The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread

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Vinnie R.

The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« on: 12 Jul 2017, 03:27 pm »
:idea: This will be the official LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread.  :idea:

LIO DAC 2.0 webpage:  http://www.vinnierossi.com/modules/dac2/

Description

LIO DAC 2.0 is our new, statement-level LIO d/a converter module.  It distinctly combines highly resolving, spacious and dynamic sound with a natural and emotionally engaging presentation.  Music flows in an effortless manner that mirrors true analog playback with its seductive midrange and organic tonality.

All inputs feature isolation from the digital source, advanced FPGA buffering/re-clocking using premium “femto-clock” oscillators and ultra low-noise voltage regulation stages throughout.  Pristine data feeds a dual-mono d/a implementation with independent, flagship AKM AK4497EQ converters per channel, each followed by a discrete Class-A output stage and positioned on dedicated circuit boards (a vertical stack of three separate boards minimizes both signal and power trace lengths).

LIO DAC 2.0 allows you to take full advantage of all your high resolution PCM (up to 32-bit / 768kHz) and DSD (up to native DSD512) music files, and also allows redbook CD files to sound rich and non-fatiguing with its NOS (non-oversampling), digital filterless playback mode.  Add icing to the cake by combining LIO DAC 2.0 module with our optional tube output stages (including DHT PRE) to provide an even greater level of midrange richness and realism rarely found with digital playback.

Features & Specifications

- Bit-perfect playback at sampling rates up to 768kHz (16, 24, or 32 bit compatible), as well up to DSD512.  Sample rates are viewable from front panel display (see note below)

- Dual-mono design, with one flagship AKM AK44497EQ d/a chip per channel

- Fully discrete, pure Class-A JFET analog outputs stage design with cascode constant-current source biasing (no opamps)

- On-board FPGA buffer and femto-reclocking circuitry negates effects of jitter.  Isolated input stages.

- ‘NOS’ (non-oversampling) filter mode with digital filter bypass, as well as a Minimal Phase digital filter mode (selected via the “FILTER” button on the LIO Remote)

- Absolute polarity ‘normal’ / Absolute polarity ‘inverted’ (selected via the “PHASE” button on the LIO Remote)

- Numerous ultra-low noise, linear voltage regulators used throughout (for both digital and analog sections)
   
- “Silent” mute relays (*barely* an audible click from the board when changing tracks of a different sample rate)
   
- Inputs: 1 USB, 1 Coax (75-ohm BNC, with included RCA adapter) and 1 TOSLINK (optical).  Connect up to three devices and switch between them via LIO front panel or the remote handset

- Output voltage: 2Vrms

- Output impedance: < 100 ohms

* Please note:  If you already own LIO, in order to correctly display the following sample rates, it must be sent in for a free firmware update: PCM 705 and 768kHz, DSD256 and DSD512. LIO DAC 2.0 will work perfectly fine w/o the firmware update, but the sample rates listed above will not show correctly on LIO’s front panel display.

Supported bit/sampling rates

- Mac OSX (no drivers needed):

PCM: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352, 384, 705, and 768kHz (16, 24, and 32-bit)
DSD: DSD64, DSD128, DSD256 (DoP)

- Windows PC (with included driver):

PCM: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352, 384, 705, and 768kHz (16, 24, and 32-bit)
DSD: DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, DSD512 (Native, or DoP)

- Using Sonore microRendu, ultraRendu, or SonicOrbiter SE:

PCM: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352, 384, 705, and 768kHz (16, 24, and 32-bit)
DSD: DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, DSD512 (Native, or DoP)


About LIO DAC 2.0’s USB isolation, buffer, and reclock circuit

The LIO DAC 2.0 USB input first goes through a galvanic isolation stage, and the USB 5V bus is only used as a 'signal' (not as a power source) to turn ON our "LIO power" to power the USB input section.  The entire LIO DAC 2.0 is powered from a main linear regulated feed from LIO's internal ultracapacitor power, and then there are numerous linear voltage regulators used for each of the three PCBs.

After the isolation, the digital data is fed into to our FPGA buffer and reclock circuitry (using a XILINX FPGA implementation and femto-clocks, which are also powered by their own dedicated super regulators for this section).  The reclocked digital output feeds the dual d/a chips (separate boards for L and R channels, which get their own linear regulators for the digital and analog sides of d/a chips and for their Class A analog output stages).

There is a lot going on in this design, and it has been in the works for well over a year now (and has taken up a ton of time and $$$). LIO DAC 2.0 does not have any design elements in common with the first “LIO DSD/PCM DAC” (except for the fact that it still has USB, coax, and optical inputs).  LIO DAC 2.0 is a "statement level" design for the LIO, where I am confident that many will find it holds its own against dacs into the $10K range, and far beyond if you are using a DHT PRE after it!


Pricing, availability, and trade-in of LIO DSD/PCM dac

Please visit: http://www.vinnierossi.com/modules/dac2/

LIO DAC 2.0 is entering production and right now is the time to pre-order and save $300!

- The pre-order price for the LIO DAC 2.0 module is $2995.  After July 31, 2017, the regular price will be $3295.

- LIO DAC 2.0 pre-orders are estimated to ship end of August / early September.

- Trade-in of your LIO DSD/PCM DAC module for a 100% trade-in credit of $895.

...

Vinnie R.

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #1 on: 12 Jul 2017, 03:29 pm »
About using Roon's upsampling with LIO DAC 2.0

Native DSD512 will work with the Sonore microRendu, ultraRendu, and Sonic Orbiter SE. 

This evening I tested it with my 2015 MacBook Air running Roon 1.3 via its Sample Rate Conversion (in the DSP Engine settings) to DSD512.

But first, you need to properly set it up, as follows: 

1) In Sonore's SonicOrbiter setup (www.sonicorbiter.com), you need to enable the Roon Ready app and then go to:

2) Settings > Roon Ready > DSD Support - you must select Native DSD (not DoP, or else Roon will
not allow for a sample rate conversion higher than DSD256).

3) In Roon, you need to go to: DSP Engine (enable it) > Sample Rate Conversion  (enable it) > 
Sample Rate Conversion drop down (select DSD) > DSD Sample Rate (select DSD512) >
Enable Native DSD Processing (select Yes)

Some things note:

- Make sure you have a computer that has sufficient resources to do the sample rate conversion to DSD512, and for sustained listening sessions.

This will be the signal path in Roon:



- I will post more later about how the Roon upsampling to DSD512 sounds with LIO DAC 2.0 vs using the NOS filter mode.  Simply put - it sounds awesome (but they have a different flavor)  8)  Upsampling via Roon to DSD256 (quad-DSD) also sounds nearly as good, and uses less processing power.   

- I also confirmed HQPlayer (integrated into Roon) filtering of native DSD512 works.  If you are integrating HQPlayer into Roon, you should see the signal path look something like this:



- I found that running HQPlayer filters with Roon conversion to DSD512 really taxed my CPU.  I am far from an HQPlayer whiz and receive setup help from mirekti.  I just wanted to post this to show that it works, and mention again that you should make sure you have
enough processing power if you want to try this.

Vinnie
« Last Edit: 12 Jul 2017, 05:36 pm by Vinnie R. »

Vinnie R.

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #2 on: 12 Jul 2017, 03:29 pm »
reserved space

mirekti

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 194
Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #3 on: 12 Jul 2017, 03:55 pm »

Well, I am in. :)

I will also start without FW upgrade as I could verify in Roon what exactly is sent to the DAC.
It would be great if the FW could be updated at home, though.

Vinnie R.

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #4 on: 12 Jul 2017, 05:55 pm »
Well, I am in. :
I will also start without FW upgrade as I could verify in Roon what exactly is sent to the DAC.
It would be great if the FW could be updated at home, though.

Hi mirekti,

The firmware update is not required, but it will be nice to have done so you can view "FREQ" on the LIO display and confirm the sampling rate feeding LIO DAC 2.0.  Yes, there are other ways to confirm as you mention.  When John and I were working on LIO's interface, I wish we added in a way for updates to be done by the customer. :oops:

All,

1) New LIOs will automatically have the new firmware, and I have just finished updating our website so LIO DAC 2.0 appears as an option for all the LIO product configurations (as well as "custom configure LIO").  If you guys find any typos, bugs, etc., please email me directly and I'll get them taken care of ASAP.

2) I just added some info about using the LIO DAC 2.0 with Roon upsampling (my 2nd post in this thread, above) and HQPlayer.

3) When your LIO DAC 2.0 ships, we will email you tracking info and a link to the Windows driver (Thesycon driver).  As mentioned above, no driver is needed if you are using Mac OSX or Sonore products like the microRendu.

4) I have not tested with SOTM SMS-200, but their website says "PCM 32bit/768KHz max, DSDx512 max" so I *assume* it will work fine and in a similar fashion to Sonore.


Orders are coming in quickly - thank you, everyone!   :hyper:  :singing:  :notworthy:
(the hard part is the waiting, but the summer will be over before you know it!)

Cheers,

Vinnie

jtwrace

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #5 on: 12 Jul 2017, 06:44 pm »
4) I have not tested with SOTM SMS-200, but their website says "PCM 32bit/768KHz max, DSDx512 max" so I *assume* it will work fine and in a similar fashion to Sonore.
If you need to test with the sMS-200 let me know and I'll ship you mine to try.  Or just ship me the LIO to try.   ;)   OR even better the ultracapacitor powered (MINI) standalone Dac 2.0   :P

Theobetley

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 38
Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #6 on: 12 Jul 2017, 09:37 pm »
I am missing info on the new firmware. Is it only for the Dac 2.0?

Vinnie R.

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #7 on: 12 Jul 2017, 09:39 pm »
I am missing info on the new firmware. Is it only for the Dac 2.0?

Hi Theobetley,

Yes, please see my first post in this thread above.

Quote
* Please note:  If you already own LIO, in order to correctly display the following sample rates, it must be sent in for a free firmware update: PCM 705 and 768kHz, DSD256 and DSD512. LIO DAC 2.0 will work perfectly fine w/o the firmware update, but the sample rates listed above will not show correctly on LIO’s front panel display.


Hi jtwrace,

Thank you for your offer.  I'll get in touch with you...

Vinnie

borelek

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 53
  • Best regards. serge
Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #8 on: 12 Jul 2017, 09:52 pm »
I'm in, as well

What kind of skill is necessary to make the FW upgrade ? There is probably one or two good technicians in Switzerland to make the job.

Vinnie R.

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #9 on: 12 Jul 2017, 10:06 pm »
I'm in, as well
What kind of skill is necessary to make the FW upgrade ? There is probably one or two good technicians in Switzerland to make the job.

Hi borelek,

For any decent technician (with a DIP extraction tool, phillips head screwdriver, and hex allen key for removing the front panel), it should be pretty easy.  I would simply send a new 40-pin DIP chip loaded with the new firmware (and I can email detailed instructions).  This chip, to be exact:



Vinnie

Mitch751

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 52
Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #10 on: 13 Jul 2017, 12:34 am »
I am so proud that I have just done the pre-order !!!

mirekti

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 194
Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #11 on: 13 Jul 2017, 12:39 pm »
About using Roon's upsampling with LIO DAC 2.0

- I will post more later about how the Roon upsampling to DSD512 sounds with LIO DAC 2.0 vs using the NOS filter mode.  Simply put - it sounds awesome (but they have a different flavor)  8)  Upsampling via Roon to DSD256 (quad-DSD) also sounds nearly as good, and uses less processing power.   

- I also confirmed HQPlayer (integrated into Roon) filtering of native DSD512 works.

- I found that running HQPlayer filters with Roon conversion to DSD512 really taxed my CPU.  I am far from an HQPlayer whiz...

I am really interested in comments about this one i.e. what path others will prefer, NOS or oversampled.
Here is a simplified example what is behind HQPlayer's oversampling http://www.signalyst.com/upsampling.html

sandmanct

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 16
Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #12 on: 13 Jul 2017, 05:13 pm »
Sorry if this had been asked already.  Is there a trade in with Lio  PCM DSD DAC  with Microrendu powersupply?
Thanks

borelek

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 53
  • Best regards. serge
Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #13 on: 13 Jul 2017, 05:18 pm »
Decent technician : found
Thanx Vinnie

Serge

Hi borelek,

For any decent technician (with a DIP extraction tool, phillips head screwdriver, and hex allen key for removing the front panel), it should be pretty easy.  I would simply send a new 40-pin DIP chip loaded with the new firmware (and I can email detailed instructions).  This chip, to be exact:



Vinnie

jtwrace

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #14 on: 13 Jul 2017, 05:41 pm »
Sorry if this had been asked already.  Is there a trade in with Lio  PCM DSD DAC  with Microrendu powersupply?
Thanks


See below which is from the first post. 





- Trade-in of your LIO DSD/PCM DAC module for a 100% trade-in credit of $895.

...

jriggy

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #15 on: 13 Jul 2017, 06:00 pm »
Dying to place my order!! Gotta wait till next week --dang new house! Hope that doesn't put me to far down the queue.


SteveKi

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 76
Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #16 on: 13 Jul 2017, 06:06 pm »

See below which is from the first post.

jtwrace,
That is not the board he is talking about. There is a $395 option for the DAC board which supplies power to the microRendu. There is not a choice in the pull down menu for trading in that version.
Steve

jtwrace

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #17 on: 13 Jul 2017, 06:22 pm »
jtwrace,
That is not the board he is talking about. There is a $395 option for the DAC board which supplies power to the microRendu. There is not a choice in the pull down menu for trading in that version.
Steve
There is only one dac and the µRendu power option was hand done and isn't offered anymore.  Only Vinnie can say whether he will offer the $395 credit for it but the Dac is obviously covered. 

mirekti

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 194
Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #18 on: 13 Jul 2017, 06:30 pm »

I might be wrong, but if I remember well I believe I read somewhere that those who added uR power on DAC could get that extra trade-in only if buying a power supply as well.
As you wrote, only Vinnie knows for sure what was offered.


Vinnie R.

Re: The LIO DAC 2.0 information and discussion thread
« Reply #19 on: 13 Jul 2017, 07:28 pm »
I am so proud that I have just done the pre-order !!!

Thanks again to ALL of you who pre-ordered LIO DAC 2.0 already - I was not expecting so many pre-orders in just 24 hours, and more still are coming in today!  :o    I still have more DAC 2.0 modules available from this first production batch currently in the works, but if you guys keep this up I'm going to completely sell out faster than I planned for - but I'll try not to complain about that. :green:  I'll just have to gear up for another batch.

Quote
Sorry if this had been asked already.  Is there a trade in with Lio  PCM DSD DAC  with Microrendu powersupply?
Thanks

Hi sandmanct and everyone who has the LIO DSD/PCM DAC+ (this was the special "+" version that I fitted with a super-regulated output for the microRendu for +$395).  Please email me directly about this if you are upgrading to LIO DAC 2.0.  One option is that we can apply that $395 towards a VR MINI...

Quote
Decent technician : found
Thanx Vinnie

Hi borelek,

Excellent - and please remember to email me for instructions on installing the new chip.  Others have emailed me about this as well, and I do see it as a better option for those who do not wish to ship their LIO back (especially customers outside the USA), and who feel comfortable doing this kind of delicate electronics work (or have a local tech to help with it).

Quote
Dying to place my order!! Gotta wait till next week -- dang new house! Hope that doesn't put me to far down the queue.

Hi jriggy,

Congratulations on your new house!  :beer:

---

John Darko of Digital Audio Review posted today about the LIO DAC 2.0:
http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2017/07/vinnie-rossi-announces-lio-dac-2-0-module/



Once I get through the pre-orders, I'll plan to get some out for review...

I will also be exhibiting in 2 rooms this fall at RMAF 2017, and both will have LIO Integrated fitted with LIO DAC 2.0.  But before then hopefully many of you will already be here posting your impressions.  :wink:  8)

Vinnie