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Cavalli Audio Liquid Fire - Page 9

post #121 of 2242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icenine2 View Post

Clay,

 

Excellent!  Now go and buy those new LCD2rev2's to go with it!!  It's all good!



if my modded Fostex T50RPs are half as good as the LCD-2, i agree wholeheartedly.  while i genuflect to source/upstream first, Clayton needs to stop buying amps and get a pair of reference HPs.  the LCD-2 is at the top of my personal list. 

post #122 of 2242
Quote:

Originally Posted by fishski13 View Post
 

if my modded Fostex T50RPs are half as good as the LCD-2, i agree wholeheartedly.  while i genuflect to source/upstream first, Clayton needs to stop buying amps and get a pair of reference HPs.  the LCD-2 is at the top of my personal list. 


You're absolutely right. No more buying amps. My next purchase will be a pair of reference HPs.

 

post #123 of 2242

I'd be interested to know how the LF/HD800 compares with WooWA22/HD800 combination.

Also, has anyone tried the Grado PS1000/GS1000i/RS1i with the LF.

 

 

post #124 of 2242

Before the LCD2rev2's I had the Tesla T-1's and a Woo WA22.  There is no comparison between the Woo WA22/T-1 and the LF/T-1 combo.  The WA22 isn't as fast, doesn't have as much detail and bass impact and definition.  My LF/LCD2rev2/W4S DAC2 rig is incredble!

post #125 of 2242

Hi,

 

 

This is my first post here and I would highly appreciate your answers / comments on the a.m. issue.

 

I am looking for an upgrade of my headphone amplifier. I am still using a "Singlepower MPX3 Slam" OTL, equipped with 1 x Ken Rad 6SN7 GT (driver) and 2 x Sylvania VT-231 (output). Headphones to be used currently are ATH-W5000, AKG-701 and my new Audeze LCD-2 has just arrived today (HE-6, T1, or K1000 may follow, you never know ...).

 

As source I use a "dCS Puccini" or an Apple MacBook Air (hi-res files). I hear 70 % classical music and 30 % Jazz. Consequently, neutrality, high resolution as well as natural sound is very important (I know, with HiFi this is sometimes contradictory). Moreover, the dynamics of a big-band or string-orchester should be realistic. Therefore, I need soundstage and rather speed and power than laid-back sound.

 

 

 

Options:

 

I am considering the Liquid Fire based on the comments / reviews I read about this amp. The technology (hybrid) is comparable with my main rig (Thorens Pre and Power Amp) which I like very much. Musicality combined with speed, power and dynamics. I am also still considering the WA 5 (LE?) as an alternative. However, my "future amp" should sound a bit less "tuby" than the SP MPX3. Needless to say that I have no possibility to hear either amps.

Currently, I have a Leben 300X (7 years old) for loan. It is far away from being neutral (compared to the MPX3) and soundstage is also worse.

 

 

 

What do you guys think about the following issues:

 

1.

How does the LF fit with LCD-2, AKG 701, (W5000), HiFi-Man HE6 compared to the WA 5 ? Has somebody tried the AKG K 1000 with the LF ?

 

2.

Can you describe the sound of LF (WA 5) with AKG 701, LCD-2, against the Single Power (which is my "standard") ?  

 

3.

Are the transformers (LF, WA 5) really dead quiet ? Also, if you put your ear on the chassis ?

 

4.

Is there any noise (hiss, hum) when using W5000, AKG 701, LCD 2 with LF / WA 5 ?

 

 

I am sorry for asking you so many (comprehensive) questions.

Again, your help is very much appreciated .... because I am talking about an investment here ...

 

 

Regards,

kesonic  

post #126 of 2242

I probably can't answer everything, but hopefully I can help at least point you in the right direction.

 

Quote:
1.  How does the LF fit with LCD-2, AKG 701, (W5000), HiFi-Man HE6 compared to the WA 5 ? Has somebody tried the AKG K 1000 with the LF ?

To my ears, the LF is absolutely great with the LCD-2.  The only amp I've heard that I can see myself liking more is the Balancing Act in Kingstyles' tricked out rig.  How much of that is due to the rest of the equipment in his chain versus the amp itself, I'm not entirely sure.  I should have tried to use the LF at the last meet with his rig's front end, but it didn't occur to me at the time.  I'm not sure if anyone tried the K1000 with the Liquid Fire at the last Seattle meet, but there was a pair there.  You could post on the impressions page and see if anyone tried them using my LF.

 

Quote:
2.  Can you describe the sound of LF (WA 5) with AKG 701, LCD-2, against the Single Power (which is my "standard") ?

Can't help you on this one.  Don't have very much experience with the WA or Single Power amp.

 

Quote:
3.  Are the transformers (LF, WA 5) really dead quiet ? Also, if you put your ear on the chassis ?

Haven't tried putting my ear to the chassis, but I really have never noticed any hum or anything from the amp.  I actually hear the hum and startup on the DACs I've used, but can't say I've noticed it from the LF.

 

Quote:
4.  Is there any noise (hiss, hum) when using W5000, AKG 701, LCD 2 with LF / WA 5 ?

No hiss or hum to my ears using LCD-2, either original production or rev 2.  I'm probably a little more sensitive than some to little sounds like this, but haven't ever really heard anything personally.

post #127 of 2242

 

Thank you, Equus, your answers are very helpful !

 

I had the Balancing Act also on my "radar screen" and I read the review on 6moons. I addressed some questions to E.C. but never received an answer. My main problem is that I can not hear the amps. Therefore, I rely on people`s descriptions .... 

An alternative would be to fly to the 2011 CanJam - Meet  ;-)

Regards,

kensonic

post #128 of 2242

I liked the BA a lot, but I think it may be a little warmer and "adds" a little more than the LF.  At least that's from the rig I heard, so it may be a sum of the parts (and tubes used) rather than the amp itself.  So slightly different presentation than the LF.  Both are excellent.

post #129 of 2242
Thread Starter 

well there were a lot more things different than just the amps with the two rigs.

 

The BA rig was well over $15,000 with a AYon Skyaa DAC, isolation platforms, power regeneration, offramp USB to SPDIF converter etc ..

 

A comparison on equal footing will still bring out the differences between the amp and will be similar to what you point out Ethan. Regardless both are top notch amps.

post #130 of 2242

Speaking of top notch amps. 

It's early yet, but I will give some brief notes on the Liquid Fire vs. Peak/Volcano.

 

Interestingly, the sound of the Peak that everyone has been describing in reviews is basically the sound of the Shuguang Treasure tube.

My Treasure tube died on me last week, and so I rolled in 4 or 5 NOS tubes until I found a sound that I liked enough to keep the tube in there (1950's RCA gray glass VT-231).

However, from my memory of the amp with the Treasure, the sound is very deep and holographic.  But, at the sacrifice of some "foundation" of the music.  In other words, it's not the best bass out there, but it is undoubtedly the best soundstage I have heard.

With other tubes, interestingly, the sound basically follows the tube pretty faithfully, with a very few signature sounds of the amp that persist. 

Which is both troubling and reassuring at the same time.  Troubling, because I realize I could spend some major cash finding that perfect 6SN7 variety.  Reassuring, because the amp seems to be a pretty good "blank slate" for tube rolling.

(The characteristics that seem to persist regardless of the tube are a slight speediness to the presentation, and slight focus on the midrange.  Otherwise the sound of the amp can be tailored to your liking.)

 

The Cavalli is a very similar sounding amp so far.  And, I don't have quite 150 hours on it yet, but I can already tell it is gong to be a delightful sounding amp.

It has some very clear similarities to the Peak, and a few differences as well.

Comparing the sound to the Peak with Treasure tube, the sound is fuller, and with a little more "meat on the bones".  In fact, the bass is the deepest I have heard rendered through headphones.  There is also a very slight softness to the upper register, without sounding dark.  Certainly, bright headphones will still sound bright through the LF.

The imaging and general presentation is similar to the Peak.  After all, they are both hybrids with tube input and MOSFET output.  They both have a very low noise floor.  Therefore a velvety black background from which the music emerges.  Instruments each have their own space

However, as yet, the soundstage of the LF isn't quite as big as that of the Peak w/ Treasure tube.  Don't get me wrong, it's still a very nice, stable, and enjoyable soundstage.  In fact, the soundstage of the Treasure tube may be an anomaly for all I know.  But, as the LF's imaging is so good, I find the soundstage to be a little secondary while listening...

 

As far as differences?  The LF sounds a tiny bit more dynamic.  Which is taking some getting used to for me. 

So far, I'm not enjoying (as much) the pairing of more dynamic sounding headphones with the LF (Beyer T1, for instance).  I keep reaching for the volume knob to adjust it because of the rise and fall of the music.  However, that's a very minor issue, and one that simply takes some brain burn in.  (And I'm sure that's its just a strange personal preference that won't be shared by anyone else who hears the amp.)

 

And some final similarities:

The volume knobs are both incredibly sensitive.  Both amps have lots of gain (by design), so not much of the volume knob is "in play" for sensitive headphones.  In other words, it gets loud really fast.

The Peak has a slightly stiffer volume knob, which helps with minute volume adjustment.  I think I prefer this over the looser feeling knob of the Cavalli.  

 

Overall, I don't mean to shock anyone when I say that the Peak and Cavalli are pretty much in the same league.  With perhaps the very slightest edge going to the LF for having a slightly smoother and warmer sound.

 

But, I'm sure the Cavalli is just going to get better and better.  Not to mention replacing the stock tubes.  tongue_smile.gif

And i look forward to hearing it...

 

So, my impression is, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either amp. 

They are both world class.

 

post #131 of 2242

Well I have ordered a gorgeous Quad matched nos Amperex 6922 PQ. So I am selling my beautiful Ouad matched nos set of  Tungeram E88CC 6922

 

post #132 of 2242
Thread Starter 

NIce. Looking forward to notes comparing the Siemens to the Amperex. 

 

I am thinking the Amperex will be more my flavor in the LIquid FIre. Expecting it to be more warmer like the tungsram but not as much without sacrificing the detail and delicacy the siemens brings to the table.

post #133 of 2242

 

Hi,


Many thanks for your comments ! 
My headache is over - I just ordered the LF ! 

Reasons: 
1. Sufficient power to drive any of my current (and future) headphones. 
2. LF has a neutral sound (but slightly on the warm side) - and does not add too much colour. Tube rolling should give sufficient possibilities for further tweaking. 
3. No noise. This is very important to me ! I hate hum and hiss; maybe I am too sensitive but I would like to avoid any risk concerning this issue. 
4. Appropriate built quality (although only a light weight). At least I was not able to found anything negative about built quality.   

Of course, one of those flagships (WA5, BA) would be nice but I think the LF is a good choice for me ! Any objections ??

 

Br,

kensonic 

post #134 of 2242
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kensonic View Post

Of course, one of those flagships (WA5, BA) would be nice but I think the LF is a good choice for me ! Any objections ??

 



The LF is a flagship headphone amp. The BA and the WA5 are different flavors playing in the same ball game. 

 

Congrats on ordering the LF. Looks like it just cleared CE certification as well!! How many small time manufacturers even bother to do that these days??!!


Edited by sachu - 9/14/11 at 9:13am
post #135 of 2242

Thank you,

and yes, it is clearly a Plus to have CE Certification. It was just luck that I received my SP MPX3 (without having a CE Mark) some years ago ...

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