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Thread: Lampizator Level 7

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,964
    I'm Justin.

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    OK so this DAC is mad. It costs a serious amount of money by most standards.

    Am I a pimp selling Lampizator wares? No.

    Is this willy waving? No, I don't own it.

    Am I getting backhanders to promote it? No I am not.

    "It must be a shill, surely. I don't believe a word of what Justin has just said."

    More fool you.

    Do I realise you can buy a very decent DAC for around 500? Yes I do.

    So all BS that pollutes the hi-fi forum scene hopefully dealt with, maybe we can move on
    "I've got my giant hits discotheque album. I empty a bottle - I feel a bit free."

  2. #12
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,964
    I'm Justin.

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    This one has the DSD module fitted, so I'll be checking that out using JRiver's on-the-fly conversion later on. DSD mode is selected by pressing the button on the top unit in.

    This is one of two level 7s available: Level 7, and the Big 7.

    I'd rather have had the Big 7 as I really rate the EML rectifiers in my preamp, so hearing the EML 45 would have been a good thing. However, you can only listen to what is available at the time.

    Early listening impressions definitely confirm a house sound not that far removed from the level 4. It sounds like a Lampizator to me. Listening yesterday with rjs (level 4 owner) we both felt the bass to be markedly tighter and less heavy than a 4. This is the most obvious aspect of the difference between the two DACs.

    I'll write more as I have concluded more. I'm not really one for writing reviews per se, I just like to add thoughts as I go along.
    "I've got my giant hits discotheque album. I empty a bottle - I feel a bit free."

  3. #13
    Join Date: Sep 2012

    Location: Dublin,Ireland

    Posts: 41
    I'm Tony.

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    Ok so far that sounds alright for me. I heard Robert's at Scalford and after a little thinking and raising funds etc I ended up with a Level 4 Gen5 with Duelund caps no pre amp but usb module fitted. A huge improvement on the level 2.8 to 3ish I had heard recently in my system. My understanding is the Level7 comes with Duelunds and that might explain the tautness in bass. Probably wishful thinking on my part but Level4 with Duelunds I think gets you a long way up the ladder in Lampyland.
    Nice toy to have for a loan.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,964
    I'm Justin.

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    I've got the level 4 fired up at the same time as the 7, swapping between the two.

    Is the level 7 just different? No, it is just better.

    That said, the level 4 is still seriously good.

    According to the website there are no caps in the output stage of the 7 two box variant. So in at least some sense, the cap makers can go take a hike.

    What I really like about these DACs is they don't sound too coloured, but at the same time they sound thoroughly enjoyable. From what I've heard, and I really have had some extremely good ones here, they are the best to my ears.
    Last edited by User211; 12-05-2014 at 20:50.
    "I've got my giant hits discotheque album. I empty a bottle - I feel a bit free."

  5. #15
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,964
    I'm Justin.

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    DAC now gone Onto a chap called Simon whoever he may be via a Wammer. Will do a post proper tomoz. Some interesting things to say. Well, I think so anyway.
    "I've got my giant hits discotheque album. I empty a bottle - I feel a bit free."

  6. #16
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: belgrade serbia

    Posts: 641
    I'm gordan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by User211 View Post
    Suffice to say though it is definitely really nice, and far removed from the Audio Note sound. Certainly nothing like an Audio Note DAC 4.1 for instance.
    Is this good or bad? What's wrong with AN 4.1?
    Gordan.
    Speakers: Oris Swing MkII
    Amps: Thomas Mayer 300b/ Hiraga La Maison de L'Audiophile 20
    Preamp: Silver AVC by eng. Ferenc Lazar
    Phono Preamp: Shishido LCR by Solaja Audio
    Deck: Garrard 301 with Fidelity Research FR64fx
    Cartridges: SPU Spirit/ Koetsu Black revisited by eng. Salai/ Miyajima Shilabe
    Step Up Transformers: Tango MCT 999/ Ortofon T-5000/ Lumiere SUT
    Digital: Shigaclone by eng. Ferenc Lazar with Lampizator Amber II
    Wires: of sufficient length

  7. #17
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,964
    I'm Justin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anubisgrau View Post
    Is this good or bad? What's wrong with AN 4.1?
    Nothing is wrong with an AN 4.1. It is a great DAC. It just sounds nothing like an AN 4.1. I really like the AN 4.1 with a pair of AN Es. I liked it with my speakers but for me it isn't such a good blend in that situation. I hear levels of colouration that are too high for me to accept long term. I didn't hear those colourations to anywhere near the same extent with AN Es. It may well be that the 4.1 has been voiced with AN Es.
    "I've got my giant hits discotheque album. I empty a bottle - I feel a bit free."

  8. #18
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,964
    I'm Justin.

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    Anyway DSD - unfortunately, for whatever reason, didn't work. I could only get it to partially work with DSD in DoP. The 2xDSD modes would not work at all. DSD in DoP produced obvious timing errors/glitches. I was using a long USB cable, though, close to the USB 2 limit of 5m if I remember correctly.

    Watching CPU usage during even the lowest DSD mode sees JRiver eating much more CPU than with conventional playback - around 30-40% usage on my laptop, whereas with Red Book it is generally less than 8%. The next mode up saw an approximate doubling of CPU usage. But that didn't work anyway. DSD Lampi users anywhere, have you had 2xDSD working?

    I wonder whether a shorter, better quality cable like the Lampizator one I just sold would have solved it. I don't know.

    Reverting back to conventional playback, it is the best I have heard, to my ears, in my opinion, in my system ever. And by not such a small margin.

    Compared to the 4, which I thought didn't have much scope for betterment, it is quite clearly ahead. I volume matched using pink noise. Yet still somehow the 7 sounded louder. It is extraordinary - it just sounds like so much more signal is getting through to the ears.

    Then after what'd rjs and I had concluded about the bass, constant neurotic swiching between DACs and material, which we didn't do during our sessions, led me to the conclusion that the 4 really wasn't that far behind it in the bass. The real leap in performance seems to be in the mid and especially the upper mid/treble region.

    I became convinced that the frequency response was tailored as the 4 generally sounded quite a bit brighter. I got the Umik mic out and did a system FR of the 4 versus the 7. They were pretty much bang on each other's backs apart from higher in the HF region, 2 DB or so offset in the 7s favour for loudness. I hadn't pink noise volume matched, but it did show that higher up the 7 and 4 converged. That does mean the 7 is a tinsy bit rolled off. But nothing like what I thought I was hearing.

    It simply seems that the nature of the 7s HF playback is just a LOT more refined, with the 4 sounding comparatively much more incisive.

    That's the overall feeling you get from the 7. It is just so refined sounding, but in a really uncoloured and natural manner. I keep thinking about actually buying it, it is that good
    "I've got my giant hits discotheque album. I empty a bottle - I feel a bit free."

  9. #19
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: London

    Posts: 2,427
    I'm Nat-andthat'swhyIdrink.

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    Quote Originally Posted by User211 View Post
    Too much socialising going on to know yet
    You must know your courier very well! Or is it the postman?

    Edit: oh.. I should have read further before posting that! Didn't realise it was just a listening session - thought you'd bought it.

  10. #20
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,964
    I'm Justin.

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    Nope. Not bought it. I wonder what Emission Labs 2A3s would do to it. Never been a fan of Chinese valves but the 2A3s can't be bad at all. You don't hear sounds like that from sub-par valves.

    The FR correlation is badly described above. The 7 was 2DB above the 4 until much higher up the FR, where the 2 DACs matched each other exactly. So therefore the 7 is very slightly rolled off WRT the 4.
    "I've got my giant hits discotheque album. I empty a bottle - I feel a bit free."

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