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Help me decide: Woo WA5LE, Cavalli Liquid Fire, Apex Peak/Volcano or ?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Before I left the headphone scene a few years ago, I was running a WA5LE with Sennheiser HD800 and Beyerdynamic T1, and then a HE-6 straight into a BAT VK55 speaker amp.  I miss it and want to set up another system.  I enjoyed the ortho and am looking at getting either the LCD-2r2 or HE-500.  Which of the amps I listed would you recommend?  I have some sentimental attachment to the Woo, but it's all about the sound.  Soundstage and imaging are important sonic attributes.  I've always struggled between wanting accuracy (without fatigue) and enjoying musicality.  I listen to 50% indie rock/pop, 30% americana/alt-country/etc and 20% small ensemble acoustic jazz.  My source is a VPI Classic turntable and a Shanling CDP that I bought with the intention of using it solely as a transport while I find a suitable DAC (which I haven't).

 

I'm open to other amp suggestions (in their league), but please keep in mind that I'm fairly set on the LCD-2r2 and HE-500.  But I could be convinced to go back to the HE-6 (and maybe even the HD800).

 

Thanks for any help with my indecision paralysis!

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post #2 of 18

I can't comment on any of the amps in question, but as we have similar ideals:

Quote:
I've always struggled between wanting accuracy (without fatigue) and enjoying musicality.

 

Check out Audio Note DAC's.

 

(as an aside, your topic interests me, I have been looking at the amp you mention as well as the DNA Stratus and the new Zen Taboo)

 

KP


Edited by TheKillerPiglet - 2/13/13 at 9:01pm
post #3 of 18
which shangling cd player are you using ? i perfer my cd300 better than my other cd players with wa5
post #4 of 18

The DNA Stratus and EC 2A3 should also be on your list.
 

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

@KillerPiglet: Thanks, I'll check out that dac.

@fhuang: Me too, CD300. What other players do you use?

@third_eye: I haven't heard of them.  Thanks, I'll do a search.

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by givemevinyl View Post

Before I left the headphone scene a few years ago, I was running a WA5LE with Sennheiser HD800 and Beyerdynamic T1, and then a HE-6 straight into a BAT VK55 speaker amp.  I miss it and want to set up another system.  I enjoyed the ortho and am looking at getting either the LCD-2r2 or HE-500.  Which of the amps I listed would you recommend?  I have some sentimental attachment to the Woo, but it's all about the sound.  Soundstage and imaging are important sonic attributes.  I've always struggled between wanting accuracy (without fatigue) and enjoying musicality.  I listen to 50% indie rock/pop, 30% americana/alt-country/etc and 20% small ensemble acoustic jazz.  My source is a VPI Classic turntable and a Shanling CDP that I bought with the intention of using it solely as a transport while I find a suitable DAC (which I haven't).

 

I'm open to other amp suggestions (in their league), but please keep in mind that I'm fairly set on the LCD-2r2 and HE-500.  But I could be convinced to go back to the HE-6 (and maybe even the HD800).

 

Thanks for any help with my indecision paralysis!

The woo wa5le would have the power to drive bboth pplanars very comfortably. I am not sure the apex would have the power reserves the orthos like but worth getting some advice from people who own the Peak. I am using the V200 as the primary amp driving the lcd 2.2 and he500 I have in house for audition now.


Edited by Frank I - 2/17/13 at 5:03am
post #7 of 18

Burson Soloist is what I landed on after having all but the WA5 in your list.  Currently with the HD800 and LCD-2.  Until I get my GS-X and B22 that's my preference.  As good as it is with the LCD line, it's also the first amp I really like the HD800 on.  My other two pairs mated to a different B22 and Peak couldn't knock the LCD off it's throne.  On the Soloist, I not only like it, I think I prefer it :O  If reviews of the Conductor didn't peg the DAC portion at mid level performance that would be a great one piece end game rig.  But it's no PWD2 so Soloist and PWD2 it is at an admittedly much higher price ;)

post #8 of 18

Have you thought about the Resonessence Invicta DAC with it's onboard HPA? I mention this because of Solude's mention of the Conductor. Just a thought :)

post #9 of 18

EDIT - this post has been edited but I have left Alex's notice to clarify any questions that might exist regarding Cavalli Audio

 

Alex had some health related concerns and as he alone is Cavalli Audio, things had to be dialed back a little. 

 

Quote: http://www.head-fi.org/t/644924/cavalli-audio-to-keep-everyone-informed 
Originally Posted by runeight View Post

Friends, I’m putting this post into a new thread so it doesn’t get lost in the other Cavalli Audio threads.

I’m going to have to re-evaluate the planned production schedule for the Spring for two important reasons:

 

  1. I have had a personal issue come into my life which requires a lot of my attention right now. Since I am, basically, CA this will slow down the schedule by as yet undetermined amount.
  2. My longtime machinist, who is doing a beautiful job with the new amp machined chassis elements has decided that his business will take him away from small scale audio parts production. Finding another at the right cost and quality will take a little time.

 

As many of you know there were three runs planned for the Spring: LF MKII, LL MK II, and LAu. I don’t know right now how things will fall out, but I will keep everyone informed as definitive things happen. And in the meantime, I will address the small hum issues with the LG.

 

 

Quote:http://www.head-fi.org/t/650375/cavalli-audio-is-back
Originally Posted by runeight View Post

Dear Friends,

 

A short time ago I announced that I was experiencing some unexpected, personal health problems, which placed the immediate future of Cavalli Audio into uncertainty. Those issues have now been addressed adequately. Today, I am pleased to announce that Cavalli Audio is back! With the help of some individuals here in Austin and elsewhere, for whom I am very thankful, I have forged a new manufacturing partnership, and put Cavalli Audio back into full swing. 

 

Though the production schedule was thrown off slightly, full production runs are still planned this Spring for both the Liquid Lightning II, and the new Liquid Gold SS Fully Differential Balanced Amp - designed inside and out to be better than ever.  The production run for the second revision of the Liquid Fire took the largest hit, and is in the process of being reset. Processes such as board assembly and final assembly will take some time to get back on track, but we are still looking to release LF 2 in the Spring if at all possible. Look for more info to come.

 

I want to thank all of you for your patience and your support during this time. We are now able to be definite about timing, prices and deposits. Look for more information coming on the website, and look for replies to your email inquiries soon. Cavalli Audio is back and will continue to make available the finest headphone amps in the world. o2smile.gif

 

Please stay tuned as I revamp my Facebook page to be able to better communicate with the community. Look for upcoming information, and even future products announced that are now in the concept stage.

 

Thanks again,

Alex Cavalli

 

 

I just wanted to keep the record straight. Alex has one of the highest ethics I have ever come across in the audio world, I would hate to see rumours run rife and tarnish his reputation. 

 

..dB


Edited by dBel84 - 2/17/13 at 6:27am
post #10 of 18

I would get the Liquid Fire hands down.  You can check out reviews or talk with others who own them.  One of the guys here who lives by me has a maxxed out WA5LE and a LF with the Cavalli winning out.

 

The GSX-2 is just out as well and if you're up for SS that would be a runner too.

post #11 of 18

The sound of Hifiman HE-5LE was too grainy with Apex Peak.  May be it was due to the tube used.  

post #12 of 18
You might want to look at the Eddie Current BA. Does great with the he500 and the lcd2. Wont drive the he6 that good though.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post

You might want to look at the Eddie Current BA. Does great with the he500 and the lcd2. Wont drive the he6 that good though.

+1 always for the BA. It remains the uncontested best purchase of my life. It is true, however, that it doesn't do the HE-6. To me, that's more the HE-6's problem than the BA's. I believe it's far more rewarding to find headphones to match the BA than it is to find the amp to match the headphones.

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moostrkraaft View Post

+1 always for the BA. It remains the uncontested best purchase of my life. It is true, however, that it doesn't do the HE-6. To me, that's more the HE-6's problem than the BA's. I believe it's far more rewarding to find headphones to match the BA than it is to find the amp to match the headphones.

This is an astute comment. I have come to think that you may be better served by selecting the amp topologies that attract you the most and then find the transducers that work best with such.

 

KP

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone.  I decided to go with a Liquid Fire, which should arrive today!

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Help me decide: Woo WA5LE, Cavalli Liquid Fire, Apex Peak/Volcano or ?