Cavalli Audio Liquid Crimson Headamp Review Succinct Stream of Consciousness

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

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    It give much better slam on DTC than he6 and DTC have softer bass over all than susvara (while he6 suposedly has sharper slam than sus). That is mainly what makes me feel like its running out of steam. Will have to see once I get my other amps back though. I may also head over to TSAV this weekend to play with them on some more amps like wa33 but not sure I'll have enough time yet.

    [​IMG]

    In other news this is a pretty solid pairing but not quite at the level of the best I've heard LCD-R. As with most amps I need to turn down my dsp volume quite a bit to get any kind of play on the volume knob. Unfortunately there is a very slight audible hiss on low gain as well (will try with iematch later). I think all I am realy lacking here is just that last hair of incisiveness on the texture that LCD-R does pretty well. I get the feeling this can be made up for with either the dac or tube though so will have to do further testing later
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
  2. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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  3. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

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    Well I've tried them on over a dozen amps (after getting the amp manufacturers sign off that it was safe in each case). If you have any questions @rhythmdevils just tag me in the LCD-R thread
     
  4. elwappo99

    elwappo99 Friend

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    Pretty interesting. I was too worried to plug my pair into the Crimson after discussing with dBel. Did you try them out of the 1/4" Low Output headphone jack? I believe it has a resistor in front of the output. Maybe that's a safer output for the amp as well? @dBel84
     
  5. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    The ribbon is essentially driving the signal to ground - some amps are designed to shunt large amounts of current to ground - typically the high bias class A amps. Most amps will survive short periods of being shorted but for sustained use, I would check to make sure nothing is burning out - for the crimson - it was over engineered and like the gold , could probably tolerate it but I would need to go back to the design and sim it to be sure.
     
  6. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

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    Very interesting. So the low 1/4 jack is dead silent on low and high gain. Its also interesting to me that the low/high switch affects all of the output jacks (I had assumed the low jack wouldn't change when the switch moved tbh).

    anyone know if the OI of the different ports is different at all? I just tested with HD600 and it doesnt sound like it but would need to check with focals or something to be super confidant

    I was told by Jason at TSAV (my understanding is he helped alex with some of the designs? not positive though) that the LC, LG, and LAu will all handle a 2 ohm load just fine. Any idea who else I could ask to be certain?
     
  7. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    @dBel84 ;)
     
  8. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

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    Hahahaha. I had thought his post was a hint to go find someone with the design files tbh. Maybe I'll bug averson since they are the official service source (assuming Bel doesn't have the design files at least).
     
  9. elwappo99

    elwappo99 Friend

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    Don't let dBel's helpful demeanor fool you. The only person as knowledgeable on these designs is Alex himself. We are very fortunate to have him on SBAF to answer questions to keep the spirit of CA alive.


    The high/gain switch and the two output jacks are entirely different things going on.

    1. High / Low gain switch - changes gain from 4x to 8x
    2. Low 1/4" jack - Adds resistors to the output of the amp to lower the noise floor (similar to the IEM match).
     
  10. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Yes @dBel84 helped Alex work on the designs himself. There's no better person in the world to ask...

    If he says it could be a bad idea I would not do it.
     
  11. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

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    Well that is extremely good to know. @dBel84 if you can simulate it and check I would be massively great full as the combo sounds amazing. Obv if you cant/don't have time no sweat in the slightest.

    Oh yah. This makes 100% sense once I realized they were different things. I just wasn't expecting them to be for some reason
     
  12. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Why don't you just use the Jottenheim A? I think it sounds great, but my LCD-R is modded so...
     
  13. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

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    Cause I honestly think it massively gimps the can. Going from jot A -> wa22 (which woo told me directly is permanently stable) was a bigger jump in SQ than going from jot R to hsa-1B ok the sr1a IMO. It's a similar jump with the V281, HSA-1B, tt2 rear XLRs and even the weiss 501 front output (all were signed off as safe by their manufacturers). Wa33, LC, LAu, weiss 502 rear out, and the new raal tube amp were all distinct further step ups as well (with the wa33 being in the lead quite a bit and my favorite pairing ive heard to date dispite my gwneral distates for the flavor of the amp).

    Over all, ignoring the sonic differwnces of the amps themselves, the biggest change is added control over the textre and being a bit less prone to getting glarey. I found the jot A would have a tendency to turn complicated horns and woodwind pieces into a bit of overexcited glariness/resonance. Even just moving to the wa8 (which i think is on a pretty similar level to the jot a over all) was able to tame this trait while still allowing stuff like clairinets to get propperly brutal when they honked. I also noticed a taming of higher female vocals but tbh i dont listen to a ton of stuff with hugher range vocals so it was less prominant of a change for me

    Tbh I like the Rs (they are my favoire can currently) to the point where I even considered having eddie put a properly specced transformer into a studio T my friend was selling just to use for the Rs (got it all priced out and everything)

    Btw, have any posts outlining your mods? I doubt I'll mod mine but currious what you've done
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
  14. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I've made many mods to them that totally change how they sound more than any amp could which is why I just don't have that much interest in a better amp though it would of course be nice. But the changes the mod do make them almost perfect headphones to me even with the Jottenheim A. Marv measured them in a thread here though the measurements don't really convey the drastic changes to things like transient response and smooth tonality, etc.
     
  15. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

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    I'll give it a read! I don't see any break down of what all you did from a quick skim. Is it in that thread somewhere? If it's reversible I'd love to try it tbh (and if it's not I may be down to buy one to try it ad well tbh)
     
  16. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    It’s mostly reversible. The only thing that might not be is the removal of the front fazors which I can sometimes get off with all the double sided adhesive intact but it sometimes tears. I currently do have some fazors with intact adhesive though so at the moment it would be reversible. Send me a pm if you’re interested and we can talk about modding you a pair. I think you won’t want to reverse them ;)

    I don’t want to derail the thread.
     
  17. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    My bigger concern had been the stability of the load but I see Marv measured them and they are rock solid,

    [​IMG]

    I will dig up the circuit, I don't have the sim files (easy enough to create with the circuit and a lot of time) but with the stable load, I am less concerned.
     
  18. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

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    PM inbound. tyvm

    So slightly different question then. At what load would you be completely comfortable with the stability of the LC and of LAu? If I get an adaptor that shows, say, 8 ohms, would that be a better move? Ive been debating commissioning one for a while now anyways if I am honest

    Also, I believe I was hearing noise floor on the high output ports (especially considering it went away on the low ports). Someone mentioned I may be hearing an oscillation from the amp. If that is a possibility would it be possible for it to sound like noise floor? or should I expect a different sound if the amp was oscilating?
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2022
  19. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    well I decided to try the easy way first = I reached out to the man himself

    "All my amps should not have problems provided that headphones don't require much power"
     
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  20. eskamobob1

    eskamobob1 Acquaintance

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    Well question answered then! elwappo99 it looks like we are good to go!
     

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