Country of Origin
This review first appeared in January 2022 on fairaudio.de. By request of the manufacturer and permission of the author, it is hereby syndicated from the German original to reach a broader English audience. Ed.
Reviewer: Elmar Salmutter
Digital sources: McIntosh MCD301 AC CDP, NAD M50.2 music sever, MacBook Air/Audirvana
Integrated amplifier: McIntosh MA8900 AC
Headamp: Focal Arche, McIntosh MHA100
Loudspeakers: Martin Logan Impression 11A
Headphones: Focal Clear MG, HEDD HEDDphone
Cables: Wireworld Eclipse 7 NF, Goldkabel Executive, Audioquest Coffee,Shunyata power cords
Equipment rack: Solid Tech
Review component retail: €3'890 Source II CD, €3'590 Power II 1000
Smart 'n' smashin'. Located in Bavaria's Wörthsee, Lindemann have upgraded their streaming Musicbook Source CD and matching Power amplifier in MkII guise, inspired especially by user feedback. To find out what owners asked for, we asked for a sample set. The Source II CD and I got off on the wrong foot. First UPS aka Oops took far too long to cover the measly 30km separating my digs from the factory. Two, once unpacked I discovered a nasty scratch on the journeyman unit. Three, a few hours after connecting to my LAN, my router bit the dust. 'twas old age and not Lindemann's fault but still, my day's mood ended foul. Argh.
Fast forward two days. Reboot with new router. Blessed success. Integration was child's play and quick. One can't do it better nor outdo the lovely manual. With just 28 x 22 x 6.3cm WxDxH, this deck will fit virtually anywhere. Just so, it nearly bursts at the seams with functionality: preamp, network player, DAC, headfi amp and CD player all on and in the same case. As before there are two trim levels, with/out disc transport. The slot loader adds €300. But even punters going sans aren't estranged from spinning discs. Just add external drive via USB when the time comes.
The free Android/iOS Lindemann app will show your discs' meta data. For control there's even a small plastic infrared remote to augment the intuitive app which is logically laid out and quite attractive though not always instant and occasionally stuttering. No drama but my NAD M50.2's BluOS app does this more stable.
A few controls even factor on the hardware. Top left is a concave mains switch, top right an elegant multi-function volume wheel which after a longer press handles input selection. The dimmable even extinguishable yellow OLED display distinguishes itself from the competition with its warm hue. Sadly it can't show current song, artist or time remaining. That's left to the app.
What's new? Lindemann saw untapped potential in the preamp stage. Analog volume is by Muses 72320 chip also popular with far costlier kit like Pass Labs. It tapers linearly across 80dB. The power supply was beefed up for higher output and the signal path parts count simplified with "ultra-strict 4-layer layout". The headphone driver now handles 16Ω loads and sounds even better. Transcending initial bug fixes, even the firmware ended up as "a completely new stack". Network clients Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer and Highresaudio plus Internet radio are integrated. New is Tidal Connect added to the existing Spotify Connect. So is perfect lip sync with a connected television plus sample rate display for digital inputs. Existing owners aren't left behind either. A free firmware update will bolt on most new Source II features to their MkI unit.