L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 6747 times.

gene9p

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 366
Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #40 on: 15 Oct 2018, 08:38 pm »
Pending any last minute changes , I plan to go Sunday... :popcorn:

MicheladaAntelope

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #41 on: 29 Oct 2018, 03:20 pm »
About 1 week into my L2 and I’m gobsmacked.   I loved my LIO.   Everything about it.   But the L2 is a whole different beast.   Out of the gates the soundstage was wider, deeper, and I was hearing nuances I haven’t ever heard before.   Whether through the L2 dac or the SPECTACULAR new phono stage, there was just a lot more going on.   Build quality is spectacular.   I’ve been running the t-100’s virtually non-stop in the L2 for about the past 72 hours.    Will try some other tubes over the next few weeks.

I can say without hesitation that this truly is a major step up and I’m thrilled to have one in my life.

Vinnie R.

Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #42 on: 29 Oct 2018, 09:37 pm »
About 1 week into my L2 and I’m gobsmacked.   I loved my LIO.   Everything about it.   But the L2 is a whole different beast.   Out of the gates the soundstage was wider, deeper, and I was hearing nuances I haven’t ever heard before.   Whether through the L2 dac or the SPECTACULAR new phono stage, there was just a lot more going on.   Build quality is spectacular.   I’ve been running the t-100’s virtually non-stop in the L2 for about the past 72 hours.    Will try some other tubes over the next few weeks.

I can say without hesitation that this truly is a major step up and I’m thrilled to have one in my life.

Hi MicheladaAntelope,

You made my Monday - thank you for posting your initial impressions  of your L2 Signature Preamplifier!  :notworthy:

And speaking of tubes, I am going to start the "L2 Signature Preamplifier Tube Rolling Thread" shortly (maybe this evening!).
I'm going to start out with the KR T100 vs. KR PX4.

Enjoy your L2 Preamp + Monoblocks and thanks for keeping us posted!  :singing:

Vinnie

targa02

Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #43 on: 30 Oct 2018, 03:37 am »
Hi MicheladaAntelope. Thank you for sharing your impressions of Vinnie’s L2 preamp.  I’m a LIO owner as well. What amp are you using?

Vinnie R.

Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #44 on: 30 Oct 2018, 07:10 pm »
Hi MicheladaAntelope. Thank you for sharing your impressions of Vinnie’s L2 preamp.  I’m a LIO owner as well. What amp are you using?

Hi targa02,

I'm not MichelaAntelope, but I know he had a LIO DHT Preamp and a VR120 Stereo Power Amp and recently upgraded to the L2 Preamp and L2 Monoblocks.

Vinnie

jwes

Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #45 on: 11 Nov 2018, 04:20 pm »
Hi guys,

Just curious about the power.  It looks like this product went away from the capacitor banks.  Are we now back into audiophile power cords and power cleaners or does this somehow maintain the benefits of the previous battery / capacitor products?  Thanks!  Jim

Vinnie R.

Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #46 on: 13 Nov 2018, 08:32 pm »
Hi guys,

Just curious about the power.  It looks like this product went away from the capacitor banks.  Are we now back into audiophile power cords and power cleaners or does this somehow maintain the benefits of the previous battery / capacitor products?  Thanks!  Jim

Hi Jim,

Refer to page 2 of this thread, where I respond to Wolfgang's question.

Thanks

Vinnie

jtwrace

Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #47 on: 13 Nov 2018, 08:34 pm »
Hi guys,

Just curious about the power.  It looks like this product went away from the capacitor banks.  Are we now back into audiophile power cords and power cleaners or does this somehow maintain the benefits of the previous battery / capacitor products?  Thanks!  Jim
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=158898.msg1707594#msg1707594

jwes

Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #48 on: 14 Nov 2018, 12:03 am »
Hi Jim,

Refer to page 2 of this thread, where I respond to Wolfgang's question.

Thanks

Vinnie

Oh, ok thanks.  Didn't quite understand that technology conceptually as well as the switching capacitor banks...

Jim

flkin

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #49 on: 26 Nov 2018, 09:03 am »
If the new L2 doesn't use ultra caps then this is a major change in philosophy and concept. I had earlier understood that the LIO was the machine to use due to the basic idea of its amazing ultra caps outperforming others by it's speed, low noise and high current (enough for welding). And then modules added to this base to take advantage of the good power supply.

I had expected the L2 to be a development of this proven idea -  an improved ultra cap base and improved modules to be added on with a trade up policy.

I'm sure the actual L2 is a better machine but it's slightly disappointing to face a sudden depreciation in LIO concept (and therefore value) after investing quite a bit in modules based on the concept of upgrades with 100% money back. Although not anymore on the throne I certainly hope the LIO line will continue to be developed and new techs and updates engineered for the line.  :|

Vinnie R.

Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #50 on: 28 Nov 2018, 04:52 am »
Hi flkin,

Quote from: flkin
I'm sure the actual L2 is a better machine but it's slightly disappointing to face a sudden depreciation in LIO concept (and therefore value) after investing quite a bit in modules based on the concept of upgrades with 100% money back.

Thank you for your post. 

The fact that the L2 Preamplifer and L2 Monoblocks have been created and are in production should not in any way invalidate or depreciate the concept of LIO and its ultracapacitor and modular concept.  And more importantly, it should not reduce your enjoyment of listening to it.  LIO still remains and will continue to remain a phenomenal sounding product that provides excellent value and a highly unique design approach (modular system, ultracapacitor powered banks that act like batteries detached from the AC mains, andmodules that all fit into a single enclosure) that our customers love and will hopefully continue to love listening to for many years to come.  I am still building LIO orders and enjoying having new customers come on board!  It has been going strong since late 2014 when I introduced it, so it has been 4 years already.  :birthday:

Yes, the L2 components are in a higher class of performance, but this naturally comes at a higher price point.  Not everyone can spend or even wishes to spend this much on an audio system, and I completely understand and accept this.  For me personally, my passion is in creating unique design solutions that perform well above their price, and I do have high aspirations to offer new products over time that compete in higher price classes and that are less restrictive to me in terms of design/production budget.  As with many other things (cars, homes, clothes, restaurants, etc.), there will be different price tiers and not all of the components introduced are going to be fit for everyone.  For some, LIO is far too expensive to be considered.  For others, LIO (and even L2) are too inexpensive to even be considered. :o 

Quote from: flkin
I had expected the L2 to be a development of this proven idea -  an improved ultra cap base and improved modules to be added on with a trade up policy.

Regarding the L2 components not using the ultracapacitor banks, there are good reasons for this that I will try to make more clear:

L2 Signature Preamplifer: I wanted to take the Directly Heated Triode (DHT) linestage approach to a even higher level of performance, and fully optimize the new L2 Preamplifier design solely for a DHT linestage application (it is not "fully" modular as it only has options for L2 Dac and L2 Phonostage.  It also cannot be made into an integrated amplifer).  One of the things that I learned was that in order to make the DHT hum (50/60 Hz hum pick up) essentially inaudible, I needed the enclosure tied to AC ground, as well as other parts of the circuit coupled to AC ground [The LIO is a “floating” supply like a battery, as the two ultracapacitor banks are both like battery banks that are not connected to their power supply and they instead “float” with respect to AC ground].  And the shields around the tubes needed to tie to AC ground as well. 

I also had to keep the power supply output paths as short as possible (so the L2's shielded power supplies are built-in and not external as in the LIO, and their shield enclosures are tied to AC ground), along with using a different voltage regulation approach that included new OEM Belleson super-regulators for heating the cathodes of each tube, and dedicated Belleson super-regulators for the plates of each tube, and for an all-new biasing approach. 

If the L2 Preamp was not based on directly-heated triodes, an ultracapactor-based supply would have been highly considered!


L2 Signature Monoblocks:  Compared to LIO MOSFET AMP, the L2 Siganture Monoblocks output higher power and run on a split-supply (approx. +/- 48Vdc, so nearly 100Vdc rail to rail).  This would require many more ultracapacitors in series, for both voltage rails and for each bank, and this would result in higher ESR (making one of the more attractive things about using them become, well, less attractive).  They do make larger, higher capacity ultracaps (nearly the size of Coke cans!) that would still allow for the very low ESR, and in theory, I could have used 40 of such caps per bank, times 2 banks = 80 of them.  But this means the amplifiers would be very, very large (and I wanted to keep the L2 Monoblocks form factor not to big, but very dense and solid feeling), and significantly more expensive.  So with the L2 Signature Monoblocks, I instead opted for a high current linear power supply design with a built-in AC filtering, a custom-made transformer (better load and line regulation, lower hum than most off-the-shelf types), very low ESR rails, and a wide-bandwidth amplifier circuit that has its own high power supply rejection ratio (PSRR) and common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR). 
---

So in both cases above, we have different products than LIO, designed to different price-points, with different design requirements - and using a different method for the power supply.  Having said this: 

1) The fact that using the ultracapacitor banks was not best-suited for the new L2 components did not and should not stop me from designing them.

2) Not using ultracapacitors in the new L2 components does not and should not invalidate the use of the ultracapacitor banks in the LIO design - I believe they work very well for that application and will continue to do so!  It also does not and should not invalidate LIO's all-in-one approach, which we all know is highly flexible and allows itself to be configured as essentially any and all components, including what is now becoming more common - a "super integrated amplifier" (but with limited output power in its offered enclosure size), and keeps the price lower than separate components, with fewer cables needed, etc. 

- Regarding trade-up policy, I have actually already given a few LIO customers 100% trade-in credit towards an L2 Preamp + Monoblock combo.  And partial trade-in credit for those who only want the L2 Preamplifier or only want the L2 Monoblocks.  Both of these options are really the very best that I can do, and as with the 10-year warranty offered on LIO and L2, is something that most companies would never even consider offering or simply cannot offer and remain in business. 

- I have not had much time to start a thread about it, but the all-new L2 Phonostage module design is compatible with LIO and is a completely new design from the ground-up (I collaborated withe Brian Lowe of Belleson on its design) and is a significant upgrade over the previous LIO Phonostage (at least as large as an upgrade when going from LIO DAC 1.0 to LIO DAC 2.0)... but it does require a LIO firmware update on its front panel to properly display the new remote cartridge loading values (remote cartridge loading is built-into the new L2 Phonostage).  So LIO was not forgotten in all of this because I specifically had to consider things when designing the L2 Phonostage to make sure it could also work with LIO.  It does!  8)

To wrap this up for now, I am (finally) learning to come to terms with the fact that for me to keep being me, and to keep doing what I love to do and continue to grow and evolve in the process, I will never be able to make everyone happy all of the time.  I do hope that this post helps clear things up a bit (it sure has taken me a lot of time to write all of this - LOL!). I wish I have gone into this level of detail sooner, but I am truly busier than ever and I just don't see any down time over the next few months, and at that point, the 2019 audio show season begins!

Thank you,

Vinnie

gene9p

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 366
Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #51 on: 28 Nov 2018, 03:45 pm »
The LIO, if I  understand correctly, is not being phased out. It is not going the way of the VR20 amp that is no longer in production. It will continue to be available and some of the new mods that are being designed have the LIO in mind/ compatibility.It will continue to be supported, built, repaired, etc and the 10 year warranty fulfilled. If Vinnie did not continue to expand and redesign/re invent his products we wouldn't even have the LIO. Every year every manufacturer delivers something new with no way to update your existing model to match the new. Has the LIO reached the end of the road for its design development and improvements? Maybe, however so as long as new mods are introduced it will continue to grow. Can't say that about others products. I have had a few of those promised to be upgrade-able to anything in the future that never happened.

jriggy

Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #52 on: 28 Nov 2018, 06:07 pm »
Fantastic information and explanation, Vinnie! Thank you for taking the time to do so, very helpful and reassuring for both LIO and L2.

Vinnie R.

Re: L2 Signature Preamplifer - Information and Discussion Thread
« Reply #53 on: 28 Nov 2018, 07:12 pm »
Fantastic information and explanation, Vinnie! Thank you for taking the time to do so, very helpful and reassuring for both LIO and L2.

Thank you, jriggy.

Quote from: gene9p
The LIO, if I  understand correctly, is not being phased out.

It will continue to be supported, built, repaired, etc and the 10 year warranty fulfilled.

Hi gene9p,

This is correct!

Thank you,

Vinnie