How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?

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Mitch751

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How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?
« on: 3 Jan 2018, 05:54 am »
I have been using LIO for more than three years, and I am very very pleased with it.

In the past six months, I have been tweaking it by adding some accessories , the improvements are quite significant and the differences are night and day even I do not have a pair of golden ears.

There are two parts, the phono stage and the Dac version 2.

Firstly, the phono stage, I started to play vinyl begninging of the year, as I said in this forum before, the sound was good but there was room to improve, I needed to turn the volume much louder while I was playing with some low output MC cartridge. My friend strongly suggested me to add a step up transformer in between the turntable's output and LIO, and I have tried a few SUTs, and most of them were quite disappointed due to the Hum noise, not until I tried the Bob Devices SUT, and I really can hear the difference, the improvement is mainly from wider soundstage, stronger bass, and more dynamic.

Secondly, I never believed that I needed to add world clock / reclocker for my LIO Dac, however, because I got a good discount before Christmas for Mutec Ref. 10 (w.clock) and MC30+USB (reclocker), I purchased this combo for the original plan to connect it with my Mytek 192 (in the study room).

They got delivered before the holiday, I wonder whether it was a good idea to have it with my LIO (MacBook Pro USB > Mutec Combo > SPDIF to LIO, the first second I played the music, I could hear the difference .... OH my god, too good to be true, I never expected the improvement could be so significant. The soundstage was much deeper and wider, the sound tone did not change much but the instrutments were soooooooo real to me ... I never heard my B&W 800 D2 could present a piano sound so real ....

I do not have any connection/relation with Bob Devices or Mutec, I posted here because I would like to share this with the LIO users, and I am sure you are going to love them.









Mitch751

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 58
Re: How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?
« Reply #1 on: 3 Jan 2018, 05:55 am »



jwes

Re: How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?
« Reply #2 on: 4 Jan 2018, 08:02 pm »
Curious about how much something like this (or Sonore products, etc.) is needed between a laptop and the new Dac 2.0. 

Trying to lay out a budget and was thinking that the improvements to the new DAC may negate some of the need for these products between the source and the DAC 2.0.  Any thoughts?

Mitch751

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 58
Re: How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?
« Reply #3 on: 5 Jan 2018, 01:18 am »
I always against adding this kind of device between computer and LIO dac, and never like to add Regen Upton. As I said before, my Goldmund EDIOS reference CD was very very good enough and did not need to add a clock/reclocker etc, also I am a big believer that LIO designed Dac version 2 was already very good and did not need to spend any money on this kind of accessories.

Incidentally, I bought this Mutec Combo was for my old Mytek 192 ... and I was just wondering what sorts of impact if I adding this combo with my LIO. Firstly, I only connected the Mutec MC3+ USB with my MacBook Pro, yes, I could hear the difference, but the improvement was not that noticable (may be 15-20% improvement), then I connected my Goldmund (SPDIF) to Mutec > LIO, the improvement even less .. may be less than 10%.

Not until I added the Mutec master clock ref 10 to Mutec MC3+ USB, both improvements were quite significant, as I said night and day, I never hear the instrutments were so real in my life ....

Again, as I said I do not have a pair of gold ears, I have no any electronic knowledge, please do not ask me the reason behind it.

If I say LIO Dac version 2 is equalivalent to a DAC worths 5 times ... then adding this Mutec Combo, the LIO Dac2, is almost as good with a professional standalone DAC costing over US$15xxx.

I wrote just to share my experience, and I do not have an intention for people to follow, as the Mutec is currently out of stock, and does not need me to promote it.

targa02

Re: How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?
« Reply #4 on: 6 Jan 2018, 05:03 pm »
Hi Mitch.  Thank you for sharing your experience with the Mutec products when used with you LIO.  I also have the LIO with the DAC 2 module.  I had not considered a re-clocker to improve performance.  Just curios, how did you hear about Mutec?  I am very tempted to get the MC-3+.  I wish there was a trial period, but it seems it is a special order item here in the states, so no trial period available.

Mitch751

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 58
Re: How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?
« Reply #5 on: 6 Jan 2018, 10:03 pm »
Hi targa, with adding only Mutec MC3+USB with my LIO Dac 2 and MacBook Pro (using A+), it simply sound more real and deeper in the soundstage, but not a subtle improvement. Since by adding Mutec MC3, input of USB converted into SPDIF limited to only 32/192, as LIO Dac2 can play 32/768 and DSD 256, I do not think it is justify to add the Mutec MC3+USB.

However, by adding Mutec Ref 10 to MC3+ then it is another story, this combo brings a huge improvement, the difference is very noticable even with a person (do not have a pair of golden ears) like me.

So my humble opinions, LIO Dac2 user does not find a need to spare extra dollars for getting the improvement in sound quality by giving up the DSD/PCM over 192 funtction, unless someone is prepared to buy the Ref 10 clock at the same time.

For those who are still using the old classic dac e.g. wadai 9, mark 31, with no USB input, this MC3+USB is a must to have, and it also done very well on sample converstations

targa02

Re: How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?
« Reply #6 on: 6 Jan 2018, 11:15 pm »
Hi Mitch.  That is very helpful guidance.  I prefer not to add two boxes to my system (MC3+ and Ref 10), but will consider given the big improvement you are hearing.  The sound I am getting from the LIO DAC 2 is awesome, so hard to imagine it being better, but, as we all know, technology has made significant strides in making digital sources sound better and better. 

Mitch751

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 58
Re: How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?
« Reply #7 on: 7 Jan 2018, 03:06 am »
Me too, I used to be a believer that LIO dac2 did not need to add any wclock/reclocker for improvement, as audiophiles always say adding a device it would bring both pros and cons

Now, I just can't listen without this combo .... probably time to start searching for a pre-owned Mutec MC3+USB for my Mytek 192.

Vinnie R.

Re: How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?
« Reply #8 on: 8 Jan 2018, 05:01 pm »
Hi Mitch751,

Thank you for your post!

Quote
Firstly, the phono stage, I started to play vinyl begninging of the year, as I said in this forum before, the sound was good but there was room to improve, I needed to turn the volume much louder while I was playing with some low output MC cartridge. My friend strongly suggested me to add a step up transformer in between the turntable's output and LIO, and I have tried a few SUTs, and most of them were quite disappointed due to the Hum noise, not until I tried the Bob Devices SUT, and I really can hear the difference, the improvement is mainly from wider soundstage, stronger bass, and more dynamic.

Those Cinemag SUT's that are used in your Bob's Devices SUT are what we are now using for the LIO Phonostage. 
I agree with assessment of how they improve the sound compared to LIO's stock SUT's - we are not looking back!  :wink:

Regarding the Mutec - just to clarify, are you saying that it is a USB to SPDIF converter, essentially?  And then you send SPDIF
to LIO's coax input jack?  And it is two boxes (one is a master clock for the other, which does the USB to SPDIF conversion?)

Quote
Again, as I said I do not have a pair of gold ears, I have no any electronic knowledge, please do not ask me the reason behind it.

No need - if you like the way it sounds even better, that is all that really matters.   8)


Thanks again for sharing,

Vinnie

Mitch751

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 58
Re: How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?
« Reply #9 on: 9 Jan 2018, 01:40 am »
Thank you Vinnie, for your reply.

Thank you for telling me that LIO phonostage is using the same Cinemag, that's why it sounds so good. I believe the LIO's one is x10 one? Mine has a switch between High / Low i.e. x30 / x15 since I have few MC cartridges, that's why some of them (not the one with lower output e.g. <0.35mv) sound better without external SUT.

Regarding the Mutec combo, it is MC3+ USB is a reclocker (I do not understand what it is actually  :lol:), yes it is a USB to SPDIF converter, and then you send SPDIFto LIO's coax input jack. The other one is REF10 master clock, which sync with MC3+, in short replace the MC3 internal clock.

Vinnie R.

Re: How to improve my Lio by tweaking ?
« Reply #10 on: 9 Jan 2018, 04:20 pm »
Hi Mitch751,

Quote
Thank you for telling me that LIO phonostage is using the same Cinemag, that's why it sounds so good. I believe the LIO's one is x10 one?

Yes, the Cinemags in LIO are 10x (20dB).

 
Quote
yes it is a USB to SPDIF converter, and then you send SPDIFto LIO's coax input jack.

I see - thank you.

Enjoy it!

Vinnie