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09-18-2005 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 1461
Reply to: 1461
Lamm Industries: a special interview with a special company

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Our foreign correspondent in Brooklyn Rich Fershtinkiner recently interviewed Vladimir Lamm, the owner and chief-assembler of the Lamm Industries Incorporated. Below is the Rich’s transcript:

- Good morning sir, you owe me $2345.00 – said Vladimir, snaking my hand and friendly smiling.
- What for? – I replied
- For the opportunity to interview me during the next 6 minutes.
- Vladimir, the interviews are always free. Also, yesterday when we were setting over the phone this meeting you were explaining me for 9 hours that 7 multiplied by 8 would be 56 and went into depth explaining me that the libertarian thinking in America prevents you from getting better sound out of you electronics. How come that you did not mention anything about money yesterday?
- Do not worry. I had somebody else to bill for that time.

I called to my editor and asked him if he was wiling to write a $2345.00 check to Vladimir. The editor agreed and I continued:

- Vladimir, I would like to ask you about your products that…
- Not so fast, Vladimir interrupted me – I would like to see your check deposited and cleared before I talk to you.
- Hm, Vladimir, since I’m already here I Brooklyn, I might propose I stop by right now at any local bank and get a certified bank draft for you. Would it be OK?
- I’m a person from West Ukrainian forest - Vladimir answered, suspiciously looking at me – we Western Ukrainians do not trust banks and particularly the Brooklyn banks. Show me my money and I will sanctify you with my interview.

I already wanted to do home and I did not wanted any interviews but I was already made the trip and decided to go alone. I went to ATM machine, withdrew some cash from my accounts and give it to Vladimir. Vladimir counted the money, looked at the bill’s watermarks, passed the money to his wife - the company office managers, and then after she counted the money twice, Vladimir turned to me and said with kindness and compassion in his voice:

- Welcome back, son

I decided to stay professional do not let the incident to destroy my interview assignment.

- Vladimir, I asked, - tell me about your company offerings.
- We are in the business of providing audio pubic with high quality short-sleeved, collarless undershirt, known as T-shirt.  However, our T-shirts are very different from others T-shirts. We make out T-shirts using the deeply secretive insights of ancient Egyptians that I had stolen a few years ago from a retired Amsterdam’s Masson but being a highly ethical person I left him to have a dozen of bagels as a reimbursement. Our T-shirt have a specific ratio between the amount of the threads within the T-shirt, the mass of the person who wear it and the exact distance from the person to the center of the Earth’s gravity at the very imperative, essential and precise moment when the person pays. As the result the individual who wears the Lamm T-shirt extends his psychedelic ability to hear music differently – mmmm…. sort of the new way of hearing, that our loyal customer call affectingly - the Lammy Ways.
- Vladimir, why T-shirt? I thought you did some kind of amplifiers?
- It is big affirmative, but the amplifiers are only a minor-league and a very trivial part of the Lamm Industries' operation. The business model of our company is to make the audiophiles depended from wearing the T-shirts.
- OK, it sounds very interesting. Could you tell us more about the compliance between the catalyzing abilities of your T-shirts and the personality of the T-shirts user?
- Yes, this aspect is a keystone of the Lamm Industries' operation. We develop very reasonable, very persuasive, very seductive and very customers-oriented model of Lamminization of people who decides, for whatever reasons, to deal with out company. We sell to them some kind of amplifiers; the unit's performance is totally irrelevant. HOWEVER, we monitor the latitude and longitude of the buyers when thier payments go through.  Then, we change the bolts that hold the plate’s amperemeter and name the amplifier as our next model, for instance the M1.33.12L.4111.2, encouraging our loyal users to go for the newest amplifier, informing them that the older amplifiers were an unfortunate and mistaken application of our “Ancient Egyptians Algorithm”.  When the accumulative sum of the total customer’s payments is equal to the 1/8 of Lamm’s annual contribution to Gorge W Bush election campaign, we calculate the average GPS location of a given customer and send him/her the T-shirts. If the T-shirt does not Lamminize the customer then we presume that we need to adjust the GPS location of this person. Since our algorithms could associate a person ONLY with his payments we begin to sell to the person something else: dead tubes, bogus shipping charges or juts some kind of the counterfeited advice. When we re-recharge the person with new payments we re-adjust the coordinates of the parson on Earth and dispatch to the person a new T-shirts.
- That is wonderful, Vladimir! Could you tell us more about you plans and about the forthcoming models of the Lamm Industries?
- Yes, sure. Recently I had a chance to actually listen my amplifiers and I learned that their sound went so much South that before my customer's payments reach the critical mass enough to receive aT-shirt, the customer sick for the Sound and get rig of our electronics. This severally violates my Egyptians Calculations and I decided to do something about it. So, we introduce a few new models that would suck out the necessary amount of money fro the customer with a single pop. The new revolutionary amplifiers would be sold at the price 3-5 times more then anything we ever sold before and …. Oops! I am sorry. I have to interrupt right here because your paid 6 minutes are up. Have a good day and enjoy THE Music
- Thank you very much, Mr. Lamm. It was very educational...


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-27-2006 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 3397
Reply to: 1461
Lamm ML3 – 3LAMA worth SET

I got a forwarded email today containing the Lamm Industry’s release notes about their new SET amplifiers.

http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/PDF/LammML3.pdf
 
The good thing in this is that Vladimir is still Vladimir and he did changed since the Rich Fershtinkiner’s interview above.  Rich Fershtinkiner did not offer this information in his interview but what he left aside well-explains why the ML3 did not hit market many years earlier. It is a big secret but 15 years ago Vladimir Lamm applied to US Borough of Standards and Measures with a request to register his own new official monetary value – One LAMA. One LAMA is an amount of 20 dollars bills that should weight at one side of a scale in order to compensate on other side of the scale the annual amount of writhen and printed Audio bullshit. According to Lamm, the exchange rate between LAMA and US dollar is One LAMA for $30.000.00US. Since in 2000, the Lamm’s beloved President “pushed” the US Borough of Standards  to approved Vladimir’s application. Since then Vladimir stopped to use US currency and use explicitly the LAMA dimensions. His L2 preamp some ½ Lama, his SS amps are 0.7LAMA. The ML2 is 1LAMA and the new “default” ML3 is near 3LAMA. Vladimir also about to announce that a Special Edition, Super Deluxe version of ML3 is be available for 3.7LAMA  and it will feature Uranium plated GM70 and personal autograph of Lamm’s the most beloved people: Dick Chaney and Augusto Pinochet.

The people who know the subject know how little satire in my satire but I would also like to be a serious for a moment and to see into what I can see.  As I know, Lamm talked about the amps for a long time and since I was the most advanced Lamm user I know off I obviously am interested to see what Lamm came up with and I hope my comments will be worth to express. Unfortunately the release note does not say a lot and are pretty much just a marketing “copy and pasts” from description of any Lamm amps taken off Lamm own site. Still the notes give some interesting idea for interests, doubts, suspicions and excitement. I will live aside the general marketing statements that Lamm made in his release notes and would mention only what I paid attention.

 Lamm wrote:
The ML3, along with the renowned Model ML2.1 amplifier, is practically the only single-ended amplifier on the market capable of reproducing the entire range of audio frequencies. The ML3’s midrange is beautifully rendered, along with a natural and extended bass, and unparalleled high frequency reproduction, up to now only available in our ML2, ML2.1, and ML3 models.

Actually, I do not know how to you but for me it is very loaded statement. ML2 was fine, but the ML2.1 was completely differently sounding, very poor performing amplifier that was made juts to exploit positive publicity of ML2. By putting ML2, ML2.1 and ML3 models in the same boat Lamm marked himself or ether as lair or as ignorant person. In both cases I do not see that it serves Vladimir credentials. Of course I do not see a manufacture, any manufacture (!) publicly state that s/he has been feeding market with intentional garbage… but this is why I do not particularly care about most of the industry manufacturers.
 

 Lamm wrote:
The ML3 is a 32 Watt, no overall feedback pure class-A single-ended amplifier.

Hm…. This is very interesting and I will return to it. Usually Lamm is very conservatively makes power of his amps and it might be even more power then 32W (it is probably into 8R)… Also, are they all 32W without switching into A2 class?
I will return to it…

 Lamm wrote:
It’s built on one of the most sophisticated power supplies ever used in audio, and its most prominent features are: 
 
· Separate plate and filament transformers
· Six filter chokes
· Six rectifier tubes
· Highest quality film capacitors used in high-voltage power supply feeding the output stage
· Refined soft-start and delay circuits

Well, probably I should pass on  it as a marketing statement as I see absolutely nothing “most sophisticated” in what described. Most of direct heated designs use separate transformers for heaters and plate. The chokes? Big deal, everyone use chokes.  BTW, Lamm in his designs never had guts to go for input chokes … and if he did then he might review his needs to use those rectifier tubes… However, how without the tube sin PPS he will be able to charge 3LAMA for his amp? Some kind of Framer-type-idiot or Valin-type-idiot would kill him if they not see glowing tubes on the ML3’s PS side…. Also, it finny that Vladimir looks like suggests that that his largest B+ caps are on the PS’s side – they should be at amplifier’s side….
 

 Lamm wrote:
While the ML3 has no overall loop feedback, the amplifier features an option allowing the user to introduce small amounts of local feedback in the output stage. You can choose between two levels of feedback: NFB1 and NFB2, which differ in their levels. This allows for three feedback options: No feedback, NFB1 or NFB2.

OK, I understand it.  Vladimir decided to precise-load the output tube to accommodate the wider range of speakers.  It is completely OK to match the output impedance of the amp via feedback. Still it is OK solution for 5K amp but not for an amplifier with a price tag of 3LAMA. I understand why Lamm might not want to compromise the output transformer with taps of run the outputs off the ends of different sections of secondary but to use feedback just for THAT? Hm… I have some kind of teeth ache.  At the level of 3LAMA the precise loading of the plate should be done via a custom impedance of secondary. Everything else is not high-end for 3LAMA but hi-fi compromise for 0.00003LAMA!  Also, and it is very important to underrated that the ML3’s entire idea is by nature is A CONCILIATION-TYPE DESIGN. I do stay behind what I say and I will explain it in more details later.
 

 Lamm wrote:
Absolutely unique custom-made output transformers, along with our unique output stage and sophisticated power supply, allow the ML3 to drive most real-world speakers yielding tremendous sonic impact and stability under the most dynamic conditions. Although the ML3 can drive most speakers, their full potential is best realized with high-efficiency speakers of 92dB and higher.

Well, as I understand it, it was the Vladimair’s primary objective – to approach the market of the 90dB sensitive speakers. Good for him and I am sure he hopes that many Wilson, Kharma and Utopia Morons will express interest in ML3. It would be ALSO nice for Lamm to make announcement that everyone before mislead and deceived the gullible low sensitivity people staffing them with ML2. Perhaps how the Morosn-reviewers who reviewed the ML2 with 90dB sensitively, the idiots dealer who sold ML2 to 88dB sensitive customers and Lamm himself who was ”comfortably numb” (or ignorant as he himself had no high sensitivity acoustic systems) has to initiate the  “buy-back” or recall program to the customers got essentially not useable with their accustoms systems ML2 amps. I wonder if you go to a auto dealer, asked a car to tow you 36-feet boat and the dealer sold you a two cylinder mini-coupe…. then will be…. “disappointed”
 

 Lamm wrote:
The design goal of the ML3 was to use best modern technology and processes in a style reminiscent of equipment from the golden age of vacuum tubes.

Blah-Blah-Blah…

OK, in the end a few comments that I would like to pass. The ML3 is too new and it is not published yet what plate voltage Lamm uses in GM70. The GM70 loves high voltage.  Many people use GM70 at 750-850V but they and up with the typical “rusty sound”. A friend of my who know this tube very well even calls the low voltage GM70 as “SS sound”. I personally did not play with GM70 and have no personal opinion but GM70 is very popular in Eastern Europe (GM70 is Russian made) and many credible designers who used it all-of-them, unanimously commented that all GM70 tubes only begin to sound more or less acceptable from 1000V and up, 1200 the best. So, what voltage Vladimir runs his GM70? The ML3 is 3 stages amp with driver stage around the 4X6N30P. Wow, 4X6N30P  - it is 8 triodes! (it is shame that Vladimir did not have the Milq driver…) However, Vladimir used his 8 triodes – paralleled them or made a divided cathode follower it is apparent that he made the driver stage be able to handle a lot of current. So, we have a design that presumes a LOT of grid current on GM70… So, most likely Lamm go for low voltage… Does switch it into A2 in such case to get 32W at peaks? I doubt that Lamm would go into A2 but why in such case that current built up around the grid? It is mystery so far and the divulging the anode voltage should answer some questions. Still, if Lamm did go for high voltage then will his high capacitance of OPT do not produce the typical “elephant sound” that is so common form the tubes that requires a lot of transformer dielectric.

http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=2182

A friend of mine, a credible transform guy, suggested that even with vacuum silicon impregnation it is imposable to make 1500V transformer that does not dry out HF. It is exactly how all GM70, 845 and 211 sound to me so far.
 
I would under no circumstance deny Lamm’s ability to make his new amp to sound OK.  Still, would it be like ML2 or would it be like L2, LL2, and ML2.1? The time will show. However, I would also kindly proposed that even if the ML3 is very nice sounding amp… then it is … kind of USELESS AMPLIFIER. Let me to explain.

If a few month or years the ML3 will hit the market with street price of $50-$60K? So, what kind popole buy $60K-$126K amps? Let keep aside the Morons who just have money to burn and who do not purchase audio based upon the actual performance. If a sensible person goes for $100K amplifier then the person is obviously have very high demands and very high capacity to fulfill those demands. Most likely the person will have serious acoustic system… Will he? Have you seen any single driven full-range acoustic system that worth attention? Do not name to me the largest Wilsons, please - I passed this level long time ago.

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?postID=1509#1509

A good set of the best single driven speaker are might be fine for it’s own class but it is very much compromised configuration regardless the brand or topology. Anyone who is in SET wold and who sensibly agree pay a lot of money for a lot of performance go for DSET ™ - Dedicated Single-Ended Triode the implies a parallel operation of the IDENTICAL gain SET channels with the OUTPUT STAGES/TRANSFORMERS OPTIMIZED FOR A GIVEN CHANNEL BANDWIDTH. The DSET configuration converts the entire ML3 objective into necessary amp. If the very same LAMM ML3 was implemented explicitly for LF operation and HF operation with the transformers and plate loading optimized for each range (I can go here into numerous more details in here) then the performance of the ML3 DSET will make ML3 SET very pale, any person who deal with SET OPT know it. Dose a person who pays $126K should be expecting and should deserving better implementation concepts then juts a compromised single SET? If yes, then what is the purpose to pay  $126K juts for amp and get severally compromised configuration – just one full-range amp. Perhaps the purpose of the ML3 is different and Lamm intend at his Pearly gates to justify himself that “I sold the amp for 3LAMA”? Anyhow, I have no problems with high prices of the ML3 and I do not take about it as product but rather as Sound tool.  However, I do have problems with for the ML3 price in context that a prospective user does not get a lot of applied use out of ML3

What I would like to see from Lamm for $126K is a massive shunt-able power supply with 2-3 available gain-chasses-amplifiers available to be attached to that PS. Each amplifier (two stages only, please!!!) has own line-level filter, gain control and own out transformer, made for a given frequency range. Ironically but this configuration would be even cheaper, each OPT will be simpler and WAY better. I can see that the PS motherboard with price tag of $20K and the plug-in amps even for 10K each. This DSET setting, even build around the very same Lamm ML3 will make anybody to accepts the sound of full-range ML3 with smile. Ironically the solution would be even less expansive

A few months ago, I had a discussion about opportunity to use Gm70 in my Melquiades (The 6E5P-GM70 was built before and a single 6E5P drives the GM 70 juts perfectly to 35W). I looked for the inventory of the pars (at 1200V), building techniques, protection and etc and surmised that it will cost ~ $15K to build a pair of 4 chassis Gm70 Milq. The ML3 has one extra stage but less expansive PS, so, I presume that the self-prices of the Gm70ed Milq and ML2 would be roughly the same. Under this light it is perfectly reasonable that Lamm most likely releases his ML3 to dealers for under 2LAMA. Interesting that when I went to calculate the expanses for 4 chassis Gm70 Milq (2PS, 2HF amps and 2LF amps) then I ended up with near identical prices, perhaps 10% more.

So, the ML3 is out, that is good. I hope it will find users who will give to it fairness, not the foolishness that took place around the ML2.1. I said in past  that I believe that audio people did not really “got” even the ML2.

 http://www.GoodSoundClub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=3271

I hope the ML3 would see more serious users then ML2….  And I hope the ML2 deserves it….

If the ML3 turns out to be something that ML2 “might be”, only for the community of the low sensitively speakers then good for Vladimir and audio has found a good amplifier. From a different perspective ML3 is very much different amp then ML2, with direct heated tube, not to mention that ML3 is the Lamm (as a person) version 2006. As I said above I have my interests, doubts, suspicions and excitement. I have also a disappointment that for the people who really would like to push the envelope in sound the ML3 might be unusable… It is remotely possible that Vladimir will customize the ML3 for rededicated frequency operation but I doubts (because multiple reasons)

Rgs,
Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-09-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 3468
Reply to: 3397
Lamm ML3 snick preview.

The Audio Fedirection guy got a new camera? I bet he did. Anyhow, the pictures are courtesy of Audio Fedirection blog.

http://audiofederation.com/blog/archives/271

As I said above - I was as queries to have a preview of that ML3 amp as I was wondering about the plate voltage on that GM70. I do not see anything objective on the pictures, so the only circumstantial evidences might be observed.

OK, the first oil cap is 2000V rated, it OK, they all this way. There is nothing “investigative” in the power supply beside the fact that Lamm left on of the major ingredients of his amplifier not installed but to let it to sit next to the amplifier on the right. The connector cable between the amp and PS looks small to care the GM70 filaments along with the rest of the filaments + volute for 2 plates, including the high voltage for GM70 plate. In the amplifier itself there re also some questions.  Large caps in PS + large amount of rectifiers and looks like low-voltage connection cord? Would it mean the Lamm went for symmetric power supply (with vantage doubler) and he then surmised the lower voltage shoulders right before the GM70 plate? For instance if he has two by $500, oops sorry by 500V, then he might get 1000V… It is not enough for GM70 to sound good. Still if it so, then why he need to build up so powerful buffer in the drive stage if he has  alredy1000V and might stay in A1 with his 32W? I do not know...

Anyhow, if any of you learn about the actual plate voltage on this amp then let me know. If is turn out to be 800V then it would be renamed from Lamm ML3 to deHavilland ML2805.  The deHavilland because there are plenty of mediocre sounding low voltage GM70 amps out there and the  2805 is because it would need to keep some “Lamm’s touch”…. (2805 = ML3 x 935)

Also, I was wrong in my assumption in the post above that Vladimir used feedback as substitution to the transformer tabs. The amp looks like has a number of tabs for different impedance matching Lamm’s 3 settings of feedback apparently is a derivation of his big “Theory of Human Hearing”. I think Vladimir invented his theory by looking at the map of Saudi Arabia and considered that if David Wilson managed to sell hundreds speakers in there then they all need his new deHavilland ML2805…

LammML3_1.jpg

LammML3_2.jpg

In the end it looks like it is VERY-VERY simple amplifier, regardless of the price. The GM70 with it 1000K plate impedance would require a complicate transformer (not to mention the voltage) but it is still NOT NECESSARY as the entire idea of a full-range operating SET become BOGUS for even $5000 as a par of DSETs with cost over $5000 ABSENTLY AND CERTAINLY OVER-PERFORMS any same full-range operating SET.

Rgs,
Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-10-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 3471
Reply to: 3468
Further comments about the Lamm ML3…

The reader who read my comments above about Lamm’s new ML3 amplifiers might have wrong impression where I’m coming from. I have a general tendency to be skeptical (because the experiences) when I exposed to audio but in case of ML3 there is much deep rational. The rational that I fill would be worth to express.

First thing first: I have heard already a number of different from different people comments about ML3 (of course no one heard it yet) and everyone bitch about the price tag of this amplifier. With all my luck of respect regarding what Vladimir does (after all of those unfortunate LP2, L2, ML2.1…) I have to admit that I find it PERFECTLY JUSTIFIABLE for Lamm to introduce an amplifier  with price tag of $126.000. I’m not been sarcastic – I really mean and this view of mine is very lucid and very cogent - in fact I am ready to advocate this point. I honestly wish Vladimir to have some traffic to move his ML3 out if his shop and if the Lamm’s ML-3 turned out to be financially successful for Lamm (and I do not see why not) then good for Vladimir.

However, besides recognition of Lamm as a manufacture, us as consumers, “them” as the dealers there is something else. If we make a presumption that this site dedicated to “advanced audio and evolved music reproduction techniques” then behind playing all that buying-selling ballet there is a super-task. This super-task is an attempt to learn what does work within an environment of maximum objective and maximum implementation capacity. From THAT prospective Lamm ML3 picked my interest as Vladimir’s statement on the subject.

I personally recognize that Lamm ML3 is NOT as serious implementation of an amplifier around GM70 – it is not McDonalds of course but it is more like an Italian resonant on the corner with the mils of $14.99… it is not bad but nothing dramatic – I eat there dally. Still, from the perspective of the above-mentioned super-tasks, there are clearly recognized by me specific, very fundamental and very essential faulty motivations of audio people to employ the amplifiers like Lamm ML3, the bigger Audio Note Ongaku, the largest Wavac and etc… it is not because they are expansive in fact the price’s number are irrelevant. The problem is that in context of those amplifiers the COST BECOMES THE MAJOR DESIGN IMPEDIMENT.

I perfectly comfortable to elaborate on my point of the cost as the major design impediment and I will do it in my next post in this thread. It is very imperative to understand that not the numeric value of price that distracts me in ML3 but the fundamental faulty premises around which this amplifier is designed; designed if to look at the world form the perspectives of  the subject of my site, namely: advanced audio and evolved music reproduction techniques…

More is coming …
Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-11-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Gregm
Greece
Posts 91
Joined on 02-16-2005

Post #: 5
Post ID: 3474
Reply to: 3471
Cost-factor: unexplainable except by marketing perhaps?
Romy says:
The problem is that in context of those amplifiers the COST BECOMES THE MAJOR DESIGN IMPEDIMENT
Yes, but it shouldn't -- should it?

Let's be reasonable (a tall order). Either a designer knows how to design or not. If he doesn;t really know how to design, the point is mute: we know him because he's a good marketer, not because he offers stellar performance products.
Let's say it's reasonable to assume he does know how to design & tune a circuit.
So why part from incomplete or compromised or faulty premises? The only explanation would be, marketing imperatives -- present & future sales.

After all, for producers of audio equipment, the quality of reproduction is not the only sales factor; many others contribute  to the commercial success (or failure) of a product and these are probably more important. After all, how many buyers can readily distinguish between a "good" amplifier and an "outstanding" amplifier /as in, between a good, well-ccoked and filling Italian dish and Grande Cuisine? (Only that, admittedly, when you pay for Grande Cuisine you usually get Grande Cuisine)

Let me explain in the context of Vladi's new product:
1) A "full range" amp is the standard sales item; dedicated range amps are not. So, the full range has predominantly better chances of selling.
2) It is useful for a "new" product to explain its novelty by some obvious, visible identifiable characteristic -- for example, the use of a particular tube (6c33c, 211, or, as the case may be, gm70). I mean you can hardly go on forever marketing the Mk2/3/69 (although A Research does this quite well).
3) If you have some commercial success with the "new product", this success allows you to advance to a range of products and make the best out of the initial design (ML3 reference, and ML-c cut down version"using the unique and proprietary technology implemented in the flagship, world-class and universally acclaimed ML3 reference model"...)
4) If the design were fully optimised around the gm70, say, what else could you do to introduce further sales??? Perhaps, change a component here and there with a newer one that has the same performance specs -- but is cheaper?

Having said this I admit I generally bitch (verbally) about products (esp spkrs), most of which I cannot afford to buy anyway -- so I cannot really claim that, given the option to purchase, I turn the products down....
01-11-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 3475
Reply to: 3474
Do not discard Lamm ML3 just based on the price.

Gregm,

I do not think that to be reasonable is a tall order, in fact I would insist that I nothing but reasonable. 

Still, I feel that it is a huge distraction for people and a disappointment for me that others see juts an amplifier with a big price tag. I also was making jokes about it saying that Vladimir use caps that saved him $9 in order to keep the price under $126.000. Still, I hope people undusted it as sarcasm but not as reasoning. It is not abbot sales, marketing or the BS that Lamm (or any other manufacturer in his place) tells about his new product. I approach to the subject from a perspective of the OPPORTUNITIES THAT ML3 OFFERS IN CONTEXT OF AUDIO ADVANCEMENT.

ML3 is very, logical amp, Lamm had it for a long time and I remember in end of the 90s I have seen ML3 was sitting ready in Vladimir’s lab as a “maket”. GM70 is very popular tube in Russia and any more or less serious Russian audio person at one period or other made or own GM70 amp. (In Russian no one manufactured good audio equipment and people mostly built audio themselves of find somebody who built for them). There are many reasons why GM70 is so useful in there: it is a good tube, Russians never ever produce good loudspeaker or even drivers, high availability and low price of GM70 and many others reasons. So, when you talk with Russians high-enders it is very common subject for them: GM70 copper plate vs. graphite plate, GM70-type of sound vs. 6C33C-type of sound, GM70 at 800V vs. GM70 at 1200V and so on…

Consequently, when Vladimir introduced his ML2 I frankly speaking was less concern about it cost. I personally do not extend credibility to Vladimir anymore and therefore I am not looking to buy his products. However, as the person who had very high respect to the older version of ML2 and who learned a lot about audio form the ML2 I was interested to learn what other Sonic Opportunities (beside power) the Vladimir new amplifiers could offer.

Knowing for years that that ML3 will be coming I was anticipating that ML3 would be a succession in the Lamm declined quality of sound, but from this perspective where Lamm is different for any other manufactures in high-end? Any known to me company, existing or form the history of audio after they did something good in a few years were doing down with their demands, objective and eventually quality. BTW, do not take me wrong. I did not said that since ML3 might be a succession in the Lamm declined quality of sound then it means that ML3 might sound worst then ML2.1. What I meant to say was: L2 (came after ML2) did not perform as good as L1 did or as L2 could, The ML2.1 did not sound even remotely close to ML2 as to what ML2.2 could. LP2 was way underperforming very aggressively and eventually the ML3 might be performing at the fraction of quality as A PROPERLY MADE GM70 AMP BY VLADIMIR COULD PERFORM. Well, I have concerns about the entire idea of a “good amp on GM70” and I will elaborate it further in the coming post: “Further comments about the Lamm ML3 (part II)”  - I have no time now to write it up.

So, let do not analyze how expansive Lamm ML3 but rather looks if this amps offers and what Lamm meant to say with this amp sonically (if anything). Since the ML3 looks like it uses two pair of 500V-550V caps connected in series then it most likely that it has 900-1000V on the GM70’s plate. It would be interesting to learn why Vladimir went for that strong composite follower in the driving stage and why he dived into high grid currents (class A2 operation?). In the rest it looks like a very typical and very traditional GM70 amp, not different then any other amp with transmitting tube. It will sound as good as the output transformer would be. I hope Vladimir will do it with different attitude than the attitude that used in his ML2.1 amplifiers because if he did not then the ML3 used will be screwed as much as the Ml2.1 uses. Thankfully they all are deaf Morons and they will not notice it.

Nevertheless, even if everything in ML3 is made as good as it could be then still I have my apprehension about ANY full-range operating single ended amplifies with a high price tag as I find them FUNDAMENTALLY FAULTY BY DESIGN. I will be talking about my observations about it further on. Ironically those observations I have learned from… Lamm… learned by listening and educating myself with the sound of that becoming “vintage” ML2.

Rsg,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-11-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 7
Post ID: 3480
Reply to: 3475
An all-out assult on the state of the art
It seems pretty clear that what we do not have here is the proverbial "all-out assult on the state of the art"?  For one thing, this requires a dedicated system approach, and when was the last time you saw anyone do this?  Now try to remember the last time you saw/heard anything really good that came from a "system approach"?  Ironically, the system approach has for as long as I can remember been used mostly for the purpose of keeping components "of a piece" in the design sense, a la' Beo-whatever, AN, etc., etc., or simply to keep costs in check.  No, I think the man is just testing the water, putting another, bigger amp out there and waiting to see what happens.  You love it?  Well, there's more where that came from!  Slow seller?  Send a deposit and we'll get back to you with a shipping date.

Plenty of rich pretenders and wannabees out there, and plenty of them with LE speakers.
Basically, how can this amp NOT be a "success" in Vlad's terms?

And why in Heaven's name would he aim anything at the likes of us, at least at this point in his "business cycle"?

I'm just glad he did the ML2, however he did it, although it remains incredibly hard for me to believe that it was an "accident".

Best regards,
Paul S
01-12-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Gregm
Greece
Posts 91
Joined on 02-16-2005

Post #: 8
Post ID: 3482
Reply to: 3480
I totally agree: Price was a tertiary consideration for me --
Only that a higher price may allow the constructor to get away fm the annoyingly ubiquitous "made to meet a price point" and push his design to his limits...
Romy notes:
I approach to the subject from a perspective of the OPPORTUNITIES THAT ML3 OFFERS IN CONTEXT OF AUDIO ADVANCEMENT.
I agree -- it's a golden opportunity! But, it doesn't seem that many manufacturers (Vladi included) are ultimately interested in this.
Only we are (as Paul aptly notes above).

I have myself been very excited about products' possible performance in the past, only to discover that the implementation did not go far enough: as in "it's OK Bob, we're not going to spend the rest of our lives with this thing. Wrap it up as it is and let's hit the market. It's better than XYZ reference and they've already launched their product".

GM70 is very popular tube in Russia and any more or less serious Russian audio person at one period or other made or own GM70 amp. (...) So, when you talk with Russians high-enders it is very common subject for them: GM70 copper plate vs. graphite plate, GM70-type of sound vs. 6C33C-type of sound, GM70 at 800V vs. GM70 at 1200V and so on…
I know! I used to live in Moscow v. many years ago and created some "audio" contacts later. 

So, let do not analyze how expansive Lamm ML3 but rather looks if this amps offers and what Lamm meant to say with this amp sonically (if anything).
IMO I would like to see what the person who made the "2" can do with the gm70... and I would like to say "Vladi, you're an experienced and good designer: please, turn this tube into Grande Cuisine. Bring me something really better. You know what "better" is."

Nevertheless, even if everything in ML3 is made as good as it could be then still I have my apprehension about ANY full-range operating single ended amplifies with a high price tag as I find them FUNDAMENTALLY FAULTY BY DESIGN.
I would agree totally. Indeed, even in the most Misguidedly Moronictm applications,  the SE rarely drives full-range anyway... they usually (mis)match another amp for the bottom; in "girl with cello" music, SE plays the girl and SS plays the cello. The girl is always sexier than the cello.
01-14-2007 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 3492
Reply to: 3471
Further comments about the Lamm ML3 (part II)

Ok, let dive a little bit further into my examination of the subject of Lamm ML3

What is important is to undusted that my view  less targets the Lamm ML3 but rather it targets the ML3 as a representative of entire class of amplifiers. When I told that Lamm ML3 is “fundamentally improper design” I did not mean to critique the ML3 specifically but rather the entire family of expensive Single-Ended amplifiers where the “cost became to be a major design impediment”. I will try to explain it further. People who have brain understand that everything in audio is learning experience and I would like to describe why I feel that “expensive SET” dose not comply with my vision of a “correct direction”. It is juts my opinion and it based on my own experience. Your mileage might wary but where did you see me to care about your mileage? Anyhow, I have my opineon and I agree with it, so it comes…

For beginning I would like to observe a SET amplifier as a progression of quality and price, in this case prices will be very much an applied tool. We all know that SET is very simple amplifier: usually 2-3 stages, few parts, short paths etc… Let pretend that price DOES have direct relationship to the quality of amplifier (or sound), in fact why shouldn’t it?  In today world a simple OK-performing SET made around “simple” 2A3, 45, 6C33C or 300B cost under $1000. There a number of Chinese companies that do chips SETs (under $500), AN does their 300B set for under $600 I believe, there are a number of American companies who do very inexpensive sets (Bottlehead, AudioMirror and many others). The all sound better or worth but they in fact closer to “better sound” (with an adequate load) then many $20.000-$60.000  solid-state monsters build by Morons with diplomas of electricians (a long list of the companies goes here).

Do these $1000 SETs sound as good as SET could? Of course not – there is a quite a room for Sound from here. Now we begin to add price/expense and we will have a more or less proportional growth of quality (if the designer knows what he does). The specials case when people employ phony “expensive solution”, like use of 0.001 precision resistirs, gold transforms, or the chassis made form Agarwood with platinum bumper around the amplifier I will leave out of scope, as those actions have no relation to Audio.  So, regardless of the topology if your SET has more properly used chokes, better transformers, better power supplies, better amps design, better assembling techniques, better drivers (very critical), better protection and control, better tubes and many other factors then the amps could add quality and price. Still, any SET is basically is 2-3 dozens of parts and soon or later, regardless what you do you reach a “price threshold” where better parts, better supplies, better assembling techniques, better tubes do not add anything anymore within any MEANINGFUL scale. My estimate, based upon my experiences, that a self-cost of a pair of SET monoblocks at hits the “price threshold” level would be around $4000-$5000 for the amps that use low voltage output tubes and $7000-$8000 for amps that use high voltage transmission tubes. From here there is only one way to add quality and consequentially price to your SET – to improve further the only thing that maters in SETs: the output transformer (OPT).

The OPT is the main bitch of any SET and in the same time it is a subject of glory of any SET.  Something very positive happens to Sound when goes through transformer, the key is that the transformer should be good and it arguably should be the only transformer in a unit. So, the OPT: the frequency response, articulation, dynamic, tone, inner-tonal connectively, balance between “resolution” and “space” and  whatever else you might value in Sound came in it’s majority from the quality of OPT of SET. A person whose amps is at the “thresholds prices level” from here might jump into all imaginable OPT exotica, chasing in Sound whatever he fells needs to be chaise. A good OPT might cost a few thousand dollars it is all depends of the budget and the intentions/expertise/experiences of the person who design and who makes and who build the transformer. However, regardless how fantastic SET transformer would be it still hit its own topological limitations. To get bass you need inductance. I’m not necessary taking about better number of bass but rather about bass as quality. The OPT do not just need inductance to do bass but the inductance as “something else”. You can increase the core size as much as you wish to pay, building up inductance but inductance kills HF. It would be simple if the inductance kills juts HF numbers (there are ways to fight it) but the inductance kills HF “quietly”. Higher frequencies are opposite: they heed fewer turns and lower inductance…. So, people got into many different more or less sophisticating techniques (complicated core materials, tricky sectioning, intricate winding techniques and many others) to get out of SET’s OPT proper reproduction of boundaries. When people go into the high voltage tubes the situation become even more complicated as high voltage requires more isolation between the turns, which increases space within winding that builds up parasitic capacitance. Those capacitances dehydrate HF’s transients. When people listen all of those high voltage amplifiers with the “big tubes” they report “Big Sound”. (I call it the “Elephant Sound” – search my site I have written about it before). However, a nature or this “Big Sound” is dehydration of HF. Take any speaker, increase its tweeter output for a 3db and then place in front of the tweeter a soft hairy fabrics that would eat this 3db up. Now you will have a mimic of that  “Elephant Sound” – that in fact is not the “Big Sound” but rather a sound with unevenness of subjective transients across the range (MF are “faster” then HF). So, retuning back to the transformer – it is very complicated to do the OPT transformer for any more or less mindful full range, that would presumably also sound properly. Very few people out there know how it might be done. Very view can actually implement it if they even told how it might be done and very few, if any, go for a recursive subjective assessment using PROPER LISTENING TECHNIQUES of achieved results when they build transformers. Still, making even a theoretically perfect transformer for a given SET any person hits the dead wall of the fundamental bandwidth limitations for OPT and it is imposable to fight them while keeping the aim to the exoteric properties of sound in the same time. Russians have a good old fairytale about a village person who caught a fox and decided to make a soup with it. He put the fox onto a pot but the tail was sticking out. He pushed the tail into the pot but the fox’s head moved out of the pot. He pushed the head in the pot but the tail went out…. The very same with OPT and people cook their foxes disregarding the fact that heads and tails in OPT are improperly cooked….

I have heard many SETs and all of them had issues with wide bandwidth, it is not that they did not have bass or did not have HF but when they try to get it something else turned to go wrong. The only one wide-bandwidth-interesting amp that I’m familiar with was Lamm ML2 (old production not the ML2.1). It is not perfect SET from the perspective of “as good as it could be” but it is “better then anything else that I heard”. The ML2 was the only amp that was trying to do HF and LF (still with it limitations as I learned eventually) and do not go apart in anything else at the same time. So, a cogent reader would ask: “Romy, if Lamm was capable to design the ML2’s OPT and get the result the he got with that amps then why you feel that he might not do the same good job with ML3?” It is an excellent questing and I have two answers: first is the Lamm’s attitude and second is the “fundamental design flaw of ML3”.

FIRST: THE LAMM’S ATTITUDE. 

Lamm might do the OPT as good as the ML2 was but also there is nothing that prevents Vladimir to design the ML3 transformer in the way how he designed the ML2.1 transformer. Considering that GM70 transformer is many times more complicated and more expensive then 6C33C the question would be: where Vladimir would say “it is enough for them”. I have no doubts about Vladimir’s capacity to do interesting things but I have quite uninspiring knowledge about his decision making pattern. I would like do not go personally into the subject but stay “outside” and use only the publicly available facts. So, was the ML2.1 transformer “good enough for them”? Defiantly it was: the amplifier had glorious reviews, being sold nicely and generally considered a success model. It is ironic, that the very same person who brought to us that miserable “ML2.1 sound” (reportedly because of the “better” transformer) tries to impress to us the “ML3 sound”. You see where I am coming from? It is too simplistic to see that I appointed Lamm as my person bitch on my site but the realty is way different if to look at the fact. The facts are facts and the LP2, ML2.1 and L2 that came from Vladimir AFTER Vladimir made M1.1, L1 and ML2 are the facts and their performances are self-evident. If a person is an idiot and do not know better (many audio manufacturers) then they juts idiots. The problem is that Lamm is not an idiot and he knows better. Therefore the question with Lamm actions would be: will Lamm, as a commercial products maker, willing to do better? I do not know the answer and what I am observing later regarding Lamm makes me suspicious. I personally very much understand the Lamm’s attitude: “It is it good enough for them”. Sure it is. If I were a manufacturer then (considering my respect to the audio Morons out there) I would take it even further them Lamm does and I would make my amplifiers to explode like a bomb and to kill those “listeners”. Still, I am not a manufacture but a person who is critical about the fact of audio performance –all the rest is secondary. In the end,  the ML3 will be as good as Lamm’s attitude would alow it to be, however the Sound of ML3 will be still absolutely and unarguably limited by the “fundamental design flaw of ML3”

SECOND: “FUNDAMENTALLY IMPROPER DESIGN OF ML3”

Here we go, here is the very major and the most important part in the entire article and I would return you attention back to the subject of price as an applied tool of SET design.

Pretend you have a perfect SET. Let presume that word “perfect” implies the unlimited amount of money, unlimited amount of design skills and unlimited amount of knowledge about the nature of sound and audio (very critical) that were used for implementation of that perfect SET. Since a complexity of SET is limited by its default simplistic topology you puff up that perfect SET with I would say $8000 worth of implementations. (we are still under presumption that prices = quality). Then you do crazy and designed an amazing OPT. Let presume that it is high voltage tube and you went for as high as $5000 for a transformer. Right now you have a stunning, full range SET. Let presume that this SET would be your Lamm ML3 for $125K, or AN for $165K or Wavac for $350K. So, you have a very good amp that cost you a LOT of money, a LOT of affords, years and years of learning about Sound and that your Perfect SET is able to address the most demanding requirements existing in audio reproduction and the most demanding your demands. Now, who would use that Perfect SET?

Now we hit a very interning point. Are we taking about juts an expensive piece of electronics that the short-penis boys buy in order to feel better or we are taking about the “most demanding requirements existing in audio reproduction”? If we are talking about using that “Perfect SET” to address some really demanding requirements then I am sure it won’t be a person who will be plugging that “Perfect SET” into a 30” tall single-driver mini monitor. It is most likely (not to say mandatory), that the person who can reach in his level of audio development the state of the “Perfect SET” would use as evolved rest of the system: the persons’ acoustic system will be as evolved as the “Perfect SET” is. It is my strong and firm conviction that any sound that worth more then a thousand dollars should come from a multi-channel installation where 4-5-6 channels produce sound within partial frequency range. It is complex, it is expensive, it is large, it requires a lot of efforts to make it sound PROPERLY (now a lot of people ever witnesses properly made and instated large multi-channel) but when it done as it should be then it capable to operate at the very same level as the “Perfect SET” - addressing the “most demanding requirements existing in audio reproduction”. Here is where the fundamental design flows of any “Perfect SET” (including the Lamm ML3) demonstrate its limitation in full glory: A SINGLE MORE OR LESS FULL RANGE SET AS NOT A DESIRABLE AMPLIFICATION TO DRIVE ANY SERIOUS MULTI-CHANNEL INSTALLATION.

Any single person who ever went for a PROPERLY IMPLEMENTED bi-amping and line-level crossovering never looked back, ever. An ability to writhe a perfect crossover curve with a perfectly predictable phase characteristic at the line-level is not imaginable at speakers level where impedance is “free running” (any attempts to lock impedance fuck-up sound, it is well know to any people who have ears). Furthermore, the amassing ability to manage damping for each channels, mange harmonics for each channel matching the EXECT need of the driver (by loading each output tubes differently) and at many-many-many other factors  set any properly done multi-amping of  multi-channel  acoustic system very far apart form anything else. Now, tell me: what the hell a person with a capable multi-channel acoustic system would do with a single “Perfect SET”? The person system but its nature of being multi-channeled implies that it wants the best amplification within each channel. However, we have juts one SET, the one that was built like the cooking that fox on the pot with OTP the no mater what you do is juts compromise. I any “Perfect SET” 70% of its cost and efforts dedicated to be wide bandwidth… despite that any more or less serious multi-channel  speaker requires…. narrow bandwidth for each channel. So, here is a clear waste of 70% cost and efforts in your use your “Perfect SET”.

A responsible question would be: why do not use 2 or 3 of that Lamm ML3 to driver a “better” acoustic system? Let again disregard the price, but even then, we might find that an amplifier like Lamm ML3 suddenly become as not attractive candidate for the task of milti-amping. What we need in order to peruse the “most demanding requirements existing in audio reproduction” would be different. We need a LF SET (it might be the very same Vladimir’s ML3) only with huge output transformer’s core mass and having very-very high inductance (many times more then Lamm has in his ML3), with huge among of capacitance in PS, with very precise ability to dial-in the tube’s loading, with as low output impedance as possible and with as much power as possible to get out the given tube (even switching in the end into A2). However, for HF we need absolutely opposite: low inductance and low capacitance in OPT, minimum amount of turns, sensitive “able to react” power supply with near minimal capacitance but large amount of inductance, capable for fast acceleration transformer core,  heavier tube loading, limited power, no switching outside of the pure A1… etc, etc,  etc…. What is the most remarkable that very same Lamm ML3 for instance still might be used but it would just need deferent output transforms. The Lamm ML3 for LF and Lamm ML3 for HF would have transformers for $400-$500 each but the level of performance of the theoretical Lamm ML3 DSET (Dedicated SET) would be so high that the full-range Lamm ML3 could not even imagine it in its dreams.

So, in the example above, looking at the way in which any expensive SET might be used in the real world of serious demands I hardly see any needs worth $100.000 SET. Quite oppositely, I feel that if the SET is more expensive then I would say $7.000-$8.000 then this SET should be divided on two frequencies-depended SETs (DSET), with price of $4.500 each. The Lamm ML3 with it’s (looks like) composite driver stage might most likly to pump a lot of current and it would be so rational to put in there a second GM70 on the same chassis with own transformer, driving it from the same driver stage. The PS and the rest “support” is easy manageable (ML3 has the filaments filters right inside of the amp instead of inside the PS). If ML3 were DSET then it would be phenomenally interesting to see what a direct-heated GM70 might do, that I would like to see the driver stage direct-heated as well – whoa the hell heed a half-ass solutions!? Also it context of DSET it would be much smaller space for the Lamm’s attitude as it would be a relatively not demanding OPT where Vladimir would have mush less space for his “it is enough for them”….

Sumizing my feeling about Lamm ML3 I feel that I would be an OK amplifier but at which level? Certainly it will be expensive amplifiers with Vladimir attempt to place with this SET one ass on many chairs. I was explaining all those sentiments to a friend of mine but he told me that I’m delusional.  He said: “Come on Romy, people out there do not think this way. They pay a lot of money for a brown track to deliver to them and bid expensive loudspeaker of a ‘good’ brand name and they anticipate that by virtue of large investment in a “marketingly developed brand” they would automatically get an interesting sound in their listening rooms.” Sure, those people would perfectly accept ML3 as a solution. He was defiantly correct but I do not see those people because I am delusional but because I refuse to acknowledge them. I do it because the actual result that that those people get in your listening rooms are not worth attention. Well, perhaps I am delusional but as I said in the beginning of this post – I have my opinion and I agree with it.

I do see good prospective for Lamm ML3 to become a suitable solution for many listeners that have dull speakers and some money to spend. Strategically I feel it is wrong direction to use dead speakers and powerful amplification, - I more inclined to “live” speakers and low power amplification, but it juts me…I have also concern that 32W of ML3 is NOT enough for the most of 90dB sensitive speakers it is not about juts volume but “quality” – most of the 90dB sensitive speakers need 100W -150W of class A to demonstrate something worth attention… If you need evidenced lock yourself in a small closet with 85dB sensitive speaker and a good SET (Vintage Lamm ML2 for instance) and play music. You will have more then enough volume but the sound will be still crappy. There is more to sound then just power-sensitively-room size ratio but it is a different subject. In fact I have some feeling that building that slightly ridicules driver Vladimir in his 3 stage design Vladimir did some interspersing bluff. The 32W is not enough to drive most of the speakers out there. For instance the 95dB sanative Wilson (the Wilson customers are the people to whom Lamm would like to pith the ML3) are not as will with his ML2, ML2 might do much better (but there are not good commercial high sensitivity speaks out there). However, the 32W of ML3 are not there also.  So, I think Lamm in ML3 might made higher gain (look at that high gain inpit stage on 12AX7) but with lower power. Let pretend that ML3 had as much as 30dB gain not those damn Wilsons will sound “loud”. You will ask but how about the power – they will collapse into clipping in the peaks? Well, it would be in fact very … good for Wilsons. The Wilsons have 4th Order Bandpas enclosure at the bottom and if you drive it all the way up then it sounds like…4th Order Bandpas. So, it might be the Lamm thought to “compensate” of to mask the problem of the “contemporary woofers” with the “deficiency of his new amplifier? The people out there are deaf and stupid anyhow, and they will listen anything… they bought their Wilsons at the first place….

Anyhow, I feel the ML2 will be warmly accepted by audio public, the same public that very warm accepts the Ml2.1, Kelll  and Dynaudio. It will be another stupid review from another Moron with Wilson MAXX and we all know that will be in the review and what will be next. The audio public is mostly ignorant and has reference points of pterodactyls and demands of vultures - why they should not love ML3? The “big reviewer” Lars Feudal was listening his ML2 with 88.5dB sensitive Veruty Parsifal and was pitching that ML2 was the best amplifier in the word. How he came to this conclusion I had no idea – I head his room and never understood it. Mike from “Audio Federation” (courtesy to whom the images above) has written in his blog:

“Lamm did play their one working ML3 on one of the Wilsons and Neli got to hear it for quite some time….  summarize, she liked it - it appears to be SIGNIFICANTLY better than the ML2.1 in ALL audiophile attributes, especially control of the speaker, dynamics, and transparency.”

I have no doubts that it was exactly how he described, however the following facts might be taken under consideration:

1) ML2.1 is VERY unfortunate amplifiers
2) ML2.1 with Wilsons Watt/Puppy (and partulasy not the 6.3 but 8.0 is not juts unfortunate but nightmarish.
3) What dos it means “better”: more like ML2.1 or more like ML2?

In the end – if the Lamm ML3 will help to some people to discover how SET might sound then it will be fine – the ML3 extends this SET application for a 3dB of sensitively form where ML2 was. Neli, Mike, Vladimir and whoever else  who accustomed to the funny Kharmas,  Wilsons, JM-Labs  and the rest of the mid 90dB sensitive load might eventually with the help of Lamm ML3 learn how a first watt of the vintage Lamm ML2 sounded with a proper over 100dB sensitive load. I am glad that Lamm electronics continue to be educational. I learned a lot from ML2 and a lot among the expressed in this post came form ML2 made me to think. Now it is up to the others to care the torch of the education and since ML2 is no longer available nowadays the Lamm ML3 might be for somebody a useful tool in his/her educational journey about audio. Still, the election of W Bush in White House Lamm celebrated with release of his L2 preamp – the first “idiosyncratic” product from Vladimir. In 2001 I called L2 as the “Electronics of the fist year of nothingness in America”. Will the ML3 become the “Electronics of the seventh year of nothingness in America”? The answer will be pending…..

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-14-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Gregm
Greece
Posts 91
Joined on 02-16-2005

Post #: 10
Post ID: 3493
Reply to: 3492
Above is an interesting take (on SET & amplification in gl)
Romy notes:
The Lamm ML3 with it’s (looks like) composite driver stage might most likly to pump a lot of current and it would be so rational to put in there a second GM70 on the same chassis with own transformer, driving it from the same driver stage. The PS and the rest “support” is easy manageable
Actually, that could be a viable commercial product: a "stereo am"p allowing for four channels. One hi side, one low side, per channel.
Any moron purchasing this could be stratosphrically happy flabbergasting his pals by "passively biamping" his speakers with what looks like one amplifier!

any more or less serious multi-channel  speaker requires…. narrow bandwidth for each channel
BTW, another way of looking at the futility of driving a speaker with one wide-bandwidth full-range amplifier output can be inherently conceptual: the futility comes, not only from the uselessness of the wide-band set as Romy notes above; 
The conceptual futility is inherent before that stage: from the necessity to coherently drive many different drivers (with different characteristics, by definition and axiomatically) with the same single amplifier output...

Am I making sense? You cannot use a general, "one size fits all" (full range) signal to suit the many different tastes of electromechanical devices that follow (not to mention the passive component layers that precede them).

Not unles you had just one unit; but we don't.
As Rmy mentions, tailoring the many units to behave as one unit is universally accepted as a disastrous endeavour.
01-14-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 11
Post ID: 3495
Reply to: 3492
Circular logic versus well-accepted products
Romy, for one thing, you are still talking "best possible sound" in a very literal way while most other people are merely working out one or another acknowledged compromise, or they are hoping to make their system do an even more spectacular rendition of "Casino Royale".  Also, you have to know that Lamm knows his own people and hs own "move-up" people, who are mostly guys who buy the expensive LE or pseudo-HE speakers to begin with and who then just dive on the "SET sound" being offered by the ML3.  Speaking for myself, I want to warn anyone who cares that even the lower-powered ML2s, as good as they are, are NOT your typical SET in terms of sound.  So why expect a more powerful amp from Lamm to be a "typical SET"?  I think he used feedback in the ML2 to try to mitigate SET weaknesses with FR speakers, and I'm guessing Lamm will use feedback and/or A2 to "goose" the effective power from the ML3, if only to "distinguish" the ML3 from the ML2.1, to make it appeal to his target audience.  Of course 32 watts isn't really much more power than 18 watts in terms of SPL, etc., but i'll be surprised if the ML3 doesn't  "sound much more powerful than the ML2.1".  The ML2 and 2.1 are said to put out almost 40 watts on "peaks" (whatever that means), and I imagine the ML3s will do similar-but-bigger/better tricks to keep the dogs happily at bay with their BIG bones.

Meanwhile, I have seen but not heard recent efforts by Alex Doyndich (or something like that, SF Bay Area) and others who have implemented multi-channel narrow-band systems for "2-channel" listening, using line-level x-overs.  As far as I know, none use the speaker as part of the amp's circuit, which was one narrow-band approach I burned out on fast, many years ago.

While it is true that narrow-band/dedicated-amp is "the way to go" in terms of "the most potential" for dead nuts realism, it is also true that this approach presents its own significant difficulties, the likes of which very few people are either willing or able to deal with at this point in time, for any number of reasons.

As I see it, the irony here is that despite any flaws that Lamms ML3 or even his approach may have, it appears that one or two amps per channel will be the norm for a while yet.  Obviously, Lamm is "moving up" on the single-amp-per-channel food chain.

My review is already written!  Where does the line form?

Best regards,
Paul S
01-14-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 3496
Reply to: 3493
An amplifier for “Robb Report” mind?

 Gregm wrote:
Actually, that could be a viable commercial product: a "stereo am"p allowing for four channels. One hi side, one low side, per channel.
Any moron purchasing this could be stratosphrically happy flabbergasting his pals by "passively biamping" his speakers with what looks like one amplifier!
Well, if we are talking about a high level of objective then I see it not as a "stereo amp allowing for four channels” but rather two 2-chanls monoblocks.
 Gregm wrote:
The conceptual futility is inherent before that stage: from the necessity to coherently drive many different drivers (with different characteristics, by definition and axiomatically) with the same single amplifier output...
Not only that. My “approval” of DSET (dedicated SET with tailored OPT) derived no only form the fact of different drivers but form the fact that LF and HF serve in any acoustic system absolutely different purposes and require absolutely different handling method. Take for instance the Wilson Alexandria – well designed and well implemented loudspeaker. When I was listening them I was very pleased with many positive things about them but at the same time I was disappointed with a large amount of compromises that those speaker had. The compromised were not because David does not know better, I presume he does, but because those speaker piles all fundament limitations of the given topology into the same box.

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=2771

LF and HF are different animals and as soon peoples recognize it and begin to behave as they recognize it the better result would be. LF and HF are different animals from multiple points of view: from perspective of loudspeakers, from perspective of electronics and from perspective of room interaction. It is virtually imposable (very hard) within a single loudspeaker-box to position the speakers where LF and HF would be served at their best. Even HF and LF imaging has very different objectives and implementation means, as least they require different size and location. I would like do not go dive into the subject of loudspeakers too much as this thread about Lamms, so the point that I was trying to pass that any serious audio user paying his single pair of $20.000, $50.000, $100.000 or $150.000 amps has in his hands fundamentally compromised amplifiers because of their unnecessary wide-range operation made around the compromised out stages (OPT). Thos amplifiers are all “defective” because people who designed them went for expensive (presumably) implementation instead of targeting rich results.  I understand that the industry is trying convincing users that price of implementation addresses problem. In many instanced it might be so but not in case of output transformer of single ended triode amplifier.

What disappoints me is the agreeable silence of all our reviewing dirt – east time what they see an expensive set they dive into stupid drooling and lack of any consciousness. They, all of them without exception, are absolutely silent regarding the topological worthless of expensive SETs or more widly about the benefits of many other expensive items in audio. It should be their job to assess topologies and worth of investments into them and point users to the most fruitful directions. I think people who agree to pay $100.000 for amplifiers, $20.000 for a cable, $40.000 for CD player or $10.000 for a cartridge deserve better service. Unfortunately Lamm products lately, and the industry generally, demonstrate rational more suitable for “Robb Report” where a glossy superficial sentimental sensationalism takes over of any cogent purposeness. I’m sure the new Lamm ML3, as any other expansive SET will be a drop of oil into the same flame of worthless consumption.

After all - are we building amplifiers in audio or we build Sound? I think an expensive SET is an amplifier demonstrates preoccupation with processes instead of result. The unfortunate thing is that behind that preoccupation we, the users, will not have an answer about the real capacity of a direct-heated GM70. Sure, it might be a lot of fun and very educational to listing the Lamm ML3 or the biggest Wavac. The biggest question would be what the hell to do them then when you own it?

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-14-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 13
Post ID: 3497
Reply to: 3495
Paul, read my post again.

Paul, I think you missed the entire rational of my post. It is OK, people hear what they want to hear.

Anyhow juts one correction I would like to make. I did run the ML2 with generator and scope at full power. I had 21W at 19-20Hz. It was not even was close to the 40 watts on "peaks". Who said such a Moronity? What does not mean “peaks” in class "A" operating amplifier? It should be said to you by some kind of dealer or a reviewer.

Generally a power in SET descried by watts at anode, transformer current (size of the gap) and frequency (via inductance). Since inductance and max current in ML2’s OPT are fixed you have a reversed correspondence between frequency and power: the lower frequency you look at the sooner clipping takes place. I have to admit the ML2 did cared LF very gracefully down to 11Hz (with limited power or course) but it was not even remotely close what a dedicated LF transformer is able to do. In fact it is not necessary to measure: as it is clearly also auditable in context of any LF capable installation.

BTW, the only one interesting thing that I see, that might be expanse but worth to try, would be to had a DSET with LF channel made around a transformer with huge-core mass but using a very fast core. It might be very expansive and virtually imposable to get (for 6C33C for instance) amorphous core enough for make 20H OPT. If someone know where to get such a core  then, please, let me know.

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-15-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 14
Post ID: 3498
Reply to: 3497
Oh, no, I got it, all right
Sorry, Romy, I'm just bagging on you a little for caring/staying conected to Lamm...

I hope you understand that I absolutely agree with your ideas about the "right" direction to go for the next viable step in audio *for those with the stones*.  Actually, I would not be surprised if some crappy commercial versions of your ideas were even now baking in the product-development oven of the Free Marketplace (pane et circe!).  However, I would have been very surprised, even flabbergasted, if Lamm had done anything other than exactly what he did, since you gave me the x-ray goggles to look at Lamm's character, which in turn enabled me to accurately predict his next move.

As for the "40 watts" thing, I hope you don't think that I think the ML2 puts out 40 watts?!?  Hell, I don't even care!

I think that bit of marketing hype must derive from Lamm's ML2 (& 2.1?) "Operating Manual", which says: [the ML2] "Maximum Output Voltage" "with continuous sine waves, at 1kHz @ rated line voltage" [is] "(blah, blah, blah), corresponding to 40 watts peak."  Same general nonsense regarding "Maximum Output Current".

So, if the ML3 costs more, it's got to be "BIGGER" and "MORE POWERFUL" and generally "BETTER", right?

From what I have heard so far, I believe that feedback is important rather than incidental in the ML2 design and sound, and I am betting Lamm uses it in the ML3, as well.  I think this helps tons with LF *given the "FR" design parameters*, and to my ears it also (somehow...) helps with "organizing" HF (IMO, ML2 has killer HF).  Anyway, I bet Lamm stays with it, and probably he adds some sort of driver loop or other "overdrive" A2 for the new "Flagship".

Anyway, you had to know that Lamm would take at least one more free shot before he retires or "returns to his roots".
Bildungsroman; Classic Stuff.

Best regards,
Paul S
01-15-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 15
Post ID: 3499
Reply to: 3498
Lamm ML3, L3, and 40W at 1000Hz

 Paul S wrote:
I think that bit of marketing hype must derive from Lamm's ML2 (& 2.1?) "Operating Manual", which says: [the ML2] "Maximum Output Voltage" "with continuous sine waves, at 1kHz @ rated line voltage" [is] "(blah, blah, blah), corresponding to 40 watts peak."  Same general nonsense regarding "Maximum Output Current".

It was exactly what I was trying to explain – power in SET’s OPT relates to frequency. I do not see why ML2 should not have 40W at 1kHz or 100W at 10.000Hz…..
 Paul S wrote:
So, if the ML3 costs more, it's got to be "BIGGER" and "MORE POWERFUL" and generally "BETTER", right?
I my article I was trying to explain that my definition of "BETTER" has nothing to do with more power. The GM70 is a good tube, much more linear then 6C33C, it is direct heated, which is “different”… There are a lot of interesting thing that might be in ML3, the problem that I have that BETTER in single ended world is not bigger or more powerful but “friqency-horizontal balance loading across” multiple SETs. Would it be based upon GM70 or any other tube is irrelevant as in the DSET configuration many cons and pros or many tubes become equalized. DSET is my definition of BETTER. Or put in this way: perhaps not BETTER but certainly worth investment and efforts.

 Paul S wrote:
From what I have heard so far, I believe that feedback is important rather than incidental in the ML2 design and sound, and I am betting Lamm uses it in the ML3, as well.  I think this helps tons with LF *given the "FR" design parameters*, and to my ears it also (somehow...) helps with "organizing" HF (IMO, ML2 has killer HF).  Anyway, I bet Lamm stays with it, and probably he adds some sort of driver loop or other "overdrive" A2 for the new "Flagship".
 There is nothing wrong with feedback if it is necessary and if it is properly implemented. ML2 used global feedback. The ML3, it looks like used feedback from the plate of GM70 to the driver stage (it is not know why yet), so the OPT is out of the loop.

 Paul S wrote:
Anyway, you had to know that Lamm would take at least one more free shot before he retires or "returns to his roots".
Well I have less concern about ML3. I burn 14dB in voltage dividers with 6C33C, what the hell would I do with GM70?! I was looking before at this tube thinking how to make it with it 5-7W amp but I did not come up with anything interesting. To me the 2A3 is more attractive then GM70, it is also direct-heated. There are some sources that suggest that direct-heated have advantages that compromised by the DC on filaments. I have seen some Russians who drive GM70 with AC on heaters (using some crazy techniques) and it “might” be interesting. What would be more interesting to me is to see Lamm coming up with his L3 preamp. If he preserve his xFactor but get rid all those misery that L2 inflicted to Sound then it will be very worthy, as no one makes preamps in this way as Lamm did (though it of cause it might be “the things” in L2 as well). I had my suspicion that the xFactor was kind of accidental side-effect; there are some evidences that it was the case but I am hesitant to say that I convinced and I will extend in my judgment one more change to Vladimir. The L3 will set the things strait…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-15-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 16
Post ID: 3500
Reply to: 3499
2A3 versus GM70
Why use the GM70 apart from its power potential?  For one thing, it seems to require literally lethal voltages to become remotely listenable.  Is it really "that" linear, to insist on it?

But my experience with GM70 is quite imited.  I have only heard "commercial" amps that use the GM70, and none had the "neutral" sonic "character" I have long listened for.  I am not sure I'd rate anyGM70 I've heard above the typical 805 or 845, etc., NOT saying they are the same or even similar, really, just I cannot at this time recall a preference.

The 2A3 is another story, however.  As far as I am concerned, the only real problem with this tube is its power and frequency limitations.  As far as that goes, I have to say the "Best Output Tube" I have "heard" is the 45.  Now THAT is a neutral tube!  Too freaking bad it has no push whatsoever and worse frequency range than the 2A3!  I have heard about kinky AC heating arrangements for both tubes, with vapor tube filament regulation and transformers and/or resistors welded straight under the tube pins.  I have not listened to a successful AC-heated version of either tube, but I have heard plenty of nice DC heated versions of both tubes, and I would not say - at all - that DC "strips the life" out of either tube's performance.  IMO this is just another current DIY-ism, at least with these tubes.  The main thing that kills these tubes, IMO, is pushing them, AT ALL, since the transition from their perfect clarity and incredible ease into gross, annoying distortion and collapse comes all too soon, especially at frequecy extremes, where they prompty run out of gas.

Anyone who uses SETs beyond their power/band/distortion limits gets what he deserves.  My 2A3s were so distorted and frequency-limited with my 3-way speakers that I quit listening to them even before I got the ML2s, and I do not even try for sub-40 Hz, even with the ML2s.  I imagine, however, that there are plenty of ML2.1 oweners who are pushing those amps into gross bandwith meltdown.  Likely a number of these jokers will "trade up" to the ML3, and it probably will "work better" in those applications. Naturally, they will be very pleased.

Of course, the OPTs are VERY important, but since I have never heard a set-up where kinky OPTs overcame my perception of bandwidth limitations with the 2A3 and 45, the impression holds.

Re, the L3:  I notice you do not bitch about the L1 so much.  Did it or did it not have the "X-factor"?  I notice it's not in your system...

Also, I wish you would go into both cases for Lamm's obvious successes, intentional and/or accidental.  Too bad more people don't understand exactly what and/or just how important Lamm's contributions to audio have been.  I had hoped, as you obviously had, as well, that Lamm would resume his hitting streak.  But I hope that even in the real world we can somehow isolate and continue building on Lamm's successes, even if they were accidental.

Best regards,
Paul S
01-15-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 17
Post ID: 3501
Reply to: 3500
Blindly: One vs. Another

I was thinking about the subject for a long time. People in audio love to make generalization, so do I, but in it is not so simple. People attribute to output tubes some “special” qualities but I more interested not about unnecessary drooling about A2 or GM70 tubes but about conditions.  I know people who consider for instance the GM70 is more superior for Sound tube then 6C33C and I know people who went to GM70 and then returned back to 6C33C. After all any tube in any stage will sound as you make it sound. For instance: before the ML2 I did not see any power amp on 6C33C that sounded interesting. Another example: my 6E5P – the driver in the Milq sounds absolutely not interesting with fixed bias and unless the bias supply is not decupled with gas tube.

So, where is the Truth? The Truth is in absence of conviction.  A person takes one amp, for instance an amp with 2A3 and then get better result from another amp: for instants ML3. What does it say about the out tube? Absolutely nothing if the result is not view in context of properly interpreted conditions. I could enumerate a two dozens of conditions why sound with GM70 or with 2A3 would be better or worse. One of the externals factors would be where and how the given SET will be used. Different speaker drivers require different amplification with different ability to instigate transients. We have 6-7 type of alnico magnets and they react differently to different output tube loading.  (I had 12 Vitavox S2 drivers and I have learned that some of them, with different band of Alnico, need different handling in order to act as I needed). If a person have sensitively and sensibility then there area lot of suggestions do not pay attention to rules but to look at the results discrimination. Yes, SS PP amps are crap, but some of them wipe out any, even the best SETs if they drive HF transducers with ceramic magnets….

So, is one tube better then other: it is like a car driving: the horsepower in the engine is hardly meaningful if a driver is Morons. Many years ago a friend of mine, a professional auto racer of very high caliber, when we were driving together demonstrated me how to drive. He was driving no more the 40km/h… but no one was able to pass him. It was extremely fun to watch how a multi-lane road was practically blocked behind our car but at the same time – the friend of mine did virtually nothing that I or anyone else would intermit as “actions”. The very same about the art of playback building: juts dumping a good amplifier and good speaker into the room create a random and not tailored sound. The Real high-end does not stats form equipment but with the different level of seriousness… Retuning back to ML3: this amp is not implementation of seriousness to me. It would be if the ML3 were a DSET for LF and HF. Only then it would be possible to say something objectively about the amp. A single “expensive” SET if juts a paradise for a reviewer but not a tool for demanding users.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-21-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Mike
Posts 4
Joined on 06-15-2006

Post #: 18
Post ID: 3529
Reply to: 3501
More Lamm ML3 photos
"The Truth is in absence of conviction."

Yes!

I know nothing, and freely admit it, and thereby experience 'what is'.

[Well, one can try, anyway].

Not sure if you saw it, but I put up more pictures of the ML3. I have a few more, but these are the best of the rest of the bunch.

http://www.audiofederation.com/hifiing/2007/CES2007/report/high-end-audio/ces/the-tower/part1/index.htm

Enjoy!
-Mike
01-22-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 19
Post ID: 3530
Reply to: 3529
RE: More Lamm ML3 photos

Sure, Mike, however what I learned with my living experience that that is nothing really valuable in life that is expansive. Anyhow, Mike, thanks for the pictures. BTW, some of them are very nice, very-very nice phonographically.

I was particularly interested what Lamm was trying to do with driver section because it would be quite illustrative. I his eternal task to practice on the simplicity of average Audio Public he needs demonstrate to prospective buyers that their funny Kharmas, Wilsons or Von Schweikerts desperately need a “big full-range” amplifier. The ML3 might be OK amp but knowing that this amp was targeted to serve the needs of the Magico-Mini-type of sound… I am wondering…

Once again, thanks of the pictures.
The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-26-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 20
Post ID: 3554
Reply to: 3397
“...People who simply want to own the best products...”

I went recently at the Soundstage.com site  and read Marc Mickelson’s comments about ML3.

 Marc Mickelson had an “honor” to make my site in past:

 http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=760

 http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=2773

 Marc is the “gear of the machinery” and he is instrumental entity to sell amps. Probably the stage is being set for Mr. Mickelson to begin the cheerleading the new Lamm’s amplifiers…. I pretty much discarded Mickelson from people whose writing I might “start to read” since a few years ago Mickelson pulled out of his ass a glorious review about Lamm ML2.1. anyhow, here is Marks new editorial:

 http://www.soundstage.com/editorial.shtml

 What usually annoys me in all those editorials and in the given editorial in partially is that sincerity in them substituted with cheap sensationalism. Mickelson said:

"Yes, the ML3 Signature amps, at $126,290 per pair, are wildly, outrageously expensive, but they were not created with all audiophiles in mind. They are extreme luxury items for those listeners who can afford any piece of audio gear they want. Vladimir told me that he already has orders for eight pairs. Like most talented audio engineers, he has a loyal following, including people who simply want to own the best products he can make. From what I heard on the last afternoon of the CES, a single ML3 Signature displayed the great promise required to fill this bill..."

OK, again, let do not talk about the price of those amplifiers – after all - who cares? The Mark’s “accidental” dropping of the fact that “it already has orders for eight pairs” is too cheap even for a person who makes living by writing about audio. I was told 7 years ago that eight pairs of ML3 were pre-sold. However, it has nothing to do with the amplifier itself but with the fact that Lamm has among his customers some people with money (in the past I was one of them and even voluntary prepaid for my Lamm L2 preamp seven month before it was even put in production) who are wiling to get whatever Vladimir pointed them out. Good for Vladimir, why not to cash them out….

Still, among what I see so far said about ML3 the most important point is not voiced and most likely will not be voiced by all those Mickelsons. If you read careful the second part of the:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=3492

then the only question you would ask Mr. Mickelson would be: what those 8 people who wants to have a ML3 will be doing with it if they want “the best”? Even if we presume that ML3 is a nice amps and if we presume that will not sound like Lamm ML2.1 then by getting ML3 people will get JUST ONE PAIR OF AMPLIFICATION that fundamentally contradict the concept of “the best”. I sure that “better amp” is all that was necessary for Wilsons, Veritys, Kharmas or QUADS to sound “the best”. (It was satire if you do not get it.)

I think that Mark Mickelson instead to BS himself and other with the idiotic notion of “people who simply want to own the best products” should grow up and to look at the subject not from a perspective of  “best products” but form a perspective of  “better results”. If he does so then Mark will see an Audio-Moron ™ with back-loaded Lowther sitting in his listening room among 4-chassised Lamm ML3 and trying to find “better results” by using the “best products”. Was this person the guy who have bought the third pre-sold ML3? (It was satire again… :-)

One of the biggest educational questions of the Lamm ML3’s still remains open: what the people who “don’t do Lowthers anymore” will be doing with a single “better” amp?

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-27-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 21
Post ID: 3571
Reply to: 3554
Deconstructing the "review", and "little remarks".
While it is rare that any component under "review" will be panned outright, it is not uncommon for the "reviewer" to refer obliquely to the component's flaws.  In some cases, the flaws may even be presented or offered up as "features", or it may be suggested that the flaws are rather in some way part of the amp's "character", as though that "character" could be likened somehow to your eccentric Uncle Vanya, and so you might "learn to love it" or "make it work for you", for all its flaws.
 
In the "thumbnail review" Marc actually says the ML3 has "greater drive" than the ML2.1, and that it has more/better "ability to propel the music's pace forward".  I don't know about the ML2.1, but was not aware that the ML2 needed "improving" on this score.  Could this mean the ML3 "pushes" the sound like SS?  Is ML3 feedback not "user-selectable" ?  Marc does not mention feeback here.  My only amp with "adjustable feedback" was the original Music Reference RM-9, and I can say that it simply sounded more natural with the least possible feedback, regardless of any other consequences, including the bass.  Even bass was "more natural" with less feedback, even though bass might be weaker with less feedback with given speakers.  In cases where a given speaker "had to have" more feedback, then that speaker never did sound very good with the original RM-9.  I don't know what, if anything, this says about the ML3's feedback, I am just mentioning my own possibly-related experience in the interest of furthering this discussion.

Marc also says the ML3 provided "greater high-frequency delicacy and air, rather like those amps I've heard that use 845 tubes."  Could this mean that the ML3 sounds in this system rather like a typical 845?  Is it the consensus here that the 845 performs benchmark frequency extremes?

Then, Marc says, "The midrange was as corporeal as that of the ML2.1, but the bass had more power, though nothing Vlademir played displayed its very depths."  I am not experienced enough with ML2.1 sound to comment on this, but I can say that the "vintage" ML2 is both "corpreal" and truly amazing with bass frequencies.  I would not say I needed "more" bass or "stronger" bass than the ML2 provides, at least with my speakers.  Although my very limited time with the "WATT Puppies" was based on the decision to get and stay away from them, I am guessing that the ML3 is aimed directly at this type of speaker (and the richer guys who own this type of speaker), so I would not be at all surprised if the ML3 is "bigger" with these speakers in as many ways as could be accomplished; and this, likely, is how it was/is intended to come across.

By putting all the pieces together we may actually have more useful information than is immediately apparent in this quicky-drawn ML3 "review".

Best regards,
Paul S
01-27-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 22
Post ID: 3572
Reply to: 3571
Come on, this is juts a propaganda noise.

 Paul S wrote:
In the "thumbnail review" Marc actually says the ML3 has "greater drive" than the ML2.1, and that it has more/better "ability to propel the music's pace forward".  I don't know about the ML2.1, but was not aware that the ML2 needed "improving" on this score…

The Sound of ML2.0 did need improving in a number of areas. However, what is very important is to undusted that the “journalist” Marc Mickelson never managed to “mention” (or I believe understand it and it is VERY loaded statement) the ML2.0 shortcomings before he heard the ML3 (with 2 ways Wilson monitor :-). Also, Marc Mickelson never managed to “mention” that ML2.1 that he insistently recommended as a replacement of ML2 was a major step back and was faulty, almost fraudulently faulty, amplifier.  So, what happens now? Do you think Marc Mickelson has any thoughts or any real ideas what he is saying now? Not a chance! A manufacture made a product and Marc Mickelson immediately plugged himself into the process of glorification of the product and creation of incentives to make consumers to express interest about the product. It is ABSOLUTELY IRRELEVANT for Mickelsons, Framers, Valins and rest of the reviewing whores what product is and what it does. Vladimir Lamm could put 20 pounds of bowl movement into metal chaises, show it to a review and say “fetch”. Upon seeing it any reviewer will spread adjectives about the “new product” and about the glory of the New Sound. It is what they do for living and IT IS WHAT THEIR IDENTITY IS. Have you seen any reviewer send a unit back to manufacture refusing cheerleading the product because the product was not worthy? I could tell publicly a lot of interesting stories how it works infernally but I think I have made my case.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-27-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 23
Post ID: 3574
Reply to: 3572
Perhaps despite himself
Of course this is basically propaganda.  Who argues otherwise?  However, I have found that it is possible at times to glean a modicum of useful information from "reviews" like this via a careful reading of what is said and somtimes via a certain type of inference created by what is not said.  I learned a long time ago to read these things a little differently than the ostensible manner and tone in which are presented.

I am curious about what Lamm has done here, so I am trying to get a better idea of what he's done with the ML3 by understanding it in terms I am familiar with, including my growing familiarity with the ML2s and the language of these industry wonk/"reviewers".  After all, I've been reading these cranks for 45 years.  While it may be that I upon finally hearing the ML3 differ with Marc as to the amp's salient characteristics, I would not be surprised if it turns out that it does sound like some sort of giant, powerful 845 driving the WATT Puppies, since that is probably a smart direction to go if making/marketing a Big Expensive Amp for the boys with the Big Expensive Speakers.  Of course I am merely observing it, and my remarks here are aimed only at circling around, trying to sniff out what the ML3 may actually do.

But how can any of these "reviewers" at this point say that any King Hell Amp is "accurate" or "natural", or "tonally neutral" when they have already said that many times about innumerable "value" products?  It couldn't be more obvious that the only way these guys can pump up any given debut product without taking away from other product lines is to glorify the newcomer in terms of its (already-glorified) immediate predecessors.  In cases where the successor is more expensive it is not common that it will be unfavorably compared with its predecessor.  In cases where the successor is MUCH more expensive than its predecessor, unflattering comparisons are almost unheard of.

No, it takes a careful reading to get to the heart of anything these "reviewers" might happen to say, perhaps despite themselves.  As you pointed out, Romy, the mention of the "reference" speaker alone can speak volumes.  Likewise, the source material, etc., etc., ad nauseum.  And while these "reviewers" may lack credibility, that does not mean they aren't saying anything at all worth knowing.

And believe me that I am in no way "attached" to the ML2 or any other piece of gear I own for any reason other than demonstrated performance capability (or simple inertia!).  The second I hear something better I will drop today's prized whatever like a bad habit, circumstances permitting.  All gear needs "improving", so it's really a matter of doing the best you can in terms of your overall system performance.  What too few "audiophiles" seem to realize is that a given piece of gear can "improve" upon another in some ways while giving up ground in others.

Best regards,
Paul S
01-27-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
angeloitacare-idiot
Aracaju (SE) Brazil
Posts 51
Joined on 09-15-2006

Post #: 24
Post ID: 3575
Reply to: 3574
impression of listening ml3
hi Paul

i heard the  ml3' s, the last day of the show.I am wondering, how someone would be able to compare the two amplifiers, if one was playing stereo one day, and the other mono the other day ? There was no way to compare. When i heard the ml3's playing mono, i went out after 2, 3 minutes. It was not a interesting apresentation at all.
01-27-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 25
Post ID: 3576
Reply to: 3575
Listening for characteristics
Well, it says something that you had a chance to stay listen to "the best amplifier in the world" and yet you walked out.  Although it does not tell us what you heard it does seem to reflect on the set-up, at least, and so, if only indirectly, on the intentions of the "vendor".

There are times when I can somehow listen for and assess a particular component even in a more-or-less foreign system.  And sometimes I just relax and listen and my "impressions" somehow form later.  Other times I just can't recognize much of anything.  Oddly enough, this condition of "not recognizing" does not necessarily mean the performance is "bad", or it may even be "good", even "out of context".  The ML2s were like that because they are just so "different", and they were not "conditioned" when I got them, etc., yet I knew right away I was on to something.  But so far the only positive takes on the ML3 have been from people whose motives are at best suspect, and whose language must be deconstructed to so much as draw hints about what they are actually saying.

I can't remember how many times I have been to a show or a salon to hear some supposedly SOTA component or system, and everything - and I mean EVERYTHING - is just plain bad, from one end to the other.  It's always disappointing.  And, especially in a case where there is/are Angel component or components that have already gotten "good buzz", people will stand there and exclaim how good it is, which only makes the situation all the more bizarre and confusing.

But then , no one has really said the ML3 was "bad" yet, either, so I guess we'll just have to keep waiting to let the impressions pile up into some kind of melted down, deconstructed "average".  And maybe then we can just set it aside and listen for ourselves.

Best regards,
Paul S
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