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Cavalli Audio Liquid Lightning


spritzer
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Would any of these issues break your headphones and can the issues be fixed easily?

 

The output stage is all by itself and has a capacitor coupled input to that stage.

So unless both output tubes short plate to cathode, its pretty unlikely that any

damage to the headphones can happen. But anything can happen.

protection circuits are a good idea, but the one on the srm007t was way to

sensitive.  Obviously since there is going to be a version 2 of the electra, craig

says the new autobias front end fixes the distortion problem. I don't believe

that. Not with 6sn7 tubes anyway.

 

GSX2 sounds absolutely wonderful on my hd800. One of my all time favorites.

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6SN7's are never going to work in that role.  Mikhail already tried that and it doesn't work. 

 

Oh, really? I saw some posts about meets that were showing the Cavalli amps as the next big thing since sliced bread, so I probably took this and some comments afterwards as the norm, but then I didn't notice who were the authors of the posts. And actually, now that you mentioned it, I can't even remember the last time I read anything about the Liquid Fire!

 

Here's the thing, meet impressions are utterly useless.  The noise level in those rooms is very high so even with closed headphones  it would be difficult to make any meaningful impressions.  You can tell if something is really not to your taste but there are too many variables to say that this headphone X sounds like this.  This has been a pet peeve of mine as these same people obsess over the most minute of details in terms of assembling system but take meet impressions as a gold standard. 

 

If there had been another real CanJam then I would have setup a test for people to try.  Three identical looking amps with three identical Stax phones and ask people to say which is the best.  One would be a true high end design, one would be a basic but good design while the last one would be as bad as they can be.  It would be interesting to see if people could pick the good one...

 


ince I'm trying to be glass-is-half-full this year, how about a list of *GOOD* Electrostat Amps?

 

Well, there are a few of them.  :) 

 

The Stax SRM-323S is excellent for the price.  It's scaled down to meet the price point so don't expect it to do the 007 justice but for the rest of them it's excellent.  It may be a bit too matter of fact for some though. 

 

Both the 727 and 007t are excellent designs but let down by some questionable choices.  Close the feedback loop on the 727 or swap out the tubes in the 007t for 6S4A's and both are excellent amps. 

 

Unless Woo have done something recently to the GES then it is also a great amp.  Don't bother with the upgrades or other such BS and stick with JJ ECC83's for input tubes.  It's a cracking little amp for somebody wanting tube flavor. 

 

A more refined version of that sound would be the Headamp Aristaeus.  Now the actual HEV90 ranges from "what the fuck were they thinking" to decent but Justin simply does it better. 

 

BHSE naturally and the Stax SRM-252S is pretty amazing for something so tiny.  That's about it though... 

 

Yo, Birgir! Me and the bro's are ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY, AWSOMELY, STOKED, PUMPED, and JACKED that you've become a reviewer dude!!!!!!

 

On a more serious note, I think the $10k Woo mono blocks (cheap, generic tubes included) deserve a place on your list.

 

;D  I saw you asking for the schematic for the Alo piece of crap and the shill enforcing agency getting all hot and bothered. 

 

You are right about the Woo though, it deserves a place there with the WA5 (utterly flat and lifeless) and the WA22. 

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The output stage is all by itself and has a capacitor coupled input to that stage.

So unless both output tubes short plate to cathode, its pretty unlikely that any

damage to the headphones can happen. But anything can happen.

protection circuits are a good idea, but the one on the srm007t was way to

sensitive.  Obviously since there is going to be a version 2 of the electra, craig

says the new autobias front end fixes the distortion problem. I don't believe

that. Not with 6sn7 tubes anyway.

Thanks Kevin and Birgir !

 

Btw the remark about the GSX was made by Oldies  ::)

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Reputation systems also come with their own set of issues, just implementing one doesn't easily fix the issue.

 

To necro-reply to a slightly earlier post...

 

Basically, this. Why on earth would you want a reputation system in a forum where the noise massively outweighs the signal? That just means the noise is going to get more reputation, and the signal less. And all those dipshits that milk the peanut gallery for so-called respect as reviewers are only going to be legitimized with a massive rep.

 

For once - and I really can't believe I'm saying this - I agree with Jude.

 

HF is fucked. It would be nice to ignore it, except that it is a driving force in the industry, scary as that sounds. That means blind leading the blind, and all sorts of shady MOTs rubbing their hands with glee. I wouldn't have a clue as to how to fix it now, that should have been done in 2007. Best we can do is keep on doing what we're doing already - well, what YOU are doing already.

 

Just, uh, politely. Because when you criticize something with vitriol the content gets ignored because of the tone, and it doesn't help anybody.

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Just, uh, politely. Because when you criticize something with vitriol the content gets ignored because of the tone, and it doesn't help anybody.

 

eh, I have to disagree somewhat. I have "debated" with people on Chinese forums and what I found is if you put things too politely, shills will often turn the meaning around and interpret it their way, such as interpreting "it doesn't sound good" as "well, it doesn't sound bad either right?" or "the circuit has problems" as "well it's called adding flavors and it's not bad at all." (And the whole conversation will just be derailed and go on about the meaning of the sentence and how to interpret it blah blah blah.) Only when you put things in absolute term such as "it sounds like shit" or "the circuit is junk" will they get that you are saying. I hate to put things in absolute terms because it leave too many holes in the argument, but that's basically the only way to get your point across without shills adding some "flavors" to it and twists its meaning. 

I'm just talking about Chinese forums... I haven't been on HF often enough to say that it's the same over there, but I will be shocked if it differs that much. 

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eh, I have to disagree somewhat. I have "debated" with people on Chinese forums and what I found is if you put things too politely, shills will often turn the meaning around and interpret it their way, such as interpreting "it doesn't sound good" as "well, it doesn't sound bad either right?" or "the circuit has problems" as "well it's called adding flavors and it's not bad at all." (And the whole conversation will just be derailed and go on about the meaning of the sentence and how to interpret it blah blah blah.) Only when you put things in absolute term such as "it sounds like shit" or "the circuit is junk" will they get that you are saying. I hate to put things in absolute terms because it leave too many holes in the argument, but that's basically the only way to get your point across without shills adding some "flavors" to it and twists its meaning. 

I'm just talking about Chinese forums... I haven't been on HF often enough to say that it's the same over there, but I will be shocked if it differs that much. 

 

Nope, you nailed it.  Life is too short to be polite to those who prey on the ignorant (or those who are sycophants of said predators).  

 

Like in just about everything in life, most people are really followers and will follow those who are the most passionate, sold themselves the best, or are the best at marketing (or who have the most militant shills).  The goal is have the masses buy into the right people - those who are honest, are making high quality and well engineered products, and are in it for the betterment of the hobby.  Those who are the antithesis of those traits should be taken down any legal way possible.

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I'm a big fan of just cutting through all the BS and being forward helps with that.  Otherwise things get buried by all the shills, just look at the Liquid Gold thread on HF.  People who have nothing to do with "the Gilmore group" want to see what a 6500$ amplifier looks like but all the shills and halfwits step in to try and bury them.  "It's difficult to open up"... well it isn't and I don't see why they are delaying matters.  As soon as I have some time to spare both a Liquid Gold and a LLmk2 will be sent here for a full tear down.  Some of the owners bought this crap thinking it was worth the money and now they want to know the truth. 

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:laugh:

 

I was like  :palm:  when I read one of the post that mentioned the Lau is the best dynamic amp available because it is the most expensive and that Cavali prices the amp accordingly as to what can compete against it and obviously a step up from the GSX MK2 because it is MOAR expensive. Fuck me some people are absolutely clueless with a flawed logic. 

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This is also why stuff like the Schiit Mjölnir is over looked though it is superior to the Lau in ever way, it's simply too cheap.  Same problem for Ragnarök but it might sell well outside the HF bubble.  It did get a mention in the Hifi News coverage of RMAF... 

 

What Justin should do is a 10K$ version of the super sym Dynahi.  Two BHSE boxes, one on top of the other.  Let's see, fully balanced so no need for that idiotic DRV134 circuit to use SE inputs.  More power than you'd ever need and with the right PSU it could be a ca.20+20W Class A speaker amp as well.  It would actually be built well and no fucking mosfets. 

 

To go back on topic a bit, I did a short A-B comparison against the BHSE yesterday and this morning.  I've been using the fixed LL exclusively for the last two weeks though work has been hectic so not as much use as I'd like.  Still it's never been annoying or made me wish I was listening to something else.  As I said in my first impressions, it sounds like the SRM-727 after the feedback mod.  A bit flat and uninvolving next to the KGSSHV, lacking bite and presence at the extremes but over all a nice amp. 

 

Now place it against the BHSE and the difference is a bit bigger, the amp is clearly holding the transducers back though the effect is subtle.  How voices are projected and made into a 3D space is gone on the LL and so is effortless nature of everything played on the BHSE.  Still the modded LL shows what Cavalli could do if he actually had any idea what he's doing. 

 

Also this was on slow forum yesterday and kinda fits with this...

 

0slFU4o.png

 

Hmmmmm.....

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I seldom post here, have had times where I felt the site was more of a playground to release stress on the poor newbie passing by. But these days, I feel that, no matter how dirty and political this all gets, there is always some benefit to preserving freedom of speech...

I feel there is indeed a disturbingly tight relationship between the sponsors and the staff running the site. I guess people develop friendships with vendors and this explains that. I am labeled as a stax fanboy for that reason and certainly understand the human nature. I also know Jude personally and can totally understand he's just a naturally enthusiastic and social person so he's really most likely doing this for fun besides the simple need to run the site as a business.

What I find disturbing is we don't see really innovating gear sorting out but just the latest bright and shiny being the best thing to ever happen since sliced bread. I have been there, certainly falling myself for new toy syndrome more often than not.

But what I see is not really more innovation but many more vendors trying to get a piece of the cake. However my slight issue with the hd800, I consider it as true innovative design, we haven't seen much of that since. On the other hand, general pricing of gear is certainly on the rise, for no other reason than there being a very receptive audience and well oiled hyping machine.

That is disturbing to me as I feel we, as consumers, are simply shooting ourselves in the foot with this. I have been around the site for over 10 years now and very much feel the time of innocent/independent gear evaluation and reviewing is long gone.

Not convinced birgir's style is the way to go and I actually feel sorry for alex as he doesn't seem the bad guy he's been portrayed as. On the other hand, I also also feel it would be tragic to censor critical speech...

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Arnaud, I think you have this place a bit wrong.  I'll sum it up succinctly (since it is beating a dead horse a bit):  the regulars here are some of the nicest, most generous, and knowledgeable people you'll find on an audio forum.  The one quirk (in my eyes a strength) is that they do not put up with crap at all.  Once you get used to that, you'll see that your critique is off.  Yes, it is not updated with the latest greatest like HF, but it is not that kind of place, so there is less talk of audio gear and more talk of just about everything else.  Since you post of a lack of innovation,  I'd say what's the need to talk about the same rehash, eh?

 

As for your last sentence, I see it as an "either or" scenario:  either Alex is completely oblivious to the flaws in his design (his long post here a while ago points to the contrary), or he is so stubborn/conceded that he will sell what he wants, objective naysaying be damned.  Either way, what he is doing is detrimental and needs to be called out.  I do not feel sorry for him in the slightest, since ignorance and/or arrogance should never mix with business.

 

You are right on the money regarding the consumers. As long as gullible people buy shit, others will continue to peddle shit.  That's where people like Birgir are doing the community a service.

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or he is so stubborn/conceded that he will sell what he wants, objective naysaying be damned.  Either way, what he is doing is detrimental and needs to be called out.

 

This!  but a fair bit of this is deliberate to continue to sell more of the same crap. First LLmk1.  Then LLmk2 which is the same on the inside with

a horrible SE to balanced converter, and a pretty new box. Then the LLmk3 which has tubes in the gain stage (which is a huge improvement over

the fucking mosfet)  But still alex has mosfets shoved so far up his ass, he can't see how wrong they are for this application. But when you design

with strictly a voltmeter, this is what you get.

 

Alex is likely a nice guy. Or forces his persona to act like a nice guy. His biggest problem is his 2 main shills. One of which has designed the

liquid glass for sure. There is absolutely no way in hell that alex designed the power supply in the LLmk1. Just not his style. Compare to everything

he has released previously.

 

And the stuff really is non-repairable.  The LAU is a perfect example. once you install the output transistors and then solder them in from the

top, just the task of getting the circuit board (which is in one piece) out for repairs without damaging something is very hard.

Edited by kevin gilmore
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I think Cavalli is beyond redemption.
And I think headfi is all screwed up with their censoring and protecting a bad company that is selling bad stuff to credible gullible customers.
In a sense, headfi is perpetuating the problem.
Sorry Arnaud; there is no way around that.

Edited by eggil
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On the positive side, 

 

Arnaud, I think you have this place a bit wrong.

 

Poor wording on my part, I did mean to say there is a lot of good content on this site. It is also refreshingly honest, which is not something easy to say for most sites.

 

Most of all, I have seen cycles on HF, just like here, maybe because active posters come and go and this changes the flavor of the site a bit. It's all fracturing of open doors, but just felt compelled to post that I felt the recent posts resonated strongly with my personal experience.

 

Going back to silent mode now ;).

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And I think headfi is all screwed up with their censoring and protecting a bad company that is selling bad stuff to credible customers.

In a sense, headfi is perpetuating the problem.

 

+1. While I don't think everything is crap including the users (some folks are alright) on the other site but I've come to my senses not too long ago that there is just too much noise, compared to when I was lurking back in 2004 and delightfully reading (the Trevor Network fraud with KG's Dynahi amp builds, some SP issues and the Rudi stuff), it's slowly developed a trend of strong censorship with what you can post and what you can't, than everything gets covered up and naysayers get banned by mods and everybody move on again.

 

I think at the end of the day it's all about generating enough attention and noise with buying new shiny new gear and such from a business perspective on HF's behalf, I don't really have much of a problem with that but it's some of the posters that piss me off that need to learn to separate fact from opinion and vice versa. Is it that fucking hard?

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We are often being accused of being the mob, a clubhouse or some such BS but that is much more what HF is and has been for at least the last 10 years.  The rules are just for show and some people can get away with anything.  It used to be RSA but now that Ray is old news it is Cavalli and ALO.  If any other MOT's would have the same army of shills or "reviewers" then they would all be banned.  I know the sponsors are not happy about this blatant preferential treatment. 

 

There are some good news though as Hifi News talks about stepping into the headphone game more and everything will include measurements.  They reviewed the SRS-4170 last month and it didn't fare too well.  Hardly surprising as neither the amp nor the headphones are all that good but subjective tests with measurements will just sort the wheat from the chaff.  Now something like this would never happen on HF as it is bad for business. 

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