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Lindemann Limetree Review (streamer)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 138 78.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 32 18.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 5 2.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 2 1.1%

  • Total voters
    177

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Lindemann Limetree streamer and DAC (original version). It is on kind loan from a member and cost US €895 (about US $1,000).

I like the white color box:

Lindemann Limetree Review Streamer Ethernet Roon.jpg


Otherwise this is standard hobby/budget project box. Inputs and output are typical for the class:

Lindemann Limetree Review back panel Streamer Ethernet Roon.jpg


Searching for the unit, there is a ton of positive press in Europe for it. Owner was curious if there is any meat behind them and hence this review.

Lindemann Limetree Measurements
Being a streamer, my audio analyzer can't control it so we are left with static test signals. Here is the dashboard:

Lindemann Limetree Measurements Streamer Ethernet Roon.png


This is disappointing level of distortion. I thought I was testing it wrong until I found the company spec which was actually a bit worse than what I measured at 0.003%. 40 years after introduction of CD's 16 bit format, we deserve DACs that produce less distortion than that format can manage (96 dB). Don't you think?

I expected dynamic range to be suitable poor but it was actually better:

Lindemann Limetree Measurements DNR Streamer Ethernet Roon.png


As was jitter test:

Lindemann Limetree Measurements Jitter Streamer Ethernet Roon.png


Multitone showed that the dashboard 1 kHz tone presented the device in a more positive light than it deserves:


Lindemann Limetree Measurements Multitone Streamer Ethernet Roon.png


As we see distortion rises to to worse than -80 dB.

All tests were performed by playing the test tones using my Roon player, pushing bits over Roon end point implementation in Limetree.

Conclusions
$1,000 is a lot of money for a streamer. You would want excellent performance at that level that sadly Limetree doesn't deliver. Nor do you get any type of mechanical design that goes with a high-end streamer.

While I was inclined to like the Lindemann Limetree, the measurements showed that it has not benefited from good design with respect to distortion. So I can't recommend it.

----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Doodski

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I'm not into streamers. What is the approximate price range from low to high for streamers? A touchscreen Raspberry Pi streamer can be built for USD ~$250.00 Can they be built for less?
 

Andreas007

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I once thought about buying stuff from Lindemann.
Glad I did not. Review backs up my feelings that you are mostly paying for the name Lindemann and the fancy (and admittably good) design of their more expensive stuff. Thanks Amir!
 

Paolo

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I'm not into streamers. What is the approximate price range from low to high for streamers? A touchscreen Raspberry Pi streamer can be built for USD ~$250.00 Can they be built for less?
Commercial products starts from 15—20$, around 100$ to 200$ you start to find more or less good builds and features. More than that and you venture in snake oil territory.
Unfortunately it seems like most of streamers introduce distortions in some way, usually around the bothering* range, but still…

Personally I’m using a Belkin Soundform which for 99€ has immensely expanded the usefulness of my RME ADI2 DAC. No idea about how much distorts, but my untrained ears are happier than ever :)


*bothering is the scientific definition for a distortion that may or may not be there, because you cannot pinpoint it while listening, but you can clearly see it in the graphs with great dismay.
 

NHL99

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The award winning list, see section 'Press'


One feels good after reading such positive feedback, there's always the placebo effect. Not an owner of the actual device.
 

JSmith

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The award winning list
It's funny how these lists always consist of very expensive products... and one is simply expected to believe manufacturer specs. The jig is up... so design and implement products properly or ASR will call it out where possible.



JSmith
 

MZKM

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Audibility wise it’s fine, so any owners shouldn’t have issues.

However, for ~$1000 it looks cheap as hell.
Here is an $80 Fosi product for comparison:
2_d2bee65d-5635-403c-843e-1b926f911012_1200x.jpg

Hell, even on the Fosi the power input is silver to match the case, whereas it’s black on the Lindemann.

So the market for this seems weird. It doesn’t have the looks for those in the high end audio space, and those just caring about objective performance the specs aren’t amazing.
 
Last edited:

Dudi

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I was on a demo at local dealer's studio when Limetree arrived. The music had lot of sparkle with the Limetree and my significantly better DAC sounded somehow boring compared to it. I can understand if somebody with few experience buy this device, at first listening the bad (I mean around 0.01-0.001%) THD sounds lively, long term listening may shows disadvantages. Just about why people buy Limetree (based on first impression), IMO.
 

Tangband

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Lindemann Limetree streamer and DAC (original version). It is on kind loan from a member and cost US €895 (about US $1,000).

I like the white color box:

View attachment 166283

Otherwise this is standard hobby/budget project box. Inputs and output are typical for the class:

View attachment 166284

Searching for the unit, there is a ton of positive press in Europe for it. Owner was curious if there is any meat behind them and hence this review.

Lindemann Limetree Measurements
Being a streamer, my audio analyzer can't control it so we are left with static test signals. Here is the dashboard:

View attachment 166285

This is disappointing level of distortion. I thought I was testing it wrong until I found the company spec which was actually a bit worse than what I measured at 0.003%. 40 years after introduction of CD's 16 bit format, we deserve DACs that produce less distortion than that format can manage (96 dB). Don't you think?

I expected dynamic range to be suitable poor but it was actually better:

View attachment 166286

As was jitter test:

View attachment 166287

Multitone showed that the dashboard 1 kHz tone presented the device in a more positive light than it deserves:


View attachment 166288

As we see distortion rises to to worse than -80 dB.

All tests were performed by playing the test tones using my Roon player, pushing bits over Roon end point implementation in Limetree.

Conclusions
$1,000 is a lot of money for a streamer. You would want excellent performance at that level that sadly Limetree doesn't deliver. Nor do you get any type of mechanical design that goes with a high-end streamer.

While I was inclined to like the Lindemann Limetree, the measurements showed that it has not benefited from good design with respect to distortion. So I can't recommend it.

----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Very interesting. Im curious about the noise in the upper frequencies. Where does it come from? Is this noise the reason it might sound more ” analog ” than a good measuring dac ? What do you think ?
Or are the rewievers just imagine things …
36FF6871-E2E6-44D0-AB52-783A9B449967.png
 

Koeitje

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Looks like one of those super budget AliExpress DACs/amps.
 

DTTOM37

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Lindemann is one strange kind of company, IIRC, where some engineers order hardware to be assembled by part time techs in the cellar and perhaps tested by AudioPrecision gear.
The company seems to live from their brand name & their history at times of CD player inventions. Their engineering know-how. Plus their well endowed relations to the audiophile press.
When I spoke with them in Munich 2019, they confirmed that every component is sourced inside the EU based on their specifications and that the Limetree series has a much better performance than RPi based audio solutions.
My personal impression - back then - had been that of a rather cynical marketing operation.
Thank you for the review!!
Lindemann Limetree series small.jpg
 

DanielT

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Thanks for the test / measurement Amir!

What's the point of that one in terms of price /perfarmace when, for example, this one exists?:)

 
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