Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)search

Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)

Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)

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Hi Everyone,
The Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amps are on their way to our warehouse in New Jersey! Once they arrive they will go through receiving and quality control checks. We are on track to meet our estimated ship date of February 27.
We are looking forward to everyone receiving the first production of the Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp!
Are the Carbon X's also on the same boat since the ship date is basically the same?
Oh boy... Where do I start?? The journey, the designer, or the amp?

As an enthusiast myself, the coolest thing at Massdrop is getting to work with and know the people who make our favorite stuff. I’ve had the privilege of being able to speak with and learn from Alex Cavalli over the past year while working on this new amp with him. I understand more about the design decisions in amplifiers and what’s possible given different goals and constraints. (Though Alex would probably half-joke that “it still isn’t much”.)

Entry-level End-game Amp? Is that a category?

This project started out as a conversation to take a community-favorite DIY amp engineered by a community-favorite designer and make it accessible at an entry-level pricepoint. But when the prototype arrived, it had been completely re-worked by Alex. In comparison to the original Compact Tube Hybrid, it was a whole new amp. Sticking to the original vision, we worked toward the most accessible pricepoint possible while keeping the high-end sound that Alex passed down from his more expensive and more powerful amps. The amp needed to be audiophile-approved, more affordable, and simple to use. It also deserved a nice chassis, one that has some room in it and some stackability…

I’m sure there will be a lot more discussion these next few weeks. We’re working with Alex to have some information for those interested regarding the differences between the Compact Tube Hybrid and the Cavalli Tube Hybrid. Alex happens to have some travel during the drop so we may have a Q&A session where we’ll collect questions and Alex will answer them during the second half of the drop.

This is an important step for Massdrop, it marks the evolution of our ability to work with the best partners and designers to bring you the best versions of products for our communities. Each one of these collaborations is the result of our coming together to keep growing and moving our hobby forward.

Thanks for your participation!

EDIT 8/12/17: Here is a link if you are interested in the differences between the original COMPACT Tube Hybrid and the new CAVALLI Tube Hybrid.
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Hi Cee Tee,

Can't seem to find much info on the circuity in the amp. Any possibility of a Massdrop schematic or a current link to some more information on the original Compact tube hybrid ? This amp sounds so good that I'm thinking it might be worth modding to get the last bit of performance out of it.
The original cth is on his website under diy
Hey folks. Here's a post I made at headfi. In case it's useful.

I see that many of you have or are about get your CTHs.
Since I happen to have Serial #00001 I thought I might make a few comments on break in.
First, the amp sounds pretty good out of the box, at least to me. But, as we all know tubes take about 50 hours to clear out the impurities still clinging to the various internal parts and SS portions do need some time.
I don't think it's necessary to do a marathon break in session for 10,000 hours before listening.
My experience has been that after about 25 hours playing music the amp begins to take on its full character. And then after that it evolves into is inherent sound signature.
For me, I was able to listen fairly happily even with no hours, noticing the changes at about 25 hours and then better over time. I still have less than 100 hours on the amp. YMMV some.
I hope you all like it. It has a long history from a popular and very compact DIY project to a much more sophisticated amp.
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Hello, is it safe to use a 7dj8 in the CTH ? Thank You
Probably not. The heater will run cool, possibly limiting the cathode current which in turn would prevent the auto bias from homing in. If it is able to bias the sound could be a little lean.
If anyone is interested in this, I'm looking to unload it.
Never used, still brand-new. I don't have any current needs for this AM.
It's just wasting away in the box.
I'm located in the US.
I replaced my stock Harmonix tube with the Gold Lion. No contest, the Harmonix was superior sonically due to its outstanding smoothness using a hifiman 400i. The Lion sounded very course in comparison to the buttery smoothness of the Harmonix. Hence if you have a bright pair of phones you may be dissapointed with the Gold Lion .
Massdrop was probably correct that they found the Harmonix to be best overall.
The Gold Lion however may be better if you are using a "polite" phone like the Sennheiser hd6xx.
Why not balanced input???? :_-(((((((
Just got one of these. Sounds very good for the money. Obviously since it has a tube it doesn't work with planars, but for dynamics it sounds excellent for the price.
Im getting great results with hifiman 400i planars. Destroys the hd6xx on this amp in my opinion. Hd6xx way to base heavy and lacking tightness.
I have this amp and really enjoy it.

However, it'd be great if Massdrop would arrange for the sourcing and sale of a linear power supply for this amp.
I hovered over the “Join Drop” button for a couple hours before closing my eyes and hitting it. Turns out, I got the last one. I’m hoping this is a sign that it was meant to be. My only hesitation is that I’m not sure if and how I’m gonna use it. How does my plan look in your opinion?
- Keep HD58X and Bottlehead Crack for now
- Sell Fostex TR-X00 Ebony to help pay for my addiction. They're great, but not as “closed” as I would’ve liked and not really necessary for me to have because...
- I really want Focal Elex if ever available
- Pick up a Schiit Modi as a decent, cheap DAC (since I have none), use it for both Crack, new CTH, HD58X and Elex (if I ever land a drop).
- Use ES-100 for portable use
- If all works and I fall in love, Sell Crack? Sell HD58X?
- Get therapy for addiction and indecision
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Yeah, everything was fine until after about 5 hours of letting it break in at 10o’clock volume level. The tube has a burn ring at the top. I bought A Gold Lion tube just to try it so I’ll give that a shot. Still a little upsetting for a brand new amp. No word from support yet. I would also love a liquid carbon but the line must be drawn somewhere ;)
That's some bad luck, hopefully the Gold Lion tube is a pretty good replacement for the time being. I'm sure support will take care of you though. Yeah, the unfortunate line, I want it all :P. Currently debating putting off an amp purchase as I really need a new gpu, ahh, the dilemma!.
Hi, what kind of linear power supply would i need for the CTH? Would I benefit from the change?
Audio n00b qq: is this amp not intended to pair well with high sensitivity low impedance iem's? I currently run this amp along side a dragonfly red. My fiio f9 PRO's don't play well with this setup. Even if i turn down the output on the dragonfly red, i still hear very audible white noise through the iem's, even with volume turned all the way down on the CTH. These iem's work fine with my o2 amp and the dragonfly red set to max volume. Thoughts?
What is the pair like with HD800S?