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Review and Measurements of Cavalli Liquid Carbon X

Thomas savage

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#61

Sythrix

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#62
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.
Yes, and what better way to preserve already cheap components than by cooking the surface on which they reside. :rolleyes:

The extravagant expense of buying a few cheap heatsinks to get it up off the board... it seems likely to result in early product failure.
 

Thomas savage

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#63
Yes, and what better way to preserve already cheap components than by cooking the surface on which they reside. :rolleyes:

The extravagant expense of buying a few cheap heatsinks to get it up off the board... it seems likely to result in early product failure.
The good news is you now only have to leave it on for a week for it to sound it’s best.
 

restorer-john

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#64
Seeing those pictures and comments of unknown, cheap inputs (Hooya, ZWEE) etc has not filled me with confidence in my purchase...
Don't you know? They are much good quarity Chinee. We do the best golden sound for you! :)

So, where is dat tube hiding?

liquid carbon.JPG
 

Sythrix

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#65
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#66
Was this measured using balanced input and output? Completely skipping se is ideal for this amp.
 
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#67
I just tried this amp with my new HE6se. At a suitable volume (11 o'clock high gain), there is an overwhelming hiss and generally huge amounts of distortion.

What a disappointment.
 
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#71
That's odd then, Amir's measurements suggested it should do >1watt into 50 ohms before distortion rises, which should be reasonably loud for an HE6SE (53 ohm, 78dB/mW?). Faulty unit possibly?
That's not unlikely, it sounds broken.

I've been using it fine for months with my other headphones however.
 
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#72
Weird, I've no issues with my LCX. Despite the poor review here it has been a great sounding amp for what I paid used. Amir did use SE during his listening and maybe his actual tests though.. I've not enjoyed using the SE options on this amp.
 
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#73
Weird, I've no issues with my LCX. Despite the poor review here it has been a great sounding amp for what I paid used. Amir did use SE during his listening and maybe his actual tests though.. I've not enjoyed using the SE options on this amp.
I think driving HE6 is an extreme case, I never had an issue with my Elex/58x/K7xx/AD900x and not even with the hard to power HE560.
 
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#74
From what I can tell, one of the signatures of the original Liquid Carbon amps and Cavelli house sound is a slightly colored, tube-like sound that slightly emphasizes bass. That means distortion, it's why tube amps can be amazing and euphonic right? I don't understand why people would be chasing perfectly clean measurements on an amp like this. Like what were the expectations?
 

amirm

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#75
From what I can tell, one of the signatures of the original Liquid Carbon amps and Cavelli house sound is a slightly colored, tube-like sound that slightly emphasizes bass. That means distortion, it's why tube amps can be amazing and euphonic right? I don't understand why people would be chasing perfectly clean measurements on an amp like this. Like what were the expectations?
That is not what they advertise though:

1544139049375.png


Transparent to me is not tube sound. They go on to say:

1544139118228.png


Distortion-free is distortion-free. They can't have their cake and eat it too.

I think what you state is the subjective assessment people have about the amp. Unfortunately that is formed through unreliable, uncontrolled testing.
 
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#76
Yeah fair enough, I suppose if they market it as such they should deliver. I just think folks need to listen to an amp/dac/cans (understandably not always easy to do) before judging if they sound like crap. Not to say you don't perform a great service, because you do and measurements definitely play a role... especially when companies try to mislead folks with fake specs and marketing mumbo-jumbo. But subjectivity is the name of the game when it comes to audio and our individual preferences - that's my take at least.
 

Jimster480

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#77
Yeah fair enough, I suppose if they market it as such they should deliver. I just think folks need to listen to an amp/dac/cans (understandably not always easy to do) before judging if they sound like crap. Not to say you don't perform a great service, because you do and measurements definitely play a role... especially when companies try to mislead folks with fake specs and marketing mumbo-jumbo. But subjectivity is the name of the game when it comes to audio and our individual preferences - that's my take at least.
Its not really, you can be subjective all you want but the reality is that its mostly just sighted bias based on what you read on forums like headfi.
Meaning that most of it is in your head.

There are devices that sound better than other devices. And not all amps and DAC's are created equal as we see on this forum.
But something that this forum does show is typically how it would sound.
As a person who tested quite a bit of gear as objectively as I could without using an actual analyzer I have to say that alot of my findings are the same findings as this forum has found.
The one thing that doesn't agree with the measurements, is this specific amp. Just because every headphone we plugged into this amp had a warmer sound vs other amps. And Amir's results didn't show a difference in frequency response.
I would like if it he was able to do more testing and maybe come to the bottom of this difference, but alas the measurements he posts are indicative of the actual fidelity you will get despite "what you think" about it.
You cannot hear details that aren't there, but you might try to listen harder and hear details you haven't heard before.
This has happened to me before, which is why every time I did hear new details; I would go back to other gear and listen for the same details to confirm if one device was better than another device.
Many times I heard the same detail on the other unit once I started listening for it specifically.
 

maxxevv

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#78
If I read @solderdude 's interpretation correctly, he suggests that a lot of how we perceive of a sound signature is not just in the frequency response curve but also in the impulse response as well as decay rate of the signals from these sub-systems. Which makes sense, as else, how does one explain obvious audio cues such as sibilance and often subtle "stage depth" scientifically ? I can't fathom how it can be done from from a frequency response chart though ?

So, perhaps the audio science community should develop test methodologies that would allow the objective assessment of these parameters too ?
 

Jimster480

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#79
If I read @solderdude 's interpretation correctly, he suggests that a lot of how we perceive of a sound signature is not just in the frequency response curve but also in the impulse response as well as decay rate of the signals from these sub-systems. Which makes sense, as else, how does one explain obvious audio cues such as sibilance and often subtle "stage depth" scientifically ? I can't fathom how it can be done from from a frequency response chart though ?

So, perhaps the audio science community should develop test methodologies that would allow the objective assessment of these parameters too ?
That actually makes alot of sense.
We should try to develop these sorts of tests here, just like Amir developed his linearity test.
Considering that we are so measurement focused, we should try to explore these differences to show which amps are "warmer" or have more "depth" than others.

When I listened to the SoundAware P1 it sounded "nice" but everything was different. And I cannot really describe why it sounds the way it did. I tried it with various headphones and had the same results.
Amir hasn't tested it here but its another amp that I would love to see tested just due to how different of an experience I had with it. It sounded nothing like any other Amp I have heard before.
 

Urbs

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#80
Its not really, you can be subjective all you want but the reality is that its mostly just sighted bias based on what you read on forums like headfi.
Meaning that most of it is in your head.

There are devices that sound better than other devices. And not all amps and DAC's are created equal as we see on this forum.
But something that this forum does show is typically how it would sound.
As a person who tested quite a bit of gear as objectively as I could without using an actual analyzer I have to say that alot of my findings are the same findings as this forum has found.
The one thing that doesn't agree with the measurements, is this specific amp. Just because every headphone we plugged into this amp had a warmer sound vs other amps. And Amir's results didn't show a difference in frequency response.
I would like if it he was able to do more testing and maybe come to the bottom of this difference, but alas the measurements he posts are indicative of the actual fidelity you will get despite "what you think" about it.
You cannot hear details that aren't there, but you might try to listen harder and hear details you haven't heard before.
This has happened to me before, which is why every time I did hear new details; I would go back to other gear and listen for the same details to confirm if one device was better than another device.
Many times I heard the same detail on the other unit once I started listening for it specifically.
You must be the James Randi of audiophiles (that's not a bad thing). But if it's all bias and "in our head" and objective measurements tell the whole story, we'd all be using the same headphones, no eq and good tube amps wouldn't be so sought after. I think as someone who tested quite a bit of gear as objectively as you could, you may have just wanted your findings to be the same as this forums - that would be biased. You're probably mostly right in regards to DACs and SS amps though. I'm just saying on a whole, the experience of listening to and enjoying music is highly subjective and these preferences don't necessarily match up with better measurements.
 
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