The all new Lampizator Poseidon preamplifier

Legolas

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Dec 27, 2015
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e9c5e505-b370-4ed2-a6f1-950e33672b41.jpg


The all new Lampizator Poseidon preamplifier​


I wanted to start a thread about the new Poseidon Preamplifier. I have been on the market for a while for a tube preamp, and was in contact with Lukasz looking at the original Lampizator Reference Preamplifier, which seemed to fit the bill. I have admired their DACs for some time, and thought these guys know tubes, so the logic goes they can build an awesome preamplifier as well.

I then got news Lampizator have had a new preamplifier in the wings, called the Poseidon, and was asked if I wanted to be a Beta tester. Hell yes I said!. Where do I pay!

So here is my brand new Poseidon Preamplifier, hot off the test bench. My version has the same innards, but had to be fitted into a Big Seven chassis, as the final product chassis is still being made as a CNC construction. The preamplifier is quite a beast, 20 kilos with a deep chassis of 54cm inc the pot, which is not a traditional pot, rather a photocell attenuation circuit with very low loss and high quality.

As you can see, we have 9 tubes above the top plate, a 274b rectifier (big tube) and 4 x 6J5 driver tubes. As far as I know, these tubes similar to half of a 6SN7. Then 4 x 6N1P for input buffer and voltage gain duties.

I will post more information later this week with listening impressions once I get my system set back up, as my rooms are being reconfigured. I will be using the Poseidon at the moment with Passlabs XA60.8 monos and Zingali horns.

edc45649-2dba-442d-85e2-5549a4d82bc8.jpg
 
Last edited:
Did luksz throw in gec valves as base stock for you?? Wow you lucky man!!!
 
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View attachment 113681


The all new Lampizator Poseidon preamplifier​


I wanted to start a thread about the new Poseidon Preamplifier. I have been on the market for a while for a tube preamp, and was in contact with Lukasz looking at the original Lampizator Reference Preamplifier, which seemed to fit the bill. I have admired their DACs for some time, and thought these guys know tubes, so the logic goes they can build an awesome preamplifier as well.

I then got news Lampizator have had a new preamplifier in the wings, called the Poseidon, and was asked if I wanted to be a Beta tester. Hell yes I said!. Where do I pay!

So here is my brand new Poseidon Preamplifier, hot off the test bench. My version has the same innards, but had to be fitted into a Big Seven chassis, as the final product chassis is still being made as a CNC construction. The preamplifier is quite a beast, 20 kilos with a deep chassis of 54cm inc the pot, which is not a traditional pot, rather a photocell attenuation circuit with very low loss and high quality.

As you can see, we have 9 tubes above the top plate, a 274b rectifier (big tube) and 4 x 6J5 driver tubes. As far as I know, these tubes similar to half of a 6SN7. Then 4 x 6N1P for input buffer and voltage gain duties.

I will post more information later this week with listening impressions once I get my system set back up, as my rooms are being reconfigured. I will be using the Poseidon at the moment with Passlabs XA60.8 monos and Zingali horns.

View attachment 113683
Looks like a complicated design.
 
Now I am manically getting my room sorted to house the Lampizator. I moved house last year, and we have builders 'merging' rooms for us. The house was a small hotel and it has too many ensuite and small bedrooms. So 30 years as an audiophile, I finally get a dedicated music room - excited is an understatement!
 
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A got some more details from Lampizator on the Poseidon project and the Preamplifier. As far as I know, the launch will be in August, with the photos of the final product inc CNC chassis.

Here it the text from Lampizator verbatim:

THE POSEIDON PROJECT​

As a direct consequence of the international success of our flagship horizon DAC, we decided to trickle down some of the solutions and most of the sound character (or its lack) to the more affordable products.

During the creation of this amazing, game changing POSEIDON DAC we realized, that it offers the best preamp linestage circuit we ever designed. This is how the Poseidon Preamp was born. We removed the digital conversion engine and the preamp as a stand alone device replaced our previously best preamp.



Enter: THE POSEIDON PREAMP​

We realize that the preamplifier or line stage is almost extinct in todays market , but NOT DEAD YET.
in many cases when you want a very good amplifier, you end up with two monoblocks or one stereo power unit and hence the need for a preamp is always there. Especially well it plays out when the preamp is tubed and the amplifier is sold state or hybrid. Including the D-Class amps of today.


Many preamps out there perform the two basic functions: to adjust the volume and to select the sources.

We analyzed the situation and concluded, that there are three more functions which we like to see in a preamp:

- very high input impedance, to make the sources sound better

- very low output impedance, to make the amps sound better

- balancing of SE signals to drive the XLR balanced amps (like a single ended turntable (phono) driving the XLR monos.)


The POSEIDON DAC already has all the preamp functionality in place, so if you can get a Poseidon DAC you dont need a preamp at all.


We made this preamp circuit so radically better than before, that if you ever concluded before that your system sounds better with a preamp despite using a Lampizator DAC with a volume control, THIS TIME AROUND the situation is different and you REALLY don't need a preamp, no matter how famous or how expensive.

From november 2023 we will offer an optional preamp card with PHONO MC tube stage with one MC input and quality based on our copper VP-4 which was used as a base design for the Poseidon Preamp Phono Card. This card will be retrofittable to the preamp.


MSRP list price is

- 23 000 Euro netto for full Poseidon DAC with preamp

- 23 000 Euro for POSEIDON preamp with the tube phono stage MC

- 17000 Euro for line stage version of Poseidon Preamp (no DAC and no MC input)


Sound wise, as a preamp, it is better than any DAC we ever made used as preamp and any preamp we ever made.


The design criteria were among others:


1. To maintain the chassis size no larger than that of Pacific or Horizon

2. To offer single ended and balanced topology at the same time, without the need of choosing one

3. To offer volume control, display and remote control to everyone, without the need of choosing

4. To create the volume control circuit that is NO SONIC COMPROMISE. It just cand be bettered in the technical solution

5. To offer FOUR single ended and balanced ANALOG inputs, usually one XLR and three RCA's

6. To eliminate the input impedance problems that plague typical preamps

7. To eliminate output impedance weakness that plagues the tube products

8. To use easily available tubes, which is important in these VERY troubled times. This is important for us, manufacturers - today, and for you - users - tomorrow.

9. To provide a unique feature of SE analog inputs becoming really balanced at the outputs. So our turntable or tape deck can drive directly the balanced amps. This is done in a very clever way by means of a common cathode phase inverter.


The resulting PREAMP is a masterpiece of good sound and convenient features. It has everything it can have, all the important features of the center of homer entertainment. It is specifically designed to work well with modern amplifiers, including the very big solid state ones.

Key highlights

  • No silicon anywhere in signal path
  • Silver wiring inside
  • Copper foil, true metal sheet capacitors in the signal path
  • CNC milled chassis.
  • 6N1P input buffer tubes, 6N1P voltage gain triodes
  • 6J5 output driver tubes
  • Volume control of the highest possible caliber in every unit with 63 discrete steps
  • Channel tracking - within 1% on the volume scale
  • All units are truly balanced and SE at the same time
  • Zero feedback, neither local nor global
  • Zero opamps
  • Tube rectified power supply
  • Hundreds of tube rolling permutations.

Preliminary parameters:​

  • Weight: 19 kg / 42 lbs net, 30 kg / 70 lbs gross
  • Dimensions without tubes: 440 mm W x 550 mm D x 170 mm H (height with tubes 250 mm)
  • 3 x analog input RCA, 1 x analog input XLR fully balanced
  • Output impedance: 400 Ohms per phase
  • Input impedance 270k per phase. 0,5M balanced
  • 1 x analog output pair RCA and 1 x XLR balanced output
  • Output level: 0DB full level @3V peak sinus 1 kHz m per phase, 6V p-p for balanced
  • Mains 110-115 - 220 - 230 - 240 V AC / consumption 90 VA
  • Frequency response 15Hz-100 kHz @+/- 1,5 dB, >500kHz @ -6dB
  • Overall amplification factor: 4x (6dB) - tube dependent
  • Maximum possible amplitude output: 11V SE, 22V Balanced
  • Volume setting to obtain 2 V output with standard digital source of 0dB: -10points SE, -15 points Bal
  • Volume maximum signal output with standard digital source of 0dB: 3V SE, 4,7V Bal
  • Input sensitivity @2Vpp output signal and max level setting: 625mV SE, 160 mV Bal
  • Power consumption 90 Watts
  • THD @ 2V output: 0,09% SE, 0,02 % Bal

Colors: (sorry: no gold, no anodizing, no car paint (like Mazda Red)
  • Matt Black Hole
  • Silver Sahara (very light, cold, aluminum-look grey with specs of shiny glitter dust)

The dust cover plate around the tubes on top can be ordered in these colors:
  • Copper - for the famous "Duracell look" (Black body and copper top)
  • Stainless steel mirror-like chrome look
  • Black Hole black matt
  • Silver Sahara to match
  • These above top colors can be mixed and matched with the two basic body
    colors (for example black body with Sahara Silver top plate)
Tube compliment:

1 x 5U4G rectifier or equivalent, 274B, 5Y3, 5C3S, GZ34, GZ37, GZ480, 5AR4WGB

4 x 6N1P dual triode as input buffer or 6N6P or 6N30P or ECC88 or E88CC or PCC88 or 6DJ9 or 6922 or adapter fitted ECC99, ECC40, VT99, 6F8G, 6900, 12BH7, 5687, 6111

4 x 6J5 single triode as output buffer or 6V6 pentode (without adapter)

All circuit consists of 4 identical mono circuits and each of phases has three tube stages: input buffer, amplifier and output buffer. The remote control for the first time is not before the tubes or after the tubes but in between stages, making it the most transparent and benign volume control ever.

Remote Control - CNC milled metal "slab" remote with following buttons: Vol Up, Vol Down, MUTE, Power On/Off, Input select

Footers: non exchangable but with M6 provision of threaded footer mounting holes

Display: monochromatic OLED display (non dimming)

The sound

The circuit of this PREAMP has tubes, which will reach the full sound quality after no more than 3 minutes from startup and even after just 20 seconds it becomes apparent that the soundstage is like no other. It stretches so wide and so deep that it exceeds the room boundaries and develops in our imagination beyond the walls and ceiling. Within this huge, immersive soundscape we can hear better than before where things are happening - we hear the individual musicians, their instrument, their reverb, their interplay with the recording venue and the other musicians. They seem to be playing more like a whole (band) even if we hear them more clearly also as individuals. The bass, which "technically" goes down to half hertz, has no bottom limitations and within the low octaves has much more colors, character, detail. Instead of a typical boom-boom, we hear the bass nuances - strings, bodies, reverbs, intonation.

The sound character is very detailed, very resolute, but not in the incissive tiring way.

Some people say, that a preamp can not make the source sound better, it CAN ONLY TAKE AWAY LESS but never ADD anything. Well, this is not true. While it seems a logical statement, there is a flaw. The source CAN sound better if the next component driven by the source has higher input impedance than normal. (in this scenario - our preamp).

EXAMPLE: a typical tape deck can have a declared frequency response of 20 Hz to 16 kHz because the manufacturer assumed a 20k load of the integrated amp. With our 270k Ohm input, the same DAC can measure 15Hz to 19 kHz frequency response.

Also the fact that our SE sources will become balanced signals at the output means that they will sound much better than in a "normal" situation where only one phase plays music or where a converting balancing signal transformer or opamp is being used.

In todays world, a precise volume control is of paramount importance, because when we jump between files in a streaming service - every song has a different OPTIMAL LEVEL at which it can be enjoyed. For a given listener - for every song - there is ONLY ONE proper volume, and no more and no less. Without remote controlled and precisely stepper 64 level system - it is not really practical.
 
Is it really not possible to build something without visible screws for this kind of money:rolleyes:? Or is the picture not the final version?
 
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Is it really not possible to build something without visible screws for this kind of money:rolleyes:? Or is the picture not the final version?
No this is a Beta pre production version. The real chassis is CNC cut and is due to be announced in the next few weeks. My build has used the older Big 7 chassis, which is actually quite big for a preamp, 52cm deep. In the flesh it looks very nice, I'll take live pics shortly in my system. I am getting my room arranged for a decamp upstairs, much more space.
 
Is both phono and DAC available as an option?
 
If the Poseidon preamp is now Lampizator's premium preamp device, what does this does this mean with respect to the preamp section of the Horizon? Will the Horizon preamp stage be upgraded?

Put another way, if you had a Poiseidon premp and a Horizon, which device would you use for gain to get the best sound? Wold you still leave the volume at max on the Horizon, or use the preamp gain preferentially?
 
So I asked Lukasz. The Poseidon DAC and Preamplifier combined, or the Poseidon Phono and Preamplifier combined, but never all 3.
So, is the Poseidon DAC (and Preamp) becoming a new DAC in the lineup. Right after the Horizon? If so, how close in sound quality will it be to Horizon?
 
So, is the Poseidon DAC (and Preamp) becoming a new DAC in the lineup. Right after the Horizon? If so, how close in sound quality will it be to Horizon?
It will be confirmed shortly, Lampizator are to announce the launch of the Poseidon preamplifier in a What's Best Forum Newsletter end of this month. Also pics of the new CNC chassis, so will look different exterior wise to my preamp here, which is build in a Big 7 chassis.

posiedon-tubes1.jpg

posiedon-top-view.jpg

posiedon-night.jpg
 
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I booted it up last night. It comes up with a Welcome message, and defaults to -63dB on the readout. The volume knob and the remote both control volume level, and source selection is by the remote, plus switch on / off and mute. There is a discrete on/off button underneath, so in effect I can avoid going round the back to switch the mains feed, a nice feature.

The preamp gets barely warm, only a bit over the large toroid transformer front right. And the tubes light up and are subtle, not like big power tubes.

I can now get it into my system on Monday, after moving things around. The chain at this stage will be:

Paul Pang Quad Switch > 432 EVO server Upsampled to 352.8kHz and with 432 filter active > Chord DAVE (RCA out) > Lampizator Poseidon (XLR) > Passlabs XA60.8 (burning in) > Zingali Clent Name horns + JL Audio E110 subs x 2.

I'll post listing impressions on Monday. I will have to burn in the Poseidon as well as the Passlabs, plus a Sinope USB, so expect things to settle over the next few weeks.
 
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Chaos, for a few more weeks, till I get the upstairs music room sorted. Then the fun starts! Have some ideas on acoustic panels, the celing is having 3 dropped zones so walls need looking at. 3 tall windows have full height curtains, so that side should be ok. Wall behind the speakers will have a DIY full wall bookcase (which I have to build) and for the other end wall - maybe have some wood panels on it?

The floor is concrete beams and sinter blocks, and is tiled. So will put 2 rugs down to help reduce reflections off the floor. I will also look at 'soft' wallpaper, for the walls, it is cheap and helps reflections. I can paint it after.

I am thinking that my seat position will be 1/3rd depth in the room, but need to test for room nodes before I get the electrics in the floor fitted.

And the small task of taking out 2 walls that currently make this space 3 bedrooms + ensuite LOL. Many trips to the tip then with bricks and stuff.
music-room-v2.jpg
 
@Legolas Very cool. Did yours come w/ the phono or DAC module also? Any pictures of the back?
 
I‘m also wondering: Are the above pictures the final design or just a test mule? On the website it says pictures coming soon and the measurements and finish options are like those of the Horizon.
 
View attachment 113681


The all new Lampizator Poseidon preamplifier​


I wanted to start a thread about the new Poseidon Preamplifier. I have been on the market for a while for a tube preamp, and was in contact with Lukasz looking at the original Lampizator Reference Preamplifier, which seemed to fit the bill. I have admired their DACs for some time, and thought these guys know tubes, so the logic goes they can build an awesome preamplifier as well.

I then got news Lampizator have had a new preamplifier in the wings, called the Poseidon, and was asked if I wanted to be a Beta tester. Hell yes I said!. Where do I pay!

So here is my brand new Poseidon Preamplifier, hot off the test bench. My version has the same innards, but had to be fitted into a Big Seven chassis, as the final product chassis is still being made as a CNC construction. The preamplifier is quite a beast, 20 kilos with a deep chassis of 54cm inc the pot, which is not a traditional pot, rather a photocell attenuation circuit with very low loss and high quality.

As you can see, we have 9 tubes above the top plate, a 274b rectifier (big tube) and 4 x 6J5 driver tubes. As far as I know, these tubes similar to half of a 6SN7. Then 4 x 6N1P for input buffer and voltage gain duties.

I will post more information later this week with listening impressions once I get my system set back up, as my rooms are being reconfigured. I will be using the Poseidon at the moment with Passlabs XA60.8 monos and Zingali horns.

View attachment 113683
What DAC will u be using? Could u add a Lampizator DAC with built in volume control to the Poseidon
 
Input impedance 270k per phase. 0,5M balanced
Theoretically, the input impedance of 270k is very good. But in this case, so that everyone can evaluate the device's performance equally, all listeners should use the same interconnect cables. Very often, interconnect cables are used as an equalizer, and in the case of high input resistance, this effect is amplified many times over.
 

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