LampizatOr Horizon - Tube Rolling Paradise

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Takacs & Pinter

My system has recently taken a large step forward, and I wanted to share a little bit of the details. As I reported in the Taiko system thread here, several months ago I finally approached what I feel is decent acoustic treatment for my room, which has a semi-vaulted ceiling and is relatively roomy but is difficult to model. There was a pesky 70 Hz room mode which swamped bass notes, as well as other modes at 112 Hz and 43 Hz which resulted in uneven bass. After deployment of numerous GIK soffit (11) and Monster traps (20+) in two phases, this completely transformed the sound in the room. As many know but possibly counterintuitive to some, this resulted in more and better, not less bass; the bass quality is now taut and punchy and well resolved, without the smearing that resulted previously due to resonance swamping.

My chain of Taiko Extreme – Lampizator Horizon (RGN2004-C3g-SRS-551) – Westminsterlabs REI – Tannoy Westminster GR/REL G2 was elevated to new levels of realism. I had settled on the tube combo above as the best I’d tried to date. Several of the recommended tubes in this group did not work well in my system/room at the time; the TS 6SN7 and KT-170s were not to my taste and felt unfocused, the ECC32s were better but still not compelling. The C3g and SRS-551 were a marked improvement. Interestingly after the room treatments were completed, even though just about everything else took a huge step forward, many recordings sounded slightly bloated in the bass and midbass, probably due to the unmasking effect of the room treatments. I had intended to fiddle with subwoofer settings and speaker placement to accommodate the change, but hadn’t gotten around to it.

At the same time, I was talking with Laszlo @takacs75 (who is an amazing audiophile and all around wonderful guy). My adventures with Laszlo started with the initial prototype SRS-551 adapter that he sold me many moons ago (not his signature TP adapters), which brought out new levels of performance from the Horizon (as many of your know). I had placed an order with Laszlo for a full set of TP adapters and wiring harness including for the C3g.
Before I went ahead with the full order, Laszlo brought up an alternate tube, the Telefunken EF802. Some of you may know that short of a real VF-14 tube, this is probably the preferred best alternative tube to put in the legendary Neumann U-47 microphone. I’d never heard of it before, but he characterized it as the lowest noise and most linear tube he’d ever heard, sans the slightly overblown bass of the C3g. I was like wait.. what? Maybe the bass bloat I heard wasn’t really due to the room change only. I decided to trust Laszlo as he’s never led me wrong in the past and went ahead with ordering these from him.

Soon, the TP adapters in bubinga wood and EF802s arrived. The adapters were simply audio jewelry. I had seen photos of them from others in this thread – none do these justice. The high standard of craftsmanship was on full display from these little hand-made gems.

Replacing the adapters I was using before with Takacs & Pinter audio jewelry, even without burn in, there was immediately a marked elevation of performance, in particular resolution and lowered noise floor.

I then stuck in the EF802s with their TP adapters – and was treated to one of the biggest revelations I’ve had. The overused cliché of “a slightly misfocused image” being brought into optimal focus was quite apt here. And the bass! What heavenly bass. Laszlo was 110% right on the money with his suggestion, at least in my room with my system. I hadn’t realized what I was missing with the C3g in place. Timpani strikes, organ solos, acoustic bass notes – there was a sense of “rightness” with these that was just absent before.

Concurrent with this, I went to two live performances in the same week. On Wednesday we flew to Carnegie Hall to hear the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin perform Sibelius’ 2nd Symphony, Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Cto and a NY premiere of indigenous composer Cris Derksen’s Controlled Burn, mid-hall seats, row N, in one of the most acoustically revered halls in the world. Then it was back to Bangor, Maine for a performance of Mahler’s 5th by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra led by Lucas Richman on Sunday in a acoustically much inferior space, the Collins Center, but we were up close at row A next to the stage (I favor the closeness for the dynamics and communion with the performers). These were both extremely enjoyable and memorable performances, and a good opportunity to again calibrate my ears to “live music”.

During the performances, I usually take a few moments to close my eyes and remove the visual stimuli, to better compare the soundscape experience to that from my home system. This again brought home how tonally “right” the EF802s were especially in the bass region.

As an interesting side note, to these ears soundstaging is pretty crappy from row “N” in Carnegie Hall! Without the visual cues, it was hard to identify where an instrument was playing from. By acoustic theory I was probably beyond the distance where one can reliably discriminate position of a sound source due to the diffuse sound field, but those who know more acoustic theory can correct me. But – the sound was gorgeous. To date the Boston Symphony Hall has been my favorite venue for classical performances, and despite living in NYC for 7 years previously I had never made it to Carnegie Hall (I favored the former Avery Fisher Hall and the Met Opera); I think I may have a new favorite hall venue :)

Unlike some others here, I have never felt that the SRS-551s were too dynamic, or muted or veiled. Absolutely love these. I am a huge fan of dynamics, and had Avantgarde horns for a while before moving to my current Tannoy Westminsters. I am also running direct Horizon XLR to amps, which may also be a big factor in the output level interaction.

If you haven't tried them, or if you feel that the C3g are contributing to some degree of bass bloat, you really owe it to yourself to try the Telefunken EF802 with TP adapters. I can't overstate the difference these have made in my Horizon/system/room.

Bottom line – big thanks to @takacs75 Laszlo and Tibor for their amazing work in discovering new tubes and creating these sonically AND visually gorgeous adapters, and for just being all around great guys. I can't recommend them highly enough. Thanks to you, my system has taken a remarkable leap forwards. Between the completion of acoustic treatments, the addition of the Westminster REIs (thanks Fred @LampiNA!) and the Taiko switch and alpha XDMS, this has brought my room and system to levels I would have never imagined a year ago.
 

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Great report and so happy for you!
 
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Takacs & Pinter

My system has recently taken a large step forward, and I wanted to share a little bit of the details. As I reported in the Taiko system thread here, several months ago I finally approached what I feel is decent acoustic treatment for my room, which has a semi-vaulted ceiling and is relatively roomy but is difficult to model. There was a pesky 70 Hz room mode which swamped bass notes, as well as other modes at 112 Hz and 43 Hz which resulted in uneven bass. After deployment of numerous GIK soffit (11) and Monster traps (20+) in two phases, this completely transformed the sound in the room. As many know but possibly counterintuitive to some, this resulted in more and better, not less bass; the bass quality is now taut and punchy and well resolved, without the smearing that resulted previously due to resonance swamping.

My chain of Taiko Extreme – Lampizator Horizon (RGN2004-C3g-SRS-551) – Westminsterlabs REI – Tannoy Westminster GR/REL G2 was elevated to new levels of realism. I had settled on the tube combo above as the best I’d tried to date. Several of the recommended tubes in this group did not work well in my system/room at the time; the TS 6SN7 and KT-170s were not to my taste and felt unfocused, the ECC32s were better but still not compelling. The C3g and SRS-551 were a marked improvement. Interestingly after the room treatments were completed, even though just about everything else took a huge step forward, many recordings sounded slightly bloated in the bass and midbass, probably due to the unmasking effect of the room treatments. I had intended to fiddle with subwoofer settings and speaker placement to accommodate the change, but hadn’t gotten around to it.

At the same time, I was talking with Laszlo @takacs75 (who is an amazing audiophile and all around wonderful guy). My adventures with Laszlo started with the initial prototype SRS-551 adapter that he sold me many moons ago (not his signature TP adapters), which brought out new levels of performance from the Horizon (as many of your know). I had placed an order with Laszlo for a full set of TP adapters and wiring harness including for the C3g.
Before I went ahead with the full order, Laszlo brought up an alternate tube, the Telefunken EF802. Some of you may know that short of a real VF-14 tube, this is probably the preferred best alternative tube to put in the legendary Neumann U-47 microphone. I’d never heard of it before, but he characterized it as the lowest noise and most linear tube he’d ever heard, sans the slightly overblown bass of the C3g. I was like wait.. what? Maybe the bass bloat I heard wasn’t really due to the room change only. I decided to trust Laszlo as he’s never led me wrong in the past and went ahead with ordering these from him.

Soon, the TP adapters in bubinga wood and EF802s arrived. The adapters were simply audio jewelry. I had seen photos of them from others in this thread – none do these justice. The high standard of craftsmanship was on full display from these little hand-made gems.

Replacing the adapters I was using before with Takacs & Pinter audio jewelry, even without burn in, there was immediately a marked elevation of performance, in particular resolution and lowered noise floor.

I then stuck in the EF802s with their TP adapters – and was treated to one of the biggest revelations I’ve had. The overused cliché of “a slightly misfocused image” being brought into optimal focus was quite apt here. And the bass! What heavenly bass. Laszlo was 110% right on the money with his suggestion, at least in my room with my system. I hadn’t realized what I was missing with the C3g in place. Timpani strikes, organ solos, acoustic bass notes – there was a sense of “rightness” with these that was just absent before.

Concurrent with this, I went to two live performances in the same week. On Wednesday we flew to Carnegie Hall to hear the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin perform Sibelius’ 2nd Symphony, Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Cto and a NY premiere of indigenous composer Cris Derksen’s Controlled Burn, mid-hall seats, row N, in one of the most acoustically revered halls in the world. Then it was back to Bangor, Maine for a performance of Mahler’s 5th by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra led by Lucas Richman on Sunday in a acoustically much inferior space, the Collins Center, but we were up close at row A next to the stage (I favor the closeness for the dynamics and communion with the performers). These were both extremely enjoyable and memorable performances, and a good opportunity to again calibrate my ears to “live music”.

During the performances, I usually take a few moments to close my eyes and remove the visual stimuli, to better compare the soundscape experience to that from my home system. This again brought home how tonally “right” the EF802s were especially in the bass region.

As an interesting side note, to these ears soundstaging is pretty crappy from row “N” in Carnegie Hall! Without the visual cues, it was hard to identify where an instrument was playing from. By acoustic theory I was probably beyond the distance where one can reliably discriminate position of a sound source due to the diffuse sound field, but those who know more acoustic theory can correct me. But – the sound was gorgeous. To date the Boston Symphony Hall has been my favorite venue for classical performances, and despite living in NYC for 7 years previously I had never made it to Carnegie Hall (I favored the former Avery Fisher Hall and the Met Opera); I think I may have a new favorite hall venue :)

Unlike some others here, I have never felt that the SRS-551s were too dynamic, or muted or veiled. Absolutely love these. I am a huge fan of dynamics, and had Avantgarde horns for a while before moving to my current Tannoy Westminsters. I am also running direct Horizon XLR to amps, which may also be a big factor in the output level interaction.

If you haven't tried them, or if you feel that the C3g are contributing to some degree of bass bloat, you really owe it to yourself to try the Telefunken EF802 with TP adapters. I can't overstate the difference these have made in my Horizon/system/room.

Bottom line – big thanks to @takacs75 Laszlo and Tibor for their amazing work in discovering new tubes and creating these sonically AND visually gorgeous adapters, and for just being all around great guys. I can't recommend them highly enough. Thanks to you, my system has taken a remarkable leap forwards. Between the completion of acoustic treatments, the addition of the Westminster REIs (thanks Fred @LampiNA!) and the Taiko switch and alpha XDMS, this has brought my room and system to levels I would have never imagined a year ago.

I can only agree with seatrope's assessment of Takasz & Pinter, their adapters and the EF802 tube. My experience is based on a Pacific 2.

The adapters are perfect and you don't have to worry about risking damage to the lampizator due to bad adapters. Orders are processed very quickly and with absolute confidence. I think the prices are absolutely reasonable for the manual work and the materials used and you also get a few hot tips for tubes (C3g, EF802, PT14, etc).

In place of the original 6n6, all derivatives of the 6DJ8/ECC88 family can be used without any problems and usually with a significant increase in sound quality in the Pacific.

When used in this position, the usual differences in sound from manufacturers such as Mullard, Siemens and Telefunken become very transparent and clear. The Super-Telefunken E88CC or CCA sound nearly perfect in my system and to my taste, but also a little bit sterile. The dynamics are certainly hard to beat.

If you now replace the two systems of the 6DJ8/ECC88 double triode with one EF802 each and a corresponding adapter (from Laszlo), you get the perfect solution in my opinion. The basic quality of the Super-Telefunken (e.g. linearity, dynamics) is retained and at the same time there is no sterility.

I have measured more than 120 of these Telefunken tubes in the past and have not had a single faulty one in the batch. All tubes are extremely low in noise and microphony. When looking for these tubes, please do not be confused by the sometimes absurd prices for "matched" pairs!

To get really matched pairs (or quartets) the seller probably needs at least 50 tubes, ideally from the same batch! Even if a seller could ensure this, unit prices for these tubes of up to €1000 are simply outrageous.
 

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I can only agree with seatrope's assessment of Takasz & Pinter, their adapters and the EF802 tube. My experience is based on a Pacific 2.

The adapters are perfect and you don't have to worry about risking damage to the lampizator due to bad adapters. Orders are processed very quickly and with absolute confidence. I think the prices are absolutely reasonable for the manual work and the materials used and you also get a few hot tips for tubes (C3g, EF802, PT14, etc).

In place of the original 6n6, all derivatives of the 6DJ8/ECC88 family can be used without any problems and usually with a significant increase in sound quality in the Pacific.

When used in this position, the usual differences in sound from manufacturers such as Mullard, Siemens and Telefunken become very transparent and clear. The Super-Telefunken E88CC or CCA sound nearly perfect in my system and to my taste, but also a little bit sterile. The dynamics are certainly hard to beat.

If you now replace the two systems of the 6DJ8/ECC88 double triode with one EF802 each and a corresponding adapter (from Laszlo), you get the perfect solution in my opinion. The basic quality of the Super-Telefunken (e.g. linearity, dynamics) is retained and at the same time there is no sterility.

I have measured more than 120 of these Telefunken tubes in the past and have not had a single faulty one in the batch. All tubes are extremely low in noise and microphony. When looking for these tubes, please do not be confused by the sometimes absurd prices for "matched" pairs!

To get really matched pairs (or quartets) the seller probably needs at least 50 tubes, ideally from the same batch! Even if a seller could ensure this, unit prices for these tubes of up to €1000 are simply outrageous.
The p factor(Z) of this low-noise microphone pentode is under 1.5% failure rate. This means that only 1.5% of these tubes fail in (LL)10,000 hours of operation. This was guaranteed by Telefunken in Ulm. The EF 800/EF802/EF804S/EF806S tubes were used in studio microphones and studio power amps, e.g. Telefunken V69.
Picture telefunken book.20240318_080656.jpg
The letters in the blue dot (left) indicate quality requirements.
Z=1.5%failurate
LL 10000hours life guarantee
 
Every time I get out, they pull me back in….
 
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I'm missing that very heavy italian accent, but I know what you mean :p
I can only help here with German accent, nice to see you here again, Christoph.:) I am new here. Regards to all tube DAC lovers here. I still prefer the 6f8g and UX280/80 rectifier types in my Sirius DAC by Veridian Utopia. Ijust see I landed in a sticky thread, sorry.:eek:
 
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Like trying to find the best Merlot or Petite Syrah, there’s no end to the search for the ideal “best” tube for a Lampi DAC.
 
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Like trying to find the best Merlot or Petite Syrah, there’s no end to the search for the ideal “best” tube for a Lampi DAC.
Which is great if you enjoy the ride. For me, these slight improvements/changes keep me engaged in music and help me forget the gear. Tube rolling can be a cure for upgraditis…

Also, I love tubes!
 
Ive had a busy few days after out return from a lengthy vacation in Japan and now with the arrival of the new Horizon with Native XDMI

Prior to the arrival of this new Horizon and putting up on my rack I wanted to have a lengthy listen to my system as it stood as it has been a while. Prior to leaving on vacation the only thing that changed in my system was changing out the Telefunken c3gs for the Telefunken ef802 at the suggestion of Laszlo I have to admit that going in I had strong bias in favor of the c3gs as it made such a profound and positive change in my system. Everything was better and I loved what I heard. If there was a downside, it was the fact that the c3gs was so good that in my room there was just too much of everything.....IOW too. much of a good thing. I compensated for this by reducing the gain on my preamp but always the gain on my Horizon remained at 63 as it was imperative to me to use the signal through pass into my Lamm preamp. Many ask why not just use the gain on the Horizon and I admit it is excellent but for my ears passing that signal through my Lamm LL1 wasmacic and was something that is an integral part of my system

I talk to Laszlo on daily basis more often about family , friends and life. Several weeks before I left Laszlo and I talked about my thoughts of the C3gs and what I was experiencing. Laszlo very calm suggested I consider switching out the TFKN c3gs for the TFKN ef802. This caught me somewhat by surprise as it was suggested I demo a matched quad of the ef802. Of course I was game. As stated these arrived about 5 weeks ago and they were just breaking in as we left for vacation. So yesterday I spent the entire day listening

So what's the verdict .......as the nursery story Goldilocks stated, "not too hot and not too cold but just right." I couldn't have said it better than that. Everything I heard with the famous c3gs was all there as before but now "it was just right". The Horizon gain remains at 63 and I am now able to use my preamp at the gain level at which I am accustomed. To me these were the perfect solution for my room, my ears and my system. Everything was perfect. I listened for flaws and I could find none. Everything was tonally balanced. There was no coloration, harshness and nothing stood out. "It was just right"

Suffice it to say the demo set sent to have been purchased along with the wonderful TP adapters that so many of us enjoy. Furthermore, with tubes I use in my system, I always want a back up set, just in case. The back up set has arrived and are part of my tube stash. Today my old Horizon will be removed from my rack and replaced with the newly arrived Next Horizon with Native XDMI with the anticipation of the arrival of my new Taiko Olympus and IO. I even have an XDMI cable made by KBL Audio in Poland that Lukasz said is the best that he has auditioned, so stay tuned for further updates but for now I am loving "it's just right" I am not sure if other c3gs users are finding what I did.... a marvelous tube but in my system just a a little "too much" I am sure this tube is perfect in many users systems but once again, I have to give a big shout out to Laszlo who has become IMO the de facto expert in tube rolling in LampizatOr DACs. Plus IMHO his TP adapters remain for me, the very best I have ever used. They are pricey but excellent. Plus they have the ability to use star grounding which for me helped lower the sound floor substantially

For those contemplating XDMI here is a link to the first photos

 
I've just done the same demo as you Steve, courtesy of Laszlo's generosity of an extended demo. For your "just right" I used the phrase "more refined", i.e. the EF802's make the c3g's sound a bit uncouth. Needless to say, I've done the trade too!
 
Yes, EF802+the TP adapter is muy bueno. Thanks Laszlo (and Tibor)!

EF802 is more of a "buttoned down" sound as compared to TFKN C3G (mine are not the 'S', which are still very good and fun/enjoyable, "let's party" kind of sound).
 
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Yes, EF802+the TP adapter is muy bueno. Thanks Laszlo (and Tibor)!

EF802 is more of a "buttoned down" sound as compared to TFKN C3G (mine are not the 'S', which are still very good and fun/enjoyable, "let's party" kind of sound).
Bottom line is both these tubes are excellent. In my room the ef802 is not only just right but “perfect”
 
CJ has always maintained throughout their 50-year existence as a high end audio company that balanced design offers no advantages in the context of high end audio in a typical listening room (which I assume they mean involving small cable lengths). Balanced was preferred in studios and recording venues where cable lengths of hundreds of feet are not ununcommon.
Having owned three CJ preamps, my understanding is that they use only SE because the phase (in their circuit topology) would be inverted in a balanced connection. A simpler, more pure way to transmit the information. Hence the need to invert phase at the amp or speakers when using any CJ pre.

And yes, having owned the ET5, tube rolling is must to maximize perforformance. Fortunately, you only have two in your GAT.
 
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Having owned three CJ preamps, my understanding is that they use only SE because the phase (in their circuit topology) would be inverted in a balanced connection. A simpler, more pure way to transmit the information. Hence the need to invert phase at the amp or speakers when using any CJ pre.

And yes, having owned the ET5, tube rolling is must to maximize perforformance. Fortunately, you only have two in your GAT.
My preamp also outputs inverted phase and I correct it at the amp to speaker outlet. Lamm also agrees with you re SE vs Balanced
 
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Just FYI, think you Horizon guys like this one....

WF SRS551 - ebay - currently zero bids at $15 (+postage). Ends Sat 15.40 UK time

 
Just FYI, think you Horizon guys like this one....

WF SRS551 - ebay - currently zero bids at $15 (+postage). Ends Sat 15.40 UK time

You need two not one ;) plus at $15 I’d say it is highly used
 

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