs, and non-fatiguing at any sane volume level. Pretty to look at as well. Best overall power or integrated amp on the market anywhere near its price.

Weakness:

No remote available (would probably denigrate the sound anyway), not the SOTA in bass control at high levels, but in no way is it poor in this area.

**NOTE: This review is actually for the LE version, priced at 1495.00 retail** If you can survive without a remote control, this integrated amp is without question the best on the market in or anywhere near its price. The inner detail is phenomenal, and the soundstage is peerless. I replaced a Magnum Dynalab MD-208 receiver with this piece. The MD-208 is excellent as well, but the Mistral LE takes listening to a more emotional level, capturing every nuance of the human voice and rendering high frequencies and the perceived air surrounding performers with great beauty and strength. Only rated at 75 wpc, it drives my JM Reynaud Evolution 3 floorstanders with tons of headroom to spare. The ONLY slight derogatory comment I can make is that the bass control is not quite as controlled as my previously-owned Bel Canto Evo 200.2 (which is close to SOTA in that area). However, the Mistral destroys the Evo 200.2 in the rest of the sound spectrum, making the Evo sound dry and raspy in comparison. I've cycled through a lot of amps in the past year or two, and this one will NOT find its way to eBay or Audiogon anytime soon. It's a keeper.

Similar Products Used: Integrated amps/receivers: Magnum Dynalab MD-208, Electrocompaniet ECI-3, Audio Analogue Puccini SE, Sim Audio Moon I-5, Creek 4330R; power amps: Muse 160, Bel Canto Evo 200.2, Rogue 88
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian Williams   Audiophile [Mar 18, 2000]
Strength:

Soundstage,Imaging,bass and shimmering highs,

Weakness:

Revealing to some poor recordings.

In looking for a near perfect amplifier I was looking for something that may sacrafice power for toanl purity and musicality. I started listening to several amps in the $1000 range. I had heard the Belles 150A on a demo and was impressed with all of its qualities for the money, now I wanted something that cost a little less and included a preamp. After lenghty auditions I found the LFD Mistral to be a clear favorite. It has all the transparency of the Complete, the bass is close to the Belles 150A! And the sweetness was above that of the Puccini SE. Not too many people know of LFD but the company painstakingly hand builds their amps and perfects the sonic signature by careful trial and error. The LFD Mistral at $1000 is the single most involving amp I have heard with the exception f the Belles 150A with an Audible Illusions 3a Pre. Don't let the 50w power rating fool you, it is capable of very high current and could care less the impedance it is driving. This amp out drove the other integrateds I tested for shear dynamics and volume.
Speakers used:

NHT 2.5i
Sonus Faber Concertino and Concerto
Vienna Acoustics Mozart
Paradigm Studio Reference Series
Monitor Audio Silver 5i
PSB Silver i

Similar Products Used: Belles 150A, Audio Analog Puccini, Audio Refinement Complete
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael Trottier   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 27, 2001]
Strength:

Power, transparency, Able to drive any speaker even at low level, Imaging... Everything

Weakness:

None

When I first used the Mistral amp, I immediately noticed an improvement over my Roksan integrated amp. The sound is warm and precise and the imaging is relly impressive!

The advertised 40Wpc is really conservative and you don't even need to crank up the volume to get a rich sound. I didn't expected a 40Wpc amp could drive hard loads with such ease!

Conclusion:
I you are looking for a good amp in the 3000$ range, give this one a listening, you won't believe your ears and you'll have a lot of spare money for something else!

Similar Products Used: Krell, Marantz, Roksan, Arcam
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mick Simon   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 20, 2001]
Strength:

Extreme clarity throughout, but especially the in upper range, value, speed.

Weakness:

none

I have the SE version (upgraded components) purchased last summer. I'm using it with a Rotel RCD-951 and B&W Nautilus 805s on matching stands with a REL STRATA III subwoofer. It took quite a bit of convincing on the salesman's part to get me to buy an amp with absolutely no frills; no remote, no tone control, balance... The sound quality is so good that I never think about it. This amp is an absolute gem.

I listen to a little of everything - rock, classical, jazz, blues, but tend to lean toward acoustic and classical most of the time. It amazes.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Herman   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 24, 2001]
Strength:

air, clarity, separation, soundstaging

Weakness:

questionable casing considering its great sound quality

I was looking for an amp that would drive my B&W CDM9NT and after reading the reviews here and some zines, I concluded, that I will need a high current and a warm sounding amp.

I decided to try the upgraded version of Mistral called LE and this has upgraded components and 75 watts of power. I was basically told by both vendor and distributor to get ready to be amazed.

The first thing I noticed was the imaging and airiness. It just pointed out everything in its rightful position.

The Treble and Midrange is silky, sweet and buttery. Heck I can't believe it's not butter! They should've painted this thing yellow. The Bass is tight and punchy and kick drums will be felt.

The integrated delivers at low volumes as well. Some consumers believe that the B&W CDM9NT do not deliver well in low volumes. This Integrated disproves that.

Lastly, the reason why I really love this amp is it a joy to listen to. No Listening fatigue!

Similar Products Used: krell, yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 13  

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