Need some Lampi help please

My Lampi GG2 arrived today. I hope that the Lampi experts on WBF can help address some questions from a Lampi newbie. I’m using Roon and my streamer is the innuous ZENMk3 that is connected to the GG2 via USB.

1) When I try and configure the device in Roon settings and I hit the “Configure” button, The Roon icon spins away with a message “Searching for devices” but never does anything more than this. What’s wrong? Seems like there’s a handshake to be made, but it doesn’t occur. The GG2 was set up for Linux which is what the Innuous presumably uses. Any idea what’s going on.

2) I cannot seem to get DSD Playback Strategy to list “native” as an option. Since the method above is not helpful to configure the device, I have to select Audio from the Roon menu, and then under “Connected to Core” I see “Combo384Amanero”. I then hit the small setting wheel which leads to “Device setup”. I can then see DSD Playback strategy options but I can only play back DSD using “DSD over PCM v1.0 (DoP). There is no “native” option that is visible (which is one of the reasons I bought the device- I assumed I’d be able to play native configuration DSDs). I can indeed play 4X DSD under “DSD over PCM v1.0 (DoP), so at least I’m getting music, but what about native? Am I doing something wrong?

3) Surprisingly, although it seems every manufacturer under the DAC sun is listed as an “identify your device” option under “Device Setup” , Lampizator is not listed. Really? Very discouraging. Again, am I doing something wrong?

4) I have both 242 an PX25 tubes. I can’t say I’m knocked out by the bass of the 242 (relatively big but somewhat bloated and ill-defined) but I assume the tubes are not broken in yet. Any idea how long tube break-in takes? Also, any idea what the PX25 may offer in the lower register that the 242 does not?

Thanks in advance guys.

Marty gg2 - 2.jpg
 
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asiufy

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#22
Roon determines whether the DAC is Native DSD or not.
If the DAC doesn't report it as such, then Roon won't enable that option.
I've asked Marty for the firmware version of the USB card installed in his DAC, as I've read that not all Amanero firmware versions do Native DSD, and we can take it from there.
 

bonzo75

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#23

christoph

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#24
Roon determines whether the DAC is Native DSD or not.
If the DAC doesn't report it as such, then Roon won't enable that option.
I've asked Marty for the firmware version of the USB card installed in his DAC, as I've read that not all Amanero firmware versions do Native DSD, and we can take it from there.
I already asked Marty about that earlier ;)
 
May 25, 2010
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#26
I am getting my Lampi Pac flashed for DSD256/512. Using the configuration that comes with it, it can play DSD256/512 native in Linux, but not using Win10. With the new flash it will.

Larry
 

Golum

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#27
I am getting my Lampi Pac flashed for DSD256/512. Using the configuration that comes with it, it can play DSD256/512 native in Linux, but not using Win10. With the new flash it will.

Larry
Larry which FW version you have in the Pac?
 

Alrainbow

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#28
Mine has an odd one but can do all In windows but dop
 
May 25, 2010
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#29
Larry which FW version you have in the Pac?
Not sure. But Fred gave me the info on the correct one for decoding DSD256/512 using Win10. I was intimidated by the instructions, so our friend LD from the UK is going to help me with the flashing, hopefully this weekend.

Larry
 
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christoph

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#30
Not sure. But Fred gave me the info on the correct one for decoding DSD256/512 using Win10. I was intimidated by the instructions, so our friend LD from the UK is going to help me with the flashing, hopefully this weekend.

Larry
What OS does your Server have?
Or do you have an Endpoint with another OS?
My DACs are optimised for Linux (Lampi SuperKomputer) but I have no problems playing up to DSD256 natively over an Win10 endpoint.
 

asiufy

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#31
Server runs Linux. The server is the end point, so Linux end point as well.
 
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May 25, 2010
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#32
What OS does your Server have?
Or do you have an Endpoint with another OS?
My DACs are optimised for Linux (Lampi SuperKomputer) but I have no problems playing up to DSD256 natively over an Win10 endpoint.
Hi Christopher,

My Win10 computer acts as the Roon endpoint (I use HQP in Roon also). You are pushing the very limits (and beyond) of what I understand about computers! Thanks, Larry
 

marty

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Apr 20, 2010
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#33
I just wanted to follow-up on some technical issues with th GG2. In particular I'd like thank Christoph, Goran, Fred (NA Lampi distributor) and finally Lukasz, all of whom to thank the chimed in with suggestions.

The main problem in Roon was that I could not seem to get DSD Playback Strategy to list “native” as an option. Since the method above is not helpful to configure the device, I have to select Audio from the Roon menu, and then under “Connected to Core” I see “Combo384Amanero”. I then hit the small setting wheel which leads to “Device setup”. I can then see DSD Playback strategy options but I can only play back DSD using “DSD over PCM v1.0 (DoP). There is no “native” option that is visible.

The most relevant replies came from Lukasz and via one of the Lampi experts, a reply form the guy who wrote the software for the Amanero board used by Lampi (and others). Both said that there is absolutely no sonic difference between "native" playback and DoP. The files and th waveforms used are identical. If I wished, I could revert back to an older firmware (2000b) for the Lampi to enable "native" playback however the newer firmware 2006be10 is more compatible with 512DSD so there's no reason to change anything as far as I can tell. Furthermore, there is some technical issue that's relevant to the Innuous which needs a "kernal update" to facilitate implementing the "native" pathway (even though its sonically identical, the methodology is slightly different). According to Alex Siufy (whose after sales service continues to impress!) Innuos is working on it, and in the next software version (1.4.4) they will have that kernel patch in. They were already aware of this need, given that many DAC manufacturers use the same (OEM) USB board as the Lampi , so it’s already in development/testing.

That said, I'm pleased that the Lampi is breaking in nicely, particularly the bass (which is not surprising as it's generally the last thing that breaks in for a lot of gear). Friday night was another mesmerizing evening of listening. I didn't make it to bed until 5 am. At 3:30 I kept telling myself "just one more song" but I just couldn't stop. I afraid I largely owe this audio insomnia episode to Mike Lavigne, where I first heard a Lampi in action several years ago. I still remember the piece that convinced me there was something special about what I was hearing- it was Ivan Moravec playing Beethoven. When you hear a piano that sounds like a piano, especially on digital playback, it's not something easily forgotten. Of course, that was quite an older unit and Mike has since moved on to the MSB cuisine. But for where I'm at with my current system , this GG2 is bringing a lot of smiles and no doubt, more late nights. It's main calling card is musicality and timbre resolution that is an extremely satisfying facsimile of the real thing. Stunning spatial resolution also contributes greatly to the illusion. I'm sure I have lots more to learn and to explore (some tube rolling lies ahead), but I confess I have plenty of time to do that as I don't see this unit leaving anytime soon, or ever.
 
Last edited:

christoph

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#34
Currently using 242 and the KR5u4g. will get to the PX25 eventually but not until I wrap my arms around what I have that has me so transfixed already
Hi Marty
I just swapped back from the 242 (my darling tube from GG1.9 R2R times) to the PX25 and for me the PX25 just does have more magic in the Pacific and the engine 53 GG2 than the already very good 242.
I dare to bet that you might like the PX25 as well ;):cool:
 

bonzo75

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#35
Next time you visit Steve, take it with you on the plane. It is easy to carry in the Lampi case. You can compare with the MSB.
 
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LampiNA

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Jul 1, 2015
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#36
Next time you visit Steve, take it with you on the plane. It is easy to carry in the Lampi case. You can compare with the MSB.
I would be very interested in reading of that comparison..
 
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christoph

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#37
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marty

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#38
Enough time has now passed that my Lampi GG2 is fully broken in and it might be useful to share some listening observations. To begin,I want to extend my deepest thanks to many of the forum members that have provided assistance and suggestions both publicly and privately to help me extract the most from my unit.

I purchased my unit with 2 pair of output tubes, the PX25 and the much hyped 242. Both are made by Kron, the preferred tube provider for Lampi these days. The PX is an RK Anniversary model although it’s not exactly clear to me what this signifies. I also bought the RK “Anniversary” model of the KR 5U4G rectifier.

Unfortunately, I thought the new 242s I received with my Lampi had excessive microphony. I wrote to Lukasz about this and his response was that the 242 is a high gain tube, and although many users prefer them, microphony is the price one pays for their high gain. (The Lampi was actually designed around the use of low gain tubes such as the 300b and PX4. The use of the 242 was an unintended surprise but once it happened, its use understandably spread like wildfire.) Although I understood what Lukasz was telling me, my feeling was that the microphony I experienced was still above and beyond what I thought was reasonable. This is not only easily testable by tapping the tube or chassis at low volume (even that is a bad idea by the way) but if you are playing music files at concert hall levels for fff and higher passages and suddenly stop playback, you can actually hear the tubes ring (rather harshly) followed by a fairly rapid delay of about 250-300 msec until they quiet again. Frankly, I can't see how anyone can avoid this unless 1) their Lampi is in another room; or 2) you're just not playing very loudly as then it would be a minimal or non-issue at moderate levels or below. Or, option #3, you have a bad set of tubes.

Enter Fred Ainsley Jr., the North American distributor for Lampizator, who reached out to me because he heard about my tube issue through the grapevine and even though he didn’t have a damn thing to do with my purchase, offered to help me rectify the issue. So Fred kindly offered to lend me his 242's for comparison. (Now that’s what I all customer service! How many people do you know that will lend you tubes, especially if you didn’t buy from him? Nobody I know!) As far as the loaner 242’s, it was no contest. They were far better than mine, especially for microphonics and thus concomitant distortion. Here is the email I sent Fred:

"I received your tubes on Thursday. I inserted them on Fri and burned them in for about 36 hours with music before doing any serious listening last evening. There is no question they are significantly superior to the 242s that came with my Lampi. The difference in microphony is significant. On loud passages, my 242's just sound nasty and harsh. Yours hold together beautifully. This is not surprising to me as my tubes actually rattle when I tap the chassis of my GG2. Yours do not. It's no surprise to me that a tube that rattles will not sound good if the music is loud enough to vibrate the tube. And yes, I play music loud enough to do that. Mahler 3 1st movement is an orchestral torture test for this. Your 242s passed w flying colors. Mine failed miserably as their microphony is unacceptable. BTW, my RK Anniversary KR PX25's do not rattle either and do not have the microphony issues of my 242s (although they are hardly not microphony free, as most high gain tubes are not) . I should add that there is no contest between the PX25's and the 242's sonically. I've now spent considerable time with the 242s and the PX25. Although both tubes are excellent, there’s no question that in my system, the 242's are the far preferred tubes. The transparency of the 242 is unrivaled. The PX25 is a damn good tube. However the 242 is in another league. It's not a surprise that it is the preferred tube of many Lampi lovers. The "window pane" to the music is just clearer and more transparent to the source than with the PX25. Not by a football field, but it is quite noticeable. "

The bottom line is that Fred arranged to send my 242’s back to Lampi for credit and I'm keeping his, which is good since I had no intention of ever returning them even if I had to pay for them and throw mine away! (just kidding Fred…or am I? ;))

I also think the 242's offer specifically better definition of the 40-80Hz range than the PX25. Subterranean bass is also adequate and satisfying, but honestly, it's not a strength of either tube compared to the Meitner DA2. Fortunately, that's not where most of the music lives. But one listen to a piano and you will never want to listen to another DAC ever again.

An additional step that reduced the microphony even further and fortunately, to an almost imperceptible level, was the use of Herbie’s tube rings. This tip was provided by Leif Swanson of Von Schweikert Audio and was such a revelation that I would consider them mandatory for any Lampi, regardless of tube choice. I was told to use the Ultrasonic Rx for the bulb shaped 242 (at its widest part) and the HAL-O-III for the square shaped 5U4G rectifier (placed a little higher than the waist). They are extraordinary little devices with no down side that I can hear especially in comparison to the myriad of tube dampers I have used in the past with other products. They are also extremely inexpensive (but well-made). Don’t leave home without it!

https://herbiesaudiolab.com/collections/tube-dampers

A few critical comments are in order. In my view, Lampi is just not a finished product from a chassis damping perspective. While the copper chassis may be excellent at shielding EMI/RFI, it is an embarrassment that it is not lined to prevent vibrations. Tapping the chassis and high preamp volumes results in feedback that is unacceptable and could easily be minimized or eliminated with proper chassis damping. Between the lack of chassis damping and the microphony of high gain tubes such as the 242, the chassis rattles like an empty garbage if you so much as touch, tap, or slide your finger along the chassis when the gain of your preamp is high and the resultant system howling is extremely disturbing. Let me be clear, before anyone tells me their GG doesn’t have tube microphony or excessive vibration to touch which comes through the system, I want to be clear this occurs with my Soulution 725 preamp wide open at full gain. If you try this at low volumes, it likely may not occur, but with max system gain I’d be shocked if your entire system doesn’t start howling like a wind storm when you tap the chassis. This is disappointing because it’s probably fixable. The best solution I have ever seen to rectify this issue is the chassis damping on Shunyata power conditioners. Caelin once showed me the difference to tapping and vibration with and without dampling and it was remarkable. That's a very easy and low cost improvement and I'm both surprised and disappointed Lukasz doesn't do that. Perhaps he will on future models. It’s an aspect of the unit that can certainly use improvement.

Because the chassis coupled with possible tube microphony has the potential to vibrate and cause system feedback, the Lampi absolutely must be put on a shelf that has significant mass.An ideal environment would first be one where the unit is located where it is not susceptible to music in your listening room, but that is typically not possible. In my view, there might be a benefit of putting it in a closed area such as a cabinet or closet. Next, If you have the resources, you can certainly buy passive and active anti-vibration platforms to minimize the chassis/tube feedback issues, but there are certainly very benefical solutions available at much more affordable prices. One example of an effective and cost efficient base is a good solid piece of butcher block such as this
https://www.audiogon.com/listings/l...ge-grain-audio-platform-cabinets-racks-stands

There are surely other plentiful options but you get the idea. Shelving with high mass and or good damping can be a great asset here. As always, YMMV.

To be continued due to word limitations......
 
Last edited:

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,529
499
245
Far Hills, NJ
#39
Continued from above....

I’ve not discussed the sound in any great detail yet so let’s get to it. Even with the above shortcomings aside, the Lampi is quite simply an extraordinary instrument. I have not heard digital playback this good previously. It's spectacular combination of utter musicality and spatial resolution are mesmerizing. But it's the timbre of instruments that, to quote a well-worn phrase, are just closer to the sound of the real thing than anything else I’ve heard in the digital space. Most noticeably it's the ability to convey microdynamics that is truly stunning. Piano arpeggios breath with the life and sparkle of the real thing and are impressively devoid of harmonic homogenization that frankly, I've not experienced before with digital reproduction. I’m sure we’ve all had 3 am nights in our audio lives listening to some piece of gear, or cable or speaker that makes us unable to stop listening into the wee hours. But frankly, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a 3 am week! And let me tell you, as much as I love listening to music, those consecutive late nights can be a bitch on your daytime brain function! The listening experience is so extraordinary and mesmerizing that walking away willingly is not a simple option. In fact, listening to a Lampi is an experience that very much looks like the Kubler Ross change curve. Here’s what you can expect to experience.

1) Shock and denial.
Holy crap, what the hell am I hearing and why haven’t I ever heard anything like this before? This simply can’t be happening.

2) Anger
Damn this thing. Why was I so stupid not to listen to a Lampi in my system before now? After all, there are a lot of Lampi zealots out there. Surely I should have paid more attention. I’m mad at myself! I must be an idiot.

3) Bargaining.
Ok, just one more album. No, hell just one more song Then I’ll go to sleep. Or…maybe just one more.

4) Depression
Oh hell, just admit you’re a useless blob and you can’t move from the listening chair. There’s no shame in feeling depressed knowing you aren’t going to function well in the morning!

5) Acceptance
You’ve completed the cycle and experience unbridled joy when you finally accept that what you are listening to will be there the next night, and the night after that and the night after that. The story has a happy ending after all.

Bottom line. I can't get enough of this thing. The quest marches on.
 
Last edited:

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
1,777
1,032
195
Principality of Liechtenstein
#40
Enough time has now passed that my Lampi GG2 is fully broken in and it might be useful to share some listening observations. To begin,I want to extend my deepest thanks to many of the forum members that have provided assistance and suggestions both publicly and privately to help me extract the most from my unit.

I purchased my unit with 2 pair of output tubes, the PX25 and the much hyped 242. Both are made by Kron, the preferred tube provider for Lampi these days. The PX is an RK Anniversary model although it’s not exactly clear to me what this signifies. I also bought the RK “Anniversary” model of the KR 5U4G rectifier.

Unfortunately, I thought the new 242s I received with my Lampi had excessive microphony. I wrote to Lukasz about this and his response was that the 242 is a high gain tube, and although many users prefer them, microphony is the price one pays for their high gain. (The Lampi was actually designed around the use of low gain tubes such as the 300b and PX4. The use of the 242 was an unintended surprise but once it happened, its use understandably spread like wildfire.) Although I understood what Lukasz was telling me, my feeling was that the microphony I experienced was still above and beyond what I thought was reasonable. This is not only easily testable by tapping the tube or chassis at low volume (even that is a bad idea by the way) but if you are playing music files at concert hall levels for fff and higher passages and suddenly stop playback, you can actually hear the tubes ring (rather harshly) followed by a fairly rapid delay of about 250-300 msec until they quiet again. Frankly, I can't see how anyone can avoid this unless 1) their Lampi is in another room; or 2) you're just not playing very loudly as then it would be a minimal or non-issue at moderate levels or below. Or, option #3, you have a bad set of tubes.

Enter Fred Ainsley Jr., the North American distributor for Lampizator, who reached out to me because he heard about my tube issue through the grapevine and even though he didn’t have a damn thing to do with my purchase, offered to help me rectify the issue. So Fred kindly offered to lend me his 242's for comparison. (Now that’s what I all customer service! How many people do you know that will lend you tubes, especially if you didn’t buy from him? Nobody I know!) As far as the loaner 242’s, it was no contest. They were far better than mine, especially for microphonics and thus concomitant distortion. Here is the email I sent Fred:

"I received your tubes on Thursday. I inserted them on Fri and burned them in for about 36 hours with music before doing any serious listening last evening. There is no question they are significantly superior to the 242s that came with my Lampi. The difference in microphony is significant. On loud passages, my 242's just sound nasty and harsh. Yours hold together beautifully. This is not surprising to me as my tubes actually rattle when I tap the chassis of my GG2. Yours do not. It's no surprise to me that a tube that rattles will not sound good if the music is loud enough to vibrate the tube. And yes, I play music loud enough to do that. Mahler 3 1st movement is an orchestral torture test for this. Your 242s passed w flying colors. Mine failed miserably as their microphony is unacceptable. BTW, my RK Anniversary KR PX25's do not rattle either and do not have the microphony issues of my 242s (although they are hardly not microphony free, as most high gain tubes are not) . I should add that there is no contest between the PX25's and the 242's sonically. I've now spent considerable time with the 242s and the PX25. Although both tubes are excellent, there’s no question that in my system, the 242's are the far preferred tubes. The transparency of the 242 is unrivaled. The PS25 is a damn good tube. However the 242 is in another league. It's not a surprise that it is the preferred tube of many Lampi lovers. The "window pane" to the music is just clearer and more transparent to the source than with the PX25. Not by a football field, but it is quite noticeable. "

The bottom line is that Fred arranged to send my 242’s back to Lampi for credit and I'm keeping his, which is good since I had no intention of ever returning them even if I had to pay for them and throw mine away! (just kidding Fred…or am I? ;))

I also think the 242's offer specifically better definition of the 40-80Hz range than the PX25. Subterranean bass is also adequate and satisfying, but honestly, it's not a strength of either tube compared to the Meitner DA2. Fortunately, that's not where most of the music lives. But one listen to a piano and you will never want to listen to another DAC ever again.

An additional step that reduced the microphony even further and fortunately, to an almost imperceptible level, was the use of Herbie’s tube rings. This tip was provided by Leif Swanson of Von Schweikert Audio and was such a revelation that I would consider them mandatory for any Lampi, regardless of tube choice. I was told to use the Ultrasonic Rx for the bottle shaped 242 (at its widest part) and the HAL-O-III for the square shaped 5U4G rectifier (placed a little higher than the waist). They are extraordinary little devices with no down side that I can hear especially in comparison to the myriad of tube dampers I have used in the past with other products. They are also extremely inexpensive (but well-made). Don’t leave home without it!

https://herbiesaudiolab.com/collections/tube-dampers

A few critical comments are in order. In my view, Lampi is just not a finished product from a chassis damping perspective. While the copper chassis may be excellent at shielding EMI/RFI, it is an embarrassment that it is not lined to prevent vibrations. Tapping the chassis and high preamp volumes results in feedback that is unacceptable and could easily be minimized or eliminated with proper chassis damping. Between the lack of chassis damping and the microphony of high gain tubes such as the 242, the chassis rattles like an empty garbage if you so much as touch, tap, or slide your finger along the chassis when the gain of your preamp is high and the resultant system howling is extremely disturbing. Let me be clear, before anyone tells me their GG doesn’t have tube microphony or excessive vibration to touch which comes through the system, I want to be clear this occurs with my Soulution 725 preamp wide open at full gain. If you try this at low volumes, it likely may not occur, but with max system gain I’d be shocked if your entire system doesn’t start howling like a wind storm when you tap the chassis. This is disappointing because it’s probably fixable. The best solution I have ever seen to rectify this issue is the chassis damping on Shunyata power conditioners. Caelin once showed me the difference to tapping and vibration with and without dampling and it was remarkable. That's a very easy and low cost improvement and I'm both surprised and disappointed Lukasz doesn't do that. Perhaps he will on future models. It’s an aspect of the unit that can certainly use improvement.

Because the chassis coupled with possible tube microphony has the potential to vibrate and cause system feedback, the Lampi absolutely must be put on a shelf that has significant mass.An ideal environment would first be one where the unit is located where it is not susceptible to music in your listening room, but that is typically not possible. In my view, there might be a benefit of putting it in a closed area such as a cabinet or closet. Next, If you have the resources, you can certainly buy passive and active anti-vibration platforms to minimize the chassis/tube feedback issues, but there are certainly very benefical solutions available at much more affordable prices. One example of an effective and cost efficient base is a good solid piece of butcher block such as this
https://www.audiogon.com/listings/l...ge-grain-audio-platform-cabinets-racks-stands

There are surely other plentiful options but you get the idea. Shelving with high mass and or good damping can be a great asset here. As always, YMMV.

To be continued due to word limitations......
Fred Ainsley is an absolute Gentleman and IMHO the best possible Lampizator "Ambassador" I could think of!
 

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