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Cavalli Liquid Gold - Page 17  

post #241 of 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post


The sound I was hearing with everything I threw at the LAu was utterly seductive, and even though there was SE noise w/ sensitive headphones in my particular environment, they sounded really, really good otherwise. Because of this I acquired a SE -> XLR adapter. Problem solved.

 

But Dr. Cavalli is not one to simply accept "good enough" solutions in my experience. He said the production units will have a dedicated SE low impedance jack. Awesome! So yeah, really looking forward to seeing if SE mode is now quieter with my more sensitive stuff.

 

This amp is looking pretty impressive so far!  Please keep us posted on your experiences. popcorn.gif

post #242 of 406
Thread Starter 

I tried every combo with the amp: balanced in and out and SE in and out plus combo's of those (why?  For the heck of it).  I noticed zero noise on my LCD2's.  What I did notice is that I couldn't stop listening to music.

post #243 of 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icenine2 View Post

I tried every combo with the amp: balanced in and out and SE in and out plus combo's of those (why?  For the heck of it).  I noticed zero noise on my LCD2's.  What I did notice is that I couldn't stop listening to music.

 

Well, the LCD-2 isn't a low impedance sensitive headphone. For less efficient loads like that the LAu is absolutely quiet on all fronts. Best amp out there for orthos IMHO. The noise I was referring to was specifically with highly sensitive 'phones on the pre-production model like Grados, Denons, etc.

 

Also it was only in SE mode at the time. Now that there's a low impedance SE output it shouldn't be an issue at all thankfully.


Edited by MuppetFace - 7/25/13 at 8:17am
post #244 of 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post


The sound I was hearing with everything I threw at the LAu was utterly seductive, and even though there was SE noise w/ sensitive headphones in my particular environment, they sounded really, really good otherwise. Because of this I acquired a SE -> XLR adapter. Problem solved.
Shouldn't SE (common ground) to XLR (separate grounds) cause a fault in the amp? You are basically connecting the left and right grounds, which should be "bad". Just trying to understand what you fixed.

The amp, sadly (for my wallet), sounds wonderful.
post #245 of 406

Not if you wire it correctly , it would be WRONG to wire the negative outputs as common ground but if you merely use the +ve  left & right ( or you could use both -ve signals if you choose ) for left right and wire ground to the chassis - no  problem at all. 

 

The actual production LAu does not need an adapter as Alex has included a low impedance SE output. The outputs are thus balanced, normal SE and low impedance SE. Balanced can be either the now standard 4 pin xlr or the original dual 3 pin xlr plugs. 

 

..dB

post #246 of 406

I'm new head-fi, and to this thread, but felt compelled to join and post my amazing first hand experience with the Lau and contribute to the community experience.  As a background I did have time with the pre-production Lau which prompted my purchase of the production Lau (which to my ears is even better than the pre-production model that made the rounds lately).  I still have another 100 hours of burn in left on my new amp, so more good things to come.

The built quality is outstanding, and solid.  The connectors are very strong and well positioned.  Its also the first audio component I've had where the power connector is firm and strong enough to hold my large Shunyata power cord without bending whatsoever.  The headphone connectors are solid, with no wiggle or give, and the volume knob is responsive and has a good feel to the hand.  The LEDs on the front panel are a perfect brightness (as the preproduction model was a bit too bright for me). In summary I find the build quality to be excellent with everything feeling very solid and well built.

I find the options with this amp to be excellent, allowing for SE and balanced in all conceivable configurations.  The addition of low and high output switch is very helpful to me.

I'm currently using a Berkeley Alpha USB/DAC combination through balanced shunyata anaconda ICs to the Lau.  My headphone is a Stefan AudioArt modified HD800 with Stefan Audioart SE endorphin cable (waiting for a balanced version which may be better still).

The sound out of the Lau is simply stunning to my ears from top to bottom it is magical and musical.  Effortless is a good term.  The sound is detailed and involving, creating very lifelike audio with proper instrument and voice timbre.  The amp reveals the source recording exceedingly well, with the 1960's analog master tape hiss in the background on older recordings, the 1980's CDs with their slightly harsh digital upper end (which thankfully is a thing of the past), the current day digital recordings very clean but clearly processed sound.  With reference recordings such as Mapleshade CDs or Reference Recordings HD tracks the sound is very true to life and musical conveying the energy and emotion of the recordings music.  Having musicians in the room feeling is present on these type of recordings.

The soundstage is wide and open.  Instruments are widely separated, and all the musical passages can be clearly heard.  Absolutely no mash up so to speak.  Imaging is razor sharp.

 On the top end there is no harshness whatsoever, just clarity and liquid smooth detail and sparkle.  The energy of the music is remarkable.

Mid frequencies are also smooth with accurate timbre.  All frequencies from top to bottom are equal with no transition or drop off.  Piano pieces especially can test this, with all notes beautifully represented.

Low frequencies are honestly beautiful, well defined, immensely powerful when present in the music (even through my HD800s - at times enough to set the HD800's vibrating).  The lows ground the music and make listening seductive and full of energy and very musical.

I will be enjoying the joy of music through my Lau for many years to come, as it should grow and scale up well with any changes I make to my system.  It has the remarkable ability to clearly produce and make audible even small small changes in the signal chain.  When properly optimized, the Lau is truly a remarkable achievement and both emotional and an absolute pure joy to listen to.  Thank you Alex Cavalli!

 

 

Computer>SOtM tX-USBexp USB card>Berkeley alpha USB/DAC>liquid gold amp>modified HD800 headphones

Shunyata triton, Shunyata anaconda balanced IC, Shunyata python and cobra PCs

post #247 of 406
Has anyone compared the LAu to the GS-X mk2?
post #248 of 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by melb0028 View Post

I'm new head-fi, and to this thread

Welcome and glad the LAu inspired you to join HF and share your experiences. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Jester View Post

Has anyone compared the LAu to the GS-X mk2?

Only one person has had both the LAu and GSXmkII in their home at the same time. It is not my place to comment further on their impressions. I am sure we will see more as more of both amps are released into the wild. 

 

..dB

post #249 of 406
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post

Welcome and glad the LAu inspired you to join HF and share your experiences. 

 

Only one person has had both the LAu and GSXmkII in their home at the same time. It is not my place to comment further on their impressions. I am sure we will see more as more of both amps are released into the wild. 

 

..dB

I don't know that many of these will ever be reported about from the wild.  Just like people who own Bugatti's don't feel the necessity to pump up the image of what they already own! very_evil_smiley.gif

post #250 of 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by dBel84 View Post

Welcome and glad the LAu inspired you to join HF and share your experiences. 

Only one person has had both the LAu and GSXmkII in their home at the same time. It is not my place to comment further on their impressions. I am sure we will see more as more of both amps are released into the wild. 

..dB

As I may be choosing between these (ans studio 6) towards the end of the year, could you let me know who this is? I'd like to trouble him with a PM.

Thanks

C
post #251 of 406

Hello Folks. Several of you have asked me give the specs for the LAu. I thought that the important and relevant information was on the website, but...

 

The LAu runs at 24V rails. it can make about 62Vpp (31Vpeak) in balanced mode for each channel. No amps can go cleanly to their rails and this is the limit on this amp. Edit: Another manufacturer pointed out the my 550mW class A number is incorrect. It should be 2.25W.

 

Like any balanced amp it has four output stages. Each output half is biased at 150mA for a total of 600mA idle current in all stages (300mA per channel). This number determines the class A limit as reported on the website.

 

But, the LAu (like other amps) slides graciously into AB mode to achieve much higher than the class A limit.and, therefore, higher power. Hence the 3W THD measurement on the website (33R load). I believe this is about 425mA peak current into the load for this particular measurement and corresponds to about 28VPP.

 

Bandwidth and gain are on the website too.

 

At 24V x 150mA each output device is idling (obviously) at about 3.6W. Multiply by 8 for the total output stage PD or about 29W. This number is actually not that important, but the amp runs very warm. There are 4 custom heatsinks that go from the bottom panel to the top panel through cutouts on the board. Besides the large fins the heatsinks are in thermal contact with the panels and are screwed into them to add additional PD capability. Power coating is masked on the insides of the top and bottom to achieve thermal contact. I think I posted a picture of the pre-production LAu with these heatsinks. I don't think the heatsinks were anodized yet, but in the production units they are black.

 

The amp has 35,000uF of capacitance in the PS for reserve power.

 

Edit: I guess I should include some mechanical details too.

 

Like all second generation CA amps the LAu has 1/2" thick machined aluminum side panels. The rear panel is 3/16" machined aluminum. The front panel is 1/4" machined aluminum. The top and bottom panels are custom punched for the ventilation pattern that the LAu needed. They are .090" thick aluminum. Heatsinks are cut from extruded stock, have their ends milled to achieve the correct vertical dimension, are drilled and tapped, and then anodized. All other pieces are powder coated except for the front which is machine engraved (not laser cut) and anodized.


Edited by runeight - 8/2/13 at 8:30am
post #252 of 406

Folks, another individual has pointed out that I made an error on the maximum class A power. When I did the calcs originally I treated the amp as SE.

 

With 150mA per side in each channel, the amp will deliver a little over 2W class A power before going into class AB.

 

I will fix the website.

post #253 of 406

Is this first batch already done?

post #254 of 406

I am late to this thread BUT I have just received confirmation that one LAu is available for me to purchase after my enquiries over the weekend. I am told it is a cancelled order and I am so excited by this news!!!   

 

It will be used as part of my PC sourced desktop rig. I recently ordered the Metrum Hex NOS Dac that is being built. Currently, I am using a Violectric V200 and V800 which has served me well for the past year and sounds very nice, but I hope/ know the LAu will take it to a whole new level. I was exploring the idea of taking upgrades a step at a time and then thought WHY?  

 

Looking forward to sharing thoughts in this thread, and to future Headphone purchases....... 

 

 


Edited by spkrs01 - 9/3/13 at 6:08pm
post #255 of 406
congrats and looking forward to your impressions. I'm waiting for my hex also and ask looking carefully at the gold...meanwhile I'll check out the gs-x first along with the liquid glass with the hex.
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