Because of the sheer number of reviews, you can sort them above to quickly find LessLoss products of interest.
"The new LessLoss DAC should be on your list."
February, 2017, author: Srajan Ebaen
"The Echo's End had the most distinctive easily grasped gestalt ..."
"Whilst it didn't sound like tubes, it felt like them. Whilst I fed it pure PCM, it behaved like deep DSD."
"Not sounding but feeling like tubes meant textural fluidity with plenty of connective tissue but no response liberties or THD seasoning. Behaving like DSD meant sweeter, more elastic and texturally softer than standard CD sound, with more overt ambient recovery."
"Deep DSD indicates that the LessLoss went beyond the Lindemann's actual resampling. It expressed the same flavour but did so at categorically higher potency; in pure PCM no less."
"Longest ever decays from digital?"
"What the listener can tell regardless is that it works; and very plainly so."
"A vital qualifier was how such pervasive gentility–that softer more organic approach–didn't come at the expense of vividness. ... The musical gestalt didn't collapse."
"Muscle tone was that of an upright not supine body. This was key. Its softness was more on the surface. It didn't impact the core of musical tension. Incidentally, that's been a personal complaint with DSD converters of the über-alles or resampling kind. They all bled out some caffeine and put a minor damper on the musical adrenaline. The Echo's End did not. It did all the other DSD things and at a very good clip but not that one."
"Should your own tastes overlap–of wanting the pretty, nubile and spacious aspects of DSD but not its reduced verve– this LessLoss just might have your number. In an ocean of generics, having such a distinctive calling card is a useful advantage."
"I feel privileged to have experienced the Laminar Streamer's sonic achievements."
"Streaming the laminar way, music felt juicier and calmer at the same time. This was particularly keen on overcooked nervous jittery productions with their tense hype and sizzle. Now those had elegance and mellifluousness. They were on song according to the bel canto definition."
"The primary taste is of greater calm; as though time ran slower. This makes the listener more settled and poised."
"Intermixed aspects are a removal of very fine metallic grit in transients and overtones; and wetter ambiance."
"It's only by going back and forth, with/without, that one inspects why the experience differs. That's when the disappearance of faint glittery upper-mid/treble grit gets checked off; when more specific spatial sensations get translated into heightened contrast; and as a result of that and intangibles, why the overriding quality is greater calm. Here team LessLoss are undeniably on to something. DACs seem to be even more susceptible to how their digital data arrive than we suspected. Many of the gestalt-based complaints which audiophiles try to address with sundry hardware changes seem to have their roots here, at the very beginning."
"True, the Laminar Streamer did sit at this peak with the finest resolve of ambiance and focus for spatial mapping."
"The combination of Laminar Streamer and Echo's End spelled o-r-g-a-n-i-c and l-e-g-a-t-o in capital letters. Without losing any substance, music manifested less solid, staid and straight-jacketed. It felt more suspended, afloat and breathing. To visualize, think blooming ink blots on wet watercolour paper, albeit in 3D. That's your counterpoint for edge-limned silhouettes in a shadow play. That and the silky textural 'suede' softness were key. They walked hand in hand with greater calm."
"This calm had a very different living oxygenated quality to it."
"If what I described tracks your taste, the new LessLoss DAC should be on your list."
"Someone in Lithuania burns the midnight oil; at the very extreme high-end, in the middle and below; and not on the same old same old. Innovation rules!"
Laminar Streamer wins Upper Echelon Class Award
January, 2017, author: Matej Isak
"The difference when comparing my computer server/streamer to the LessLoss Laminar Streamer is not small by any means. When I first connected the Laminar Streamer to the MSB Select DAC II, the first thing I wrote down in my listening notes was "analog-like easiness, fuller and more vivid projection of the sound," as well as "prolonged sense of the scale."
"I took a direct hit from the LessLoss Laminar Streamer Direct Drive SD card player, but even after that hit, it continued to grow on me subtly."
"This is where it becomes most obvious that we are concerned here with the topmost echelon of ultra high-end audio reproduction. A convincing recreation of acoustical space and the instruments being played within this space is the most demanding challenge for both analog and digital front ends. In this regard, while analog comes with impressive mileage, the digital competition has now obviously gained headway to such an extent that, today, with the Laminar Streamer, it has little in common with state-of-the-art digital playback of only a few years ago."
"revealed a new reference point overall."
"The LessLoss Laminar Streamer Direct Drive SD card player operates at such a high level that it is difficult or impossible to assemble and balance a system which would reveal any of its own flaws."
"Louis Motek's vision pushes the known horizon of uncompromising digital audio playback to a completely new plane. The Laminar defines this new plane like no other device."
"In a very real way, the Laminar Streamer frees us and our machines from this sort of activity and allows us to fully engage in an emotionally charged state and completely personal process. The sabbatical (vacation) from commercial activity I alluded to before is the establishment of a private space where one can freely dedicate his own private time and senses for the pure enjoyment and experience of music. This reminds me of a concert going experience, or taking time to explore gourmet food. These moments are only ever special because we charge them with that special condition ourselves, often times by disengaging ourselves from our usual state of struggle within a commercial or careerist environment. That special rest we experience through the purposeful establishment of such conditions is exactly what I experienced in music through use of the Laminar Streamer."
"The Laminar Streamer continues to shake my inner core through the huge impact it has had on me, and this feeling remains with me and is not fading away."
"The real luxury is the level of realism, drama and emotional impact that these products bring to our experience. The LessLoss Laminar Streamer Direct Drive SD card player pushes the boundaries of this type of luxury further by no small margin. Once experienced, a whole new world opens up. In absence of iPad's, Wi-Fi, IP based devices, internet streaming devices, etc., you simply melt into the music."
"The Laminar Streamer "beamed" me into a different universe, where my digital audio rites were constitutionally changed not only by the mere ritual, but most importantly with the experience of stressless, direct, pure audio intake. I do not think it will happen any time again soon in the digital realm. That is how far ahead the Laminar is."
"The LessLoss Laminar Streamer Direct Drive SD card player represents an early dawn of a new era and acts like a Time Machine that suspiciously changes the facet of time and space.
"I've travelled far and deep into the digital audio universe, but never as far and as sublime as with the Laminar Streamer."
"For what it accomplishes and embodies, I'm wholeheartedly giving the LessLoss Laminar Streamer Direct Drive SD card player Mono & Stereo's Upper Echelon Award. In addition, it takes a new place in the Uber Audio throne at Mono & Stereo."
LessLoss Firewall Current Conditioning Module - Brilliant Simplicity
November, 2016, author: Werner Ero
"This new version is not only more effective in its operation than its predecessor (which I tested earlier this year), but also has a more established design and most importantly a much improved compatibility with high-end components."
"The present iteration is so efficient that only one module of the new design is many times more effective than even a whole series of the previous models put together!"
"No matter how strange and seemingly simple the building blocks of this product appear, they turn out in practice to work remarkably effectively!"
"[Used with] Naim, Cambridge Audio and Marantz, the performance of all of these components was enhanced considerably when used with the Firewall module. Especially the sense of calm that occurs with cleaner power was immediately obvious. Also, there was less of that almost ever-present sandy type sound with slightly unnatural frayed edges. Instead of this typically brittle sound, soon there emerged a clearly more fluid presentation, where even the timbre palette came across in a more natural and pleasing way."
"Another obvious difference is that this version is much less susceptible to the type of device. Because whether it is a source or amplifier, the benefits of the new Firewall module is in all cases immediately noticeable."
"Especially in this kind of purist recording (Bruel & Kjaer dummy head microphone technique), the added value of the new Firewall offers insight into the most subtle expression. The Firewall also causes other typically mixed albums to sound less technically produced and makes it easier to appreciate the tone of voice and instruments as they would normally sound regardless of all the technical processing."
"One aspect where this new Firewall outperforms the former is more smooth performance in what some would call 'analogue type' sound. Perhaps another wording would be less emphasis on typical hi-fi type, artificial sounds coming from components, and taking their place an even smoother, more natural and organic presentation. This also suggests a subtly richer tonality and a resulting rather more relaxed listening experience."
"That the new Firewall module is affordable, looks much better than before, and performs more efficiently, accompanied by a lack of distinct sonic fingerprint, only makes it all the more attractive. The main thing the user initially perceives upon use in their own audio system is that the sound becomes easier, smoother and flows more naturally."
"I think that by its ingeniously simple and highly effective operation, chances are that many new users will happily embrace this new version of the LessLoss Firewall Current Conditioning Module and it will earn a permanent place in their hi-fi systems."
The cymbals were so believable, you could just reach out and touch them.
August 2016, author: Alexander Chechelev
"Time and again LessLoss products always seem to leave us with the most positive impression."
"Both products [Firewall Module and USB Firewall Key] are [...] very affordable in comparison to High End Class devices."
"The Firewall Module provided a clear, three-dimensional soundstage, and powerful, tight bass. It is impossible not to notice the strong effect of the filter when engaged and, considering its price, it becomes a real must-have for those who want to save on expensive cables and use standard "rip cord". Of course, the full effect of it is disclosed with good power cables (ideally - also from LessLoss), but the noise filtering will work fine even with standard computer type power cords."
"The USB Firewall Key works in a similar way. When used in conjunction with our iMac - Devialet 400 connection, the sound improved, primarily this was noticed in the bass."
"The soundstage became really holographic, and the cymbals were so believable, you could just reach out and touch them."
"Despite their modest size, and overall "lightness," this gear truly performs as advertised. The technology works - it is as simple as that. We look forward to more new and interesting products from LessLoss."
Homage to Time XLR Wins Two Awards at Once
August, 2016, author: Matej Isak
"LessLoss cables were always special contenders in the world of high-end audio. A few first notes resounding would always bring a vivid projection of what makes them special and different."
"LessLoss has in recent years, step by step, introduced more and more affordable products while at the same time maintaining performance which matches and even rivals high-end audio cables and accessories at much higher prices."
"It is undeniable that Louis and his energetic team at LessLoss pushed hard in order to maintain and even surpass what has become renowned in the name of LessLoss performance, but at a much more affordable level."
"Developing this performance at this type of pricing can only be described as a welcome advance for us audiophiles."
"In a very true sense, the LessLoss Homage To Time interconnects encapsulate the primary function of transmission of all that is 'of a higher plane.'"
"Higher harmonics are very informative with Homage to Time. They are well focussed and maintain a more natural integration with the main pitch. It becomes easier to discern subtleties relating not only to our western traditions of tuning, but also reveal the same about the complexities of eastern microtonality and harmony."
"Homage to Times delivers a prominent set of positive attributes and my listening notes show similar results even when exchanging amplifiers. These include liquidity, transparency, ease of flow, and a feeling of undeniable unwavering and stability."
"Speed and spirit evolved over and above what one might be expecting at this price point, and gave the much bigger boys a good run for their money."
"LessLoss Homage To Time managed to describe and convey mountains of these attributes that achieved with what I can boldly call proper high-end audio transmission. It is true that not everything expensive or labeled "high-end audio" is worthy of such nomenclature. Homage to Time truly is."
"Homage to Time cables follows faithfully a track that LessLoss has laid down securely in their earlier years. This is a difficult task. Maintaining their already recognized sonic potency and value in times where so many desire to get on the same bandwagon without delivering the goods, this defines and fortifies the LessLoss brand image in the high-end audio industry. This is not a small achievement! Bravo, LessLoss!"
"The LessLoss Homage To Time interconnects were born of experience by a mature designer, come with the undeniable LessLoss DNA and, most importantly, with sonic performance that not only convinces, but convinces in strides."
"For what the LessLoss Homage to Time XLR balanced interconnect achieves and at what price point it does this, I'm garlanding it with two awards at once. These cables more then deserve both our Highly Recommended and Best Buy awards. This is the first product Mono And Stereo has ever given both awards at once to, and in doing so we want to make a clear statement as to what high level they perform at and how well they're executed."
USB Firewall Key "better than most cable swaps"
June, 2016, author: Srajan Ebaen
"Without the Key, solo and chorus vocals were a bit hashier around the edges; dirtier."
"Perhaps the best way to explain the Key action is to consider the multiplicity of music. How much of it actually registers at your ears as such? How much do you focus on lead vocals or instruments instead whilst the rest acts as more or less fill or atmosphere?"
"The LessLoss wood blocks made it easier to experience all of it weighted equally. This doesn't give preference to the obvious foreground stuff, then downgrades all else as secondary or less. Put different, the USB Key softened the psychological zoom function on the central stuff."
"On the level of attention, it 'zoomed out' to consider the whole as a simultaneously happening whole."
"To me, then, the real benefit of these LessLoss boxes wasn't so much better sound per se as it was a more wholesome less piecemeal or partial participation in the music. If that makes sense to you, nothing else needs saying. If you only accept hard sonic 'facts' as proper review commentary–the primitive more treble, less bass etc.–I don't have anything except less hash and grain. On pure quantity, that effect was quite marginal. On quality, it was a more relevant matter."
"Falls under more of a gestalt changer. Here the usual audio lingo reaches for words like flow vs. choppiness, organic vs. mechanical."
"The ears of our species don't connect to computers and analytical software code but to minds and hearts which embed in human psychology. That's a different perspective than decibels and THD. It really needs other language to talk about in any meaningful ways. For a harder qualifier in that realm, I'd rate the efficacy of the LessLoss USB Firewall Key as higher than most cable swaps."
6moons caught off guard by Firewall module effectiveness
May, 2016, author: Srajan Ebaen
"A compact $410 sticker for the type of audible effectiveness I observed with these wooden modules meant good ROI."
"In their current form, these devices gain a very solid recommendation even if you've already invested in a proper AC conditioner."
"rounder, fuller, more fluid and suave [sound quality]"
"They were more effective than I expected!"
LessLoss Firewall Current Conditioning Module: Simply Brilliant!
March, 2016, author: Werner Ero
"... does more than just evoke astonishment."
"...significantly more life, freedom and color and playback is simply much more balanced."
"Another nice, likable, and interesting design, and also actually an ingenious invention of LessLoss."
"Something which actually defines only the sky as the final limit."
This test report is now also online right here in the Dutch Hifi.nl website. Hifi.nl is the largest audio oriented website in the Netherlands and is partnered with Music Emotion magazine.
Russian press finds Homage to Time interconnects convey "perfect sound"
October 2015, author: Alexander Chechelev
"Homage To Time is strongly influential, and really helped ensure the correct transmission of the LessLoss commitment to rhythm and tempo."
"And these are unlike other cables, which put the emphasis on attack and simplify complex "tails" and retract from subtle reverberation, or try to convey to the listener an exaggerated sense of detail, but are unable to combine these into a single musical event, where music is perceived as a properly cooked meal with a perfect balance of ingredients. With Homage to Time, there is no unnecessary pressure on the midrange, nor too emphasized is the treble, nor is bass bloated."
"Across the frequency spectrum a great detail is retained, but no one area is dominated nor attracts undue attention. If you are used to cables that supply music with "special effects," initially you will always miss something in the sound."
"However, if within a few hours you revert to your favorite spectacular cables in your system, believe me, you'll be surprised how you did not previously notice how severely they distort the rhythmic pattern of the music. Moreover, this applies to both the direction of acceleration and deceleration. In contrast, the LessLoss Homage To Time is perceived as riding behind the wheel of a well-balanced and finely tuned car, after a hard race in a barely controllable Towncar with already run-bald tires. The music does not throw you into a fever, nor does it lull you to sleep; you just get pleasure from the process of listening. All events begin and end in rhythmic time, without emphasis on any of the phases. Eventually, your consciousness begins to accept the reality of the illusion created by the system, as you gradually sink into a contemplative, but at the same time moderately alert, state."
"With the Homage to Time interconnects, no restrictions could be detected, whether in dynamic response or in the transfer of the subtlest nuances. Comprehensiveness on fortissimo is excellent. Nothing escapes the attention of LessLoss."
"Rating: perfect sound, outstanding neutrality, high quality manufacturing"
"Using LessLoss Homage to Time interconnects, don't count on any coloration, but they will completely reveal the talents of your system. If it is good, the incorporation of LessLoss Homage to Time interconnects will make it even better."
Firewall Module receives Mono and Stereo's Best Buy Award
September, 2015, author: Matej Isak
"The tonality is spot on and the Firewall Modules perform in this respect impressively."
"In a way, the Firewall module re-injects a remnant of real life to the sound image. You begin to hear not only the musicians' sound, but their effort as well."
"With the Firewall module, it becomes easier to comprehend the distinction of the individual within the section. You can literally hear their effort at maintaining the ensemble sound."
"This is how I would describe one of the Firewall Module effects. Imagine the clarity of Carl Zeiss optics being introduced while you're slowly zooming in to the focus point. After 30+ minutes everything is resolving and slowly being revealed in just the exact same way. Unclear pieces of the musical signal start to gradually become more vivid and make sense."
"As with the LessLoss cables, a unique black canvas appears, one that projects a more clear interpretation of the music. But this time, as the focus continues to sharpen and become more revelatory and informative, it begins to seem like the canvas turns out not to be a black surface at all, but deep space."
"There is something about the unfettered resolution and timbral correctness that is revealed with the Firewall modules in action. This potency was acknowledged whether the modules were set before the DAC, the phono preamplifier, the power amps, or preamplifier."
"The achievement of a great system would be when our left-brain analytical decoding vanishes. And this is exactly what happened with the insertion of the LessLoss Firewall module. With familiar classical material everything becomes more immediately evident, of much more notable transparency, and all becomes more detailed and revealing. It is easier to know what you are hearing, without having to constantly doubt or think about it. And it is definitely not an artificial etching or embossing effect."
"The Firewall Module provides a pleasing absence of coloration, where tonal color and timbre take on much more believable manifestations. Tone, timbre and color are depicted in a much more realistic and coherent way. Their subtle yet distinctive nature is preserved, lending an overall authenticity which is undeniable."
"All in all, the low-level resolution and thoroughly maintained transient response creates a notable change that one usually relates only to upper echelon solutions."
"Louis Motek did indeed advance his art and created with the Firewall module a new horizon of attainable performance, the impact of which is impressive even to an experienced reviewer such as myself."
"Louis Motek is [...] bringing his unique company tech down to the mortals. It is still thoroughly possible for those with more available funds to go nuts with any desired number of Firewall modules. Here only the sky is the limit. Or should I say, the blackness of deep space."
"Louis Motek's, shall we say, "half-altruistic" endeavor marks an interesting shift in this company's vision. And given the new price/performance ratio, a very welcome one."
"The LessLoss Firewall module is this company's most intriguing and resolving product so far."
"For what it represents, and at what value, the LessLoss Firewall module clearly deserves Mono & Stereo's Highly Recommended Award!"