Vinnie Rossi ~ Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2018 Show Coverage Thread ~

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Vinnie R.

Quote from: Vinnie R
The L2 Signature Preamplifier in both rooms was equipped with the L2 Dac module, and the only difference was the one used in Room 4024 also contained the new L2 Phonostage module (which was just perfect for a demo that we had in our room by Muxia Music's test pressing LP of Trio Palabras!  I will be posting more on this soon).

I decided to post this in a separate thread - this is a fantastic recording and something to look out for in Spring 2019!



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Thanks, Mike @ AudioShark! It was a pleasure to meet you!

Yo Vinnie --- Bada-bing, Gabagool... Capeesh?

If I wasn't from the Bronx I would have no clue what you are saying..LOL

Vinnie R.

If I wasn't from the Bronx I would have no clue what you are saying..LOL

When you have a name like Vinnie, it goes with the territory I suppose. :duh: :?

Vinnie R.

A mention from Steve Guttenberg ("The Audiophiliac") / CNET:

"These High End Audio Devices Take Sound To Another Level"

Quote from: Steve Guttenberg/CNET
A feast for your eyes and ears

I've attended nearly every Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, Colorado since 2008, but this year's show had more spring in its step. Lots of cool gear of course, but the show goers' excitement was palpable. High-end audio is alive and well!

This is what we all love to hear, Steve - and thank you for visiting!


Vinnie R.

More from Jack Roberts / The Audio Beatnik!

RMAF 2018 Debut Products that Really Impressed

Vinnie Rossi (L2 Signature Preamplifier and Monoblocks) & Spatial Audio (Lumina L2 open baffle loudspeakers)

Quote from: Jack Roberts / The Audio Beatnik
This is one of the systems at the show that really got my motor running. The whole system didn’t cost what many of the speakers at the show sold for, and it sounded better than most. It was dynamic, open, had emotional energy and was very natural sounding. These were three great debut products.

Many thanks again, Jack!



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Hi Vinnie,

This is Gordon K. (knodrog) again chiming in. I have all tube Air Tight monoblock 211s and an Air Tight ATC2 preamp driving my older Luminas. The sound is terrific especially considering all the tweaks I've incorporated as well as having a completely professionally tuned (by Clayton) sound room. I am curious about keeping the special tube sound when you connect your SET preamp to your MOSFET solid state power monoblocks. I would think the tube qualities would be lost, but that is not what I heard in your room with the Lumina L2s running. Quite simply it was IMO the best sound I ever heard!! I need to be able to listen to full symphonic music as well as jazz ensembles. I knew I would need the headroom provided by my 211's 22 watts per channel to fill my 16 x 22 fully dedicated sound room. It seems to provide all the power I need, but would the ease and beauty of what I heard in your room reveal that I would actually need the power of your monoblocks @75 watts a channel to be the main issue of providing that sound regardless that your solid state monoblocks and not my 22 watt SET amps are driving the Lumina L2's? 

Vinnie R.

Hi knodrog,

Welcome to the VR forum!

Quote from: knodrog
Quite simply it was IMO the best sound I ever heard!!

Thank you!  8)

Quote from: knodrog
but would the ease and beauty of what I heard in your room reveal that I would actually need the power of your monoblocks @75 watts a channel to be the main issue of providing that sound regardless that your solid state monoblocks and not my 22 watt SET amps are driving the Lumina L2's?

The Spatial Luminas are fairly sensitive (I believe around 95dB) and have powered-bass drivers.  So 22 watts *should* be plenty in a 16x22 room.

I think it is everything else about the preamplifer and power amplification that resulted in you hearing a much different sound.

Let's start with the preamplifiers:

The L2 Signature Preamplifier is a significantly different design compared to the AirTight ATC2.

ATC2 is an SRPP (Series Regulated Push-Pull) topology and uses a 12AX7, a couple of 12AU7s (these are both 9-pin, indirectly heated tubes) and an Alps potentiometer volume control.  I couldn't find more detail about it.

L2 Signature Preamplifier uses 4-pin directly heated triodes (stock tubes are 300B, and it is a 'convertible' design that accepts some other highly delicious sounding DHT's), is single-ended (no SRPP), no feedback, uses a discrete resistor volume control instead of an Alps potentiometer, and I am sure there are many other differences such as the very important power supply topology (L2 uses dual-mono, Belleson super-regulated power supplies), bandwidth, etc.

The L2 Preamp contains a unique circuit that truly sounds like no other (and with better quality DHT tubes than the stock 300B that was used at RMAF, it gets even better)!  You are hearing the Directly Heated Triode (DHT) tubes do their thing, without being taxed by an output transformer or the load of a speaker (which is a significant load compared to driving the input of an amplifier) so you are hearing the DHTs in all their glory. And L2 is a very low-noise circuit (incredibly low noise for a DHT Preamp).  L2 Preamp is by far my best preamplifier design, and I really don't know how I'll ever top it.  :o

So the preamplifiers are going to sound completely different.

As far as the power amplifiers:

Again, they are very different.  Airtight 211 is an SET amp, has an output transformer, far less bandwidth (I believe it starts rolling off before 20kHz), an order of magnitude higher output impedance, lower output power (but as I mention above, it probably is still powerful enough for your Luminas because they are fairly sensitive).

L2 Siganture Monoblocks are MOSFET, significantly higher bandwidth, much lower output impedance, has greater than 3x the output power (and even more into lower impedance), etc.  It's transient response is very impressive!  It sounds unlike any solid-state amplifier that I have heard.  Highly resolving, fast, musical - with only one pair of MOSFETs on the output.  The amplifier board itself is very small, with low parts sound, short signal paths, and fed from very "good iron" (an excellent, custom-made transformer).  And L2 Monoblocks by far my best amplifier design, and I really don't know how I'll ever top them either! (sure, wattage and size could be increased, but I'm talking about topping how they sound).

I am not saying one is "better" sounding than the other (of course this is matter of taste, and depends on synergy with speakers and other factors) - but they will sound very different.   And you were easily able to hear this at RMAF with the L2 Preamp and Monoblocks driving the Spatial Luminas (in a similar sized room to your own).

-- My approach with L2 is to let the L2 Preamplifier set the foundation of the sound with its no-feedback, directly-heated triode design, high bandwidth, low noise floor, etc.  Then let the L2 Monoblocks "copy" that unique DHT magic and provide power gain to drive the speakers.     

-- You were also hearing the source (L2 Dac), which naturally plays an important role.  It was running in non-oversampling mode, has a top-notch reclocking circuit, dual mono, Class A discrete output stages, and a whole lot of other tricks that make it a killer source.

So since you already own the Luminas, and you love how they sounded at RMAF, then feel free to email or call me about L2 whenever you are ready.  The only two things that I would like to mention are:

1) Lead-time is getting longer by the week, as this is my busiest time of the year.

2) Starting 2019, there will be an increase to the pricing (I will begin taking on global distribution for L2).  *Now* is the "pre-order" pricing of both components.

And thanks again for listening at RMAF and posting your impressions!



Vinnie R.

Just when I thought the RMAF 2018 Show Coverage was completed, Brian Hunter of Audio-Head just

Quote from: Brian Hunter /
The slide guitar-infused Plowin’ Mule track by Doug MacLeod posted almost ghost-like focus for each instrument in the music field. It was certainly hard to tell where the speakers were placed, and if pressed to gander a guess, I would have implied a location much further back, behind the somewhat close, actual placement of the 40.2s. A fun party trick? An expensive hollowed gesture to scare trick-or-treaters? I say nay. Raw craftsmanship from two brands that gel together for power when needed and grace unyielding. Best imaging and focus of the show for me.

And he shows a hot top-view pic of the L2 Signature Preamplifier & Monoblocks, wired neatly with all Triode Wire Labs cabling:

Photo Credit: Brian Hunter /

Thanks for your post, Brian - and for coming in for a fun listen to our room demo!


Vinnie R.

And now a "RMAF 2018 Best System Award" from The Audio Beatnik:

Best System at RMAF Under $60,000 – Spatial Audio/ Vinnie Rossi Room

Thank you very much, Jack and Becky Roberts!  :notworthy:


Vinnie R.

Eric Franklin Shook of Part-Time Audiophile already covered the Vinnie Rossi / Spatial Audio room, and today he
posed his full coverage of the Vinnie Rossi / Harbeth / Triode Wire Labs room:

Quote from: Eric Franklin Shook of Part-Time Audiophile
Insight was available by the boatload. Bass attack, fast, but not bloated or overly thumpy. Mid-range, what I consider to be signature Harbeth, but turned upward and wider that I know from my previously smaller Harbeth experiences. Treble was where, for me, things shined. The insight came from imaging that hung afloat in the middle of the room like an apparition.

Photos by Eric Franklin Shook / Part-Time

Many thanks again, Eric, for all your coverage of our rooms!  :wave:


Vinnie R.

More bacon, please!

Quote from: Jay Luong /
If you ever wanted to hear a pair of Harbeth 40.2 speakers ($17,990/pr) disappear in a room, pair them new Vinnie Rossi gear and Triode Wire Labs cabling. Vinnie Rossi debuts his L2 Signature Preamplifier with DAC and Phono (21,985) and Monoblocks ($14,995/pair) at RMAF 2018.

Along with eye-opening clarity, imaging, and soundstage depth, these L2s were some of the best looking pieces of audio gear. That CNC-machined aluminum chassis is just sick.

Photo credit:  Jay Luong /

Thanks again, Jay! 


Vinnie R.

And one more to wrap up the RMAF 2018 Show Coverage!

Quote from: Julie Mullins / The Absolute Sound
* Most Significant New Products of RMAF 2018 *

Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Preamplifier and L2 Signature Monoblocks

Thank you, Julie!


[Off to the New York Audio Show next week!]