Lehmann Audio's phono preamplifiers have been nothing but success stories for several years now. The Lehmann Audio Black Cube phono stage initially paved the way for ever more ambitious models like the Lehmann Audio Black Cube SE 2 and the Lehmann Audio Decade phono preamplifier. And now, Norbert Lehmann and engineer Klaus Boehm have released their most accomplished and ambitious product yet: the Lehmann Audio Silver Cube phono preamp!
This model comes with 2 separate housings. The first is made of solid brushed aluminium, and houses the audio section. The second is made of non-magnetic black metal and houses the power supply, filtering and regulation.
The front panel is very understated, with just the Lehmann Audio logo and a blue LED light that indicates whether it is switched on or off. The rear panel has a lot more going on! The inputs and outputs are RCA sockets by the excellent WBT (Nextgen CU Ms series). It is a fully dual mono design, which means that each channel has individual settings, with a DIP switch to transfer the resistive load and capacitance.
There are two switches for selecting either MM or MC and high or low output, depending on your phono cartridge. It has 47K, 1K and 100 Ohm resistors, but it is also possible to install a resistor of your choice on an internal mount. This doesn't require any welding.
If you look inside the Silver Cube phono stage, you'll be able to see the extremely high production and design quality for yourself, as well as its high end components. The RIAA equalizer is completely passive and consists of Mundorf foil capacitors. The output stage has absolutely no feedback, and
exactly the same levels of production quality have gone into the power supply. The circuit sits next to a huge 120VA toroidal transformer. The preamplifier connects to its power supply via a shielded cable and two Neutrik XLR connectors with gold-plated contacts. Lehmann Audio has optimised this product to deliver the best performances possible. And if you need proof, look no further than the SSC Netpoint 300 absorption feet that sit underneath the preamp and power supply and eliminate all unwanted vibration!
The settings and gain this product offers mean that it is compatible with all high-end cartridges on the market. But even though it can be used with an MM cartridge, it is clear from the technology (and price!) that has been designed with MC cartridges in mind. We tried it out with very low output cartridges and found no problems at all.
We recommend that you turn the Silver Cube phono preamp on at least 24 hours before a serious listening session. This relatively long break-in period is common in devices which use high-end capacitors. I would say that the Silver Cube needs to rack up around 50 hours of playback before it reaches its full potential.
It has all of the openness and energy that we have come to expect from Lehmann Audio products. The definition and clarity is exceptional. It doesn't muddy the music in any way, instead reproducing it with incredible fidelity and precision. But that doesn't mean that sophistication and nuance fall by the wayside. The sound stage is simply amazing. It is streets ahead of what we’re used to hearing from rival products (with just a few notable exceptions), perfectly reproducing the acoustics of the recording location – live recordings in particular feel very close to home.
If it’s colour and expression you're looking for, the Lehmann Audio Silver Cube is not the product for you. But if you have a good moving coil cartridge and a penchant for neutrality and realism, the Lehmann Audio Silver Cube should definitely be your next purchase!
Highly recommended! Franck
MM sensitivity: 3.8 mV
MC sensitivity: 0.38 mV
Gain: 36, 46, 56, 66 dB
Impedance: 47K, 1K, 100 ohms + 1 custom load
Capacitance: 47 pF to 1.370 pF
Subsonic filter: 6 dB/Octave at 60 Hz
RIAA equalization: Passive
Channel separation: >80 dB
Signal-to-noise ratio: 71dB MM/63dB MC
Power supply: external
Consumption: 15 vA
Preamp dimensions: 300x195x48mm
Power supply dimensions: 112x312x80mm
Preamp weight: 2.25 Kg
Power supply weight: 2.8 Kg