Product Review

Lamm L2 Reference Stereo Hybrid Line-Stage Preamplifier

Part II

June, 2007

John E. Johnson, Jr.


In Use

I tested the L2 Reference with a McIntosh MCD201 SACD Player, Lamm M2.2 Monoblock Power Amplifiers, Carver Mark IV Amazing Ribbon Speakers, and ONIX Strata Mini Speakers. Cables were Legenburg and Nordost.


Norah Jones; Not Too Late, Blue Note, 0-946-3-74625-22:  Her breath as well as the notes she was singing were apparent.

The transients of piano and banjo in second song were as clean as I have ever heard. They were not muddied when she was singing. Bass was extremely tight.


Bizet; Carmen, Telarc, SACD-60655: So many strings and every one of them was individually imaged. Again, bass was as tight as could be. Was that a triangle that I could hear clearly in the background while the orchestra played? Yup.

Grieg; Suite from Peer Gynt: I was amazed at how crisp the percussion was with full orchestra blasting away.

Korsakov; Russian Easter Overture: In the midst of a strong bass line, the high frequencies of the first violins were right there.


IsoMike; 7-26441-55591-5 (Available from KimberKable): "Drum Kit Practice": Every piece of this drum kit was perfectly imaged.

"Wind Ensemble": Thunderous bass could not overpower the other instruments.

"Male Quartet": I could see each person across the sound stage. Same with "Roll Call Face In," Each person introduced him or herself across the stage. I almost answered back.


The Romantic Harp, Telarc SACD 60581: The sound of this incredible instrument absolutely filled the room, and I could hear the transient attack on each string. Again, amazing bass.

If any two points stand out with the L2 Reference, they are the transients and the astonishing bass. The transients come from that high voltage capability, and the bass comes from high current waiting in that power supply. In fact, the bass was so intense, practically slamming me against the wall, I checked to see if I had accidentally left the subwoofer on. It was off. What incredible power the L2 has!


Go to Part III.

Copyright 2007 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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