Massdrop Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Marvey, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. mcninja9

    mcninja9 Rando

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    US
    Will the MCTH pair well with HD800? I used to have a Lyr 2 and I like the combination, but I've been looking for something with more microdynamics than the Lyr.
     

  2. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    24,175
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    I totally understand where you are coming from. While the Lyr 3 gives the HD800 some bass balls and heft, it doesn't do the HD800's resolution justice. The MCTH is the opposite of that. The MCTH brings out a lot of what the HD800 can do, but the tonality wasn't to my preference, even with the darkly tilted Mimby DAC as source. It was the combination of sliightly too bright and not quite there in terms of slam; but it was mostly the brightness. Dark or bassy headphones like HD650 or Atticus seem a better match with the MCTH. Source can tip things one way or or another, but not as much as headphones.
     
    mcninja9 likes this.
  3. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    250
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I might have to go ahead and put in an order for the MCTH+SDAC. Considering I have the D2000 now and probably getting the Eikon again in the future (I'm holding off on the HD800 again until I can at least get a Bimby/Gumby and an OTL,) I think it will be a good buy. Plus, my cat has taken a liking to my desk since it moved by a window, and his 25lb Maine Coon butt takes quite a bit of it up.
     
  4. bengo

    bengo Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Likes Received:
    238
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    Home Page:
    Dino likes this.
  5. Mdkaler

    Mdkaler Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2016
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Someone tell me why they are advertised as a stack? LCX passive out into MCTH?

    Watch. There will be a Carbon X SDAC. And a big Grace logo at the back.
     
  6. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Likes Received:
    752
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Taipei, Taiwan (via Canada)
    Ostensibly so that if you get both amp-only versions, you can run your preferred DAC into the Carbon and send the pass through signal to the CTH stacked on top. Choice of SS and toob hybrid sound. Massdrop has you covered.

    https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-alex-cavalli-liquid-carbon-x-amp/talk?mode=guest_open
     
    Lyer25 and Mdkaler like this.
  7. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    252
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Home Page:
    Not a chance. I'm one of those people that has difficulty with long lead times.
     
  8. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,258
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Wait... did a miss an announcement somewhere?
     
    bengo likes this.
  9. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    894
    Trophy Points:
    93
    ^^ Pretty sure that's a typo and he meant lyr2
     
    Zed Bopp and gixxerwimp like this.
  10. mcninja9

    mcninja9 Rando

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    US
    I thought Marvey was hinting at the release of Lyr 3 :D
     
  11. Roarke

    Roarke Rando

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Orange County
    Will we have separate threads for the Liquid Carbon X?
     
  12. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    209
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Limbo
    Might have considered the lcx instead of the Jot I just bought had it been announced a week earlier, especially at the price, but now that I've heard the synergy between the Jot and Gumby (imo) i'm kinda glad it was announced too late for me to be tempted.
     
  13. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    252
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Home Page:
    Yep. I'm feeding mine with a Gumby as well. A great combo.
     
  14. batriq

    batriq Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2015
    Likes Received:
    343
    Trophy Points:
    63
    @Marvey makes no typos
     
    Priidik likes this.
  15. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    24,175
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    Yeah, I meant Lyr 2.
     
  16. brencho

    brencho Good Friend (Moderator)

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,017
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    LA
    Home Page:
    Thanks to @Marvey for letting me listen to the MCTH for a while. Finally had some time to listen to it and compare to Jot with @Bill-P.

    This is a nice amp. Priced at $250, it's a very good amp. Down the line you can build a better power supply for it and have a nice system. Its hybrid nature also makes it work pretty well with a range of headphones. We listened to it with the Code-X and Bill's modded hd580.

    This is going to sound nuts, but I found the MCTH to be skewed towards brightness more so than Jotunheim. Like it's pushing up the upper mids, which highlights certain sounds and details which sometimes gives the impression of more detail. But yeah to me it sounded a bit brighter than the Jotunheim, which surprised me. The other thing related to tonality that surprised me was that the MCTH was leaner sounding than the Jotunheim, which sounded a bit more full-bodied in comparison. This was especially true with the Code-X. If I had an MCTH, i'd want to pair it with a slightly warm source to help to reduce its slightly bright edge. Both amps seem quite clean and clear sounding to me.

    All of that said, I'm in the camp that would take the MCTH for a hd6x0 over a Jotunheim. It's tonal characteristics might actually work super well with the hd650/ hd6xx, modded or otherwise (more so than Bill's super neutral hd580 or the hd600 with its already slightly elevated upper mids). The soundstage definitely felt more holographic and layered and liquid with the Sennheisers, more so than the Jotunheim. Same with microdynamics and plankton, felt more engaged and "there" with the MCTH than Jot through the Sennheisers. I'd be curious to hear biocellulose headphones like ZMF Aiken or Atticus or HP3 with the MCTH. For Code-X and other harder to drive planar headphones, I'd stick with the Jotunheim, which I think just provides more clean power to the drivers. The Code-X had more impact and slam and felt like the Jot had a better grip on the drivers. Similarly, the HE4XX worked better off the Jotunheim, not because it's all that hard to drive, but because the MCTH has the potential to push the 4XX treble too far for me. Anyway, I'm probably leaving stuff out but I'll let Bill say more, I have to work to finish so I can one day own my own headphone amp again :p

    Pics or it didn't happen:
    IMG_5612.JPG
     
  17. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,164
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    The MCTH was noticeably less bright and was warmer sounding in my setup than Jot, mentally calibrating for any source differences in that time span. MCTH is more similar to my Super 7 in current A/B, where as the Jot was less full sounding and brighter (when compared to S7 directly way back when), but Jot did have really nice low-end extension that is lacking on the MCTH.

    The key is to get 548.7 hours of burn in on the stock tube. Or something. But for real, I ran the amp and tube for many, many hours. The tube can be a bit upper-mid aggressive and grainy for a long while. Also, tube swaps can affect the sound to a good degree, i.e. more than I ever heard from Valhalla 2, for example. But I shouldn't assume this amp and tube had less hours of run time than mine, of course.

    Just how I heard it!
     
    Cryptowolf, mrflibble, Dino and 2 others like this.
  18. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,866
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah, you ain't wrong, man.

    I think the thing is that we were primarily using my Modi Multibit (stock) out of Eitr with it. I do hear the Mimby as having some extra bit of upper mid, too, so maybe the emphasis is more on Mimby than on the MCTH.

    It's just that relative to the California-sun-baked Jot and the black Jot, it's a bit more sharp sounding. Both of the Jots I'd guess are probably rare kinds so...

    Also it's not like I totally dislike that upper mid emphasis. Crack also has that and I'd prefer Crack over Jot for driving my HD580.
     
    Cryptowolf, Dino and Elnrik like this.
  19. brencho

    brencho Good Friend (Moderator)

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,017
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    LA
    Home Page:
    Totally, this is def how it sounded today in relation to these 2 Jots (the sun-baked one and the newer one Bill brought). It should also be noted that Bill's hd580 is tuned to be ruler flat, and can be a bit bright. Wish we'd had a hd650 on hand. I knew it was sacrilegious to sell my modded hd650...

    For the record, the amp arrived at @Marvey's place a while back, and I have no idea how much he used it. So in terms of total burn in, no clue. I did turn on the amp a good 30 minutes before Bill arrived, and we didn't even get to listening to it until probably a solid 1 hour after the time I first turned it on. I know Marv mentioned that it had a tendency to be all over the place when cold, but I don't think this was cold when we heard it. It's possible that the slight lean-ness was what contributed to this perception of slight brightness. In any case, nice amp for sub 300 buck.

    Fuck I also just realized that I have a bunch of these tubes laying around. I've been super busy lately so another day I can roll in some Amperex 7308, Mullard 6922, and Mazda 7308 tubes to see what gives.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017 at 6:11 PM
    mrflibble, FlySweep, Dino and 2 others like this.
  20. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2017
    Likes Received:
    100
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Poland
    Very nice feedback, thanks
     

Share This Page