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The Cavalli-Kan Kumisa III Stereo Headphone Amplifier has landed - Page 2

post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitary1 View Post
I'm in love with it. It does nothing badly, most things superbly. Good to see people with other cans express their impressions also. I'm glad you guys have chipped in with your thoughts/plans so this thread doesn't die. I didn't want to be the only poster, and we need some damn VARIETY around here. I'm sick of seeing 6 different threads about the same 2 or 3 amps.
word. until the CKIII becomes popular and every other thread will be about it

but that probably won't happen since DIY amps don't get as much thread time around here...which is fine by me since i think DIY amps rock! this thread should be pretty good...
post #17 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitary1 View Post
we need some damn VARIETY around here. I'm sick of seeing 6 different threads about the same 2 or 3 amps.
YES. It gets pretty tiring after a while. Thanks for starting this thread!
post #18 of 75
How does the CKKIII compare to the beta22? I know the beta22 is much more expensive to build, but parts cost doesn't tell the whole story.

BTW, there has hardly been any coverage of the beta22. I agree that the DIY amps haven't been given the attention they deserve as of late.
post #19 of 75
Again: great amp. And you should listen to a couple of them driving a balanced HD650...
post #20 of 75
Thread Starter 
Yes, it is a bit of a tongue-twister isn't it?
post #21 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoide View Post
How does the CKKIII compare to the beta22? I know the beta22 is much more expensive to build, but parts cost doesn't tell the whole story.

BTW, there has hardly been any coverage of the beta22. I agree that the DIY amps haven't been given the attention they deserve as of late.
The two amps are very different -- the CK²III is an excellent little amp with no global negative feedback and designed to be relatively inexpensive and very easy to build. The β22 on the other hand is a high-end amp and capable of a lot more output power, and can drive K1000s or speakers with ease. It's much bigger in every sense of the word, and also has a more complex topology designed to be supremely linear.

The two amp PCBs were released very close in time to each other (less than two months ago), it is because of the easy-to-build nature of the CK²III we're seeing a number of them appearing first.

There are few β22s in existence yet, but plenty of them being built around the world. The flexibility and many options of the β22 leads people to build them in a more customized fashion, which takes planning and time. I am sure there will be more talk about the β22 as people complete their builds.
post #22 of 75
My MisterX built CKKIII arrived today and I'm listening to it right now out of my iMod iPod and HF-1's. It looks identical to Solitary1's amp but I think the internals are slightly different.

I won't say much until I've had some time to break it in and listen to it more critically. For now I will say that upon first listen I am quite impressed especially when its relatively low cost is considered.
post #23 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ichiro View Post
My MisterX built CKKIII arrived today and I'm listening to it right now out of my iMod iPod and HF-1's. It looks identical to Solitary1's amp but I think the internals are slightly different.

I won't say much until I've had some time to break it in and listen to it more critically. For now I will say that upon first listen I am quite impressed especially when its relatively low cost is considered.
Great! Awaiting your impressions...
post #24 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ichiro View Post
My MisterX built CKKIII arrived today and I'm listening to it right now out of my iMod iPod and HF-1's. It looks identical to Solitary1's amp but I think the internals are slightly different.

I won't say much until I've had some time to break it in and listen to it more critically. For now I will say that upon first listen I am quite impressed especially when its relatively low cost is considered.
shoot! a week earlier and i could've listened to it at our mini-meet! interested in your impressions...
post #25 of 75
What case is that in the pictures? I was thinking of getting some of the par-metal's cases for my next couple projects, but that case looks really nice.

-steve
post #26 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveZ View Post
What case is that in the pictures? I was thinking of getting some of the par-metal's cases for my next couple projects, but that case looks really nice.

-steve
I'm not 100% sure but they look like the Galaxy series of Hifi 2000 cases from Audiokit.


click image for link to man'f website
post #27 of 75

CKKIII vs Gilmore Lite LE

I've given the CKKIII over 100 hours of burn in and feel like it's gone through quite a bit of change.

My CKKIII was built by MisterX and looks identical to Solitary1's amp. Internally, the gain is lower at 4.1 since I primarily listen with my A900LTD's and HF-1's. Also, the output transistor was replaced with a MJE243/253 for a little warmer sound and a little punchier bass. (This is based on what I was told by MisterX)

For my evaluation/comparison I used my A900ltd's and fed the amp from a squeezebox3 playing alac files.

My other main home amplifier is a Headamp Gilmore Lite LE which has undergone at least 200 hours of burn in. As most of you already know the LE version of the lite comes with the dedicated power supply. All of my comments will be in comparison to this amp.

Comparison:
The first thing that stood out was the depth the music had. This amp gives a nice 3d sound with excellent depth. Through it I can easily pick out instruments in a 3-dimensional space. The glite has good instrument separation but everything sounds like it falls in a 2d plane. It has a much more upfront sound in comparison.

At first the bass of the CKKIII wasn't as pronounced as it is on the glite. After burn in however, it is much closer. I think both amps go very deep but the glite has more midbass adding a little warmth/richness to the sound. The CKKIII is not dry and I actually prefer its bass presentation to the glite.

The treble is slightly cleaner on the glite but this is very close. The best way I can describe the sound is that the glite has a little more edge in the treble region.

The mids are very different. As I mentioned the CKKIII has nice depth to the music but sometimes it makes the singer sound like he/she is standing in the back. I hear this most listening to "Make This Moment" by Inger Marie Gundersen. Her voice is very upfront through the glite and way in the back through the CKKIII. I've grown accustomed to the upfront sound and find myself turning up the volume on the CKKIII to compensate. Interestingly, I don't experience this phenomenon listening to Diana Krall. She still sounds like she is standing in the front with her band placed all around her. Listening to certain tracks of "Not to Late" by Norah Jones keeps her in the front (like Not to Late) yet in other tracks she is standing in the back (like Wish I Could). Sometimes this works to its advantage, at 2:05 in "Broken" by Norah Jones she starts humming and it literally sounds like she is all around me. I'm slowly getting used to the sound of the CKKIII and it is growing on me.

Overall, the CKKIII is a very nice amp especially when cost is considered. The CKKIII costs roughly the same as the lite without the power supply and I find it compares favorably to the lite with the dedicated power supply.

If you are looking for a 3-dimensional sound and don't mind sitting 20 or so rows back at a concert I would seriously consider this amp.
If you've heard a glite and like its upfront sound or find it dry (to me it is a little warm) then I would look elsewhere.
If you value treble detail more than anything I would look elsewhere.
If you're on a budget and are looking for an amp for < $300 this should be near the top of the list.

Personally, I'm going to have a very difficult time deciding which amp to keep. In the end I may have to find room for both.
post #28 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ichiro View Post
I've given the CKKIII over 100 hours of burn in and feel like it's gone through quite a bit of change.

My CKKIII was built by MisterX and looks identical to Solitary1's amp. Internally, the gain is lower at 4.1 since I primarily listen with my A900LTD's and HF-1's. Also, the output transistor was replaced with a MJE243/253 for a little warmer sound and a little punchier bass. (This is based on what I was told by MisterX)

For my evaluation/comparison I used my A900ltd's and fed the amp from a squeezebox3 playing alac files.

My other main home amplifier is a Headamp Gilmore Lite LE which has undergone at least 200 hours of burn in. As most of you already know the LE version of the lite comes with the dedicated power supply. All of my comments will be in comparison to this amp.

Comparison:
The first thing that stood out was the depth the music had. This amp gives a nice 3d sound with excellent depth. Through it I can easily pick out instruments in a 3-dimensional space. The glite has good instrument separation but everything sounds like it falls in a 2d plane. It has a much more upfront sound in comparison.

At first the bass of the CKKIII wasn't as pronounced as it is on the glite. After burn in however, it is much closer. I think both amps go very deep but the glite has more midbass adding a little warmth/richness to the sound. The CKKIII is not dry and I actually prefer its bass presentation to the glite.

The treble is slightly cleaner on the glite but this is very close. The best way I can describe the sound is that the glite has a little more edge in the treble region.

The mids are very different. As I mentioned the CKKIII has nice depth to the music but sometimes it makes the singer sound like he/she is standing in the back. I hear this most listening to "Make This Moment" by Inger Marie Gundersen. Her voice is very upfront through the glite and way in the back through the CKKIII. I've grown accustomed to the upfront sound and find myself turning up the volume on the CKKIII to compensate. Interestingly, I don't experience this phenomenon listening to Diana Krall. She still sounds like she is standing in the front with her band placed all around her. Listening to certain tracks of "Not to Late" by Norah Jones keeps her in the front (like Not to Late) yet in other tracks she is standing in the back (like Wish I Could). Sometimes this works to its advantage, at 2:05 in "Broken" by Norah Jones she starts humming and it literally sounds like she is all around me. I'm slowly getting used to the sound of the CKKIII and it is growing on me.

Overall, the CKKIII is a very nice amp especially when cost is considered. The CKKIII costs roughly the same as the lite without the power supply and I find it compares favorably to the lite with the dedicated power supply.

If you are looking for a 3-dimensional sound and don't mind sitting 20 or so rows back at a concert I would seriously consider this amp.
If you've heard a glite and like its upfront sound or find it dry (to me it is a little warm) then I would look elsewhere.
If you value treble detail more than anything I would look elsewhere.
If you're on a budget and are looking for an amp for < $300 this should be near the top of the list.

Personally, I'm going to have a very difficult time deciding which amp to keep. In the end I may have to find room for both.
Thanks for your impressions, ichiro. I concur with a lot of your review, but I don't hear the 20-rows back effect. We have different setups though.
post #29 of 75
I know questions like this are probably frowned upon, but how would the Kumisa III compare against the PPA?
post #30 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisofrime View Post
I know questions like this are probably frowned upon, but how would the Kumisa III compare against the PPA?
No, this is one of the more common questions posted here; comparing 2 amps.

From what I've been told the PPA and the CK2III have a similar presentation. I've never heard the PPA.
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