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post #106 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icenine2 View Post

Alex,

Congratulations on the LL review!  Having owned one of the first LF's I was just pretty much waiting for this review knowing it was coming!  You know I think a blue dial would look nice in the room...........

Do it. After owning the same amp/can combo as you and now getting the LL + 009. I can tell you it's a significant upgrade.
post #107 of 209

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm screaming into a pillow!!

post #108 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

Do it. After owning the same amp/can combo as you and now getting the LL + 009. I can tell you it's a significant upgrade.

x2. Same path here
post #109 of 209

STAX vs. third party amplifiers

Quote:

Originally Posted by athenaesword View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clabbe View Post

 

I am wondering about exactly the same thing. From reading this thread I get the impression that the LL gets a lot of love from people who listens to bass heavy music. Considering both the LL and the BHSE as an upgrade from the 727-II, I would love to know more about this too..

 

there's not enough written about the 727 vs the LL and the other third party offerings. everyone seems to agree that the 727 is a worthy amp, and generally don't have bad things to say about it, but it never seems to be directly compared to the 3rd party amps. it's as if its shelved because it costs 1/3 to 1/2 the price of the other offerings. if i've missed out on the comparisons somewhere pardon me, but I just haven't seen any.

 

Well expressed athenaesword. I've been thinking the same, and wishing for comparisons with STAX amplifiers. At least Playback should have done it in all three of their reviews of the third party amplifiers for electrostatic headphones. I would have liked InnerFidelity's Tyll Hertsens to have done the same when he wrote about STAX SR-009 and SR-007.

 

Headphones is an (arguably quite large) niche. High end headphones is definitely a niche, probably rather small. Electrostatic headphones is a small niche within high end headphones and is dominated by STAX. STAX is a small company as documented by InnerFidelity's Tyll Hertsens in his article about the sale of STAX to Edifier. I further expect that most of STAX' sales (as most manufacturer's sales) are their lower priced products. STAX SRM-727* and SRM-007t* (and SR-009 and SR-007*) probably aren't the bulk of their sales.

 

(The bulk of) STAX headphones are typically bought by grown up (40-50 years and up) music lovers that listen to classical music, jazz etc. These people aren't hifi or headphone enthusiasts, but they appreciate good music and good reproduction of it. They may very well be among the regular audience of the local symphony orchestra etc. These people typically visit a STAX dealer, buy a complete STAX set and listen to their music without thinking much more about the equipment for years.

 

The third party manufacturers of amplifiers for electrostatic headphones are hence very small within this tiny niche. They are much smaller than the already little STAX. Their electrostatic headphone amplifiers sell in much smaller quantities than STAX (which also has rather small quantities to begin with). They are all very small scale and hence have to divide their costs on only a few produced units. As far as I know all the third party manufacturers only sell amplifiers that are more expensive than STAX and mainly/only(?) direct from the manufacturer. This indicates that no manufacturers seems to be able to compete with STAX in or near STAX's price range, not even STAX's most expensive products.

 

The top STAX products cost approximately 1/2 (or less) than the third party products. I would expect that we can divide the difference in two. One part gives better sound quality or else there (probably) wouldn't be any customers. The other part covers the extra costs of small scale operation, i.e. fewer units sold to cover development, tooling, production (line), marketing, sales and other costs. This means that customers pay an extra premium for products from third party manufacturers compared to STAX. In other words: STAX would probably be able to sell a product with a similar sound quality level at a lower price.

 

Please, don't misunderstand. I'm not attacking the third party manufacturers. I'm just trying to look into the (sad?) facts of life and mechanics of business and economics.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubenpp View Post

 

Quote:

Please notice that my sonic preferences may be different from yours.

 

Well, to begin with, the LL outputs more power at low volumes. The mids and trebles are very clean, even cleaner and brighter than the BHSE, but not as harsh as presented in STAX’s 727A (which I do also own and can't listen for more than half an hour straight).

 

The bass simply shines. The bass extension (which is, for me, the biggest downside of the WES) is very deep. Some people may find that, as a solid state amp, it has to necessarily sound bright. I don’t think it’s that bright. It just comes more alive in comparison to the other two amps.

 

Some mention of the 727A in comparison to the LL and BHSE by EricoHGB

 

I saw and was a (bit) confused by this. I don't think I've seen any others describing the STAX amplifiers as "harsh". I've even gotten the impression that some thinks the STAX SRM-727* and especially SRM-007t* soften or dull the SR-009. I've interpreted Spritzer that way.

post #110 of 209
Thread Starter 

An interesting question. Why not start a separate thread to discuss this?

post #111 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDWMcInSpots View Post

STAX vs. third party amplifiers

 

Well expressed athenaesword. I've been thinking the same, and wishing for comparisons with STAX amplifiers. At least Playback should have done it in all three of their reviews of the third party amplifiers for electrostatic headphones. I would have liked InnerFidelity's Tyll Hertsens to have done the same when he wrote about STAX SR-009 and SR-007.

 

Headphones is an (arguably quite large) niche. High end headphones is definitely a niche, probably rather small. Electrostatic headphones is a small niche within high end headphones and is dominated by STAX. STAX is a small company as documented by InnerFidelity's Tyll Hertsens in his article about the sale of STAX to Edifier. I further expect that most of STAX' sales (as most manufacturer's sales) are their lower priced products. STAX SRM-727* and SRM-007t* (and SR-009 and SR-007*) probably aren't the bulk of their sales.

 

(The bulk of) STAX headphones are typically bought by grown up (40-50 years and up) music lovers that listen to classical music, jazz etc. These people aren't hifi or headphone enthusiasts, but they appreciate good music and good reproduction of it. They may very well be among the regular audience of the local symphony orchestra etc. These people typically visit a STAX dealer, buy a complete STAX set and listen to their music without thinking much more about the equipment for years.

 

The third party manufacturers of amplifiers for electrostatic headphones are hence very small within this tiny niche. They are much smaller than the already little STAX. Their electrostatic headphone amplifiers sell in much smaller quantities than STAX (which also has rather small quantities to begin with). They are all very small scale and hence have to divide their costs on only a few produced units. As far as I know all the third party manufacturers only sell amplifiers that are more expensive than STAX and mainly/only(?) direct from the manufacturer. This indicates that no manufacturers seems to be able to compete with STAX in or near STAX's price range, not even STAX's most expensive products.

 

The top STAX products cost approximately 1/2 (or less) than the third party products. I would expect that we can divide the difference in two. One part gives better sound quality or else there (probably) wouldn't be any customers. The other part covers the extra costs of small scale operation, i.e. fewer units sold to cover development, tooling, production (line), marketing, sales and other costs. This means that customers pay an extra premium for products from third party manufacturers compared to STAX. In other words: STAX would probably be able to sell a product with a similar sound quality level at a lower price.

 

Please, don't misunderstand. I'm not attacking the third party manufacturers. I'm just trying to look into the (sad?) facts of life and mechanics of business and economics.

 

 

I saw and was a (bit) confused by this. I don't think I've seen any others describing the STAX amplifiers as "harsh". I've even gotten the impression that some thinks the STAX SRM-727* and especially SRM-007t* soften or dull the SR-009. I've interpreted Spritzer that way.

 

Dear friend,

I own both the LL and the 727-A. I do not consider the 727-A a bad amp and because of this I also plan to keep it but I find it too bright for listening for long periods of time. I don't feel the same with the LL. That's what I meant. Also own the 007t. I don't think it's harsh nor bright amp. It's a lot more "musical" than the 727-A.

Regards,

Erico

post #112 of 209

I've had my LL for seven weeks now - with both 007 Mk 1 and 009 headphones.

 

I have heard the BHSE too, with both headphones; and also have the Stax 007t and the Stax 717 amplifiers. Now I really must sell two amplifiers and one headphone and what is certain is that I will keep the 009s and the LL.

 

As with my conventional hifi, the test of a good component is that it is (in my view) characterless (just a conduit for the music) and that's how I feel about the LL. The build quality is excellent and, for me, the aesthetics are the same - again on the grounds that I can ignore the equipment and just listen to the music.

 

If I chose to listen for a long period to the LL and the BHSE I might be able to discriminate but, for me, that would be time wasted. They are both excellent pieces of electronics. For me the BHSE doesn't get on to the agenda because valves would give me the option to fiddle and I don't want to do that; and also give me a feeling of possible poorer reliability (which is probably groundless!).

 

007 Mk 1s v 009s? Both great, but I think the 009s have better frequency balance, more detail and preferable imaging characteristics. The 007s are darker in tone and quite beguiling and, without doubt, something which I could be entirely happy with.

 

Not retried the 007t and the 717 amplifiers since getting the LL. I shall just need to sell them before I get tempted to try them again.

post #113 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericohgb View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDWMcInSpots View Post

STAX vs. third party amplifiers

 

[...]

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubenpp View Post

 

Quote:

Please notice that my sonic preferences may be different from yours.

 

Well, to begin with, the LL outputs more power at low volumes. The mids and trebles are very clean, even cleaner and brighter than the BHSE, but not as harsh as presented in STAX’s 727A (which I do also own and can't listen for more than half an hour straight).

 

The bass simply shines. The bass extension (which is, for me, the biggest downside of the WES) is very deep. Some people may find that, as a solid state amp, it has to necessarily sound bright. I don’t think it’s that bright. It just comes more alive in comparison to the other two amps.

 

Some mention of the 727A in comparison to the LL and BHSE by EricoHGB

 

I saw and was a (bit) confused by this. I don't think I've seen any others describing the STAX amplifiers as "harsh". I've even gotten the impression that some thinks the STAX SRM-727* and especially SRM-007t* soften or dull the SR-009. I've interpreted Spritzer that way.

 

Dear friend,

I own both the LL and the 727-A. I do not consider the 727-A a bad amp and because of this I also plan to keep it but I find it too bright for listening for long periods of time. I don't feel the same with the LL. That's what I meant. Also own the 007t. I don't think it's harsh nor bright amp. It's a lot more "musical" than the 727-A.

Regards,

Erico

 

Thank you for your answer.

 

Your taste

It would be nice if you would be kind to write something about your sound (signature) and musical preferences because it will help as interpret what you write. I didn't find anything about this in your profile.

 

Loudness levels 

1000

 

The human hearing varies with sound pressure level, frequency and more. I beleive loudness levels is an important factor in the way we experience audio reproduction equipment differently. I listen at (very) moderate loudness levels. What are your loudness levels?

post #114 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanG View Post

I've had my LL for seven weeks now - with both 007 Mk 1 and 009 headphones.

 

I have heard the BHSE too, with both headphones; and also have the Stax 007t and the Stax 717 amplifiers. Now I really must sell two amplifiers and one headphone and what is certain is that I will keep the 009s and the LL.

 

[...]

Not retried the 007t and the 717 amplifiers since getting the LL. I shall just need to sell them before I get tempted to try them again.

 

Please do try to compare them with the Liquid Lightning before selling, and tell us about your observations.

post #115 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDWMcInSpots View Post

Please do try to compare them with the Liquid Lightning before selling, and tell us about your observations.

 

I did not want to ask it again, especially in this sponsor thread, but indeed that'd be rather nice to have a comparison however biased it might be.

post #116 of 209

Most of the Cavalli fans I've met are generally level headed about that kind of thing (of course there's a few nuts). At least I know I am. I'm a big fan, but that's because what I hear is very good. 

 

If I sat down and heard something that bested one of Alex's designs (in a price range I'm willing to spend of course) I'd let him know he needs to step it up and buy the other one. 

 

Blind fan-boying is pretty ridiculous, IMO. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

 

I did not want to ask it again, especially in this sponsor thread, but indeed that'd be rather nice to have a comparison however biased it might be.

post #117 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDWMcInSpots View Post

Please do try to compare them with the Liquid Lightning before selling, and tell us about your observations.

 

I did not want to ask it again, especially in this sponsor thread, but indeed that'd be rather nice to have a comparison however biased it might be.

 

It may very well be better to write it in the older/original thread. It wasn't obvious to me that it was a good idea to have the main product thread with impressions in "Head-Fi.org › Forums › Sponsor Announcements and Deals › Cavalli Audio - Liquid Lightning". Such a thread should probably be more independent and free of explicit and implicit restrictions.

post #118 of 209

Why the blue volume knob and power LED area?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post

I moved some things around and managed to find room for it in my audio rack. Here are some photos (click for larger version). Sorry for the crappy quality.

 

P6160024.jpg

 

P6160025.jpg

 

P6160027.jpg

 

P6160029.jpg

 

P6160046.jpg

 

P6160053.jpg

 

 

P6160062.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by runeight View Post

Those are great pic mwilson. The prof photos that I had made for the website show the LL close up, but yours show everyone pretty much what it's going to look like in a real installtion. Thanks.

 

The box of the Cavalli Audio Liquid Lightning seems to be nice, and from the reports, fitting the price. Why does it have the blue volume knob and area around the power LED? In my view, it just doesn't fit in with the general style and level of finish of the product and for that matter STAX SR-009 and STAX SR-007 which it probably will be used together with.

post #119 of 209

Aesthetics are always a matter of opinion.  See this post by Alex on his LF thread to understand a bit behind his design choices.  I think many of these points could be extended to the LL (and make sense for consistency's sake anyway.)

post #120 of 209

Product information

I have looked at the product page (http://www.cavalliaudio.com/products/liquid-lightning-headphone-amp) and the shop page (http://www.cavalliaudio.com/liquid-lightning-headphone-amp), but unfortunately didn't find much information, even less than Playback presented (http://www.avguide.com/review/cavali-audio-liquid-lightning-electrostatic-headphone-amplifier-playback-60?page=4). Some of the information even differ (i.e. output voltage swing peak to peak).

 

Questions:

  • What are the technical data?
  • What are the physical metric (and imperial if you wish to cater for customers in Burma (Myanmar), Liberia, and the United States) measurements and weight?
  • What is the corret information when it differ between Cavalli Audio and Playback?
  • Why isn't all information presented on the product page?
  • Where do I find a PDF version of the user manual?
  • Is the Liquid Lightning "CE Certified for global distribution" like the Liquid Fire?
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