AMBER 3 DAC
Amber 3 started shipping in August 2019 as a successor to Amber 2. We put a one year effort to squeeze as much of a good sound from Amber 2 as possible. It took a total redesign of the digital section, which in new form is derived directly from the Pacific program. It is by all means not as sophisticated and costly to make, but it retains surprisingly a lot of the Pacific good qualities - pure, natural, effortless, spacious and super dynamic presentation worthy of at least twice as expensive product.
We also redesigned power supply, and chose completely new tube compliment - consisting of a ECC99 super tube as input amplifier, in a zero feedback, single ended triode mode, as well as ECC82 as low impedance output buffer. This DAC, thanks to having output buffer - can drive particularly well the transistor amps.
We are very proud of this DAC, and the fact that at an entry level price we can outperform any competitor known to us. This DAC gives joy and bliss in spades.
Some other highlights are: copper output caps, CLC power filter with tube rectifier 6X5, true balanced option, volume control option, full analog preamp of very high quality, USB operation of the highest caliber, newly designed muting to avoid pops and clicks in computer operation, and many many more.
All of the reviews and comments on Lampizators hail a natural, extremely holographic sound with very full bodied images. The Amber II definitely possesses these qualities as well as good PRAT and a high degree of spatial & dynamic coherence (micro dynamics flow smoothly into macro ones). It is also highly tonally accurate, with a SET like delicacy and immersiveness.
Bass is very powerful but no part of the frequency spectrum is out of balance. For example, it makes upper strings sound fuller than I’ve ever heard before from digital (the Beethoven 6th Symphony by Monteux/VPO/Decca being a prime example), but without thickening the sound in the lower frequencies, unlike so many other (tube) DACs.
It doesn’t make a bad recording sound good (think old rock discs) but will make it easily listenable and enjoyable - without overly smoothing it out. Somehow the music comes out with the negative qualities (muddiness, brightness, excessive compression) reduced in scale.
Best of all to me is that it is very relaxing - not through a surfeit of warmth - but through an analog like continuousness approaching or meeting that of vinyl. For the first time, for me, eventual listening fatigue does not come from the discontinuity of digital itself, but just from having heard enough music.
The qualities of continuousness, holographic, solid images, and tonal accuracy cannot be overstated. It has finally given me the sound I have been seeking (through multiple changes of every piece of gear) for a really long time.
Fast and detailed enough, it was pretty upfront in its presentation, yet very adept at rendering timbres naturally. In essence, it was very balanced, presented superb imaging and was very true to life.