L2 Integrated Impressions?

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Vinnie R.

Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #40 on: 9 Jan 2020, 07:58 pm »
Thanks @matthewpatrick for the helpful post! 

Any other L2iSE upgrades out there who can provide their impressions of the upgrade?  Thank you!

Happy New Year, everyone!

This was just posted to YouTube - I am very thankful to all of Steve's time and effort with this gorgeous video
of his L2i-SE:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4iuQzJsQwI

 :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

Vinnie

alex z.

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Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #41 on: 10 Jan 2020, 11:00 pm »
Quote from: Vinnie R.
The DHT preamplifier stage in the L2i-SE is very similar in design to the one used in the L2 Signature Preamplifier, but not exactly the same. 

The L2 Signature Preamplifier offers the lowest possible background noise, as it does not contain the L2i-SE's two additional power supplies for the dual-mono speaker output stages.   

Vinnie
Hi Vinnie,

Does it mean that L2i-SE can reach a same lowest noise level when used in preamp mode by switching off the power stage and related supply units inside (AMP off)?

I want to extend my home setup by adding L2i-SE and using it for two possible options:
1. L2iSE as a preamp to drive my current Ayon Crossfire PA (eq. full tube mode).
2. L2iSE as an integrated amp to drive my speakers (native hybrid mode).

Thx, Alex

alex z.

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Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #42 on: 10 Jan 2020, 11:08 pm »
Also, it may be interesting for me to test both gears (L2i-SE and Ayon CF PA) for bi-amping my speakers ;)

gene9p

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Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #43 on: 11 Jan 2020, 10:17 pm »
I thought the Dynaudio Special 40's sounded pretty bad with my Lio Integrated. Guess a 15k upgrade was all I needed..lol

Vinnie R.

Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #44 on: 13 Jan 2020, 08:54 pm »
Hi Vinnie,

Does it mean that L2i-SE can reach a same lowest noise level when used in preamp mode by switching off the power stage and related supply units inside (AMP off)?

Hi Alex,

It will be close, but not 100% of the L2 Signature Preamp.  Why?  Because when the AMP button is switched OFF in the L2i / L2i-SE, this is only
disabling the current output stage of the L and R power amplifiers (essentially, grounding out the gates of the current output stage mosfets) so they
do not amplify the signal.  But the power amplifiers' power supplies are still receiving power / kept warmed up.  This way, there are no added
switches in the signal path or power path, which eliminates the influence of any added parts in the signal/power path and maximizes reliability (e.g. one less switch that can eventually fail years from now). 

Having said that, since much less current would be flowing through the power supply for the power amplifiers when they are disabled (they are not driving speakers when disabled), the noise from their power supplies will be minimal, and the L2i-SE makes for sensational preamplifier via its single-ended or balanced preamp outputs.

The L2i-SE gives you the most bang for your buck compared to the L2 Signature Preamplifier, but *IF* you were *ONLY* going to be using it as a preamplifier, the L2 Sig Preamp would still be my 1st choice.  Since you want to use it as both a preamp *AND* an integrated amp, the L2i-SE makes the most sense.

I hope this clarifies things.

Quote
Also, it may be interesting for me to test both gears (L2i-SE and Ayon CF PA) for bi-amping my speakers ;)

If you were to do this, you'd want the gain of the L2i-SE be set when we build it to match that of the Ayon CF PA.  Otherwise, the unit
with the higher gain will dominate the freq. range it is connected to.  For example, if the Ayon has higher gain and you use it for the tweeters
when bi-amping your speakers, the treble is going to be boosted and could dominate (and vice versa)...

You can also use the L2i-SE in a bi-amp system with the L2 Signature Monoblocks!  :drool:
It's only money, after all... :thumb:

Quote
I thought the Dynaudio Special 40's sounded pretty bad with my Lio Integrated. Guess a 15k upgrade was all I needed..lol

Hi Gene,

Lol - It's a totally different story with the L2i or L2i-SE running the show.  I really don't know how any speaker can sound bad with them, unless
the speaker used (and/or the room they are used in) have fairly substantial issues going on.  :o

Best regards,

Vinnie

alex z.

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Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #45 on: 13 Jan 2020, 10:49 pm »
Hi Vinnie,

Thank you for the answer... Have you ever tried to source the L2i-SE from the Aurender A30 (from either analogue outputs to L2i-SE or from USB towards VR DAC-2)?

A30 houses the same DAC chipset 2xAK4497 (dual mono) like used in the VR DAC-2, so I would really be interested to compare them for SQ.

I see you mainly use Innuos as a digital source in your demos... Are any other recommendations from you for streaming options to the combination L2i-SE + DAC-2?

Thx, Alex

Vinnie R.

Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #46 on: 14 Jan 2020, 12:29 am »
Hi Vinnie,

Thank you for the answer... Have you ever tried to source the L2i-SE from the Aurender A30 (from either analogue outputs to L2i-SE or from USB towards VR DAC-2)?

A30 houses the same DAC chipset 2xAK4497 (dual mono) like used in the VR DAC-2, so I would really be interested to compare them for SQ.

I see you mainly use Innuos as a digital source in your demos... Are any other recommendations from you for streaming options to the combination L2i-SE + DAC-2?

Thx, Alex

Hi Alex,

I haven't used the Aurender A30.  There are so many streaming options available now and I haven't had time to test them all.  I have direct experience with the Innuos line and they are very impressive units, but I cannot say how they compare to others without doing the direct comparison in my system.

Quote
A30 houses the same DAC chipset 2xAK4497 (dual mono) like used in the VR DAC-2, so I would really be interested to compare them for SQ.

Good question - the d/a chip(s) are only a part of the much larger equation, so it is hard to know how they compare. 

Best regards,

Vinnie

magnuska

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Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #47 on: 9 Feb 2020, 08:12 pm »
Hi!

I received my L2 i standard version with 6SN7 tubes around a month ago. I told Vinnie that I would come back with
a short write up on the forum once it settled a bit. And while I received about the same time the new etherRegen it has
perhaps taken a bit longer to hear it settle proparly. So much so I could make a more stable opinion of it.

It replaced a LIO with AVC/tubestage and L2 DAC was already there.  The dac was then transfered to the new L2 amp.

A really well built and heavy fine piece of amplifier was present under all protection and packing material. Its not easy to unpack
and handle alone but I got help from my son.

As I initially wrote to Vinnie . It sounded actually better than the LIO ever did and that almost from cold. I always find the burn in process a bit strange. Often when opening and trialing a new electronic item it sounds quite ok the first few hours and then the rollercoaster ride begins with ups and downs for a long time. Vinnie told me to hold on for at least 100 hrs and then I will fall in love with it. I think It needed alot more hours than that. I have been counting weeks instead of hours.

Its a very solid and stable product in both its appearance and sound. The fundament in the low end is now more easy to hear and all dynamics and transients are ther to make a more speedy bass presentation than ever the LIO did. This can also be translated to all mid and top too. Everything is more clear, life like and dynamics. But above all its so musical that one can listen all day long without turning it off. You just listen to lyrics easier, you hear details and layers that was hard to hear before.

I have not played that loud but It can handle higher levels now. My standsmounts with 85db is more happy now I guess with a lot more power in store.

Look forward to have this musical instrument for a long time in my system.

My system is all streaming.
Source is a Roon server from Innuos mini Mk3 to Antipodes EX Roon player.
EtherRegen
Powersupplies from Sean Jacobs UK
Cables all around from Audiosensibility

Thank you Vinnie!!

/Magnus

Terence T.

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Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #48 on: 10 Feb 2020, 06:07 pm »
Hi Magnus,

Thanks for the write up on the impressions of the L2i and how it compares to LIO (AVC/Tubestage with L2 DAC).

Terence

Vinnie R.

Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #49 on: 10 Feb 2020, 08:52 pm »
Hi Magnus,

Thank you for posting your impressions of the L2i  8)

>>Look forward to have this musical instrument for a long time in my system.

It will serve you very well for many years to come, and at some point, you might want to try a higher-end pair of
6SN7's (and fortunately, they are not nearly as expensive as the high-end DHTs).  I'm still playing with various pairs, and
then I hope to post some recommendations.

I'm very happy to read that you are enjoying your L2i  :singing: - thanks again,

Vinnie

magnuska

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Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #50 on: 11 Feb 2020, 03:46 pm »
Yes, rolling 6SN7 tubes could be fun and relatively inexpensive.

Vinnie, please share eventually when your trials are over :)

Regards Magnus

WillyL

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  • Posts: 5
Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #51 on: 23 Feb 2020, 04:04 pm »
Been enjoying my new L2 integrated for a few days now. Even at first power-up, you could hear that it was something special. I could bore you with a lengthy writeup about the sound, but I wont. Instead, I just want to say that the customer support from Vinnie has been amazing--as we worked out the logistics of trade-in, shipping to/from Japan, and a lot of really basic newbie questions from me. When you factor in the customer service, warrantee, build quality, sound, looks: its a no brainer!

As I said before...customer for life. I am sure I will spring the monoblocks down the road.

p.s I am using the stock tubes that came with the integrated. Any suggestions out there on next level up for tubes? (I see a of pictures with the tubes actually sticking up out of the unit. Is that because the model is the Signature model, or is there a larger, better sounding tube? )

Cheers,
Willy L.

jriggy

Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #52 on: 23 Feb 2020, 06:52 pm »
Congrats WillyL! And I concur about Vinnie’s customer service. When I had my trial period with the L2 Signature preamp, he helped with a couple synergy and set-up issues I though I was having, as well as sending me another set of cables to try. And yes, I did end up purchasing the L2 preamp.

As far as your unit.... Is it the 6SN7 version or DHT version? Direct Heated Triode tubes are much bigger (and much more expensive) than 6sn7 tubes.


Vinnie R.

Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #53 on: 25 Feb 2020, 12:24 am »
Been enjoying my new L2 integrated for a few days now. Even at first power-up, you could hear that it was something special. I could bore you with a lengthy writeup about the sound, but I wont. Instead, I just want to say that the customer support from Vinnie has been amazing--as we worked out the logistics of trade-in, shipping to/from Japan, and a lot of really basic newbie questions from me. When you factor in the customer service, warrantee, build quality, sound, looks: its a no brainer!

As I said before...customer for life. I am sure I will spring the monoblocks down the road.

p.s I am using the stock tubes that came with the integrated. Any suggestions out there on next level up for tubes? (I see a of pictures with the tubes actually sticking up out of the unit. Is that because the model is the Signature model, or is there a larger, better sounding tube? )

Cheers,
Willy L.

Hi Willy L,

Thanks for your post - and I'm very happy to hear that you are enjoying your L2i right out of the box!  Your unit is the L2i, which uses the smaller 6SN7s (8-pin tubes).  The L2i-SE uses the larger (taller)
directly heated triodes that you are referring to.

And thank you for your feedback (and jriggy's) regarding my customer service. :notworthy:

Happy listening!

Vinnie


WillyL

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #54 on: 25 Feb 2020, 03:14 am »
The L2 getting better after just a few listens. The sound is really smoothing out. Is it the amp or DAC? Not sure, but enjoying this hour by hour improvement.

Last night John Coltrane Ballads SACD was pretty much the closest to LIVE I have ever heard  (and if any of you remember me from the beginnings of this board, when I used to post much more under a different name, I had much more expensive gear)

Anyway. Well done!

(About the tubes...Yes. I did not want to fuss too much with tubes in reality...)

 :)

magnuska

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Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #55 on: 27 Feb 2020, 10:46 am »
Congrats WillyL

I also have the L2i version and I am very happy with it.

Regarding replacement tubes I wonder if maybe Vinnie has tried Psvane tubes :)

https://www.tubeampdoctor.com/en/psvane-cv181-t-mii/2/6sn7gt-matched-pair

SteveParsons

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Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #56 on: 1 Mar 2020, 03:33 pm »
A quick impression from me after about 12 hrs on the burn in for the L2-SE integrated (with DAC 2.0).  I had the LIO DHT previously (also with DAC 2.0) and tbh I was surprised that I could hear the improvements over the LIO very quickly.   The LIO was the best component I have owned (and I've owned a fair few).  I'd describe the sound signature as typically Vinnie (very musical and involving), my best analogy for the L2 is to a better pair of bino's.  You can see further into the music with improved clarity compared to the LIO.  I can also hear improved tone on instruments.  Its a similar sound, but more of it.

The hype is true, this is a seriously impressive piece of kit.

I'm using Tak 300B's and speakers are refurb'd Tanny Corner Yorks (oversized cabs).  Loving the Floyd...


Terence T.

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Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #57 on: 2 Mar 2020, 06:33 pm »
Hi Everyone,

Does anyone has a pair of WE 300Bs from Rossville in their L2i-SE? Care to post your impressions of them in L2i-SE?  :drool:

Terence

Vinnie R.

Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #58 on: 6 Mar 2020, 12:36 am »
All,

I apologize for the delayed response - these continue to be very busy days for me and I don't have nearly as much time to post on the forum as I'd like (but I still do my very best to
respond to emails within 24 hours!  :angel:)

Quote
The hype is true, this is a seriously impressive piece of kit.

I'm using Tak 300B's and speakers are refurb'd Tanny Corner Yorks (oversized cabs).  Loving the Floyd...

Thank you for posting initial impressions, Steve!  And I love the "piece of kit" saying  :green:

Quote
Regarding replacement tubes I wonder if maybe Vinnie has tried Psvane tubes :)

https://www.tubeampdoctor.com/en/psvane-cv181-t-mii/2/6sn7gt-matched-pair

Hi Magnuska,

No, I have not tried them yet.  However, Marc Phillips of Part-Time Audiophile is wrapping up his review of the L2i and is using these 6SN7 replacement tubes in it:

https://www.thetubestore.com/shuguang-natural-sound-cv181-t



I am not sure how they compare to the Psvane CV181-T?

Quote
Does anyone has a pair of WE 300Bs from Rossville in their L2i-SE? Care to post your impressions of them in L2i-SE?  :drool:

Hi Terence,

Are you referring to the new production WE300Bs?  Last I heard is that they still have not shipped yet.  I hope the wait is over soon, because I really enjoy my pair of WE-300Bs from 2006 and can't wait to hear the new Rossville factory version!  I just don't want to order until they are actually shipping them.  :wink:

---

Upcoming Reviews

1) L2i by Marc Phillips of Part-Time Audiophile.com (not sure when it will go live, but most likely within a month)

2) L2i-SE by Anthony Kershaw of Audiophilia.com (I was told that review is planned to go live next Friday!)

3) L2i-SE by Matthew Clott of The Absolute Sound (Review will hopefully will be in the next issue!)

4) L2i-SE by David Robinson of Positive Feedback Online (Spring 2020)


Our Next Audio Show

AXPONA 2020

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You are invited to attend AXPONA with a 10% Discount on any Three-Day tickets. Simply visit https://www.axpona.com/ and use VIP Code AP13XN when registering.
 
(And yes, I am aware of the coronavirus - but AXPONA reiterated today that the show will continue as planned)

Stay healthy, everyone!

Vinnie
« Last Edit: 10 Mar 2020, 12:52 am by Vinnie R. »

Terence T.

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  • Posts: 29
Re: L2 Integrated Impressions?
« Reply #59 on: 6 Mar 2020, 05:03 pm »
Are you referring to the new production WE300Bs?  Last I heard is that they still have not shipped yet.  I hope the wait is over soon, because I really enjoy my pair of WE-300Bs from 2006 and can't wait to hear the new Rossville factory version!  I just don't want to order until they are actually shipping them.  :wink:

Hi Vinnie,

Thanks for your post. Yes, I'm referring to the new production of WE300Bs from Rossville. Likewise, I share your sentiments not to order until they have started shipping them worldwide. :hyper:

Terence