LAMM INDUSTRIES UPGRADES M1.1/M2.1 POWER AMPLIFIERS AFTER TEN SUCCESSFUL YEARS
Consumer Electronics Daily News: You’ve come out with two new products – hybrid power amplifiers model M1.2 Reference and M2.2. Describe them briefly.
Vladimir Lamm: The coming out of these models, and especially the Reference model, marks the 10th year anniversary of its predecessor, model M1.1. The M1.1 was originally introduced at the Summer CES’1993 in Chicago, IL where it had received the Innovation’93 award, followed by a score of highly positive reviews over the years. The amplifier’s unique topology is a result of years of research in the fields of psycho-acoustics and audio electronics. It had made this handcrafted product unparalleled among similar products in any price category.
The M1.1/M2.1 (the more powerful version of the M1.1) had been in production for 10 years without any changes, modifications, and upgrades which is quite unusual in the high-end audio industry. In general, these amps could have hardly been improved; however, the recent availability of better quality parts and components, and the performance data we’d collected in 10 years had warranted the upgrade. As a result, we’ve achieved even more refined sound reproduction characteristics, with added reliability and durability.
Both the M1.2/M2.2 are on display in our exhibit at the Alexis Park Hotel, Room 1912.
CEDN: As a small company in the high-end audio industry, it is not easy to make a mark and continuously justify that mark year after year. How do you do that?
VL: This year also marks the 10th year anniversary of our company. We are proud to be in production of 7 different models that represent the pinnacle in their respective categories. No small fit for a company that had appeared on the US market “out of the blue”. This did not happen by chance or luck. As I mentioned earlier, extensive R&D stands behind each of our products.
High-end audio is a relatively small segment of audio industry, and in its ideal should represent the marriage of science and art in an attempt to bring the concert hall to the listener. This comes at a price, of course, and sometimes quite a steep one. Unfortunately, the top prices do not always guarantee top performance. High-end audio is about the music, and the search for that ultimate audio system that will bring the miracle of real live music into the home. Many of our customers are those who had spent years chasing that dream, and we believe that Lamm has made this dream possible for many music lovers all over the world.
CEDN: There are many who believe that 2-channel audio is a thing of the past. Your view on this?
VL: In recent years, multi-channel audio has become popular in home theater and some other audio applications. However, two-channel systems still do the job best when it comes to proper sound recreation in listening rooms, as long as all the components in the audio chain are of the appropriate level – and I don’t see why this would change in the future.
CEDN: Technology encourages the tendency towards reduction in production costs and, as a result, the retail prices. How does this trend affect your production?
VL: This trend is more applicable to mass-production market. Consumers should keep in mind that there will always exist certain types of goods requiring serious production investments — in other words, goods whose cost is quite high. The employment of various innovations, special technological solutions, etc. might somewhat regulate the cost of finished products (in high-end electronics, in particular); however, it will not lead to significant cost reductions, especially in light of continuous tendency toward price increase for premium parts and components specifically used in high-end audio. And there is nothing to be done about it.
My position on this is quite straightforward – I consider my designs a symbiosis of engineering and art. For this type of product, the high quality of built has to be sustained by utilizing the best available parts, materials, craftsmanship, etc. We continuously conduct R&D that leads toward implementation of new designs, finding better quality components and materials, employing even more advanced technical solutions, and maintaining the already high level of assembly and hand-work involved in manufacture of each and every Lamm product.