BIG 7 MK3 DAC
The Big7, was named as the last model in our lineup of "levels", starting from Level 1, Level 2, level 3, untill level 7 was too crowded inside to fit in the box. And we decided to make the largest box that the market will let us get away with. The BIG7 was born. In it's super luxury version - with cost no object parts, it was later named the Golden Gate, our former flagship. Since the price increase for GG was huge, we decided to keep the basic Big7 as a separate product. It is the entry level to the world of DHT tubes. Given it's relatively modest price, the Big7 is the best bang for the buck in high end range of products from Lampizator.
With Volume Control, it also makes the favorite preamp.
From September 10th 2022 we ship BIG7 MK3 with following improvements versus the old BIG7-2: New, completely redesigned digital section called ENGINE ELEVEN, with it's dedicated internal power supply. Triode operating scheme has been also redesigned, making the same triodes sound more open, dynamic and detailed. We also use new USB firmware, better DSD engine, 512x DSD as standard, new muting circuits, new digital input management, new footers, and new, good looking rear panel. It looks actually better from behind than from the front.
All in all - the Big7 MK 3 has obvious Lampizator pedigree while being a better DAC than its predecessor - in every area we can name.
IMPORTANT: in the process of streamlining our portfolio, we REMOVED THE VOLUME CONTROL from the whole Big-7 Mk3 program. The DAC will be made only as a straight DAC and not a preamp.
The main characteristics are:
Single Ended Triode amplification stage
Directly Heated Triodes only (DHT)
Zero feedback design
Zero silicon in analog section
PCM and DSD switched seamlessly and automatically
USB input compatible with all operating systems
Copper sheet capacitors in the output stage
Tube based power supply with chokes and foil capacitors
Advanced muting circuit in the output
HOW DOES IT SOUND?
The directly heated triodes are considered the absolute peak performance by many die hard audiophiles, mostly speaking of small amps and horn speakers. However the use of DHT in the DAC is what we pioneered and always promoted. We don't need power in the DAC so small power is not an issue. BUT THE SOUND - is heavenly good. There is something about it that is so addictive - some kind of purity, liquidity, emotional connection, the goose bump factor, hair rising on the neck. The tube rolling process allows you choosing the tube set that suits your taste. Contrary the application in the amp, in the DAC the signal is so small in comparison, that the tube like 300B or 45 seems gigantic. The signal density per square milimeter of anode area is small. That's why music sound effortless. It like an oversized car engine - you may not use the full power but effortless feels great.
The immediacy and realness of what was coming out of the speakers was, in my experience, simply without match. Jazz At The Pawn Shop is a great recording in any case, but using the Naxos 2xHD file at 128x DSD was nothing short of overwhelming. This is as near to a group of musicians sitting in my front room as there has ever been. This may well sound like reviewer hyperbole but I mean it…this is stunning stuff. Every nuance of the recording is laid before you, every part of the musicians’ playing style becomes apparent and you cannot help but just get lost in the music and the experience. I found myself listening to classical music on DSD simply for the sonic thrill of it all…
NEXT UP WAS STEELY DAN'S AJA (DSD). WAIT A MINUTE, I'VE HEARD THIS ALBUM A HUNDRED TIMES. IT'S NEVER SOUNDED THIS GOOD. LISTENING TO THIS ENTIRE ALBUM WAS WHEN I REALIZED I WASN'T LEFT BRAINING THIS ALBUM,
I WASN'T NIT PICKING THE SOUND.
I WAS ENJOYING THE MUSIC
MICHAEL BOVAIRD / WWW.AUDIOSHARK.ORG