Lounge Audio LCR mkiii Silver Upgrade

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by MartW13, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. MartW13

    MartW13 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rhymney, Wales, UK
    Hi Guys,

    New forum member making my first post here so please be gentle. :laugh:

    I'm looking for a stand alone phono stage (currently have the latest version of the pro ject debut carbon with acrylic platter and 2m bronze through the on-board phono stage in a Musical Fidelity M3si amp feeding Dali Helicon 800 floorstander speakers) and have read lots of good things about the Lounge lcr here as well as on other forums.

    I was all set to pull the trigger when I read about the silver wiring upgrade, which appears to take the stage to another level, plus the new Gold and Tube models. The new models are out of my budget but I'd love to get the upgraded original. Unfortunately, whilst the new models are available here in the UK, the upgraded version isn't.

    Does anyone know if it's possible to get the silver upgrade LCR mkiii in the UK for a reasonable price? Is the Lounge a good choice given the other equipment Ive listed above? I intend to upgrade my turntable next year but will be keeping the amp and speakers for some time.

    Hope that makes sense and thanks v much in advance.
    Martyn
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    Lounge owner Robert posts here in SH forums as member morinix. You could start by contacting him directly with some of these questions. To be sure, Robert has a point of view and vested interest in his products, but he also knows a lot about them!
     
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  3. MartW13

    MartW13 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rhymney, Wales, UK
    Thanks for the response Riverrat. Much appreciated. I found another thread relating to the upgraded LCR mkiii so I've reposted my questions there. As a newbie I think I have to make so many posts before I can pm other users so I'll try contacting Robert in a few days when I've earned my stripes. Cheers!
     
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  4. Varun Badola

    Varun Badola Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mumbai, India
    Hello,
    My name is Varun Badola. It is my first post here. I was just trying to find people's reaction to Lounge Audio products. I have recently acquired one myself. Though I initially opted for the LCR MKIII with silver wire upgrades, just a day before the product was about to be shipped, I changed it to GOLD. The product reached me 3 days back. 1st impression...it will take a few odd hours to open up...OK... I had read ample reviews to know that. Mr. Morin had informed me that the Gold takes about 100 hours to open up. Though he had given it a few hours of break in, it was still work in progress. BUT... the first impression changed every 10 min.. I would just throw a genre of music at the GOLD and walk out after listening to it for the first few minutes. But I would come back to a different Phono Pre every time. Instruments came at me from different corners of a well spaced out sound stage. I do not like my sound to be bright. Though the GOLD sounds a lot more airy than my previous phono stage, and the vocals are clearer and much more revealed than before, they are smooth. It has been two days of continuous listening and there is not a grain of fatigue. The lows are magical. Audio gear in our country comes at a cost which discourages people to become audiophiles. I threatened to become one in the early stages of my passion for music. But soon I realised that I'll be one hell of a bankrupt audiophile. After all, good sound is expensive, but good music is priceless. So I started listening to music rather than sound, and this exemplary piece of equipment restored my faith in my decision to not juxtapose money and quality all the time. I know the GOLD is more than double the price of LCR MKIII. But the benefits are more too. What Mr. Morin explains in his video about the circuitry being one. Most important according to me... the volume control...it has allowed me to pull the preamp out of the equation. The headphone compatibility is something which is very handy too. There is not much talk about the LCR GOLD on forums. Probably because of the price difference. But anyone who is looking to invest about a $1000 could get GOLD and COPLA and still save a few bucks for a few LPs. Trust me, it deserves a lot more attention than it is getting at the moment.
     
  5. shiwo

    shiwo Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Is the LCR MKIII Silver upgrade same as the Gold just minus the headphone amp ?
     
    500Homeruns likes this.
  6. Varun Badola

    Varun Badola Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mumbai, India
    No, apparently it is not SHIWO. I am listening to it as I write to you. This was the same question I asked Mr. Morin and he said that the LCR MKiii does not match the GOLD in the dynamic ease and frequency extension. Now that I have it, it does a lot more. I pulled out my SUB from the equation and I realised that the sound stage, separation of instruments and everything else is a different story. The music sounds real. See... I do not understand technology but I understand instruments and how they are suppose to sound. I don't think the same singers and the instruments have sounded so THERE. You know, when we listen to a new preamp, we just listen. But there are pieces that we recognise better than the others. And it is there that we actually understand the difference. It could just be the DJEMBE or a DRAMBUKA or a SITAR sounding real. like REAL. this is where the GOLD really scores.
     
  7. Blank Slate

    Blank Slate Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I'm pleased to read the positive review of the Lounge Audio Gold phono pre. Pleased, not only for Varun and his enjoyment of the purchase but because it has been nice to "witness," mainly through this forum, the evolution of Robert's business. I'm not sure when he built and sold his first Lounge LCR but relatively speaking I don't think it was that long ago. I don't know him personally but my interactions with him as one of his customers have been a real pleasure. The LCR I purchased in January 2014 sounds great and the customer service has been top notch. I'm glad it seems that good things are happening for him and by extension his growing customer base.
     
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  8. Varun Badola

    Varun Badola Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mumbai, India
    Hello,
    Another observation made during the past few days regarding the LOUNGE GOLD. I read a lot of people pointing that the Lounge had recessed HF. Frankly I felt the same in the beginning too, but was not too bothered as my piece was still burning in. Glowing 24/7 for 2 weeks and playing almost 5 to 6 hours a day, the GOLD really came into its own. The HF did not sound unsatisfactory to me at all. But yesterday I pulled out my substitute cart. I usually use a NAGAOKA MP100 on my 1210 M5G and a MP500 on THORENS TD 125. My first buy, an AT95 usually fell out of favour with my earlier phono stage. But I put the AT95 on my TECHNICS yesterday and realised the potential of the cart. This one surprises me to no end. For Indian Classical and JAZZ, AT95 sounds like a better match with the TECHNICS and the GOLD. I feel the AT95 is more focused to the centre than the MP100, which has better sound staging, but it is no less musical. Plus the HF shine with it. So one does have to experiment with different carts when it comes to any LOUNGE product I guess. A lot also depends on the kind of music and the instruments one listens to. I have been using the AT95 for male singers and MP100 for female singers. now I am seriously contemplating buying the COPLA and a MC cart. Only heard one for about 10 min. a few years back on a tube setup. OH why do these things cost so much?
     
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  9. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Heavy Horses Operator

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    A month ago I got myself regular Lounge LCR MKIII (without any upgrades). Replaced Vincent PHO-8. Connected to Orto 2M Bronze via short low capacitance BJ cables.
    Man, does this thing sing or what? It is so awesome I lost any upgrade urge and just listening to music, record by record...
    Sorry for off-topic.
     
  10. Minty_fresh

    Minty_fresh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dirty Town
    I too have the MKIII and like it, I’m divided though as to wether it could be an endgame phonostage.

    As I continue at a snails pace to replace components to build my endgame system, it makes me wonder if the MS Nova 2 or the Suspiro, both of which lauded for their sound and feature sets, are really that much better than the MKIII.

    I can find no direct comparison between any of them.
     
  11. The headphone amp is the big difference the user sees, but the GOLD also has upgraded components (caps, resistors, etc). I believe they share the same basic topology but the GOLD costs a lot more to build due to the components and the headphone amp. I believe there is a write-up and video on his website that hits the high points.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  12. Minty - just curious, did you do the Silver upgrade? If not, consider it! I don't have to espouse the improvement, there is a long thread here on the board - plus I have the upgrade (and to the Copla too) and I also chimed in on that long thread.

    BTW, in audio "endgame" is a relative term. :) How much money ya got?
     
  13. Similar comparison here - In my path to find the "right" stage at my price point, I tried the Pho-8.... and the Cambridge 651p, and the Hagerman Bugle, two Schiit Mani's to name a few, and ended up with the LCR Silver / Copla AND another LCR Silver for MM! I'm a fairly discerning customer, and wanted to spend more, but with the Silver I am struggling to find anything south of the $750 (or even higher) price point that I would venture into. Now, I am sure there could be a parade of choices by respondents, but to me are they really better or different?

    The Pho-8 just does not hold a candle to the LCR MKII / Silver!
     
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  14. Minty_fresh

    Minty_fresh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dirty Town
    I have not. If I decide to move on I don’t want to spend the extra cash.

    As for my endgame system. Other than the phonostage I have a clear picture of what I am going to do. My questions come as I am not going to swap numerous pieces of gear in and out. My endgame system is reasonably priced and will sound fantastic.
     
  15. PoeRaider

    PoeRaider Forum Resident

    I haven't found any phono stage as easy to listen to for extended periods as the Lounge. And that's not to say it sounds veiled or overly smooth. It sounds very lifelike and analog. The Puffin has nice tonality as well, but does not sound as liquid and real to me.

    The Lounge handles harshness and sibilance with aplomb, and never stresses my ears. Lately I find myself using it as my primary phono more and more. I don't feel any need for upgrades lately, so that has to be a good sign. And my Lounge is not even 'silver'd yet!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  16. Minty_fresh

    Minty_fresh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dirty Town
    As opposed to...
     
  17. Varun Badola

    Varun Badola Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mumbai, India
    I use a system which is probably as old as I am. My reason for opting for the Lounge was that my phono pre had started giving problems. I did not have a budget in mind, but I was sure that I was not going to put a 2 grand pre on my system. I feel if one does not have a dedicated listening room then the benifits and returns on upgrades diminish anyway. The GOLD in that sense throws pure music at you and nothing else.
     
    bluemooze likes this.
  18. Didn't he/she say "Puffin" in the prior sentence?
     
  19. Minty_fresh

    Minty_fresh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dirty Town
    But uses Budgie according to their profile. You tell me.
     
  20. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater Forum Resident

    I am a bit confused. Does the Lounge MK111 come with the silver upgrade as a package?
     
  21. shiwo

    shiwo Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    It comes as an option. Its 450 USD to get it with the silver upgrade package versus 300 for the standard. Other people send their standard version to get it upgraded but I dont know for what cost.
     
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