AXPONA 2018: Vinnie Rossi has $15,000 Statement mono blocks, and pre-amplifier in prototype stages

The new L2 Mono Block power amplifiers.

Vinnie Rossi, the man behind the critically-acclaimed, and popular LIO system has been working tirelessly the last several months on research & development, design, and manufacture of a brand new “statement level” preamplifier and mono block power amplifier.

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Rossi, who will be at AXPONA 2018 in Room 486 (with Harbeth 40.2 and 30.2 “40th Anniversary Edition” loudspeakers, and Triode Wire Labs cables), said these new components are still in the prototype stages.  I had the opportunity to catch up with him right before the show:
Rafe Arnott: You’ve been incredibly busy working on R&D, design, and construction for what you’ve said is an upcoming “Statement” pre-amplifier, and mono blocks from Vinnie Rossi. What can you tell me about these new offerings?  R&D is not cheap, nor is implementing a new product into an existing – well received, and reviewed – production line, What price points will be offering them at?
Vinnie Rossi: I am excited to announce that two new statement products in the works and coming soon: The L2 Preamplifier, and L2 Mono block Amplifiers. 
The L2 Monoblocks

* Vinnie Rossi’s new flagship, Class AB MOSFET design topology
* Super high bandwidth, flat frequency response from 20Hz – over 250kHz
* Power Output: Approx. 75W RMS into 8-ohm, 140W RMS into 4-ohm (2-ohm stable)
* Over 100,000uF of low ESR power supply rail capacitance
* Custom-wound, 500VA toroidal power supply transformer
* WBT NextGen Binding Posts, Neutrik RCA and XLR input jacks, 0.5” thick solid aluminum chassis

* 12V Trigger input

Dimensions:  Approx. 5.5″ wide x 14″ deep x 5″ tall

The L2 Signature Monoblocks are by far my finest sounding amplifiers to date.  I am aiming to begin production late May 2018, and
they will be priced at $14,995 USD/pair.
Unique, space-saving design.
RA: Can we expect to see a sneak preview at AXPONA?
VR: At AXPONA, I’ll be showing a “pre-production prototype” pair of the L2 Signature Mono blocks driven by the LIO DHT Preamplifier with DAC 2.0 module.
Unfortunately, the L2 Signature Preamplifier prototype will not be ready in time for AXPONA.  I do have some preliminary information to share about it:
The L2 Signature Preamplifier will be a Class A, Directly Heated Triode preamplifier (‘convertible’ tube design, as we implement with LIO’s DHT PRE), but an entirely new design from the ground up.  For starters, one switch on the rear panel will set the filament voltage for both tubes (for rolling 2A3/45’s, 300B, PX4, 101-D/205-D, 811’s), as well as internal switches to allow the listener to completely bypass the tubestage and use a Class A JFET stage in its place, as well as to change gain settings of the preamplifier stage.  It will have true balanced inputs / outputs, as well as single-ended inputs/outputs, and dual 12V trigger outputs (to turn on the L2 Monoblocks at the same time from the L2 Preamp’s front panel or remote handset).  The tubes will have attractive mesh covers around them to keep hum to a minimum (no matter what accepted tube is used).  Even the power supply is an entirely new design – all linear with numerous Belleson super-regulators used for each and every stage, as well as dual internal toroidal transformers.
I anticipate beginning production sometime this summer, priced at $14,995 USD.
There will also be two (and only two) optional modules for the L2 Preamplifier:  The L2 DAC (based on our LIO DAC 2.0 module), and an all new L2 Phonostage (which will be compatible with LIO as a significant upgrade to our current LIO Phonostage 1.0).
For both the L2 components, one can except both the sound quality and build quality/aesthetics to surpass everything that we’ve done in the past.  These are both statement components designed from the ground up to compete with more costly competition.
Here to stay: The LIO is not going anywhere.
RA: What do these new flagship models mean for your existing, and extremely popular LIO designs?
VR: Over time, expect some of the L2 Preamplifier’s circuit and power supply refinements to trickle down to LIO as upgrade options.  LIO will continue to improve and be sold factory-direct.  There are many things to look forward to in 2018 and beyond.

About Rafe Arnott 389 Articles
Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream