Product Review

Lamm M2.2 Monoblock Hybrid (Tube/Solid State) Power Amplifier

Part II

May, 2006

John E. Johnson, Jr.


So, here is what the M2.2 looks like on the inside. You might think, gee, I have seen other amplifiers with more parts in there than this. Well, (1) this is a one-channel amplifier. It is not a receiver with processor and several power amplifiers, nor is it a multi-channel power amplifier; and (2) the part that takes up the most space is the toroidal transformer, underneath the main PC board in this photo. There is also a second PC board next to the transformer. The tube is shown right in the center of the main PC board.

The capacitors, resistors, inductors, and other items in there are the best that money can buy. No cost-savings parts anywhere. If you look up the companies who make the best parts, they probably have something in this amplifier.

OK, I know some of you (maybe all of you who have not heard a Lamm amplifier) are thinking, "Yeah, but even with all the good parts, does it have to cost 21 thousand friggin dollars for a pair?"

Well, here's the deal. Lamm goes through high end dealers, not the Internet (maybe someday . . .)  Business basics will tell you that you multiply the manufacturing cost by about four to get to the price on the shelf at the store.

So, as the product gets better and more costly to build, the price you see at the dealer can really be a big number. From the build quality I see in the M2.2s, I can imagine they cost at least five grand per pair to manufacture, with no profit at that point. Lamm understands the investment they have put into them, as they arrived here in wooden crates that took me an hour to remove all the screws. In fact, I had to go to Home Depot to get a larger screw driver, because the one I had on hand was not big enough. I mean these things are packed like they are going to be dropped out of a C-131 at 10,000 feet as war supplies.

Nevertheless, whew!!! . . . 21 thousand $$$ seems a lot to pay for that last bit of glorious sound to be extracted from our CDs doesn't it?

But, if you have the green, and you get to hear them, out comes the checkbook.

Click Here to Go to Part III.

Copyright 2006 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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