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☯️ Cavalli Audio's Liquid Carbon... a $599 Cavalli amp??? - Page 12

post #166 of 5931
Quote:
Originally Posted by runeight View Post
 

 

Each channel of a balanced amp has two amplifiers in it (so four actual amps for a two channel amp). The output is taken as the difference between the outputs of the two amps in one channel. This is using the balanced output.

 

However, when you plug into the SE jack, because the headphone wiring is taking the signal from the output to ground, you can only use one of the amps in each channel. This is what I meant by half of each amp. You are only using 1 of the 2 amps in the channel because your phone connector and headphone wiring are forcing you to do that. There can be exceptions to this, such as a transformer output where the grounding is not an issue.

 

When you use only one of the amps in the channel your maximum output voltage swing is no longer the difference between the two amps, but only the maximum swing that one amp can do. And since this maximum swing is, typically, half of the full balanced excursion, you only get 1/4 the power since power goes up as the square of the voltage.

 

The amp doesn't really have a mode. That is, with either balanced or SE input (with internal phase splitter) it is always running fully balanced. The only difference is where you take the output from.

 

If you use the balanced outs with balanced headphones you get the full performance of the amp. If you plug in to the SE TRS output you only use one amp in each channel and, while the output of the full channel stays the same, you are leaving 75% of it on the table, so to speak.

 

The other advantage to using the balanced output is that the noise will be lower because of what's called common mode rejection of the PS noise.

 

Let me know if this was useful.

So using the SE output takes the voltage down to about 350mA is what you're saying, but it's still balanced audio. Correct?

post #167 of 5931
Quote:
Originally Posted by runeight View Post
 

Oh, I was writing while some of the order conversation was taking place.

 

We are not going to restrict orders per customer, but we are going to monitor what's happening and adjust if necessary.

 

I am very familiar with this problem. Trying to get tickets to a Rolling Stones concert many years ago. They did not limit tickets per person and so the first 50 people got all the tickets and the other 1000000000 people who had waited in line in the unbelievably hot Tucson summer sunshine walked away empty handed. I can tell you that those guys who immediately turned around to scalp those tickets as the rest of the people were dragging themselves away are lucky to be in one piece. :)

Access granted to scalp Liquid Carbon hoarders!

post #168 of 5931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirakaphile View Post
 

So using the SE output takes the voltage down to about 350mA is what you're saying, but it's still balanced audio. Correct?

 

Well, this depends on where the output level is set. But, let's say you're making 1W into a 50ohm balanced headphone. This translates into about 7V maximum excursion at the balanced output of one channel. Or about 140mA peak current.

 

If you remove the headphones, swap their balanced 4 pin XLR connector for a TRS phone plug, and then plug back in to the TRS jack you will be in the "only using half the amp" situation. The maximum voltage will then be 3.5V and you will only get 1/4 the power. About 70mA peak current.

 

Even though the amp is really operating in a fully balanced mode you have, essentially, limited it to SE operation into your headphones.

 

The net of this is, if you want to get the best performance out of this beautifully balanced amp, terminate your headphones with real balanced connectors. :wink:

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 #169 of 5931
Quote:
Originally Posted by runeight View Post
 

 

If you use the balanced outs with balanced headphones you get the full performance of the amp. If you plug in to the SE TRS output you only use one amp in each channel and, while the output of the full channel stays the same, you are leaving 75% of it on the table, so to speak.

 

 

If I understand you correctly, I believe you are saying that even though the SE and BAL outputs will both output at the same volume level (or will the BAL output be the usual 6dB louder than the SE output?), the SE output will only have 1/4 of the total power that the BAL outputs have.  So the SE output will reach its clipping point (375mW at 50 Ohms) much sooner than the BAL outputs will (1500mW at 50 Ohms).  But clipping this amp will be very unlikely because even 375mW of power will easily drive just about any headphone to deafeningly loud volume levels, well beyond the point of audible distortion, and way before the amp ever begins to clip.


Edited by XERO1 - 4/13/15 at 12:54pm
post #170 of 5931
Quote:
Originally Posted by runeight View Post
 

 

Well, this depends on where the output level is set. But, let's say you're making 1W into a 50ohm balanced headphone. This translates into about 7V maximum excursion at the balanced output of one channel. Or about 140mA peak current.

 

If you remove the headphones, swap their balanced 4 pin XLR connector for a TRS phone plug, and then plug back in to the TRS jack you will be in the "only using half the amp" situation. The maximum voltage will then be 3.5V and you will only get 1/4 the power. About 70mA peak current.

 

Even though the amp is really operating in a fully balanced mode you have, essentially, limited it to SE operation into your headphones.

 

The net of this is, if you want to get the best performance out of this beautifully balanced amp, terminate your headphones with real balanced connectors. :wink:

And since the HiFiMANs can use a lot of juice, I think I'll get some balanced cables for em. Thanks!

post #171 of 5931
Quote:
Originally Posted by XERO1 View Post
 

 

If I understand you correctly, I believe you are saying that even though the SE and BAL outputs will both output at the same volume level (or will the BAL output be the usual 6dB louder than the SE output?), the SE output will only have 1/4 of the total power that the BAL outputs have.  So the SE output will reach its clipping point (375mW at 50 Ohms) much sooner than the BAL outputs will (1500mW at 50 Ohms).  But clipping this amp will be very unlikely because even 375mW of power will easily drive just about any headphone to deafeningly loud volume levels, well beyond the point of audible distortion, and way before the amp ever begins to clip.

 

The amp (one channel) will reach its clipping point when it does independently of where you're taking the output from. It's just that at that point the balanced output will be delivering 4 times more power than the SE output. If you are at 1.5W at the balanced out then, yes, 375mW from the SE out.

 

375mW is a lot of power. Most of the time 1.5W is there for the dynamic peaks where you only need the juice temporarily. And, we can all hear when an amp has this headroom and when it doesn't. This is one reason why the Liquid Gold does so well with the Abyss headphones. It has lots of headroom for the transients (along with low Zo).

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 #172 of 5931
Quote:
Originally Posted by runeight View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirakaphile View Post
 

So using the SE output takes the voltage down to about 350mA is what you're saying, but it's still balanced audio. Correct?

 

Well, this depends on where the output level is set. But, let's say you're making 1W into a 50ohm balanced headphone. This translates into about 7V maximum excursion at the balanced output of one channel. Or about 140mA peak current.

 

If you remove the headphones, swap their balanced 4 pin XLR connector for a TRS phone plug, and then plug back in to the TRS jack you will be in the "only using half the amp" situation. The maximum voltage will then be 3.5V and you will only get 1/4 the power. About 70mA peak current.

 

Even though the amp is really operating in a fully balanced mode you have, essentially, limited it to SE operation into your headphones.

 

The net of this is, if you want to get the best performance out of this beautifully balanced amp, terminate your headphones with real balanced connectors. :wink:

 

Although ultimately you'll get best performance by balancing your headphones, I think Cavalli Audio was kind to add the SE output as well.

 

After having many balanced amplifiers, this is what I've found:

 

Ultimately, if you find headphones you like, you'll want them balanced. However, balancing can be time consuming and/or expensive, depending on how the headphone is constructed. Having SE  (for me at least) means you can buy new headphones, swap headphones, or borrow someone's headphones and then try them out to see if you like them, before you commit to balancing them. So, thanks for adding that additional output! I know it's not an easy add-on. :biggrin:

post #173 of 5931

Sorry if this has been mentioned somewhere (I can't seem to find it) but do we know the output impedance?

post #174 of 5931

Just about to ask Warren to post some data on the first post. Zo is about 0.120R for balanced and about 0.08R for SE.

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 #175 of 5931
Quote:
Originally Posted by runeight View Post
 

Just about to ask Warren to post some data on the first post. Zo is about 0.120R for balanced and about 0.08R for SE.


Thanks!

 

post #176 of 5931
Has anyone ever used the Cavalli Liquid Carbon amp to drive MrSpeakers Alpha Dog and Alpha Prime?
post #177 of 5931

This amp sounds interesting, but only a handful of people have heard a prototype. Can you please clarify the return policy for this product? The Cavalli web site specifies a 14 day return policy for some products. This would be reasonable for the Liquid Carbon, considering that these will all be sold before anyone has a chance to audition or even see the final product. Thanks.

post #178 of 5931
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by runeight View Post
 

Just about to ask Warren to post some data on the first post. Zo is about 0.120R for balanced and about 0.08R for SE.

 

Done, first post updated!  :smile:


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

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post #179 of 5931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post
 

This amp sounds interesting, but only a handful of people have heard a prototype. Can you please clarify the return policy for this product? The Cavalli web site specifies a 14 day return policy for some products. This would be reasonable for the Liquid Carbon, considering that these will all be sold before anyone has a chance to audition or even see the final product. Thanks.

 

Good question. The return policy for all current CA products is described in each manual. This is 30 days to return with a 30% restocking fee. The Liquid Carbon is, essentially, a built to order amplifier and will have the same policy. However, like all other amps it will also come with a warranty.

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 #180 of 5931
Quote:
Originally Posted by runeight View Post
 

 

Good question. The return policy for all current CA products is described in each manual. This is 30 days to return with a 30% restocking fee. The Liquid Carbon is, essentially, a built to order amplifier and will have the same policy. However, like all other amps it will also come with a warranty.


Thanks!

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