I just received my new Lampizator 211 True Balanced Monoblock amplifiers this week. If you were at RMAF, you may have seen my amps in the Lampizator room. They were being fed by the new Pacific DAC and from reports, the room rocked. I'm using the Lampizator Golden Gate DAC, with the amps driving the M/T inputs of my Von Schweikert VR100XS speakers with Spectron monoblocks handling the bass section.
Installing equipment always involves powering things down and moving all the cables & power cords around. It takes a while for everything to settle in and the system to settle down. Well, after a couple of hours, the system almost suddenly came into focus. The change was startling. Bottom line, these amps are amazing!
The distinctive signature of the balanced 211 amps is how they integrate the components of instruments and voices into palpable, harmonically complex, objects. Yet, the sound is airy, open, and very relaxed. The soundstage is even more holographic than I'm used to and that's saying a lot when that was already a defining quality of the VR100's. Time and time again with these amps in the system, I'm struck with how much more of a live performance the music has become.
I wanted to get a sense of how these amps would perform running full range, so I've spent some time using them full range, biwring to the VR100's. The results are uniformly good, very good. The bass is full, deep, and articulated with the complexity that you'd expect from tubes, but still well controlled. Going back to biamping allowes me to run the 211's using the 4 ohm taps, matching the nominal M/T impedance (the bass section of the VR100 is specified as 8 ohms). Aligning the impedance to the M/T section adds a shade more delicacy and openness to the top end. Also, the combination of four monoblock amps provides some huge orchestra fortissimos.
Some key design points-- the two 211 tubes per amp are not push-pull. They're used as mirrored single ended power tubes with each handling one phase of the XLR balanced input with their output only combined at the output transformer. There's no phase splitter tube and no feedback, local or global, which I believe is one reason for the strong coherence of the sound. The VSA speakers and these amps are a great sounding combo, the best I've heard.