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Massdrop x Liquid Carbon X Discussion

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  1. PaganDL
    Just my humble two cents,

    LCX amp is my second go to amp in my collection on a weekly basis.

    Pairs well with a lot of head gear though can be source dependant to get a certain sound (your mileage will vary, of course) nor do I have or use Sennhieser headphones though 820 is on my list for sometime in the future.

    Anyway, as stated many tiimes by myself & others, a good, well recorded source makes all the difference as well as no serious expectations.

    Hope everyone has a great day !
    dbsylvia likes this.
  2. Krutsch
    Mine pairs exceptionally well with my Mr. Speakers Ether OPEN, using a balanced cable. Really brings out the best in those cans. My Sennheiser HD-650s? Not so much, but that's what the Woo is for.
  3. Shane D
    I got my amp today and will be testing it tomorrow. I will be comparing this to my Loxjie P20 amp in balanced mode. The LCX is double the price and should be better.

    For balanced mode my choices are:
    1) Beyer T5p.2's

    2) Meze 99 Classic's. I don't really think amping does much for these.

    3) HE4XX's. Not a fan of these 'phones and this is their last chance to impress me.

    Maybe I will also try my Grado's via SE.

    Shane D
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
    trellus likes this.
  4. PaganDL
    @Shane D,

    Tube & Solid State are definitely different sonically with their own unique sound.

    I enjoy both the LCX & P 20 for different reasons, just a suggestion, don't be fooled by price, enjoy your gear for what they are in their own right & synergy & not how they compare.

    Hope you have a great day !
  5. trellus
    I don’t find the Loxjie P20 to be very tubey at or colored, at least with the stock tubes which is all I’ve listened with.

    Would you say the LCX has a more or less colored sound? It seems to have more power, just going by the specs? A meatier sound?
  6. Shane D
    Using my new amp and it has been surprising so far.
    I only have about three hours in so far.
    First headphones were the Beyer T5p.2's closed backs. Not sounding good at all. Seems muffled. Maybe it doesn't sound great right out of the box? I will try these again later.

    Now I am craving an open back sound. I look at my little pile of "stuff to be sold" on the floor. I grab my HE4XX's and throw them on. Wow! What a difference. These 'phones have gone through several amps and have never impressed me. But this is sounding good. I had 90's rock on shuffle and everything sounded wonderful.
    I have now switched over to Florence and the Machine. Very happy with this sound. Different from the Burson. More analog? Not quite as clean?
    I am missing the added base from Schiit EQ. I might try to cable in the EQ via RCA connections and continue the balanced out and see how that sounds.

    My volume setting for the Beyer's was 9:00. With the planar's it is between 12:00 and 1:00. All in low gain.

    My new chain is Sony ZX300 (DAP) to SMSL SU-8 (DAC) to LCX (via XLR) to HE4XX's (via XLR).

    Shane D
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
    dbsylvia and trellus like this.
  7. PaganDL

    Hi @trellus,

    I never said P 20 was tubey or coloured. I also have stock tubes still installed.
    In fact, to my ears, P 20 almost doesn't sound tube like given how low noise & clean it is on my setup but there are many factors why this may be the case though there are certainly tube amps I've heard which sound similar to the P 20.
    Also, head gear & amp synergy make a lot of difference as well as individual gear specs to a degree.
    This also doesn't include how one hears, head shape, ear & canal shape, overall comfort.

    For tube vs solid state sound, I was speaking in general terms & honestly, I like both.

    LCX on my setup I find very smooth, almost reference but with enough impact to remain engaging as well as a nice warmth.
    There is certainly enough power though it depends on source & source recording quality in my opinion.
    The very low to neglible SNR & relatively black blackground also helps a lot.
    For headphones, I tend to use LCX the second most out of all the desk amps I own.
    It also works quite well with IEMs, even the more sensitive.

    Hope this answers some questions, feel free to ask more if you need.

    Hope you have a great day !
    trellus likes this.
  8. DavidA
    I can relate that you like the HD4XX on the LCX, to me the LC v1 that I borrowed from a friend was quite good with my planar headphones (LCD-2f, HE560 smc, HE400i smc and HE400) but not the best choice for my T1gen1 or DT990 premium which sounded a bit cleaner and full on my BH Crack.

    @PaganDL, agree that synergy between headphone and amp is an important consideration in picking gear
    dbsylvia likes this.
  9. Shane D
    Today I have been doing a head to head with Burson Fun-Classic. Only using Florence and the Machine as I know her music so well.

    First hour and a half was with the HE4XX's. I think the LCX sounded more open, but a little noisy (bright? Grainy?). Overall, I thought the LCX was at least as good and maybe better. And that was all done SE vs Balanced. Just changing the headphone jacks back and forth, as the DAC is filling both outputs at the same time.

    Now I am using the Beyer T5p.2's and they are sounding Great with the LCX.

    I wish I could test my beloved Grado GH2's, but Cavilli has stated that the SE output is very inferior VS the Balanced output.

    I think I will keep this comparison going for at least a week to be sure. And it is so easy to do. It will be Much more work to do it with the P20.
    Decisions to be made by Labour Day.

    As an aside, anybody here going to hop on that MassDrop offering? It is staying up for a full month this time with a November delivery. I am thinking that if I make the decision to sell two amps, maybe I...

    Shane D
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
    dbsylvia and trellus like this.
  10. trellus
    I caved in and joined the drop today for the THX AAA 789, assuming that’s what you were referring to... I was surprised it stuck around as I didn’t have the financing for it when the drop first started and I figured it was a cinch that meant I would miss it yet again... but nope, it was still available this morning and I couldn’t pass it up :sweat_smile:

    And, to keep it on topic for the LCX, I pulled the trigger on the 789 drop just a couple of hours before closing on a sale from a Head Fi member on a used LCX also today so I’m probably saturated on amp purchases for a while, but I’ve been waiting and planning and researching the Liquid Carbon (both V1 as there’s one selling for a good price right now in the sale section here, and the LCX), the Matrix HPA-3B, the Schiit Jotunheim, and the THX 789... decided to go for the big prize 789 for the “linear” and “powerful” but also wanted to get a warmer amp and decided the LCX might fulfill that... will find out soon.
    Shane D, DavidA and dbsylvia like this.
  11. Shane D
    I am thinking the same thing. I am looking at moving my Burson and my P20.

    It would be a nice Christmas gift to yourself.

    Shane D
  12. dbsylvia
    I can't wait to get my LCX back from repairs from Avenson Audio. Since I purchased mine from eBay, Drop will not honor the warranty. I found Avenson Audio as a warranty repair provider for Cavalli and reached out to them.

    My LCX was in need of replacement push buttons for the input selector, gain and power switches. Also the volume potentiometer is being replaced. I am sure these repairs will make my LCX look and sound like a brand new amplifier.

    I will post my impressions after the amplifier returns. I can't wait to get it back.
  13. eeagle
    Hope you got a good price on the used LCX to make it worth the repair cost plus shipping back and forth.

    The LCX is a favorite of mine. I keep my Focal Elex plugged in most of the time and have recently started using the Airist Audio R-2R as a source making for a nice combination to my ear.
    dbsylvia likes this.
  14. Shane D
    So, ALL your buttons went? At the same time? Were they cutting out or just broken?

    Shane D
  15. dbsylvia
    I obtained the LCX for $150. Labor and parts and shipping have been about $100.

    I have been using the Geshelli Labs Enog 2 Pro for balanced input. I use the Monoprice Monolith THX AAA 788 for RCA input. I love the sound from both.
    trellus likes this.
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