CAT SL1 + JL2 or JL3 compared to Lamm L2 + ML2.1


Does someone compare those two brands, which are known for building "natural sounding" components.

I love Lamm ML2.1 with Kharma speakers : 3.2FE or Exquisite Mini, but other matched I've heard with Wilson WP8 or Maxx2, biger Kharma...are not so good.
ML2.1 is a great amplifier, but not enough power to drive some speakers.

So, do CAT, with JL2 or JL3 (last model) will be at same level ?

Thank you for sharing your experience.
I think the CAT amps are as good as any amplifier made - in that I have not heard one better. The JL2 should be able to drive just about any speaker load, but I would ask Ken Stevens for his opinion regarding the speakers you are considering. The JL2s 100 Watts of CLass A Triode should have no problem. I've not heard a better amp and it would certainly challenge almost any SS amp in the bass department.
By the way, if I am not mistaken, I believe Ken owns a very expensive pair of Wilson Speakers, so I would expect there would be great synergy between the CAT and the Wilsons. Frankly, you are talking about some of the best stuff made with either brand - you cannot go wrong with either, unless your Lamm 18 watters just can't drive the speakers.
mind also the difference between PushPull (CAT) and Single Ended (Lamm) it's not the same it's refinement and delicacy vs power, it's what you need most. Maybe a combo with a tube pre and powerfull solid state amp (Gryphon, Boulder..) should give you the best of both worlds?
I think the beauty of the CAT amp is that it has power with SET like transparency; it is the very best PP tube amp made IMHO. At this price point it must be auditioned.
I enjoy my Aesthetix Callisto, Lamm 2.1s and Wilson 8's and this system produces beautiful full range music. I don't know where you listen to the Lamm Wilson set up but there were several at the CES show last year producing great music. Maybe there was something wrong with the set up you listened too or you just prefer another sound?

Good luck on your next steps - keep us informed, cheers GerryM5
This is the age old problem of never getting it all in one package. I use a Kharma/Lamm combination and love the way it sounds, but would love a little more power.

Are you looking for the dynamics (CAT SL1 or 2)of a live concert or are you comfortable with subtle nuances ( Lamm ML 2, 2.1) of a chamber piece or solo voice, but you can not find both in one unit!

But music consists of both dynamics and subtlty and until someone can make an amplifier that is around 150- 200 watts per ch/ but has SET like naturaliness, we are relegated to settle for one or the other.

I would open this discussion up to other people who have tried amps such as Gerry M5, Audio Note amps, or Lamm's ML 1.1's or Cary CAD 211's, etc. to share their findings.
I found that the CAT amp with the Joule preamp provides just that added touch of organic nuance (not that the CAT pre was not an excellent performer) that provides a more emotional connection to the music. I think the CAT will give you what you need "voiced" by the preamp you pair it with. In addition to the Joule, the Lamm LL2 was quite wonderful paired with the CAT amp. No doubt CAT is the dynamics champ in amplifiers. But, really we are talking about SOTA equipment, and if you can't be happy with either, you are not likely to find something that will satisfy you.
Just to confuse things a little. I wanted more bottom end and faster pace for my guarneris and I've tried a half dozen amps and still have three. What brought my system to a whole new level was not the amp, but was the CAT Ultimate 2 preamp and the difference was not incremental. Now, any one of my three amps sounds great, so I'm having a hard time deciding which one or two to part with. You might consider trying the CAT Ultimate 2, since your existing amps are very, very fine. I am amazed at what this preamp did for my system. YMMV, IMHO, etc.. Jeff ps. With the guarneris the sound is not what I would call sterile at all. It is fast, detailed without being harsh, super transparent, has great harmonics and is very quiet.