Modwright LS100 vs LTA MicroZOTL

Has anyone had an opportunity to compare the Linear Tube Amplifier MicroZOTL vs the Modwright LS100?  If so how do they compare?





I own an LS100 and an LTA MZ2.

The LS100 was my daily driver for years and is a great preamp, plus Dan Wright is a joy to work with. It has no obvious flaws, and does just about everything right.

But in my system (Atma-Sphere M60s/Zu Druid Vs), the MZ2 was just slightly better, with the same great tonal qualities plus better inner detail. I lucked into an Atma-Sphere MP-3 preamp which, unsurprisingly, is the keeper, but the MZ2 stays as the spare and I'll be selling the LS100.

If you're looking at the MicroZOTL, I can only imagine it's a big step up from the MZ2. Hope you get a chance to hear both. You can't go wrong with either one.


I love Modwright products and have 2 modified Oppo’s. I have not listened to the LS100 so I can’t comment on it. I have owned an MZ2 and I have a MicroZOTL preamp. The MicroZOTL preamp is a keeper for life and the MZ2 can’t be beat at the price in my opinion. The MZ2 is the Swiss Army knife of audio since it’s a world class preamp, headphone amp and if you have some very efficient speakers, the 1 watt integrated amp is unbelievably good.


The short answer is yes but not at the sacrifice of clarity or a noisy veil. It is the first preamp that improved the sound of my amp by a good margin. The ZOTL Pre is also sensitive to tube rolling so richness yes.

I’ll defer to @armstrod as he’s got the real goods, but by everything I’ve read the Modwright will sound warmer and the LTA relatively more neutral but still with some tube goodness.  I just got an MZ2 but it’s still in the box because my amp is getting fully modded at SMcAudio and won’t be done for another couple weeks.  I’ll report back on my impressions if anyone cares. I’ll also post my impressions of the MZ2 as a headphone amp in the headphone section as I’ll also be using it to drive my Hifiman Arya Stealths.  Again, if anyone cares. 

@lancelock How would you describe the differences between the MZ2 and MicroZOTL?  This only applies if you had the upgraded power supply on the MZ2, otherwise I assume it’s no contest. 

And just to expand the search how about the Modwright LS 36.5. Though I am a little leary of the 6H30 super tube; as it is not easily rolled and I have heard the modern version can be harsh. Not to go down the geo-political route

@pdreher ok I will let u know my thoughts.  I’ll have my amp back around mid August and then I’ll need a week or so to let them both burn in properly.  BTW, I got the upgraded linear power supply just so you know.  I don’t consider it optional as by all accounts it makes a significant improvement to the preamp.  

I've got  Modwright LS 36.5, DeHavilland UltraVerve III, and PS Audio BHK preamps. I pair them with either KEF500 or Tidal Piano Cera speakers. Just mention this so there's a reference point in my comments about the Modwright LS 36.5. In my opinion it would have to be partnered with some quite bright sounding gear to be perceived as "harsh" with the stock 6h30 tubes. I also have a set of '86 6h30p-dr tubes and they are a bit smoother in the top end but I don't find the stock modern manufactured tubes to be deficient sounding at all. With the KEF speakers I actually prefer the stock modern tubes to the expensive 1986 DR tubes. Installing an older Mullard gz34, GE 5AR4,  or Japanese Mullard gz34  is highly recommended and would be the first thing I'd change. Dan Wright (the designer) recommends Daedalus DiD isolation feet as an upgrade. I use 3 Stillpoints SS feet and find they make a noticeable improvement in high frequency refinement. It also noticeably responds to changes in power cables. The LS 36.5 is a tiny bit less delicately refined and resolving in high frequencies than the BHK preamp but it is more dynamically emotive and is pretty much on parity in other characteristics. The build quality is very reassuring. There are really no tube rolling options at all for the 6h30 tube in this preamp but I no longer have any reservations about that. After driving myself to distraction for years trying all the various iterations of sound possible by rolling either 6922 and 12au7 family tubes in the BHK or 6sn7 tubes in the DeHavilland, it's actually nice to have a simpler owner experience with the LS36.5. When I purchased the Modwright from TMR I asked about their comparative experiences between the LS36.5 and the LS100. Their impressions were that the LS100, while a great preamp, was not as refined and resolving as the LS36.5.