Cavalli Audio Liquid Fire
Apr 28, 2012 at 10:15 PM Post #1,336 of 2,297

runeight

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Hmmm. Well. Maybe.
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Apr 29, 2012 at 7:59 AM Post #1,338 of 2,297

dj nellie

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I'm thinking of upgrading my tubes, despite swearing that I didn't need any upgrades for the foreseeable future. This is my first tube amp, so I was wondering what suggestions people have for tubes that cost $400 or less (for a quad set) and that pair well with the LF? I'd also like to be able to buy readily-available tubes from a reputable dealer, and not have to scour for an obscure set.
 
So far in this thread, I've seen recommendations for Siemens, Telefunken CCa, Siemens/Halske E88CC. Are there any other suggestions? And where are the best sites to shop for tubes? Thanks in advance for any help.
 
I'm really enjoying my LF and I don't think they NEED a tube upgrade, but if I can get a set that will noticeably improve the sound at a reasonable price, then I might do it. Then again, after thinking I was done with my audio journey, I may be falling down the rabbit hole all over again.
 
Apr 29, 2012 at 9:37 AM Post #1,339 of 2,297

runeight

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Quote:
By the way alex, what the heck does "runeight" mean?
tongue.gif

 
To answer this I have to reveal a staggering amount of geekiness. Many years ago I was a railroad buff. I wasn't really a "foamer" (a name that the rail crews have for railbuffs). I was interested in railroads because of their integral part in American history. I've even written a book about a highway in Austin that's named after a railroad (Mopac), but it's really a historical book not a railfan book about trains.
 
In any case, diesel locomotives have discrete throttle positions. In a car you have continuous positioning on the accelerator from idle to pegged to the floor. But in a locomotive the throttle has nine fixed positions, starting with Idle then Run 1, Run 2, Run 3 etc. Run 8 is full throttle, pedal to the metal.
 
And so, since I am constantly going all the time, usually working on 4-5 projects simultaneously, I used runeight as a screen name many years ago and have kept it because nobody else seems to use it.
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Apr 29, 2012 at 9:40 AM Post #1,340 of 2,297

mwilson

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Siemens/Halske E88CC with the "A"frame getter should set you back no more than $400 or so. Sound improvement over stock JJ is very noticeable in every way.
 
Apr 29, 2012 at 1:36 PM Post #1,341 of 2,297

Icenine2

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Nice about becoming a Head-Fi sponsor Alex! 
Quote:
Gents, I think there is a natural ebb and flow of owners and sellers in the audio world. I like to think of it as, the LF has given people a much better idea of what they can really hear and now they want more, so they move up. But they are moving up to a much more expensive electrostatic rig. And maybe the LL can be part of that.  :) And in the Wuss' case, well he needs more signal paths.
 
In the meantime, I think I (as MOT) can tell you all that CA will become a headfi sponsor on June 1. I am very happy that CA has progressed to the point where it can do this and I appreciate everyone who has supported the products.
 
I am looking forward to having the sponsor section because...I have things to tell you and you probably have some questions to ask and feedback to give (like, please put a freaking preamp out on the LF).
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Apr 30, 2012 at 8:55 PM Post #1,342 of 2,297

landgreen

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Quote:
Siemens/Halske E88CC with the "A"frame getter should set you back no more than $400 or so. Sound improvement over stock JJ is very noticeable in every way.

 
This is a tempting upgrade. I have to pass along how happy I am with the LF (stock tubes) fed from a Bryston BDP-1(mostly FLAC) and W4S DAC2 then out to LCD-2r1 with Q cable. Before settling in to tonight's hockey games I listened to the first 3 and last 2 tracks of Genesis' Duke album (which has sounded overly bright on previous systems) and it was an incredibly smooth, detailed, powerful and visceral listening experience. The LF is such a wonderful part of this setup and if it could be improved noticeably in every way.........hmmm........very tempting.
 
Apr 30, 2012 at 8:59 PM Post #1,343 of 2,297

MacedonianHero

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I picked up a quad of Genalex Gold Lions today. Should be here tomorrow, just ahead of the LF. I've heard many 6922 tubes through the years (on my WA2 and Lyr) and these babies were one of my favourites. I slightly preferred them to the Mullard CV2492s and for $45 each, not a bad entry price. Looks like I'll skip the JJs (was never a fan) and go right to these.
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Apr 30, 2012 at 10:16 PM Post #1,344 of 2,297

MorbidToaster

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If I hadn't picked up the Tungsram Reds from the same guy you got your LF from I'd have gone for the Gold Lions. 
 
...I want to hear what you think about those, too. It'll be nice to hear how much a current production tube improves upon the JJs.
 
Quote:
I picked up a quad of Genalex Gold Lions today. Should be here tomorrow, just ahead of the LF. I've heard many 6922 tubes through the years (on my WA2 and Lyr) and these babies were one of my favourites. I slightly preferred them to the Mullard CV2492s and for $45 each, not a bad entry price. Looks like I'll skip the JJs (was never a fan) and go right to these.
biggrin.gif

 
 
 
 
May 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM Post #1,345 of 2,297

mwilson

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With my LF now gone and en route to the Great White North, I was looking for a small and cheap amp to power a LCD-3. Upon reading quite a few articles and messages, I've settled upon the Objective2, which, diminutive and costing only $150, is definitely not going to break the bank or the shelf upon which it is placed. Why in the world am I even posting this in the LF thread? I guess because I think that while in totally different categories, there are some similarities to their sound, and, since most LFs are paired with orthodynamic cans, this may prove useful to those of you who may wish to have a transportable amp complementary to it.
 
The O2 is substantially smaller than the LF, itself not an overly large amp. It could comfortably slip into one's cargo or coat pocket, and in this sense it's portable. I however prefer to think of it as transportable, being able to move it about the house or take along on trips. The two included 9V rechargeable batteries didn't run out on me during a 2-hour session yesterday, and I normally keep the O2 plugged into the power adapter. It also has 1/8" connectors, both for input and output. This means that I had to use a 1/4 to 1/8 adapter for the LCD, and a run of the mill interconnect with 2 RCA on one end and 1/8" on the other, or, when using my iPhone's LOD, a straight 1/8 to 1/8 cable.
 
Operation: turn-on is silent and quick, sound flows fine within a few seconds. Turn-off is a soft thump, barely noticeable and harmless. With the LCD-3, and the O2 gain setting to "low", as fed by the Cantata Music Center, a 12-1 o'clock volume position on the O2 is roughly equivalent to 9:30 on the LF, so there's plenty of power. With the "high" gain, the volume position is somewhat similar to the LF (though the LF has a higher travel angle when compared to the O2, which seems about 270 degrees).
 
The LF as present in my aural memory was configured with a quad of Siemens/Halske E88CC with the "O" getters. There are no tubes in the O2, so it's stock. The O2 generally does an admirable job at driving a LCD-3, with plenty of dynamics, good bass and treble, but a somewhat clinical mid section. There's a clear lacking in the "spring" or "sparkle" of vocals; flat is a word that comes to mind, though in no way recessed. The layering is okay, but when compared to the LF it sounds mostly congested. Soundstage is decidedly narrower and shallower and can get overwhelmingly busy quicly; whereas with the LF I could effortlessly pinpoint details no matter how minute, with the O2 I have to actually concentrate to do so. There's also a lack of thump and air when compared to the LF, but then again, we're talking about something costing less than 1/20 of the list price. I did however find the O2 similar to the LF in that it offers an engaging way of presenting the sound; it's also a bottomless pit when it comes to noise and has very fast transient response.
 
The O2 sounds very, very good for what it costs and given its size, and I'm glad I tried it out. Next up I have got to try it out with my Westone IEMs. I wish I had found out about the O2 sooner to complement my LF/LCD-3 setup. Right now it's very fun and convenient to be able to move around the house with an iPhone, O2 and LCD-3
 
May 1, 2012 at 2:48 PM Post #1,346 of 2,297

dBel84

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Hey Nick, thanks for sharing those thoughts. I have to say that I have been curious about the waves that the O2 created and am very curious about the ODac as a relatively inexpensive transportable set up..dB
 
May 1, 2012 at 3:14 PM Post #1,347 of 2,297

mwilson

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Don, the O2 has certainly exceeded my expectations for what it is: obviously no replacement for the LF - or any decent desktop amp for that matter - but rather a very good sounding complement to them.
 
Reminiscing about the LF, I've come to appreciate the two-stage delayed start on occasion when power would flicker for a couple of seconds. It was great seeing how the amp put a 40-second or so pause to protect the phones and the tubes (especially for those of us not using the cheap JJs). I don't recall whether the BHSE also has something similar, but hope that it does. I also enjoyed the ultra-smooth action and long throw of the TKD pot.
 
May 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM Post #1,348 of 2,297

dBel84

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I have to agree regarding that start up sequence, it is pretty inspired and adds piece of mind that your pricey gear is protected. I am not aware of any other amp that does this but really have not looked into it..dB
 
May 1, 2012 at 5:57 PM Post #1,349 of 2,297

MacedonianHero

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Quote:
Don, the O2 has certainly exceeded my expectations for what it is: obviously no replacement for the LF - or any decent desktop amp for that matter - but rather a very good sounding complement to them.
 
Reminiscing about the LF, I've come to appreciate the two-stage delayed start on occasion when power would flicker for a couple of seconds. It was great seeing how the amp put a 40-second or so pause to protect the phones and the tubes (especially for those of us not using the cheap JJs). I don't recall whether the BHSE also has something similar, but hope that it does. I also enjoyed the ultra-smooth action and long throw of the TKD pot.


Great write up Nick! It certainly looks like a great amp in a small package. I have been tossing around the idea of picking up one for the office, or our extended family trips out west to visit my wife's family.
 
On other news....your (I guess my) LF has just arrived here in The Great White North (Canada
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) this afternoon and should be out to me tomorrow. Can't wait!
 
May 1, 2012 at 7:16 PM Post #1,350 of 2,297

Solude

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Boo!  Shipped after mine and comes first boo!  Hehe heck I'm not even suppose to see your WA22 before Thursday... should be very much sleepless weekend :D
 

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