Illustrious electronics manufacturer Vladimir Lamm of Lamm Industries offered not one, but two rooms of extraordinary sound quality at this year’s CES, one featuring SET tube monoblocks and the other showing hybrid solid-state monoblocks.
In Lamm’s first room, Jonathan mentioned he wasn’t a particular fan of the Verity Audio Lohengrin IIS loudspeakers. What a difference an amp makes! Here, the Lohengrins sounded just beautiful and sumptuous, driven by Lamm’s stellar Signature line of electronics, the 32W ML3 and 18W ML 2.2single-ended-triode tube amplifiers, coupled with a pair of its LL1 line-level mono preamps and LP1phono preamplifier. The warm, gorgeous timbre on Leonard Cohen’s “Ain’t No Cure for Love” from hisLive in London LP had both of us grinning with delight. When Cohen calls out to his beautiful-sounding backup singers, “Tell ’em, angels,” we almost believed we were in heaven with them.
Mr. Lamm also treated us to some thrillingly lifelike pipe organ music, the timbre of which his amps and preamp reproduced impressively in the midrange, and effortlessly in the low end. Big-time tone color without distortion or any losses of clarity!
In Lamm Industries’ other super-sounding room—featuring Lamm’s 110W M1.2 Class A solid-state monoblocks, L2 line-level preamplifier, and LP2.1 phono preamp (all from Lamm’s “lower”-priced Reference line)—we listened to “The Girl from Ipanema” from Getz/Gilberto’s LP played back on anAir Force Two turntable with a Graham Elite tonearm and a world-premiere ZYX UNIverse Premiumcartridge. Astrid Gilberto’s soft vocals and Stan Getz’s breathy tenor sax on the bossa nova classic sounded crisp, clean, and very natural with just a beguiling hint of added warmth. Overall, the presentation was incredibly true to life.