Hi guys. Sorry for the break in responses. I was out of town for a few days on important business. Glad this thread has gotten some traffic while I was away.
Originally Posted by Elysian
Thanks for the great impressions. Glad the LL is coming out, as it's great to have another high-end SS option for people, particularly given how a few people have noted it has a noticeable different character to the BH/BHSE. Wonderful pics too (many and detailed), and it's completely understandable that you wouldn't publicly photograph a lent prototype without the designer's permission. Though I am not familiar with the Cary and Audiophilleo, based upon comparable impressions I've heard (from gear that I do know) from people I trust, it should have been a very solid pairing.
Given the gear you've mentioned to me that you're putting together, you should have a wonderful system coming together in the next 6-12 months.
It's always interesting when you take a piece of gear out of a chain and it sounds like the life has been sucked out entirely. I've been wondering if that's chalked up to personal preference towards a specific signature, which gets further solidified over time, and have been doing blind tests every few weeks to see if it's really just in my head, or if I actually notice if something is taken out.
Anyway, I've found it difficult to go back to the dynamic sound after living with stats for awhile. Will be giving the Audeze cans yet another shot to see whether or not it's prejudice on my part.
Thank you for the kind words! As always, I truly value and appreciate your feedback, be it negative or positive, so long as it's constructive. The AP1 and the Cary Xciter DAC have excellent synergy with the CLL, which Cat6man can attest to, as he listened to the setup for upwards of ninety minutes at the recent NYC meet. He said it sounded great with his 404LE.
I'm excited about the gear acquisitions in my near future. My goal is really to put together a TOTL system and then stop worrying about gear for a while and just enjoy the music. Once the system is how I like it, I expect I won't be surfing Head-Fi much anymore.
It certainly is interesting how profoundly one piece of gear can affect your sound. It's a constant reminder that your sound is your chain, and not any single element. And I agree, it's tough going back to dynamics. I haven't had much head time with the HE-6 of late, despite it being a great setup.
Originally Posted by AiDee
Great work sridhar3. Thoughtful and comprehensive, there's a lot packed into this review. This type of gear is not on my radar, but reading this was well worthwhile. Cheers!
Thank you, sir! Your Bifrost thread is quite top-notch as well. I only wish I had the kind of gear I'd need to have in order to write as comprehensive a review as you have. Alas, it would seem my comparisons are a bit lacking, given the difficulty in owning multiple TOTL amplifiers.
Originally Posted by dBel84
The very nature of being human, two people read the same words and come away with different impressions.
I am looking forward to hearing the final product which I anticipate will have more headroom but similar character..dB
I couldn't agree more. As I stressed, once you hit TOTL gear, it really becomes about preference in sound signature. Different strokes for different folks. And I'm definitely looking forward to hearing the improvements in the final production model.
Originally Posted by sillysally
I hope you are right about the sound-stage. That's the one thing that is slowing me down getting a LL, the other is I am waiting for a reply from Alix.
I agree. That was really my one and only gripe with the amplifier, though I'm by no means a soundstage junkie (HD 800 + ECBA anyone?). That said, any improvements are welcome improvements.
I'm not sure about Alex not getting back to you. He's usually pretty good with e-mail. If I had to guess, I'd say he's busy with the current run of Liquid Fire builds.
Originally Posted by Radio_head
Considering we have no idea what components are inside, circuit layout etc, all these questions are premature. As to why someone would prefer it to the BHSE, one possibility is the same reason (totally independent of sound) that some prefer the KGSS to the BHSE: convenience of solid state.
As for price, same tired arguments back and forth.
I find it funny that we keep going back to the argument of "tube versus solid state". The BHSE is a tube/hybrid amp, but it sounds solid state. The CLL is solid state, but sounds like tubes. So, what matters more, whether it's tube/hybrid or solid state, or how it sounds? I'd argue the latter is more important.
As far as price goes, the same rings true for any product: It's worth what you're willing to pay for it. If you're not willing to pay the price, then it's not worth it to you. That's a personal decision, and a highly multifactorial one at that. Although, it seems odd to me that individuals would argue over whether or not the amp is worth it, without even having heard it. So yeah, I guess we're beating a dead horse.