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Searching for next preamp - Lamm ll2.1 deluxe advice

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  • Searching for next preamp - Lamm ll2.1 deluxe advice

    I'm looking for a preamp to mate with a VAC Signature 200 IQ amp. Unfortunately the VAC preamps are out of my budget and looking at a couple options: Primaluna Dialogue Preamp, EAR 868, and the Lamm ll2.1 deluxe. I've noticed that the Lamm ll2.1 deluxe has been around for about 7 or 8 years without any changes or updates from the prior entry model (the ll2 model). Does the Lamm ll2.1 still perform as well compared to competitors years later?

    As a secondary question, I've read a lot about others getting occasional hum when mating amps and preamps and not sure if it is a grounding issue or tube microphony or what not. Is there anything I should be looking for other than output/input impedances of amp/preamp that might have an impact on getting this "hum" that so many refer to? I'm coming from an integrated amp, so this is my first experience with separates.

  • #2
    There are updates to the Ll2.1 from Ll2 to the parts and the circuit boards. 2.1 is more dynamic specially more extended in the bass, overall quieter and more transparent too. To me Lamm electronics are in a very unique class of their own but I'm very biased too!

    Disclaimer; in case you miss it in my signature I am the longest running Lamm dealer.

    Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
    Distribution: NEODIO

    Special Sales: van den Hul
    Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

    Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers


    • #3
      Wonderfully honest linestage at a reasonable cost that will bring the Lamm sound into your system and draw you into the limbic zone where pleasurable listening takes place. I reviewed it back in 2009 when I wrote for SoundStage! - here.

      My comparison then with a tricked-out Atma-Sphere MP-1 Mk.III may not have been fair, inasmuch as it cost more than twice the Lamm, but its what I had on hand at the time.

      Don't let the fact the unit has not been updated in a while worry you. Basically that means Vladimir is satisfied with it; the way our ears process sound hasn't changed since he updated it.

      The LL2.1 Deluxe does benefit from tube rolling. And it will respond well to isolation. Unless you have a high-end rack (SRA, HRS, etc.), today I'd see what four Stillpoints UltraSS would do underneath. Isolation will firm up both the image outlines and the bass.


      • Analog21
        Analog21 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Tim! Excellent info and review on the Lamm. Will try not to let the age/lack of updates of the preamp impact my decision.