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Review and Measurements of Cavalli Liquid Carbon X

Sythrix

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#41
It could be interesting if Amir did a teardown of the Carbon to see if there were any obvious flaws.
Absolutely! I second this. I wonder if it has any tamper proof stickers or some such schenanigans.
 

amirm

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#42

amirm

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#45
FYI, I took the Liquid apart. It seems like a clean design with good quality components. It is all surface mount which likely aids in lowering manufacturing cost. It has a black solder mask so almost nothing is visible as far as traces. While it has a number of ICs in it, there are tons of discrete components in there making any attempt at reverse engineering it hard.

I am not sure if it is worth doing a teardown at this point.....
 

mi-fu

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#46
FYI, I took the Liquid apart. It seems like a clean design with good quality components. It is all surface mount which likely aids in lowering manufacturing cost. It has a black solder mask so almost nothing is visible as far as traces. While it has a number of ICs in it, there are tons of discrete components in there making any attempt at reverse engineering it hard.

I am not sure if it is worth doing a teardown at this point.....
Probably the designer thinks there are tons of trade secrets! :p
 

Sythrix

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#47
FYI, I took the Liquid apart. It seems like a clean design with good quality components. It is all surface mount which likely aids in lowering manufacturing cost. It has a black solder mask so almost nothing is visible as far as traces. While it has a number of ICs in it, there are tons of discrete components in there making any attempt at reverse engineering it hard.

I am not sure if it is worth doing a teardown at this point.....
Any pics? :D

I wonder if all their Massdrop-made stuff will be similar.
 

Headphonaholic

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#48
I'm pleased to hear it isn't poorly put together, definitely puts it above some other companies. So even if Massdrop has actually done some shady things they at least didn't sell a dangerous product.
 

restorer-john

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#50
The Liquid Carbon X is covered in semi "rubberized" paint which while feels nice, tend to show any dirt or dust. So keep a rag next to it if you want it to look good.
That stuff is evil. I've lost count of the number of 'soft touch' latex-like 'anti-slip' style mice, cameras, torches, keyboards, you-name-it stuff that gets destroyed when it goes sticky.

I have removed it from several Nikon cameras, a few Canons and even my Philips Philishave electric razor. A beard trimmer that got so sticky I threw it out, even after every chemical known to man wouldn't remove it.

Even IBM/Lenovo's old Stinkpads had that wretched coating over the magnesium shell and when it 'turned' you got it stuck under your nails.

Why on earth do they keep using it?
 

Wombat

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#51
That stuff is evil. I've lost count of the number of 'soft touch' latex-like 'anti-slip' style mice, cameras, torches, keyboards, you-name-it stuff that gets destroyed when it goes sticky.

I have removed it from several Nikon cameras, a few Canons and even my Philips Philishave electric razor. A beard trimmer that got so sticky I threw it out, even after every chemical known to man wouldn't remove it.

Even IBM/Lenovo's old Stinkpads had that wretched coating over the magnesium shell and when it 'turned' you got it stuck under your nails.

Why on earth do they keep using it?
Never had a problem in that regard. I am sane enough not to live in a stinking hot and humid tropical paradise, though. :rolleyes:

I don't purchase used electronic or photographic gear from Northern Australia, Too risky for me sight unseen.
 
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restorer-john

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#52
I am sane enough not to live in a stinking hot and humid tropical paradise, though.
I agree, it is very hot, but the scenery makes up for it...

wombat04.JPG


We live about here (red circle):

rj.JPG


That pic (not mine) was taken from Q1 (GC's tallest building)
 

Jimster480

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#53
Well... Can you do a frequency response test?
My friend has one of these amps and when we listened to it, every headphone became noticably bassier when using this amp specifically.
infact because of this we actually preferred it for specific songs where it brings the bass out more.
We tested it against my JDS O2, DX7, A30 and my friends Cayin Amp.
It would be interesting if you could test to see if it is doing anything to the response to create that bassier effect.
 

Wombat

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#54

Headphonaholic

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#56
Take a look here for some decent pictures. It does seem to resemble Hotblack Desiato's stuntship from HHGTG.
Ah there it is, that was the forum I stumbled upon that had nothing good to say about the CTH. Looks like Kevin Gilmore is on there and he of course recommends one of his amps... perhaps someone should get one and send it to Amir, would be interesting to see if his performs well.
 

Sythrix

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#57
Take a look here for some decent pictures. It does seem to resemble Hotblack Desiato's stuntship from HHGTG.
Thanks for sharing. I hope Massdrop isn’t universally prone to using cheap components. Do all their amps look like this inside?
 

Headphonaholic

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#58
Thanks for sharing. I hope Massdrop isn’t universally prone to using cheap components. Do all their amps look like this inside?
The CTH did. I'm honestly not sure what other amps they have had a hand in or produced other than the o2. I had seen someone on here say that the Massdrop o2 had Q/A issues but I haven't seen any photos. I actually own one and it at least sounds fine but I haven't actually opened it up.

They were also teaming up with Airist to produce that R2R dac that from what I've read is a blatant rip off of a design Soekris had made. Not sure if that too suffered from cheap components, I would probably guess yes. Gotta remember their goal is to drop the price on products and if they have a hand in the manufacturing they have a real interest in cheaping out. Not many people are scrutinizing the designs or performance so they can get away with it. Most people relying solely on what they hear may not realize that there is an issue with the products.
 

amirm

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#59
Take a look here for some decent pictures. It does seem to resemble Hotblack Desiato's stuntship from HHGTG.
That is what it looks like. As to their comments, the PCB is used as a heatsink. Its large area is utilized for that purpose. It is not as good as sinking to the whole case or large heatsinks but is cheaper.

They do derive negative voltage from positive and that is not as good as having an AC input and creating both normally that way.
 

Sythrix

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#60
They were also teaming up with Airist to produce that R2R dac that from what I've read is a blatant rip off of a design Soekris had made.
I think they honestly didn't know it was a ripoff and that Airist is to blame here... at least at first. Massdrop had already invested time and money into the project by the time this surfaced and decided to not back down or pull the drop without legal intervention... which I assume never came or would not come in time to stop the drop. I can understand from a business mentality, but of course it shows that Massdrop is not some startup company anymore. They've seen the glimmer of a full fledged corporation, and to the gist of a quote I can't really remember, nothing creates such a good excuse to do evil as a corporation. No one can be blamed personally and it's always "for the good of the company and shareholders".

On that note...

Gotta remember their goal is to drop the price on products and if they have a hand in the manufacturing they have a real interest in cheaping out.
You're probably right on this, although I'd imagine the original manufacturer has final say. I just hope there's a threshold, for the sake of the THX amp I ordered. Seeing those pictures and comments of unknown, cheap inputs (Hooya, ZWEE) etc has not filled me with confidence in my purchase...
 
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