Need some Lampi help please

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
14,068
3,442
530
London
#41
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.
Marty, wait till you spend 5 years with it. It continues to surprise and pleasure with almost every visit and I had one of my most exciting audio visits yesterday I touched about briefly on the forum last night. Though you won't do visits it will still happen for 5 years and beyond.

Loved reading the various stages because I was sensing your shock and denial through email, how much you wanted to dislike it.
 
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User211

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2014
2,042
521
198
#42
The tube microphony was never an issue in early Lampi Big 7.

It had a clever circuit to reduce it. It originally used 6X5 as a rectifier.

Then the 5U4G circuit came along and it was ditched.

Early GG1s rang so crazily it was a joke. They still do and it still is a joke.

The trouble is that 5U4G circuit sounds better.

Were your new 242s not the RK version?
 
Last edited:

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
14,068
3,442
530
London
#43
The tube microphony was never an issue in early Lampi Big 7.

It had a clever circuit to reduce it. It originally used 6X5 as a rectifier.

Then the 5UG circuit came along and it was ditched.

Early GG1s rang so crazily it was a joke. They still do and it still is a joke.

The trouble is that 5UG circuit sounds better.

Were your new 242s not the RK version?
No they rang in your system with the previous pre. I told Marty I took it to someone's place and it rang horribly. Guess who that guy was. I don't think they will ring with Luxman now

His 242 are the KR
 

User211

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2014
2,042
521
198
#44
No they rang in your system with the previous pre. I told Marty I took it to someone's place and it rang horribly. Guess who that guy was. I don't think they will ring with Luxman now

His 242 are the KR
No they all ring just as Marty describes. As does mine post microphony reduction circuit removal. Much worse with some tubes than others.

His first 242 were RK 242. What were the second 242 was the question.
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#46
No they all ring just as Marty describes. As does mine post microphony reduction circuit removal. Much worse with some tubes than others.

His first 242 were RK 242. What were the second 242 was the question.
The tubes I got from Fred were the KR bulb shaped tubes. The RK KR 242's are square shaped. What's interesting about both is that nobody really knows why they are called 242's as they do not have the same specs as the granddaddy WE242 from which they supposedly derived their name.

Just like the RK KR 5U4G "SE", the square-shaped RK version of the KR 242 SE are available from best300b.com. Both of these "SE" versions have thicker glass (less microphony?), high vacuum, better anode materials and some other feature differences. The question is whether they sound better. My understanding is that for the rectifier, they supposedly do. I have one on order. For the 242, I think the jury is still out. Until I know for sure, you'll have to pry the 242s I received from Fred from my cold dead hands before I replace them with anything.

By the way User 211, you can't talk about the tube microphony you are experiencing until you add Herbie's tube rings. They are transformational. Also, although the size "50" is fine for the 242, I would get the size "55" or "60" for the KR 5U4G as its diameter is about 2.45 inches (by calipers) so Herbie's recommendation is a bit off for size. You won't be prepared what $40 will do for quieting the microphony of the Lampi tubes.
 
Last edited:

Golum

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2018
655
640
110
Lausanne, CH
#47
Thanks for all the info Marty and I'm really glad you're so much enjoying your Lampi.
If I remember correctly @wisnon was advising me to get those tube rings, but I never did. Will have to try those despite the fact I don't hear any microphony but truth to be told I'm also not cranking up the Vol pot a lot.
While on tubes small recti advise - try to get PSvane ACME 274b - will not break you a bank but will bring a lot to the table ;-)

Cheers;
G
 

marty

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Apr 20, 2010
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#48
No they all ring just as Marty describes. As does mine post microphony reduction circuit removal. Much worse with some tubes than others..
I'm confused. What is "microphony circuit removal"? Also, I can't see how the choice of a preamp matters unless they are wildly different in gain. The microphony has nothing to do with the choice of a preamp. Please clarify.
 

User211

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2014
2,042
521
198
#49
The tubes I got from Fred were the KR bulb shaped tubes. The RK KR 242's are square shaped. What's interesting about both is that nobody really knows why they are called 242's as they do not have the same specs as the granddaddy WE242 from which they supposedly derived their name.

Just like the RK KR 5U4G "SE", the square-shaped RK version of the KR 242 SE are available from best300b.com. Both of these "SE" versions have thicker glass (less microphony?), high vacuum, better anode materials and some other feature differences. The question is whether they sound better. My understanding is that for the rectifier, they supposedly do. I have one on order. For the 242, I think the jury is still out. Until I know for sure, you'll have to pry the 242s I received from Fred from my cold dead hands before I replace them with anything.

By the way User 211, you can't talk about the tube microphony you are experiencing until you add Herbie's tube rings. They are transformational. Also, although the size "50" is fine for the 242, I would get the size "55" or "60" for the KR 5U4G as its diameter is about 2.45 inches (by calipers) so Herbie's recommendation is a bit off for size. You won't be prepared what $40 will do for quieting the microphony of the Lampi tubes.
The KR 242 might be called that because of this: Telefunken RS242.

Everyone, literally everyone is experiencing microphony with their Lampi DACs because all tubes have a degree of microphony.

Marty, even with your tube dampers you are still experiencing it. As I have said over and over again, just turn your preamp gain up to the max and tap a tube with your finger. You WILL hear something that is a result of triode ringing. And IT IS being fed back into what you hear. The only question is, is it at levels that are a nuisance? The only sensible answer is if you can't hear it, then it isn't really. But as you have experienced, it can be. And it is a fact that part of the sonic signature of all valves is how they are affected by vibration. So even if you can't noticeably hear it, it will be affecting what you are hearing overall.

I've been using valves for 40 years. I have a huge collection of much more than just Lampi valves. Whilst I couldn't design and build a vacuum tube, I have vast experience of their use in practice and how they respond in differing environments.

That might sound a bit pompous. But I am just telling you like it is:);)
 

User211

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2014
2,042
521
198
#50
I'm confused. What is "microphony circuit removal"? Also, I can't see how the choice of a preamp matters unless they are wildly different in gain. The microphony has nothing to do with the choice of a preamp. Please clarify.
No microphony has nothing to do with an external preamp.

Early Big 7s had a circuit that reduced the apparent affect of microphony to a very large degree. It was really effective and really quite clever. It was removed at GG1 etc.
 

marty

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Apr 20, 2010
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#52
So are Fred's 242 these.

Or just a decent pair of RK's?
Again, the RKs are square shaped. The ones you have shown are the standard bulb-shaped KR 242's which is what I am using.
I agree with you about tube microphony. It comes with the territory. The issue is whether it's audibly annoying and bothersome and whether it can be minimized by gear placement, suspensions and tube rings. .
 
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User211

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2014
2,042
521
198
#53
Oh yeah sorry. Didn't take that in - tired and dealing with other issues too.

Glad you got a decent pair. Quality control could be better I sent some RK 300Bs back a while ago.
 
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Leif S

Industry Expert
Feb 14, 2015
753
137
80
California
www.vonschweikert.com
#54
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.
I'm so in love with our Lampi
 

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
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Principality of Liechtenstein
#55
I'm so in love with our Lampi
Thanks for the hint to Marty with the tube dampers.
Marty sounds like any Lampi owner should try those.
Are they also available in good old Europe?
 
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marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#56
Thanks for the hint to Marty with the tube dampers.
Marty sounds like any Lampi owner should try those.
Are they also available in good old Europe?
I think they're indispensable and should be easily available to the EU from Herbie's (they ship in a padded envelope!). Please pay attention to the ring size you order for the KR 5U4G as per my previous post.
 

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
2,041
1,249
210
Principality of Liechtenstein
#57
I think they're indispensable and should be easily available to the EU from Herbie's (they ship in a padded envelope!). Please pay attention to the ring size you order for the KR 5U4G as per my previous post.
Maybe my fellow Switz-Lie Lampi owners are willing to participate in a group buy and share shipping costs :D
 

Leif S

Industry Expert
Feb 14, 2015
753
137
80
California
www.vonschweikert.com
#58
Once you have them in you can't go without them lol
20191217_130506.jpg
 

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