Pure Reference Extreme Speakers
First Listening Alert!
August 10, 2010- after two weeks of burn-in the Lamms got a first listen. Mind you, this was day one and should be considered (very) preliminary.
The Coincident Pure Reference Extreme loudspeakers were placed in the exact position of the MBLs in listening room number one. Assisting in set-up was Robert Grossman of the Philadelphia Orchestra. We began experimenting with the toe-in of the tweeter/mid unit and within an hour the Lamms literally came alive. Now, I truly value the spaciousness of the MBLs and the rock hard slam at high SPLs they admirably deliver but I was unprepared for the astonishing realism of the Lamm/Coincident pairing. Grossman noted that this was the most realistic sound reproduction hes ever heard. Instruments appeared in the room as if real, I kid you not.
This was the first time Ive heard a tube based system not add its own brand of space, dimensionality or texture to the soundfield. In fact, there was nothing added to the instrumental image- it just appeared. Living and breathing- right there in front of you. How many times have I played Diana Krall, Live in Paris? Ive worn it out- the same old sound, the same old performance. My goodness, last night I was at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, front row-middle seat, and there was nothing between me and Kralls raspy/sultry voice. Ive never heard reproduced sound, transcend reproduction, if that makes sense. Little cues, like Kralls head turning, just a touch, in front of the microphone were now clearly audible. More memorable than the first IRS IV experience or Magico Mini revelation, this Lamm/Coincident paring takes the listening experience a giant leap closer to reality. There is no SET halo effect or cupping hands coloration to remind you that you are listening to an audio system.
How often we consider attributes to evaluate audio like; image density, timber and pace. Try as I may to use these tools during the first listening sessions I found, within a nanosecond, that I was not being drawn into the music, I was being tricked into a sonic reality. This will be an exciting review experience for you... and for me. Let me add, the Lamms, for the first time, are being evaluated on dynamic speakers that are actually designed for single ended triode amplifiers.
These state-of-the-art amplifiers from Lamm may very well be the best amplifiers in the world. This is serious audio-they come complete with white goves.
The four chassis, 32 watt per channel, ML3 singled ended amp weighs in at $139,290 and the four chassis, LL1 preamp tips the money scales at $42,690 (prices as of July 28, 2010). Lamm pushes the "dollar per watt" sweepstakes to $4,350, head and shoulders above the $3,800 per watt Audio Note Ongaku and $3,500 per watt Wavac HE-833. The Lars Type I (still) reigns surpreme at a whopping $6,250 per watt. Insanity perhaps, but perfection has its cost.. If you believe, as I do, that you gets what you pays for, then these amplifiers will deliver the goods. Brand spankin new, fresh out of the box, here is a taste of what's to come; endless soundstage, huge ambient space, and natural tonality.
Folks, I'm going to give you the most comprehensive report yet on these outstanding products. SETs are one of my specialties and I promise to not disappoint. When you read the review, it will be like being here. Plus, you won't have to box them back up.
They will receive a two week, 12 hour a day, burn-in playing FM radio broadcasts. I'll put into service a pair of 94 dB efficient, Coincident Pure Reference Extreme (CPREs) loudspeakers to test every possible sonic parameter . The CPREs present an easy to drive 8 ohm nominal load that never dips below 6 ohms. The 32 watts of Lamm will thus produce gobbs of concert hall slam.