We received many requests for a version of the Cavalli Liquid Carbon X (LCX) with the Grace Standard DAC (SDAC) inside.
Thank you! Turns out, this is an extremely versatile system. :)
The LCX+SDAC is all you need with your computer and headphones or in-ear-monitors (IEMs) to have a great musical experience.
And, this DAC/Amp combo can be used to test other gear (if you ever wish to):
-LCX+SDAC allows you to compare the internal DAC with an external DAC. The LCX can be fed from external sources (DACs, CD players, digital audio players).
-The LCX+SDAC can be used as a DAC into another amp. You may want to try a tube amp on top.
-Single-ended versus balanced operation…you can try your headphones and in-ear monitors on both outputs.
-The LCX+SDAC can accept single-ended or balanced DACs.
The LCX+SDAC is a very high-quality audiophile Swiss Army Knife for sound.
Topology - Quiet, Powerful
Alex Cavalli and I have had many conversations over the course of the past year about what makes the Liquid Carbon amplifier topology special.
The original purpose for the Liquid Carbon was to make a high-quality, low noise balanced IEM amp with a gain of 1x, with the additional features of having a gain of 3x and a single-ended output for convenience.
The LCX utilizes unity gain current feedback discrete operational amplifiers derived from the output buffers used in the highly-regarded Liquid Glass amplifier.
The Liquid Carbon’s balanced & bridged design rejects noise in the circuit, and can produce the clean power needed for both IEMs and headphones.
Grace Design Standard DAC (SDAC)
There are phase-splitters in the LCX that convert the SDAC signal into balanced.
I've done my own testing and can definitely tell a difference between the balanced and single-ended outputs with the SDAC.
Using Noble K10 IEMs with balanced cable (and adapter to 4-pin XLR), I can report that the Noble K10 balanced out of the LCX+SDAC is a great pairing...