L2 Signature Preamplifier

The L2 Signature Preamplifier is Vinnie Rossi’s new flagship design that creates an effortless connection between the listener and the music. Compatible with the most cherished of 4-pin directly heated triode (DHT) tube families, L2 delivers an unmatched listening experience with its exceptional resolution, tonality, and “reach out and touch the performer” sense of realism. Superb linearity and extra-wide bandwidth recover delicate nuances and provide incomparable texture, layering, and spaciousness. And when it comes to bass response, L2’s articulation of each and every note is phenomenal.

At the heart of the L2 Signature Preamplifier is Vinnie Rossi’s latest Class-A, ultra wide bandwidth, DHT topology powered by patented Belleson super-regulated, dual mono linear power supplies.  L2 exemplifies elegant simplicity and finesse in communicating all the emotion and passion in the music.

Each L2 Signature Preamplifier is meticulously hand-built and tested by Vinnie Rossi himself. Its no-compromise construction and use of the highest-quality components assure the listener of reliable performance for many years.

* Click on the tabs below to learn more.

* View the all new Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Monoblocks >>

L2 Signature Preamplifier Features

  • Vinnie Rossi’s latest Class-A, ultra wide bandwidth directly heated triode (DHT) preamplifier design, compatible with: 2A3, 45, 300B, PX4, 101D, 205D, and SV811 DHT families with one-switch filament voltage selection.
  • Dual shielded power supplies with in-rush current limiting.
  • Dual-mono layout using multiple patented Belleson super regulators for ultra-quiet linear voltage regulation of the L&R triode B+, L&R triode filaments, and power to the (optional) L2 DAC and L2 Phonostage modules.
  • Discrete, 64-step resistor ladder volume control using Pickering England silent signal relays.
  • True active balanced (XLR) and single-ended (RCA) inputs and outputs.
  • Dual 12V Trigger output jacks with on/off control switch on front panel.
  • Internal, “DHT bypass mode” switches (Replaces DHT stage with a Class A JFET stage).
  • Internal front panel display & LED brightness controls.
  • Yamamoto solid Teflon UX-4 tube sockets.
  • Solid, precision CNC machined aluminum chassis and “bank vault,” ball bearing control knobs.
  • Solid, precision CNC machined aluminum isolation base with Stillpoints ULTRA MINI feet.
  • Mesh tube covers for added noise shielding and tube protection, with matching mesh ventilation on top panel.
  • Included tubes: EH300B Gold-Grid (matched pair).
  • Full-function aluminum remote control handset.
  • Designed and manufactured in the USA.
  • 10-year warranty.
  • Includes custom, military-grade hard travel case.
L2 Signature Preamplifier Specifications  
Frequency Response
(with stock EH300B tubes):
2Hz – 500kHz (+/- 0.5dB)
0.5Hz – 950kHz (+/- 3dB)
Output Impedance (SE and BAL): < 100 ohms
Input Impedance (SE and BAL): Approx. 10K ohm
Voltage Gain: 8 dB (with stock EH300B tubes)
0dB (DHT Bypass Mode / Unity gain JFET buffer only)
SNR (with stock EH300B tubes):
SNR (DHT Bypass Mode):
-120dB (A-Weighted), SE IN/OUT
-140dB (A-Weighted), SE IN/OUT
12Vdc Trigger Outputs: 12V (+/- 0.1V), 200mA max (each) with on/off switch on front panel
THD+N (with stock EH300B tubes):
THD+N (DHT Bypass Mode):
Less than 0.5% (unweighted), SE IN/OUT
Less than 0.0006% (unweighted), SE IN/OUT
AC Input: Factory configured for 110-120Vac  -or-  220-240Vac (50/60Hz)
Volume Control:
Balance Control:
64 steps (approx. 1dB per step) from -∞ to +8dB
24 steps from L to R (approx. 1db per step)
Power Consumption (with stock
EH300B Gold Grid  tubes, L2 Dac and L2 Phonostage installed):
Approx. 65W
Protections: – Fused AC input
– MOV (AC input surge protection)
– Output short circuit protection
Dimensions (With mesh tube covers and isolation base installed):

Approx. 17.25″ wide x 14.5″ deep x 8.75″ tall (438mm x 368mm x 222mm)
Weight:
Shipping Weight:
38 lbs (17.2 kg)
62 lbs (28 kg) including travel case

L2 DAC Features

  • Bit-perfect playback at sampling rates up to PCM 768kHz (16, 24, or 32 bit compatible), as well up to DSD512. Sample rates are viewable from front panel display.
  • Dual-mono design, with one flagship AKM AK44497EQ d/a chip per channel.
  • Fully discrete, pure Class-A JFET analog outputs stage design with cascode constant-current source biasing (no opamps).
  • On-board FPGA buffer and femto-reclocking circuitry negates effects of jitter. Isolated input stages.
  • ‘NOS’ (non-oversampling) filter mode with digital filter bypass, as well as a Minimal Phase digital filter mode (selected via the “FILTER” button on the L2 Remote).
  • Absolute polarity ‘normal’ / Absolute polarity ‘inverted’ modes (selected via the “PHASE” button on the L2 Remote).
  • Belleson Super-regulated voltage feed to numerous ultra-low noise, linear voltage regulators used throughout (for both digital and analog sections).
  • “Silent” mute ‘reed relays’ (*barely* an audible click from the board when changing tracks of a different sample rate).
  • Inputs: 1 USB, 1 Coax (75-ohm BNC, with included RCA adapter) and 1 TOSLINK (optical).
  • Connect up to three devices and switch between them via L2 front panel or the remote handset.
L2 DAC Specifications  
Output Voltage: 2.0V rms
Output Impedance: < 100 ohms
SNR: > 115dB
Playback Bit Rates Accepted (PCM): 16, 24, 32
PCM Playback Windows PC: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176, 192, 352, 384, 705, and 768kHz – driver included. Mac OSX: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176, 192, 352, 384, 705, and 768kHz – no driver required. Sonore: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176, 192, 352, 384, 705, and 768kHz
DSD Playback Windows PC: DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, and DSD512 (both Native mode, and DoP) – driver included. Mac OSX: DSD64, DSD128, DSD256 (DoP) – no driver required. Sonore: DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, and DSD512 (both Native mode, and DoP)

L2 Phonostage Features

  • Inputs: 1 set of Moving Magnet (MM), 2 sets of Moving Coil (MC)
  • Built-in, on the fly MC remote adjustable cartridge loading (10 – 1000 ohms). Cartridge load setting viewable from L2 front panel display
  • Adjustable gain jumpers for MM and MC inputs
  • Belleson Super-Regulated split-supply voltage rails
  • Four low-noise and low distortion gain stages. Each stage has a nominal gain of 20dB, resulting in higher bandwidth per stage and lower phase shift across the audio band
  • Low output impedance design
  • DC coupled from input to output (no dc blocking capacitors added in series to the signal path)
  • DC Servo keeps output offset negligible
  • Design optimization for lowest value thin-film resistors, resulting in the least possible noise
  • High accuracy resistors and capacitors used throughout
  • 4-layer PCB with separate ground planes for analog and digital (control circuitry)
  • Cardas Audio input jacks
  • Connect up to three tone arms and switch between them via L2 front panel or the remote handset
L2 Phonostage Specifications  
MM Gain Settings: 40dB, 46dB
MC Gain Settings: 60dB, 66dB, 72dB
Output Impedance: < 100 ohms
Noise (3Vrms output, 1kHz): > 90dBV
THD (3Vrms output, 1kHz): < 0.002%
RIAA Accuracy (20 – 20kHz): +/- 0.5dB
Output DC Offset Voltage: < 2mV (servo controlled)

L2 Signature Preamplifier received ‘STAR Component’ award
from Anthony Kershaw of Audiophilia.com

…It could live in my system happily. Forever. Very highly recommended!

…As Rossi suggests, the preamplifier is dead silent. No tube rush, nothing. A black background for the musicians to paint their sounds. During the break in, I had become enamoured with its sound during my standard sneak peeks. Warm, rich and refined, yet with incredible detail. All instruments shone with the most beautiful halo of vibrant sound. Vocals, too. Deep, rich, throaty. But with a harmonic ‘completeness’ to their presentation. Almost tactile. And definitely goosebump time. I could imagine the artists smiling and nodding with pride if they heard this type of playback.

…The L2 enhanced my very fine digital setup, and considering the preamplifier section of the Continuum S2 (basically, a Jeff Rowland Capri II preamplifier) is outstanding and an obvious match for its connected amplifier section, it couldn’t better the gorgeous sounds the 300Bs were portraying. For sure, a completely different topology, but the way Rossi has his tubes singing is very persuasive.

…Adding this fantastic bit of kit will elevate your musical experience into regions you have yet imagined. “

-Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia.com

The L2 Signature Preamplifier receives very rare
6moons.com Lunar Eclipse Award!

The global market has nothing at all like it.  L2 is the first and only one of its kind… 

“The 12AU7 in Nagra’s Classic just couldn’t compete against the [L2 equipped with] Takatsuki 300B…
This underscored at least in my private appointment calender how today’s L2 truly was a class apart to justify its tariff in full. There was no sense comparing it to other preamps… Hifi reviews aren’t blood sports…

Vinnie’s L2 now allowed one to clone advanced SET attributes from properly spec’d transistor amps. De facto it meant, 1) hitching that type sound to SET-unfriendly ‘normal’ speakers, and 2) doing so with no impact on musical choices.
A solution as elegantly simple as Vinnie Rossi’s L2 Preamp we might have expected from one of the big established tube houses like Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, VTL… yet none of them—not one!—managed. The global market has nothing at all like it. L2 is the first and only one of its kind…

L2 stands alone. It also does in offering that very practical alternate tube-less path of Jfet buffer for when your glass may be down awaiting replacement, or for when you need a bypass. It does so with its 2.5V, 4V and 5V toggles which take tube specimens from all three voltage families. It does so with its optional DAC and phono boards, with its special-order headphone amp module. To anyone who’s been in hifi long enough to know that invariably, you can find something very similar behind a different face plate, the Vinnie Rossi L2 is a major stumper. With it, there just isn’t, period…

With the Vinnie Rossi L2 line stage, that well-trodden claim—of direct-heated triodes being the most linear low-distortion audio gain devices ever made—has finally grown legs to stand on and not just walk but sprint like a racer… As now truly themselves without the traditional crutches or interpreters, they finally step into the bright light of day with genuine purity and speed. And that equals bandwidth, noise and resolution figures which are on par with the best of transistors. The resultant sonics are very special!”

– Srajan Ebaen, 6moons.com

New York Audio Show 2018 Coverage:  Click here >>

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2018

“Warmth and midrange smoothness were the strengths of a Vinnie Rossi/ Triode Wire Labs / Harbeth loudspeaker system…

Drums and percussion were depicted with excellence, the low tones of piano and instruments were conveyed with perfection, and the artistry and emotion of all concerned came through loud and clear.

In fact, the brilliance of music and interpretation was such that, for one of the rare times in my 15 years at audio shows, absolutely no one left the room or even fidgeted during a long piece of relatively obscure, heart-rending German lieder that was impeccably sung with deep feeling. This is a tribute not only to Vinnie Rossi, Harbeth, and Triode Wire, but also to the quality of show attendees whom Vinnie tends to attract. Thank you, one and all.” 

Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile

RMAF 2018 – Best in Show Sound

(Room 3018: Vinnie Rossi with Spatial Audio and Anticables)

“It’s rooms like Vinnie’s and Clayton’s that really are “the energy” for that audio show feeling.

… Bass was massive and natural — and by natural I mean it was like real thunder, not a facsimile, or one of those pesky apartment neighbors who just got “Sub-Woofer: The Movie” on Blu-Ray.

…The mid-range and treble was as effortless as anything I had encountered this year at any of the shows. Not to say it was out-right the best, but it was spooky in how it loaded the room and held voices inside the image when needed but allowed the vocals to show space when the recording demanded it.

…When we talk about ‘Best-In-Show’ sound, I can’t help but take into account that what I heard here at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is not only a few extra inches of performance, but a few feet worth. How many other speaker and electronics brands can admit they’ve made those kind of gains?”

Eric Franklin Shook, Part-Time Audiophile

(Room 4024: Vinnie Rossi with Harbeth Loudspeakers and Triode Wire Labs)

“Insight was available by the boatload. Bass attack, fast, but not bloated or overly thumpy. Mid-range, what I consider to be signature Harbeth, but turned upward and wider that I know from my previously smaller Harbeth experiences. Treble was where, for me, things shined. The insight came from imaging that hung afloat in the middle of the room like an apparition.”

Eric Franklin Shook, Part-Time Audiophile

 

“In the Spatial Audio room, Clayton Shaw was debuting his statement speaker, the Lumina L2 along with  Vinnie Rossi’s ‎L2 Signature Preamp and Monoblock System that he was debuting. This was some of the best sound at the show.

“This is one of the systems at the show that really got my motor running. The whole system didn’t cost what many of the speakers at the show sold for, and it sounded better than most. It was dynamic, open, had emotional energy and was very natural sounding. These were great debut products.” 

Jack and Becky Roberts, The Audio Beatnik

 

“The slide guitar-infused Plowin’ Mule track by Doug MacLeod posted almost ghost-like focus for each instrument in the music field. It was certainly hard to tell where the speakers were placed, and if pressed to gander a guess, I would have implied a location much further back, behind the somewhat close, actual placement of the 40.2s. A fun party trick? An expensive hollowed gesture to scare trick-or-treaters? I say nay. Raw craftsmanship from two brands that gel together for power when needed and grace unyielding. Best imaging and focus of the show for me.

Brian Hunter, Audio-Head.com

 

“RMAF Best of Show”

“This was one of those rooms you could sit and listen all day and never get fatigued. Vinnie had them [Harbeth 40.2s] dialed in and his new L2 DHT Preamp sounded terrific. You also won’t meet a friendlier bunch than these guys!”

Mike Bovaird, AudioShark.org

 

“Great Rooms of RMAF 2018”

“Lovely sound, typical of Harbeth and its legendary status. Great bass, too… Vinnie Rossi continues to make some of the most intriguing electronics, highly adaptable and sounding superb. Very good and reasonably priced.”

Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia

* * * Link to more RMAF2018 show coverage and pictures of the Vinnie Rossi L2 System debut!