Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?

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catmansound

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 27
Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #20 on: 2 Apr 2015, 04:02 pm »
I'm only going to comment on one particular item, as there are several threads going on within this multi-tiered dialog.

I'm a bit concerned the LIO may not have enough peak power/current for the Dynaudios. Peaks in classical music (and also in movies) can be +20dB or even more.  However, my current amplifier is 40wpc Class A SET and it does a fine job. In my experience SET amps do sound a lot louder than their SS counterparts due to the soft clipping of tubes and as such the 120w of the Devialet is comparable.

I purchased the LIO with tube stage, RVC, phonostage and MOSFET Amp and I'm running with DALI Epicon 8, 3 way 500wpc and i was worried too. (my CD is Esoteric X-01 and my vinyl gear is Rega P7, Exacta cartridge). Vinnie had to convince me to try the MOSFET. Here's what I hear. Around volume level 24 or 28, depending on what i'm listening to, it kicks in very nicely, low volume but really silky smooth. Around volume level 35 and up, the full range of music is there, 38 to 42 seems right for my very large living room (about 22' deep by 40' wide), highs very crisp, (you need to hear Annie Lennox's new album, Nastolgia, through this system, brings tears to your eyes, no kidding), mid range like I've never heard coming out of these speakers before, and bass, tight and very clear. I just swapped out for another set of Mullards, (sorry Vinnie had to try something else just cause), which brought the bass more forward which I like. Before the LIO, I had Vinnie's Isabella & 70.2's, (loyal customer I guess). The only gripe I have is that with the Isabella & 70.2's, I can boost the volume with the gain switch up and cause ear splitting levels. When I peak at 63 with the MOSFET, it gets pretty darn loud, not as loud as the LFP-V's, but really loud to the point that any sane person just wouldn't go there... and to my surprise I can't hear any clipping, not to say it's not there just that I can't hear any, no clicks or pops or stutters, nothing but music to my ear (sorry for the cliche).

Anyway, my wife complains anything over volume 30, so rarely do I get to crank it up, and only if I decide to listen to Tom Petty or Joe Strummer. In most cases though I'm listening to Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett or Alfred Brendel's Beethoven Piano & Cello sonatas for example. I guess the older I get, the more I refine and expand my musical tastes.

Bottom line, this amp must be so efficient maybe due to the ultra caps that you really don't need more power. However, saying that, even if I don't 'need' more power, I guess I just 'want' more. I'm still waiting for the separate 200wpc amp soon to be released (right Vinnie?). That way I can pump the internal to a pair of really nice Vienna Acoustic bookshelf speakers I have and the soon to be released beast to the Dali's. Why Not? Actually, Vinnie, can I do that?

Vinnie R.

Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #21 on: 4 Apr 2015, 04:10 am »
Vinnie,

Have you the heard any of the Expert Devialets (120, 200, 400, 800) with speakers on their SAM list?

http://en.devialet.com/speakers/?utm_source=Members+EN&utm_campaign=7167fcde96-NL1_EN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_707f1626e4-7167fcde96-129926517

Hi jhm731,

Yes to listening to the Devialets (the 120 and 200), but no to listening to SAM with speakers on their list.


Hi catmansound,

Thank you for your post.

Quote
Bottom line, this amp must be so efficient maybe due to the ultra caps that you really don't need more power.

The ultracaps do not make the amp more "efficient" (it is a Class AB amp, so not as efficient as Class D) - but it does have excellent
current output - and that is what makes a huge different.  Clean power / high current!

Soon enough, we might be reading a review that mentions LIO and how it does with a pair of Magenpan .7's (86dB, 4-ohm).  8)


All,

The current is all there with LIO.  It *may* or may not be enough power to drive certain speakers at LOUD levels, but if you are not one
to really crank it up when listening, you probably will find that LIO will do a great job with most speakers out there!  At least try it - and you can always return the LIO MOSFET Amp module (30-day refund policy) if you favor your more powerful external power amp  :wink:

Quote
I'm still waiting for the separate 200wpc amp soon to be released (right Vinnie?).

*Hopefully* this Fall on the separate ultracapitor, higher power amp.  There is a lot on my plate right now and LIO and future modules are taking priority.

Quote
That way I can pump the internal to a pair of really nice Vienna Acoustic bookshelf speakers I have and the soon to be released beast to the Dali's. Why Not? Actually, Vinnie, can I do that?

Yes - if you mean use LIO's MOSFET amp speaker outputs for the VA speakers, and later use the LIO's preamp outputs to feed the higher power external amp to drive Dali's.  Sure - because you can use your configured LIO as an Integrated Amp, Preamp, or both!

Quote
However, saying that, even if I don't 'need' more power, I guess I just 'want' more.

I know - because then it would "go to 11"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOO5S4vxi0o  :green:

Vinnie

jhm731

Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #22 on: 4 Apr 2015, 09:49 pm »
Hi jhm731,

Yes to listening to the Devialets (the 120 and 200), but no to listening to SAM with speakers on their list.

Vinnie

Vinnie,

If you send me a LIO, I'd be happy to compare it to my Devialet on my SAM ready speakers and post my results here.

I'll turn the Devialet's output power down to match the LIO's.

mr_bill

Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #23 on: 5 Apr 2015, 12:41 am »
Jhm
Which speakers are you using with the Devialet and SAM?

jhm731

Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #24 on: 5 Apr 2015, 05:54 am »
Jhm
Which speakers are you using with the Devialet and SAM?
I'll provide that info to Vinnie, if he's interested in sending me a LIO.

jtwrace

Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #25 on: 5 Apr 2015, 05:57 am »
I'll provide that info to Vinnie, if he's interested in sending me a LIO.
Since I'm in HI right now I would've island hopped to come listen.   :green:   I love this place. 

jhm731

Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #26 on: 5 Apr 2015, 06:19 am »
Since I'm in HI right now I would've island hopped to come listen.   :green:   I love this place.
Enjoy your vacation, I doubt Vinnie will send me a LIO.

jtwrace

Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #27 on: 5 Apr 2015, 06:39 am »
Enjoy your vacation, I doubt Vinnie will send me a LIO.
Thanks, been coming for 16 yrs and one day I'm not going back.  He might..he does have a 30 day money back.   ;)

Vinnie R.

Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #28 on: 6 Apr 2015, 04:17 pm »
Vinnie,

If you send me a LIO, I'd be happy to compare it to my Devialet on my SAM ready speakers and post my results here.

I'll turn the Devialet's output power down to match the LIO's.

Hi jhm731,

Thank you for your offer.  I would consider it if I didn't have the backlog of orders and if things were slower right now.  All the units that we are backlogged with now have to go to customers who are waiting, and reviewers who are waiting.

I am also familiar enough about how they compare (minus the SAM thing).  I also think it is best for any customers considering both units is to try both of them in their home, connected to their system, and decide which one to keep.  :wink:

Happy listening,

Vinnie

timkolacny

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #29 on: 10 Apr 2015, 03:21 am »
As someone who strongly considered a Devialet prior to purchasing my LIO (and even auditioned one at home), I'll make a couple comments...

1. The Devialet amp is technically class D but pushes on a class A source signal (lots of literature on this that I still don't fully understand).  It is one of the main propositions of the brand. It isn't SET quality class A in my opinion, but it is pretty good. And the power ratings matter - the 240 will sound significantly more authoritative than the 120 on most speakers.

2. Everything is done in the digital domain and converted to analog only at the time of amplification (again, lots of literature that I don't quite understand). The phono stage (operating in digital) is surprisingly good and is actually the favorite stage of a dealer friend. I believe the latest PS Audio phono stage takes a similar approach. This seems to be a growing trend.

3. Like almost all AC powered equipment, it requires good clean power to operate optimally. We're talking expensive cords and power regeneration equipment in order to match what you get from the LIO's ultracapacitors for free. This was ultimately it's downfall for me.

4. Finally, it can be finicky to properly configure - especially if you don't use an existing speaker profile. If LIO is like Mac/Windows plug and play, Devialet is more like UNIX command line configuration. Not fun for the average person (though presumably once you have it set, you don't need to re-set it).

Bottom line, I think the Devialet and LIO are aiming to serve similar audiences, but it is not an apples to apples comparison since the ultimate price for the Devialet likely will include AC conditioning equipment and good power cords. And for my tastes, having the tube stage of the LIO gives me that touch of 'air' that I feel the Devialet lacked when I auditioned it.

As for specific comparisons beyond what I've mentioned, it's been too long since I've listened to the Devialet to give you more.  But I have zero regrets with the LIO and won't be looking back. 

Tim

LIO Delux
KEF LS-50
Auralic Aries
Rega RP6
Anticables

firedog

Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #30 on: 10 Apr 2015, 06:28 am »
Just to be precise - the Devialet is NOT a class D amp. It produces the audio signal purely in class A and then a switching amp is used to provide current. The technology is a proprietary Devialet invention.

Vinnie R.

Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #31 on: 10 Apr 2015, 05:08 pm »
Hi timkolacny,

Thanks for your post!


Just to be precise - the Devialet is NOT a class D amp. It produces the audio signal purely in class A and then a switching amp is used to provide current. The technology is a proprietary Devialet invention.

Hi firedog,

Yes, it uses a Class A amp to mainly set the voltage, but *most* of the current delivery to the speakers comes from a Class D
amp.  :wink:

While not the same, LIO uses Class A (Tubestage - and input mosfets of the speaker amp) to set the output voltage, and power mosfets to provide the current to the speakers.  It's still what I would call a Class AB output stage in the case of the LIO. 

However, the most important thing is the sound.  You can achieve excellent sound from Class A, AB, D, T, hybrid.  It's all in the implementation.   :)

Vinnie

JP78

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 729
Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #32 on: 23 Apr 2015, 08:05 am »

While not the same, LIO uses Class A (Tubestage - and input mosfets of the speaker amp) to set the output voltage, and power mosfets to provide the current to the speakers.  It's still what I would call a Class AB output stage in the case of the LIO. 

However, the most important thing is the sound.  You can achieve excellent sound from Class A, AB, D, T, hybrid.  It's all in the implementation.   :)

Vinnie

Amen Vinnie! I'm a firm believer in there being no right topology, just the right designer/manufacturer. :)

Okay, well I wanted to check in here and say thank you for everyone's thoughts and notes, and just provide some quick updates at my end.

1. I briefly communicated with Jeff Dorgay at Tone Audio and he said he did find SAM to have a very positive impact with the C1. This is the first concrete confirmation I have of the synergy with my (hopefully) future speakers. This means I will definitely have to try the Devialet.

2. The feedback from tubestage LIO owners is amazing, and means I'll definitely have to try the LIO as well now.

3. I believe I found a pair of C1 and stands and we're now trying to negotiate logistics - this pair is in Europe and I'm in the States.  Thankfully the warranty is transferable and the Dynaudio North America facility is right outside Chicago.

4. My current amplifier is still at Bel Canto, though this is no fault of theirs.  Though the design is 15 years old, it still uses PCB for the remote switching logic so it's proving difficult to reverse-engineer a proper replacement solution.  However, I'll be getting brand new transformers and caps which is pretty much all an SET amp needs to be made current. Matt Cramer is a brilliant guy who was part of the original design team.  He's working on it directly so the SETi 40 will have its best foot forward when being compared with.

Okay, so now I'm officially sitting around waiting for:

- speakers to get here
- current amp to come back to me and be broken-in
- Devialet to debug their wifi streaming solution
- LIO to come out with a wifi streaming solution

Well that's all I have.  I won't be updating this thread until Vinnie is ready to release his streaming solution and I'm ready to order a LIO (unless someone has a question specifically for me). 

Thanks again everyone for all the help! AC is truly a special place.
« Last Edit: 24 Apr 2015, 08:14 am by JP78 »

JP78

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 729
Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #33 on: 23 Apr 2015, 08:32 am »
As someone who strongly considered a Devialet prior to purchasing my LIO (and even auditioned one at home), I'll make a couple comments...

1. The Devialet amp is technically class D but pushes on a class A source signal (lots of literature on this that I still don't fully understand).  It is one of the main propositions of the brand. It isn't SET quality class A in my opinion, but it is pretty good. And the power ratings matter - the 240 will sound significantly more authoritative than the 120 on most speakers.

2. Everything is done in the digital domain and converted to analog only at the time of amplification (again, lots of literature that I don't quite understand). The phono stage (operating in digital) is surprisingly good and is actually the favorite stage of a dealer friend. I believe the latest PS Audio phono stage takes a similar approach. This seems to be a growing trend.

3. Like almost all AC powered equipment, it requires good clean power to operate optimally. We're talking expensive cords and power regeneration equipment in order to match what you get from the LIO's ultracapacitors for free. This was ultimately it's downfall for me.

4. Finally, it can be finicky to properly configure - especially if you don't use an existing speaker profile. If LIO is like Mac/Windows plug and play, Devialet is more like UNIX command line configuration. Not fun for the average person (though presumably once you have it set, you don't need to re-set it).

Bottom line, I think the Devialet and LIO are aiming to serve similar audiences, but it is not an apples to apples comparison since the ultimate price for the Devialet likely will include AC conditioning equipment and good power cords. And for my tastes, having the tube stage of the LIO gives me that touch of 'air' that I feel the Devialet lacked when I auditioned it.

As for specific comparisons beyond what I've mentioned, it's been too long since I've listened to the Devialet to give you more.  But I have zero regrets with the LIO and won't be looking back. 

Tim

LIO Delux
KEF LS-50
Auralic Aries
Rega RP6
Anticables

Tim thank you for your notes - this is incredibly helpful. A quick reply to your points:

3. This is a strong point though I do already have a very good power supply source in the AVS2000.  While not particularly expensive I've been very happy with the performance and this unit did ultimately replace a much more expensive BPT 3.5 Ultra.  I'm comfortable trying this power unit with either amp and not worrying for it being a bottleneck.

4. I'll be auditioning the amps with SAM-enabled speakers, but your point is well-noted in the event I do change out models.  The non-intuitive user interface seems to go along with the reports of finicky WiFi streaming, though those that do have trouble-free operation seem to really like the precision of the volume and ease-of-use. I've also been told that if I am using SAM-enabled speakers the setup is a piece of cake.

I'm trying to stay away from all the finicky audiophile stuff and so the comments about the Devialet quirks worry me.  I don't want to have to memorize a sequence like a launch control pilot every time I want to play my system.  I also need it to be easy for friends to bring their own music and use without needing to download several pieces of software and only play music with a certain bitrate for optimal results.  I just want to listen to the music I love and be exposed to as much new music as possible.

(5). The 'touch of air' is exactly what I'm worried about missing with the Devialet. The fact the LIO has a Class A tube buffer and that Vinnie is the one who designed it makes it too hard to not audition.

PS. I can only go from paper, but your system seems balanced and well thought out.  I'm sure the music sounds great. I'm glad to hear you're satisfied and kicking up your feet. I'm looking forward to the same - hopefully in the next few months.

Best,
« Last Edit: 24 Apr 2015, 08:13 am by JP78 »

Vinnie R.

Re: Devialet 120 vs LIO Deluxe?
« Reply #34 on: 28 Apr 2015, 05:02 pm »
Quote
The 'touch of air' is exactly what I'm worried about missing with the Devialet. The fact the LIO has a Class A tube buffer and that Vinnie is the one who designed it makes it too hard to not audition.

PS. I can only go from paper, but your system seems balanced and well thought out.  I'm sure the music sounds great. I'm glad to hear you're satisfied and kicking up your feet. I'm looking forward to the same - hopefully in the next few months.

Hi JP78,

Thanks for your post, and as always, please call me or send an email if you have any questions.  Hopefully we'll have a wifi streaming solution for LIO in place by the end of this summer...

Vinnie