AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread

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Vinnie R.

AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« on: 17 Apr 2018, 12:59 am »
All,

I'm back from AXPONA and it was an incredible show!  It was probably one of the best (if not "the best") USA shows for me in terms of attendance, sound quality in the room, feedback from listeners and their interest in products).  8)

I was fortunate enough to able to demo a new statement product just in time for the show!

The L2 Signature Monoblock Amplifiers







Rafe Arnott of Part Time Audiophile caught up with me right before the show and I officially "let the cat out of the bag," here:

https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2018/04/13/axpona-2018-vinnie-rossi-has-15000-statement-mono-blocks-and-pre-amplifier-in-prototype-stages/

I mention some details/specs in the link above , as well as mention the upcoming L2 Signature Preamplifier.  Please understand that details/specs are subject changes between now and production, but I believe they give a pretty good ballpark idea of what is coming with the L2 Signature line.  A new thread about both products as well as website information will be added in about a month.  I can't wait to show pics of the L2 Preamplfier - it is such a gorgeous design that ties into the L2 Monoblocks so well!  Wink2

Here is the list of what we had playing in Axpona 2018 - Room 486:

Source

- Macbook Air running Roon playback software, feeding USB output to LIO DAC 2.0 (with a myriad of file types, including some excellent  DSD tracks from www.nativedsd.com and www.marecordings.com)

Electronics

- Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamplifier with DAC 2.0 module
- Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Monoblocks (prototypes)

Loudspeakers & Stands

- Harbeth 40.2, 30.2, and P3ESR (all "40th Anniversary Edition," and I switched between them numerous times each day at the show)
- TonTrager speaker stands (for the 40.2 and 30.2)

Cables
All cabling by Triode Wire Labs, consisting of:

- "Seven Plus" Power Cables
- "American" Speaker Cables
- "Spirit" Interconnects

Some pics of the room from the cell phone:









Next up, show coverage from the press and attendees ...

- Vinnie

Vinnie R.

Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #1 on: 17 Apr 2018, 01:10 am »
I was pleased to see that Jason Victor Serinus of Stereophile included show coverage of our room in his "Day 1" reporting:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/jason-starts-axpona-small-and-not-small-all

Quote from: Jason Victor Serinus / Sterephile Magazine
For a very different sound, one had only to venture around the corner to the room shared by the Vinnie Rossi LIO preamplifier ($12,500 as configured) and pre-production L2 Signature monoblock amplifiers (shipping in June), Harbeth Monitor 40.2 40th Anniversary Edition speakers ($17,990/pair), and Triode Wire cabling.

The beautiful, liquid warmth on SoundMirror's DSD256 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recording of Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 (Reference Recordings Fresh!), as well as the system's realistically lively depiction of piccolo, were a joy to listen to. My just-met listening partner, Franklin Winston of Bowling Brook, IL, insightfully called this a "melt into the music" system.

When I returned from the show, I found an email from a customer who found this on the Audio Shark forum:

http://www.audioshark.org/axpona-138/best-show-ymmv-axpona-2018-a-14101.html

Quote from: aKnyght / AudioShark.org
aKnyght's Best in Show:

2) Harbeth / Vinnie Rossi -- 30 seconds after walking into this room i fully understood the magic of harbeth speakers. they just immediately grabbed me with their full, rich sound. the 40.2s were of course great but the 30.2s were every bit as good. even the small p3esr pair was outstanding. anyone thinking of getting a pair of harbeths: just do it!


(The Volti / Border Patrol / Triode Wire Labs room was also on his Top 3 list, so Triode Pete's cabling was working magic in both rooms!)

I'll continue to post more coverage as it becomes available, and if you visited our room this past weekend, THANK YOU for being the biggest part of what made this show so exceptional!  There seemed to be a higher than usual number involved listeners this year (some staying for quite a long time, and some returning multiple times), which I truly appreciate seeing and who I enjoy interacting with.

Thank you!  :notworthy:

Vinnie

Bones13

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Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #2 on: 17 Apr 2018, 11:00 am »
Loved your room Vinnie. My surprise was how big the 40.2 actually is. Superb sound from both of the speakers (P3ESR was not in the system when I listened).

Thank you for setting such a nice room. Easily my favorite.

I read on a blog about a possible streamer. Will this be a separate module, be part of a new DAC module, or some other concept?

Again, congratulations on your Axpona presentation, and very favorable reviews, and your upcoming new Reference line.

jtwrace

Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #3 on: 17 Apr 2018, 01:09 pm »
Are the best sounding VR amps ever made Ultracapacitor powered? 


For both the L2 components, one can except both the sound quality and build quality/aesthetics to surpass everything that we’ve done in the past.  These are both statement components designed from the ground up to compete with more costly competition.

https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2018/04/13/axpona-2018-vinnie-rossi-has-15000-statement-mono-blocks-and-pre-amplifier-in-prototype-stages/

decur

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Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #4 on: 17 Apr 2018, 01:37 pm »
So,it was great hearing vinnies new prototype monoblock amps.
What i noticed was the lightning speed of these amps! Also,they are DEAD quiet,WOW!!!
This was the 1st time that i have heard the harbeth 40.2 really come alive powered by these L2 mono's.
Harbeth is not known to be rock and roll speakers,but man,they rocked. There was a vise grip control over the 40.2 drivers that  really woke them up.
Vinnie,your room was best of show for me.
Congrats...

decur

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Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #5 on: 17 Apr 2018, 01:51 pm »
Also,sonically
Vinnies pre amp and monos are a great match with harbeths,you can really hear the sweetness of this combo.
If you are looking at harbeths,vinnies equiptment is a no brainer.







Vinnie R.

Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #6 on: 17 Apr 2018, 04:24 pm »
Many thanks, decur and Bones13, for posting your impressions from Axpona!

Quote from: Bones13
I read on a blog about a possible streamer. Will this be a separate module, be part of a new DAC module, or some other concept?

It was something that I was looking into for LIO last year, but it has been aborted for a few reasons.  I decided that going forward, those who want to use a streamer are best off keeping it external to LIO's (or the L2 Preamplifier's) internal dac option.

[With LIO DAC 2.0, I still prefer a direct USB connection from my Macbook to LIO DAC 2.0 and running Roon (that is how I have been doing it at the last 3 shows), but YMMV.  With the LIO DAC 1.0, I preferred using a microRendu, but LIO DAC 2.0 has an FPGA buffer / reclock circuit for its inputs that is perfectly happy with a direct USB connection.  Of course if you like the idea of using a streamer so you can keep your music server in a different location, then it makes plenty of sense for that purpose...]

Quote from: jtwrace
Are the best sounding VR amps ever made Ultracapacitor powered? 

They are all linear supplies with very-low ESR (equivalent series resistance) electrolytic caps (not ultracaps).  The ESR on the higher voltage rails of the L2 Monoblocks is actually even lower with these electrolytics that I am using compared to ultracaps.  The reason is because the total ESR of the cap bank on the rails using the ultracaps increases as you add them in series and you need many of them to get these voltage rails (approx. 4 times as many as I use in LIO). 

When I later start the new threads for the L2 Monoblocks and Preamplifier, I'll go into more detail about their designs...

-----

The Audio Beatnik (Jack Roberts) just posted coverage, here:

http://theaudiobeatnik.com/axpona-2018-pictures-day-three-part-1/


[Photo credit: Jack Roberts / The Audio Beatnik]

Quote from: Jack Roberts / The Audio Beatnik
In the Harbeth Loudspeakers and Vinnie Rossi room, I listened to the big M40s, and the sound was very good. I want to congratulate Vinnie for getting the best sound from the big Harbeth’s that I have heard. It sounded glorious!

Thank you, Jack!  In that small hotel room it was not easy to pull off, but I'm glad you and everyone who visited enjoyed it!

Vinnie


PS:  I failed to mention that I was running the Takutsuki 300Bs in the LIO DHT PRE... they had really terrific synergy with the Harbeth range.  :singing:


« Last Edit: 19 Apr 2018, 10:58 pm by Vinnie R. »

Theobetley

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Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #7 on: 17 Apr 2018, 05:32 pm »
I expected the LIO with DAC 2.0 and brand new L2 amps to sound good but not 'that good'. The whole system into any of the Harbeths was silent at pppp, dynamic at ffff, clear and sweet all at the same time. What a combo. If Vinnie's room was not the best at the show they were clearly in the top 3. Bravo Vinnie.

mirekti

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Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #8 on: 17 Apr 2018, 06:59 pm »
I expected the LIO with DAC 2.0 and brand new L2 amps to sound good but not 'that good'. The whole system into any of the Harbeths was silent at pppp, dynamic at ffff, clear and sweet all at the same time. What a combo. If Vinnie's room was not the best at the show they were clearly in the top 3. Bravo Vinnie.

Same here, I have DAC 2.0, but with AVC Tubestage.

Last year I listened to SHL5+, and it was a great sounding room, but this year (cannot tell if it was the room or these new monoblocks, most likely the latter), but my jaw simply dropped.
As if my current AMP is struggling a bit at higher volumes, which it actually doesn't, maybe a bit wrong statement, but the way these new monos were driving Harbeths was truly remarkable.

The price of monos is too steep for me, and my wife would file for a divorce, however, the system was as good as it can get.
I came back to that room three times. :D

Triode Pete

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Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #9 on: 17 Apr 2018, 09:49 pm »


Here is the list of what we had playing in Axpona 2018 - Room 486:

Source

- Macbook Air running Roon playback software, feeding USB output to LIO DAC 2.0 (with a myriad of file types, including some excellent  DSD tracks from www.nativedsd.com and www.marecordings.com)

Electronics

- Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT Preamplifier with DAC 2.0 module
- Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Monoblocks (prototypes)

Loudspeakers & Stands

- Harbeth 40.2, 30.2, and P3ESR (all "40th Anniversary Edition," and I switched between them numerous times each day at the show)
- TonTrager speaker stands (for the 40.2 and 30.2)

Cables
All cabling by Triode Wire Labs, consisting of:

- "Seven Plus" Power Cables
- "American" Speaker Cables
- "Spirit" Interconnects


When I returned from the show, I found an email from a customer who found this on the Audio Shark forum:

http://www.audioshark.org/axpona-138/best-show-ymmv-axpona-2018-a-14101.html

(The Volti / Border Patrol / Triode Wire Labs room was also on his Top 3 list, so Triode Pete's cabling was working magic in both rooms!)

I'll continue to post more coverage as it becomes available, and if you visited our room this past weekend, THANK YOU for being the biggest part of what made this show so exceptional!  There seemed to be a higher than usual number involved listeners this year (some staying for quite a long time, and some returning multiple times), which I truly appreciate seeing and who I enjoy interacting with.

Thank you!  :notworthy:

Vinnie
Next up, show coverage from the press and attendees ...

- Vinnie

Vinnie,
Thanks for letting me be part of your fantastic sounding room again! I wish I spent more time with you but I was running around in two other rooms and trying (but failing) to see the other 157 rooms at AXPONA!

You had your MOJO working and your new Mono Block amps are ABSOLUTELY KILLER!!!







(Thanks for taking the above pics for me, too!)

Cheers,
Pete

Vinnie R.

Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #10 on: 18 Apr 2018, 02:10 am »
Hi theobetley and mirekti,

It was a pleasure to have you both at AXPONA, and thank you for your feedback of our demo room! :notworthy:

Hey Triode Pete,

As usual, your cabling helped us get the most out of our system - thanks for teaming up with us this year!
I must have swapped your American speaker cables between the three Harbeth models well over 100 times as many attendees were
curious to listen how they compared.  They remained solid and never let me down, and thank you for the custom length that made swapping easy.  :beer:

-----

More feedback of our room, from Computer Audiophile member "austinpop:"
https://www.computeraudiophile.com/ca/audio-shows/axpona-2018-show-report-r707/

Quote from: austinpop / ComputerAudiophile.com

Here are the few systems that stood out to me as sounding great:

- PS Audio mid-priced setup, using their Stellar line, and Goldenear Triton Reference. Surprising lack of glare and very smooth. Used their new P12 (P5 followon) regenerator
- Chord room with Raidho speakers
- Quintessence Audio (local dealer) had 2 excellent rooms:
- Audio Research Ref 6/Ref 160 driving Wilson Alexia 2
- Audio Research Ref 10/Ref 750SE driving Sonus Faber Aïda
- Western Electric electronics driving Gauder speakers
- Rethm Bhaava speakers (under $5k) driven by Audio Hungary (?) electronics with Innuos Zenith SE source. Very impressive speakers at this price point.
- Vinnie Rossi electronics driving Harbeth 40.2. This was possibly my favorite room of the show.
- Really enjoyed the quiet room with the Sennheiser HE-1 $60k headphone system. Finally, a headphone that bests my HD-800S in every possible way. If this were a CanJam, there'd be a line or signup for this setup.


Thank you for visiting and posting your impressions, austinpop!

---

Steve Guttenberg "The Audiophiliac" visited and mentioned our room in his quick preview video, here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ipMl7Itd1c
(Looking forward to seeing more coverage from him, hopefully soon!  And check out his ever-growing channel on YouTube)

I also had the pleasure of being interviewed after show hours by Brian Hunter of Part Time Audiophile for his "The Occasional Podcast" series - I'll post a link when it comes out. 

Overall, I was very fortunate to have the prototype L2 Signature Monoblocks playing in time for AXPONA.  I really wish you all could have seen the L2 Signature Preamplifier (Like the L2 amps, it will be SOLID.  It's also a real looker, too!  :wink:).  I'm still getting it all in order and am aiming to have it in production late June / early July.  So far, so good!  8)   I'll certainly have some images to share of it in the next few weeks.


[L2 Signature Monoblocks, front/rear view]

Beyond all the gear and the music, I was so thrilled to have such a busy room all 3 days of the show.  The traffic rarely let up, and the amount of enthusiasm and excitement in the room was much appreciated and made exhibiting well worth it for me!  You guys made me feel like a celebrity (well, a very geeky one at that - LOL)!  Thanks again to everyone who stopped over to listening, and I hope to hear more from others when they have time to post their feedback. 

More show reports are coming soon...

Vinnie

Folsom

Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #11 on: 18 Apr 2018, 05:15 am »
Now my imagination is working! Those look great and I just cannot help but totally wonder what the heatsink system looks like.

aKnyght

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Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #12 on: 18 Apr 2018, 02:25 pm »
When I returned from the show, I found an email from a customer who found this on the Audio Shark forum:

http://www.audioshark.org/axpona-138/best-show-ymmv-axpona-2018-a-14101.html

(The Volti / Border Patrol / Triode Wire Labs room was also on his Top 3 list, so Triode Pete's cabling was working magic in both rooms!)

vinnie -

that was an outstanding demonstration... the sound was just so enjoyable, even in those difficult listening conditions. the combination of the LIO DHT preamp, L2 monoblocks, harbeths, and triode wire labs cabling should be in the dictionary for "audio synergy" !

i have to hear more of the LIO DHT preamp -- really amazing... fwiw, the one source and the one pre-amp that i have heard using DHTs are quite special. i think you are at the forefront of something likely to be adopted more widely in the future.

« Last Edit: 18 Apr 2018, 06:14 pm by aKnyght »

Vinnie R.

Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #13 on: 18 Apr 2018, 06:14 pm »
Hi aKnyght,

Welcome to Audiocircle and the VR forum!

Thanks for visiting and posting your feedback.  I agree that there is something very special about using DHT's (and
those TAK 300B's in the LIO DHT PRE are sublime).  Just wait until you hear them in the upcoming L2 Signature Preamplifier circuit -
it will be a jaw-dropping experience, especially with the L2 Sig. Monoblocks...  Wink2

Glad you enjoyed it - thanks again!

Vinnie


rollo

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Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #14 on: 18 Apr 2018, 06:57 pm »
Hi theobetley and mirekti,

It was a pleasure to have you both at AXPONA, and thank you for your feedback of our demo room! :notworthy:

Hey Triode Pete,

As usual, your cabling helped us get the most out of our system - thanks for teaming up with us this year!
I must have swapped your American speaker cables between the three Harbeth models well over 100 times as many attendees were
curious to listen how they compared.  They remained solid and never let me down, and thank you for the custom length that made swapping easy.  :beer:

-----

More feedback of our room, from Computer Audiophile member "austinpop:"
https://www.computeraudiophile.com/ca/audio-shows/axpona-2018-show-report-r707/

Thank you for visiting and posting your impressions, austinpop!

---

Steve Guttenberg "The Audiophiliac" visited and mentioned our room in his quick preview video, here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ipMl7Itd1c
(Looking forward to seeing more coverage from him, hopefully soon!  And check out his ever-growing channel on YouTube)

I also had the pleasure of being interviewed after show hours by Brian Hunter of Part Time Audiophile for his "The Occasional Podcast" series - I'll post a link when it comes out. 

Overall, I was very fortunate to have the prototype L2 Signature Monoblocks playing in time for AXPONA.  I really wish you all could have seen the L2 Signature Preamplifier (Like the L2 amps, it will be SOLID.  It's also a real looker, too!  :wink:).  I'm still getting it all in order and am aiming to have it in production late June / early July.  So far, so good!  8)   I'll certainly have some images to share of it in the next few weeks.


[L2 Signature Monoblocks, front/rear view]

Beyond all the gear and the music, I was so thrilled to have such a busy room all 3 days of the show.  The traffic rarely let up, and the amount of enthusiasm and excitement in the room was much appreciated and made exhibiting well worth it for me!  You guys made me feel like a celebrity (well, a very geeky one at that - LOL)!  Thanks again to everyone who stopped over to listening, and I hope to hear more from others when they have time to post their feedback. 

More show reports are coming soon...

Vinnie





rollo

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  • Rollo Audio Where Home demo rules
Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #15 on: 18 Apr 2018, 07:38 pm »
  Sorry posted in error my bad. Great show as always Vinnie.


charles

Vinnie R.

Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #16 on: 19 Apr 2018, 10:57 pm »
  Sorry posted in error my bad. Great show as always Vinnie.
charles

Thanks, Charles!
---

Carol Clark of Positive Feedback just posted:

https://positive-feedback.com/show-reports/axpona-2081-photo-essay-part-3/


[Photo Credit: Carol Clark / Positive Feedback]

Quote from: Carol Clark of Positive Feedback
Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT preamplifier and L2 Signature monoblock amplifiers. Harbeth Monitor 40.2, Monitor 30.2, and P3ESR 40th Anniversary Editions loudspeakers. Triode Wire Labs power cables, speaker cables, and interconnects. Vinnie is such a nice guy and his rooms always sound so nice.

Thanks for visiting our room, Carol (and Dave)!  It was a pleasure to have you both as usual.  8)

Vinnie

Vinnie R.

Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #17 on: 20 Apr 2018, 04:11 pm »
The show coverage continues... this time from Brian Hunter of Audio-Head:

https://audio-head.com/vinnie-rossi-new-statement-monos-and-pre-axpona-2018/

Quote from: Brian Hunter / Audio-Head.com
Vinnie Rossi has me all tied up with the idea that I have to get my hands on a pair of Harbeths. Why? Because every time I hear his near field presentation at an audio show, it sound like angels singing…

In his room arrangement at AXPONA this year the speakers are placed along the long wall, instead of the far side – reducing the space between listener and transducer to a few mere meters. The image is always tight, direct and unique from almost all the other rooms at the show.


[Photo: LIO DHT Preamplifier with Takutsuki 300B's and internal DAC 2.0 module.  New black anodized aluminum front panel and black aluminum buttons / knobs]
[Photo credit: Brian Hunter / Audio-Head.com]

Thanks for visiting, Brian (and the after-hours podcast for Part Time Audiophile)... lots of fun!  :guitar:

Vinnie

Bones13

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Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 02:37 pm »
Is the aluminum front (in silver) going to be a option/standard going forward? Also, I understand the phono module might be getting improved for the L2 statement pre, is the DAC 2.0 also getting improved soon as well?

Vinnie R.

Re: AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 09:46 pm »
Is the aluminum front (in silver) going to be a option/standard going forward? Also, I understand the phono module might be getting improved for the L2 statement pre, is the DAC 2.0 also getting improved soon as well?

Hi Bones13,

Going forward, LIO front/side panels are offered in both black and silver anodized aluminum options (no more Corian).
Knobs/buttons are also now offered black or silver anodized aluminum. 

The latest version for 2018 is as shown above (logo size has been reduced a bit, with red in the middle, and a finer grade of brushed aluminum on the front / sides). 

LIO Phonostage as is currently shown on our website is not going away, but there is a new "L2 Phonostage" in the works.  It is an entirely new design from the ground-up that I worked on with Brian Lowe of Belleson (yes, it's Belleson super-regulated as well), and I hope to have it available sometime in June.  I'll have more info to share about it next month, but the cool part is that it is also compatible with LIO.  :)

The "L2 DAC" will be based on the LIO DAC 2.0 module, but with a few sonic upgrades on-board and slightly different firmware to make it compatible with the L2 Preamplifier.  I'll have more info about this later as well.

---

Right now I'm still working around the clock on getting L2 Monoblocks into production later next month, and the L2 Preamplifier into production later in June.   :hyper:

Hopefully I'll have pics of the L2 Preamplifier to share in a week or two.  I hired the exceptionally talented David Evett of Evett Design to work with me on the aesthetic design of both the L2 Preamplifier and L2 Monoblocks.  In home audio, Evett worked on the aesthetic design of the recently introduced Spatial Audio X series loudspeakers, as well as a projects with Western Electric and Wavelength Audio.  Outside of audio, he has done work for larger companies such as Ferrari and Apple. 

I also hired a phenomenal PCB layout engineer for all my L2 Series designs. 

We're getting close!  :wink:

Vinnie