Lindemann, the small yet distinguished company from Wörthsee, has introduced a remarkable addition to their repertoire – the Lindemann Musicbook Combo, a streaming integrated amplifier. This compact device marries the streaming prowess of the Musicbook Source II with the power amplifier technology of the Musicbook Power. The result? A single solution for your audio needs. This review explores the Lindemann Musicbook Combo’s design, usability, connectivity, and, most importantly, its sonic performance.
Lindemann, a renowned company based in Wörthsee, Germany, has established itself as a global audio industry leader committed to crafting high-quality, innovative audio equipment. With a focus on delivering exceptional sound experiences and elegant design, Lindemann has garnered a reputation for producing top-notch streaming integrated amplifiers, CD players, and more. Their dedication to audio excellence is evident in the meticulous craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology that goes into each of their products, making Lindemann a trusted choice for audiophiles and music enthusiasts worldwide.
Measurement conditions: 22 °C, 230 V mains voltage,
Audio Precision AP2722
Mains connection: 90 – 240 V, 50 – 60 Hz
Power consumption: 0.5 W stand-by, 16 W operation, 160 W max. Dimensions (W x H x D): 280 x 220 x 63 mm (11 x 8.7 x 2.5 in.)
Weight: 3 kg (6.61 lbs)
Resolution: 768 kHz/32 bit and DSD 512
Dynamic range: >125 dB
THD & Noise: <0.001 % (@ 0 dB FS)
Master-Clock: Ultra-low jitter MEMS Femto Clock
Re-Sampling: with 180 dB dynamics and 32-bit resolution, bit-perfect or DSD
Re-sampling jitter damping: >60 dB
Converter architecture: two AK4493 DACs in dual differential mono mode, AK4137 re-sampler
Ethernet: 100 Mbit/s
WLAN: Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, WPS support
Bluetooth: 4.2, A2DP
USB: High-speed host interface for hard harddisks, USB sticks,
CD ROM drives, max. output current 1.5 A
Supported codecs: WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, DSD
UPnP and DLNA support
PCM resolution: 44.1 kHz up to 384 kHz, 24bit (WLAN up to 192 kHz)
DSD resolution: DSD 64 up to DSD 256 (WLAN up to DSD 128) Gapless playback
Streaming services: TIDAL Connect, Qobuz, Deezer, HighResAudio, Spotify Connect
Inputs: two analog line inputs (RCA) with 50 kOhms of input impedance. Max. input voltage 2.5 V. MM input for connecting a turntable.
Connection values MM: 47 kOhms / 150 pF / 40 dB gain.
Output: line level output (RCA). Output impedance: 100 ohms. Max. output voltage: 1 V.
Volume level control range: 0 to 80 dB in 1 dB steps Balance control: + / – 6 dB in 1 dB steps
Frequency response: 2 – 200 kHz (-3 dB)
THD & Noise: < 0,001 % @ 3 V output
Poweroutput: 2 x 130 W @ 4 ohms, 2 x 70 W @ 8 ohms.
THD&Noise: < 0.03 % @ 10 W into 4 ohms
Dampening factor: > 500.
Headphone connector: 6.35 mm (1/4“) jack socket
Headphone gain: 0 dB / 12 dB switchable
Recommended headphone impedance: 16 – 200 ohms
Damping factor of headphone output: >100
Design and Form Factor
Lindemann’s Musicbook Combo is a testament to the brand’s unwavering commitment to uniting form and function in perfect harmony. Encased in a compact yet meticulously crafted aluminum housing, it offers a sleek and minimalist aesthetic and embodies the essence of contemporary design. With dimensions measuring just 280 x 220 x 63 millimeters, it boasts exceptional versatility, effortlessly finding its place in diverse environments without compromising its robust performance. Weighing a mere three kilograms, this unassuming device ingeniously combines powerful features within its modest frame.
The striking yellow OLED display not only adds a touch of class but also ensures user-friendliness with its three brightness levels, offering a visual treat while providing vital information about the selected source and the device’s status. Lindemann’s thoughtful inclusion of a small yet uncomplicated remote control aligns with its dedication to user convenience. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the Musicbook Combo shines in terms of portability, allowing users to easily move it to different spaces. Furthermore, its intuitive interface underscores Lindemann’s unwavering commitment to creating audio equipment that sounds exceptional and seamlessly integrates into modern lifestyles, perfectly marrying form and functionality.
Usability and Control
Usability and control are where Lindemann’s Musicbook Combo truly shines, reflecting the company’s dedication to delivering a seamless and enjoyable user experience. The device has a compact yet efficient remote control, prioritizing essential functions like volume adjustment, source selection, and display brightness control. This approach keeps the user interface uncluttered and straightforward, allowing users to control their music without any unnecessary complications.
However, the true gem in usability is the Lindemann app, available for both Apple and Android devices. This app provides an intuitive and well-structured interface that makes controlling the Musicbook Combo a breeze. The initial setup process is straightforward and user-friendly, ensuring that even those new to high-end audio can get started without frustration.
Users can navigate and manage a wide range of music sources and streaming services through the app, including Tidal, Deezer, Spotify, Qobuz, HighResAudio, and internet radio stations. The Lindemann streaming platform, familiar to users of the Musicbook Source II, ensures smooth and reliable performance for all these services. It’s worth noting that the app offers control over more advanced features, making it an excellent choice for enthusiasts who want to fine-tune their listening experience.
One standout feature of the Musicbook Combo is the ability to switch between PCM and DSD in the basic settings in DAC mode, a feature you’d typically find in much more expensive audio equipment. DSD mode leverages a resampling process to convert PCM data into a high-resolution 1-bit signal (DSD 256), resulting in a transparent, natural, and analog-like sound. While the difference is subtle, it adds a layer of customization that caters to discerning listeners who want to fine-tune their audio experience.
Moreover, the Musicbook Combo’s compatibility with Roon integration (Roon Ready) enhances the overall usability for audiophiles who rely on this high-quality music playback software.
In terms of hardware, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo includes an analog Class A amplifier designed for headphones with impedances ranging from 16 to 200 ohms. It performs remarkably well with headphones, delivering excellent sound quality and saving users the expense of investing in a dedicated headphone amplifier.
One thoughtful feature is including a power switch on the rear of the device, allowing users to disconnect it from the mains entirely, which is energy-efficient and cost-effective.
Lindemann’s focus on usability and control extends from the device’s minimalist and user-friendly design to the intuitive app, offering an enjoyable and accessible listening experience for newcomers and seasoned audiophiles.
Connectivity and Versatility
Connectivity and versatility are pivotal aspects of the Lindemann Musicbook Combo, enhancing its appeal to audiophiles and tech-savvy consumers. This streaming-integrated amplifier is designed to adapt to various audio sources, making it an excellent centerpiece for your entire entertainment setup.
Starting with connectivity, the Musicbook Combo offers various options to connect your preferred audio sources effortlessly. While it supports wireless streaming via WiFi and Bluetooth (though without the aptX codec), it doesn’t stop there. On the rear panel, you’ll find two analog line-RCA interfaces and two digital inputs, accommodating optical up to 96 kHz and coaxial up to 192 kHz. You can easily connect your legacy audio components, such as turntables, with MM systems, CD players, or even a subwoofer to enhance your sound system.
Furthermore, a USB-A socket connects external storage devices like hard drives, USB sticks, or CD-ROM drives, transforming the Musicbook Combo into a CD player. This flexibility ensures that your entire music collection remains accessible and ready to be played through this device.
For those who prefer a wired connection, the Musicbook Combo features a LAN port for a stable network connection. This versatility lets users switch between wired and wireless connections depending on their network setup and preferences.
A standout feature is the 6.35mm headphone jack on the front panel, paired with an analog Class A headphone amplifier. With support for headphones with impedances ranging from 16 to 200 ohms, this integrated amplifier delivers a remarkable listening experience through headphones, eliminating the need for a separate headphone amplifier. Whether you’re enjoying a private music session or need to keep the volume down to avoid disturbing others, this feature adds significant value to the device’s versatility.
The Lindemann app plays a crucial role in enhancing the Musicbook Combo’s versatility. This user-friendly app allows you to easily control the device, manage your music sources, and fine-tune your listening experience. It’s compatible with Apple and Android devices, offering intuitive navigation and smooth operation. The app’s compatibility with the Lindemann streaming platform ensures that streaming services like Tidal, Deezer, Spotify, Qobuz, HighResAudio, and internet radio stations are readily accessible and reliably streamed. It’s worth noting that the app’s response speed is generally swift, offering a seamless user experience.
In summary, Lindemann’s Musicbook Combo excels in connectivity and versatility by accommodating a wide range of audio sources, both wireless and wired. Its thoughtful inclusion of a high-quality headphone amplifier and user-friendly app further enhances its versatility and makes it an excellent choice for audiophiles with diverse audio needs.
The Lindemann Musicbook Combo delivers a sound performance that lives up to its premium status, making it an ideal choice for audiophiles who demand exceptional audio quality. With its streamlined design, robust construction, and user-friendly controls, this device offers much more than meets the eye. Its remarkable sound performance is at the core of its appeal, which is marked by precision, clarity, and a genuine appreciation for audio fidelity.
This compact streaming integrated amplifier combines power and finesse with 2 x 130 watts output at 4 ohms. While this output might not rival larger, dedicated power amplifiers, it can effectively drive a wide range of speakers. The Lindemann Musicbook Combo’s efficiency becomes evident when paired with speakers that are reasonably efficient and easy to drive, creating a dynamic, lively sound that showcases its agility and power.
The amplifier’s ability to deliver deep and precise bass is a standout feature. With speakers that are well-matched in impedance and sensitivity, the bass response is impactful and articulate. The music is presented with a sense of depth, allowing listeners to experience the full weight and presence of low-frequency elements in their favorite tracks. Whether you enjoy electronic beats, orchestral compositions, or rock music, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo ensures that the bass remains solid and well-defined, even at higher listening levels.
The sound quality shines in the midrange, with a neutrality that appeals to discerning audiophiles. The Lindemann Musicbook Combo handles voices and instruments with impressive transparency and warmth. Voices are rendered with an organic and lifelike quality, showcasing the amplifier’s ability to capture the subtleties and nuances of vocal performances. When listening to artists like Lisa Gerrard, known for her ethereal vocals, the Musicbook Combo provides a faithful representation that invokes a profound emotional connection.
The device’s ability to create a captivating soundstage is equally commendable. The music extends well beyond the confines of the speakers, creating a wide and immersive sonic landscape. The stage’s forward momentum envelopes the listener in the music, offering an intimate and engaging listening experience. Whether you enjoy classical compositions or contemporary tracks, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo ensures that the sonic presentation is spacious, detailed, and well-balanced.
In terms of high frequencies, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo strikes a balance between clarity and smoothness. The device delivers high-frequency details with precision and a touch of airiness, allowing intricate elements like cymbals or acoustic guitar strings to shine. This quality enhances the listening experience across various genres, providing detail and articulation that caters to audiophiles with diverse musical tastes.
In conclusion, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo is a compelling choice for those who seek outstanding sound performance in a compact, versatile package. Its dynamic bass, neutral midrange, captivating soundstage, and detailed high frequencies accommodate various musical genres, delivering an engaging and true-to-source listening experience. Whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or a music enthusiast looking to elevate your sound system, the Musicbook Combo’s sound performance ensures you’ll enjoy your favorite music like never before.
Highs and Mids
The Lindemann Musicbook Combo distinguishes itself with its remarkable rendering of highs and mids, showcasing a level of precision and clarity that will captivate even the most discerning audiophiles.
Starting with the midrange, the Musicbook Combo achieves a delicate balance between neutrality and warmth. It handles vocal and instrumental performances with impressive transparency, ensuring that every nuance and subtlety is faithfully reproduced. When listening to singers, whether it’s the hauntingly ethereal voice of Lisa Gerrard or the raw emotion of a blues artist, the amplifier preserves the authenticity and emotion of the performance. The midrange presentation is organic and lifelike, making it easy to immerse yourself in the music and connect with the artists profoundly.
Moving on to the high frequencies, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo maintains a meticulous approach to sound reproduction. It delivers high-frequency details with precision, allowing subtle elements, such as the shimmer of cymbals or the delicate strings of an acoustic guitar, to shine. The result is an airy, transparent quality that enhances the listening experience across various musical genres. Whether you enjoy intricate jazz arrangements or rock tracks with soaring guitar solos, the amplifier ensures that every element in the high-frequency range is articulated with finesse.
What sets the Lindemann Musicbook Combo apart is its ability to seamlessly handle the transition from mids to highs. This ensures a cohesive and well-balanced sonic presentation, where vocals seamlessly blend with instrumentals, creating a harmonious listening experience. The amplifier’s treatment of mids and highs ensures that no detail is overshadowed or lost in the mix, allowing you to appreciate the music in its entirety.
In summary, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo’s performance in the high and mid-frequency ranges is exemplary, catering to audiophiles who value precision, transparency, and a faithful representation of their favorite music. Whether you’re exploring the intricate melodies of classical compositions or the raw energy of rock and pop, the Musicbook Combo delivers a captivating and authentic sound experience that will undoubtedly elevate your appreciation of music.
Power and Efficiency
The Lindemann Musicbook Combo boasts impressive power and efficiency, making it a compelling choice for many audio enthusiasts. Despite its compact form, this all-in-one streaming integrated amplifier packs a punch that can drive various speakers and deliver a dynamic audio experience.
With an output of 2 x 70 watts at 8 ohms, the Musicbook Combo may not be the most powerful amplifier on the market, but it makes up for its efficient and agile performance. It’s important to note that this amplifier prioritizes sound quality over sheer output wattage. Its design philosophy emphasizes compatibility with reasonably efficient speakers, ensuring that it delivers a musical and engaging listening experience rather than brute force.
When paired with speakers that match its recommended specifications, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo shines. It exhibits a remarkable ability to handle a wide range of musical genres and reproduce intricate details, making it a versatile option for those who enjoy various styles of music. From classical compositions that demand subtlety and precision to rock or electronic tracks that require punch and impact, the amplifier adapts gracefully to deliver a nuanced and enjoyable performance.
One notable aspect of the Lindemann Musicbook Combo is its efficiency, enabling it to produce high-quality sound without excessive power. This is especially beneficial for listeners who value audio excellence and energy conservation. With its compact size and efficient operation, the Musicbook Combo is a great fit for smaller listening spaces where space and power consumption are considerations.
In summary, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo may not be the most potent amplifier regarding raw power. Still, its efficiency and refined sonic performance make it an ideal choice for a broad spectrum of music enthusiasts. Its ability to work seamlessly with various speakers and deliver a dynamic and engaging listening experience sets it apart as a versatile and efficient streaming integrated amplifier.
In conclusion, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo is a remarkable streaming integrated amplifier with a compelling combination of design, performance, and versatility. Its sleek aluminum housing, compact form factor, and user-friendly interface make it a welcome addition to any modern audio setup. The amplifier’s high-quality DAC architecture, efficient streaming capabilities, and versatile connectivity options ensure that it seamlessly adapts to various audio sources and preferences.
Beyond its impressive technical specifications, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo excels in its sonic performance. With a keen focus on delivering a balanced and dynamic listening experience, this amplifier strikes a harmonious balance between power and efficiency. Whether you’re enjoying classical compositions, rock anthems, or electronic beats, the Musicbook Combo showcases its ability to reproduce intricate details and engage listeners in an immersive musical journey. For those seeking a versatile and efficient audio solution, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo is a testament to its commitment to form and function, making it a noteworthy addition to high-fidelity audio.
Reasons to Buy the Lindemann Musicbook Combo:
- Compact and Stylish Design: The Lindemann Musicbook Combo boasts sleek, elegant aluminum housing that seamlessly blends into any living space. Its small form factor and lightweight build make it easy to move and install, ensuring it doesn’t dominate your room’s aesthetics.
- High-Quality Sound Performance: This streaming integrated amplifier delivers a balanced and dynamic sound with excellent clarity and detail. Whether you’re a fan of classical music or prefer heavy rock, the Musicbook Combo provides an immersive listening experience, showcasing its ability to reproduce intricate musical nuances.
- Versatile Connectivity: With various connectivity options, including analog and digital inputs, USB ports, and network streaming capabilities, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo can handle a wide range of audio sources, from turntables to streaming services, offering a comprehensive and adaptable audio solution.
- User-Friendly App and Controls: The included app is user-friendly and intuitive, simplifying the setup and control of the amplifier. It allows for convenient access to streaming services and other audio sources. Although limited in functions, the remote control is also straightforward and practical.
- Integrated Headphone Amplifier: The Lindemann Musicbook Combo features an integrated headphone amplifier, which can comfortably drive headphones with impedances ranging from 16 to 200 ohms. It offers excellent headphone audio quality, making it a versatile choice for enthusiasts.
Reasons Not to Buy the Lindemann Musicbook Combo:
- Neutral Sound Signature: If you prefer a warmer or more laid-back sound profile, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo’s neutral and tonally fresh presentation might not align with your audio preferences.
- Limited Power for Low-Efficiency Speakers: The amplifier’s power output may not be sufficient to drive demanding or low-efficiency speakers at high volumes. You may need a more potent amplifier if you prioritize loud and powerful audio.
- Preference for Darker Sound: If you prefer a darker, more powerful sound profile with a strong emphasis on bass and low-end response, the Lindemann Musicbook Combo’s tonal balance may not match your listening preferences.
- Higher Price Range: While the Lindemann Musicbook Combo offers excellent performance and features, it falls into a higher price range. If you’re on a strict budget, you might find more affordable options that still meet your audio needs.
- High-Frequency Energy: In some cases, the high-frequency energy may be slightly too pronounced, which can be less forgiving with bright or thinly produced audio recordings. If you have a large collection of such recordings, this amplifier may not be your best choice.