LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"

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Vinnie R.

LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« on: 2 Dec 2014, 09:50 pm »
All,

Let's use this thread for you to post your ideas and suggestions for future LIO modules.  :idea:

For example:

Suggestion: LIO Inputs and LIO Outputs modules that offer balanced (XLR) jacks.

VR's comment:  I'll be working on this early 2015!


I can't promise I can do everything you are looking for, and I also need to mention that the ideas that the most people seem
to have interest in will probably get worked on first. 

I appreciate all your feedback and interest!

Vinnie
« Last Edit: 15 Mar 2015, 05:03 pm by Vinnie R. »

Ultralight

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #1 on: 2 Dec 2014, 10:24 pm »
Super Vinnie,

Thanks!
 
Two from a neophyte.  Figure I'd repeat the first though I've mentioned the possibility to you in conversation.
 
1. Having an output for self powered subwoofers with variable crossover so that someone can do a 2.1 system easily without having to use the sub's high/low pass filters which degrades sound.  Not sure how complicated that would be to implement but I believe many who have monitors would love to be able to add a sub with minimal fuss and highest quality.
 
2. Looks like you have room for five component - am I right?  If so, can one use TWO amps?  That would be four channel output which will allow one to biamp.  If you have adjustable crossover points, seems like your unit can basically run any dual driver speakers as an active speaker if properly wired, and thus avoid passive crossovers  I may be missing something but if I'm correct, it would be an even more amazing unit - DAC, tube, volume control & active amping. 
 
Of course, being a neophyte, I  may not be understanding the concept correctly. But for what its worth, if it is just a smallish hardware and software tweak in the larger scheme of things, could significantly broaden the capability.
 
UL


CarterB

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #2 on: 3 Dec 2014, 03:20 am »
I mentioned two in the other thread but will repost them here:

1) some sort of DSP/speaker correction module (maybe partner with DSPeaker)
2) a streaming module for the DAC. Personally, I'd be happy with AirPlay and/or Bluetooth but I'm sure handling higher data rates would be nice

Vinnie R.

Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #3 on: 3 Dec 2014, 04:50 pm »
Super Vinnie,

Thanks!
 
Two from a neophyte.  Figure I'd repeat the first though I've mentioned the possibility to you in conversation.
 
1. Having an output for self powered subwoofers with variable crossover so that someone can do a 2.1 system easily without having to use the sub's high/low pass filters which degrades sound.  Not sure how complicated that would be to implement but I believe many who have monitors would love to be able to add a sub with minimal fuss and highest quality.
 
2. Looks like you have room for five component - am I right?  If so, can one use TWO amps?  That would be four channel output which will allow one to biamp.  If you have adjustable crossover points, seems like your unit can basically run any dual driver speakers as an active speaker if properly wired, and thus avoid passive crossovers  I may be missing something but if I'm correct, it would be an even more amazing unit - DAC, tube, volume control & active amping. 
 
Of course, being a neophyte, I  may not be understanding the concept correctly. But for what its worth, if it is just a smallish hardware and software tweak in the larger scheme of things, could significantly broaden the capability.
 
UL

Hi UL,

1) This can be done.  Do you'd want a dedicated subwoofer output channel and the ability to set the crossover freq., and this would also set the high-pass freq. of the speaker outputs, correct? 

2) Well, there is not room for another amplifier module.  But I probably could make a 4-channel output board (for bi-amping). As far as the crossover board, the challenge becomes everyone is going to want not only a different crossover frequency, but also a different slope (e.g  1st, 2nd, 3rd... order).  There is only so much space for all those possibilities.  :o

But this kinda of ties into what CarterB wrote:

Quote
I mentioned two in the other thread but will repost them here:

1) some sort of DSP/speaker correction module (maybe partner with DSPeaker)

Hi Carter,

I have not played with DSP speaker correct module, but it might be something that could be custom integrated in, and would also allow for precise crossover settings. 

With regards to what UL and you are asking for there, it would be something that I would consider looking into next year if there was enough interest in it. 


As for:

Quote
2) a streaming module for the DAC. Personally, I'd be happy with AirPlay and/or Bluetooth but I'm sure handling higher data rates would be nice

I believe THIS would appeal to a larger audience, and I've received a few emails about this one already.  ;-)

I will definitely be looking into this one in 2015!

Vinnie

brh

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #4 on: 3 Dec 2014, 07:16 pm »
This doesn't particularly interest me, but I'll throw it out there since it may interest those who want a higher powered amplifier without an additional box... A Class D power amp module.

I would imagine, perhaps, the potential DSP (or even a relatively simple EQ) module taking over the volume control slot, and relegating master attenuation to the digital realm as well?

I don't know if/how this fits into the internals of LIO, but an ADC module could be handy for people who are using it as a phono preamp, but also want to 'rip' their vinyl.

I believe you mentioned there may be a power output module coming down the road? Similar to the DC out on some of the RWA products?

And you also mentioned additional tube stages, but I'm just going to plop my vote in here for that...

Ultralight

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #5 on: 6 Dec 2014, 10:22 pm »
Greetings Again Vinnie,

1. Yes, lowpass for subwoofer out and high pass for the speaker.  Both integrated with changeable slope and crossover point.  (i.e. miniDSP type solution and they do so with very small boards)  And the high pass for the speakers can be set for both the RCA outputs and Amplifier output.

2. Trust your comment as a designer.  However, not sure why no room for another amplifier module.  I see slots for five components in the one chassis.  Can't one has 2 amplifiers, 1 volume control, 1 dac for example?  That's four and still have one space open.  Or is it an issue of the capacitors not being able to handle that much power demand for two amps?

Thanks,
UL

Hi UL,

1) This can be done.  Do you'd want a dedicated subwoofer output channel and the ability to set the crossover freq., and this would also set the high-pass freq. of the speaker outputs, correct? 

2) Well, there is not room for another amplifier module.  But I probably could make a 4-channel output board (for bi-amping). As far as the crossover board, the challenge becomes everyone is going to want not only a different crossover frequency, but also a different slope (e.g  1st, 2nd, 3rd... order).  There is only so much space for all those possibilities.  :o


Vinnie R.

Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #6 on: 7 Dec 2014, 03:51 am »
Hi brh,

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!  :thumb:

Hi Ultralight,

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!  :wink:

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!  :bounce:

Vinnie

firedog

Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #7 on: 7 Dec 2014, 04:36 pm »
Vinnie-

Given any thought to producing a standalone power supply from Ultracaps? (sort of like an Ultracap version of the Black Lightning). I would love to have something like that to power an audio server or perhaps some other component.


Gerry E.

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #8 on: 8 Jan 2015, 04:15 pm »
Hi Vinnie:

Here's what I would like to see: The best 2 - 10wpc amplifier module that you can make for those of us with high sensitivity speakers!  I understand that most requests are for more power, so I'm posting this to make sure all bases are covered!

How about a low power class A amp module?  Is that even possible?  Obviously, heat would be an issue.  Or maybe an amp module similar to what Nelson Pass is doing with his First Watt amps?  I'm just throwing out a few ideas, hoping something sticks.  You may end up just throwing them out - literally!  :)

Gerry               

roscoeiii

Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #9 on: 8 Jan 2015, 04:59 pm »
YES!

There will definitely be a stand-alone Ultracapacitor Power supply (same patent-pending technology as PURE-DC-4EVR used by LIO) coming in 2015.  It will be larger than a Black Lightning, with user-configurable output voltage(s).  It will be sold factory-direct under the Vinnie Rossi brand.

BUT - it probably won't be available until mid-2015.  It will, however, be a dream for certain components like computer servers and other gear that accepts DC voltage input(s).  :drool:

More on that later, ok?  :wink:

Vinnie

User configurable voltage? Wow. That's nice.

Vinnie R.

Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #10 on: 8 Jan 2015, 11:17 pm »

How about a low power class A amp module?  Is that even possible?  Obviously, heat would be an issue.  Or maybe an amp module similar to what Nelson Pass is doing with his First Watt amps?  I'm just throwing out a few ideas, hoping something sticks.  You may end up just throwing them out - literally!  :)

Gerry             

Hi Gerry,

Doing a low power Class A amp could be done, with a big n' chunky heatsink.  Probably not more than a handful of watts though (do to space limitations for the amp module).  We'll see...

Quote
User configurable voltage? Wow. That's nice.

Hi roscoeiii,

That's the idea.  8)   Via switches inside, one would be able to configure the output voltage for each jack (e.g. 3.3V, 5V, 12V, etc).
It will be a LIO-sized unit (not nearly as small as the Black Lightning) with serious heat-sinking as well...

Vinnie

brh

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #11 on: 9 Jan 2015, 01:23 am »
Doing a low power Class A amp could be done, with a big n' chunky heatsink.  Probably not more than a handful of watts though (do to space limitations for the amp module).  We'll see...

Just putting my vote in for this in case you're taking tallies…  :D

HT cOz

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #12 on: 9 Jan 2015, 01:33 am »
R2R DAC is what I'm most excited for these days. https://hifiduino.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/r2r-for-the-rest-of-us/

If you added two you could program a crossover etc.  you could also make a custom filter for you product.

Just an idea 


Vinnie R.

Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #13 on: 11 Jan 2015, 03:50 pm »
Just putting my vote in for this in case you're taking tallies…  :D

Thank you - and YES, I hope that many of you put in your votes.  Later on, I probably will do polling (tallies).

Quote
R2R DAC is what I'm most excited for these days. https://hifiduino.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/r2r-for-the-rest-of-us/

If you added two you could program a crossover etc.  you could also make a custom filter for you product.

Just an idea 

The LIO Dac is a two-board solution, with the upper board used only for d/a conversion and analog output stage.  So it won't be hard
to offer different upper boards using different d/a and analog output stage types.  And for the user, swapping between them is just
as easy as swapping a tube!

I'll check out that hifiduino link - thanks!

Vinnie


HT cOz

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #14 on: 11 Jan 2015, 04:53 pm »
Perhaps you could license the Dodd tube buffer as an option. It could be a great way to keep a classic going and it would show the almost unlitmed possibilities of the platform.

I'm sure your tube buffer is outstanding as well, so consider this as just throwing ideas out for an exciting platform.

Blu99Zoomer

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #15 on: 11 Jan 2015, 09:36 pm »
I would definitely second, third, fourth, etc. to low watt output, Class A amp mentioned by Gerry E..  I can't turn my Signature 15 up more than a little beyond 1 o'clock already or I am rattling the already loose windows.  Thanks Gerry E.!

Blu99Zoomer

Vinnie R.

Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #16 on: 12 Jan 2015, 03:12 am »
Perhaps you could license the Dodd tube buffer as an option. It could be a great way to keep a classic going and it would show the almost unlitmed possibilities of the platform.

I'm sure your tube buffer is outstanding as well, so consider this as just throwing ideas out for an exciting platform.

Hi HT cOz,

I'll pass on the Dodd buffer (and I have carefully listened to one in the past). 
I'm thinking that future tubestages will use a different family of tubes.... we'll see.

Quote
I would definitely second, third, fourth, etc. to low watt output, Class A amp mentioned by Gerry E..  I can't turn my Signature 15 up more than a little beyond 1 o'clock already or I am rattling the already loose windows.  Thanks Gerry E.!

Hi Blu99,

Ok - your vote for a low powered Class A amp module has been counted in!  8)

Vinnie

RDavidson

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #17 on: 12 Jan 2015, 03:54 am »
 :o Small Class A integrated amp with a crossover function?! That'd be AWESOME!
There are so few 2 channel receivers / integrateds with this kind of functionality. The whole idea makes so much sense to me, I don't understand why it is so uncommon. I guess more watts are cheaper to create than more sophistication? :scratch:

G Georgopoulos

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #18 on: 12 Jan 2015, 04:13 am »
:o Small Class A integrated amp with a crossover function?! That'd be AWESOME!
There are so few 2 channel receivers / integrateds with this kind of functionality. The whole idea makes so much sense to me, I don't understand why it is so uncommon. I guess more watts are cheaper to create than more sophistication? :scratch:

it's the engineering small class-a still run hot and require huge heatsinks... :green:

RDavidson

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Re: LIO Module "Ideas and Suggestions Thread"
« Reply #19 on: 12 Jan 2015, 04:43 am »
No. Actually, there are several Class A integrateds available today. It doesn't take a lot of engineering to design and manufacture appropriate heat sinks for a class A amp. What I'm wondering is why there aren't more integrated amps with crossovers?
This especially makes sense with a small class A amp. You wouldn't necessarily need massive heat sinks if the amp only puts out 3-5 wpc. With the addition of a crossover for bass management, those 3-5 wpc can go a very long way especially with hi eff, crossoverless, speakers.