The modular approach to Vinnie Rossi’s LIO true all-in-one integrated amplifier makes perfect sense. Buy the stuff you want, save money by skipping the features you don’t. Want step things up a bit with the internals? The upgrade path is perfectly clear.
The custom combinations for the LIO are what you make of it. You can add a DSD128 capable dual-mono AKM-chipped digital section to the mix, or even a class-A, zero-feedback phono stage with MC step-up transformers should the moment move you.
The newest option to grace the insides of the USA-made LIO is the DHT line stage. In this case, DHT stands for directly heated triode pre amp, equipped in true class-A OTL fashion with super-regulated filaments. Tube rolling options include 2A3/45, 300B, PX4/PX25, 101D/205D and SV811/SV575 triode families. The power amplifier section in the demo room at AXPONA rig was a MOSFET high-current class AB geared to deliver 25 watts per channel into 8-ohms. Fitting the less-is-more trend of many rooms at the show, a Macbook Air connected to a Sonore microRendu provided a digital source to the USB input of the LIO and an Acoustic Signature Thunder Turntable ($11k) supplied an analog option. In total Vinnie’s show LIO came to $10,470 for its configuration.
My time in the room started with the fabulous M40.2 monitors by the England-based Harbeth ($14,795), but I was also lucky enough to get a quick listen in from a pair of Super HL5 plus that Vinnie had stashed in the back. The sound from the M40.2 was immediate (in a good way) and responsive within the somewhat tight quarters of the room. The rig in Vinnie’s room may be attached to a hifi price tag, but rest assured the sound coming at you is full high fidelity quality as well.