Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO

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yardbird4

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Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« on: 14 Aug 2015, 12:02 am »
The September issue of Stereophile has hit the stands with glowing praise for LIO.

jeffreybehr

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Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #1 on: 14 Aug 2015, 12:06 am »
Too many undefined acronyms--what's 'LIO'?

jtwrace

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #2 on: 14 Aug 2015, 12:42 am »
Too many undefined acronyms--what's 'LIO'?
Vinnie's children's and wife first initial of their first name.  I figure he had to do this since he probably hasn't seen them much in the last couple of years while developing the LIO.   :lol:

Stercom

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #3 on: 14 Aug 2015, 01:42 am »
Great review Vinnie. Congrats!

Vinnie R.

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #4 on: 14 Aug 2015, 02:21 am »
All,

Thank you!

I just received the September 2015 issue of Stereophile - the LIO received an astonishingly favorable review by Herb Reichert! 

I really want to take this time to thank Herb for his very thorough and thoughtful review of LIO.  Given the option-rich nature of his fully configured review sample (fully-loaded ‘LIO Deluxe’), I greatly appreciate the amount of time and effort that he put forward in describing how it communicated the music to his ears.  I am thrilled to read how well he captured what makes LIO so unique, both functionally and sonically, for our first review in Stereophile!  It might very well be Stereophile's longest review yet! 

Here are some fantastic quotes from the review that I am very proud, flattered, and grateful to share:

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“In any configuration, the LIO is… the most attractive, well-crafted integrated amp I’ve seen.”

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“All I can say is, when you replace amps like the Pass XA100.5s with any moderately priced integrated, you’re supposed to feel grave disappointment. That afternoon, I felt shock and wonder. Right out of the box, the Vinnie Rossi LIO played music that flowed smoothly and silkily—and was noticeably more quiet and grainless than the venerable Passes.”

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“The LIO was extremely good at getting out of the way and letting this music have its way with me."

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“Timbres and textures were always-enjoyable constants, no matter which recording I played. The LIO showed me that grainlessness and high-relief textures are in no way mutually exclusive. Detail, drive, and forward momentum were as good as they get.”

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“I have rarely in my life heard a piano sound this real and corporeal in my room.”

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“Record after record, I bathed in the almost fragrant beauty of the LIO… as I played all genres of music.”

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“The LIO has the Tesla’s [referring to the Telsa Model S electric car] type of quiet power: its massive torque is applied smoothly and equally at all rpms. I experienced unprecedented naturalness of bass.”

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“The LIO phono stage was nearly faultless. Its DAC was exceptional, and enjoyably nonmechanical in sound.”

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“To my ears, it delivered the best of tubes (color, vividness, liquidity) and the best of solid-state (quietness, control). Its highly adaptable modular design combines a fashionable Italianate aesthetic with near-state-of-the-art sound.”

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“If there is a more innovative and musically satisfying integrated amplifier than the Vinnie Rossi LIO, I have yet to experience it.”

Wow - I could not dream of better praise than what Herb bestowed onto LIO!   :o   :dance:   :rock:

THANK YOU, EVERYONE!

Vinnie

TomS

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #5 on: 14 Aug 2015, 02:53 am »
I thought comment, where he compared LIO to some very heavy hitters (Komuro PP845, Pass Labs XA100.5), saying "it did come ridiculously close, albeit with a quieter, gentler personality", was very insightful about what the LIO does so well. It is just an enjoyable piece to listen to under a variety of conditions, yet you never feel like you're missing a thing.

Congrats on another great review!

Vinnie R.

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #6 on: 14 Aug 2015, 03:38 pm »
I thought comment, where he compared LIO to some very heavy hitters (Komuro PP845, Pass Labs XA100.5), saying "it did come ridiculously close, albeit with a quieter, gentler personality", was very insightful about what the LIO does so well. It is just an enjoyable piece to listen to under a variety of conditions, yet you never feel like you're missing a thing.

Congrats on another great review!

Thank you, TomS!

There is also a small pic of LIO on the cover  8)


gregfisk

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Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #7 on: 14 Aug 2015, 03:43 pm »
Way to go Vinnie, this must feel pretty darn good to see your product on the cover of a magazine. Obviously you worked hard as a small business owner to make this happen, nice to see that it's working for you.

Greg

dpatters

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #8 on: 14 Aug 2015, 05:18 pm »
You should have got the large photo on the cover.  It was a very in depth review on LIO.  The review on the Gamut speakers was pretty lukewarm.

Don P.

genjamon

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #9 on: 14 Aug 2015, 07:03 pm »
Stop it guys! My LIO arrived this morning and is waiting to be unpacked after work today! The next five hours are going to be absolute agony...

Tomy2Tone

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #10 on: 14 Aug 2015, 07:16 pm »
Stop it guys! My LIO arrived this morning and is waiting to be unpacked after work today! The next five hours are going to be absolute agony...

Hey Ben, I think there might be a virus going around Tucson and for the sake of your health you should go home...immediately! At least you can tell your boss that. :thumb:

And of course quarantine yourself for the safety of your coworkers for at least a week... :green:

Vinnie R.

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #11 on: 15 Aug 2015, 12:19 am »
You should have got the large photo on the cover.  It was a very in depth review on LIO.  The review on the Gamut speakers was pretty lukewarm.

Don P.

Thanks, Don!  Yes, that would have been more icing on the cake, but I'm really grateful for Herb's review. 

Quote
Way to go Vinnie, this must feel pretty darn good to see your product on the cover of a magazine. Obviously you worked hard as a small business owner to make this happen, nice to see that it's working for you.

Thanks, Greg!  It's been a ton of work, but the LIO concept is the solid foundation for many things to come and it is rewarding to see it in two print magazines in the same month.  :D

Quote
Stop it guys! My LIO arrived this morning and is waiting to be unpacked after work today! The next five hours are going to be absolute agony...

Hi genjamon - did you take Tomy's advice to get out of work?  :green:

Vinnie

Ultralight

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Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #12 on: 16 Aug 2015, 06:54 am »
Congratulations.  Absolutely deserved!

UL

jhm731

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #13 on: 5 Sep 2015, 06:30 pm »
"I was impressed by the concept underlying the Vinnie Rossi LIO, and its physical execution is stunning. But other than the RVC, moving-magnet Phonostage, and Digital modules, all of which offered good to excellent measured performance, there are problems with the other modules that bothered me. Of course, the benefit of the approach adopted by Vinnie Rossi with the LIO is that he can introduce running improvements to individual modules without requiring the owner replace the entire chassis.—John Atkinson"

http://www.stereophile.com/content/vinnie-rossi-lio-modular-integrated-amplifier-measurements#CIT9Qj9b8FXRbLGC.97

Vinnie R.

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #14 on: 6 Sep 2015, 04:06 am »
"I was impressed by the concept underlying the Vinnie Rossi LIO, and its physical execution is stunning. But other than the RVC, moving-magnet Phonostage, and Digital modules, all of which offered good to excellent measured performance, there are problems with the other modules that bothered me. Of course, the benefit of the approach adopted by Vinnie Rossi with the LIO is that he can introduce running improvements to individual modules without requiring the owner replace the entire chassis.—John Atkinson"

http://www.stereophile.com/content/vinnie-rossi-lio-modular-integrated-amplifier-measurements#CIT9Qj9b8FXRbLGC.97

Hi jhm731,

There were certainly some things from John Aktinson's measurements section that puzzled me:

I did get to the bottom of why when he used the RCL module the loading was not measuring the load correctly - we forgot to install two jumpers on that board that are supposed to be installed after programming it.  :duh:   

I certainly did not want to get into a back n' forth with JA as I see some manufacturers do.  And I definitely do not make all my design decisions based solely on measurement.  For example, the LIO Phonostage originally did not use step-up transformers (SUTs) for the MC input stage.  We started out using JFETs, but after playing with SUTs in another prototype design, I much preferred the sound using them over the JFET MC input stage.  The JFET input stage definitely measured better (using test tones), but with continued *listening* using all kinds of music, I could not go back to the JFET input stage (and it was pretty good!).

The same can be said with regards to the LIO Tubestage.  If I just wanted the best possible benchtop measurements using test tones, I would not have even offered it as an option.  When evaluating it by ear listening to music, it is a whole other story!  The same with AVC vs RVC (the transformer in the AVC seems to cause some  ultrasonic boost on the freq. response curve), but I'll choose the AVC any day for listening to music.... actually, make that the AVC/Tubestage!  :green:

Overall, I was not surprised to see that JA was "bothered" by some measurements.  But for me (other than the RCL not working as it should per missing the jumpers, which was my mistake for not catching) they did not bother me or take away from all the positive listening impressions that Herb mentioned in the review, and so many other of our customers and other reviewers have reported on - these are much more important to me than what anyone measures on a test bench.  Again, I measure as I go along with my prototypes, but I do ALL of my final design decisions based on listening, even if they end up sounding better to me but measuring worse.  For me, it's all about how a design communicates the music.  I personally do not care how well something measures - if I don't like how it sounds, I will not go through with it as a product offering.  On so many levels, music is far more complex than test tones and measurement.  Music (like art) transcends measurement - it always will.  Those who do not agree with me on this (the "measurements are everything" crowd) *might* want to look elsewhere when choosing their next audio component,  as I have heard of some manufacturers that mostly, if not entirely, based their designs on measurement - not listening to music. 

Horses for courses.

:deadhorse: 

Vinnie

jhm731

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #15 on: 6 Sep 2015, 04:34 am »
"There were certainly some things from John Aktinson's measurements section that puzzled me"

How could it puzzle you that your amp module didn't come close to meeting your published power specs?

"The LIO is specified as being able to deliver 25Wpc into 8 ohms (14dBW) or 45Wpc into 4 ohms (13.5dBW). However, with our standard definition of clipping being when the THD+noise reaches 1%, the LIO didn't reach those powers under that condition. It clipped at 17Wpc into 8 ohms (12.3dBW, fig.20) and 30Wpc into 4 ohms (11.75dBW, fig.21). The LIO did meet its specified power into both impedances at 11% THD+N, however. Perhaps more significant is the level of THD+N at lower powers, which is fairly high."

lowtech

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Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #16 on: 6 Sep 2015, 04:49 am »
The September issue of Stereophile has hit the stands with glowing praise for LIO.

That "better than DC" power supply (whatever it's called) sure does a bang-up job.  :)

Vinnie R.

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #17 on: 6 Sep 2015, 04:49 am »
"There were certainly some things from John Aktinson's measurements section that puzzled me"

How could it puzzle you that your amp module didn't come close to meeting your published power specs?

"The LIO is specified as being able to deliver 25Wpc into 8 ohms (14dBW) or 45Wpc into 4 ohms (13.5dBW). However, with our standard definition of clipping being when the THD+noise reaches 1%, the LIO didn't reach those powers under that condition. It clipped at 17Wpc into 8 ohms (12.3dBW, fig.20) and 30Wpc into 4 ohms (11.75dBW, fig.21). The LIO did meet its specified power into both impedances at 11% THD+N, however. Perhaps more significant is the level of THD+N at lower powers, which is fairly high."

It puzzles me because my testing showed otherwise, which is where I
got my figures from (with < 1% distortion).  I don't wish debate back and forth
over it.  I'm not sure what happened there, but we'll see what happens next time.

And those who listen to it, especially with more challenging speakers, continue to mention how it performs as if it is more powerful than what the power rating suggests.  Go figure!






jhm731

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #18 on: 6 Sep 2015, 06:16 am »
It puzzles me because my testing showed otherwise, which is where I
got my figures from (with < 1% distortion).  I don't wish debate back and forth
over it.  I'm not sure what happened there, but we'll see what happens next time.

And those who listen to it, especially with more challenging speakers, continue to mention how it performs as if it is more powerful than what the power rating suggests.  Go figure!

That's the most lame response I've ever seen.

David C.

Re: Stereophile Joins The Chorus of Praise for the LIO
« Reply #19 on: 6 Sep 2015, 06:43 am »
That's the most lame response I've ever seen.

You've got to stop being so polite, Vinnie - it makes the trolls angry! :lol: