☯️ CAVALLI AUDIO ➜ Liquid Carbon Final Production Run!
Dec 30, 2016 at 7:35 AM Post #1,126 of 1,260

sheldaze

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I'm surprised how often I see these secondhand

The sonic quality of the Carbon is subtle. It does not "come at you" and "grab your headphones" and ears the way many other amplifiers do. It takes a little longer to appreciate, unlike some of the more popular brands of headphone amplifiers. And it may not do particularly well at meet conditions. It is definitely suited best to many hours of enjoyable listen while at home, or due to its small size while on travel.
 
I also find that it works quite well with the highest tier of headphones. Think along the lines of HE-1000, HD800S, etc. I suspect many people may be looking at this as an affordable Cavalli amplifier, which it is! However it still truly shines best with the best of the headphones. And the best of the sources...those who are stretching their budget to buy this may not have either good transducers or good sources.
 
Thus I suspect these qualities are what makes the turnaround so high. Consumers are not using this like the high quality amplifier it truly is. Give it some time, and it'll grow on you.
 
Dec 30, 2016 at 9:51 AM Post #1,127 of 1,260

Slow_aetk

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Hello,
 
I am in the situation you describe... HD-800S, Liquid Carbon and FIIO X7 as source. 
The X7 is pretty good but... I feel that the setup deserves a better DAC.
I'm pretty much sold on R2R but is the Bimby enough I should I go for bigger? 
 
Dec 30, 2016 at 9:53 AM Post #1,128 of 1,260

amilo

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The sonic quality of the Carbon is subtle. It does not "come at you" and "grab your headphones" and ears the way many other amplifiers do. It takes a little longer to appreciate, unlike some of the more popular brands of headphone amplifiers. And it may not do particularly well at meet conditions. It is definitely suited best to many hours of enjoyable listen while at home, or due to its small size while on travel.

I also find that it works quite well with the highest tier of headphones. Think along the lines of HE-1000, HD800S, etc. I suspect many people may be looking at this as an affordable Cavalli amplifier, which it is! However it still truly shines best with the best of the headphones. And the best of the sources...those who are stretching their budget to buy this may not have either good transducers or good sources.

Thus I suspect these qualities are what makes the turnaround so high. Consumers are not using this like the high quality amplifier it truly is. Give it some time, and it'll grow on you.


Yea, i wish i had one to begin with. I wouldnt mind growing into it and getting high-tier headphones down the line, i just never could quite afford one when i see them.
 
Dec 30, 2016 at 10:41 AM Post #1,129 of 1,260

Hansotek

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Hello,

I am in the situation you describe... HD-800S, Liquid Carbon and FIIO X7 as source. 
The X7 is pretty good but... I feel that the setup deserves a better DAC.
I'm pretty much sold on R2R but is the Bimby enough I should I go for bigger? 


I used to have a bimby. While it is a nice device, if you can afford to upgrade to the Metrum Musette, you should. I find it to be a substantial improvement. Sweeter, more laid back and more transparent, IMO.
 
Dec 30, 2016 at 10:48 AM Post #1,131 of 1,260

bronzboy

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  Hello,
 
I am in the situation you describe... HD-800S, Liquid Carbon and FIIO X7 as source. 
The X7 is pretty good but... I feel that the setup deserves a better DAC.
I'm pretty much sold on R2R but is the Bimby enough I should I go for bigger? 

 
 
  The sonic quality of the Carbon is subtle. It does not "come at you" and "grab your headphones" and ears the way many other amplifiers do. It takes a little longer to appreciate, unlike some of the more popular brands of headphone amplifiers. And it may not do particularly well at meet conditions. It is definitely suited best to many hours of enjoyable listen while at home, or due to its small size while on travel.
 
I also find that it works quite well with the highest tier of headphones. Think along the lines of HE-1000, HD800S, etc. I suspect many people may be looking at this as an affordable Cavalli amplifier, which it is! However it still truly shines best with the best of the headphones. And the best of the sources...those who are stretching their budget to buy this may not have either good transducers or good sources.
 
Thus I suspect these qualities are what makes the turnaround so high. Consumers are not using this like the high quality amplifier it truly is. Give it some time, and it'll grow on you.

 
 
Yea, i wish i had one to begin with. I wouldnt mind growing into it and getting high-tier headphones down the line, i just never could quite afford one when i see them.

If I may join your conversation, I think you're all on track here.   After listening for a month I find  the Liquid Carbon very engaging, and I believe this will continue.  My previous DAC was the Bifrost Uber which I moved to my speaker system where I stream to an Xbox, then to the Bifrost and then  to my Denon AVR, and 20yo speakers.  I really like the sound in this system.  I bought the Bimby for my headphone system, and in many ways it's like the Liquid Carbon in that it slowly engages you.  This DAC, like I believe many DACs, does not lend itself to short comparisons by switching headphones back and forth to make a decision.  After months of listening, I have to say the Bifrost Multi-bit has me hooked in the way it treats both HighDef FlAC files and CD's ripped to a Hard Drive.  And to me, the combination of the Liquid Carbon and the Bifrost create a SQ that is subline and engaging in a way that takes you beyond the argument which sound better and keeps you firmly planted in the music itself. 
 
Dec 30, 2016 at 10:55 AM Post #1,132 of 1,260

WNBC

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Agreed.  Haven't heard the Musette, but I do think you should go with the better/best DAC within your budget.  "Best" is subjective but plenty of opinions and reviews on most DACs.  
 
With the Liquid Carbon I've used the Mojo, Gumby and now Holo Audio Spring DAC.  Liquid Carbon scales with better DACs, but don't go too far over budget.  A lot of times I wish I didn't have the itch to hear higher end sources.  Is my Spring DAC better than my previous two DACs?  Yes.  But I enjoyed the LC very much with the Mojo.  If the Bimby is at the limit of your budget then feel good in knowing it will provide you many hours of enjoyment.  If you can stretch to something like the Musette then great.  If too much of a stretch then stick to the Bimby (or other similarly priced options) and you'll have money leftover for better headphones (if necessary).  Good luck and willpower :)           
 
 
Quote:
I used to have a bimby. While it is a nice device, if you can afford to upgrade to the Metrum Musette, you should. I find it to be a substantial improvement. Sweeter, more laid back and more transparent, IMO.

 
  Jeez, that's no small upgrade in terms of price though... oh well, at that point it is kinda go big or go home already.

 
Dec 30, 2016 at 11:12 AM Post #1,133 of 1,260
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I used to have a bimby. While it is a nice device, if you can afford to upgrade to the Metrum Musette, you should. I find it to be a substantial improvement. Sweeter, more laid back and more transparent, IMO.

I would agree with this concept, though I don't have personal Musette impressions to draw on. The Carbon outperforms its price level IMO, so spending even less on a DAC will bottleneck the performance. I think the Chord Mojo I have is a decent DAC pairing (and the Theta DS Pro Basic II I used to have was a little sweeter, though less practical with my setup), and the Audio GD DAC19 is also a great quality-for-the-dollar DAC that mates well with the Carbon and HD800, but those are all outstanding price:value items.

On the other end, people that want to go higher end than what Hansotek's theory, I think some people try the Liquid Carbon, quickly upgrade the rest of their signal chain, and get curious about amps that are even more expensive. There is a whole thread of people that discovered Cavalli through the Carbon but moved up to the Crimson and Gold... Warren made that easy with a price special for Carbon buyers (bought new from Cavalli).

All that said... there were extremely few Carbons that showed up on the F/S forums for many months, even well into the time people were ordering the second production run. There's more for sale now, a year after release, but it was also for many people including myself THE product that pushed people to upgrade past mid-fi, and now upgradeitis set in. I was mid-fi for 5 years on the same income I have now! But I've moved up from a $200 tube amp, Bifrost Uber DAC, and AKG Q701 to now having a Carbon, Mojo, and HD800 all in the past year. I've been happy with what I've got, but I'm sure people were curious about what more they could get continuing the upwards direction. I've heard some awesome stuff, but personally I hope to stick with the Carbon and my current gear, because on my $32k/year income (and living expenses, bigger family someday soon), I can't justify the price of next-level stuff, personally.
 
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Dec 30, 2016 at 12:03 PM Post #1,134 of 1,260

Stillhart

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  Hello,
 
I am in the situation you describe... HD-800S, Liquid Carbon and FIIO X7 as source. 
The X7 is pretty good but... I feel that the setup deserves a better DAC.
I'm pretty much sold on R2R but is the Bimby enough I should I go for bigger? 

 
IMHO, the X7 DAC is surprisingly good, especially for a Sabre.  After doing some volume-matched blind AB testing with @csglinux, I willingly admit that it's one of the better Sabre implementations I've heard.  The BMB will give you a different sound, possibly a subjective upgrade if you prefer the new sound, but on an objective technical level, I don't know that it would be an upgrade.  
 
That's probably why Dave is recommending the Musette.  It's a better DAC than the BMB but with a similar tonality.  I'd agree.  You might also check out the DAC-19 which is slightly cheaper last I checked.  Of course with the HD800S, you're going to want a more neutral, less warm DAC so you might consider the GMB instead of the other three I mentioned.
 
Dec 30, 2016 at 12:04 PM Post #1,135 of 1,260
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I'm surprised how often I see these secondhand


Alex Cavalli made the Carbon as a way to give back to the community. He made a Cavalli amp that was cheap enough that people that couldn't afford one of the higher-end models like the Gold or the Glass a way to purchase a Cavalli amp, and then when you felt like upgrading to one of the higher end Cavalli amps. You would end up selling the Carbon back into the community so someone else would have a chance with it. So even though it is limited the idea was to get anyone who wanted Cavalli to have a chance to have Cavalli.
 
Dec 30, 2016 at 12:07 PM Post #1,136 of 1,260

amilo

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It'os a strategy that's seemed to work well then. Another user also comented on how it is a stepping stone and how they sold theirs back for those reasons you outlined. I myself hope to be able to afford one soon as well.
 
Dec 30, 2016 at 2:45 PM Post #1,137 of 1,260

bronzboy

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I agree with all you guys.  The Liquid Carbon has opened my eyes as to what is possible with the right amp, and since I can't afford a DAC like the Musette, I'm going to sit here for a while with the Bimby and smile that I was able to snag a LC. 
 
Dec 31, 2016 at 8:31 AM Post #1,138 of 1,260

doraymon

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My mother in law was cooking for our end of the year dinner and asked for a t-shirt to use while cooking, to save her nice dress.

Guess what my wife just gave her?

My brand new, never used Cavalli t-shirt which came with my LC2!!!

Nooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhooooooooo!M
 
Dec 31, 2016 at 11:54 AM Post #1,139 of 1,260

boblauer

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My mother in law was cooking for our end of the year dinner and asked for a t-shirt to use while cooking, to save her nice dress.

Guess what my wife just gave her?

My brand new, never used Cavalli t-shirt which came with my LC2!!!

Nooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhooooooooo!M


Good thing they are on sale on their site. Buy one blame her on the spending.
 

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