Description

Welcome to SteVe’s Vs
It’s been exciting putting this system together. It’s the best I’ve assembled so far. The Legacy Audio Vs are the best speakers I’ve owned. The combination of the Lampizator DAC, the Vs, the Dude, the CODA 15.5s, the Vs, and now the Jl Audio Six Pack is something special. 
Its been assemblyman this system and I have plans for more. I like sharing my system with others for sure. Messing with my system is all good, but I really enjoy traveling to various friend’s homes and listening to and helping them make their systems better. 


System History

As a kid, I always have enjoyed music. My parents bought me an all in one record player when I was about 5 or 6 and a collection of Reader’s Digest records that featured some of the best loved classical records of the world. My father loved Country Music, I have fond memories of listening to the Zenith system playing the sounds of the Grand Old Opry.

At about 18, I finally earned enough money to put my first system together. It featured a Pioneer turntable, a tubed Fischer receiver, and Radio Shack book shelf speakers. I soon learned about a strange and new stereo store selling high end equipment called Audio Musicale, in Belleville, IL which was located about 15 minutes from St. Louis. . I was hooked and before I knew it, all of my money was soon going to purchase a pair of Dalquist DQ-10s, and a Hafler amp and Preamp. It sounded great. My enthusiasm soon led me to a job working for Audio Musicale. My next steps were buying an Audio Research SP3 1A, upgrading to Acoustat model 4s, then Magnepan MG-IIIs, and the Acoustat TNP preamp, TNT 200 and TNT 120 amplifiers to biamp the Maggies with, and a SOTA turntable with Sumiko FT-3 arm and Audioquest 403B moving coil cartridge. This system lasted for about 15 years when the audiobug hit again.

My next system included upgrading to Magnepan MG 3.6s. They clearly outperformed the MG III system but after updating my electronics to Mark Levinson I soon became dissatisfied with the Maggies and purchase a used pair of Revel Salons. Then the a love/hate affair with Mark Levinson and Revel began.

I eventually owned (thanks to Audiogon) a complete Levinson Reference system which included the #32 Preamplifier, 4 #436 amplifiers to biamp the Revels with, the #30.6 DAC, and of course the #31.5 Transport. I thought I was in heaven. My search for the ultimate bass I thought was satisfied with a pair of Revel Sub 30s, but they never sounded right and eventually had electrical problems. I eventually upgraded to a pair of JL Audio 113 subs.

And now I should tell about my room. In my quest for great sound, I soon found that the living room was not the ideal place for the stereo. I wanted a dedicated room. The unfinished basement seemed the logical space. So with the help of a teacher from school, I constructed a 26 by 13.5 by 7.5 foot room. It was the best thing I ever did with my system. Into the design, I researched and poured every bit of knowledge that I had learned in the past, along with the latest research.

Thanks to the following friends and St. Louis audiophiles who have helped make my system come alive!

Willie Mannings, audiophile and friend, Tim Malick audiophile and friend, Chris Hoff, President and owner of BPT, John Doris audiophile and friend, Dave Wilbanks President and owner of At Home Theater and Sound, Vance Hiner, audiophile and friend, Wayne Munie, audiophile and friend, and finally, Bill Duddelston, President and owner of Legacy Audio who has spend many hours at my home and on the phone teaching me about the Helix and sound.

More info on the Way!
Read more...

Room Details

Dimensions: 26’ × 13’  Large
Ceiling: 7’


Components Toggle details

    • Legacy Audio Vs
    The Vs are in the house!
    The Vs arrived December 2015. All broken in now. A truly amazing

    V

    The V high performance speaker system from Legacy Audio is a groundbreaking achievement that unites perfect timing with incredible design. V features the state of the art Legacy Wavelet Processor.

    This 4 way system is the first to use the Legacy Wavelet Processor (an advanced speaker & room resonance correction system with a high-end DAC/Preamplifier) and features open air dipole midrange, dual subwoofers with internal amplification, two Legacy 4” long AMT tweeters in a specially optimized post convergent array and craftsmanship display options.

    Product ReviewsLegacy Audio V Review- “A True Assault on The State of The Art.”
    Related Articles“At less than half the price of Wilson, I’d take the Legacy V, even if the two cost the same.”
    Legacy Awarded 5th Consecutive Editors’ Choice from The Absolute Sound
    Legacy V is The Absolute Sound’s Breakthrough Technology of The Year
    High End Performance Theater Chooses Legacy V Speaker System
    Industry Legends Listening Session & Legacy V Makes “Auspicious Debut” at Newport Show
    Legacy “Plans to Rule the World of Hifi” with V & Aeris
    Legacy V System Wins Gold Show Award for Best Sound at 2015 AXPONA
    Hear The Difference: High Resolution Audio with the Legacy V System
    The Legacy V is “like your own personal concert. The highest sense of presence…”
    Legacy Speakers are “The Finest Sound I Have Ever Heard”- Atlanta Audio Meeting Report
    Watch: Legacy V Speaker Video Preview
    “Legacy Audio V is a Technological Tour de Force- Smooth, Clean & Perfectly Timed”
    The Ultimate A/B Comparison with the Legacy Audio V & Lyn Stanley
    Legacy V is Best in Show, A Stunner
    Legacy V is Coming…
    Product ManualDownload (9 MB)System Type:Frequency and time domain optimized four-way directivity controlled array Includes Wavelet ProcessorTweeter:Dual 4" AMT Ribbons configured in post convergent arrayUpper Midrange:Dual 6" curvilinear with phase plug configured in dipolar arrayMidrange/Midbass:Dual 14" Carbon/pulp, neodymium motor, cast frame, dipolar patternBass:12" Aluminum diaphragm, Aura neodymium motor, sealed sub-enclosureSubwoofer:12" Aluminum very low frequency radiator driving three 10" mass loaded pneumatic radiatorsLow Frequency Alignment:Compound B6, B2 handing up to dipoleFreq. Response (Hz, +/-2dB):16Hz -30kHzImpedance:4 ohm upper rangeSensitivity:98 dB @2.83 Volts/1m in roomRecommended Amplification:Sub and bass sections are powered with 1500 watts of internal power, two external channels of 30 watts or greater requiredCrossover:80 Hz, 400 Hz, 3kHzBinding Posts:2 pair of external binding posts, 2 XLR balanced inputsCabinet Dimensions: HxWxD (inches)::72 x 18.75 x 19
    • Legacy/Bohmer Audio Wavelet - Preamp, DAC, DSP
    In an ideal world you would hear the music exactly as it was intended to be heard. But rooms are not perfect and resonances play havoc below 500Hz. The Wavelet processor will analyze your room and make the calculations to reduce resonant energy as late as 40msecs. The improvement in tonal balance and pitch defnition is not subtle.

    Already have a favorite DAC with a volume control? How about a big vinyl collection? Analog lovers can take advantage of balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA inputs without concern of digital artifacts. An apodizing circuit corrects for the the pre-ringing native to CODECs. Wavelet has adequate headroom to handle these higher level signals while functioning as a crossover and compensating for room resonances. Wavelet processes at 56 bits of depth in a domain more than one trillion times finer in resolution than that of a standard CD.

    The Wavelet is by design upgradable. The unit can download firmwareupdates directly when you choose.

    Setup is simple, and the Wavelet is easily controlled with the included App that runs in your iPad/iPhone/Android or other smart device. Wavelet comes with a precision calibrated microphone and a wifi adapter that allows you to work wirelessly with the Wavelet.

    Wavelet easily integrates in any system.

    SPDIF In and Out: up to 192kHz/24bit

    TosLink In and Out: up to 96 kHz/24bit

    USB: All file formats up to 192 kHz/24 bit are sent directly from the Mac/PC to the Wavelet without any conversion. Higher resulution files such as PCM and DSD can be readily played back using software such as J-River.

    The Legacy Wavelet assures that all frequencies arrive with perfect timing and decay naturally, without lingering.
    • Legacy Audio Xtreme HD X 2
    15 inch Subs withpassive radiators. These subs are now in my video system.
    • CODA 15.5s X 2

    Stereo Amplifier 15.5

    Features

    • 150 Watts into 8 Ohms 
      300 Watts into 4 Ohms 
      Precision Bias Class A operation to 100 Watts 
      sliding to Class AB at higher output level 
    • Ultra high current non-bridged design
    • Fully discrete FET differential input stage
    • Vertical MOSFET Voltage Gain Stage
    • DC coupled to an ultra wideband bipolar output stage
    • Very high linear damping with minimal feedback
    • AC-coupled unbalanced input and true DC coupled balanced input
    • Double-sided gold plated circuit boards
    • 3.0 kVA toroidal power transformer (EU)
    • 2x2 kVA toroidal power transformers (non-EU)
    • Low-impedance power supply filter capacitor array
    • Graphite anodize aluminum and stainless steel finish
    • Power supply and Bias status indicators
    • 10 year warranty / 5 year transferrable
    • Designed, manufactured and assembled in the USA
    • Tube Research Lab The DUDE
    What can I say? A 60 pound preamp that is second to none. I've ordered the new DUDE faceplate and installed a pair of .47 Dueland capacitors.
    • Acoustat TNP
    I use this classic from my old Acoustat system as a high gain phono stage for my moving coil cartridges. I also use it as an alternate preamp. Really a fine piece of equipment for sure.
    • Sota Deluxe Sapphire
    I purchased this table while working for Audio Musicale in Belleville, IL. It still sounds great and does all the spinning I need it to do. I’ve recently had SOTA rebuild the table with new chassis, bearings, power supply, arm board, and Acrylic cover.
    • Sumiko FT-3
    Straight arm tonearm with a built in VTA adjustment mechanism. A classic for sure. Today these arms can be purchased under the Jelco name.
    • LampizatOr The Pacific
    Surel;y one of the greatest DACs in the world. I was loaned a proto type, Amazing. Thanks Lukasz and Fred!
    • ROON Lifetime
    An amazing program to enhance one's music collection and enjoyment.
    • Apple iPad Aire 2 and Apple Pro
    Best I've found to control my system
    • JRiver Version 20 Windows
    Because of the owners stiff necked stubbornness concerning jPlay I say
    Bye Bye jRiver except as tag editor. 
    • PurePower 3000
    I use two PurePower 3000s in my system. This one I use to power the back end of the system: the CODA 15.5s, the Legacy Audio Vs built in amplifiers and Wavelet, and the JL Audio CR-1 Crossover.
    • PurePower 3000
    I use the second 3000 to power the front end of the system: the DUDE preamp, the Lampizator Pacific, the Sonore Ultra Rendu, several UpTone Audio LPS-1 and LPS 1.2s, the  ISO Regen, and the two audio and server  computers,
    • Western Electric Cables User Experience and Guide
    • Belden 8402 Balanced Interconnects (10 pair)
    Real sound.
    • Western Electric 10 gauge Speaker Cables
    Two 8 foot pairs.
    • Western Electric 10 gauge Power Cords with Neotech plugs and IECs
    DIY by me. I have built around 15 power cords. Best I've ever heard.
    • HD Plex Linear Power Supplies
    100 Watt linear power supply 
    300 Watt linear power supply 

    Custom Linear power supply to power the Wavelet

    Larry of HD Plex is awesome to deal with. Maybe the best customer service ever. 
    • Revelation Audio Labs Umbilical Power Connector
    Custom built by Revelation Audio Labs to provide power from the custom Wavelet HD Plex linear power supply to the Legacy Audio Wavelet.
    • Signal Cable HDMI
    My cable of choice to connect my PC to my monitor. This world class HDMI cable is based on individually shielded high purity 24 awg OFC conductors, terminated with custom made connectors w/ 24K gold plated contacts. It is one of the best on the market for today's high quality HD (up to 1080P and HDMI Ver. 1.4) video signal transferring! Available in HDMI/HDMI and HDMI/DVI-D HD Video configurations.
    • WSY2K16 Server Intel 7200
    AudiophileOptimizer, Fidelizer, Roonserver
    6 Western Digital Red Drives
    Elfidelity tweeks
    Powered by two HD Plex 200 watt linear power supplies
    And two HDPlex 200 watt AC to DC converter boards
    • Herbie's Audio Lab Extra Firm Big Tall Tenderfeet
    Herbie's Audio Lab is one of the best places for tweaks. You can always trust Herbie for great advice and he has a 90 day money back policy. (210) 658-9439 I have used his Tenderfeet under my Krell amps which way about 150 lbs. Use four for each piece of equipment. These brought a delicacy and richness to the music I didn't have before. I definitely found some new notes.
    • Herbie's Audio Lab Tenderfeet
    I use 4 each of these under several of my components. 
     Tenderfoot: Individually molded with a unique carbon-filled, platinum-cure silicone formulated in consultation with Wacker Chemie AG of Germany for maximum micro-vibration absorption. Recommended for audio and video components weighing from 2 to 220 pounds (1‑100kg). Particularly well-suited for CD/DVD and SACD players, DACs, Blu-ray Players, preamps, power supplies and conditioners, turntables, and power amplifiers. Delivers a full-bodied and quick, highly articulate result with amazing linear extension. Works equally well with solid-state and tube components. Does not
    • Aurios Media Isolation Bearing 1.2 and others in the line.
    My footers of choice. I use them under almost all components. Maybe not as good as Stillpoints some say better! Place a Herbie’s Big Fat Dot on top and your Aurios’ performance goes up a notch or two. I really like this combo underneath my Pacific and other Lampizator DACS.
    • Silverstone Audio PC GD-08
    My custom made Audio PC with i4770 CPU, HDPlex linear power supply, SSD Drive, 16 gb RAM, Elfidelity filters, Fanless, etc.
    AudiophileOptimizer 
    Fidelizer
    HQPlayer
    • Auralex Metro Fusers
    I use these in various places in my room. It has taken a lot of experimentation to get them right. Call the guys at Auralex for great advice!
    • Auralex T-Fusor
    Another great product from Auralex. These diffuse the midrange and can be stuffed with foam to be a bass trap also.
    • Auralex Lnrd
    A great bass trap for corners and the boudaries between the ceiling and walls. Guitar Center sells singles to try out. Use T pins from a sewing center to place them without destroying the shape or integrity.
    • Auralex StudioFoams
    I use a variety of Auralex's foam products. All do a great job. I usually buy the 2 inch thickness as it is available at Guitar Center.
    • Auralex Gramma
    I use these for amp and speaker stands. They always come in handy. Amplifier/Loudspeaker Isolation Riser You deserve to hear your gear sound its best — and with the Auralex GRAMMA underneath it, you can. This unbelievably handy riser isolates your speaker/amp/sub from the floor, keeping it from passing along any vibrations in the room.
    • Auralex MoPad
    Another great isolation device from Auralex. With all of these devices, one needs to experiement to find out what device works best with each piece of your equipment.
    • Acoustimac Bass Traps
    These traps are made by many poeple. Buy a variety of thickness: 2 inch - high frequencies, 4 inch - Mid Bass and Midrange, 6 inch - Super Bass traps. I use the 6 inch vaiety in the corners of my room. I like the variety and price that Acousimac offers. You can purchase ready made traps with art work, or build them yourself. They now offer a recylced material that is even more effective than Owens-Corning product called Ecostimac. A little more expensive than fiberglass but no ITCH! 888-827-1266 Real Traps is another great source of material and advice.866-RealTraps (866-732-5872) I do not recommend Ready Traps as they have very poor customer service.
    • 24 Dedicated Lines 10 Gauge Home Runs
    Do not underestimate the power of dedicated lines. This is one of the most outstanding tweaks one can do. Add at least 3 to your sytem. One for your amp, preamp, and digital. This would be the minimum I would install. Use at least hospital grade outlets available from Home Depot and such, or if you can afford it try the Porter Ports, Hubbels, etc. The all can make a huge difference in the final tooning of your hifi. Oh, and use the heaviest guage you can handle, I use 8 and 10 guage. I've also installed a sub panel just for audio system.
    • Home Depot Maroon Wool Rugs
    I found that the natural sound of wool over the wall to wall Berber carpet, really relaxed the sound of my system. Much less bounce from the floor to your ears. If I could afford it and known better I would have done wall to wall wool. I purchased two for between my speakers and me. They are about 4 by 8 foot.
    • Running Springs Crown Jewel
    Running Springs Audio Crown Jewel HZ Power Cord Running Springs Audio HZ (High Zoot) Crown Jewel Power Cord – Starting from $2,300 US Retail. Running Springs Audio believes the basic truth about most power cord products is that too many companies use them as tone controls. The method: softening hard edges that gives the illusion of a quiet background – the results: destroying the fine inner detail, pace and rhythm, smearing leading edges, limiting dynamics and collapsing the soundstage. Using the highest quality materials and production techniques the RSA design team worked closely to design the Crown Jewel HZ Power Cords to be as neutral as possible with the greatest level of current propagation. The Running Springs Audio Crown Jewel HZ power cord is available in 15A and 20A IEC terminations and in 6ft, and 8ft lengths. US Retail pricing is as follows: 15A 6ft Crown Jewel – $2,300; 15A 8ft Crown Jewel – $2500; 20A 6ft Mongoose – $2,400; 20A 8ft Crown Jewel – $2,600. The Crown Jewel HZ Power Cords feature: 60 strand LITZ proprietary SQC configuration Furutech connectors 15-amp or 20-amp Carbon fiber end cap for damping as well as RF/EMI filtering Perfect Power Transfer Device (PPTD) – technology to allow components the ability to operate at their optimum level Hand made in the USA 5 year warranty Running Springs Audio Crown Jewel HZ Power Cord Running Springs Audio Crown Jewel HZ Power Cord Cables, Power Conditioner
    • Tube Research Lab Power Cord
    Stiff as a board. But a winner. Used on my Dude, the PurePower 3000, and Coda CSX Amps
    • JL Audio F-113 Mk2
    I addd a 6 pack of JL Audio F113 Mk2s. What a thrill. Its taken a while to get them set up but worth it. Now one can feel the sound as well as here it. The subs are stacked in two towers midway of the length of the room, 3 high. That was one of the most difficult jobs, adding the top subwoofer to the stack. I made sure to put gliders underneath the bottom of each sub, and it is surprisingly easy to slide the 400 lb plus stack into the position. 
    I hired Barry Ober, the Soundoctor, to help integrate the subs with the Vs. Barry taught me a lot about subs and I’ve continued to refine the placement and settings.
    • JL Audio CR-1 Crossover
    I purchased the CR-1 with the F-113 Six Pack. Excellent tools for integrating the subs into my system.
    • Sonore UltraRendu
    • UpTone Audio UltraCap LPS-1
    I use 3.
    2 for powering the FMCS,
    1 for UltraRendu
    • UpTone Audio UltraCap LPS-1.2
    Power for the IsoRegen
    • UpTone Audio Iso Regen
    I use the Iso Regen after the UltraRendu. It makes quite q difference and I was surprised. It seems to add better pacing and prat then the Sonore Ultra Rendu by itself. It really shines with the UltraCap LPS 1.2.
    • UpTone Audio JS-2 Linear Power Supply
    Best power for the Legacy Audio Wavelet so far,
    • UpTone Audio USPCB AB adapter
    I use 3
    • AudiophileOptimizer Software
    • SMc Audio FlexConnect
    My Dude preamp is single ended. My amplifiers and crossover are placed 25 feet away behind the Vs. I read many articles promoting a tube preamp with solid state amps. The problem is an impedance mismatch. One really does not get the best possible sound unless this is addressed. Steve McCormack’s FlexConnect solves the problem with aplomb. I could detect no degradation in sound quality when it was inserted into my system, just benefits. Highly recommended. 

    Steve McCormack spent several hours on the phone answering questions I had and familiarizing himself with my setup. Truly one of the good guys in high end audio for sure.
    • Revelation Audio Labs Prophecy CryoSilver Reference CAT 7+ i2s digital link cable
    I use this cable between my switch and UltraRendu. The best Ethernet cable I’ve tried yet in my system. Build is incredible. It brought a blackness to my system that caused the images to just pop out of a sea of blackness. Brad is extremely easy to work with and had my new cable finished and sent out within the week.

     
    (For North Star Design, Accuphase HS-Link™, MSB, etc.)
    Completely new, updated design for 2016. Whereas our previous design is widely considered the gold standard, this revision takes performance to a whole new level. Deep cryogenic treated 5N pure solid core CryoSilver™ conductors, Big Air™ dielectrics, Mil. Spec. shieldings (solid and braided OFC). Finest ultra high quality premium German-made heavy cast solid metal shell connector. The connector is extremely effective at providing outstanding shielding characteristics, while its high mass reduces the unwanted affects of vibration, and is extremely rugged and well made for many years of trouble-free service, compared to the frail and delicate nature of typical low-cost RJ-45 connectors. The interior cavity is potted by our injection process with an aerospace dielectric compound, further reducing vibration and resonance, and increasing reliability through providing mechanical stress relief. Internal solderless terminations are treated with Walker Audio Extreme SST™ contact enhancer during cable fabrication. Ceramic MicroSphere™ conduit for dissipation of vibration and resonance. Anthony Perrotta of Perrotta Consulting, North American distributor for North Star Design, says our RJ-45 i2s Ethernet cable aptly outperforms the >$2K White Gold i2s cable commissioned by North Star Design. Also available in our unshielded version for applications where so recommended (such as with certain MSB units).
    • Revelation Audio Labs Precept CryoSilver Reference A/C Mains Cable
     I use this on my Lampizator Pacific. It was quite an upgrade over my Crown Jewel. It seemed like the sound stage widened by at least 3 feet on either side of my speakers. I’m planning on adding more to my system as $$$$ allow.

    Massive 8-gauge conductor cross-section for hot and neutral poles. Furutech FI-28 High-End Performance connectors. Capable of extremely high current delivery, yet rendering delicately accurate musical nuances. Transparent and lightning fast. Excellent for use on all equipment types. 20-amp IEC available.
    • PSI Audio NuWave Phono Preamplifier
    I think this usnit sounds very good. One can use the Balanced or Single Ended outputs to your preamplifier or use the digital output into the SPDIF RCA into your DAC. I wish it had USB out to the DAC as then it could output DSD and hiresz files into the DAC. One can adust the gain from dip switches on the back of the unit, but they should have been accessed through the front panel like all the other controls 

    The PCM seems to sound better than the DSD output. The DSD sounds constrained opaque in comparison. I use the heighest two resolutions the 24 176.5 or the 24 192 outputs. 
    • StarSound Audio Points
    I purchase a set of Audiopoints and their footers for use under my Sota Turntable.
    • Fidelizer PC Optimizing Software
    If you’ve not tried this you’re in for a treat. It can help transform your PC into a musical machine. Go for the free trial! I’ll bet you’ll upgrade.
    • HQPlayer Computer Playback Software
    One can use this with or without ROON. I use it with ROON for the best sound quality and the best player. Miska continues to expand the filters and features. Its well worth the money.
    • Paul Pang USB 4 Card
    I bought this originally to connect the PC to my DAC. It works very well.  But I now use the UltraRendu and ISO Regen instead. One surprising use where it can really make a difference is to plug an External USB hard drive system for playback. There is a big difference between using a standard USB port for this as opposed to the Paul Pang. 
    To increase the fidelity use a separate linear power supply to power the Paul Pang card.
    • Lampizator My Sound of the Pacific Review
    The Sound of Pacific: The Newest DAC from Lampizator
    The Lampizator Pacific DAC 

    I’ve been fortunate to be a Lampizator customer now for several years. My first experience was at one of my best friend’s home, Jim. Jim owned a DAC and transport built by someone named Lukasz Fikus, called a Lampizator. Specifically he owned a Level 4 DAC and the Squeezebox based Transport. I can honestly say I was not overtly impressed with the look, certainly a far cry from the Levinson, Theta, Krell, and PS Audio equipment that friends and I owned. But the sound? Best analog, ever . . . I mean best digital . . . I mean best sound from any playback source in my experience! Jim's Lampizator based system led me down the path of no return. 

    Since then (in order of appearance in my system) I’ve spent consider time listening to or owned a variety of Lampizator DACs: Jim’s Level 4 and Squeezebox Transport, then owned the Level 5 Balanced with USB Transport, Level 7, BIg 7, (the Amber Dac on Loan), Big 7 Balanced (B7Bj, Jim’s Atlantic+, the Golden Gate Balanced (GGB) and now the . . . Pacific. Fueling my Lampi addiction were a cast of characters (and soon to be great friends) that include Fred Ainsley (AKA Gopher and 1/2 of the Lampizator NA team) Rob (the other half of Lampizator NA), Lukasz Fikus himself (no intro needed), and a couple of other good friends and well known characters, Albert and Norman. To say I’m partial to Lampizator products would be true, to say my opinions might be suspect if writing reviews and comparisons to other competitive DACs would be conceivable but not. No matter because today I’m writing about a new Lampi DAC, the Pacific. 

    I’ve had the privilege of experiencing the beta Pacific in my system since Axpona this year. I was not told much about the DAC except it was a prototype, the Lampizator team would like my feedback, and would I like an opportunity to hear it in my system? Of course I said “Yes!”. Soon the crate arrived, DAC setup and unpacked, my GGB set aside, and this new DAC set up in its place and connected. I forced myself to let things warm up for about an hour, then I had to take a listen. 
    I’ll sum it up as quickly as possible. I believe the Golden Gate’s attributes are well known by many here. It is a special and amazing music making machine. Lukasz’s finest creation. Lukasz could rest on his laurels and just make improvements as digital technology evolved. 

    But what I heard was not a GGB but another breed entirely. The sound was rich and powerful, subtle and quick, musical and detailed, analog yet digital, transparent and explosive, the soundscape wide, deep, holographic, bass throbbing yet delicately as a baby’s breath, pace and rhythm immediate yet flowing, able to shift and follow the performance, never stamping its signature on the music, but grasping the soul of the performance and letting it flow. 


    There, I said it, in about 70 words. All you need to know. Really. 

    For those of you that like comparisons, I’m quite sure the difference between the GGB and Pacific SE was larger than the difference between the GGB and my Big 7. That was evolution at its finest. The Pacific SE is a completely new denizen of the Lampizator brand. 

    Golden Gate owners don’t wail and gnash your teeth. You still own one of the finest sounding DACs in the world. The sound of Pacific in no way diminishes what Lukasz has achieved. You should be content for years. Just don’t hear the Pacific!
    • Lampizator DAC Review My Living with Lampis Review

    Living with Lampis!


    In my 40 years plus of audiophile life, it's not often that I have discovered, listened to, purchased, and lived with a family of electronics, that have transformed my listening room as I thought only a multi thousand plus  turntable, tone arm, and Koetsu cartridge could do. In my experience only a top rated analog system had the power, realism, and magic to enthrall one into believing they are at a live event instead of sitting in their listening room. Of course the digital siren had tried to dethrone my analog rig but couldn't quite succeed. Such contenders as Yamaha, Oppo, Theta, PS Audio and even the legendary Mark Levinson Reference Digital products were quite moving and enjoyable and had tried to supplant my record spinner but couldn't quite close the gap. Until now. And this is how it went down. 


    Even though I loved my analog rig, I couldn't quite resist digital, computers, and iPads. Soon I'd added a PS Audio PWD II to my system and I was in business. I thought it sounded great. Not quite up to my analog rig but quite good. An audiophile friend of mine came to listen several times and liked it, but not as well as something he kept referring to as a "Lampizator". He in fact owned a Lampizator 4 and something called a TranspOrt that didn't play silver discs. I went to hear it. We owned the same speakers, Legacy Focus SEs. Jim challenged me to bring over the PWD II for a direct comparison. I dropped off the PWD for Jim to listen to for a  couple of days. My turn came soon. Jim was playing the PWD when I arrived. But his system didn't sound the same as usual. So we switched to the Lampi 4. After listening for a few moments my comment, "Is the PWD broke?"

    Of course it wasn't. It was then that I realized how really great Jim's system sounded. I knew what he'd been talking about. I'd been Lampizitized. 


    A quick Google search and I was reading all I needed to discover the story of Lukasz Fikus, what a Lampizator was, DACS made in Poland, vacuum tubes, Levels 4, 5, and 6, TranspOrts that didn't play silver discs, and sound that easily rivaled my analog rig. Quite an education. I had to have one. On the hunt. Found a source, Fred Ainsley, part of the dynamic duo of Lampizator NA who soon pointed me in the direction of a Level 5. 


    Did I tell you that each DAC is custom ordered with features you select? Inputs, outputs, SPDIF, XLR, BNC, Dueland or Jupiter capacitors, USB, and something called DSD. Wow. I couldn't wait for my L5 to arrive. Endless patience and debates on the features of the DAC with Fred.  About a month later Fred is ringing and the DAC will be  delivered by DHL in a couple of days!


    The Level 5. 


    My L5 was a two box design with a separate dual mono power supply connected to the DAC box with an industrial sized umbilical cord connecting the two chassis. It was outfitted with a pair of double Dueland capacitors for the output stage, USB, XLR, and RCA digital inputs, a custom module for DSD playback, and a preamp with a remote to perform both volume duties and the switching of digital inputs. The preamp feature is about a $500 option which enables one to stay seated while switching inputs as well as replacing a tube preamp if needed. 


    I picked up Lampi at DHL, drove him home, and hooked him up after careful box inspection, reading the directions, dusting, picture taking, and downloading the USB driver.



    Then I hooked up all the connections and fired him up. Blast off. OMG. Sound, no wait music, arriving at my ears in a rhythmic, melodic pulse. It was apparent that the Lampizator Level 5 is an altogether different beast than the Level 4. Jim arrived soon with his TranspOrt. A few connections, and while jRiver loads the library, we go to lunch. Can't wait to get back home. 


    Home. Then the music starts, we first play music via USB, incredible. Even after only warming up for about an hour, the L5 has leapfrogged over the Level 4, which was so far in turn above the PWD to make it sound like a toy. My friend Willie came over as well and we were all three amazed. It was like a whole new system. The Focus SEs were transformed into something I'd never heard before. 


    Next step, listen to Lampi as a preamp and take mine out of the system. Well maybe some trade offs, maybe, but then the circuit starts to warm. Oh my gosh, I can't stand it . . . Then ding dong, I've stayed up all night listening and my ride is here to take me to visit my relatives in Florida . . . Switch to continuous break in cd . . . 


    Home at last. The L5 sounds more and more awesome and it's reputation grows. Two friends and a dealer who has Audionote DACs and Clarus Crimson cables came over last night to hear the L5. 


    Well let me put it this way no one even wanted to try the Audionote out after they heard the Lampi! We played CDs, High Res computer files, and finally DSD. Just after they all swore it was the best DAC they ever heard, and were filled with amazement, I told them about DSD. They had never heard DSD before and were plenty skeptical. How could it sound any better? Then I played the first cut from the Opus 3 DSD Showcase 128. Their jaws dropped in collective amazement! 


    While we were listening we slowly inserted Dave's Clarus Crimson cables into the system. All the cables had been used in Dave's system so they were broken in. The first was their USB cable, I had just been using a generic USB from a printer until I decided what to buy. The insertion of the Clarus Crimson USB cable into the system was a revelation. As great as the L5 sounded, that one cable caused another two fold leap in sound quality. Next we inserted a Clarus component power cord into the L5. Another step up. Then finally it was time for the $2400 Clarus Crimson top of the line balanced interconnect. All I can think is WOW, I never thought my system could ever sound like this. 


    Pee in your pants good!


    All the wiring changes occurred while and during playback of everyone's favorite music. Then like I described, it was time for DSD. 


    My love affair with the Lampi L5 continued for about 9 months. I can truthfully say my analog rig gathered dust. Lampizator DACs, TranspOrts, JRiver, an iPad, and instant access to your entire music collection are addictive and far more seductive than cleaning LPs and adjusting the table, tone arm and cartridge for analog playback. And what do you know, I soon developed a love/hate relationship with building and fine tuning an Audio PC with jPlay, the Audio Optimizer, linear power supplies, SSD, RAM caches, etc. That is a story for another day. 

    Too soon I read rumors about a new Lampi DAC, the Level Seven, with 4 tubes sticking from the top two normal sized  tubes and two gigantor DHT tubes only used in power amplifiers. I was skeptical. How could anything sound better than the L5? I spoke with Fred. He assured me the Level 7 did. I read, I schemed, and plotted. Before I knew it, my Level 5 was listed on Audiogon and USA Audiomart. I had a few nibbles, but about the time buyers became serious my father who battles Parkinson's every day was wounded by the scourge and suffered a broken hip at 86 years young. Of course all thoughts of stereo and L7s went out the door. Sales inquiries went cold. The Audiogon ad expired. (Not without certain suspicions by the good folks at Audiogon.) But Spring arrives, dad survives, and things settle down. My stereo system still sounds great. Another month goes by and an email appears from USA Audiomart. I have a buyer for the L5. Money arrives, Fred is called, money departs via PayPal, and Lukasz is building me a new DAC. 


    The Lampizator Transports 


    I think I should mention a couple of other Lampizator products. Lukasz has created two TranspOrts. The USB TranspOrt and the Squeezebox TranspOrt. You'd think they would play silver discs of some sort. But they don't. 

    The one I own is the USB TranspOrt. It is really a USB to SPDIF converter. One simply connects the USB out from  your PC into the USB TranspOrt. Then a tube circuit only Lukasz could design converts the USB to SPDIF via vacuum tube. Lukasz customizes its outputs to suit your needs. You can choose between SPDIF, XLR, RCA, or Toslink outputs to your DAC. If you like jRiver and want to experiment with jPlay, Audio Optimizer, DSP, Windows Server 2012, then this is the one to buy. Unfortunately it will not play DSD just PCM resolutions up to 24/192. 


    The other option is the Squeezebox TranspOrt. I'm very familiar with it as well even though I don't own one. One of my best friends, Jim does and I've listened to it in both of our systems. If you owned a Squeezebox system and are a fan you're in good hands. Basically Lukasz takes a Squeezebox Duet receiver pulls it apart, improves the circuit, adds linear power supplies, adds a tube or two, and encloses it in a LampizatOr style box. You can still use the Squeezebox controller to play and access your music collection. Or you can buy the ultimate interface, an iPad and the fantastic iPeng app. Hook up a NAS to store your music, install the Squeezebox software and you have a music server without a computer. Once again you have your choice of outputs to connect your DAC. Sound wise this system can go head to head with any Windows based system I've heard. 


    Do you need a TranspOrt to enjoy your Lampi DAC? No, but include either one of the TranspOrts in your system and your stereo becomes even more mesmerizing. Adding a Lampi TranspOrt to your system has no downside, only a slight dent in your pocket book. After the first listening session your ears will repeat endlessly until you give in,"You really don't have to eat or vacation, just buy the TranspOrt." I checked on the Lampizator website. It looks like Lukasz is getting ready to build a new series of music servers. I'll be sure to update this article if I ever get to hear one. 


    The Big 7 Arrives. 

    It was with bated breath and much anticipation that I waited to hear news the my Big 7 was on its maiden voyage to the USA and my home. I couldn't wait to compare it to my fully broken in PS Audio Direct Stream that many audiophiles have been salivating over. As one read the reviews for the DS one would think it was able to part the ocean. Well . . .


    The PS Audio Direct Stream is a great DAC. Please don't allow my comments to lead you to think I don't like it. I do. I own and enjoy it too. It was a great buy at the introduced price of $6000. But now it's an incredible  deal at $3500 new through dealers on the Internet. As good as it is don't be fooled into thinking its a Lampi beater. A friend commented, "The DS sounds like a great DAC. But the Lampi Big 7 sounds like music!" (And I could easily claim the same for any Lampi DAC I've heard including the Amber. Lukasz Lampizator just gets music right.) And really that's about the best way to put it. The Big 7 with its huge pair of EML 45s sticking from the top is certainly not inexpensive at about $9500 but when compared price wise to top DACs from MBL and DCS it is at least 1/3 of the price. Now I don't own either the MBL or DCS, but I have friends whose ears I trust who do/did own these DACs and claim the Big 7 easily is their rival. 


    What do I think of the Big 7 and how it compares to DACs I have owned? Let's compare the Big 7 to my Level 5. 

    I didn't really think the L5 could be bested. It was the best DAC I've owned. The bass of the L5 was always rock solid, got the beat of the music correct, and never lacked detail. The Big 7 is just better in every way, clarity, rock steady, bass only there when needed, and then look out for thunder. The midrange of the two DACs was very similar. The patented Lampizator sound: open, clear, fast, the Big7 did everything the L5 does but just better. An audiophile owning a Level 4 or 5 could easily believe that the midrange could not be beaten. The DS certainly can't. It didn't  take me long to realize that the Big 7 takes the midrange up another notch or 2, 3, 4 . . .  You get the picture. The L5 and the treble? The treble of the Big 7 possesses a clarity that might be compared to the L5 like this. The L5 was like looking through slightly tinted glass while the Big 7 is like looking out the window with no glass at all on a clear day. Not in the polluted air of China though. The result? Cymbals that shimmer with just the right amount of sparkle and decay. Voices even when grouped resonate in their own separate space. 


    Do I love the Big 7? You betcha. Well worth any fine tuning that might need to be performed. It is a complex SOTA design. Like any high performance race car it might develop an issue or two. Even though Lukasz packed  mine carefully and sent it out next day air via DHL (like he does for everyone), there was still an issue upon delivery. I just couldn't get it to turn on. A quick text or email to Fred was all it took to get the Lampi guys springing to action. Lukasz even called to help out all the way from Poland. The end result? The Big 7 had to be sent for service here in the states at the Lampizator service and warranty center. I dropped it off at UPS and it was back at my home playing perfectly in just a couple of days. Did I have to pay for shipping? Absolutely not. The guys at Lampizator are dedicated, caring, and could serve as the model for all high end audio boutique businesses to strive for. What else can I say? 

    Wait a minute! Stop the presses! I forgot to tell you about DSD!


    Of course the L5, Big 7, and Perfect Wave Direct Stream all play the standard PCM standards Redbook, 24/48, 24/96, 24/176.5, 24/192 and what's beyond with aplomb. HiRes recordings are not necessary of course but are much like the whip cream on a hot fudge sundae! Who'd want to do without them? Very addicting. The Direct Stream sounds especially good with PCM but surprisingly not quite so good with DSD. A Lampi DAC equipped with DSD is the cherry on top of a giant sundae. Simply breathtaking in realism. Voices just float in their own space. Uncanny comes to mind. I've refrained from discussing specific recordings but I have got to mention one: Elvis Presley: 24 Karat Hits in DSD. Simply put, I've never heard a recording like this. A must have even if you're not an Elvis Fan. Once you've heard Crying in the Chapel, In the Ghetto, or Love Me Tender you are certain to be a DSD fan and once you've heard these tunes on a Lampi DAC you'll be PayPaling the Lampizator guys. 


    The Road to Amber


    After several months I received word that my Big 7 could benefit with some upgrades, so back to Poland it flew. Due to circumstances beyond Fred's and Lukasz's control I learned it might be a couple of weeks before the Big 7 would be flying back home. No music. A quick call to Fred and he was telling me about Lukasz's newest creation, the Amber DAC. And Fred agreed to send me the only Amber DAC in the USA to use while the Big 7 was home in Poland for updates and a tuneup. 


    I was excited to have music at home again but was prepared for disappointment. After the sonic bliss and heights the Big 7 brought to my system, how could this little DAC, the Amber even compare? And what is an Amber DAC? 

    Here's Amber!

    LampizatOr hand made DAC

    Fantastic ESS Sabre reference DAC

    DSD and PCM in one package

    Lampizator famous tube output stage

    Lampizator tubed power supply

    Great looking full size chassis which it shares with our Level3.

    Great upgrade path (with chokes and caps)


    Pretty good pedigree, right? But how did it sound?

    The Amber Fred sent me  was equipped with a RCA coaxial input. A simple job to hook up, right? 

    Because of my system, which is equipped and for USB, yes and no. 

    It was easy to connect my Oppo to it via the coaxial out and input. Then I connected the analog outs to my TRL DUDE preamp. Insert a CD into the Oppo, press play and . . . . No sound! Were the amps on? Yep. All cables connected? Yep. Hmm. A quick call to Fred who told me a tube could have come loose in shipping and gave me permission to open the Amber. Yep, sure enough one of the three tubes had wobbled loose. Back in it went. A quick screwing and hookup and . . . Music! Emmy Lou Harris was singing in my room once again. The sound? Surprisingly good for just being turned on. The bass was a little whompy at first, the treble maybe a touch bright, but the Amber clearly possessed the magic realism and midrange that only (in my experience) is the hallmark of a  Lampizator DAC. But, you know, I had to get the Amber in sync with my tricked out PC. A quick check and yep, my PC does have a coaxial output. I hurriedly made the connection, fired up the trusty iPad, sat in the listening chair, turned out the lights, pointed the remote at the DUDE, selected Emmy Lou and listened to the sweet sound of nothing. Drat. What gives? The simple answer? I don't know. Another one of those arcane PC mysteries that are sometimes unsolvable. 


    Wait a minute. The doorbell just rang. What's this? My Lampi USB TranspOrt has been delivered by UPS? The wheels turn. Aha! I'll connect the coaxial output of the TranspOrt to the Amber input. That'll do it!


    After downloading the EXD driver for the USB TranspOrt and getting Windows 8.1 to approve the unsigned driver, I jRivered the iPad and suddenly there was music. After listening to a few of my favorite cuts, (Emmy Lou Harris, Stevie Wonder, The Decemberists, and Johnny Cash it soon became apparent just how good the Amber DAC was. 


    When connected to the TranspOrt, Amber sure strutted her stuff. The most objectionable characteristic before with the Oppo was somewhat whompy bass which I had attributed wrongly to Amber. The bass was punchy, well defined and clearly lost the womp. The treble was extended but smooth, and the best part, the Lampizator midrange and realism were right there. Soundstage and imaging were very good but not as vivid as I've heard my system. At this point, the Amber was in my mind really a keeper. One could insert this DAC into any system and it wouldn't be embarrassed. 


    To me, one hallmark of a well engineered component is its ability to improve as one's system does. The next step: rebooting my PC to my second operating system Windows Server Essentials 2012 r2 along with JRiver, jPlay, and the excellent Audio Optimizer. (If you've not heard this combo with a tweaked PC, you owe it to yourself to at least seek out someone in your area and give it a listen.) Would Amber respond?  

    In a word yes, the bass, treble, and midrange became even more refined, and Gadzooks the images floated precisely in their own space, lots of front to back depth, and the soundstage became more transparent. 


    Ok, so if Amber is this good, is there any reason to seek out a Level 4, 5, 6, or Big 7? Well to be honest, I'm sure the Amber could give the Level 4 a run for its money. The Level 5? Pretty close, but Amber lacks the slam and resolving power the dual mono power supply and boutique parts the Level 5 is powered with. Remember the Level 5 was the most musical DAC I'd heard until the Big 7 experience. The Big 6, aka the Fikus DAC, I can't speak to as I've never heard one. I'd sure like to though (Fred and Lukasz! You listening? Hint, Hint). Ok the Big 7? In a word no, the Big 7 is just over the top. See above. 

    I've certainly not heard even a fraction of the DACs available today. But for $2000.00 Amber has to be one of the great buys in audio. I've not even tried tube tolling or inserting an audiophile fuse into it. Why? Just to busy listening. 


    Breaking News!


    According to the Lampizator site Amber can now be customized with premium parts like Jupiter and Dueland Caps and other goodies. Plus DSD. Looks like Lukasz just can't help himself. 


    Hope you enjoyed,

    Thanks for reading,

    Sincerely, 

    Steven Rowan


    The Review System


    Music Server(s): Audio PC Zuma Clone


    Music Server Operating System: Windows 7 (64-bit), Windows 8.1 (64-bit), Windows  Server 2012 r2 

    Software: jRemote, JRiver, jPlay, Audio Optimizer, dbPoweramp


    Preferred Digital Interface(s):

    USB, AES/EBU (Single Wire), S/PDIF Coaxial (RCA), Ethernet (UPnP/DLNA), Bluetooth 


    DAC(s): Lampizator Big7 Gen 5, PS Audio Direct Stream


    Transports: Lampizator USB Transport, Oppo, LG BluRay


    Preamplifier(s)  TRL The Dude, Coda CP


    Amplifier(s): 2 CODA CSX 350 Watt Stereo Amps

    Loudspeakers: Legacy Audio Helix and Focus SE (The V arrives in April.)


    Interconnects: Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR

    25 foot pair, 10 foot pair, 2 meter pair, 3 1 meter pairs

    Loudspeaker Cables: Signal Cable Ultra 3 8 foot pairs


    Power Cables: Signal Cable MagicPower PCs, MagicPower Digital Reference, TRL, Running Springs, Transparent, PS Audio, BPT, Clarus Crimson


    Power Conditioning: PurePower 2000 and 3000


    Remote Control(s): iPad Aire 2, iPad Mini


    Headphones: Hervic (oldies but goodies)


    Listening Biases. 

    I can't say there is any music I don't like to listen to. Of course I'm always a sucker for good female vocalists. Classical, New Age, World, Blues, Ragtime, Country, Jazz, and MoTown they all make an appearance during a listening session at some point.  I guess I'm not a big fan of Rap and Hip Hop but some of it really isn't too bad. I have a number of cuts I use for evaluation by such artists as Natalie Merchant, Ricki Lee Jones, Elton John, Louis Armstrong, Elvis, Bjork, Johnny Cash, Prokofiev, Diana Krall, Stevie Wonder, the Chieftans, and many others. If you're interested I can name the tracks I use. 


    Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated or related to the folks at Lampizator in any way. Nor do I profit in any way or accepted any favors or equipment for writing this review. Just a labor of love. Lampi love, that is. 


    • Pangea Audio Premier SE Nema 5 20p AC Power Receptacle
    A friend of mine tried one and gave a glowing report about the grip the receptacle put on his power cords. So I had to try one. He was correct. I installed it to connect my PurePower 3999 to the grid. Wow! What a grip. My RC Crown Jewel powercord won’t sag out any more! 
    Better sound? Hard to tell as I just recieved my Lampizator Pacific B and didn’t use my front end as i was using Wavelet for the preamp, DAC, DSP, and Crossover.  
    But I do know the electrical connection between power cord and receptacle is down right perfect. 
    • Running Springs Crown Jewel Power Cord

Comments 92

Showing all comments by sgr.

View all comments

Center
Owner
Digital Music Server Secrets
I’ve decided to post some of my secrets to obtaining the best from digital audio. Many of these I’ve read about and tried myself from various websites, others from friends, and many are my own experiences.
So here goes #1!

Replace all wall warts with linear power supplies. Obviously I mean the ones that come in direct contact with your audio system. This includes the following in your computer server the MOBO, CPU, fans, solid state drives, hard drives, USB cards, etc. You should also include the wall warts for your cable modem, routers, ethernet switches, streamers, USB cleaners like the Uptone Audio Regens, devices like the Sonore Rendus, FMCS, USB to SPDIF converters, etc., absolutely everywhere you can. 

The linear power supplies I use are the Uptone Audio UltraCap LPS1 and LPS 1.2s, the Hdplex 200 watt units, and the Uptone Audio JS-2. I have used the  Jameco wall wart linear power supplies occasionally as well. I have not tried the iFi products but I think they’d work fine as well. A friend uses batteries with double regulation with great results. He’s brought them over to replace other linear power supplies in my system. He knows more about designing these units so i just use commercial grade units on the market. 

sgr

Center
Owner
Last Wednesday an idea came suddenly to mind, on how to get more out of my system. The Vs are controlled by the WaVelet processor (DAC, Crossover, DSP, and Preamp) it has four outputs per channel. Midrange/Treble, MidBass, Bass, and Sub Bass. I can control all of these settings through the Wavlets app. In the past I used a Y connector to run the Sub Bass outputs to the subwoofers in the Vs and then to my JL Audio 6 Pack. I was using the Master/Slave mode for each stack of JL Audio Subwoofers. I ran the DAR software for each stack of and then used the Wavelet DSP to marry the JL Audio subs and Legacy Vs together. The sound was excellent in this configuration. But could it get better?
And how? I woke up with an idea. What if I used a pair of Y adapters on the Sub Bass, Bass, and Mid bass outputs of Wavelet and splitting each output as before but then running a pair of interconnects to the 6 Packs like this. The bottom pair of subs would get the sub bass outputs, the middle pair with the bass outputs, and the top pair with the mid bass outputs. 
I took the JL Audio subs out of master slave mode and ran the DAR for each individual sub. Then I used the Legacy Audio Wavelet DSP to marry all the subs and the Vs into one system. 
I couldn’t wait to see what happened and I really figured I’d end up going back to the previous sub/V configuration. 
Then I cued up Louis Armstrong’s St. James Infirmary and took a listen. 
The result: not perfect but showing promise. My friend Wille came over to take a listen and helped me get the subs and Vs in phase. The sound became jaw dropping. Imaging was pinpoint and it was like a giant picture window looking into the soundstage. The bass was better than ever it had a fullness and exactness that I never experienced before. I stopped listening at midnight and was hoping my good friend Chris, president of Balanced Power Technology, would be as impressed as Willie and I were. He was impressed as well but thought there might be some adjusting in the Wavelet contours to make mainly adjusting the treble. We trimmed the treble down 0.1. That was better instantly. Then Chris suggested we experiment with HQPLAYER settings and used a minimum phase setting and optimized the out put for Wavelet which likes its USB input set to 24/96. That put the icing on the cake so to speak. I’ve been using the Wavelet as preamp, DAC, Crossover, and DSP for several weeks while waiting for my Pacific to come back from a digital board upgrade. Of course I can’t wait, as the combo of the DUDE and the Lampizator Pacific is amazing and I always preferred it to just the Wavelet, But since we optimized the Wavelet input via, HQPlayer, the Uptone IsoRegen, and Ultrarendu I’m not so sure. It will be fun to find out if my Lampizator ProtoPacific returns this weekend. Thanks Chris and Willie for all your help the system would not be the same without you. Thanks too to Frank at Signal Cable for providing the excellent XLR Y adapters which made this all possible.  

sgr

Center
Owner
Hi,
I used Signal Cable products throughout my system for several years. They are honest and truthful to the sound and well built. If used throughout the system they provide a very “live” sound. The bass is excellent and seems to go deeper than lots of cables I’ve tried. As I’ve kept them and don’t intend to sell them I occasionally put the whole loom back in my system and its very enjoyable. Frank at Signal Cable is a genius designer and provides great cables at a fraction of the price of many. One can buy the whole loom for less than one meter of cables like Nordost and High Fidelity. I’m not saying they Signal Cables sound better than the above but they can get you at least 90% there. I still use several Magic Digital power cords to power my computers with as well.

I have gradually replaced them when I’ve found better. I replaced a couple of the power cords with Running Springs. They were definitely an upgrade when used on my PurePower 3000s. Grannyring pointed me towards the Western Electric wire and I’ve replaced almost all of my power cords with 10 gauge WE wire as well as using the 16 gauge for the high midrange and treble speaker cables. I use Belden 8402 balanced interconnects through out my system now and it with the WE wire has brought out naturalness and refinement to my system. The treble is extended but never gets harsh or brittle just more musical. 
I do still use my Signal Cable in my video sytstem and as extras as needed for new equipment or if a friend brings a piece of equipment over and uses with my system. 
Recently I’ve added some Revelation Audio cables to my system. I’m using a pair of balanced interconnects, an Ethernet cable, and power cord. I’m thinking of adding some more as I can afford them. I think they are a cross between the Signal Cable and the Western Electric. 

I use the power cord on my Lampizator Pacific, the Ethernet cable between my switch and the UltraRendu, and the Balanced interconnects between the Pacific and the Dude. 

sgr

Center
Owner
Thanks very much! Its been very fun and challenging. I’ve learned and discovered so much about getting great digital and I’m glad to share wth others. Many people have helped make my system what it is: listening to the system together, evaluating new gear, reading posts from various sites from other talented people, and of course help from my favorite manufactures’ like the folks at Legacy Audio, Uptone Audio, Lampizator, CODA Continuum, SOTA, AudiophileOptimizer, JL Audio, Tube Research Labs, many others. 
Zephyr, You are welcome back anytime and the day was fun indeed. 

sgr

Center
Owner
Hi,
I have 101ds. I should have put them in for comparison. I know they have much better definition. Then I'll replay the Led Zepplin. HDTracks has done a great job remastering these. If you haven't tried them and you like Led Zeppelin that you are in for a treat. Hopefully I'll be able to get the transport going and I'll insert the 101 days and listen again. I'd sure like to have a balanced big seven or the GG.

sgr

Center
Owner
In my experience a one for all unit usually does have compromises. But who knows, the Legacy speakers perform way above their pay grade. Mr. Duddleston and Mr. Bohmer apparently designed the Wavelet together and used all that they've learned over the years in its design.

You can bet I'll be giving it a fair shake.

sgr

Center
Owner
Listening to the Bricasti was like visiting an old friend as the designers of the Bricasti were the designers of one of the first DACS I owned, the Mark Levinson Reference 30.6 DAC and its companion the 31.5 transport. The Bricasti easily outclasses the older ML designs. It is faster, more dynamic, ad really shows its stuff with hires files. The Bricasti has the precise character the ML had only the noise floor was cleaner. Like the ML designs the Bricasti plays to the head not to the heart. I do think the designers have made the Bricasti more fun then the ML designs.

Comparing the Bricasti to the Big 7 was very interesting. The Bricasti painted the soundstage from from to back and side to side in away my Big 7 has not done. Maybe using different tubes would bring the two closer. Unfortunarptely my Lampi USB transport didn't like the Bricasti drivers, got into a snit, and even though the Bricasti had left the building still refuses to be detected by Windows.

The Big 7 paints a huge soundstage but not as precise. The Big 7 has a musicality the Bricasti doesn't quite have and the vocals seem to have a life of their own. The Bricasti plays DSD very well. So well that if you hadn't heard the Big 7 playing DSD in all its glory one could become quite content with it. The noise floor of the Bricasti is much lower than the Big 7 at least with the tubes I'm using now. I would like to hear a balanced Big 7 or Golden Gate in my system for comparison.

The Bricasti sounded exceptional playing the new Led Zepplin 24/96 files from HD Tracks. The Big 7 played the tracks big and bold and filled the room with music. But with out the preciseness of the Bricasti.

Really unless I found the perfect tube compliment for the Big 7, I'd like to own both DACS. They are both exceptional musicala instruments. One DAC gets you toe taping and having fun time, while the other seductively sucks you into the performance and one hears every detail that the recordings offer.

I'd say they were pretty much tied when listening to PCM. One did something's better, the other made up for it in different ways.

However, I'd still have to pick the Big 7, because when playing back DSD the Lampi has no equal. Playing the DSD version of Elvis's In the Ghetto or You Saw Me Crying in the Chapel makes the hair on your neck rise, for Elvis is in the building for sure.

sgr

Center
Owner
I'm not sure about removing room treatments. Maybe I'll trying removing the corne bass traps. The diffusers are important as they make the room seem larger. The treatments have changed quite a bit since your visit. The only absorbers I use are the four corner traps. Then I use a combo of diffusers and 1 foot squares of Auralex pyramid diffusers at the side wall reflection zones.

Mr. Duddleston and I have talked about starting with no room treatments before, but he thought my room measured extremely well before installing Helix. He also thought it's better to have a treated room to start with, because the DSP will not have to compensate for any bass anomalies.

So the answer is maybe.

sgr

Center
Owner
Forgot about tubes. L
I'm still using the Cunninghams and Bendix rectifier.
Auditioned a Bricasti DAC. It is a worthy competitor to Lampi.

Legacy V Specs
The Legacy V is the first system to use the new dual 4” long Legacy AMT neodymium tweeters, arranged in a specially optimized post convergent array that masterfully presents treble which extends up to 30kHz. Building upon the advances first developed for the award winning AERIS speaker system, V features open air dual 14” carbon/pulp drivers delivering detailed and spacious midrange and bass.

Legacy Chief Designer Bill Dudleston utilized a 12” aluminum bass driver with a massive magnetic structure complemented by another 12” aluminum very low frequency radiator which drives three 10” mass loaded pneumatic radiators. The result? Unprecedented excursion at the longest wavelengths with superior dynamic response. The V speaker system even shapes low frequencies into a cardioid pattern to avoid room coloration. The low frequencies are amplified by the included 1,500 Watts of the latest generation of ICEpower® amplification.

The system is the first to include the Legacy Wavelet Processor. Wavelet is a preamp, a four-way crossover with time alignment, complete speaker and room resonance correction, and a high-end DAC with apodizing ability. The Preamp and DAC can also be bypassed at the touch of a button. Wavelet debuts the revolutionary Bohmer acoustic processing to optimize the loudspeaker/room acoustic transfer function in both the frequency and time domains. Working with new algorithms it starts with a psychoacoustically based measurement method with the provided calibrated microphone. Alignments are then individually optimized within an unprecedented 40ms window by way of a wireless iPad, smart phone or computer. The result is audibly improved transient response that allows the V system to operate accurately and consistently in any listening environment. More information on the Wavelet is available, here.

The V system’s ultra high end performance capabilities are only matched by its design. The intricately crafted cabinet features optional high gloss, real wood veneer and aluminum extrusions. The elegant design is highlighted by a gentle illumination (with on/off switch) from within the center of each tower- complimenting the groundbreaking performance technology within the V speaker system. The latest speaker in the Handcrafted Master's Series, the Legacy V ushers in the new benchmark in speaker systems.

sgr

Center
Owner
Agear,
I'll be sure to keep my posts up to date. One exciting and tantalizing aspect for the V system is the Wavelet DAC, DSP, preamp, and crossover. Several pairs of Vs have been installed. Two gentleman after listening to the Wavelet have sold their DACS and preamps. One had a new DcS stack, one an Aurender. It should be interesting to see how it compares to the Lampi Big 7, the Lampi USB TranspOrt, and Dude.
My system would be a whole lot less complicated if all I needed was the Wavelet, maybe an Auralic Aieres, and a pair of CODA 15.5 amps.
Here's Wavelet info:
http://legacyaudio.com/images/uploads/blog/Legacy_Wavelet_Information.pdf

sgr

Center
Owner
System edited: My Legacy Audio Vs are being assembled and delivered soon. I'll be sharing my thoughts and experiences soon.

sgr

Center
Owner
System edited: Added the Lampizator Big 7 Gen 5. What a beast! And way superior to the Level 5.

sgr

Center
Owner
System edited: Wow, is all I can say. The PurePower 2000 really improved my system. I've plugged my Coda CSX amps into it and the change in dynamics, purity, soundstage, imaging, and sheer power are staggering. It isn't fun to pick up either! But worth every bit of back strain.

sgr

Center
Owner
System edited: My system is currently going through some changes. Recently I added the Lampizator Level 5 DAC and USB Transport. I've been searching for equipment to match the sound quality of the Lampizator. The TRL DUDE is another keeper. Never in 35 years have I heard its equal. Based on the sound of the Dude, out go the Coda amps, and I'll welcome a pair of TRL Samsons. Some time soon, Mr Duddleston at Legacy Audio, will have finished designing the Helix replacements and that should complete my quest for the most musical equipment I can afford. I'm sure there will be new power cords, interconnects, etc. but the bones of my system I don't foresee replacing.

sgr

Center
Owner
No new Whisper. Probably close to 1.5 years out or more.

sgr

Center
Owner
Zephyr,
Can't wait to audition Aeris and new Helix with you, Bill, and Brandon at Legacy.

I probably will end up with Aeris, but I do want to hear new Helix first. Or maybe the new Whisper eventually.

Hope you have a great weekend.
The Lampi is sounding great. I'm supposed to get my Lampizator Transport and Silk power supply next week.

Also trying out some Morrow and Clarus Crimson cables. Very impressed with Clarus Crimson cables. So far very impressed with Clarus a Crimson.

We have to talk soon. I also need some Dropbox tutoring.

Thanks,
Steven

sgr

Center
Owner
System edited: Many changes in the system since I last posted. Helix are sold and I'm waiting for new ones. Auditioning a loaner pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE which sound great. Biggest change, my system has been Lampizized. The Lampizator Level 5 Generation 4 with DSD is a game changer. In fact it made more difference in my system than any other component even speakers. I will be writing a review of the DAC and Transport soon.

sgr

Center
Owner
Thanks, the Helix are awesome indeed. I'm listening to some taiko drums and they reproduce every little nuance and then Wham! a visceral blow to the body.

Someday I hope to upgrade the amps to the to two 15s for treble and mids and the # 33 for the bass. These along with their new two piece 07 preamp should be an even more awesome combo.

Right now I'm striving to get my digital as best as can be. The PWD II with Bridge can sound excellent and even more so with all the upgrades I've been doing. I will be writing all of it up soon.

sgr

Center
Owner
Zephyr,
Thank you for all your advice and wisdom. The discs you brought sound fantastic. You have a great collection. You are welcome back anytime. I'm still listening after two days of music. The Helix have never sounded better. Dinner was superb.
Thanks so much. PepsiCo rules!

Any other audiophiles visiting or living in the St. Louis area are sure welcome to come by for a visit. The Helix will be warmed up and waiting.

Also I'd like to thank Jim, Vance, Willie, Dave, Chris, John, and Wayne. You have all been great friends whose patience, efforts, and advice I value greatly.

Looking for new speakers? If you haven't auditioned the speakers built and engineered in Springfield, IL you might be missing out on one of the greatest values in high end speakers. Check out the Focus SEs. In MHOP best in their price range and thousands more.

sgr

Center
Owner
Thanks Zephyr and Glenfihi,
I really did not start out to have almost all the way USA, but it did sort of happen. There are still some really great Americans that design great HiFi equipment which is as good as anything else in the world. PS Audio, Legacy Audio, and Signal Cable bring great sounding products to the market that I consider realistically priced, sound great, and can give equipment costing thousands of dollars more, more than a run for the money.
Paul, Bill, and Frank, we salute you and others like minded in the industry.

sgr

Center
Owner
Hi,
Thanks for all advice. 
While I do have a turntable and cd transport I don't listen to them much at all. I have all my music ripped to a server and played back by my PS Audio PWD DAC and Bridge. Since I controll the what is played via my iPad running eMM software it can be in another room.The preamp can be fitted with Crestron repeaters and controlled with the iPad as well. 

The turntable and transport I would want to leave in the room to make things a little easier. 

Adding the windows to see the equipment might be an option but I'd be afraid of the reflections this might/would cause. 

As for tweaking with footers to stop vibration, I admit it can and does look cool. But I've also gotten to crazy in the past and found I've overindulged to sonic detriment. Besides one never knows when it is right, which drives me crazy at times. 

As for cabling, now I do use a 25 foot XLR interconnect between preamp and crossover, the amps are behind speakers with 8 foot interconnects. 
By placing the amps,crossover, preamp, DAC directly behind the speaker but on the other side of the wall, I should get rid of the long interconnect. 

I think I will miss looking at the equipment, but when I'm listening without guests, I turn out the lights and listen with my eyes shut, so I won't really miss it too much. 

Keep your ideas flowing. I have not finalized anything yet. 
Steve

sgr

Center
Owner
Hi,
Thanks Zephyr. I've been having Audiogon problems.
The Coda amps are broken in along with the preamp. Doug Schroeder was right on in his Dagogo reveiw of the CS amps.
Theie is a synergy between Coda and Legacy that is uncanny. I'm also contemplating updating the Coda CP Preamp to the new forthcoming 0.7r dual mono with separate power supplies. I'll let you know how it sounds sometime this fall.

sgr

Center
Owner
System edited: Preamp and amplifier upgrade. Pictures to follow. No more
Krell. No more ARC! I've found the right combo. CODA CP Preamp, CSX
amplifier for high frequencies, CS amplifier for midrange, and another CS
amplifier for bass. The CODA products sound like they were made for my
Legacy Helix speakers and they were. These amps and preamp are exactly
what Bill Duddleston the Helix designer uses to design and voice Helix.
They slam when needed and can sound so sweet. The Krells were great
amps but they could make the temperature rise 20 degrees in my room in a
couple of hours. And they never sounded this good. The CODAS stay on
all the time, never have to warm up and never heat up the room. The
CODA CP preamp might not be as romantic and bigger than life compared
to the REF 3 but it really is the more accurate and more realistic of the two.
Plus it and the Xilica preamp get along fine. Look mom no impedence
mismatch. Plus component gain matching!

sgr

Center
Owner
Karsajid,
Yes the system is fun to listen to. There is an incompatibility between the Xilica crossover and ARC preamps. The Xilica has a very low impedence the ARC does not like. ARC told me there was no way they would work together thus the reason I sold the Ref 3 and am using the Coda CP preamp instead. The Coda CP was a big improvement because of this factor. I'm looking forward to hearing Coda's new two chassis preamp in my system when it becomes available. It is called the 0.7 I beleve.

I think the amp will sound more like the Ultra Audio review as it breaks in and warms up. It was great talking width you today. Let me know how things progress.

sgr

Center
Owner
Barry,
I'm using all Coda now. Two Coda CX amps, one CSX and the Coda CP preamp. No more Krell or ARC. Audiogon's new and improved and wonderful SOTA system will not let me edit my system to show changes. I am very happy with Coda and I will probably not be interested in anything else but Coda electronics from now on in my system.

To anyone and everyone who'd like to talk please use my email address below. Let's see if the God's of Audiogon will permit this. I'd hate to miss out on any friendships or great conversations because of one of the new commandments:

Thou shall not email or converse with or make new friends with any fellow Audiophile through Audiogon.

"Thus let it be written. Thus let it be done."

My email is [email protected] Send me your phone number so we can talk.

sgr

Center
Owner
Barrysandy,
It seems to be a great crossover. But there is a steep learning curve and I admit I have not fully mastered it. Analog crossovers are much easier to use I think. But the Digital models can really do some great things once you learn how to use them.
If you are ever in St. Louis let me know and you can come by for a visit.

sgr

Center
Owner
Rehan,
Sorry I did not see your post. There are only 6 bass/midbass traps in the room. The rest are diffusors which are hard surfaces. I do have a few pieces of 1 foot square foam up for the reflection points. I have removed the traps behind my chair. I have not been able to update the pictures since Audiogon did their " update". Maybe I'll try again soon.
As for the sound, most people remark how realistic the room sounds and go away very impressed.
The digital crossover does the final tuning.
Which Legacys do you own?
If you ever are in St. Louis let me know and you can come for a listen.

sgr

Center
Owner
Sounds great. It will be fun.

sgr

Center
Owner
Hey Zephyr,
If you are ever near St. Louis and want to come by for a listen let me know as you'd surely be welcome. I have some additional improvements to post but my system keeps vanishing and the Audiogon Gods don't seem to know the answer.

sgr

Center
Owner
Yep, I ordered the upgrade. Can't wait. I'm hoping it sounds great as well. I'll be posting my finds and hope to be in that top first 100. 😊

sgr

Center
Owner
Thanks for looking and the system sounds great too!

sgr

Center
Owner
System edited: I wanted to mention the Signal Cable HDMI cable. It really made a nice difference between my PS Audio PWD Nd PWT. Very resolving and musical much enter than PS Audio's silver HDMI cable. Works great for video too.

sgr

Center
Owner
Here are some tips on using Signal Cable that I've gotten from Frank, the owner. In general one wants to combine the copper and silver wires in this fashion. Use the Silver Resolution interconnects with the copper Ultra Speaker cables. This combo is killer. The sound of the copper speaker cables and silver interconnects cables together is really special. 😄 Frank does not generally recommend all silver unless your system is very laid back. The Magic Digital cables really make a difference with all the digital equipment you own from the traditional DAC, transport, and CD player to the newer uses such as Server, computer, HD TVs, etc. I really like the Magic pcs with my power amps. I found the Silver Resolution pcs work great with tube preamps. I've not tried this cable with tube power amps so I can't say for sure how it would work. The Signal Cable HDMI is a winner too. It easily bested PS Audio's own silver cable between my PWT and PWD. I can testify that Frank's other digital cables sound outstanding too as a close friend of mine owns several highly touted cables like the Transparent Premier and the Signal Cable is always the one we prefer.

sgr

Center
Owner
Lapierre,
Thanks for your comments and questions. Actually Krell designed the amps so all the gain and output are the same. Also you can vary the output via the Xilica Digital Crossover. So you get all the benefit of using the larger amps with more authority and headroom on the bass. If this was not the case, it would be better to use all KSA 250s. The MDA 500s are just the monoblock versions of the stereo amps. It was their flagship mono block until the FPB series came out.

sgr

Center
Owner
That has been the biggest task since I bought the Helix. When I heard them at the factory, they sounded simply incredible. The were the best loud speakers I'd ever heard or owned. (I owned, Dalquist DQ10s, Acoustat Model 4s, Magnepan MG 3s and 3.6s, and Revel Studios Salons.) However after they were delivered I found that something was missing, so I experimented with the digital crossover it helped and I'm not really an speaker designer or knowledgeable about how an real time analyzer works. The problems I had to overcome was at Legacy, the ceilings were 10 feet tall and it is a much wider room, I was squeezing them into my basement and to get the sound I knew these babies were capable of, I needed to find a solution.

So with the help of several St. Louis audiophiles and friends, [Willie, Tim, Wayne, Dave, John, Chris, and Vance(by the way, thanks for all your help)] who listened with me and double checked my adjustments over the last year.

The first step was to work on the reflection points on the side walls. After I found those I needed to decide to diffuse or absorb these areas. I first tried diffusion which worked but caused other problems, then I tried just absorption panels, some better, than why not a combo, and that was the best, so I added Auralex foam to the diffusors.

Next, I new I needed bass trapping in the corners for the bass. So I went with 4 six inch traps in each corner. Much better. Then I experimented with full range traps on the walls between the speakers. Big improvement. Then I worked on the back wall and sides by the listening chair. I first I diffused that whole area with Metrofusors. It was a great improvement but the image sounded fat, bloated, and larger than life. So I added the four inch traps one at a time behind the listening chair. Each time I added a trap, (and experimented with their stacking) I'd listen, change things, and take them back out and listen again. Finally I got that right.

But I knew the sound wasn't quite right, so my friend Willie had been admireing the acoustics at his church. So he decided to emualate the design at his house. Spacing traps about every 3 feet along the side walls worked wonders with his system. So I rushed home to try it. Darn, it made my system too closed in, so I still had left over Metro diffusors, so I spaced them in columns every three feet down the side walls. It worked great but there was too much diffusion, so I experimented with adding the foam over the diffusors, and I was off on the right track.

At some point, I obtained the larger T-Fusors, experimented with them and found they work much differently than the Metros so I tried them in various places. Mainly over the bass traps in front behind the speakers, then I replaced some of the Metros behind my listening chair.

The next step was attacking the low ceiling, (7foot 5 inches). I wanted to try to make the room sound spacious like a taller room would sound. This was the toughest. I tried bass traps on the ceiling, no luck, I tried T-fusors on the ceiling, better, but still not right. The dip in the cieling caused by the HVAC system, was a nightmare. Nothing I read gave me any clues as to how to attack this problem. So finally I placed the Metro diffusors on the ceiling in front of the dip, listened and found I was on the right track, then I experimented with the foam on the slope, and bam everything sort of fell into place.

So I learned several things, one treating the room after it is constructed is huge, if you want the best sound. Two, don't depend on digital bandaids to get the sound right, the can help, but not by themselves. Three, always have a listening panel to double check what you've tried and be ready to take all the junk down! Four, to do acoustic work, you need tools, (the various bass traps, foams, and diffusors and be willing to use everything you've read and your imagination. Finally, be creative with your color schemes, painting, etc, to get it all to come together (but that is a whole other story!)

Bottom line it was a lot of work, but in the end, well worth it!

sgr