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I have the Alex Cavalli tube hybrid, Arist audio R-2R DAC, and Hifiman HE4 XX & sennheiser HD6xx.
Do I hunt around for this 789 or wait till it Drops or get the amp that is available now you can reccomend.
Do I need one at all?
RDAC has low linearity and high distortion, as it is not made for objective purposes in mind. Definitely not a match for the 789 headamp. However, it can be a good pairing with the CTH amp IMO.
Ok so I am new to this even though I have a basic understanding. I don't need another amp. The CTH & the R-2R ARE JUST FINE TOGETHER?
Yes. Both products are one of the best in their price range in terms of (subjective) sonic performance, but don't necessarily would perform well in measurements. The 789 amp however really excels in every objective measurements, sonically the jury is still out there since nobody hasn't got their hands on it yet.
So both amps will work together? And what would you reccomend if I could match up with what I have already.
Out of the combinations of amps and dacs we have in the office, RDAC -> 789 is my favorite combination, listening to it right now.
How do you have this wired?
Computer --USB--> R2R DAC --RCA--> 789 --> headphones?
I've got the 58x FWIW so am wondering if this is a good combo
So if I add the 789 to the CTH and the RDAC. WILL IT WORK TOGETHER ?
Yup, you'd do RDAC to CTH to THX (via the pass-through on the back of the CTH)
Yep, that's the signal chain, and I've been enjoying that combination with 58X a lot.
If i'm not mistaken, the CTH doesn't have a passthrough... the LCX has a passthrough but requires the LCX to be on.
Hah you're right, that's my mistake, its using the passthrough on the THX to the CTH. My stack actually goes rdac to thx to lcx (passthrough) to cth.
Thanks Will. Does the THX require you to turn it on for the passthrough to work?
With the LCX, the passthrough is HORRENDOUS until the unit is turned on. I'm hoping the THX doesn't have this "feature"...
Checked and the pass through on the LCX is worse when it's off, but I'm not experiencing the same thing with the THX.
My LCX passes through to the CTH and my THX passes through to the LCX.
THX off, LCX sounds good. THX off, LCX on, CTH sounds good. THX on, LCX off, CTH sounds bad, but here's the weird thing, I'm noticing something in the THX sound when it's connected to a powered off LCX.
Now granted, the units on my desk are all mostly pre-production prototypes from various stages of development, but it definitely seems like my LCX is putting out something strange. I'll ask our team to investigate.
Thanks for the update. I remember reading that the LCX shorts out the passthrough when the unit is off, which is why sound is horrible with passthrough when the unit is off.
It's good to know the THX is't experiencing the same issues. WHat I may do now is Source > Y-Splitter > CTH / THX > THX to LCX
Got the update from the team, this issue impacted a small number of units in the first production run. You can reach out to support via your transactions page and attached a screen shot of this exchange.
I have an early first production LCX connected to my CTH through passthrough and CTH sound is also degraded when LCX is off. From your response, I assume this is a defect and fixed with later produced LCXs. So if I contact support, will they offer to replace LCX with a newer model? Thanks
Sorry for a dumb question, guys, but how do I go about enabling the passthrough on my LCX (stand alone - no integrated DAC) to my CTH? I know how to physically hook these up, of course, but I assume that my DAC (external D50 feeding single ended input to LCX) isn't actually simultaneously driving both amps, right? Is there a way to instruct the LCX as to which unit should be using the DAC?
Also, I am getting a balanced DAC which I will be connecting to my LCX. Will the pass through out on the RCA connections still work, or will they only work with the SE inputs?
Your DAC should simultaneously feed both LCX and CTH while connected by passthrough. You cannot designate which AMP should be using the DAC outside of powering off one of the two. As noted previously, you may still want to power on the LCX while using CTH if you are getting degraded sound.
Another user commented the RCA passthrough on LCX will not work if connected to a balanced DAC by XLR. I guess you could also input the nonbalanced DAC to SE input on LCX to passthrough to CTH, and you could select your source DAC on LCX. That way both DACs are connected and you could switch between the two to compare on LCX, but only nonbalanced DAC will work on CTH.
If your balanced DAC has an unbalanced output, you may be able to connect that directly to the CTH (in addition to the LCX by XLR). I'm not sure if the Grace balanced DAC will do both at the same time for example.
Hope that helps.
Great help - thank you! I will try this out with my single ended DAC.
A follow up question... If both LCX and CTH are connected by the pass through, then I can listen to both? If that is the case, does the audio quality suffer?
Yep. I'm doing it now. I cannot detect a difference in quality when both playing at the same time at normal listening levels. It is also convenient to A/B compare different headphones combinations with the two amps.
Awesome! I was afraid because it might be like plugging in multiple headphones into the balanced and single ended ports of an amp... everyone talks about that like crossing the Ghostbusters proton pack beams...
I am using my SDAC to feed my CTH and LCX stack. I tried to connect my CTH to SDAC by stereo to RCA cable and LCX to SDAC by RCA interconnect cable, so I could play my CTH without the LCX turned on (i.e., I didn't use the passthrough connection). As you know, the SDAC is able to play both outputs simultaneously.
Interestingly, the CTH sound was still distorted when the LCX was off. Turning on the LCX fixes the sound in CTH. The problem persists if switching the connections. Unplugging the LCX from the DAC also fixes the problem. So this problem is not due to the passthrough connection. The LCX must be causing some interference in the SDAC through the RCA input when off.
Did this work for you? I tried connecting both LCX and CTH directly to my SDAC. I still get interference if the LCX is connected anywhere in the chain and it is powered off. I would hate to exchange my LCX if the problem isn't truely fixed in newer models. Thanks
This sounds like the same problem we've heard from a couple folks from an earlier production run. Best to contact support through your transactions page.
Will, I contacted support and they sent me a replacement LCX unit. Unfortunately, the pass through is still distorting when the LCX is powered off. So it doesn't look to be fixed. Now, my original unit's serial was #279 and they sent me #491. I don't know if this is refurbished. I would have thought a new unit would have a higher serial number by now. Can you confirm with your team when this was fixed?
Hey thanks for your patience and getting back to us on this. I'll share your post with our team.
Thanks Will. Did you hear back from you team in regards to LCX's pass through issue? My replacement unit still has the same problem.