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Vinnie Rossi's LIO


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as always the devil is in the details, so lets look at this


24V cheapass switcher power supply brick supplies power to the caps.

And probably fills the chassis with high frequency hash.


2 banks of caps, one charges, the other supplies power to

the unit.  Now is this +/-12V, or is this +24V single with the

amplifiers capacitively coupled outputs. In either case, headphone

output power is pretty limited.


How far in voltage does the cap sink before it switches.

So the amplifier and the rest of the stuff continuously

see's the equivalent of triangle waves on top of the power supply.


How often does it switch banks. How well isolated is that

switching, and is it audible.


What about the fact that all of this is to get rid of power supply

noise, and ultracapacitors are electrochemical, and have way more

noise than either lead-acid batteries, or well designed power supplies.


A solution looking for a problem that can be made to not exist in far

cheaper ways.


but it does seem to be fairly well built.

Edited by kevin gilmore
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I don't necessarily think a switcher is the end of the world. A) the noise can be filtered, and B ) the noise from rectifiers can be more of an issue. Whether this particular supply is any good, I have no idea.


Aesthetically, it looks like it is frowning which seems like a poor marketing choice.

Edited by dsavitsk
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from pictures that have been posted elsewhere including bottom and top of the board,

there is no protection on those caps. The manufacturer specifically states that if you

put more than 2 in series (and Vinnie is putting 9 in series) you absolutely have to

have 3V protection on each and every cap.  Because somewhere past 3.1V the cap



$500 in caps for absolutely nothing.

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I like the concept, and I like Vinny himself.  He was supposed to bring some LIO stuff to the December meet in NH but he got sick and had to bow out.


But technically, if there are issues, that's not good.  And, the pricing on most of his products is high, sets off my value alarms......


I had heard one of his amps previously at the store where the meet was held, it actually was the best amp there driving the Audeze LCD-2's; but again, pricey....

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I've never owned any of Vinnie's wares. However he has been a frequent supporter of the NY/CT meets where I've had the opportunity to listen to many of his products over the years. They have never offended, and often excelled.


At the recent November meet in Stamford, he was showing the LIO, along with his modded Sony HAP-S1 player, using a pair of HifiMAN HE-560 headphones. It was a total pleasure to listen to. Smooth, lacking any evidence of grain yet with plenty of detail. As transparent a headphone-audio experience as I've heard.


Although I did not listen to too much other gear that day, Vinnie's setup sounded far superior than:

 - HifiMAN HM901->HifiMAN EF-6->HifiMAN HE-560 or HE-400i
 - AK240->Chord Hugo->Inspire IHA-1-AKG K812
 - unknown PC-based source->Mjolnir Audio KGSS->Stax SR009


all of which cost at least as much, if not far more than the LIO-based system. How much of that experience had to do with the modded Sony player vs. the LIO powering the headphones, I couldn't say.


I guess the value of any audio product above $1k can always be questioned. But Vinnie's products are not anywhere near the stratosphere of the industry. The modular nature of the LIO can be seen as a hedge against obsolescence & permits easy servicing. Also, having so much functionality in one box eliminates the need for expensive interconnects, upping the value proposition I'd think.


While I am far from being capable of discussing (or debating) the technical details, all of this seems to make some logical sense. And it bears out in the sonics of what I've heard myself. The build quality of his products is very good & clean. His designs have not put anyone in remotely any danger (to my knowledge). And his customer service has never been called into question (again, to my knowledge).


While I am not a fan of ALO, and Vinnie's past association with Ken always perplexed me (not sure where that relationship stands atm). But if Rossi's products fit into a system I wished to put together, and I had the "scratch", I don't think I'd regret pulling the trigger. At the very least, they warrant a listen.

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Also, having so much functionality in one box eliminates the need for expensive interconnects, upping the value proposition I'd think.


There are still things connected together. Why would bringing the wires outside the box for a moment change whether or not the electrons want to be pampered by Techflex?

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