Our First Customer Reivew
One of our recent customers shared his initial impressions of our LDR1 Passive Preamplifier. Here’s an unedited reprint of that review.
I’ve had my LDR1 for a week so it’s time to write my initial impressions. Let me state up front that the LDR1 is the most pure, neutral, transparent, noise-free and grain-free component I have ever heard. Because of this, it sounds even better than my prior LDR-based preamp – the DIY Paradise Eva 2. Images are sharper and there’s nothing but empty space between them. The Eva is excellent in all of the above attributes so this is high praise.
Here are some other things I like about the LDR1:
1. The feature I like the most is the finer volume steps – approx. 1dB per step. This allows me to raise the volume without making it too loud (not so with Eva’s 3dB steps).
2. I haven’t had to use it because the channels are perfectly balanced but it’s nice to know that balance control is available.
3. The full size remote is nicer and easier to use than the Eva’s micro remote.
4. After having my subwoofer connected via speaker level inputs for many years, it’s a nice change using the 2nd set of output jacks to connect the sub via line level. I don’t know if it sounds any better but surprisingly I had to turn the subwoofer level control way down with the line level connection.
Here are some things I don’t like about the LDR1:
1. The blue “Death Star” indicator LED is bright! I’m only half serious but I wish it weren’t quite as bright. OTOH, since it’s the only indication of various operation modes it’s important to be able to see the indicator LED.
2. I still miss having some kind of volume level indicator. This was previously mentioned and Morten said that it may be a future upgrade. You get used to not having one but it’s still a nice-to-have.
3. The LDR1 is WAY bigger than the Eva and a lot more conspicuous (this may be a positive attribute for some people). It’s attractive and well-made but unfortunately in my situation it doesn’t match my other equipment (see the photos below). An optional silver face-plate would be nice. I may have a maple wood case made for mine to match my other equipment. Hey Morten, do you know a good wood worker?
4. I don’t see the need for the Encoder knob. It’s much easier to use the remote for all functions. Matter of fact, I haven’t even used the Encoder knob, not once (I suppose I should to verify that it’s working correctly). I would rather the LDR1 come with a back-up remote and eliminate the Encoder knob – perhaps at reduced cost.
Nitpicks aside, and that’s mostly what they are, the LDR1 is a terrific passive preamp. As far as I can hear, the input signal passes through virtually unchanged, except the volume level of course.
Here are some photos of my system.
I forgot to mention that the LDR1 operated flawlessly. However, there was one operational item that differed from what is written in the owner’s manual. On Page 7, under the section titled Controlling Volume – “When the unit is turned on, the volume level will ramp up to the same level it was at when it was last turned off… ”
Whenever I turn the unit on, the volume starts at Step 15 (I counted). I tested this numerous times and no matter what level it’s at when I turn it off, it always restarts at 15. I actually prefer this then returning to the previous level. I would rather err on the side of caution when it comes to volume. BTW, for reference, my general listening level has been between 24 and 28.