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Vinnie Rossi L2i Integrated Amplifier | Review

by Marc Phillips in Components

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years, you’re probably aware that Vinnie Rossi has been shaking up the world of high-end audio shows with his tremendous L2 amplification line. I’ve always been a fan of Vinnie’s designs, going back more than a dozen years when I listened to one of his battery-powered Red Wine Audio amps. I used it to review a wonderful pair of WLM loudspeakers from Austria, which Vinnie used to import into the US. Over the last year or so [...]


  • “These ‘uns are a little bit different,” Scot Hull told me in that almost impenetrable Northern Maryland drawl of his. It was almost a warning—he knew I loved the Linear Tube Audio Z10 integrated so much that I gave it an Editor’s Choice Award, and that the LTA ZOTL40 power amplifier and microZOTL preamplifier were cut from a slightly different cloth when it came to the overall sound. The Z10 was agile and exceptionally light on its feet, and Scot believed—after spending some time [...]
  • My Mactone (website) adventure started last year at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, when I went to visit my good friend Bob Clarke of Profundo. He brought a pair of Trenner & Friedl Osiris loudspeakers, perhaps the only T&F design I hadn’t heard up to that point, to a room hosted by NYC high-end audio dealer In Living Stereo. The system included a Clearaudio turntable with a Hana ML cartridge, and some gorgeous Japanese amplifiers from a brand named I’d never heard of, so Bob [...]
  • Pass Labs INT-250 Integrated Amplifier | Review

    February 9, 2020 // 2 Comments

    In the quirky (to put it kindly) universe of high-end audio, the epithet “Lifestyle Product” is a bit of a put-down — even for an amplifier as imposing as the Pass Labs INT-250. According to the high-end stereotype, a “lifestyle” product is one that combines luxurious, living-room friendly aesthetics and operational simplicity and convenience, but with suspect sound quality. A “lifestyle product” doesn’t sully your living room with graceless industrial [...]
  • It’s good to be king, or so they say. For me, that’s precisely the vibe that exudes from the Bricasti M12 Platinum Edition Source Controller. With a name like that, this august device seems more than comfortable mantled in royal attire. It wears well. For the record, I’ve been a fan of Bricasti gear since I first laid ears on the Classic M1 DAC, which I got to review a year or so ago. I really liked it, and I told Scot Hull as much. Long story short, that unit became mine, and since then [...]
  • I originally intended for this review of the Linear Tube Audio Z10 integrated amplifier to be sort of a mini-review in conjunction with the Fern & Roby Raven loudspeakers since I was scheduled to only have it on hand for a few short weeks. Since my time with this amazing $4950 integrated amp was extended, and because I was so impressed with it, I’m giving it a more thorough evaluation. Christopher Hildebrand of Fern & Roby wanted me to try the Z10 Integrated with the Ravens for an [...]
  • Vitus Audio Factory Visit | Man About Town

    October 19, 2019 // 0 Comments

    A trip to the Vitus Audio Factory Denmark, a country with a landmass 1/25th the size of Ontario Canada and a population of only 5.6 Million, occupies one of the most prestigious spots in the world of high-end audio. Danish audio manufacturing is a benchmark of excellence, known worldwide for their high-quality standards and manufacturing precision. The sound Danish audio equipment is also known for having natural timbres and organic elements, which makes them desirable and highly sought after [...]
  • In this review, Rick takes a good look at the Merrill Audio Christine preamplifier and the Merrill Audio Element 118 monoblock amplifiers. Back of the Class? Ever since their introduction in 1958, Class D amplifiers have been loved by many for their efficiency versus traditional Class A, AB or B circuitries. Theoretically, Class D circuits are capable of achieving 90-98% efficiency, whereas Class B operates at approximately 75% and Class A at 20-50%. This difference gives Class D significant [...]
  • Sparkler Audio Spiral, Ether | Review

    August 11, 2019 // 8 Comments

    A Box of Sparklers My introduction to the wares of Sparkler Audio (website) was through the 2017 and 2018 Capital Audiofest shows. There, I’d made note of Sparker’s quirky Spiral compact disc player, which had been featured in both the Charney Audio and VK Music rooms. Given that I had really enjoyed the sound in these rooms at both shows, I was determined to put Sparker Audio on my “to do” radar. That little CD player just kept tugging at me, as I had been considering getting a disc [...]
  • Vitus Audio RS101 and RL102 | Review

    July 7, 2019 // 3 Comments

    Looking at the Vitus Audio RS101 amplifier, or the matching Vitus Audio RL102 linestage (updates to the line that included the RS100 and RD100, which we reviewed a few years ago), it’s hard to dispute that Hans Ole Vitus is a no-compromise kind of guy. According to his brief online biography, the Danish-born designer cut his teeth early on high-end audio, having taken apart, re-built and modified his share of components as a youngster. This interest led to a degree in electronic [...]
  • Vinnie Rossi LIO | Review

    June 16, 2019 // 3 Comments

      by Steve Folberg The Vinnie Rossi LIO I couldn’t be more pleased about once again reviewing an integrated amplifier for Part-Time Audiophile, especially since I’m currently searching for an integrated amp for my own system. If you want to know why I’m set on an integrated rather than separates, my PTA review of the Luxman L-550AX II, a physically gorgeous amplifier that made some impressively beautiful music in my system. I was, in fact, quite reluctant to pack that baby up and [...]
  • Rowen Absolute MONO | Mini-Review

    February 15, 2019 // 3 Comments

    Who is Rowen? Every dyed-in-the-wool, card-carrying, worldly audiophile knows of all the significant audio companies coming out of that highly regarded Alpine nation, right? Well, maybe not. Not only is Rowen a major player (website) in the Swiss audio market, it also boasts a 47-year unbroken heritage, successfully passing the flame from one generation to the next. Rowen is uncommon in that they manufacture high-end amps and speakers. This advantages them in knowing the demands both impose on [...]
  • Naim Uniti Atom All-In-One Audio System | Review

    January 20, 2019 // 2 Comments

    Introducing the Naim Uniti Atom “All in one, and one for all!” Wait, what? Ha! You’ve just been introduced to my new tagline for Naim Audio’s nifty combined audio system, the Uniti Atom. It’s an all-in-one audio system, as in high-end meets lifestyle. As in “I want this thing, and so should everyone else.” So let me explain… I’ve dealt with combined audio systems before. I suppose I’m a bit biased against them, but for no good reason. Audiophile purist snobbery perhaps? [...]
  • Dan D’Agostino’s new reference Relentless Monoblock amplifier (website) weighs in at a record 570 pounds, can dance beautifully at 1 watt and will party all the way 6000 watts into 2 ohms when driven by a 220v electrical circuit. Although it takes 4 strong dudes to drop it in place, once warmed up and you’re past the dent in the checking account, I don’t think you’ll ever want to move it once you power it up. Two years in the making, Dan D’Agostino describes the development as a [...]
  • Do I really need an excuse to ditch Rochester just before the first major snowstorm of the season just to head down to San Diego? As excuses go, I can think on none more sublime than visiting a high-end audio dealer to evaluate a couple of state-of-the-art designs that have just been introduced. Alma Audio is nestled in the Kearney Mesa area of the city, not far from the airport. It’s a fairly new enterprise, opened in 2015 by partners Alexandre Siufy and Fabio Storelli. Along with Adrienne [...]
  • Another amplifier is aiming right at the balls of the established order of high-end consumer electronics. Out of the gate that last statement might seem a little crass, but by the end of this I hope to (at least partly) justify it. Peachtree Audio (website) has been looking to exploit the high-end audio market’s major weaknesses for over a decade. Many of the long heralded brands we have come to know and love have been slow to adapt to the changing marketplace, either out of fear of losing [...]
  • Auris Audio (website) is a somewhat new addition to the rich high-end audio tradition of the central European country of Serbia. If that strikes you as odd, let me assure you that yes, they’ve got a robust market for high-end audio manufacturing there! There are some wonderful and well-established companies from that part of the world doing some truly amazing things in the High-End corner of our hobby. A couple of the of better-known ones immediately come to mind. One is Dayens, which has [...]
  • Bakoon AMP-41 Review | An Open Window

    September 30, 2018 // 1 Comment

    The Bakoon Amp-41 integrated amplifier was a mystery to me. As in “no preconceived notions” whatsoever.  Sometimes, we get to evaluate gear that has been reviewed to death by the major players, talked about incessantly in the back corridors of the audio chatrooms, and the like.  It’s fun, but like it or not, I feel like I know more than I want to about the product before I ever get to hear it for myself.  My initial thought when Scot Hull handed me this amp was something like [...]
  • Emotiva TA-100 Review | The Millennial Audiophile

    September 2, 2018 // 5 Comments

    Emotiva's TA-100 aims to dominate the entry-level integrated category by offering a little more of everything [...]
  • McGary Audio SA-1

    McGary Audio SA-1 Stereo Amplifier Review

    September 1, 2018 // 2 Comments

    One of the fun aspects of reviewing gear from small start-up companies is getting to know the owner/proprietor, who is also usually the designer and builder of the piece of gear I’m reviewing. Such is the case with Mike McGary, something of a new kid on the block in the world of vacuum tube amplifier design. Mike is the owner, designer, builder, and chief bottle washer at upstart McGary Audio, which is based in Gainesville, Virginia, not quite a two-hour drive from my home in south-central [...]
  • Psvane EL34PH Review | Tube Me!

    August 24, 2018 // 3 Comments

    by Darryl Lindberg One thing’s certain: as tubes age, their performance declines. How do you know if your glassware is in decline? As far as I can tell there are two indications of this phenomenon: an abrupt termination of operation or a gradual realization that “something’s missing.” In the case of output tubes, an abrupt termination may be manifested by a brilliant flash as an output tube (or tubes) goes supernova. Depending on your equipment’s protective measures, such an event can [...]