Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Liquid Carbon X Ampsearch

Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Liquid Carbon X Amp

Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Liquid Carbon X Amp

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(13 reviews)
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Hi Everyone, The Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Liquid Carbon X Amps have arrived at the warehouse and the team is wrapping up quality control checks. We are on track to meet our estimated ship date of February 28. We're looking forward to everyone receiving the first production of the Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Liquid Carbon X Amp!
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AveryC
Can we get another drop please?
AveryC
Are you planning to drop this again? I see the SDAC version is live, but I don't need the internal DAC so would avoid unnecessary extra costs.
Any chance we could get an official comment on the disparity between the stated specs and the measurements from Audio Science Review? They paint a poor picture for this amp, disappointingly.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-cavalli-liquid-carbon-x.4947/
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For what purpose besides having 2 different, similar looking amps would one stack with CTH? Use CTH as a tube preamp or to have one balanced SS and a single ended tube amp?
Manbear
to have one SS and one tube, My MD+ iems like my Magni 3 more because they already sound laid back enough, but the magni3 doesn't play well with my over ears like the CTH does
hello
i just received my LCX (484) amplifier, but it did not have the instructions.
is there anything that i need to know before using it? or is it just to turn it off before changing headphones?
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thanks
imak
I just got mine as well, 486 =) A little soft on SE output. Expected louder sound on the 4-pin output. But I was using non-balanced DAC, so I'm not sure how much difference a real Balanced DAC would be. *shrugs*
Does Cavalli (or anyone in the know) read comments by any chance? I have a 28V Acopian PSU for the CTH and was wondering if the slight undervolt would work with the 30V Liquid Carbon X or not a chance... wanted to possibly hear it from the "horses" mouth :)
What is a good budget DAC with balanced output for this amp?
ricardopei
either the new massdrop x grace dac with balanced ($150) or the smsl su 8 ($250)
Senpai-sama
I ended up getting a refurbed Cambridge Audio DACmagic Plus for about $275. ($350 new)
How does this compare to Matrix hpa 3b? the internals on the matrix looks much more convincing where as the components used in the liquid carbon x looks abit sketchy
Anyone with experience with both the LCX and the Cayin iHA-6? My eye was originally set on the LCX but since it didn't come back before my upgraditis reached it's breaking point I went with the Cayin. Don't really need another amp at this point but I've been eyeing the LC since the original limited run. At this price curiosity again rears it's ugly head...
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Oh trust me, the Cayin isn't going anywhere... love mine as well. Not to get too off topic, which DAC are you pairing your's with?
ElectronicVices
jdslabs el dac until i can get a rme adi-2
Question... I am wondering if the LCX is worth getting in my situation...
I currently have the following DACs and amps
Topping D50 DAC NFB 11.38 (with integrated DAC & Amp) iFi xDSD (with integrated DAC & Amp) CTH Amp Aune X7s Amp MD O2 Amp
The cans I usually use are:
Focal Elex Sundara 1990 DT Pro Aeon Flow Closed TH-X00 HD660s HD58X
Would the LCX offer a sufficiently different sound with the cans I use to make sense for me? How different would it be?
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jsmiller58
You should really look at the DarkVoice 336SE OTL. That is my next purchase. They supposedly make the Senns HD sing.
But, I have the Topping D50 paired with my Aune X7S and love that combo. I am looking at the Focal Elexs too -- how do you like them? Those cans or the Hifiman's he4xx. Decisions, decisions. . . .
PorchSong
Thanks for the suggestion! I have been thinking about the DV!
The Topping D50 I think pairs well with just about anything - decodes the bits faithfully, and generally stays out of the way of the chosen Amp and headphones!
As to the Elex, I have them and they are my favorite headphones that I own. Extremely dynamic, good sound signature from bass to treble. Clear and a bit bright. They can get tiring when paired with a bright amp (for example not the greatest pairing with my NFB 11.38, but sound great driven by the X7s). If you like the warmer (at least by comparison) sound and thundering bass of something like the TH-X00, the Elex might not be to your liking, though.
I don't have the 4XX, but I do have the Sundara. I would say I like the cleaner, more dynamic sound of the Elex. But I do like the Sundara as well and if the 4XX have a similar sound signature I would think they are great cans as well.
Any chance to see full specs of the unit? I mean things like SNR?
About damn time
Finally
Finally
Yes, finally. Thank you.
I have just read through some posts here and find myself dismayed that manufacturers would build and sell a "conversion" cable from three wire single ended to four wire balanced. It is hard enough for new audiophiles to get real info without predatory companies muddying up the waters. This only proves that many companies don't care and will gloss over (lie) facts about their products. If they will do this for small cable adapters, imagine what the advertising for commercial products do. I have decades of experience with audio and can only suggest that ALL adapters are suspect. If you need an adapter to connect two things together, it is likely they are not compatible and they chose connectors to prevent improper interconnection of devices. I am pleased Massdrop placed the warning in the box and you read it! You get an "A".
scottDH
4-pin to TRS is fine as long as the TRS is going into the SE output of the amp, it's just creating a common ground in that case.
Hello all, I have used my CLC now for a few months and really enjoy listening to music on it. My Shure SRH 1840's are not known for their bass, but the CLC seems to improve it. I have not done a direct comparison between the CLC and CTH amps, but the CLC seems to be tighter in the low frequencies. Liquid is an apt model name for this amp, it is very smooth and free of edge. I should note that I am using it in SE only for now. I can drive it balanced but can't use the balanced out as yet. Very nice design, I am pleased to own such a fine sounding amp at a price mortals can afford.
scottDH
I note that most of you are refering to the Liquid Carbon X as LCX. I noted this after I used CLC in my post. Sorry to create confusion; I was using Cavelli Liquid Carbon initials. Same amp.
Hi guys I have my CLC for couple of months and can’t complain about it, but couple of days I had to move it to another place and when I plug power supply in it it start sparkling.It does every time when I unplugged it and plug it back.
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I don't get it. Don't you guys switch off the power before connecting a power cable?
VBar
Electronics 101, make all connections BEFORE connecting to a power outlet.
My LCX +SDAC just arrived, and maybe I'm slow but I can't seem to use the RCA passthrough from the LCX to my CTH?
helicopters
I think it's only a passthrough for an external dac
helicopters
Are you using the Balanced input on the LCX by any chance? I believe the RCA passthrough is only fed by the Single Ended input.
Waiting patiently for another drop of this. I see the LCX+SDAC is up right now but I don’t need nor want a DAC section so I would prefer to have this standalone unit.
Viper2005
me too
Viper2005
yup 100% Want this amp but no single ended dac attached
Question: For the XLR input, which pin is hot and which is cold (2 or 3)? My DAC can output both. And will it damage the LCX if the hot and cold is reversed?
assasin_frank
The professional standard in the US is pin 2 is "hot" and is marked with a plus sign. Pin three is the minus connection. I would be sure Alex is aware of this standard and followed it. Using the reverse connection would lose absolut phase and is not recommended. We hope all manufacturers keep the correct phase throughout their equipment including headphones. HTH and is timely, as I don't see a date you posted it.
Drop this again already! I’m sick of waiting. It doesn’t help that the hybrid one is up all the time reminding me.
Moonsand1
yup no one needs a balanced amp with single ended dac its just silly
Someone needs to explain to me why the CTH is constantly dropping and the LCX is nowhere to be found, this is especially frustrating since, given the balanced nature of the LCX, many consider it to be a superior product to the CTH.
Maybe I shouldn't even bother. The Cavalli Liquid Platinum is coming to Monoprice soon, which (for double the price) should render both the CTH and LCX obsolete.
Hello will this drop....
Any idea if there will be another drop?
I wish this had the tube.... I wanted this + tube. I got the just the tube. Give us Tube + Balanced. Make us happy!
Anyone wanna sell/trade theirs? Come find me on Headfi.
Does anyone else's carbon randomly shut off? It happens a like a specific time frame in a video and if i replay that timeframe it shuts off again.
Hiroyuki_Sawano
It turned off on me once. Very rare
@AveryC will these be up for 2nd drop soon? because I will be on it in a heart beat :D.
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I have been using LCX for a month and generally speaking this little box is really enjoyable. Here I would like to share my experience with MDers. To save your time, I won't write long paragraphs with beautiful terms like those "professional" reviews, everything will be just plain and simple (and intuitive) My gears connecting to LCX : Alienware Alpha PC + M2tech Hiface Evo two D-D interface (with Evo supply two linear power) + M2tech Young DSD Dac (with teradak linear power). All the cables and cords are not luxurious yet adequate to pair with all those audio machines. Music source is Tidal (HiFi and Master). Before I start, I should remind that although thanks to the sweet price LCX really looks like a cheapo, you still need to remember the original Liquid Carbon was not an entry level amp; and, maybe (just maybe) LCX is not as good as the original due to its low manufacturing costs, a better-than-entry-level DAC is still recommended. In short, don't let your $100 DAC nerf your LCX. (if I incorrectly use the term "nerf" please forgive me) LCX's sound is pretty straight forward and neutral, which means it won't cover or color your DAC's sound and it will directly show you your DAC's ability. So, if you happen to have a DAC with really poor performance, LCX won't make it sound better. - with Sennheiser HD800S (balanced, high gain) : well, LCX (and even the original LC) is not supposed to have enough juice to feed the flagship level HD800S, however, turns out that HD800S does not sound awful with LCX. With many other Amps in this price range, HD800S sounds thin and harsh while with LCX HD800S sounds full-bodied. But, can we conclude that LCX is a good match for HD800S? Not really. Though the sound is acceptable, it still lacks transparency and sound stage, and is not airy enough. Schiit Mjolnir is much better than LCX when paring with HD800S. - with Beyerdynamic T1 1st gen (balanced, high gain) : here is another "not supposed to". Based on the specs, LCX doesn't have enough output power to push the 600 ohm cans. Here is another however. However, T1 dose not sound awful as well. Still full-bodied (with a little harshness). But still not transparent, wide and airy enough. So, here is another acceptable. - with Grado GS1000e (single-ended, low gain): GS1000e is really picky and hard to tame so it's really tough for LCX. However (the 3rd however LOL) LCX is not an immediate loser. GS1000e does sound relatively harsh with LCX but if you don't listen to those contemporary EDM tracks with the overly bright synths you should be fine. All the acoustic instruments still sound sweet. But I won't give LCX the 3rd "acceptable" badge this time because LCX doesn't make GS1000e sound equally acceptable for various genres. The Cypher Labs Sustain 84 is much much much better than LCX for paring with GS1000e (of course 84's msrp is much much much higher). - with Focal Elear (the original Elex, balanced, low gain) : Elear is famous for "easy to drive". But here we need to understand the meaning of "easy to drive" correctly: Elear doesn't require a high power Amp but it dose need a high performance DAC; "easy to drive" doesn't mean you can throw Elear to everything (for instance your iphone) and expect a stunning sound. So if you have a decent DAC (IMO, the baseline for Elear is m2tech young dsd or mytek 192 or chord hugo or any DAC near or above $1000), with LCX Elear can really shine. Many other balanced amps are too powerful for Elear and they usually make Elear sound too "excited", which means Elear could lose its most adorable characteristics: sweet, fluid and effortless. Whereas the low-power and neutral LCX has the ability to keep Elear's sweetness and effortlessness and at the same time add dimension and depth to its sound. Thus I would like to say LCX is a good match (though maybe not the best) for Focal Elear/Elex. - with Fostex Thx00-Purple Heart (single-ended, low gain): another easy-to-drive cans. The situation is pretty similar to Elear's so I won't repeat. - with AKG K701 (single-ended, high gain): another picky monster. Luckily K701 is not as wild as gs1000e so LCX works well with it. Though K701's high frequency still sounds a little harsh but the overall performance is better than decent. K701 sounds pretty balanced with LCX and doesn't show any significant sign of lacking power. And here I discovered a small interesting bonus: K701's female vocals are so so sweet when paring with LCX whereas the much more expensive sustain 84 doesn't add sweetness to K701's female vocals. - with Sony MDR-Z7 (balanced, low gain) : Z7 has really mixed reviews and when I used it with my pha3 I thought I would never like it because Z7 sounded like a thick lump of overly sweet and fatty cream that could make me feel nauseous. However when I connected Z7 to LCX an unexpected miracle happened. No more overly sweet and fatty, Z7 showed its hidden muscles and sounded like the mixture of Philips Fidelio X2 and Beyer T1. Personally this type of sound is more favorable to me but if you like the creamy sound of Z7+Pha3 I think you should avoid LCX (or maybe also avoid Young DSD) because it could dramatically change Z7's sound. - with those portable headband headphones (such as Master&Dynamic Mh40, Sony Mdr-1a, Senn Momentum, you name it): well, good good and good. - with studio monitoring headphones (such as dt770 pro, sony mdr 7520, Krk Kns8400, Audio-technica M50x, etc) : good and not good. Good means LCX is so neutral that you could still use it when you are mixing or recording. Not good means LCX won't add any lovely flavor to your flat and plain studio phones so if you think your 7506s are too boring LCX may not be able to help you.
Okay, so much for that. Hoping the text is not so vague. As a non-native speaker I tried my best : )
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Well I didn’t have the chance to do a comparison so I can’t conclude which one is better. But at least LCX is a “true” balanced amp so I think it should be better for those high impedance cans.
LifeOnMercury
Thanks
This thing is a fucking monster. It’s pairs well with everything I have tried. I am thinking about buying another one dedicated to stack with my Yulong DA9 because they are absolutely amazing together. It sounds so good with the CTH’s SDAC I have to dedicate it to the Cavalli stack.
And anyone iffy on Cable upgrades shouldn’t be. I have done a complete cable up grade from source (Moon-Audio Silver Dragon USB A to USB B & Cardas USB A to USB B) to interconnects (Cardas Balanced XLR, RCA, iLink 3.5mm to RCA) and it’s totally worth it. Power cords are next. Just to make me feel good. Not for a while though. Bank account needs a break.
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My immediate and biggest observation was things in the music that were recessed before have been brought more forward to present a better more rounded sound signature whereas before I found certain aspects were too muted. The sound was a touch more smooth and less fatiguing. Mid bass was more present. Albums I used to avoid because I didn't like the way they sounded on my system were more pleasant. These particular Cardas Clear M power cords have been discontinued I believe. I can't attest to any other model/brand.
Apex_Predator
Thank you