Finally - New Cavalli Audio Portable Unveiled at the SF HeadFi Meet
Jul 14, 2015 at 3:20 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 101


Member of the Trade: Cavalli Audio
Oct 10, 2002
Folks, for those of you who have been following this saga, we are finally there. I am very pleased to be able to show the first engineering proto of the CA portable in SF.
Once I took over this project last December things have moved pretty fast. The first step was to test out the amps. Remember that these amp sections are fully discrete. So we built a few prototypes running entirely from a walwart to gauge the SQ of the amp. I think we can say that people have been very impressed. At CanJam LA where we gave attendees the first opportunity to hear the amp, there was generally very high praise, with quite a few people wanting to sign up to buy the exact amp that was on the table, even without the batteries.

For those of you you haven't seen the proto of  this amp, it looks like this:

Once the amps were proved out we attacked the battery solution. This is not so easy as one might think because of the high bipolar rails that this amp uses. But, after some thought, were created a very cool solution. The protos that will be in SF look like this:


And yes, they'll have all of their screws when they get there, but still no tops so you can see the batteries.
Some additional preliminary details:
1. Should make about 350mW into 50R.
2. Now has 1X and 3X gain settings
3. Low Zo at about 0.1R (IIRC)
4. Will play and charge at the same time.
5. Using Sony cheapo earbuds (12R) and the AlgoRhythm Solo db DAC with amp in 1X mode at full volume the battery ran for about 13 hours. Since it was not fully charged when we started, I estimate that from a full charge it will run 15 hours or more under these conditions. Run time, as you know, varies depending on headphones, music, listening volume, and battery condition.
6. Keep in mind that this little amp is doing 15 hours with fully discrete amplifiers.
7. The proprietary DC/DC converter runs at 350kHz keeping any of its noise out of the audio band.
8. There are two separate sets of rails, one for each channel, reducing crosstalk through the PS
9. It charges from either a walwart or a USB connection
10. Because of the large battery, charge time is not trivial, generally will require overnight from depleted battery ATM. We're working on faster charging.
11. Production units will be a bit smaller and, of course, we'll do real case design for them.
12. Proto is about 100mm long x 80mm wide
If you're at the SF meet please stop by to listen.
And yes, we will still have the naming contest so DON'T post names. You'll just give your good ideas away.

Jul 14, 2015 at 3:26 PM Post #2 of 101
Man I've been following this thing for like the last 2 years or so. Exciting stuff. Very pleased to hear about the 15 hour battery life. Congrats to the Cavalli team!
Jul 14, 2015 at 5:20 PM Post #3 of 101
Jul 14, 2015 at 10:54 PM Post #9 of 101
Yep, liked it a lot at SoCal CanJam, will be very interested to see it at RMAF CanJam...

Jul 14, 2015 at 11:57 PM Post #12 of 101
Jul 15, 2015 at 1:30 AM Post #13 of 101
I'm coming to the SF meet up this Saturday and will be excited to see these. I just got a ODAK and O2 Amp, and have hardly used them. You'll definitely be one of the first places I stop in to visit with. Heck, I even have a great name for it.
Jul 15, 2015 at 1:53 AM Post #14 of 101
Once I took over this project last December ...

What's the story there?  Or is this not the place for such gossip?
Jul 15, 2015 at 2:30 AM Post #15 of 101

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