Meitner MA-3 vs Lampizator Baltic 4

Trying to decide between Meitner MA3 and Lampi Baltic 4.  Looking for smooth analog sound.  Bonus with the Meitner is the streaming capability which would potentially allow me to sell my Aurender N150 streamer.

Thoughts anyone?



My first choice was the Baltic 4 until I was presented with the opportunity for the Meitner, and now the T + A.  It is apparently a very considerable upgrade from the Baltic 3.

I just read the WBF on the Lampi Baltic 4. So far it’s got Ron Resnick, owner of WBF breaking in his unit, while basically another fanboy is gushing over the unit when it is placed in a fairly near-field setup with bookshelves right against the wall. While I have no doubt there will be some improvement, I doubt it is that significant. When I owned the Baltic 3, I could not tell the difference between it and a Modwright Transporter AT ALL. (Dan Wright modified the Logitech Transporter to add a linear power supply and tube-based analog output stage). Keep in mind that the Modwright Transporter hit the market in 2008. The reason I wanted to try the Baltic 3 wad because it used similar tube sets as the MW Transporter, which I already had on hand. While the Baltic 3 was good, it further reinforced the value of the MW Transporter, which could be had for less than $1K used these days. I did roll the tubes in the Baltic 3 with some of the best available: Sylvania VT-231, Tung Sol 68FG BGRP, Psvane T-II CV-181, EML 5U4G, Philips 5RYGYS, etc. At the end of the day, I still preferred my heavily modified PS Audio DirectStream DAC MK1. For me, it would require a significant improvement in the Baltic 4 to make it worth its price. Some people just go nuts about tube DACs, when at the end its a tradeoff with other things that you won’t get back... mainly speed and noise floor that leads to control and holography.

Regarding the MA3 - yes, I would definitely keep the Aurender. Look inside the MA3. For a full-sized chassis, this combines DAC, streamer and volume control all in one:


I don’t see much in the works of isolating the streamer from the analog stage at all, and keeping the digital signal noise free is incredibly important due to its delicacy. I actually don’t see a robust design for the analog stage at all.

The DAC 200 on the other hand has a much more robust power supply, more sophisticated circuitry, and requires external streamers:

T+A DAC 200/A 200 DAC/Preamp & Power Amp | Hi-Fi News

It has dedicated DACs for PCM and DSD, an incredible analog stage output, and great DAC filters to help shape the sound a bit further.

My suggestion? Go for the DAC 200. With the remaining funds, also trade in your N150 and upgrade to an N200. That will get you significantly farther than going for an MA3.

One needs to audition at home equipment of interest.  Everyone has an opinion and often not based on data.

One needs to audition at home equipment of interest.  Everyone has an opinion and often not based on data.

@delm, agreed!

Comparing internals is not the best way to compare components, at least when you factor in the magic (in my opinion) inside Meitner/EMM DACs is Ed Meitner's custom/proprietary tech; i.e., 16xDSD MDAC2 DAC and MDAT2 DSP.   

I replaced a similar priced R2R NOS DAC that was jammed full of components including 5 different and very robust power supplies, etc... and to my ears I much preferred the sound of the MA3.

The Computer Audiophile has reviewed both the MA3 and DAC 200 and liked both, without comparing them directly.

@blisshifi, I agree the MA3's internal streamer is not the greatest, I prefer the sound of the MA3 using its AES input with a Bricasti M5.

Baltic 4 owner here having upgraded from Baltic 3, big difference in resolution at the frequency extremes. Soundstage is wide and deep. Fed by a Lumin U1 (the big boy not the mini). Previously I owned a Terminator II DAC (fed by an Aurender N200) and am currently demoing an MSB Discrete DAC with dual power supplies and USB & streaming modules. The MSB is 4 times the price as configured but right now I am still preferring my Baltic 4. The MSB is more "audiophile" but just barely, the Baltic 4 is as analog with most music as my $15K analog TT/phono stage front end. Just my 2 cents.