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Lavardin Reviews and Awards

 

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France

 

 

What do the major hifi magazines share in common regarding Lavardin ?

 

Most of their reviewers for the Lavardin Technologies products like Lavardin IS and IS Reference, and the Model IT integrated amplifier, have unequivocally tried their best to convey the message that the Lavardins are bargains at their price. A paradox ? Not in "high-end" hifi, where many and much more expensive integrateds and pre-power combinations are not in the same league as the Lavardins, sonically and musically.

 

Year 2011:
The simple and purist Lavardin integrated amplifiers are still making waves, after all these years. Some amplifiers are just too good to fade away. Notice that many reviews are from 1998 onwards. Rest assured, they have withstood the test of time and remain as benchmarks in terms of sonics and musicality combined. Superbé high-end amplifier designs !

 

They're not for everyone, of course, but for those who own and matched them well, congratulations, these are one of the few worthy amps in their price range and even beyond, in our opinion. They may seem on the high price, but as many reviewers have noted, these are actually high-end bargains considering their sonic performance. Some will be surprised at the gear replaced by the unassuming Lavardin integrateds in some homes - pre/power (stereo), pre/power (monoblocks), pre/power (bi-amped).

 

Many of these reviews were done when the EUR currency was high. Now, at the EUR's weaker state, the Lavardins are even more of a bargain.

 

"It's for those audiophiles - more for melomanes, or music lovers - who want something simple, basic, pure, humanly scaled, domestically unobtrusive. Any takers?"

- Sam Tellig, Stereophile Mar 2005

 

 

The original Lavardin IT is still playing great music after 15 years, and still in production. It is destined to be a classic ...

 

Lavardin Technologies TAS Review

* Excerpt from TAS / Hifi+ Preamplifier/Amplifier Guide

 

 

"... the Lavardin Model IT integrated amplifier is so expensive it makes your teeth hurt, but it is a superbly musical solid-state integrated amplifier that exudes quality, and would make an ideal choice to accompany a music lover into the great forever. It is easily the best solid-state amplifier I have heard, hands down, and even when compared to the best vacuum tube amplifiers it's knocking on heaven's door." - Positive Feedback Issue 46

 

"Of my half dozen amps, the Lavardin (IT) was superior to any with precisely this quality of being able to offer ultimate resolving power without the expense of attributing resolution with boosted and artificial treble extension and other some-such artifacts." - Positive Feedback Issue 36

 

... and many more ...

 

 

Lavardin Reviews : Contents (click on your choice)

 

Lavardin IT

Lavardin Model IT

 

Lavardin : Reviews

Lavardin IT-15 Review   Lavardin IT-15

 

Hi-Fi News

July 2012

 

Lavardin IT-15 Hi-Fi News Review July 2012

“Anniversary issue of French integrated proves itself to be highly musical, though its magic comes at a price.”

“There’s little to criticise about Lavardin’s IT-15 save for its price. It sounds like a valve amp but with more bass control, and it excels with voices and music genres that rely on every little detail being perceived, such as acoustic folk. Instead of focusing on the depth and width of the soundstage, this amp makes musicality its main aim and hits the mark dead on.”

 

 

 

 

High Fidelity

Poland

Nov 2011

by Wojciech Pacuła

 

 

“It could be abbreviated into one sentence: “nothing human is alien to us, but we are closest to vocal.” I am simplifying but I have a reason for that: I want to point at a special ability of the Lavardin, the exceptional way of showing human voices. Not only voices, because equally surprising are e.g. the guitars. And this is surprising as even much more expensive high-end amplifiers often do not handle midrange so well. But this is only a part of the “package” we get with the IT-15.”

 

“In a blind listening test, in a larger group of amplifiers, I would say that it is a tube amplifier.”

 

“Thinning of the treble, their ricketiness might seem something endemic to the transistor. But I know that this is not the case; my Soulution 710 is different, as is the ASR Emitter II, reviewed some time ago. The latter is warm to the border of correctness. It circumvents the problems of the transistor but adds its own.

The Lavardin seems to do it better. Although the treble is warm, it is not too warm; while it is withdrawn, it is not withdrawn too much. Just like it was about following a greater plan, not just an action point.”

 

“Listening to the French amplifier I had no problems with anything. Its sound was absolutely complete, full, finished. It is beautiful.  I can recommend it without a trace of doubt to all who search for an amplifier costing up to 50,000zl.

 

When we have the heart of a warrior and want to have the best of the best, combining it with the Harbeth M40.1 Domestic loudspeakers and the Ancient Audio Lektor Air V-edition CD player (the products I use) will create a system to which most audiophiles and music lovers pray their whole life long. And that the IT-15 costs only so little? (No, I am not joking with that ‘only’.) Well – nobody is perfect…”

 

 

 

   High Fidelity High-End Magazine

 

 

 

 

Lavardin IT Review  Lavardin Model IT

 

Stereo Times

Apr 2008

by Paul Szabady

 

 

"Most Wanted Product of the Year? Obviously. But more so: Most Wanted Product of my Lifetime. "

"The Lavardin IT works with all types of music, but is with the most difficult music that its strengths are most obvious.

 

Listeners of Jazz and Classical music will no longer have to puzzle about the artistic merit of a performance or composition. The IT lays it all out.

 

I was pleased to discover that the IT’s supreme performance was not limited to LP playback: CD was reproduced in a musically compelling manner that almost transcended its compromised inherent limits regarding time and phase.

 

Listening, however, to an Origin Live Aurora MKII turntable mated with the Origin Live Conqueror tonearm and The Cartridge Man MusicMaker Classic phono cartridge was easily the most exalted aesthetic experience I’ve ever had listening to recorded music."

"In short I have no criticism of the Lavardin IT: It is a truly great amplifier and the standard by which all other amps must be judged.

 

Because Crozel got it right the first time (12 years of research, testing, and development preceded the IT’s appearance) the amp is already a classic, unchanged in over 10 years of production."

 

"... it still is a bargain when considered over the long term. This is an amplifier one keeps, a true final destination product. Congratulations to Jean Christophe Crozel for creating a truly great music-making amplifier, one that is completely artistically faithful.

 

 

 

Positive Feedback

 

Issue 40

by Jeff Day

 

 

"The Lavardin Technologies Model IT integrated amplifier has changed the way I think about the performance of solid-state amplification, and with the Model IT I now have a superbly capable solid-state integrated amplifier that I can enthusiastically recommend to music lovers everywhere."

 

 

"The Lavardin's is a sound that I found intoxicatingly evocative of life, and one that I think those who are familiar with the timbre of real instruments will immediately appreciate. "

"... the Lavardin Model IT integrated amplifier is so expensive it makes your teeth hurt, but it is a superbly musical solid-state integrated amplifier that exudes quality, and would make an ideal choice to accompany a music lover into the great forever. It is easily the best solid-state amplifier I have heard, hands down, and even when compared to the best vacuum tube amplifiers it's knocking on heaven's door."

 

  Positive Feedback Issue 46

 

 

 

Positive Feedback

2008

Issue 36

by Danny Kaey

 

 

"Of my half dozen amps, the Lavardin was superior to any with precisely this quality of being able to offer ultimate resolving power without the expense of attributing resolution with boosted and artificial treble extension and other some-such artifacts."

 

"Indeed, the IT appears to be the perfect hybrid—ultimate proof that you can design a solid-state amp to have the lushness and delight of the best tube amps (MQ-88, E.A.R. 890, original Quad II), whilst still offering precise dynamics, timing and perceived resolution, attributes one most often associates with solid-state design."

"Ta-da! As mentioned earlier, memory free circuit or not, this amp is fantastic. It's built to last, looks at home in most any décor or system and has that cunning ability to disappear. Audiophiles are a funny bunch at times: "I want only the music to come through!" Ok, so here it is: the Lavardin IT—in other words: wire with gain? About as close to it as I've heard in my system. That's it. Genius, simply genius, well done Jean-Christophe! "

 

  Positive Feedback Issue 36

 

 

 

Stereophile

Aug 2005

by Sam Tellig

 

 

... "But I was serious. All the Lavardin IS Reference offers is superbly transparent sound - the kind of sound audiophiles kill for and pay tens of thousands of dollars to get.

 

The IS Reference illustrated Tellig's Law: you can have great sound for a modest amount of money; you just can't have a lot of it."

 

... "The Lavardin amps may surpass most tube amps, being quicker, cleaner, clearer, quieter, not to mention more reliable. I don't get the feeling that Lavardin is trying to emulate the sound of tubes - the IT and IS sound like solid-state amps. I don't hear the extra richness and warmth of tubes, or the tubby bass that's typical of many tube amps."

..."The resolution of the IT is extraordinary, placing this amp among the finest I have heard, without regard to design philosophy or price."

 

... "Don't tell your audiophile friends - they won't listen - but the Lavardin amps are bargains. Pour moi ? (webmaster's translation - "For me ?")

 

The IT is it - and now a reference chez nous (webmaster's translation - "in our home") - my wife Marina hears the difference, too."

 

  Stereophile's Aug 2005 issue

 

 

 

HiFi+

Feb 2005

by Roy Gregory

 

 

"The rest, as they say, is history. The little IS integrated promptly demolished the Shearne (along with its second power amp for bi-amping). Indeed, it left just about everything in the shop sounding muddy and confused."

 

"...if we thought that the IS was good, the IT frankly left us flabbergasted; ... Yet we were far from the only ones duly impressed. The performance of the IT was sufficient to open a serious fault-line in the edifice of PM's (Paul Messenger) 25-year devotion to Naim electronics, a response that was echoed in one form or another by all who heard it. Here was a true, audiophile gem."

 

"The IT's strong suit was always its phenomenal resolution and clarity, an effortlessly clean sound that made music lucid and lyrics intelligible. 

It's a quality that allowed it to seriously embarrass some seriously heavy­weight competition, and nothing has changed."

 

"How about £3495 (webmaster's note: please check with your dealer for current price) for an amp that can live with the highest of the high-end (and beat a lot of them hollow) ? Sounds like a bargain to me."

 

"There are better amps, but very few that are better in every respect, and all of them are vastly more expensive. If I ever get to the point of giving up my expensive toys, this is the amp I'll buy to replace them." 

 

  issue No. 37 of HiFi+ magazine

 

 

 

I-Audio

Singapore
Volume 3 No. 3

by Terence Wong

 

"My first impressions of the Lavardin is a mixture of admiration and despair. Admiration with the overall fit and finish of amplifier is first class, despair when I tried removing the top, no matter what I tried, some of the alien screws refuses to come off. How am I suppose to know what is going on inside of this amp ?"

"Source is the new SACD player from Lindemann. Speakers varied from PSB Platinum M2s, Wharfedale EVOs."

"Lavardin is an exceptional amplifier. Partnered with appropriate speakers, it exudes the very qualities that you would immediately establish its pedigree. ... You discover layers of music that you never realized were there ..."

"The sound stage of the Lavardin is wide with excellent layering. Within the sound stage were excellent placement of instruments."

"What took me by surprise is the sense of scale and its proportion. I always thought this is a quality reserved by the best amplifiers with humungous power output."

 

 

 

 

What Hifi?

 

July 2000

Temptation Column

 

 

Where IT's At

For: "Produces a fantastically natural and informative sound. Great build quality; copes with any type of music with consummate ease"

Verdict: "This is a terrific integrated amplifier that is good enough to worry the very best that's out there - irrespective of cost. Rarely have we come across an amp that conveys such realism and dynamic expression"

"Now 40 watts per channel is hardly a lot of power, but you'd never know that from the way the IT slams out the hard-charging beats from Missy Elliot's Supa Dupa Fly album. There's punch-a-plenty, combined with lightning fast responses and superb timing."

"It also copes with complex musical mixes with ease ..."

 

 

"So talented is this amplifier that it can challenge the likes of our £13,000 reference Krell pre/power."
(Webmaster's note: coincidentally, one of our customers also replaced his Krell KAS-2 monoblocks + KRC preamp with a Model IT)

"While £ 3200 is an awful lot of money to spend on a feature challenged 40-watt integrated, in high-end terms the IT is impressive enough to rate as a steal of titanic proportions."

"Quite honestly, if we could give six stars to this product, we would. IT is really that good."

 

 

  (full review)

 

 

 

6 Moons.com

by Edward Barker

 

 

"How does it sound?

 

Like a very good, very transparent, un-valvy valve amp. I've spent several years with Lavardins and haven't found any serious discernable faults apart from being really ugly and not sexily valved.

 

 


At £3400, that's pretty amazing - another piece I'm going to have a hard time parting with. I'll go out on a limb and say that in my experience, the OBX-R / Lavardin IT is one of those spectacular combination that, once heard, will never be forgotten. They just seem to love each other. Why get in the way?"

 

  (full review)

 

 

 

HiFi+

Aug 1999

by Roy Gregory

 

 

"The Lavardin IT is perhaps best understood as a technology demonstrator, shorn of every extraneous facility and intended by the company to showcase the fruits of its research.

 

It's understated appearance, moderate power, and hair-shirt facilities make the £3200 price tag something a shock - until you listen to it ! That's when it moves the goalposts."

"The Lavardin's dynamic capabilities extend beyond simply telling you whether something is louder or softer. It scales the changes precisely which creates an incredibly natural sense of instrumental presence, integrated into a complete acoustic.

And that sense of holistic correctness encompasses overall dynamic range. The IT shades dynamics just as precisely at either end of the dynamic spectrum, and irrespective of volume. Let me say that again; irrespective of volume."

"I keep stressing the delicacy and precision of this amp, but make no mistake, it's quick, and that means it really rocks. Wide range dynamics are really explosive, and well recorded snare drums go off with a real crack. The pitch, shape and impact of bass notes is especially impressive, and they really propel music like Steve Earl's 'Copperhead Rd'."

 

 

 

 

HiFi World

Apr 1999

by Jon Marks

 

 

"Jon Marks discovers transistors that sound like valves in Lavardin Technologies' Model IT Reference integrated amplifier."

 


"The ESL 57s are renowned for their pollution-free midrange and treble, which makes them a great yardstick of what an amplifier is doing to vocals especially.

 

The answer with the Lavardin was very, very little indeed.

 

When you compare what 'normal' transistor amps do to the signal next to the impact of the IT, Lavardin's assertion that they've succeeded in eliminating transistor nastiness has a ring of truth to it."

 

 

 

"Running from its four lead/acid batteries, the DPA 50S and the X-A200s are smooth, detailed performers by standards of most transistor amps, but the IT made them sound coarse, grainy and very coloured. These aberrations stood out like sore thumbs on vocals, harpsichord and cymbals, which all had a tonal naturalness through the Lavardin which made sitting back and listening to the music an addictive activity."

"Other areas where this skilled integrated pulled well ahead of the pack were imaging and soundstaging. Where the DPA and MFs can produce an image of a vocalist which would cover about three pages of A4, the IT's focus was roughly twice as precise, as Tori Amos' head and shoulders hung lifesize between the Quads."

 

  (full review)

 

 

 

Stereophile

Dec 1998

page 35

 

by Paul Messenger

"Over at Absolute Analogue, I met the boffins behind the Lavardin Technologies amplifiers from France, which have become a personal obsession since I first heard them last summer and got to try one at home (for review, see Dec 98 Hifi Choice issue). Mindful that I might be getting carried away, I sent several friends along for second opinions, and all agreed they had heard something special."

"One, who managed to get hold of the prototype phono stage and take it to a room with serious vinyl replay, was still gibbering about it days later..."

 

 

 

HiFi Choice

December 1998

by Paul Messenger

Editor's Choice

"Editor's Choice AWARD"
Sound : 5 out of 5 stars
Build : 5 out of 5 stars
Value : 5 out of 5 stars

 

"Whatever the explanation, the valve-meets-transistor sound of the IT has knocked Paul for six."

"The midband has the delicacy and transparency normally associated with valve-driven designs, while the bottom end has the sort of power and authority attributed to solid-state electronics. In a very sense, you can have your cake and eat it."

"It's music making is not only uncommonly "tidy" and delicate, but also unusually informative.

 

Previously undeciphered lyrics on "parental advisory" rap albums became intelligible, while the usual unwanted intrusion of vinyl surface noise was notably diminished."

"Timing is right on the button, the bottom end is deep, firm and even, while tonal colours sound uncannily "right", and the balance is reassuringly neutral."

"But what on earth can a 40-Watt, four input integrated amp offer, that Naims finest cannot match?"

 

  (full review)

 

 

 

Prestige Audio Video

Nov 1997
by Patrick Vercher

 

 

"12 years ago the Model IT's designer was impressed by the musicality of mono triode amps ; now, the Model IT outperforms the best mono triode designs for articulation, transparency and contour"..."

 

"The Lavardin goes very fast in deep bass, its dynamic capacity does not match the designer's max power indication ; it seems that we are listening a 2x200w amp so blasting are the transients"...

"More than a stunning solid-state amp, it's a revelation and if you don't believe us, have an audition and it will confirm what we say."

 

 

 

 

Le Monde de la Musique

June 1997
by P. Venturini

 

 

This amplifier has nothing cold, or aggressive.

 

On the contrary it shows every subtlety and makes perceptible and animated the smallest nuances of musical interpretations even of very low amplitude.

 

What a pleasure to hear * all * the information engraved in a disc ! Nothing escapes the sharpened circuits of the "Model IT" : neither qualities nor defects of a sound recording.

Spectral balance is very neutral, and this amplifier is tremendously revealing.

 

From one record to another, the soundstage completely changes..."

 

 

 

Lavardin IS Reference Review   Lavardin IS Reference

 

What HiFi

Jan 2010

 

 

For

A sonic superstar with nuanced dynamics, crisp timing and impressive detail; class-leading fluidity; easy to use

 

Against

Nothing to shout about physically; no remote control

 

 

• The IS Reference is one of the most musically compelling amplifiers we've ever heard at this price level

 

• The IS Reference is amazingly fluid in its delivery, making almost all rival amplifiers sound mechanical in comparison

• A sonic superstar with nuanced dynamics, crisp timing and impressive detail; class-leading fluidity; easy to use

 

• If you want a telepathic link into what the recording artist wants you to feel, the IS Reference gets closer than any rival we've heard.

 

 

 

 

Diapason

Nov 2005

 

 

The Lavardin Model IS Reference integrated amplifier receives the most famous audio award in France, the DIAPASON D'OR (the Golden Diapason).

"Listening is essentially an experience of an elegance and subtlety out of the common run " ... "One integrated exceptional of smoothness, agility and nimbleness, nuances and transparency."

 

 

 

 

 

Stereo Times

July 2005

by Paul Szabady

 

 

Amazing Grace
Lavardin Technologies IS Reference Integrated Amplifier

 

"The Lavardin’s reproduction of timbre is superb: no need to squint with one’s ears to differentiate an oboe from an English horn, an alto from a soprano sax, a Stradivarius from an Amati."

"The Lavardin IS Reference is a true reference that every music lover should make a top priority to audition. A word of warning though: after experiencing the Lavardin’s grace and resolution, otherwise very good electronics will sound crude and false. The ease with which it opens the aesthetic world of music to the listener is priceless. At $3000 it has to be considered a bargain."

 

  (full review)

 

 

 

Stereophile

Apr 2005

2005 Recommended Components
Class A - Integrated Amplifiers section

Lavardin IS Reference:
"The 30Wpc Lavardin, a bare-bones integrated amplifier completely free of frills, uses a single pair of output transistors per channel to achieve a "remarkably pristine, tubelike sound" while avoiding the power limitations of most SET tube amps.

ST: "Pulls off the neat trick of offering tubelike linearity, truth of timbre, and lifelike immediacy ..."

 

(Vol.28 No.3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stereophile

Mar, 2005
Vol.28 No.3

 

by Sam Tellig

"The Lavardin IS Reference pulls off the neat trick of offering tubelike linearity, truth of timbre, and lifelike immediacy - yes, palpable presence - while avoiding the heat, unreliability, and maintenance issues of tubes.

 

It also avoids the severe power limitations of most SET tube amps - the flea-powered 3-1/2 Wpc stuff."

"I listen a lot to solo piano, chamber music, and opera - areas where truth of timbre really matters. The Lavardin IS Reference delivered it."

"Thank you, Mr. Barker. I couldn't have said it better myself. The performers and their instruments are right there, palpably present in space. This is why I intend to try out a Lavardin IT as soon as possible."

*** Price mentioned in this review is only an introductory offer, in the USA, by the new USA distributor. Price reverts back to normal MSRP soon ***

 

  Stereophile's Mar 2005 issue

 

 

 

Image HiFi

Germany
Issue No. 57
2004

 

by Heinz Gelking

"In Image hifi 57, Heinz Gelking write about the full amplifier Lavardin IS Reference:

 

For the first time, I have seen and heard the high-end amplifier Lavardin IS Reference. A small and pure full amplifier driving a large Avalon Opus and playing sumptuous orchestra music so grandly, it persisted in my memory. I wanted to know more..."

"The Phono MM phono stage option convinces much."

"This Frenchman keeps out of the competition in terms of the best EUR/kilogram gear, it is so small. This should not be taken as a status symbol (i.e. giant amplifiers), but rather as an open, transparent and musical river. So much music comes from this pure amplifier!"

 

 

 

 

HiFi+

Issue 13
Sept 2001

by Pete Christie

On the Model IS Reference - "The detail was stunning - on everything!

 

From simple arrangements for a few instruments (Debussy Cello Sonata, J.S. Bach Partita played on solo flute, Chopin Sonata No. 3), right up to massive orchestral pieces (e.g. the finale of Mahler's 2nd Symphony), the overall effect was enthralling. Every instrument was identifiable. The soundstage was presented in front of me as clearly as if the musicians were in the same room. And with Lyle Lovett, the results were just as extraordinary, only more so!"

 

 

 

 

 

Lavardin IS Review   Lavardin IS

 

Hi-fi+

Issue No. 10
Mar, 2001

by Pete Christie

 

 

"If you take a peek at issue 10 (March/April 2001), you will find, on pages 86 - 89, some of my more enthusiastic ramblings on the subject of the Lavardin IS integrated amplifier.

 

From this review, you would - quite correctly - have got the impression that, as far as I was concerned, the IS integrated was undoubtedly the finest 30 Watt amp known to man, and that it was significantly better than sliced bread - or unsliced, or toasted!

I was content that, at last, I had discovered the audio Holy Grail, and all was well with the hi-fi world! The only problem with it was that I eventually had to give it back. I did put up a hell of a fight though, and it took four of them to Wrest it from my grasp. One of them is still walking with a limp!"

 

 

 

 

HiFi & Musik

Sweden

July 1999

Mats Meyer-Lie

 

 

"Because it does not take many seconds of listening to realise that Lavardin has some inherent qualities outside the normal. Yes, I dare say that it is something truly unique.

 

Little IS is in fact totally devoid of the impression that it is electronic reproduction one listens to. Precisely the feeling that one is not listening to a hi-fi set at all is sensational."

"And now we come to the best part of it all, the three-dimensionality and the ability to reproduce the physical environment of the recordings. My god, what realism ! Pure magic and clearly evident to anybody listening...."

"If it were an expensive amp combination in the SEK 80.000 range, then I would have also been impressed, but here we are talking about a mere little integrated amp. It is totally nuts !"

"Ok, ok, now they have gone hi-fi crazy again. And, sure, it may sound as an exaggeration, but I'm not alone in this . Half of the hi-fi world in the UK and a large part of the French, seem to have been falling over with euphoria for Lavardin, and in particular the larger Model IT. We were ourselves left sitting like living question marks in front of the little IS. But happily smiling question marks! "

 

"Ok, it's not a cheap set, but compared to other integrated amps, it is no doubt well worth its price. The fact is, that it in certain aspects leaves many much more expensive competitors way behind! But don't take our word for it, go with an open mind and listen to Lavardin. Bring your favorite recordings and hook up the best, most highly resonant accessories available. And then don't tell us me we didn't warn you !

 

  (full review)

 

 

 

Prestige Audio Video

May 1998
Patrick Vercher
Richard Valliene

"From the first notes, one immediately feels a uncommon ease of musical reproduction."

"The guitar notes are played like water drops with crystal clarity, superbly harmonized by the deep resonances of the wooden case of the instrument....

 

The sound esthetics of Lavardin Model IS is of a rare elegance, of a uncommon refinement."

"From the first notes, one immediately feels a uncommon ease of musical reproduction. Whatever the style of music played, Lavardin Model IS offers a strongly bodied and wide spaced answer. The notes are reproduced with the fluidity of running water ..."

"On rock music recordings, Lavardin Model IS gives interesting reproduction. It's clearness assists in separating the instruments from each other...."

 

  (full review)

 

 

 

Lavardin Model PE (Pre 6/2) and MAP Monoblocks Lavardin MAP

 

Hi-fi+

Issue No. 7
Jul / Aug, 2000

Lavardin PE Line Stage and MAP Mono-blocks

Roy Gregory

 

 

* Model PE is now known asC62


"Comparisons with a Lavardin amplifier make just about everything else sound cluttered and clumsy. The French amps sound clear and clean, but they manage not to sound clinical or sat-on. I described this in terms of transparency, but not just in the conventional hi-fi sense, although that certainly applies."
:
"But the really neat trick is the way that the Lavardins' offer insight into the minutiae of a recording without pulling it apart or distracting from your enjoyment of the whole. They'll extract full musical value from even the worst recordings, and what's is more, because of their outstanding musical and dynamic coherence, they are capable of remaining convincing even at low levels."

"In the year or so since I first met the IT integrated amp, it, and now the PO phono stage, have become both essential tools and a source of constant pleasure. Do I like them? Could I live with them? Do I covet them?

 

Yes, yes and absolutely! With a wider operating envelope and even fewer deficiencies the PE line-stage and MAP mono-blocks offer Lavardin's exceptionally satisfying musical performance to a broader audience. As a reviewer, their versatility makes them even more attractive than their smaller brother. "

** The Model PE (now renamed to PRE 6/2) preamplifier & the MAP monoblocks were reviewed in Issue 7 (July/Aug 2000) under the Powerful Amps feature "Here Be Monsters". The other equipment reviewed in the group feature were:

Advantage S-2 Preamplifier and S20 Mono Power-amplifier
Plinius M16L Line-Stage and SA-250 Class A Power-Amp
Cyrus aCA7.5 Pre-amplifier and aPA7 mono power-amplifiers
Sim Audio Moon P5 Pre-Amp and W5 Stereo Power-Amp
Mark Levinson 380S Preamp and 335 Power-Amp

 

  issue No. 7 of HiFi+ magazine

 

The MAP subsequently won a hi-fi+ magazine award - Product of the Year 2000.

 

Awards Notes:

"Lavardin's IT integrated (reviewed in Issue 2) was one of the revelatory products of '99, redefining what was possible from an affordable solid-state design. The PE/MAP combination builds on that performance, addressing the IT's few weaknesses, and providing a slightly less hair-shirt quota of facilities - at a price. But whilst the PE/MAP might be expensive, and they're certainly not the steal that the IT represents, compared to the opposition they're still a huge monetary and musical bargain."

 

 

 

 

Lavardin PE Preamplifier (now renamed to C62 Preamplifier, and improved)

   Lavardin Model C62

 

Sound & HiFi (NXOS)

May, 2000

Greece

 

 

 

 

Lavardin PE Preamplifier (now called C62 preamplifier, with better performance)

 

"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."

 

"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.

 

The third ....

 

  (full review)

 

 

 

Lavardin C62 / AP150 Review   Lavardin Model C62

 

High Fidelity

Nov, 2010

Poland

 

 

 

including LeContoure speakers

For
Natural, subtle, dynamic sound; great timing and detail; pairs refinement with attack


Against
Purist design means few frills; lacks luxury feel; pricey partnering cables

 

"...Reviewed system included power amplifier Model AP150 and preamplifier Model C62.

 

This particular set is often used by Focal-JMLab when they do presentations of their loudspeakers from Utopia line. Anybody who has ever seen these speakers realizes that these are not easy to drive – it's a huge, multidriver design with not very friendly impedance. The French amplifier seems quite little comparing to those giant speakers and nobody expects it to successfully drive them… But of course guys from Focal know what they are doing – they surely need as good system for their speakers as possible."

 

 

"... Lavardin system with Lecontoure loudspeakers creates a different world. World of soft reverberations, pastel colors, depth. Safe depth, domestic. ..."

 

"After some longer thinking I realized that this presentation is somehow similar to the one delivered by a system by Combak Corporation (Reimyo+Bravo!+Harmonix), tested exactly two years ago ..."

 

"... Are there better systems? Probably yes. Are there different ones? Of course. But this one is a very, very special one that could easily become an ultimate one you could live with forever."

 

  (full review)

 

 

 

What Hi-Fi ?

Sept, 2010

 

 

 

5-stars out of 5 rating


For
Natural, subtle, dynamic sound; great timing and detail; pairs refinement with attack


Against
Purist design means few frills; lacks luxury feel; pricey partnering cables

 

"...

this French pre/power combination turns out to be one of the highlights of our year. Why? It sounds utterly brilliant.

 

Or maybe ‘convincing' is a better definition. It doesn't go massively loud or deliver a sound of immense scale – a power output of  a mere 50 Watts per channel sees to that – but this pairing delivers sound in such a direct and uncluttered manner that even tracks as complex as Thelonious Monk'sPlayed Twice make perfect musical sense."

 

 

"... Of course, excellent timing is vital to deliver a full dose of rhythmic drive too. The Lavardins get all these spot-on. Once a component has the basic foundations right other qualities tend to follow."

 

"... The Lavardin's final party trick is the ability to combine a total lack of harshness with a treble performance that lacks nothing in openness, bite or brilliance. There's nothing clinical or mechanical about the presentation: it's full bodied without sounding soft and fluid without sacrificing precision."

 

"... If sound quality and musical enjoyment are your priorities,  you'll find this Lavardin pairing hard to beat at this price. Dismiss them at your peril. "

 

  (full review)

 

 

Lavardin : Awards

The Absolute Sound / HiFi+

2011

Lavardin IT

Lavardin Technologies TAS Review

* Excerpt from TAS / Hifi+ Preamplifier/Amplifier Guide

 

 

 

High Fidelity (Poland)

Jan 2011

Lavardin Model IT

Award Of The Year, under category "Amplifiers"

 

 

 

 

The Absolute Sound

Golden Ear Award

2001

Lavardin Model IS and IS Reference

"... what the IS has got is phenomenal sound for the money and a story to back it up."

 

"As far as I’m concerned, these amps have redefined what is musically possible at the price.

They might also have finally delivered on the promise of affordable, fuss-free performance that solid-state made, lo those many years ago. They are certainly all the amp that many music lovers will ever need."

 

  (award article)

 

 

 

hi-fi+

Product of the Year 2001

Lavardin Model IS Reference

"As you have probably guessed, I'm quite keen on this French masterpiece, and to sum up, I will re-write one of my closing paragraphs from my previous review:


I have listened to an awful lot of hi-fi in the last 17 years. I have had the pleasure to review a lot of hi-fi in the last three or four years. This is the second time I have ever been so completely and utterly impressed with any single piece of equipment.

I like minimal. I don't care that it doesn't have a remote control thingy. As far as I am concerned, lack of facilities equals lack of problems, and I can live with that. Four inputs is one more than I need, so that's no big deal.

 

If you think I am going to readily give this amp back to the editor, you are making a big mistake. You want it Mr. Gregory - forget it, I'm already packed and moving away to adopt a new identity in a far-off land where you and your swarthy henchman will never find me!"

 

 

 

 

hi-fi+

Product of the Year 2000

Lavardin MAP Monoblocks

Awards Notes:

"Lavardin's IT integrated (reviewed in Issue 2) was one of the revelatory products of '99, redefining what was possible from an affordable solid-state design.

 

The PE/MAP combination builds on that performance, addressing the IT's few weaknesses, and providing a slightly less hair-shirt quota of facilities - at a price.

 

 

 

But whilst the PE/MAP might be expensive, and they're certainly not the steal that the IT represents, compared to the opposition they're still a huge monetary and musical bargain."

 

 

 

Hifi Choice

Editor's Choice Award

1998

Lavardin IT

Sound : * * * * * 5 out of 5 stars
Build : * * * * * 5 out of 5 stars
Value : * * * * * 5 out of 5 stars

Paul Messenger:
"Integrated amplifiers don't often make it into "Statements", but integrated amplifiers don't often cost £3,200. And if that sounds like a lot of money to pay for a stripped-down, two-by 55 watter (even one as chunkily built as this), don't be fooled.

Lavardin's Model IT is actually one of hi-fi's great bargains.

 

£ 3,200 is not a lot of money by serious high-end standards, yet this unassuming-looking black box is a genuine high-end contender, no question.

 

 

You've probably never heard of Lavardin Technologies. Neither had I until last summer, when I visited speaker manufacturer JM-Lab in France, which used amplification from Lavardin Technologies to demonstrate its top-of-the-line Utopia models. I liked what I heard so much, I arranged to borrow one via the UK distributor.

Now I'm even more impressed. It took only a few seconds after switch-on to realize that this amplifier was something very special."

 

  (award article)