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Massdrop x Liquid Carbon X Discussion

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  1. Shane D
    Mr Cavalli has written that the SE out is noticeably inferior to the balanced out. Apparently it was designed as a balanced amp and they stuck on the SE option at the end because you have to for retail.

    Shane D
     
    dbsylvia likes this.
  2. MacMan31
    I'm not comparing against the Aune X7S as I no longer own that one. I'm comparing the LCX to the 789. Is the 789 really worth the extra money?
     
  3. trellus
    I keep hearing that about the SE on the LCX, and it definitely doesn’t have the power that the balanced output does for sure, but it is still powerful enough to drive the T50RP even SE.
     
    dbsylvia likes this.
  4. Shane D
    And sounds just as good as the balanced out?

    Shane D
     
  5. trellus
    Haha, I wouldn't even attempt to answer that question without a proper A/B switching setup. :)

    I recently was comparing a powerful but quirky Chinese amp, and I swore it sounded vastly different comparing the SE of it to the SE of my Project Polaris, but it turns out it was a case of not (1) volume matching closely enough and (2) the ephemeral nature of audio memory, because I once I compared using an A/B switcher, with each of the amps' headphone outputs going into the switcher and my headphones plugged into the single output of the switcher, and a toggle that could instantly go back and forth between them, it was easier to volume match and then compare the differences in sound.

    It turns out there was very little difference in the sound -- there were differences but not nearly as drastic as I had imagined before.

    But testing the balanced out and SE out of an amp would be a lot more challenging and would require a better XLR-capable switcher (I have my eyes on one on Amazon) that accepts two sets of balanced inputs and an RCA input and can output balanced or SE, and then ideally, two LCX's (which ironically I did have for a short time but no longer have) so that you could instantly compare the SE and balanced out with one pair of headphones -- toggling between one LCX outputting balanced out and one LCX outputting SE.

    Otherwise, I would be very suspicious of anyone making claims about sound differences between SE and balanced of an amp except for the obvious power output, which we know on many balanced amps are different between balanced and SE due to the internal design, and which even audio memory as weak as it is can even detect readily out of the LCX, it's noticeably louder out of balanced with the same pair of headphones at the same volume setting on the LCX vs when I use a 4-pin XLR to SE adapter and plug them immediately into the SE output at that same volume.

    But I suspect other differences people hear are often (not always, I'll admit) attributable, in truth, to the ephemeral nature of audio memory and differences in power output, mixed in with expectation bias. I wonder how many people would be able to tell the difference in a double blind setup? :thinking:
     
    DavidA and dbsylvia like this.
  6. Shane D
    Do you have a balanced DAC? If so it likely also has the SE output.
    With my setup the SMSL SU-8 puts SE and balanced out at the same time. Several of my headphones have SE AND XLR connectors. I would keep both types of connectors plugged in and just change the headphones back forth.
    Volume matching in my case, is roughly 9:00 on the Burson and closer to 12:00 on the LCX with certain headphones. I would use a decible meter to volume match the outputs.

    It would just take a few seconds to adjust the volume, change output and change connectors. The entire change over would take under 10 seconds to compare apples to apples.

    If I had a 789 to compare, I would do a small playlist comparison, 789 vs LCX and then an SE vs Balanced comparisons within the 789.

    But I am not willing to spend $650.00 (price in Canada) to do that comparo. I thought hard about it on the first 30 day run, but decided no. And pretty much everybody is deciding no on the second run. After 18 days, the counter has moved from 5.1K to 5.2K sold. Maybe they will have a late rush.

    If I ever have the opportunity to pick up a used one in the $400.00 to $450.00 range I will definitely try one out.

    Shane D
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    dbsylvia and trellus like this.
  7. trellus
    Yes, I have the exact same DAC as you, the SMSL SU-8. I do take advantage of the dual outputs, I have the RCA's feed my Project Polaris and the balanced out to the Loxjie P20 (previously the LCX, but I currently have a LCX on my other workstation coming balanced from a Yulong D100).

    But... that 10 seconds is a very long time for audio memory -- seriously -- at least for me, and my very recent (last week or so) experience showed me that. There is nothing that compares to a proper switch where you can toggle immediately.

    With my A/B switcher, I am able to discern real differences to my ears between amps, and most of them the time they are quite subtle, sometimes very hard to discern, but for other amp comparisons, more easily discernible, but at least for the amps I've tested so far, they are never as much as I believed when I was just swapping back and forth, plugging in and out and back in.

    For example, I definitely found that the HiFiMAN EF100 has a slight but definitely perceivable stronger low end than the Chinese amp at least with the HE-560, and that was undeniable, not imagined, because I could literally hear it by hitting a toggle.

    But I recognize it may be different for others, sure, but for me, audio memory is extremely unreliable, even 10 seconds is way too long.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    DavidA and Shane D like this.
  8. Shane D
    Fair enough, but I would still like to try it.:blush:

    Shane D
     
    dbsylvia likes this.
  9. Shane D
    I know that many of my recent comments have been off topic, so let me start with: I love this amp and it sounds great with HD58X's.:relaxed:

    Following my earlier comments, if I was going to buy a THX amp arriving in November, I would get the Monolith Cavalli THX AAA 887. Measures slightly better the 789, will have better availability AND has a five year warranty.

    Shane D
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    dbsylvia likes this.
  10. Shane D
    Following the Cavalli brand, I bought a Liquid Spark yesterday.
    I couldn't resist their open box specials.:L3000:

    Shane D
     
    dbsylvia and PaganDL like this.
  11. dbsylvia
    So an update on my LCX repair issue. I received word that it had shipped. After about 2 weeks of not seeing it and asking for tracking information a couple of times. I get a response back that my LCX was shipped to the wrong customer and that they are working on getting it shipped to me.
     
  12. Shane D
    Wow! I hope you Really love this amp when all is said and done.:slight_smile: And I also hope it gives you YEARS of trouble free use.

    Shane D
     
    dbsylvia likes this.
  13. dbsylvia
    They just advised that the LCX has been found and is being shipped back to me. I should receive it Monday.

    I hope all this trouble is over and I can enjoy my LCX.
     
    Shane D likes this.
  14. Th3Drizzl3
    hoping for the best for you this time. sucks you have had to deal with this for so long now.
     
    dbsylvia likes this.
  15. dbsylvia
    Thank you.
     
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