Massdrop Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. muckyfingers

    muckyfingers Rando

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    So if I wanted to correct the polarity issue on the input side with some DIY Stereo RCA cables, would I invert either L or R or both channels?
     
  2. bilboda

    bilboda Florida boomer

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    I wouldn't bother correcting polarity. It's recommended to do correction at the source. I did, many other did, no difference. This was all based on an observation by another headphone mfr. He didn't state it degraded sound quality, he just has a history of trashing other mfr products. Don't worry about it, it's fine.
     
  3. muckyfingers

    muckyfingers Rando

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    Thanks, I’ll leave well enough alone.
     
  4. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    For the record so tried it there was a difference. I swapped at the source with a polarity flip button on my CD player.

    Now, I think it mostly depends on your headphones. I've always found that planars and BA's are more prone to polarity flip. Dynamics not as much if at all.

    Differences with my Fostex T20's were more bass and wider stereo. More tests are needed. YMMV.
     
  5. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    This really belongs in a separate thread.

    For what it's worth, the absolute polarity believers say that it's recording-dependent. Which makes sense, if you think about it. So any kind of blanket better/worse statement doesn't apply here.

    Unfortunately I don't think there's any standard way to tag tracks as regular/inverse polarity and play them back accordingly.

    Personally I wouldn't worry. This hobby has waay too much nervosa already...
     
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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  6. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Only posting my experiences with this amp and headphones since it is polarity reversed.

    Already made note of audio nervosa in this thread when I made note that the MTCH is phase reversed.

    I'm only making blanket statements because of audio nervosa. Hence "YMMV". It may need it's own thread, but likely not here. Feel free to come to your own conclusions. Maybe someone with a testing rig can create a thread on their own to try to discover something scientifically. There is something going on, but likely other factors involved like the the way it was recorded and headphones used. So again, YMMV.
     
  7. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    And just to quell any other audio nervosa about the whole polarity issue..

    Pretty much all vintage JBL's, which most love, are wired inverse polairty. This includes the beloved L100's. :eek:

    So it should not be much worry. However, I still plan on doing some more in-depth tests, but that can be discussed on another thread.
     
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  8. Raicorl

    Raicorl Acquaintance

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    For those who having scratching sound while turning volume pot around 8-11. I just changed my rca cable to Pangea premier IC according to mavey cable rolling post, then voila! scratching sound that start to get louder has completely gone.

    I just intended to upgrade the cables and there is no guarantee that it would work for you guys, so YMMV.
     
  9. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Strange...I wonder if it was an interference issue and those cables are shielded vs. unshielded?
     
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  10. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Scratchy pots are usually because they have DC, I know I had a few and getting rid of the DC always solved it. Curious how a cable can do that. I've bought DC blockers and better grounded things to get rid of it.
     
  11. Raicorl

    Raicorl Acquaintance

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    My previous cables are ghentaudio, they even has bigger shielding than pangea IC.

    Difference that I can think of is pangea has lock connector type.

    Sorry, but what is DC stands for? Im kinda noob here.
     
  12. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Hmmm...

    Scratchy pot and RCA cables solved it, and then don't know what DC stands for. Hmmm...
     
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  13. Kris

    Kris Rando

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    I've listened to my MCTH(on a pair of 58X) for less than 6 hours so far, but i have to say i'm pleasantly surprised!

    I forewent the EH tube and instead opted for a NOS Amperex 6DJ8 i had lying around. It's still breaking in but holy midrange, Batman, this combination(MCTH + 58X = MC58X ?) sure has some legs on her. Everything i throw at her sounds fantastic, resolving and distinct, yet holographic and "ethereal" at the same time. It really nails the attack of acoustic instruments, percussion as well as brings a really good rendering of vocals and instruments to the table. A very interesting pairing, one that i am happy i've started getting to know.

    If this is what ~550 bucks(MCTH + 58X + shipping, fees & VAT) buys you in US goods in 2017, i'd be very interested in listening to the next tier up, something that blows the MC58X out of the water, although i'd rather pay shipping+handling on those headphones direct from Ireland this time around, please, Massdrop.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I listened to everything from Dire Straits via Chicane, Brand New Heavies to Rage Against the Machine, The Prodigy and The KLF, Antiloop and enjoyed everything, what stands out are really lively and involving renditions of recordings i'm familiar with. It has a tendency to suck you in to endless listening sessions, this i like!

    I have the luxury of only having listened to the 58X among the open-back Sennheisers, and i have no doubt the performance ceiling for these open-back design is way, way above what i'm hearing now, still i can't help but be amazed at the accuracy of these cans, fed by the MCTH just makes it sound all the more "right".

    I know i said i was going to give it a hundred hours, but i'm chomping at the bits to get it into the main rig, fed by 16/44 as well as 24/96 material through the Subbu DAC. Since @CEE TEE put the kibosh(for now) on an undrilled chassis matching the MCTH, i'm stuck waiting for that to happen, or finding a fleaBay clone. The form factor is great, rock-solid build, great potential here.

    Upside is i have this chassis here right now, and it's built like a tank, nice and roomy, could probably squeeze in both a LPS for the MCTH itself, along with the PSU and PCB for the Subbu DAC, if i really wanted to, although i think i'd need a fan to feel relaxed about it. But fitting the batteries in there after that, will be tricky for sure. In the meantime, what is the best way to soft-mod my 58X? I've read about outside foam removal, but i'm thinking of removing the driver + assembly/cabling/other bits and having it professionally cryo-treated, course i'd need replacement parts to be able to use my 58X in the mean time.

    All this is naturally after the warranty expires.

    It would then be a great candidate to mod with some valve state rectification, and in the process give it the ability to drive other 6V/12V tubes. Either that or build a CTH, but i feel i really only need a new PSU. TBD.

    From my lay-mans perspective the MCTH is the result of a DIY design protoype being passed around, iterated on, improved until it satisfied a council of listeners of sorts. The 58X also seems to have had a round or two of iteration in its creation. Can't help but feel the 58X 'disrupted' the HD5/6** market slightly, in that it offered a great price point of entry for essentially a cost-reduced ~HD660(but improved upon at the same time), and i'd be surprised if Massdrop doesn't end up expediting these getting in the hands of music lovers across the globe by the tens of thousands, it'd be remiss not to.

    What i'm thinking is let's try to make a HD8XX that maybe doesn't blows the HD800 out of the water, but approaches and comes near the performance of, and disrupts the hell outta the upper echelon of the Sennie open-back performance, at lets say $399.

    (I say this mind you not ever having heard the HD800, just going off youtube reviews of people i seem to trust)
     
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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  14. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

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    [​IMG]
    Yes! Yes! Yes!
     
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  15. westermac

    westermac Friend

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    Well, I had an HD800 show up today, and based on what I had read from others I fully expected to not care for it with the MCTH (so confident was I that I had the MCTH listed for sale. Tsk, tsk).

    While I would echo what has been said about the MCTH not doing the HD800's treble any favors (particularly an unmodded HD800), the big caveat to that statement is Sonarworks. I know Marv isn't particularly fond of EQ'ing the HD800, but I definitely prefer it, and with Sonarworks engaged I find the HD800 to be a really excellent match with the MCTH; moreso than the Project Horizon III which I will now likely be selling instead (the PH III is better suited to an un-EQ'd HD800 though).

    I think the reason for this working so well is that Sonarworks correction for the HD800, while really good, can end up softening the HD800's treble too much, taking away the bite that make the HD800 so fun and engaging. The MCTH's treble helps make up for what is lost by adding a little edge of it's own and restoring some of that energy.

    As for bass slam, adding an LPS helps with that. I'm a happy boy.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  16. Kris

    Kris Rando

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    With a muted source i too have a scratching noise around 12.30-1.00 pm on the volume. Unlike regular old pot noise this doesn't seem to go away with repeated movements across the scratchy area. Almost as if the track is imperfectly smooth and the wiper is bouncing of the irregularities, perhaps? I have no idea what's causing it. Will see what happens, cautiously optimistic.
     
  17. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Free Agent

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    Hi Kris,
    Thanks for posting. The MCTH shares ground with the sources. Do you have the source plugged in? (You mentioned "muted".)
    If you wouldn't mind testing: please disconnect a source and then use your finger on the ring of the L&R RCA jacks. Does that remove the "scratch" at the area in question?
     
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  18. Kris

    Kris Rando

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    Ok, i did just that, and in fact the noise all but completely disappears. Of note is that even with a source plugged in(Subbu DAC v3) the behaviour is the same. If i touch the ground of the RCA jacks(or the exposed ground of my headphone plug converter) the noise while adjusting volume disappears. One interesting thing: If i touch the chassis, the noise is reduced, especially the HF part of it. Also tried changing cables, no change.

    Interesting :)
     
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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  19. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Didn't someone find that some input cables would cause sctatching and some did not?
     
  20. Kris

    Kris Rando

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    Indeed, there was talk earlier in the thread, and i do think i've seen it mentioned elsewhere. It could be a different issue to mine, i tried it with 3 cables(Blue Jeans, vdH and Harmonic Tech.), no discernible difference to no cable/no source hooked up.

    However, and this is pure speculation, i don't think the noise i am hearing is related to a DC presence through the pot, i believe it is in fact interference. Humans are antennae and when we touch the pot it seems we in fact turn some part of the pot/and or circuit in contact with this antenna. Noise ensues and when we subsequently touch ground(or even the chassis, to a lesser effect) we are in fact channeling a proportion of our picked up signals outside of the audio signal path, and so the noise diminishes.

    This seems to be a problem in guitars as well, where touching the pot without touching the [grounded] strings induce these types of noises(RF in origin). I'm going to resist the urge to open it up, though, i want to keep it in original condition as long as i have warranty :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018

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