I’m not going to compare Linear with Linear SE, I’m afraid. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since hearing the base model, and the comparison HD800 headphones have gone away, so not only would I be comparing from memory, but comparing apples with oranges… from memory. Despite this, I’m confident the Linear SE stands on its own and justifies the price jump between the two. That absence bass ‘flub’ is the key (you can even hear this on fey breathy la-la girl singer songwriters like Fiona Apple, because when a string bass kicks in, it sounds like a string bass, not someone hitting a slightly tuned cardboard box…this is a function of headphone replay and bass in general, but the grip the SE has over those headphones drops this problem to a new minimum).
The Lehmann Audio Linear SE is a true winner. For good or ill, headphones in the home are providing a meatier load for the amplifier and this device rises to the challenge without turning a hair. But better still, it does it without a multitude of boxes or a multitude of tubes. If you seek honesty in your audio, this one tells the truth, but does it with a touch of class to boot.
Inputs: 1 x RCA, 1 x mains
Outputs: 1 x RCA; 2 x ¼” Neutrik jack sockets
Output impedance: 5 ohms (headphones), 60 ohms (line) Three switchable gain factors SSC feet Mogami interior wiring Mundorf capacitors Various real wood veneers
Dimensions (W x H x D): 12x6x29.5cm
Weight: 2 kg
Price: £1,500 (£1,800 wood veneer)
Manufactured by: Lehmann Audio
Distributed by: Henley Designs
Tel: +44(0)1235 511166