My new (new to me) LIO Integrated Amp

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targa02

My new (new to me) LIO Integrated Amp
« on: 30 Jul 2017, 12:11 pm »
I purchased a LIO from jtwrace fairly recently and I wanted to share my listening impressions. 

My LIO is equipped with: Custom Silver AVC/Tubestage (includes JJ tubes)
MOSFET Amp, Headphone Amp, LIO Dac with streamer 7Vdc power (sMS or µRendu), Balanced Output Module, Line Level Input Module, "SS" upgrade (Silent Switching). 

I intend on making this an ongoing review as I try more and more of the LIO's options (I love the flexibility of this thing!).  Currently, I am using the LIO as a traditional integrated amp. The analog signal is coming from my NAD Masters M51 DAC via the Balanced inputs.  The LIO's amp module is driving Fujistu TD712zMK2 speakers.  Not many are familiar with this speaker, so I will include a link for those that wish to learn more.  (http://www.eclipse-td.com/uk/products/td712zmk2/index.html).  BTW, the Fujitsu speakers are rated 84dB/watt/m.  So not exactly efficient, but there is no crossover.

My prior amps were nCore monos and I was feeding the nCores directly from the NAD M51.

So, how does the LIO compare?  Well, I was expecting the LIO to sound marginally better, but I was not prepared to hear how much better!  This is truly a remarkable piece of equipment.  I expected and was not disappointed in the black background, but I didn't expect to hear more details in the music.  I am seriously hearing instruments being brought out of the shadows on certain tracks.  More importantly every song sounds more musical.  They drive my less-than-efficient Fujitsu speakers with grace and ease.  I certainly do not need any more watts.

Vinnie has really hit one out of the park with this thing! (I know I am not the first to say so)  :D

I will add to this as I try the original DAC and the DAC 2.0, which I pre-ordered.

Thanks for reading!



TomS

Re: My new (new to me) LIO Integrated Amp
« Reply #1 on: 30 Jul 2017, 12:16 pm »
Congrats and yes, it is a very special piece  :D

I'm always amazed that the little amp drives my TADs the way it does. On paper, no, doesn't make much sense, but in the listening room it just works  :thumb:

jtwrace

Re: My new (new to me) LIO Integrated Amp
« Reply #2 on: 30 Jul 2017, 02:14 pm »
Glad you're enjoying it! 


Even better with these. 

targa02

Re: My new (new to me) LIO Integrated Amp
« Reply #3 on: 31 Jul 2017, 04:55 am »
Thanks Tom!  It is true, the MOSFET amp in the LIO seems much more powerful than it appears on paper.


targa02

Re: My new (new to me) LIO Integrated Amp
« Reply #4 on: 31 Jul 2017, 04:58 am »
Glad you're enjoying it! 


Even better with these.
Hi JTWRACE.  Those look tempting, but I am curious as to how the sound of the silver AVC tubestage compares to the DHT PRE? 

jtwrace

Re: My new (new to me) LIO Integrated Amp
« Reply #5 on: 31 Jul 2017, 01:06 pm »
Hi JTWRACE.  Those look tempting, but I am curious as to how the sound of the silver AVC tubestage compares to the DHT PRE?
That's a personal preference but there's a reason I went for the Silver AVC and still would today.  Yes, I've heard them back to back.   ;)

TomS

Re: My new (new to me) LIO Integrated Amp
« Reply #6 on: 31 Jul 2017, 01:15 pm »
That's a personal preference but there's a reason I went for the Silver AVC and still would today.  Yes, I've heard them back to back.   ;)
I've spent just a couple hours with the silver AVC, but after owning the "standard" AVC and a balanced TAPX, the DHT with PX4's brings some of that detail and clarity of an AVC, combined with the soul of the DHT. Then, it's just a matter of preference as they are both outstanding.

If I had a silver AVC, there is NO QUESTION I'd buy the Upscale Telefunken E88's again (I had 2 pairs just in case). Targa2, you really haven't heard how good it can sound just yet  8)

Vinnie R.

Re: My new (new to me) LIO Integrated Amp
« Reply #7 on: 1 Aug 2017, 06:16 pm »
Hi Targa02,

Quote
My prior amps were nCore monos and I was feeding the nCores directly from the NAD M51.

So, how does the LIO compare?  Well, I was expecting the LIO to sound marginally better, but I was not prepared to hear how much better!  This is truly a remarkable piece of equipment.  I expected and was not disappointed in the black background, but I didn't expect to hear more details in the music.  I am seriously hearing instruments being brought out of the shadows on certain tracks.  More importantly every song sounds more musical.  They drive my less-than-efficient Fujitsu speakers with grace and ease.  I certainly do not need any more watts.

Vinnie has really hit one out of the park with this thing! (I know I am not the first to say so)  :D

I will add to this as I try the original DAC and the DAC 2.0, which I pre-ordered.

Thank you very much for posting your impressions of your LIO (already well burned in from jtwrace!  :green:)!

Your Fujitsu's are a very interesting full-range speaker design and they look solid - I'd love to hear them!


Quote
It is true, the MOSFET amp in the LIO seems much more powerful than it appears on paper.

Yup - that's due to the high current output, and the ultracapacitor supply. :wink:

Thanks for your DAC 2.0 pre-order... you are going to love it!

Vinnie

targa02

Re: My new (new to me) LIO Integrated Amp
« Reply #8 on: 2 Aug 2017, 02:09 pm »
Hi Jtwrace and Tom,

Ok, alright already, I will try the E88CC/6922 tubes.  Hopefully Jtwrace's tubes are still available.  Seriously I am anxious to try them, especially given your reviews.  I will likely add the DHT pre to my LIO down the road.  So nice to have the flexibility to change your pre amp in this module manner!


Your Fujitsu's are a very interesting full-range speaker design and they look solid - I'd love to hear them!

Hi Vinnie, They are a very interesting speaker sound-wise and, IMO, a beautiful speaker.  There are a few professional reviews out there, and I agree with their impressions in general.  The imaging and soundstage are first rate.  And, there is such a purity about them that is very seductive.  I can see why quite a number of recording professionals use them.  They allow you to hear deep into the music.  Turn out the lights and just get carried away by the music.  Especially with the black background and quick amplification the LIO provides!  You are certainly welcome to stop by any time you are in SF to hear them!  Of course I don't know if the wife will let me keep them once the Spatial X1's arrive... :icon_lol: