Country of Origin



This review first appeared in March 2020 on By request of the manufacturer and permission of the author, it is hereby translated and syndicated to reach a broader audience. All images contained in this piece are the property of fairaudio or Lindemann – Ed.

Reviewer: Jochen Reinecke
Analog sources: Rega Planar 3 with Exact
Digital source: C.E.C. CD5, Samsung Notebook with SSD and Foobar, Logitech Squeezebox
Integrated amplifier: Hegel H90
Preamps: Abacus Preamp 14, Audreal XA-3200 MkII
Phono stages: Pro-Ject Phonobox MM, Pro-Ject Phonobox DS+
Power amps: Audreal MS-3 valve monos, Valvet E2
Loudspeakers: Harbeth 30.1, Nubert nuPro A-100, Nubert nuLine 244, Quadral Rondo
Mobile kit: iPod Classic 5 160GB on Pro-Ject Dock-Box S digital
Cabling: Ortofon SPK 500, Real Cable OFC 400, Audioquest Eergreen, Oehlbach XXL Series 7 MkII & Serie 80
Review component retail: €3'280

"Nothing exists which couldn't still improve. That includes our award-winning musicbook range." So pronounced Lindemann Audio's website with unshakeable confidence. Having already written up their musicbook:15, musicbook:25 DSD and musicbook:55, I felt just as confident to challenge any such claims if need be. Game (face) on! Which begs the first question. Why would Lindemann need another model in this range, again? The firm working out of Bavaria's Wörthsee had a persuasive reply. Digital technology is in a state of constant flux. Emerging advances should be passed on to the clients, pronto. Also, the same tech keeps altering the habits of the music-consuming public at large.

It's no marketing blather. I resonate with these statements. The exploded content and sound quality of subscription-based streaming services have attained a level which sees me less and less reach for a physical CD. Just as true, the concomitant fragmentation of my attention has begun to prompt me more and more often to cue up vinyl just because. Both ways are fun. I'd not do without either. Here Lindemann's Source writes an interesting new chapter. It implements advances for streaming and analog signal. But first things first. The industrial design in its sculpted-from-solid aluminium hasn't changed one iota. And why should it have? The compact form factor, the integral multi-function wheel in the upper right corner and the informative yet elegant display have all weathered very well. It's 'round back where we see changes.

The last musicbook carried two analog and five digital inputs. The Source reshuffles that. Analog gains MM phono, digital reduces to one coax, Toslink, RJ45 and USB-A for sticks, even disc drives. I found that both sensible and timely. The vinyl revival is in full swing, a phono input no longer gimmicky but de rigueur for many hipsters. Personally, I can do without USB-B on a deck which will pull tunes off the cloud via WiFi or WLAN. Make it rain.

About the new phono sockets, they're fronted by the same moving-magnet gain/RIAA circuit that works in the standalone Limetree Phono box. For MC however, you'll need that Limetree or another external phono stage.  According to Lindemann, they exploit a valve-era phono circuit modernized with the very latest parts. It's a two-stage affair with ultra low-noise Jfet opamps and a purely passive compensation curve populated with Japanese precision resistors and capacitors. Phono input sensitivity is adjustable.