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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.
The LIO phono stage was nearly faultless. Its DAC [DAC 1.0] was exceptional, and enjoyably nonmechanical in sound.
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.
I can be wrong, but I think there is room for LIO's phonostage to improve
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
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
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.
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