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Review: Cavalli Liquid Lightning - Page 5

post #61 of 312
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by visualguy View Post

If the KGSS and KGSSHV are so excellent, and the LL is more expensive, then there should be something that's even better about the LL, which is what? Based on your post, it's not the voltage swing. That's ok, but in what way does the LL excel?


deadhorse.gif

 

Again with better/worse.  This is TOTL gear.  You need to find what best fits you.  Are numbers and statistics of more import to you than the way it sounds?  Does more horsepower or torque necessarily translate to a better car, or does implementation matter?

 

I liked the way the amp sounded.  You don't seem to share the same taste in sound signature.  Hence, this probably isn't the amplifier for you.  Enjoy your KGSSHV!

post #62 of 312

 

No one wants to buy a pig in a poke - more information about what's in this amp is important for making a decision about whether to buy it, or buy the much less expensive 727, or the slightly more expensive BHSE, etc.

 

The information so far seems to be that the KGSS/KGSSHV are excellent designs, but not commercially available and not as attractive to the manufacturer as what's in the LL in terms of maintaining healthy profit margins.

 

Ok, so how does the LL excel compared to the 727?

 

post #63 of 312

Well, I can't speak for whoever supplied that amp, but was it commercially viable at its price? Is it still being made? I am not familiar with this particular version of the KGSS and I don't know, but as I understand it it's not being sold now.

 

Weight

 

I also wanted to talk about weight which is another red herring that has been mentioned here.

 

Weight can matter if it really doesn indicate something that really matters to the circuit and what it is designed to do. But not always,

 

I think that the Liquid Fire, weighing in at 8.5 pounds, has proven that a very high quality, excellent sounding headphone amp does not have to weigh 20-40 pounds. Although I would not presume to speak for the owners, I think any honest read of the LF thread will tell you that the owners think very highly of this amplifier.

 

Part of the design goal was to make a compact, lightweight amp that was top end audio. I believe that goal has been achieved.

 

Part of the goal for the LL is the same. It is not a heavy amplifier by design. You cannot draw any conclusions based on its weight as the LF has already proven.

 

However, I understand that there are many different tastes in the world. Some may not like the minimalist approach of the LL. If you don't, then by all means please buy one of the amps with the visual features that you like. But you still can't judge the LL because it doesn't have these visual effects and does not weigh 30 pounds.

 

Edit again: this is a response to n3rdling


Edited by runeight - 12/10/11 at 1:19pm
Dr. Cavalli gained notoriety with his first DIY amplifier projects. His success has blossomed into Cavalli Audio, a world leader in amplifier design.
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post #64 of 312
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post

 

No one wants to buy a pig in a poke - more information about what's in this amp is important for making a decision about whether to buy it, or buy the much less expensive 727, or the slightly more expensive BHSE, etc.

 

The information so far seems to be that the KGSS/KGSSHV are excellent designs, but not commercially available and not as attractive to the manufacturer as what's in the LL in terms of maintaining healthy profit margins.

 

Ok, so how does the LL excel compared to the 727?

 


Or maybe more impressions on how it sounds are important for making a decision? Or maybe your own listening test?

 

I don't have a 727 to compare to the CLL.  If you'd be so kind as to send me one, I'd gladly tell you how they're different.

post #65 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post

 

I don't have a 727 to compare to the CLL.  If you'd be so kind as to send me one, I'd gladly tell you how they're different.


How would you do the comparison? You said in your review that you sent back the CLL.

 

post #66 of 312

If I was considering such an purchase, I would like to see internal shots and detailed specs.

I would not be won over by a listening session alone, having supporting data is like insurance.

Cavalli Audio had a rich DIY heritage once, I now see it at odds with itself.

post #67 of 312

After market electrostatic headphone amps in Hong Kong are next to non existent, so unfortunately I will have to make blind purchases. That said I also based my decision on the LF purely on reviews here too and could not be happier with it. Let's wait until the production units to come out and actually listen to them before making any comments, otherwise it is quite unfair to Dr Cavalli.

post #68 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post

If I was considering such an purchase, I would like to see internal shots and detailed specs.

I would not be won over by a listening session alone, having supporting data is like insurance.

Cavalli Audio had a rich DIY heritage once, I now see it at odds with itself.


Me as well. Companies that are more than willing to show the insides of their products are companies that are confident in their designs. Simaudio for example shows you everything they make, from the bottom to the type of the line. You won't catch Jeff Rowland doing that, for a reason.

 

lg_moon700ii.jpg

 

post #69 of 312

This conversation is starting to get slightly ridiculous.

 

I can understand the desire to know about the internals, especially for a product that's several thousand dollars and is in the high-end of a product category.  However, baiting Cavalli Audio into publicly critiquing/criticizing (or in blunter terms, badmouthing) other manufacturers' gear is not only poor business practice, but also generally not really acceptable behavior.  You will rarely see a developer, designer, manufacturer, etc., go out and publicly critique or slag on another company, much less their products or services.  When it happens, it tends to turn off a lot of people.

 

He's stated that he's happy to take the conversation to PMs/emails, and though I've never corresponded with Cavalli directly, people I've spoken and corresponded with have said they've had good conversations and are satisfied with the quality and service of their products.

 

Similarly, this isn't comparable to DIY.  Presumably, Cavalli Audio is trying to change from being DIY hobbyist to a profitable business, which is particularly evident that the company website's landing page now has a pending link for studio engineers.  Given how comparatively easy it is to reverse engineer audio, and given how difficult it is to protect IP in this area, I don't understand why Cavalli would want to do a full nude shoot and show-and-tell, particularly for a product that isn't even launched yet.  More than one designer has said that you can post all the internal shots you want if you buy the product, but they won't be doing it themselves.  Some companies show everything, some don't.  The decision to be more discreet is obviously a conscious decision made.  It's clear he's made up his mind at this point, he's heard the counter arguments, and he'll decide how he wants to run his business.  Again, he's invited people to take it to private correspondence with him.

 

Yes, some companies do like to kiss-and-tell as part of a pre-launch strategy.  It doesn't seem like Cavalli Audio wants to, and I don't understand why it's such a stretch to respect that decision.

 

It's a high-end electrostatic headphone amp.  Buy it if you like the impressions and reviews, if you like the Cavalli house sound, if you're not satisfied with the Stax or Headamp or Woo offerings, whatever.  But this sense of entitlement about needing to see a full expose on the Liquid Lightning, especially before it's even launched, is really bizarre.  Give the guy a break, and from what I've heard, there will probably be more LLs popping up at the larger meetings in 1H2012.


Edited by Elysian - 12/10/11 at 4:10pm
post #70 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post

If I was considering such an purchase, I would like to see internal shots and detailed specs.

I would not be won over by a listening session alone, having supporting data is like insurance.

Cavalli Audio had a rich DIY heritage once, I now see it at odds with itself.


+1

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by runeight View Post

And why exactly would I show you what's in it? Who are you exactly? Go ask other commercial audio manufacturers to show you their schematics and describe their designs to you in detail. See how you do. Some will, maybe, but most won't.

 

This may be true in the audio world but that doesn't mean it should be. There are not many other industries where that kind of closed mentality would fly. Imagine if you were buying a car and the salesman said you can't look under the hood, just drive it around the block and if it makes it you should buy it. Or when buying a computer if you were not allowed to know the hardware inside but were told to surf the web for an hour and buy based on that. I would never make a significant purchase like this without knowing details of the internals.

post #71 of 312

Dear Alex:

 
 
I agree that there are some comments being made with prejudice. For visualguy, he has an history of relativising the benefits of non stax amps offering.
 
However, I am on the same boat as his in regards to comparison to the 727. Reason is we're both current owners of that amp I believe, and both using sr009. The 727, in stock form, meshes rather well with the 009, in particular it appears to make it sound less bright than amps like the BHSE. As I have read so far, the LL seem to do the same thing so the question is how it fairs against the 727 amp.
 
By the way, the Stax amp has been manufactured exclusively in Japan (until now) where labour cost is the same if not more expensive than in the US. Stax is a bigger company than cavalli audio but still quite small (10 people). 
 
Well, I think spritzer mentioned Stax was making pretty much no profit on the amps (and we've now found out the company got sold for pocket change because it was pretty much in the red). So maybe that explains some of the difference in pricing between your LL (you obviously need to make a living out of it and are not selling other products like stax) and something like the 727 ?
 
I think some internal pics / info on the design could help alleviate current negative speculation. But I understand it's also a double edge sword where diy experts might start picking on the design and come up with low cost based on parts count and such, not factoring in the realities of running a business with employees...
 
But sooner or later, one is going to pop up the hood so it may be better if you take the initiative and get a chance to justify yourself, might there be some claims. 
 
Lastly, I agree it is very uninspiring to have to do that kind of work (it's almost insulting if I put myself in your shoes). But there's no other way around to gain the trust I am afraid...
 
post #72 of 312

I'd be curious to read 727 vs. LL comparisons as well. I can understand that information about a design can be a double-edged sword. I recall reading that a previous Cavalli design was taken by a company and manufactured without authorisation, so if that is the reason for his hesitation, it's understandable. Anyway, there are only a couple of people around Head-Fi who can make any useful assessment of the design, so knowing wont really benefit anyone.


Edited by Currawong - 12/10/11 at 5:12pm
post #73 of 312

arnaud, I don't mind talking about the amp. But I will not respond to a coordinated effort to get me to satisfy the demands of people who don't really appear to care about the LL, but just want to get information so that they can slam it even more than they are now. Would you do that?

 

As regard to Stax, doesn't the recent turn of events tell you exactly what you need to know? That the 727 was likely underpriced and that the company was essentially going out of business and had to be rescued?

 

I'm happy to give more information about the LL, but I won't be bullied or threatened into it by anyone on this forum.

 

I can't tell you how the LL fairs against the 727 at this moment since a listening comparison hasn't been made. But please refer to my earlier comments about RMAF and the responses from listeners there regarding the BHSE and the WOO amps.

 

And I ask you, who's trust to I need to gain? People who have no interest in the LL except to disparage it? Or people who are genuinely interested to know about the amp because it's something new, because it might be a really good amp, and because they might consider buying it if it is?

 

If the former, no deal. If the latter, what do you want to know?

Dr. Cavalli gained notoriety with his first DIY amplifier projects. His success has blossomed into Cavalli Audio, a world leader in amplifier design.
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post #74 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcg27 View Post


+1

 

 

This may be true in the audio world but that doesn't mean it should be. There are not many other industries where that kind of closed mentality would fly. Imagine if you were buying a car and the salesman said you can't look under the hood, just drive it around the block and if it makes it you should buy it. Or when buying a computer if you were not allowed to know the hardware inside but were told to surf the web for an hour and buy based on that. I would never make a significant purchase like this without knowing details of the internals.


It is the way it is in many industries. You may get to see under the hood, but they're not going to tell you the important details about the engine, materials, SW, etc.

 

Lots of people buy audio equipment without knowing the details of the internals. I'm not saying that you should by any means do this, but I would say that in the audio world by a large margin the norm is that people buy without knowing the interntal details.

 

You guys are (mostly) diy people and you want to know what's inside and you want to compare that to what's inside other things that you know about. Then you want to make decisions in part based on this. Well, I'm a diy guy too and do exactly the same thing.

 

Like I just said to arnaud, I don't mind talking about the amp to any reasonable extent. I just won't be pressured into it by people who think they have some right to know because of ... what? And  won't be gamed by people who are just looking for information to create more partially true negative comments and who will then ask for more info to do more of the same until the cows come home (as we say in Texas).

 

 

Dr. Cavalli gained notoriety with his first DIY amplifier projects. His success has blossomed into Cavalli Audio, a world leader in amplifier design.
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post #75 of 312

It does seem to be a longstanding part of the audio business. For good or ill.

 

But, like I have said, I am happy to discuss the LL and give information about it if people genuinely want to know about the amp.

 

Is there something specific that you want to know? Within reason, I will do my best to answer.

Dr. Cavalli gained notoriety with his first DIY amplifier projects. His success has blossomed into Cavalli Audio, a world leader in amplifier design.
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