☯️ CAVALLI AUDIO ➜ Liquid Carbon Final Production Run!
Apr 14, 2016 at 1:50 PM Post #451 of 1,260

Stillhart

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  Does the Liquid Carbon have enough power and voltage swing to drive hard to drive headphones well?
 
Also, how does it do with the HD800 S?

 
It sounds great with the HD800 so I'm sure the S will sound fine as well.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I didn't used to like the HD800 until I heard it on the Liquid Carbon at RMAF last year.  Now I have one.  
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Apr 14, 2016 at 2:47 PM Post #452 of 1,260

Hansotek

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Does the Liquid Carbon have enough power and voltage swing to drive hard to drive headphones well?

Also, how does it do with the HD800 S?


I drive the regular HD800 with it in balanced mode, and it rocks!
 
Apr 14, 2016 at 11:40 PM Post #456 of 1,260

Mediahound

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Guess what I just got? Yep, turns out a fellow Head-Fier was selling his Liquid Carbon and was local to me so I decided to pick it up. 
 
Comparisons to my Mjolnir 2 will be forthcoming but initial impression is that the soundstage is definitely not as precise. 
 
Apr 14, 2016 at 11:52 PM Post #457 of 1,260

musiclvr

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Guess what I just got? Yep, turns out a fellow Head-Fier was selling his Liquid Carbon and was local to me so I decided to pick it up. 

Comparisons to my Mjolnir 2 will be forthcoming but initial impression is that the soundstage is definitely not as precise. 

Congratulations! Can't wait to hear of your impressions when pairing the LC with your HD800Ss!
 
Apr 14, 2016 at 11:53 PM Post #458 of 1,260

cskippy

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  Guess what I just got? Yep, turns out a fellow Head-Fier was selling his Liquid Carbon and was local to me so I decided to pick it up. 
 
Comparisons to my Mjolnir 2 will be forthcoming but initial impression is that the soundstage is definitely not as precise. 

I'm really curious about your impressions.  Looking to get a Mjolnir 2 but wouldn't mind hearing how you feel they compare.
 
Apr 15, 2016 at 12:52 AM Post #460 of 1,260

Mediahound

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  I'm really curious about your impressions.  Looking to get a Mjolnir 2 but wouldn't mind hearing how you feel they compare.

 
I would also love to hear comparisons! 
biggrin.gif

 
I think I'll be composing and posting a  review of the LC eventually but here are my impressions so far:
 
I can confirm the LC drives the HD800 S just fine (balanced) with no perceived lacking of power or dynamics! 
 
My DAC is the Schiit Gungnir Multibit. 
 
I've been doing some back to back comparing of the Liquid Carbon to the Mjolnir 2, using the same track, this one (lossless file from the CD):
 
 
 
This track has great dynamics and a lot of instrumentation going on so to me it's a good demo track.
 
The LC sounds very nice! Smooth and almost tube like, with more extended low bass than the MJ2 (running Amperex Orange Globes tubes). Solid state will always have a bit more super low end bass than tubes but vocals always a bit more hollow than tubes and the LC is no exception to this rule. 
 
The vocals, soundstage and micro details are the areas where I notice differences between the LC and the MJ2. These are a bit more loose and undefined with the LC than the MJ2. On the MJ2, I can more easily hear and pick out each instrument in the line up in the above track. It seems the soundstage and details are a bit more laid back on LC and I have to struggle more to pick out each instrument. It's still quite an involving sound on the LC though, and don't get me wrong, the details are there, just more sort of laid back. 
 
Some of this difference may be attributable to the solid state vs. tubes sound. Tubes give a more rich mid range, which in turn is probably yielding better details in the mids and making it easier for me to pick out each horn instrument in the track with the MJ2 than the LC. 
 
I was maybe going to sell one of these amps if there was a clear choice for which one to keep, but there isn't a clear choice so I guess I'm stuck keeping both! (First world problems, I know).  I'll likely use the LC when I want to listen Solid State and the MJ2 for tubes. It's easy enough to swap them since the LC is so light and small, it can just sit atop of the MJ2 when the MJ2 is off not in use. Same power cable and XLR ins from the DAC can be used for each amp.
 

 
In terms of solid sate, the LC is a more fun listen than the Schiit LISST solid state tubes as the LISST's tend to have a bit of a grainy sound. If I had to choose just one of these amps it would have to be the MJ2 as I just find the details better on it and I generally prefer the tube sound (even though the LC sounds quite tube like).  
 
That said, I'm really quite impressed with what Cavalli was able to put into the Liquid Crystal for such a small and light package remember, it's transportable! Now I wonder what some of his larger desktop amps sound like!
 
Apr 15, 2016 at 1:41 AM Post #461 of 1,260

gr8soundz

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The LC sounds very nice! Smooth and almost tube like, with more extended low bass than the MJ2 (running Amperex Orange Globes tubes). Solid state will always have a bit more super low end bass than tubes but vocals always a bit more hollow than tubes and the LC is no exception to this rule. 
 
The vocals, soundstage and micro details are the areas where I notice differences between the LC and the MJ2. These are a bit more loose and undefined with the LC than the MJ2. On the MJ2, I can more easily hear and pick out each instrument in the line up in the above track. It seems the soundstage and details are a bit more laid back on LC and I have to struggle more to pick out each instrument. It's still quite an involving sound on the LC though, and don't get me wrong, the details are there, just more sort of laid back. 
 
Some of this difference may be attributable to the solid state vs. tubes sound. Tubes give a more rich mid range, which in turn is probably yielding better details in the mids and making it easier for me to pick out each horn instrument in the track with the MJ2 than the LC. 
 
I was maybe going to sell one of these amps if there was a clear choice for which one to keep, but there isn't a clear choice so I guess I'm stuck keeping both! (First world problems, I know).  I'll likely use the LC when I want to listen Solid State and the MJ2 for tubes. It's easy enough to swap them since the LC is so light and small, it can just sit atop of the MJ2 when the MJ2 is off not in use. Same power cable and XLR ins from the DAC can be used for each amp.
 
In terms of solid sate, the LC is a more fun listen than the Schiit LISST solid state tubes as the LISST's tend to have a bit of a grainy sound. If I had to choose just one of these amps it would have to be the MJ2 as I just find the details better on it and I generally prefer the tube sound (even though the LC sounds quite tube like).  

 
Thanks for those impressions. Would you say the LC sounds more like a tube hybrid compared to the full tube MJ2?
 
I have an LC on order but am also looking at several tube amps. Some are transportable size like the LC but I'm torn between solid-state, hybrid, and full tube right now.
 
I've looked at possibly getting the iFi iCan Pro. It is fully balanced and switchable between ss/hybrid/tube but it's price is that of the LC and MJ2 combined. However, its not much bigger than the LC and comes with a linear power supply so I'm trying to decide if it might be a better stretch investment.
 
Apr 15, 2016 at 1:42 AM Post #462 of 1,260

Mediahound

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Thanks for those impressions. Would you say the LC sounds more like a tube hybrid compared to the full tube MJ2?
 

 
The MJ2 is actually a tube/SS hybrid, (not full tube amp). 
 
Apr 15, 2016 at 1:56 AM Post #463 of 1,260

gr8soundz

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The MJ2 is actually a tube/SS hybrid, (not full tube amp). 

 
Right, somehow I assumed it was full tube.
 
Only have experience with 1 tube amp (for speakers) but have read that most full valve amps are best suited to high impedance headphones. Was looking at the Woo WA8 and Phatlab Phantasy but (if I could afford the plunge) doubt I'd get the most out of them until I upgrade my headphones.
 
Most of my headphones are 70 ohms or less so I'd need a versatile amp (and want something smaller in size; MJ2 may be too large). The iCan Pro seems like the best choice but price also may be out of range.
 
Think if I were to go with a hybrid it'd be the Vali 2 or ALO's upcoming CV5. Could also get both the LC and Vali 2.
 
So many choices........
 
 
Apr 15, 2016 at 10:46 AM Post #464 of 1,260

Allanmarcus

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I've looked at possibly getting the iFi iCan Pro. It is fully balanced and switchable between ss/hybrid/tube but it's price is that of the LC and MJ2 combined. However, its not much bigger than the LC and comes with a linear power supply so I'm trying to decide if it might be a better stretch investment.

 
Hello,
 
I cannot find any info on the iFi iCan Pro. In fact I can't find any iFi product that sounds this cool. can you post a link?
 
Apr 15, 2016 at 11:53 AM Post #465 of 1,260

Stillhart

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Thanks for those impressions. Would you say the LC sounds more like a tube hybrid compared to the full tube MJ2?
 
I have an LC on order but am also looking at several tube amps. Some are transportable size like the LC but I'm torn between solid-state, hybrid, and full tube right now.
 
I've looked at possibly getting the iFi iCan Pro. It is fully balanced and switchable between ss/hybrid/tube but it's price is that of the LC and MJ2 combined. However, its not much bigger than the LC and comes with a linear power supply so I'm trying to decide if it might be a better stretch investment.

 
 
   
Hello,
 
I cannot find any info on the iFi iCan Pro. In fact I can't find any iFi product that sounds this cool. can you post a link?

 
It's new, might not be out yet.  They were demoing it at RMAF last year.  IIRC, it's significantly bigger than the LC, unless they've shrunk it since RMAF.  @Hansotek spent some good time with it, maybe he can confirm the size...
 

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