LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review

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Timbana

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LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« on: 28 May 2015, 04:12 am »
Thought I'd share my excitement about my new audio toy (LIO). I was a little nervous about ordering the LIO without having heard one, especially since I first needed to sell some components I had been very happy with. In my previous system, I'd gone all out on power conditioning (Bybee Stealth and Lessloss Reference and Signature cords) to feed an Ayon Orion II and an Ayre QB-9 DSD. Interconnects were Wywires Platinum . . . and I had assembled the system through much trial and error to deliver the sonics I wanted.

In deciding to order the LIO with the tube stage module, I figured I would have a fair amount of flexibility to be able to tailor the sound to my liking. I've been using the LIO, with Telefunken E88CC's to drive Audience 2+2 speakers, and I'm not looking back, which is saying a lot considering my level of satisfaction with the previous system. The LIO/Audience combo rings all the right bells for me: focused, pure, tonally dense, transparent and dynamic. In addition to great sonic performance, the LIO is a looker . . . and helps feed an ongoing process of simplifying my life.

Congrats on a great concept and excellent execution, Vinnie - thanks!







brh

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #1 on: 28 May 2015, 01:28 pm »
Nice, a fellow Audience user..! My LIO has been driving The Ones up until now, but it's about to get moved to 2+2 duty...

Timbana

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #2 on: 29 May 2015, 12:35 am »
Cool! Have you been using The Ones in a desktop system? I've been tempted to pick some up for that purpose for a while now.

brh

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #3 on: 29 May 2015, 01:38 pm »
Yup, that's exactly how I've been using them, and I love them! Actually had those first, then invested in the 2+2s based on my enjoyment of The Ones. My desk setup before was in a corner, and I was able to play w/ proximity of the rear-firing passive radiators to the wall to 'dial in' the bass a bit, I did prefer them a bit closer to the wall. I haven't tried the LIO/2+2 combo yet, but in comparing the sound of the 2+2s and The Ones on my RWA Signature 16, the 2+2s felt a bit more effortless and full, but the two share the same wonderful sound profile (which makes sense, since the drivers are the same), and the sound that comes out of The Ones vs. the size of those speakers consistently makes me chuckle - it feels impossible. Really enjoyable desktop speakers.

Timbana

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #4 on: 30 May 2015, 01:07 am »
Thanks for your reply! I'm going to have to get around to trying out The Ones at some point . . . have my hands full financially at this point, but some day . . .

Vinnie R.

Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #5 on: 30 May 2015, 06:19 am »
Quote
The LIO/Audience combo rings all the right bells for me: focused, pure, tonally dense, transparent and dynamic. In addition to great sonic performance, the LIO is a looker . . . and helps feed an ongoing process of simplifying my life.

Congrats on a great concept and excellent execution, Vinnie - thanks!

Hi Timbana,

Thanks for your post, and your nice pics!  :thumb:

I'd love to hear those Audience 2 + 2's.  Maybe they have them here at the Newport Beach show.  I'll check tomorrow!  8)

Enjoy it!

Vinnie

denjo

LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #6 on: 16 Jul 2015, 03:56 am »
Hi Timbana
That is a lovely system that you have put together!

Like you, I yearn for simplicity in my life and your system looks simple enough. Glad that it sounds musically satisfying as well!

Is '45' on the volume your listening level? I understand that '63' is max and wonder if the volume would have enough room for low gain source?

Best Regards
Dennis

Timbana

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #7 on: 16 Jul 2015, 01:09 pm »
Hi Timbana
That is a lovely system that you have put together!

Like you, I yearn for simplicity in my life and your system looks simple enough. Glad that it sounds musically satisfying as well!

Is '45' on the volume your listening level? I understand that '63' is max and wonder if the volume would have enough room for low gain source?

Best Regards
Dennis

Thanks Dennis!

Actually, I typically use volume settings from the low to high '30s'. I've never used a setting above the mid-to-high '40s' . . .  and that produces volumes as high as I'd ever want in my large listening room (approximately 20 X 54 ft.). Thus far, I've only used my MacBook Air as a source, so can't speak to compatibility with lower gain sources.

Best,
Charlie

brh

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #8 on: 16 Jul 2015, 02:04 pm »
Actually, I typically use volume settings from the low to high '30s'. I've never used a setting above the mid-to-high '40s' . . .  and that produces volumes as high as I'd ever want in my large listening room (approximately 20 X 54 ft.). Thus far, I've only used my MacBook Air as a source, so can't speak to compatibility with lower gain sources.

Just to add another data point here, with the same setup (Audience 2+2s and LIO), I also think the 40s are quite high and have only gone into low-40s for very low recordings. Most of my listening is high-20s to mid-30s.

yardbird4

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #9 on: 16 Jul 2015, 02:42 pm »
Thought I'd share my excitement about my new audio toy (LIO). I was a little nervous about ordering the LIO without having heard one, especially since I first needed to sell some components I had been very happy with. In my previous system, I'd gone all out on power conditioning (Bybee Stealth and Lessloss Reference and Signature cords) to feed an Ayon Orion II and an Ayre QB-9 DSD. Interconnects were Wywires Platinum . . . and I had assembled the system through much trial and error to deliver the sonics I wanted.

In deciding to order the LIO with the tube stage module, I figured I would have a fair amount of flexibility to be able to tailor the sound to my liking. I've been using the LIO, with Telefunken E88CC's to drive Audience 2+2 speakers, and I'm not looking back, which is saying a lot considering my level of satisfaction with the previous system. The LIO/Audience combo rings all the right bells for me: focused, pure, tonally dense, transparent and dynamic. In addition to great sonic performance, the LIO is a looker . . . and helps feed an ongoing process of simplifying my life.

Congrats on a great concept and excellent execution, Vinnie - thanks!

Great to hear that you are enjoying your system and are finding essentially the same great qualities that the reviews have so far found.  This is all very good news for those of us waiting for the birth/delivery of our own LIO's.

Vinnie R.

Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #10 on: 17 Jul 2015, 04:13 pm »
All,

Just as a follow-up regarding denjo's gain question above:

With the AVC module (or upcoming AVC/Tubestage), the max gain is +7dB higher than with RVC (or RVC + Tubestage).

So even with a low output voltage source, you shouldn't run out of gain (even with less efficient speakers).  And you
most likely will not even with RVC or RVC + Tubestage.

Vinnie

Timbana

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #11 on: 18 Jul 2015, 03:24 pm »
Great to hear that you are enjoying your system and are finding essentially the same great qualities that the reviews have so far found.  This is all very good news for those of us waiting for the birth/delivery of our own LIO's.

It's definitely worth the wait! I hope you enjoy your LIO as much as I'm enjoying mine.

Genez

Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #12 on: 20 Jul 2015, 03:52 am »

In deciding to order the LIO with the tube stage module, I figured I would have a fair amount of flexibility to be able to tailor the sound to my liking. I've been using the LIO, with Telefunken E88CC's to drive Audience 2+2 speakers, and I'm not looking back, which is saying a lot considering my level of satisfaction with the previous system. The LIO/Audience combo rings all the right bells for me: focused, pure, tonally dense, transparent and dynamic. In addition to great sonic performance, the LIO is a looker . . . and helps feed an ongoing process of simplifying my life.

Congrats on a great concept and excellent execution, Vinnie - thanks!







Looks like a great sounding system.  I do not know much about the LIO line yet.  Good to be aware of...

Just a sideline...

I have Audience 1 + 1's.  One thing that most Audience listeners probably do not realize.  Since they are bipolar?  They will not need vibration control like conventional speakers.  Since they are wired in phase, the drivers - front and back - will each be counteracting the others vibrations.  Therefore, the the box acts like a sonic gyroscope!  I do not believe what we place under the speaker for isolation will not make any difference other than aesthetics. Maybe good for angling the speakers up and down.  Its like having a balanced cam shaft in a very well made car.  The trust vibrations are counteracted and are gone. 

Just the same... I  use IsoAcoustics underneath mine. Had them from the days of using conventional speakers.  I listen nearfield, and the Isoacoustics make it easier for me to get speaker angles to match when I measure them from the edges of their stand plate.



Timbana

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #13 on: 21 Jul 2015, 12:25 am »
One thing that most Audience listeners probably do not realize.  Since they are bipolar?  They will not need vibration control like conventional speakers.  Since they are wired in phase, the drivers - front and back - will each be counteracting the others vibrations.  Therefore, the the box acts like a sonic gyroscope!  I do not believe what we place under the speaker for isolation will not make any difference other than aesthetics. Maybe good for angling the speakers up and down.  Its like having a balanced cam shaft in a very well made car.  The trust vibrations are counteracted and are gone. 


I agree that the opposing drivers operating in phase theoretically cancel front-to-back unbalanced forces. However, given manufacturing tolerances (electrical, mechanical, and dimensional), there will always be some asymmetry, leading to unbalanced forces. I agree that the 1+1 and 2+2 designs minimize those forces relative to conventional designs, but I believe there are other reasons that vibration control can be beneficial: 1) The speaker cabinets resonate, and it's probably not a bad idea to drain those vibrations (IMO) . . . and 2) more importantly (when considering the subject designs), the side firing passive radiator, although not actively driven, produces an unbalanced sideways force . . . that cone undergoes significant movement that is reacted by the narrow width of the speaker base . . . using spikes in this application is similar to using them under a subwoofer (again, IMO).
« Last Edit: 21 Jul 2015, 04:13 am by Timbana »

Genez

Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #14 on: 8 Aug 2015, 03:21 am »
That was my bad.  I did not realize that the 2+2's passive radiator is located only on one side of the speaker.   So, there will be vibrations induced to some degree.

On the 1+1's there are mounted matching passive radiators on opposing sides, as well as the opposing drivers front and back.





I agree that the opposing drivers operating in phase theoretically cancel front-to-back unbalanced forces. However, given manufacturing tolerances (electrical, mechanical, and dimensional), there will always be some asymmetry, leading to unbalanced forces. I agree that the 1+1 and 2+2 designs minimize those forces relative to conventional designs, but I believe there are other reasons that vibration control can be beneficial: 1) The speaker cabinets resonate, and it's probably not a bad idea to drain those vibrations (IMO) . . . and 2) more importantly (when considering the subject designs), the side firing passive radiator, although not actively driven, produces an unbalanced sideways force . . . that cone undergoes significant movement that is reacted by the narrow width of the speaker base . . . using spikes in this application is similar to using them under a subwoofer (again, IMO).

Timbana

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #15 on: 8 Aug 2015, 02:50 pm »
That was my bad.  I did not realize that the 2+2's passive radiator is located only on one side of the speaker.   So, there will be vibrations induced to some degree.

On the 1+1's there are mounted matching passive radiators on opposing sides, as well as the opposing drivers front and back.

. . . and I had assumed the 1+1's, like the 2+2's, used only one passive radiator . . . so I learned something too.

Are you aware that Audience has recently upgraded their A3S driver? I had my 2+2's upgraded a month or so ago, and the improvement is significant. Audience summarizes the sound of the new drivers as being "quite impressive in terms of greater resolution, tonal richness, depth and sound-staging ... an altogether higher end sound."

Pre-upgrade, I was already very impressed with the transparency and purity of my 2+2's. With the upgrade, those characteristics are improved upon and the tonal density is significantly better. In my experience, that combination of characteristics is difficult to accomplish. Increased tonal density is sometimes accompanied by a slower/thicker sound and a loss of transparency. In this case, I don't hear ANY of that. They sound more transparent/open and more detailed (but NOT analytical), more tonally pure, better focused and a little warmer than their predecessor. I've learned to trust that, when Audience announces a product upgrade, the upgrade will be a meaningful improvement . . . but they have exceeded my hopes/expectations with this one!

yardbird4

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #16 on: 9 Aug 2015, 10:38 pm »
Thought I'd share my excitement about my new audio toy (LIO). I was a little nervous about ordering the LIO without having heard one, especially since I first needed to sell some components I had been very happy with. In my previous system, I'd gone all out on power conditioning (Bybee Stealth and Lessloss Reference and Signature cords) to feed an Ayon Orion II and an Ayre QB-9 DSD. Interconnects were Wywires Platinum . . . and I had assembled the system through much trial and error to deliver the sonics I wanted.

In deciding to order the LIO with the tube stage module, I figured I would have a fair amount of flexibility to be able to tailor the sound to my liking. I've been using the LIO, with Telefunken E88CC's to drive Audience 2+2 speakers, and I'm not looking back, which is saying a lot considering my level of satisfaction with the previous system. The LIO/Audience combo rings all the right bells for me: focused, pure, tonally dense, transparent and dynamic. In addition to great sonic performance, the LIO is a looker . . . and helps feed an ongoing process of simplifying my life.

Congrats on a great concept and excellent execution, Vinnie - thanks!









Just received my LIO on 8/7/15 and unfortunately had to go on a day trip 8/8. Mine has the AVC + Tube Stage, DAC, Phono Sage and Amp installed. I will also be auditioning the AVC no tube stage module later.  I must say that I agree with everything that Tibana has said. I would show pictures too but it would be a little odd because the five shelf rack is now empty save the LIO and a turntable on top. I have removed it all.

I will offer these brief comments in the form of adjectives: Superb, Sensational, Satisfying (completely) and Unbelievable!  I plan to offer a more complete review later ..... but then again what is there left to say!

I would congratulate Vinnie and Alexis but I think that word does not rise to the level of this achievement.




Timbana

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #17 on: 9 Aug 2015, 10:56 pm »
Just received my LIO on 8/7/15 and unfortunately had to go on a day trip 8/8. Mine has the AVC + Tube Stage, DAC, Phono Sage and Amp installed. I will also be auditioning the AVC no tube stage module later.  I must say that I agree with everything that Tibana has said. I would show pictures too but it would be a little odd because the five shelf rack is now empty save the LIO and a turntable on top. I have removed it all.

I will offer these brief comments in the form of adjectives: Superb, Sensational, Satisfying (completely) and Unbelievable!  I plan to offer a more complete review later ..... but then again what is there left to say!

I would congratulate Vinnie and Alexis but I think that word does not rise to the level of this achievement.


I expect to receive my AVC+Tube Stage tomorrow and am excited to plug it in (have been using RVC and Tube Stage) . . . plan to cycle back through some tube choices to see if I still prefer the Telefunken E88CCs that I've been using . . . also have some Ediswan 2493s and Amperex 7308s that are nice, but were previously edged out by the Telefunkens.

Feels good to get rid of all those boxes and cables doesn't it?

yardbird4

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #18 on: 9 Aug 2015, 11:45 pm »
I expect to receive my AVC+Tube Stage tomorrow and am excited to plug it in (have been using RVC and Tube Stage) . . . plan to cycle back through some tube choices to see if I still prefer the Telefunken E88CCs that I've been using . . . also have some Ediswan 2493s and Amperex 7308s that are nice, but were previously edged out by the Telefunkens.

Feels good to get rid of all those boxes and cables doesn't it?

Yes it does feel good to rid myself of the boxes and cables .. especially the small fortune I have invested in power cords and power conditioners.  Oh well I have to finance the LIO somehow!

yardbird4

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Re: LIO Baby Pix & Micro Review
« Reply #19 on: 10 Aug 2015, 04:17 pm »
I expect to receive my AVC+Tube Stage tomorrow and am excited to plug it in (have been using RVC and Tube Stage) . . . plan to cycle back through some tube choices to see if I still prefer the Telefunken E88CCs that I've been using . . . also have some Ediswan 2493s and Amperex 7308s that are nice, but were previously edged out by the Telefunkens.

Feels good to get rid of all those boxes and cables doesn't it?

By the way I would be very interested in hearing your take on the comparison of the AVC and the AVC Tube Stage.  This is my very first experience with Tubes of any kind.  I am very impressed to say the least but in the past I have been wedded to completely passive preamps like the AVC.  It will be a couple of weeks before I make the switch from AVC Tubes to plain AVC.