LFD NCSE II Integrated Amplifier
When it comes to integrated amplifiers, as a general rule we take the view that the quality of the components in a circuit is of more importance that the circuit itself when it comes to determining the overall performance of an audiophile design. Frankly our circuits are very good, but not in the true sense of the word 'special.' However the components we use are most certainly very special. In many cases we have over the years created considerable stockpiles of long discontinued special components.
We've done this not only to ensure that we'll always have spare parts but also because some of these discontinued parts have no sonic equal today. Or put differently, in some instances, nothing and we do mean nothing currently available at any price will approach, equal or exceed some of these classic components. Strange – but true.
Thus although in general terms the circuits used in our two integrated amplifiers are similar, the quality of the components, right down to the solder and the multi-diameter silver wiring are progressively improved as you move up through the range.
A crucial aspect, by which we mean the time-consuming skill involved, is how to ensure that every component is working in complete harmony with not only the next component on the circuit, but with every component throughout the entire piece of equipment. To get this right takes many years of experience and in part, that’s what you pay for as you progress up through the range of my Integrated Amplifiers.
The LFD NCSE Integrated is a logical sonic progression on from the LE Mk3.1 and a few of our retailers who stock both can demonstrate the improvements. Only you can decide if the degree of improvement is worth the increase in price. To help facilitate this, some of my retailers offer generous and guaranteed trade-in values as you move up from the LE range to the NCSE. It's a good idea to ask. Also some of my retailers offer very competitive trade-ins on discontinued LFD integrated amps, especially the very highly regarded LFD Mistral Integrated against my latest ones. Again – it's a good idea to ask.
Although the circuitry is superficially similar to the LE Mk 4.0, the power supply is much more robust and the ability to drive difficult speaker loads is enhanced. The entire unit is much heavier than the LE Mk 4.0 as I've paid particular attention to the NCSE casework to help reduce the effects of microphony. The use of superior parts and additional hand-made silver wiring reduces grain and noticeably improves transparency.
There is no option for an internal phono stage.