|Lamm LL2.1 Deluxe Preamplifier Review|
|Home Theater Preamplifiers Stereo Preamps|
|Written by Andre Marc|
|Wednesday, 27 January 2010|
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Lamm Industries was founded just over 17 years ago. They are currently located in Brooklyn, New York, one of my old stomping grounds. The lead designer and namesake Vladmir Lamm has a legendary, uncompromising vision. Mr. Lamm has quite a reputation as a very technical designer, but also as a music lover. Lamm offers a family of tubed and hybrid preamplifiers and amplifiers that are all well reviewed, and lusted after by audiophiles world wide lucky enough to afford them. Lamm is known for using very expensive parts, creating unique, clean circuit paths, and for dispensing with anything that could possibly interfere with the purity of the signal.
Some basics about the design. It is an all tube design, with rectification done by a 6X4/6202 tube and amplification duties are handled by 12AU7A (first stage), and 6DJ8 (second stage) tubes for each channel. The component offers single ended connections only, as I’m guessing Lamm considers the extra circuitry needed to create a true balanced design adds more, and undesirable complexity.
The front panel is very retro cool. There are a total of seven toggle switches that power on, switch inputs, select gain, and mute. The two big knobs on the front control volume separately for each channel. I guess this is a de facto balance control as well. The back panel has two main out puts, and three inputs, for Line 1, and Line 2, and most interestingly, a “Direct” input, which, again, staying in form with an obsession with sonic purity, routes the signal more directly to the volume control and gain stages. A Tape input and Record out are also included.
The LL2.1 was as plug and play as it gets. I set it up on my Symposium RollerBlocks for resonance control, made the connections, then powered up. Lamm strongly recommends powering up the LL2.1 first before any other component with the Mute switch engaged. There is a soft start feature that allows the circuitry to stabilize for about 60 seconds, and then you are ready to go. They also recommend powering off the preamplifier last, when all other components have been shut down. They also say the LL2.1 sounds its best after a 45 minute warm up.