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Cavalli vs EC


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Folks, friend of mine is looking to upgrade his rig. He's toying with the idea of Cavalli amp. I tried to talk him out from it since it looks to me that this folks is way to greedy in charging his work lately. $6500 for an SS balanced amp with whatever mumbo jumbo parts inside is simply too much IMHO. So now he's torn between Eddie Current or Headamp or Cavalli.

 

Everyone knows Justin work, but I'm just curious about the repo of EC and Cavalli in your eyes. Which one you'd prefer to have?

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I was thinking of how I now see different amp builders these days and the biggest red flag for me is when there are several rabid fans who enter every thread and defend ceaselessly.  Cavalli has NoNoNoNoNoNo and dbel, mikhail had several, RSA has a few.  The companies without rabid/annoying fans are Headamp, EC, ECP, in my opinion, and these are the ones to choose from.  EC does have build issues though.

 

Besides the annoying fans of Cavalli, his prices are ridiculous....another Mikhail waiting to happen...

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I'd break rabidity down this way:

1) Shills- paid or get kickbacks

2) Fanboys - Irrational. Defend no matter what, even when not in best interests of buyer or when their chosen company is clearly in the wrong

3) Fans - People who really like something.  They might get overenthusiastic and post too much about what they like, and that's because they really like it.

 

None of these three companies have shills.  No one is getting deals under the table and any intimation of such has gone unsubstantiated as it is completely untrue.

 

I would take umbrage in particular to besmirching of Don's name - he loves hearing from people who have constructive criticism.  Its when people come in with skewed perception from the first place and try to kill a product (or person's reputation) that he takes offense.  And he does so much work behind the scenes for people with no regard for himself that I really do see him as one of the best people in this hobby.  

 

As for fanboys and fans-  sure, all three companies have them.  I wouldn't say hype surrounding a product or company means it isn't good though it does make me wary sometimes too.  I love Doug's stuff and I don't think he even has a fanboy (yet) to bring his product into the realm of breathless hyperbole which is really cool.

 

You haven't mentioned if your friend is interested in a dynamic amp or a stat one or what headphones your friend uses. 

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I was thinking of how I now see different amp builders these days and the biggest red flag for me is when there are several rabid fans who enter every thread and defend ceaselessly.  Cavalli has NoNoNoNoNoNo and dbel, mikhail had several, RSA has a few.  The companies without rabid/annoying fans are Headamp, EC, ECP, in my opinion, and these are the ones to choose from.  EC does have build issues though.

 

Besides the annoying fans of Cavalli, his prices are ridiculous....another Mikhail waiting to happen...

LOL! Haven't you heard of Gilmore Girls?

Spritzer obviously knows of EC shills and even ECP now has that radio_head bloke so basically we have nothing to chose from!

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All three companies have users who would defend the products and their designers, sometimes passionately, when they are attacked.  The only difference I can see is that Cavalli has been the subject of more vitriol hence more defense.  Lots of owners of owners from all three companies can be annoying.  

 

EC and Cavalli don't give "preferential treatment or discounts" save for first run specials available to all who sign up for the run.  It can be hard to get Craig to give your amp proper attention if you bought it used, so I suppose Craig gives preferential treatment to those who are actually his customers.

Edited by Tari
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Lots of owners of owners from all three companies can be annoying.

QFT.

 

So the thing is not to use the "has shills/fanboys" problem, and try to determine the dependability separately, and use that as one criteria as a deciding issue.  The other being hearing it for oneself.

 

So buy them all except for the ones with reliability issues, return the ones they don't like.

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you use your way and i will use mine

That was actually directed at forbigger's friend.  Unless of course that's you, but it's just a suggestion, no need to get snarky.  The best way to decide on whether one likes a particular piece of gear is an extended in-home audition.  I have found that the best way to accomplish that is to buy and sell said pieces of gear.  Though I am weak in the "and sell" part of the process, myself.

 

I mean, I realize it's cathartic to complain about the shills and fanboys, but you do realize that's like complaining about complaining, don't you?

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HeadAmp and ECP would be my recommendations.

Same! Bhse if stax, l2 if hd800, though I haven't heard the dsha with the hd800 and suspect that might be a good pairing too. If this is for a jh13/16 rig, not sure. Are there any other headphone choices?

Edited by cetoole
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Headamp: best build quality, parts cost to price ratio very good, wait times very long

EC: iffy build quality on some units, parts cost to price ratio very good, decent wait times.  I kinda look at Craig a bit different from the rest of the amp makers...he seems to be more about building new designs and moving on to the next, not really in it solely for business.

Cavalli: build quality improving (newer stuff looks much nicer), wait times decent, parts cost to price ratio seems to be quite bad.  I thought the LF and LL were overpriced based on what's inside...the LAu takes it to another level, almost a joke to me.  People say that it costs more to build than it may seem, but that applies to all of these guys and I'm comparing ratios so I'm taking the other guys into account as well.  Fact of the matter is that all of them are using custom parts, custom milling, engraving, etc.

 

All three seem to be really nice guys in person and I hope they all do well.  None of them make any amps I'd consider bad...I've liked all the HeadAmp and EC amps I've ever heard, and Alex's stuff sounded 'ok' to 'good' to me.

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Craig acted like a bit of a jerk to me at CanJam LA. Maybe he didn't think I was worthy of his time.

Sorry to hear. Don't know him that well, but the dozen or so interactions with him over the years has him as one of the nicest guys I've met in this hobby.
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