The lampizatOr DAC generation 4
-by Lukasz Fikus
High End – Hand Made in Poland
What I offer you is my time, talent, experience and passion to build the most exciting DAC today known to me ! We are an established company, with two facilities for manufacturing and a team of 6 people.
I have arrived at the Lampizator 4th generation DAC though a lengthy process. 8 years of everyday testing different DAC chips – over 100 conversion chips tested with the same lampizator circuit to hold the analog part as constant, practically all available chips have been tested. I have narrowed down the choice of dac chips to just 5 and then I used 4 different types of digital receiver chips and tested them with DACS in all kinds of permutations. In the end, the selected “couple” was subjected to tests of various operating modes, clock frequencies, sampling rates, oversampling, upsampling, and other options.
This stage was the longest and most challenging because the circuit of the digital part is extremely sensitive to even the smallest variations, and there are countless traps and problems.
Putting my reputation on the table, I do believe that the 4th generation DAC is a very musical, transparent and analog- like product. I sell it in the worlds’ most competitive market and so far the reviews are enthusiastic.
The sound quality of my DAC is already on another level, compared with my earlier DIY projects like Lampucera,Behringer and Buffalo. Customers across the globe are very satisfied.
DAC Generations and levels:
The generation number means a significant step in improving the DAC technology and sound. Gen 1 was a prototype, Gen 2 is a more mature and stable design. Since its introduction in July 2010 I made some progress, qualifying for the title of Gen 2,5. Namely I upgraded the dac microchip to the newest 2010 model with 32 bit resolution and upsampling. Second improvement is a discovery of new caps for digital section which surpass the oscons, blackgates, tantalums and MKP’s. They contribute to the ultra transparent and pure sound. Third is the employment of new lampizator output scheme – differential summator. It utilizes the balanced differential DAC outputs and it takes the very good sound to awesome level. All the improvements combined – starting from October 1 2010 result in a major step forward towards the best sound in the world.
We started shipping out Gen4 DACs starting from march 2012, yet without formal announcement.
Serial numbers 205 and higher are Generation 4 already.
Currently we ship Generation 4 DAC on 4 quality levels.
The levels simply reflect the technological sophistication versus the retail price.
Some technical overview:
I use the best D/A chip known to me and selected from all the World’s DACs by endless tests. The generation 4 digital PCB is a fixed project. It took 6 years of everyday testing to arrive at this PCB design so it is very unlikely to change by much anytime soon. The design is NOT based on any known product; it is not even loosely inspired by any kit or DAC. It is a genuine original design, based on chips previously not used together and in a configuration un- tried before . The chips are current production, latest models and not nostalgic 16 bit units. It is a multi bit top model with fully differential balanced outputs and 192 kHz capability.
I pay fanatical attention to the analog stage, using tubes and no silicon. No op-amps. Purity and simplicity of single ended triode amplifier between the DAC and the output is one of the key ingredients.
I designed and engineered the box from the ground up to be a unique and quite handsome housing: your choice of silver or black faceplate. What is common is the lampizatOr’s ring LED button and the tubes being mounted upside-down under the “belly” of the DAC.
You can order from options like multiple dig inputs, XLR balanced outputs, Tos-Link, volume control with remote, Preamp functionality with inputs, one of the best if not THE best USB solution on the market. (32 bit asynchroneous and up to 380 kHz)
From Level 3 and up – I build a tubed power supply which is at least 400% oversized to provide the unheard of purity, authority and grunt. Every supply has built in both 230 V and 115 V windings. All GND is star topology. Everything, except the tubes is stone cold. In Level 4 and 5 the power supply is electrolyte-less. In Level 5 the power supply is also fully dual mono.
The use of approx. 10 times oversized capacitor bank effectively means that the DAC board as well as tube anodes are supplied by caps for 3 minutes of operation without need to recharge. This is a quasi battery operation but without the hassle of real batteries charging. The lampizatOr DAC does not “see” at all the AC influence, its quality, fluctuations etc. The custom made massive chokes separate the electronics from any AC residual history and the Fikus Power Supply is as pure as it gets. You can hear that, let me tell you.
Everything is made by hand by myself or my 6 employees. The process takes 3 full days of preparations, assembly, testing, burn-in and music listening in my Nirvana system. Every unit is numbered and documented. Nothing is outsourced except metal work.
I use parts of MY CHOICE and I make absolutely no apologies for it. I don’t accept any pressure to change the parts to any other than my own. All parts are over-specified, usually old stock, mostly military, preferably Soviet made or Warsaw Pact. (Disarmament is a part of my mission). Remember – every lampizatOr DAC or kit – means that ONE MORE missile or MIG is grounded. “Make Mozart, not Nukes !”
V-Cap Copper and Jensen Copper caps are available at extra price.
I offer 7 days comfort of a full money refund for testing (excl. shipping cost) counting from the day you receive it.
I offer 5 years warranty for parts and labour excl. tubes.