LIO Phonostage experiences?

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karastav

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LIO Phonostage experiences?
« on: 23 Oct 2017, 03:56 am »
Very satisfied with the LIO in the digital realm. Final destination thank you very much.

There is still very little info/comparisons on the phono stage. What little there is is positive, but no real comparisons. Would like to hear what people replaced with the LIO phono stage and how it compares. There is no doubt it is good, just wondering how good.

Because>
I currently have the Graham Slee Reflex and am thinking of selling and then buying the LIO phono stage module (should be about an even swap money wise). The Reflex is as neutral and wide open as you can get for a phono stage, very happy with it, had a 47labs phono stage that was magical but added its own flavor to the sound, kind of an adding by deletion. Would love to get rid of more boxes and cables and the LIO can play MM and MC and has three inputs - dang.

Phono stage users what has your experience been like?

matthewpartrick

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Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #1 on: 24 Oct 2017, 12:34 am »
I'm running an Acoustic Signature Wow XXL with a hana mc cartridge right now and the phonostage (spelling edit) is more than adequate.  However the lio is at Vinnies right now getting some upgrades include remote cartridge loading, so I'll let you know how it works out.
« Last Edit: 25 Oct 2017, 05:05 pm by matthewpartrick »

Mitch751

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Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #2 on: 24 Oct 2017, 04:07 am »
I returned to vinyl beginging of this year and my last experience with vinyl was early 80 and no experience with MC.

Now I bought a VPI Aries 3 turntable and a Dynavector Xv1S, the sound is very good to me, of course I have no other phonostage to compare with.

Before Dynavector Xv1S, I have tried Dynavector Karat low output i.e. 0.15mv ... LIO has a bit problem to deal with it unless you ask Vinnie to build a higher output version for you (which can be done)

In term of MM, I also try Ortofon Black, and I must say my both MCs perform better

I can be wrong, but I think there is room for LIO's phonostage to improve

Vinnie R.

Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #3 on: 24 Oct 2017, 09:22 pm »
Hi karastav,

This thread might be helpful:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=141626.0

Other than that, I use LIO Phonostage at *most* of the shows, and there are many threads
in the VR forum regarding show coverage of the rooms, as well as here:

http://www.vinnierossi.com/show-coverage/

And LIO Phonostage was covered in some reviews.

For example, Herb Reichert / Stereophile:

Quote from: Herb Reichert
The unique, iconic sound of dropping the needle on a black disc with the volume turned up—that attention-getting scratch of stylus on vinyl—shifted my memory machine into Drive. Almost instantly, I could hear Dad's voice and see his gold-toothed smile. The Rossi Tubestage plus phono stage presented my father's favorite song as a deeply felt lullaby. The LIO was extremely good at getting out of the way and letting this music have its way with me.

The LIO drove the Falcon LS3/5a's (which I reviewed in the August 2015 issue) with something approaching perfect tone. 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.


Quote from: Herb Reichert
The LIO phono stage was nearly faultless. Its DAC [DAC 1.0] was exceptional, and enjoyably nonmechanical in sound.


John Darko of DAR also goes into some detail about it, here (approx. half way down the page):

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2015/05/vinnie-rossi-lio-review-part-2-modularity/


Quote from: John Darko
You read that correctly: the top-flight Pro-Ject combined with the LIO comes out on top of the Antipodes DX (by far the best music server I’ve heard to date) pushing ones and zeroes into the Resonessence Labs INVICTA.

[He was using the LIO with Phonostage and doing a direct comparison of LP to the same albums on digital via a $6500 Antipodes music server feeding a $6000 Invicta dac].


Hopefully others here with LIO Phonostage will chime in on what they were previously using and how it compares...


Quote
I can be wrong, but I think there is room for LIO's phonostage to improve

Hi Mitch751,

At the price it has been selling for, I believe it's crazy-good for the $$$ and competitive with others costing up around the >$3K  range.

But I agree - there is certainly room for improvement.  The first improvement coming to LIO Phonostage will  be Cinemag step up transformers moving forward.  Price of LIO Phonostage will have to increase as a result.

An all-new design of the LIO Phonostage 2.0 (e.g. statement-level, like the DAC 1.0 to the 2.0) will take more time and be more costly, but it has actually slowly been in the works for a while and hopefully something that will be available in 2018.  8)

Best regards,

Vinnie

karastav

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Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #4 on: 25 Oct 2017, 03:16 am »
Thanks for the comments. I also emailed to John Darko who replied he listens using the LIO phono stage almost everyday with no complaints.

The phonostage 2.0 definitely has my attention. I will purchase when it comes out and put it up against my Graham Slee and let my ears decide which one stays (I may also have the Dynavector p75 phonostage in the mix with the Dynavector 17D3). Vinnie if you need a beta tester I am just down the road from you :D.

And thanks Vinnie for such an adaptable piece of equipment. Just thinking of this situation it is such a bonus that I could buy the phono stage now and I could trade in for the 2.0. And that I can buy a kickass phono stage and just pop it in - genius. :thumb:

For those curious I have a replinthed Lenco, 12 in Funk Firm FX-R II tonearm, Music Maker III cart, Graham Slee Reflex and PSU1, Boenicke W5se speakers and the LIO. Hoping Vinnie's phonostage comes out on top so I can sell more cables and get rid of more boxes :dance:

Mitch751

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Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #5 on: 25 Oct 2017, 04:31 am »
Hello Vinnie,

Please do not get me wrong, I am very happy with the LIO's phonostage, i 100% agree with the statement that really can't find any competitor at the same pricing even US$3xxx one.

I am ready to upgrade my phonostage 1.0 to 2.0, once it is ready

Thank you

yardbird4

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Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #6 on: 26 Oct 2017, 04:19 pm »

Hopefully others here with LIO Phonostage will chime in on what they were previously using and how it compares...


While I don't have a high end phono stage to Compare LIO phono 1.0 to it is leagues ahead of my basic Vincent 2 piece set-up which I think was crazy good for the money.  I think the hightest recommendations I can give it is these two:

First, It converted me from a 90 to 95% digital listener to an at least 80% vinyl listener. I had all but abandoned lps.

Second, I plan to purchase LIO phono 2.0 when it becomes available


Mitch751

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Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #7 on: 27 Oct 2017, 09:37 am »
My cartridge is dynavector xv1s and it’s output only 0.3mv, with LIO, the level is quite ok but much lower than CD. I have been looking for cinemeg tansfomer for quite sometime and not too happy with dynavector 6z (1: 10), because it generates quite s bit of hum

As suggested by a friend I bought one Bob Device Sky 30, (1;15 and 1:30), and have a try today. I must say the improvement is not night and day, but the bass improved quite significantly and the soundstage also wider. The good thing is it is totally quiet and no hum at all

I must say worth spending on this SUT, and the sound is outperforming my new purchase of EAR 834P

Mitch751

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Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #8 on: 27 Oct 2017, 09:50 am »





Vinnie R.

Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #9 on: 3 Nov 2017, 03:16 pm »

While I don't have a high end phono stage to Compare LIO phono 1.0 to it is leagues ahead of my basic Vincent 2 piece set-up which I think was crazy good for the money.  I think the hightest recommendations I can give it is these two:

First, It converted me from a 90 to 95% digital listener to an at least 80% vinyl listener. I had all but abandoned lps.

Second, I plan to purchase LIO phono 2.0 when it becomes available

Hi yardbird4,

Thank you for your feedback!  :thumb:


Quote
I must say worth spending on this SUT, and the sound is outperforming my new purchase of EAR 834P

...but the bass improved quite significantly and the soundstage also wider. The good thing is it is totally quiet and no hum at all

Hi Mitch751,

The Bob's Devices SUT also uses Cinemag SUT's.  This is what we are now using for LIO Phonostage.  The improvements that you mention are what I found as well with the Cinemag SUT's.  Better bass, bigger soundstage, and even quieter compared to the SUT's
that we were previously using. 

The Cinemags are much more costly, but well worth it IMO, and they will be what we continue to use (The rest of the LIO Phonostage circuit remains the same, until it can be improved enough to be worthy of a Phonostage 2.0 release... hopefully 2018.  :wink:).

All the best,

Vinnie

Vinnie R.

Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #10 on: 16 Nov 2017, 07:12 pm »
All,

New LIO Phonostages are now being built with Cinemag SUT's, and pricing on the website has been updated.

- 1:10 step up ratio (20dB)
- Directly mounted to the board with pcb pins
- Mu metal shielding
- Each one is tested by David Geren (owner) of Cinemag before shipping
- Made in Canoga Park, California

Vinnie

mcanaday

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Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #11 on: 18 Jun 2018, 06:55 pm »
I recently upgraded the cartridge on my Rega RP6 turntable from the Exact 2 to the Hana SL.  While I was at it, I upgraded my LIO's phonostage to the new version with Cinemag step up transformers (whatever that is!).  Wow!  It sounds amazing!  And once again, Vinnie's service through the process was beyond compare. 

Vinnie R.

Re: LIO Phonostage experiences?
« Reply #12 on: 20 Jun 2018, 08:34 pm »
I recently upgraded the cartridge on my Rega RP6 turntable from the Exact 2 to the Hana SL.  While I was at it, I upgraded my LIO's phonostage to the new version with Cinemag step up transformers (whatever that is!).  Wow!  It sounds amazing!  And once again, Vinnie's service through the process was beyond compare.

Thanks for your post, mcanaday! Glad you are enjoying your new cartridge and LIO Phonostage "1.5" (Cinemag upgrade)!  8)

Vinnie