4 responses Add your response
I haven't heard the LFD, but I did hear the LIO at the Vinnie Rossi room at RMAF last fall, driving a pair of Harbeth Super HL-5 Plus speakers. IMO, the pairing was a best-of-show contender. The version of the LIO being used had the giant-tube preamp section and (I think) the TVC volume control module.
I have the LFD NCSE MK II. I went to Axpona 2017 for the express purpose of listening to the Harbeth SHL 5 plus 40th anniversary edition. At the time I had the Harbeth m30.1s for about five years; the Compact 7s before that.
Vinnie Rossi was had his LIO driving the SHL 5+, 40th. Absolutely captivating sound.
I bought a pair of the SHL 5+, 40th. Using them now with the LFD. Like you greta, I have reservations with the LIO output. I thought about the LIO as a pre and the LIO VR120 power amp; 120w into 8 ohm and 225w into 4ohm.
I haven't pursued further inquiry with Vinnie about it due to busy personal matters this summer. I am very happy with the LFD NCSE MKII for now. I have had other LFD integrateds when I had my Compact 7s and was very happy with the combination.
I would not say LFD is better than the LIO or LIO better than LFD. Not better, just different.
BTW, Vinnie Rossi is a real gentleman. Easy to talk with and very knowledgeable.
Just an update on this (as the original post was 2 years ago): both my sister Greta and I ended up going with the LIO. She has LIO (with AVC tubestage) driving her Compact 7s, and I'm running LIO with DHT Pre with my KEF LS50s. We're both happy campers! I sometimes muse about trying the Harbeth Monitor 30.1 but never about changing the amplifier! And Vinnie's service has been and continues to be really incredible. Would still be interested of course to hear anyone whose done direct comparisons with LIO and LFD and Harbeth, but it sounds to me like either combination has great synergy. cheers, Margot