Main ShowStoppers! Lamm Industries LL1 Signature Preamplifier
Lamm Industries LL1 Signature Preamplifier

Do you have extra shelf space and $42,690 to spend on a new statement-level preamplifier? If so, Lamm Industries of New York City has a solution for you.

Lamm used CES 2010 to debut the four-piece LL1 Signature preamplifier, which is intended to complement their ML3 Signature mono amplifier that retails for $139,290 per pair. Like all Lamm gear, the LL1 Signature has been designed by Vladimir Lamm, whom the company's obviously named after. Vladimir is a well-respected designer who has strong opinions about how audio equipment should be designed. His designs are expensive and unique.

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The LL1 Signature is a monaural, two-chassis design, meaning each channel requires a control unit (upper shelf) and a power supply (lower shelf).

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As with all of Lamm's top-of-the-line designs, the LL1 Signature is an all-tube, pure-class-A design with no overall feedback. According to Lamm, the LL1 uses four low-impedance triodes paralleled into a single inverting gain stage. Volume is controlled through a TKD stepped potentiometer, which the company feels is the best available today.

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We looked around back to see the various inputs and outputs and noticed the words "pseudo balanced," which we questioned Vladimir Lamm about, since the trend in high-end preamplification today is for fully balanced designs. However, Vladimir doesn't feel it to be the best way to go. When pressed for an explanation, he told us point blank that it would take too long to explain, but that the "pseudo balanced" outputs included here are for compatibility, so customers can use their existing balanced cables, and those who use single-ended cables will derive all the benefits that the LL1 Signature provides.

According to Lamm's literature, the LL1 Signature is the "ultimate statement of perfection" and a "match made in heaven" when used with the ML3 Signature. I guess only those people with nearly $200,000 to spend on a preamp-amp combination will ever know. The rest of us are simply left to wonder just how impressive a product like this might be.

 
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