Massdrop CTH + SDAC DAC/Amp
Massdrop CTH + SDAC DAC/Amp
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Product Description
The Massdrop CTH + SDAC DAC/amp brings two of the community’s favorite designers together in one affordable, easy-to-use package. It features the Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (or CTH), built from the ground up by the founder of Cavalli Audio—a legend in the world of headphone amps ... Read More

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Solderboy23
132
May 6, 2019
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Do the RCA inputs on the back of the unit act as an output as well in case someone wanted to use just the DAC section of the unit into another amp?
May 6, 2019
Aardonnad
0
May 5, 2019
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Can this unit be used with speakers?
May 5, 2019
e-Dawg
7
Apr 20, 2019
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Mine died with less than four months of use. No warranty means no more Massdrop for me.
Apr 20, 2019
e-Dawg
7
Apr 22, 2019
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I want to update my comment as Massdrop does warranty this product and have been very helpful in replacing it. Very much appreciated.
Apr 22, 2019
sir-spaghet
1
Apr 10, 2019
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I've got the sennheiser hd700 and I was wondering if this is going to be suitable for those headphones. I game too so how do they sound in games
Apr 10, 2019
rastus
671
May 2, 2019
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I have run my HD700's with an Aune T1, so can only think the CTH is a step up from all I see; do get a nice nos tube though.
May 2, 2019
curleyfrei
87
Mar 25, 2019
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Just got mine last week (loving it so far!) but I have a question: I see my serial # as 0015... Did I get sump'n special? Or is that just a low number of this run?
Mar 25, 2019
Xombul
0
Mar 16, 2019
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Even if the amplifier-dac concept sounds interesting, the connectivity is really too basic. Toslink and Coax inputs are missing. Maybe for the next drop?
Mar 16, 2019
CCD1
1
Mar 15, 2019
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Question about input button - the instruction state that extending the button connect the amp to the internal SDAC. When I extend the button, I get no sound. Pushing the button in, I do get sound. The PC speaker setting says SDAC. Is there a problem???
Mar 15, 2019
mburger
1
Mar 27, 2019
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I have the same issue.
Mar 27, 2019
Lipidsanek
24
Mar 14, 2019
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Purchased a cheap JJ electronics tube to replace the Electro Harmonix one that comes with the amp, noticing a huge improvement in clarity. Honestly the stock tube is expensive and crap, if anyone is suffering from ringing noises it's time to replace the tube (I got ringing after only 2 months of using the amp). Anything from $20-50 will perform solidly. Finding this to be an amazing amp paired with some good closed back headphones, don't like it so much with open cans.
Mar 14, 2019
ObiWanQuixote
8
Mar 14, 2019
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How does this compare to the Grace m9xx? Pairing with HD 800S and maybe AKG k7xx?
Mar 14, 2019
86kg
0
Mar 13, 2019
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I've got a problem with the SDAC that may not be the SDAC, and perhaps someone can help with.
In some states (the vast majority) of the computer driving the DAC, an approx 1kHz tone can be heard, changing/closing apps can affect whether the tone is on or off. One would then say, "hey, it's the computer" but when I switch to a different DAC, no tone, ever. I've also tried switching USB and audio cables with not change in the condition. Makes no difference if the headphone amp is on or off.
anyone else experience this?
Thanks.
Mar 13, 2019
andyo
40
Mar 15, 2019
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Most likely it is the tube picking up EMI from your comp. This is usually tube micrphonics, which is a characteristics of cheaper tubes. I suggest geting a higher quality low microphonic 6922/ECC88 tube, like Sylvania, Genalex Gold Lion. You can chose low microphonic tube by paying extra a couple of bucks.
Mar 15, 2019
86kg
0
Mar 20, 2019
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Good thought, but that's not it. The noise is from the computer, it occurs when the amp is not on and with the power supply working and the DAC on USB power. It appears the SDAC has "bad isolation" on such noises (phrase used by others, I don't claim it's technically accurate). As noted, other USB dac's do not pass this noise on through to the analog audio outputs.
Mar 20, 2019
Tham
2
Mar 6, 2019
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Is it possible to replace the original tube with another tube type to get a different sound signature? If yes, what other tube you can use on this AMP?
Mar 6, 2019
dding
1
Mar 6, 2019
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I think I saw similar concerns somewhere on the discussion threads, but I am getting an almost unbearable noise floor, sounds like static, soft but so high pitched it gives me a headache. I was wondering if anyone else has this issue. I used the 6xxs and the hifiman 4xx and they both exhibit this problem. I even changed out a new tube. No dice. I do not have routers on my table, but only a DAC and a laptop (which i also tried moving away to no avail). Is this a faulty unit?
Mar 6, 2019
Liatnjoo2019
5
Feb 23, 2019
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Hi Does anyone know what cable is used in this set up..? Thx...
Feb 23, 2019
adtrisno
26
Feb 26, 2019
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Word of warning, the plugs to the headphone are REALLY long. It sticks out about 5cm for the Hifiman and the Sennheiser. I have a big head so it's not really a problem but it might be for some though. And they don't properly fit on most stands...
Feb 26, 2019
Liatnjoo2019
5
Feb 26, 2019
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Good to know thx...
Feb 26, 2019
Bmxant
74
Feb 20, 2019
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The CTH sounded fantastic with my X00 Ebony's when I had it, but I couldn't deal with the channel imbalance. If they added a gain switch I'd consider getting this.
Feb 20, 2019
Tsiklon
65
Feb 17, 2019
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Quick question about the Power Supply - In the photo in the listing it's a large wall wart with a US only plug. I'm in the UK, is this the only model shipped or is there a power brick like that shipped with the LCX+SDAC? Thanks
Feb 17, 2019
dwang040
147
Feb 17, 2019
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Clicking on "Join Drop," there isn't the option to choose what power supply variant you need (usually if the model has multiple socket types, it'll let you know "at checkout, choose between US plug, UK plug, etc"), so my solution would be to contact Massdrop and see if they can ship you this with a UK plug, either that or you'll have to buy a UK plug elsewhere.
(Edited)
Feb 17, 2019
Tsiklon
65
Feb 17, 2019
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Thanks - I'll see if i can contact them about this
Feb 17, 2019
yqliang
24
Jan 23, 2019
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Has anyone had experience with this amp and the Liquid Carbon with HD600 and Hifiman HE 560v2? Which one is the better one to pair with these headphones?
Jan 23, 2019
WhySoSerious
18
Jan 22, 2019
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Hey guys Does anyone of you have the same problem where sometimes you stop getting any sound through the headphones? The source won't switch to another output as if it's unplugged. It doesn't matter if I use my phone or my laptop. Disconnecting and reconnecting solves the issue. It's just really inconvenient. Do you have any idea how to solve this?
Jan 22, 2019
TheGoatEater
48
Jan 23, 2019
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I definitely have been having this issue - from something as simple as taking off headphones or putting them on without touching anything else. Here is is winter and fairly dry so IDK if this is one of the causes, just noticing it this winter and never had the issue before
Jan 23, 2019
SRBakker
18
Jan 21, 2019
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(Maybe a stupid question but...) It appears there's a 3.5mm output. Does this bypass the amp if I wanted to also use is as a DAC/preamp for powered speakers? I'm trying to finesse my work desktop setup a bit and this might fit the bill.
Jan 21, 2019
TokenTabs
0
Feb 14, 2019
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The 3.5mm jack on the back is directly connected to the DAC and bypasses the amp entirely. It functions fully without the amp being powered on or plugged in, as it is powered entirely by the USB port. So, if you have anything connected to the rear 3.5mm jack (like your preamp) it is heavily biased towards that even if the internal amp is also connected - the front input selector only disconnects the amp from the DAC; it doesn't switch output to it from the rear. This means that as long as you don't mind disconnecting the rear 3.5mm jack when you want to use the amp with your headphones, this should fit you perfectly. Don't try to run the unit with the 3.5mm connected at the rear and headphones connected to the front with the amp enabled; this puts extra strain on both sides of the unit (the SDAC and the amp) and could easily cause damage.
Feb 14, 2019
1adam12stm
0
Jan 15, 2019
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Could someone give a Novice a hand? What's the difference between this (CTH+SDAC/AMP) and the Liquid Carbon X+SDAC DAC/AMP?
Jan 15, 2019
Evshrug
1074
Jan 19, 2019
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Tube Hybrid versus a fully Solid State amp design. The Liquid Carbon X will objectively perform better, and have a neutral character that sounds good with anything you plug into it... I have one of the original Liquid Carbons (serial number 47, if I remember right), and it’s still one of my favorite amps, a “deserted island 🌴 (with electricity) pick.” The Tube Hybrid will be a tiny bit lower performance “on paper,” and you may hear weird squelches if your phone is nearby and you get a text, but it will deliver an emotional experience in spades, plus you can hold off the temptation to buy a whole new amp later because just changing the tube in this amp will affect the character and tone. The tube type in the CTH is widely compatible with many other types; the one included is a durable, long lasting spec version that will give you many thousands of listening hours before it burns out (I haven’t burned out a tube yet). Either one is a great choice.
(Edited)
Jan 19, 2019
MusicBear
2
Jan 13, 2019
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anyone got something similar to recommend? looking with preamp funcction
Jan 13, 2019
e-Dawg
7
Jan 12, 2019
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Has anyone had luck using their iPhone via the camera adapter usb connection? I could not get a signal. Hooked it up to my MacBook Pro and no issue. I couldn't locate SDAC on my iPhone. Using Tidal as streaming service and couldn't find SDAC under that either. WOuld be great to be able to use my phone as I have this AMP bedside. Thanks a bunch! btw... nubie here...
Jan 12, 2019
e-Dawg
7
Apr 20, 2019
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Thank you for your reply. I have not and assumed from other posts that products weren't supported. I will contact them and see what they can do for me.
Apr 20, 2019
e-Dawg
7
Apr 22, 2019
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Thanks Redbaaron for the assist. Turns out Massdrop does warranty this and have been super helpful in replacing it. My faith has been restored.
Apr 22, 2019
Jupiter78
3
Jan 8, 2019
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This or Darkvoice as tube combo with Fostex HPA4BL or solo driving 6xx, 58x and Purpleheart. Potentially also some planar in future ?
Jan 8, 2019
wolf-math
43
Jan 4, 2019
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"It’s quiet enough for sensitive headphones like the Massdrop x Fostex TH-X00 ..." I get a constant hiss with my TR-X00's. Strangely, the hiss goes away as I turn up the volume (no music playing). I do not hear this hiss with the HD-6XX or the HE-4XX.
Jan 4, 2019
Helpbot
143
Jan 10, 2019
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not to assume ignorance, but maybe try finessing the tube? I had hiss of my MD+ (understandably so) but it went away after just pushing in the tube even more than I thought it could go. Never experience it with anything else though...
Jan 10, 2019
wolf-math
43
Jan 10, 2019
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Thanks for the reply. Just checked, the tube is plenty secure. My only hypothesis is that the amp is just too powerful for the TR-X00. It sounds great with the 4XX and the 6XX though.
Jan 10, 2019
solgoodguy
59
Jan 2, 2019
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After several months of use my unit developed a really loud noise floor when any headphone is plugged in. Has anyone else experienced this?
Jan 2, 2019
solgoodguy
59
Jan 19, 2019
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Thanks for the response. I usually turn my unit off. I don't have much wireless gear around it. I'll go hunt for the warranty card then. Shame that this happened on the unit. I really liked mine too.
Jan 19, 2019
Evshrug
1074
Jan 20, 2019
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Companies and tube amp guys fix issues like that all the time! It’ll probably be really easy for the service department to fix it (I wonder who builds the Cavalli designs for Massdrop?), and if not I’m sure there are tons of great DIY suggestions on sites like Headfi.org
Jan 20, 2019
Oddbot
0
Dec 27, 2018
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Can anyone confirm that the power supply can be used with an adapter plug in the uk? Thanks.
Dec 27, 2018
TokenTabs
0
Feb 14, 2019
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It absolutely can. The included US-plug power supply is universal and can work with any voltage range from 100 to 250v AC at 50-60Hz. Just make sure you only get a passive adapter to convert the socket type, and not a converter that downsteps the voltage; those will introduce a lot of noise and unduly strain the dac/amp, not to mention they waste energy converting the voltage when the included adapter works properly with UK mains voltage. I purchased this one from amazon and it is perfect. It's more expensive than other generic adapters since it complies with UK safety regulations. My only suggestion would be to change the fuse from 13A to 3A if this is the only thing that'll be connected to it.
Feb 14, 2019
Artismo
118
Dec 26, 2018
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Got a scratchy volume pot when changing volumes (causes protection circuit to kick in sometimes) even though all my electronics (DAC, computer, amp, linear power supply) share a common ground and I’m using a linear power supply Anyone experience this?
Dec 26, 2018
Artismo
118
Jan 19, 2019
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I didn’t think tube rolling would fix it because I was sure it was the potentiometer, but here I am. Another user suggested I give it a roll, so I bought matched sections because I like even sound through my HPs. It’s great. I use Vokshods in my TA-02 and I never went back to anything else, not even Mullards or the GE mil-spec. I use them only when I get bored. I keep my TA-02 near my bed or drag it to the living room, I keep my CTH desk bound. But late at night, I creep over to my CTH sometimes because the sound is damn sweet.
Jan 19, 2019
Helpbot
143
Jan 19, 2019
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That feeling of debating whether to turn it off knowing you might come back and listen..
Jan 19, 2019
CSkloma
0
Dec 25, 2018
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Would I be able to use this with a Sony pshx-500 turntable to play music through headphones? 
Dec 25, 2018
djfpforever
3
Jan 10, 2019
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Yes. You can connect the analog line out from pshx-500 directly to the analog line in on the CTH via analog L/R cable. Alternately, you could switch the pshx-500 to phono out, and could add a separate phono pre-amp between it and the CTH.
Jan 10, 2019
jm090
203
Dec 25, 2018
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Has anyone used this Amp with Planars? specifically wondering if these will pair better with my MK2 Argon's then a Schiit Stack. I really want an amp that will open up my HD600s because they sound average on the Schiit stack, and i know how well the Senns sound on an OTL amp, but looking to see if this might be a meet in the middle amp for both cans. 1W out at 50ohms is a nice start..
Dec 25, 2018
JayBizz
0
Dec 25, 2018
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I am having distorted sound at 12 o’clock position. Driving the utopias at 80ohms and I can’t pass the 12 o’clock. Not happy at all.
Dec 25, 2018
JayBizz
0
Dec 25, 2018
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I am not impressed so far. The Darkvoice Se with upgraded tubes are sounding way way better. Will try a better tube this week.
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Dec 25, 2018
jm090
203
Dec 25, 2018
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what headphones are you pairing it with? I am just asking because the darkvoice paired with some high impedance/low sensitivity headphones is just a magical sound, but the darkvoice is worthless for low impedance cans.
(Edited)
Dec 25, 2018
JayBizz
0
Dec 25, 2018
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hi there. Yes, for low impedance the Darkvoice isn’t the best, otherwise is just great, I can’t believe how good it actually is. My main hps are the utopias and Denon D7000. The mass drop CTH amp is just not powerful enough for the utopias. For other cans is ok.... my Dac is a Chord 2qute. Cheers
Dec 25, 2018
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