* translated from French
Model PE: one of the best 2 or 3 preamps, whatever the price, I could hear in my life
Now the most important point of this test, the description of the sonic character of the Model PE. All philosophical aspects, the designer's ideas become secondary at this point and the only question is whether it sounds good or not. I do not really know what engineers Lavardin claim, but the Model PE is a very big and very positive surprise for me. Whether because of its price, which does not place it in the class of high-end, or whether because its looks lack the razzle-dazzle, I did not expect a high quality reproduction from the Model PE at first. My a priori were just friendly, but I had no idea to conclude later that this preamp is one of the best preamps 2 or 3, whatever the price, I could hear in my life.
How the Model PE-rings on? You all know my passion for passive preamps. I love them because they alter very little signal (according to certain rules of use) and because they allow the connection "live" source of the power amp avoiding a preamplifier stage and many components which still give a signature sound. Therefore, all active preamps are facing the same challenges: bear comparison with a good passive preamp. Needless to say, very few succeed. Well, the Model PE is one of them .. Like all preamplifiers, the Model PE has its own signature but the signature is not a color. You wonder how it is possible to look at it more broadly.
When a system manages to convey the truth effortlessly musical (with Model PE, our system was at its highest level), generally it is considered the highest level. Now if the system manages to capture the attention of the listener as to create in him the desire to listen to "marathon", it is considered very musical.
Very few products have caused such a reactionin the history of the Hi-Fi, and I think now we must add the Lavardin Model PE in this very exclusive group of devices.
The Model PE has three characteristic sound:
The first is its ability to sound like "a piece of wire with gain" which is certainly due to its very special design. This is in total contradiction to what I thought until now the differences between active and passive preamps. The power handling and the ability to reproduce all the details are without any doubt the first force of this preamp.
The second characteristic is its spectral balance. In this area, the Model PE is a fine mix of elegance and neutrality, dynamics and ability to move. Once inserted into my system, in addition to the excellent definition of micro details, the spirit and intent of the great artists appear.
In the end, the third feature of the Model PE is its ability to marry so well with so many other hi-fi, even inferior. In this case it seems to be able to highlight their qualities without their defects are too accentuated. And God knows how hard it is to include a new element into an existing system.
Now, do not expect to be instantly captivated by the charm of the Model PE. We do not know the running time of this preamp but it does not impress you for its "deep bass" or "acute sensitivity" (although the bass is exceptionally deep, light and informative and that acute or indeed soft and air). Like anything "aware" of his talent, the Model PE requires some attention if we are to understand its qualities; why it is necessary to listen to music very varied. It was only then will his excellent description of music in its physical and emotional aspects becomes obvious and can understand the work he does.
In addition, the Model PE works as it is and require only a good support and good mains cables and modulation. Some experiences will help you find the best solutions.
Finally, I'd say that the Model PE posed no problem. No part of the spectrum appears more pronounced than another. If an instrument or sometimes a way out seems, it appears quickly that this was the intention of the musicians or the sound engineer, the preamplifier is doing the best that reproduce the input signal.
Conclusion: The Lavardin Model PE preamplifier is a top level that defies any attempt to classify it using the usual terminology. His musicality is high and texture rather than "French" should be called "realistic". I can not say anything else except that the preamplifier is a real discovery for me.