Vinnie Rossi

manufactured in the USA and hand-built and tested by Vinnie Rossi himself.

Modular design expert Vinnie Rossi has announced the new L2 range-topping electronics featuring a dynamic duo of DHT valve preamplifier and diminutive monoblock amplifiers.

To many audio enthusiasts, well-executed Directly Heated Triode (DHT) circuitry is the Holy Grail in terms of preamplifier design. Vinnie Rossi has implemented a DHT circuit in its new flagship L2 Class-A preamplifier which features patented Belleson super-regulated, dual mono linear power supplies. The valve compatibility is quite wide and includes the 2A3 (matched Gold-Grid versions included), 45, 300B, PX4, 101D, 205D, and SV811 DHT varieties with one-switch filament voltage selection. Twin 100VA toroidal transformers and a 100,000 micro-farads capacitor bank form the solid L2 power supply. The L2’s all-important volume control features a discrete 64-step resistor ladder attenuator incorporating high quality Pickering England silent signal relays.

The ultra-wide bandwidth design is also modular, as per company credo, and can accept the L2 phono stage and L2 DAC modules. The L2 DHT preamplifier caters for one balanced XLR and two single-ended RCA inputs. Outputs are one each in single-ended RCA and balanced XLR with a Neutrik-style jack socket for remote triggering when connected to the L2 monoblock amplifiers.

The hand-built L2 monoblock amplifiers are as simple as amplification gets in terms of exterior features. The high quality heavy gauge CNC-machined chassis is plain yet beautifully anodised while the single WBT NextGen copper binding posts, IEC socket with incorporated fuse and on/off switch, single-ended RCA and balanced XLR and ‘Trigger’ socket are all that are featured. The L2 monos are in quarter-sized format making for space-efficient multi-amplifier installations.

The monoblock amplifiers feature MOS-FET devices and a single ‘custom-wound’ 500VA power toroidal transformer per chassis in an ultra-wide bandwidth Class-AB topology. A capacitor bank of over 100,000 micro-farads is used while efforts have been made to keep the signal paths as simple and short as possible.

The new Vinnie Rossi L2 products are manufactured in the USA and hand-built and tested by Vinnie Rossi himself.
The company offers a 10 year warranty. 

6moons6moons_coty

LIO roars! 

“If one wants the fragrance of direct-heated triodes pure… I’ve not heard or seen anything more powerful than this.”

“…Gives new meaning to the term plug ‘n’ play. It’s even more flexible and fun and useful than we knew when it first bowed. In my book, all of that—and whatever might be coming down the pike for it —makes it the one of 2016. ”

Srajan Ebaen, 6moons.com (“2016 Component of the Year Award”)

 

All Products

Reviews

All Products

Integrated amplifiers

VR 01 IA LIO
NZ$ 9,500.00 ea (incl. GST)
ULTRA-CAPAICTOR POWER SUPPLY
OPTIONAL EXTRA PLUG-IN MODULES:LIO-DAC optional plug-in DAC module-RCA for LIO integrated &...
Integrated amplifiers

Preamplifiers & Line-stages

VR 07 PA LIO
NZ$ 7,500.00 ea (incl. GST)
ULTRA-CAPAICTOR POWER SUPPLY
OPTIONAL EXTRA PLUG-IN MODULES:LIO-DAC optional plug-in DAC module-RCA for LIO integrated &...
VR 10 PA L2
NZ$ 28,500.00 ea (incl. GST)
The L2 Signature Preamplifier is Vinnie Rossi’s new flagship design that creates an effortless connection between the listener and the music. Compatible with the most cherished of 4-pin directly...
L2 SIGNATURE PREAMPLIFIER features: Vinnie Rossi’s latest Class-A, ultra wide bandwidth directly...

Power amplifiers (Stereo & Mono)

VR 15 AM L2
NZ$ 28,500.00 pr (incl. GST)
Vinnie Rossi’s new flagship power amplifier design, the L2 Signature Monoblock, draws the listener deep into the music with its completely natural and engaging sound signature.  Its superb...
Ultra-wide bandwidth, Class AB MOSFET topology. Very short signal and power paths. Custom-wound,...

Reviews

REVIEW SUMMARIES

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2018

“Warmth and midrange smoothness were the strengths of a Vinnie Rossi/ Triode Wire Labs / Harbeth loudspeaker system…

Drums and percussion were depicted with excellence, the low tones of piano and instruments were conveyed with perfection, and the artistry and emotion of all concerned came through loud and clear.

In fact, the brilliance of music and interpretation was such that, for one of the rare times in my 15 years at audio shows, absolutely no one left the room or even fidgeted during a long piece of relatively obscure, heart-rending German lieder that was impeccably sung with deep feeling. This is a tribute not only to Vinnie Rossi, Harbeth, and Triode Wire, but also to the quality of show attendees whom Vinnie tends to attract. Thank you, one and all.” 

Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile

RMAF 2018 – Best in Show Sound

(Room 3018: Vinnie Rossi with Spatial Audio and Anticables)

“It’s rooms like Vinnie’s and Clayton’s that really are “the energy” for that audio show feeling.

… Bass was massive and natural — and by natural I mean it was like real thunder, not a facsimile, or one of those pesky apartment neighbors who just got “Sub-Woofer: The Movie” on Blu-Ray.

…The mid-range and treble was as effortless as anything I had encountered this year at any of the shows. Not to say it was out-right the best, but it was spooky in how it loaded the room and held voices inside the image when needed but allowed the vocals to show space when the recording demanded it.

…When we talk about ‘Best-In-Show’ sound, I can’t help but take into account that what I heard here at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is not only a few extra inches of performance, but a few feet worth. How many other speaker and electronics brands can admit they’ve made those kind of gains?”

Eric Franklin Shook, Part-Time Audiophile

(Room 4024: Vinnie Rossi with Harbeth Loudspeakers and Triode Wire Labs)

“Insight was available by the boatload. Bass attack, fast, but not bloated or overly thumpy. Mid-range, what I consider to be signature Harbeth, but turned upward and wider that I know from my previously smaller Harbeth experiences. Treble was where, for me, things shined. The insight came from imaging that hung afloat in the middle of the room like an apparition.”

Eric Franklin Shook, Part-Time Audiophile

 

“In the Spatial Audio room, Clayton Shaw was debuting his statement speaker, the Lumina L2 along with  Vinnie Rossi’s ‎L2 Signature Preamp and Monoblock System that he was debuting. This was some of the best sound at the show.

“This is one of the systems at the show that really got my motor running. The whole system didn’t cost what many of the speakers at the show sold for, and it sounded better than most. It was dynamic, open, had emotional energy and was very natural sounding. These were great debut products.” 

Jack and Becky Roberts, The Audio Beatnik

 

“The slide guitar-infused Plowin’ Mule track by Doug MacLeod posted almost ghost-like focus for each instrument in the music field. It was certainly hard to tell where the speakers were placed, and if pressed to gander a guess, I would have implied a location much further back, behind the somewhat close, actual placement of the 40.2s. A fun party trick? An expensive hollowed gesture to scare trick-or-treaters? I say nay. Raw craftsmanship from two brands that gel together for power when needed and grace unyielding. Best imaging and focus of the show for me.

Brian Hunter, Audio-Head.com

 

 

“RMAF Best of Show”

“This was one of those rooms you could sit and listen all day and never get fatigued. Vinnie had them [Harbeth 40.2s] dialed in and his new L2 DHT Preamp sounded terrific. You also won’t meet a friendlier bunch than these guys!”

Mike Bovaird, AudioShark.org

 

“Great Rooms of RMAF 2018”

“Lovely sound, typical of Harbeth and its legendary status. Great bass, too… Vinnie Rossi continues to make some of the most intriguing electronics, highly adaptable and sounding superb. Very good and reasonably priced.”

Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia

* * * Link to more RMAF2018 show coverage and pictures of the Vinnie Rossi L2 System debut!

VINNIE ROSSIE LIO REVIEW SUMMARIES

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…a game-changer

“The base price of $4,875 USD for the [LIO Integrated] amplifier alone is a steal, but at $12,660 USD for all the options listed above – in one chassis – it is criminal for this level of sonic musicality.”  Rafe Arnott, PartTimeAudiophile.com (“Best of 2016 Award”)

“…the sheer fact of the LIO was undeniable. It’s different. It’s great. And with the unlimited upgradability, the value being offered has thrown down the gauntlet in the ring of today’s high-end.”  Scot Hull, PartTimeAudiophile.com (“Best of 2016 Award”)

 

6moons6moons_coty

LIO roars! 

“If one wants the fragrance of direct-heated triodes pure… I’ve not heard or seen anything more powerful than this.”

“…Gives new meaning to the term plug ‘n’ play. It’s even more flexible and fun and useful than we knew when it first bowed. In my book, all of that—and whatever might be coming down the pike for it —makes it the one of 2016. ”

Srajan Ebaen, 6moons.com (“2016 Component of the Year Award”)

 

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“…Musically Satisfying”

“Right out of the box, the Vinnie Rossi LIO played music that flowed smoothly and silkily—and was noticeably more quiet and grainless…”

“The LIO was extremely good at getting out of the way and letting this music have its way with me.”

“To my ears, it delivered the best of tubes (color, vividness, liquidity) and the best of solid-state (quietness, control). Its highly adapt­able modular design combines a fashionable Italianate aes­thetic with near-state-of-the-art sound.”

“If there is a more innovative and musically satisfying integrated ampli­fier than the Vinnie Rossi LIO, I have yet to experience it.”

Herb Reichert, Stereophile (“Class-A Recommended Component 2015, 2016, 2017”)

 

          

“I was impressed…”

“Sonically I found the LIO to be a highly transparent and extremely low-noise component that allowed the music to pass through it unscathed.”

“I was impressed by the LIO’s overall level of finesse and transparency.”

“The LIO consistently delivered music in a way that focused on the music.”

Steven Stone, The Absolute Sound (September 2015 issue, “Editor’s Choice Award 2016,” TAS 2017 Buyer’s Guide)

 

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DAR-KO Awarded!
“…tonality, timbre, textural detail, and finesse and, most of all, tonal density – the LIO takes it…
The LIO not only bundles speaker amp, head-amp and phono stage inside a single chassis, it keeps power supply to all three isolated from mains noise to wring stellar performance from each.”


John Darko, Digital Audio Review 

 

 

6moons


LIO’s first professional review gets the coveted LUNAR ECLIPSE AWARD from 6Moons

It’s smart, handsome, changeable and fun. And it’s ultra hip…”

“…Unique…its novel play’n’plug concept of hifi legos [is] cool.”

“…the LIO by Vinnie Rossi gets very high marks. What’s more, you save yourselves thousands…”

“…Box count, functionality, future-proofiness and, first and foremost, value. No matter which direction you approach it from, LIO is a remarkable heavy hitter.”

“Rather than being set in stone, this concept is flexible, adaptive and ‘open source’. When you add it all up, the conclusion to this lengthy assignment really wrote itself as predestined and inescapable. When all the moons align as they do so very very rarely, we call it a Lunar Eclipse award.”

Srajan Ebaen, 6Moons.com

 



“…LIO can do it all.”

“…clarity is beyond anything I’ve heard at home.”

“…tone was brilliant, clear and sweet.”

“Any way you want it, the Vinnie Rossi LIO can deliver the best sound from your LPs, digital files, headphones or speakers, LIO can do it all.”

Steve Guttenberg, The Audiophiliac/CNET

 

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From the Newport Beach 2015 show report:

“…the new Vinnie Rossi LIO integrated amp would be my early pick for the best sound of Newport 2015.”

Herb Reichert, Stereophile

 

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Most Significant Product Introduction:  Vinnie Rossi’s LIO modular integrated amplifier

“By far the most innovative single amp, preamp, and integrated amp I came across at the show was this hybrid unit, the LIO Modular, designed by one Vinnie Rossi”

Paul Seydor, The Absolute Sound (Newport Beach Show 2015)

“Build and sound quality are extremely impressive, so the LIO would be a cool product to own purely on the basis of its sound. It hyper-versatility, though, give it multi-purpose capabilities few other components I have seen could every hope to match.”

Chris Martens, The Absolute Sound (SoCal CanJam 2015)

 

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Best In Show, RMAF 2015

“…at the end of the day I’m still dreaming about the sound of the LIO/Harbeth system. Paired with the LIO the sound was spectacular.  Seamless top to bottom. Open, clear…but with great bass and dynamics. The LIO is doing all the right things…”

Lee Scoggins, Part-Time Audiophile (Rocky Mountain Audio Festival 2015)

“…that room was magical. Paired with the new Vinnie Rossi separates, I was gobsmacked.”

Scot Hull, Part-Time Audiophile (Rocky Mountain Audio Festival 2015)

 


…easy to recommend.

“Awe inspiring and terrific tonality.”

Frank Iacone, Headphone.Guru (Impressions from Newport Beach Show 2015)

“The Vinnie Rossi LIO is very easy to recommend.”

Aaron Kovics, Headphone Guru

 


…No noise floor – Zero

“Very black backgrounds… Voices and violin/string tone were sensational

…no noise floor – zero. The dynamics were stunning especially noticeable on drums/percussion and horns, low level details revealed easily.”

Kemper Holt, Enjoy the Music (Impressions from Capital Audio Fest 2015)

 

TAS-Logo

Ten Significant Products:  Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2014

“One of the biggest headaches for audiophiles who use digital products is obsolescence. Often a brand new cutting-edge device turns into a boat anchor overnight as newer formats become available. Vinnie Rossi… has come up with a solution that is so unique…”

Steven Stone, The Absolute Sound

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

Customer Feedback


“…She’s a keeper.”

“…you can really feel that it’s a labor of love. This thing doesn’t exist just to exist, it exists because Vinnie wanted something better.”

“…she’s a keeper. Good work, Vinnie…a spectacular achievement indeed!”

brh / Audiocircle.com


“…S P E C T A C U L A R ! “

“I’ve had my LIO for a couple days now and thought you might like to know my initial impressions. In a word … S P E C T A C U L A R !”

“right out of the box the LIO is performing well beyond my expectations. I want to thank Vinnie for putting together what is likely to be the best piece of audio equipment I’ve ever owned. I’ll be selling off my old components and now useless cables in the coming days so I can spend the extra money (and time) on music. I couldn’t be happier. Keep up the good work.”

timkolacny / Audiocircle.com


“…I am loving it”

“I first heard the LIO at an audio show in the fall of 2015. It was amazing. I decided that I needed that sound in my room. Four months later I am loving it!

SteveKi / Audiocircle.com


“…a day and night experience!”

“My apartment, a 100year old building with ancient wiring and transformer pole right in front. Hum, and other noises being a major problem ever since I moved in 15 years ago… The LIO’s independent power supply sounded like a thorough solution… Wow, was that a day and night experience!”

4003 / Audiocircle.com


“…natural, non-fatiguing, robust…”

“What’s most striking for me is the tonal balance at any volume level. I listen a lot at lower volumes when I’m not doing critical listening, and the presentation can still make me stop what I’m doing and tell myself “this really sounds good.” The LIO excels at letting the music come through in a natural, non-fatiguing, robust way. There is a body to the music, a density that is simply addictive. From top to bottom, a cohesiveness. Just a real pleasure to listen to music through the LIO. And of course with the ultracapacitor power supply, the unit is dead quiet. I couldn’t be happier.”

anicca / Audiocircle.com


“…LIO fleshed out the sound.”

“The LIO, right out of the box, trumped the Bakoon on clarity – which was amazing – both for speaker and for headphone listening. However, to my ears, the biggest improvement was how the LIO fleshed out the sound.”

trcks / Audiocircle.com


“…the detail without losing any dynamics.”

“I highly value low level detail… and the LIO is the best I have experienced in this category. Listening to Sibelius’ Symphony no. 5 right now and I hear all the detail without losing any dynamics. Very, very happy. The LIO replaced a Musical Fidelity Integrated amp which had a lot more WPC and was fine but not close to the musicality of the LIO.”

cmvinyl22 / Audiocircle.com


“…exceeds my (high) expectations…”

“LIO exceeds my (high) expectations by a huge margin, and this product and company deliver more value than any audio purchase I’ve ever made, among many. It truly meets my needs now, and for the future, perfectly.
Many thanks and kudos to Vinnie Rossi”

TomS / Audiocircle.com


“…I respect it and value it.”

“I live in the UK and it feels like I am dealing with the corner shop at the end of my road – local and personable. I truly don’t know how he does it, however two things I do know for sure – I respect it and value it. On top of that his products are great and as an original LIO owner he is breaking new ground. Wonderful product. Respect to Vinnie is all I can say.”

CMcGolpin / Audiocircle.com


“No regrets.”

“I went into this wanting to get as close to analog sound as I could get. I had auditioned lots of other DACs and speakers (Heed, Direct Stream, Resonessence Labs, Metrum Acoustics), and I would have been more than happy with the LIO being at that level. The LIO got to a place I had never experienced digital in any setup, it was a full being there in the music that I had only ever experienced with analog. Here I was hoping for something to bring musical enjoyment and ease of use, instead I got what for me was a real auditory shift in getting about musical enjoyment. There are now things in my current system that the vinyl just can’t do, just as there are things the vinyl can do. But for the first time the LIO put digital on a level playing field with just a different perspective on emphasis. No regrets.”

karastav / Audiocircle.com


“Vinnie is great to work with…”

“The appeal of the LIO: Simplicity of one unit. Off the grid power. I can customize the LIO and replace the modules myself. Any future improvements are easily added. Everything about the LIO is high quality. Ten year warranty. Vinnie is great to work with and if there are any questions or problems, he is right there to help you.

Most importantly, all my music sounds really good. The system is now much more engaging. I’m even enjoying my older music on less than ideal recordings.”

postman131 / Audiocircle.com


“…rings all the right bells for me”

“…focused, pure, tonally dense, transparent and dynamic. In addition to great sonic performance, the LIO is a looker . . . and helps feed an ongoing process of simplifying my life.

Congrats on a great concept and excellent execution, Vinnie – thanks!”

Timbana / Audiocircle.com


“Truly a home run in every way!”

“I’ve owned my LIO for a couple months now, and there isn’t a day goes by that it doesn’t make me think about more ways to simplify… the LIO is just so darn good at everything I’ve asked it to do so far (MC phono stage, tube preamp). Truly a home run in every way!”

TomS / Audiocircle.com


“…great customer service…”

“I am getting GREAT sound with my LIO hooked up to KEF LS50s. Can’t say enough about the great customer service as well.”

mcanaday / Audiocircle.com


“…I find it highly addictive”

“To sum it up, the LIO was a massive upgrade to my system and I couldn’t be any happier. The LIO has absolutely no trouble driving my speakers [PSB Synchrony One, 4-ohms / 88dB sensitivity]. It is very realistic and detailed but most importantly it is incredible enjoyable to listen too and I find it highly addictive.

Vinnie was extremely helpful, responsive and insightful with his advice during the whole purchase process as well as after. Really outstanding customer support which for me just rounds off the package to be an really outstanding deal.”

SL / Audiocircle.com


“And best of all, Vinnie…”

“LIO is amazing in two ways. I can swap out modules and have some fun with different configurations. The sound quality of the LIO in the configuration I now own is superior to anything I have ever owned. The system really meets my expectations. I’m thrilled!!! And best of all, Vinnie… He’s just so darn friendly and responsive. I don’t know how he finds the time to respond… Thank you for a great experience!”

catmansound / Audiocircle.com


“…a man/business of the utmost integrity…”

“When you buy a LIO you gain access to a man/business of the utmost integrity and blazing intelligence who can clearly explain his system (designed for demanding audiophiles) to a non-hobbyist, freely gives non-sponsored unbiased advice on components/peripherals when asked, goes out of his way to build modifications… I could keep going on.”

Larry Kyoto / Audiocircle.com


“…hands down the best customer service…”

“Although we’re ultimately in this hobby for the music, knowing that the manufacturer has your back is immensely comforting. Even among some stiff competition, I’ve had hands down the best customer service experiences for my LIO.

I’m a huge fan of the optionality the LIO provides, as well as the opportunity to grow it as my budget allows. Thanks again!”

writersblock / Audiocircle.com


“…very impressed…”

“I have been very impressed with the LIO. I was looking for a relatively simple and integrated system for superior stereo music listening in my bedroom, with the capability to drive both speakers and headphones. The LIO solved these needs and much more! The MOSFET AMP turned out to be plenty powerful enough to power my speakers, so it precluded the need to buy an additional amp. Additionally, I loved the ability to add only the necessary modules and to upgrade to new modules in the future. And of course having clean power was a major plus.

As many others have already mentioned, Vinnie was extremely helpful throughout the entire process, which became another reason to buy – supporting an independent business and a gentleman who stands behind his product. Vinnie took the time to answer the many questions I had, always polite and never condescending.”

sbj23 / Audiocircle.com


“…romantic flavor.”

“I bought my LIO to substitute my Devialet 200. I think the Devialet is a great machine… however, I felt something was missing – I did not feel engaged, not falling into the music. With the LIO I get that engagement; I can easily appreciate and get emotionally connected to the music. The most important aspects behind my decision were the LIO’s “tonal density” and more “romantic” flavor.”

Lutry / Audiocircle.com


“…LIO is a wonder product…”

“Purchasing from Vinnie is a pleasure. He is a flat out honest man with impeccable integrity, customer service, and accessibility. When you add that on to the flawless execution and build quality of the LIO as well as Vinnie’s skill with voicing, the LIO is a wonder product in my opinion. The honeymoon period has been long over with my LIO and I like it more now than when I purchased it.”

schw06 / Audiocircle.com


“… a game changer”

“The LIO power supply has a clear and unmistakable advantage… in bass definition, control, and extension. ”

yardbird4 / Audiocircle.com


“You owe it to yourself…”

“Owning a LIO turns my analytical mind off and I get lost in the music more easily than anything I’ve ever owned before (and unfortunately there is an extensive list). In my opinion that is the ultimate endorsement. If that’s your goal, you owe it to yourself to at least investigate the LIO.”

schw06 / Audiocircle.com


“…I am loving it”

“I first heard the LIO at an audio show in the fall of 2015. It was amazing. I decided that I needed that sound in my room. Four months later I am loving it!

SteveKi / Audiocircle.com


“…biggest surprise has been the total compatibility…”

“So far, LIO has exceeded my expectations. I would say the biggest surprise has been the total compatibility with other gear, including my tube amp and a variety of sources. LIO slipped into my system as though it belonged there all along. The reviews convinced me that LIO configured with the AVC module would be very transparent. The reviews were correct.”

CSI / Audiocircle.com


“The LIO can do no wrong…”

“As one of the early adopters of the LIO, I’m happy to report that I’m still in love with it and have zero plans to change it. After decades on the merry go round of swapping out expensive components and cabling looking for my unicorn, I have finally found something that makes me happy every time I turn it on, no matter what I’m listening to. The LIO can do no wrong and excels at pretty much every thing that matters – staging & imaging, PRAT, accuracy, instantaneous current, whatever. It works well with every speaker I have used it with (ProAc, Sjöfn, Devore, and Harbeth to name a few)…”

timkolacny / Audiocircle.com


“Sonically…the ULTIMATE SOLUTION!”

“Sound is outstanding and the customer support of Vinnie is unparalleled.
Sonically the LIO is for me the ULTIMATE SOLUTION! I’ve never before had a comparable unit. I’m impressed and Vinnie thank you very, very much.”

hubi / Audiocircle.com


“…blacker background and a lower noise floor.”

“I have been exceedingly happy with the performance of the LIO with all of the equipment I have used with it. [LIO] offers a blacker background and a lower noise floor. There is no tube hiss whatsoever from the LIOs 6922 tubes; this is one of the only components I’ve owned that I would characterize as sounding truly ‘transparent’. The other thing I want to mention about my experience with LIO is regarding Vinnie Rossi’s service. Frankly, I couldn’t ask for better. Every question I had prior to purchase (and there were dozens, including a few rather long phone calls) were answered with patience and with an ear obviously bent towards really trying to help me.”

nnck / Audiocircle.com


“…headphone AMP with the internal DAC is so magical.”

“My spouse is pretty much an unofficial interior decorator. So the ability to customize the color was really important to me – she detests matte black components. When we got the LIO (white with silver knobs), she said we didn’t even have to put it in the console but could leave it out. I was floored.

If I had to list my favorite parts of LIO in order it would be:
1) The knowledge that Vinnie is awesome–I hope to make an audio show when day and shake his hand.
2) The form factor and upgradability so that as I and LIO grow, I don’t have to lose my initial investment.
3) That headphone AMP with the internal DAC is so magical.”

CarterB / Audiocircle.com


“The purity…is addictive.”

“Owning the LIO also helps feed an ongoing process of simplifying my life. It’s calming to replace the clutter of multiple power cords, interconnects and component boxes with a single box. And, it didn’t hurt at all that, after replacing my other components and cords with the LIO, I walked away with approximately $6,500 in my pocket… and a system that I prefer.

The purity that results from coupling full-range drivers (no crossover artifacts) to the LIO (clean, natural sound with no power supply hash) is addictive.
I want to thank Vinnie for sharing his vision, execution and superb customer service. Much appreciated, and much respected!”

Timbana / Audiocircle.com


“…artists’ work laid bare.”

“In a nutshell I can only say that I long ago forgot about “listening to the gear” with Vinnie’s offerings. You listen to the music you own never for a minute thinking it should sound any other way, nor wanting it to. It comes from a background of blackness with the artists’ work laid bare. Keep up the great work Vinnie!”

kitten / Audiocircle.com

 
 
EarSpace w/ Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature.- see video
John H. Darko

New room, new broom, new possibilities and for the hi-fi system owner – new challenges: standing waves and suck-outs in the low-end plus soundstage smear caused by wall, ceiling and floor reflections.

I’m now two years into my first Berlin apartment and I have my listening room dialled in so that it sounds pleasing to the ear but also looks and feels cosy enough to sit in when not listening to music. I work hard to keep the electronics tidy so that the room doesn’t appear overrun with audio gear and the (judiciously-placed) acoustic panels don’t have it looking like a sound lab. The tussle between what sounds best and what looks best is closely fought and neverending.

It wasn’t always this way. I started with bare walls, hardwood floors and a slapback sound that would make the average cafe owner wince. Rugs quickly went down to cover 70% of the floor but playback from a pair of ELAC Uni-Fi UF5 floorstanders, although considerably improved, was still too swimmy, their imaging too diffuse and, in the room’s corners, standing waves too abundant.

The short-term fix – until more furniture could be loaded into the room, a larger wall of vinyl acquired and acoustic panels mounted to the (thick) concrete walls – was to pull the loudspeakers further from the front wall and the couch further from the rear for a midfield listening setup. A psuedo-room within a room. Plants were placed at first reflection points for diffusion (frequency scattering). Do not underestimate plant power.

In the months that followed, I tried this configuration firing down the room and then across it to ultimately settle on the former. Aesthetic considerations vetoed a diagonal setup despite loudspeaker soundstage and directional fire running non-parallel to the room’s walls.

It was in the middle of a similar diagonal fire test run that I caught Vinnie Rossi setting up for RMAF 2016. Only Rossi didn’t have months to play with. He had only hours. Room setup for Audio Show exhibitors must be sorted inside a day. Expediting the process, Rossi draws a playlist of twenty songs, that he knows inside out and upside down, to call ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a Marriott Hotel room configuration before moving loudspeaker and electronics to new spots and testing again.

Rossi is no traditionalist. In recent years, his LIO platform has given us high-current off grid ultracapacitor power, Integrated modularity and instant upgradabilty. His LIO Preamplifier added DHT tube linestaging for marriage to solid-state amplification for the best of both worlds.

Catching up with Rossi at RMAF 2018 at the same Marriott Hotel but a larger room, the East Coaster had gone with a straight firing but midfield loudspeaker placement to put several feet between the Anniversary Edition Harbeth 40.2 and the front wall bench that housed his ALL NEW L2 Signature Pre-amplifier and L2 Signature Monoblocks.

A month later in New York and at another audio show, Rossi again gave the 40.2 midfield room placement to minimise the negative influence of any front-wall/window reflections. Plants were positioned at first reflection points to work as diffusers.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a billion.

Darko.Audio video editor Jana Dagdagan spent the weekend at the Park Lane Hotel next to Central Park for her Earspace YouTube channel to capture Rossi’s L2 Signature electronics and the (binaural) sound of music as they played into the Harbeth loudspeakers, all in a less-than-optimally looking/sounding hotel room.

I’m sure you will agree that visually and sonically, Dagdagan’s video is a treat for the senses, one that does proper justice to the luxury nature of Rossi’s handiwork and his room setup skills:

Note - see video in separate link

what I heard here at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is not only a few extra inches of performance, but a few feet worth.

SUMMARY: The mid-range and treble was as effortless as anything I had encountered this year at any of the shows. Not to say it was out-right the best, but it was spooky in how it loaded the room and held voices inside the image when needed but allowed the vocals to show space when the recording demanded it. Again, a scale thing.What I was hearing my first go round was the bass. Gone was the boxy boom. Bass was massive and natural — and by natural I mean it was like real thunder, not a facsimile, or one of those pesky apartment neighbors who just got “Sub-Woofer: The Movie” on Blu-Ray. This was a rumble that seemed like it entered the room from out in the real world and gave no mind to the walls and windows in it’s way. 

RMAF 2018: Spatial Audio, Vinnie Rossi, Innuos and Anticable; a nomination for Best-In-Show sound

The Story

Starting at the source, the Innous ZENITH which is directly a more affordable version of their SE model, and spiritually their reference Statement model. The ZENITH is no slouch by any means, — seriously, it has three linear power supplies, it is not a toy — but the ZENITH is also not the company’s most refined offering. I want you to know this, because I especially took note of this once the music started playing. It shouldn’t sound this good, but here we are and there it does. The ZENITH’s purpose in the Innuos lineup is to bring down consumer costs while still out-performing when compared to similarly priced in-market competitors.

Then we come to Vinnie Rossi’sNEW for 2018 — L2 Signature Pre-amplifier which is Class-A “ultra-wide bandwidth” directly heated triode (DHT) pre-amplifier, which means that instead of the run-of-the-mill output tubes we all know and love, the DHT design allows Vinnie Rossi to expand into more exotic and truthfully more fun, and yes… more expensive tubes. But who cares about expensive? If you do and you are here, you probably needed to turn around and go home whilst at the Denver Airport.

The L2 pre-amplifier is compatible with 2A3, 45, 300B, PX4, 101D, 205D, SV811 and other 4-pin HDT families of tubes, which means the tube world is now a much sexier place to be with the Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature pre-amplifier in it. More features include dual-mono power supply with Belleson super regulators, a discrete 64-step ladder volume control using Pickering England silent relays, and finally as an option — a DAC module at $3,495 USD that does 32-bit / 768khz, DSD up to DSD512, using dual AK4977EQ converters, a (of course discrete) Class-A output stage, buffer and re-clocking, and more stuff I don’t understand, otherwise I would be doing and not writing.

The L2 Signature Mono-block Amplifiers at are not as complicated to understand. They are Class-A/AB Mosfet in topology, output 75 watts into 8-ohms, and 140 watts into 4-ohms — and before you ask — yes they are 2-ohm stable. Power supplies are taken directly from the US Navy’s Seawolf Class of submarines, okay, okay, maybe not true, but it sounded good. Are you still awake? — 100,000uF of low ESR power supply rail capacitance and each with a custom-wound 500VA power transformer. Wrap it all in half-inch thick aluminum, and slap the rear with a few WBT and Neutrik connectors, and now you’re in business.

Now we come to the part of the story where doubt, bias, and “speaker bigotry” enter the scene. Open baffle speakers have a history of being either A) a DIY thing B) a sound not for everyone C) a gimmick. With all of that “history” hanging over the heads of guys like Clayton Shaw (and others) who are making a legitimate case for open baffle loudspeakers to be taken seriously in certain hi-fi circles. Not only does Spatial Audio have to impress, they must impress against bias. Have they done so in recent history? I would say yes. But only to a point. They’ve made a splash in terms of refining what was once almost entirely a DIY hobby and of course for those who have already accepted “the DIY open baffle sound.”

The biases I have encountered against open baffle speakers run deep, and typically because in the upward battle of changing minds, I don’t think we’ve ever had an open baffle speaker reach the heights of Best-In-Show sound in the audiophile historical record. Think about it. If you’ve only ever compared to what sounds “good enough” in the pickiest of hi-fi circles (be them press or show attendee) then you’ll be seen as having limits, and therefore a gimmick. All of that is about to change.

The Spatial Lumina L2 is a 3-Way, open baffle, servo dipole loudspeaker featuring a top mounted 96db sensitive X32 Coaxial driver (that’s 12-inches of mid-range, and a 1-inch exit compression driver). Dual 12-inch servo controlled woofers (per speaker) which are self-powered and corrected by mono-block servo amplifiers. Impedance is the nominal 8-ohms, with a 6-ohm minimum, and at 48-inches high and 150 lbs each, they are no more intrusive than a pair of stocky 5th graders (sans the cell phone bill).

The Sound

The Spatial Room was a great way to end a mediocre Friday for me. I had made my way up to the 11th floor and down the shifty stairwells during my first quick pass, all the way down to Room 3018 before I really heard something to get excited about. It’s rooms like Vinnie’s and Clayton’s that really are “the energy” for that audio show feeling. You are either excited about them and sit for way too long listening and making requests, or it sets fire to your feet and you are now on a mission to find better or similar rooms to sonically wrestle away your opinions. I was feeling a bit of the former.

What I was hearing my first go round was the bass. Gone was the boxy boom. Bass was massive and natural — and by natural I mean it was like real thunder, not a facsimile, or one of those pesky apartment neighbors who just got “Sub-Woofer: The Movie” on Blu-Ray. This was a rumble that seemed like it entered the room from out in the real world and gave no mind to the walls and windows in it’s way. I like to think of this as bass scale. The servo subs, had this in gobs.

Bass is more than just thunder however, and where bass becomes musical I found the speed and immediacy of the servo controlled bass section to be damn near perfect, and for what I feel is a credit to the open baffle design, still on that higher scale than what box speakers can provide. None of that pulling-in that box speakers do when going up the frequency range. Speaking of servo bass, I lack the understanding of why more speaker builders don’t take advantage of this technology. It is corrected woofer performance, and I get that it is possibly just a matter of designers not knowing how to do it, but it surely would solve a lot of problems that speaker manufacturers have when it comes to system electronics matching options for the end user.

I leave the Spatial room, knowing I will come back Saturday with more exhibit room experiences under my belt. Saturday arrives and I’ve already met a few people who were impressed with Room 3018, and a few that were less than willing to have me drag them down to hear a Spatial open baffle speaker. But I insisted, and I can be quite convincing. Upon my return, I listened longer and deeper, and I gained a few new impressions. The mid-range and treble was as effortless as anything I had encountered this year at any of the shows. Not to say it was out-right the best, but it was spooky in how it loaded the room and held voices inside the image when needed but allowed the vocals to show space when the recording demanded it. Again, a scale thing.

When we talk about Best-In-Show sound, I can’t help but take into account that what I heard here at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is not only a few extra inches of performance, but a few feet worth. How many other speaker and electronics brands can admit they’ve made those kind of gains?