Last October, at RMAF 2018, Vinnie Rossi introduced us to his L2 Signature pre-amplifier and monoblocks with a dose of Aphex Twin. Almost a year on, Rossi is putting all three (pre + 2 x monos) into a single chassis for the L2i ‘Signature Edition’ integrated amplifier that, according to the man from Massachusetts, makes “absolutely minimal concessions to design and performance”.
The new L2i-SE integrated will be a hybrid design, inheriting the L2 Signature pre-amp’s single pair of 4-pin direct-heated ‘big power triodes’ – dual mono, Class A, zero feedback, “grounded-grid”, single-click rollable, bypassable – and feeding a dual-mono Class A/B MOSFET output stage for 100wpc into 8 Ohms. The mainboard will also play host to the L2 Signature pre-amp’s optional L2 DAC and phono boards.
The L2i-SE will be available in black or anodized silver finishes and will sell for US$18,995. Add US$3,495 for each optional module. Warranty is a whopping 10 years.
Working to a tighter budget? Then say hello to a second new Vinnie Rossi integrated: the LSi — a simplified version of the Signature Edition priced at US$12,995.
On gain, the L2i will offer a single pair of 6SN7 small triodes for superior tonality, instead of what Rossi calls the “inferior 12AX7/6922 types”. Again, the tubes will be configured to run dual mono, “grounded-grid” and with zero feedback to feed a dual-mono Class A/B MOSFET output stage. Also 100wpc into 8 Ohms. Again, the mainboard will accommodate the optional L2 DAC and phono modules for US$3,495 apiece.
Quoting Rossi’s website: “The tubes set the sonic characteristics and the transistors add the high-current drive for challenging speaker loads. It’s a best-of-both-worlds scenario with very low maintenance or tube replacement costs.”
All of this spells the end of the road for one of this commentator’s favourite products of the last five years: the LIO integrated that, we should remind ourselves, mustered only 25wpc of high-current speaker juice into 8 Ohms. Existing LIO owners looking to step up to the L2 series can look to trade-in credit possibilities. Stateside customers should direct their inquiries to Mark Sossa of Well Pleased A/V who will handle sales in North America as Rossi moves from a direct sales model to a dealer network.
Here’s a Vinnie Rossi quote, pulled from the press release: “Over the last five years, Mark has demonstrated a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm towards the brands that he represents – at various trade shows and working with a strong and growing dealer network that he has established and maintained. His good character, approachability, and long-term vision are exactly what I have been looking for to make the switch from direct sales to a vibrant dealer network, exclusively. We are looking forward to working together.”
Capital Audio Fest and RMAF attendees can catch both Rossi and Sossa as they join forces later this year to show off these two integrateds with QLN Loudspeakers and Innuos server/streamers at both US audio shows.
Both the L2i and L2iSE begin shipping in September 2019.
Further information: Vinnie Rossi