Cool - thank you!So to summarize, we have:
- A higher powered amplifier module (most likely would need to be a Class D variant - and a very good sounding Class D implementation at that].
- Some form of DSP module (EQing, digital volume control, etc)
- ADC capability >> converting to USB for vinyl ripping
- DC power output module (to feed external components from the LIO's PURE-DC-4EVR supply).
All good ideas and this is what this thread is all about!
1) I will have to look into miniDSP's offerings on this. I'm not sure if they are doing things in the analog or digital domain, but I think that I would like to do it in the analog domain (line-level). We'll see...
2) The ultracap supply would have no trouble
driving the demand of multiple amps - that is not a concern.
The reason why there is no room for another amp module is because in the LIO, each module location is designed to work with that particular type of module. For instance, the LIO INPUTs module (and its corresponding location on the main board) take external, analog line-level signals into the LIO. It is not meant for the LIO Dac, or HPA, or any of the others.
LIO MOSFET Amp's location feeds power and line-level signal to this module (and a few other signals like MUTE, which essentially grounds the gates of the mosfets to keep them from amplifying audio). This module is larger than some of the others such as LIO HPA, LIO INPUTS, LIO OUTPUTS, etc.
LIO Phonostage is actually the same size as the LIO MOSFET Amp module, but where it connects to the main board, the signal from the phonostage gets sent INTO
the LIO. No audio signal from the LIO main board is fed into the Phonostage module like we do for the MOSFET Amp. Different modules have different inputs/outputs. Here is more information if you guys are interested:
Inside LIO, there are multiple (but specific) module locations for:
- LIO MOSFET AMP (speaker power output stage)
- LIO INPUTS (3 analog line-level inputs)
- LIO OUTPUTS (2 preamp outputs, and 1 fixed level out)
- LIO PHONOSTAGE
- LIO DSD/PCM Dac
- LIO Headphone Amp (HPA)
- LIO Tubestage (which is the same location were we would install the Autoformer Volume Control (AVC) if that
was ordered instead of the Tubestage)
There are also
locations were a module connects on top of another module, such as:
- LIO DSD/PCM Dac (the lower module handles the USB and SPDIF inputs, reclocking and jitter reduction, conversion to I2S, voltage regulation for the digital side.... and the upper module handles the d/a conversion and analog output stage, voltage regulation for analog side)
- LIO RCL (remote cartridge loading) plugs on top of the LIO Phonostage for those who want this option
- LIO RVC (resistor volume control) plugs on top of LIO Inputs module
NOTE: All these modules, as well as the main board (LIO MB) that connects them together, takes up the back half of the entire LIO. The front half of the LIO is dedicated for the LIO PURE-DC-4EVR module. And there is also a LIO CONTROL module that is attached directly to the front panel (knobs, buttons, IR receiver, Bluetooth, 3-digit display).
Once we are in production, I do plan to shoot a few videos and have a few professional photoshoots that show all of this in much more detail (mapping the LIO module locations, showing how easy modules are installed, etc). I know up until this point it has been more of a concept and everyone is waiting to see how it all works in action, especially if you have not been the last two audio shows where I introduced LIO. The reason why I have not gotten to the video and photoshoots yet is because up until this point, all that has been shown are prototype units - pretty good looking ones, but not as good as what the production units will be!
So back to what Ultralight has posted about having two separate amplifier modules - I think now it (hopefully) makes more sense why there cannot be two separate power amp modules. HOWEVER - I do believe I can make a specialized amp module that has 4 separate output channels (LEFT LOW-PASS, LEFT HIGH-PASS, RIGHT LOW-PASS, RIGHT HIGH-PASS). Each channel would have the FULL power (25, 45, 65WPC into 8, 4, 2 ohm) as the current LIO amp. I'm sure we'd have to double-up on the heatsink area, but it is all DOABLE. The only real issue I see right now is TIME. This is something that I won't realistically be able to even start looking into until Spring 2015. Just too busy right now... but let's keep this thread alive and over the months, I'll be referring back to it, polling to get a good idea on the order of working on some of these ideas, and hopefully there will be a lot more feedback posted here over the next few months. Exciting stuff!