Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)
Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)
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Product Description
Built from the ground up by Alex Cavalli, a legend in the world of headphone amps, this hybrid amp combines a solid state section, a tube amp section, and an entirely new circuit design. It delivers the current required by planar magnetics, along with the voltage drive that dynamic headphones need to perform their best ... Read More

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AveryC
1542
Marketing
Feb 15, 2018
Stickied
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Hi Everyone, The Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amps are on their way to our warehouse in New Jersey! Once they arrive they will go through receiving and quality control checks. We are on track to meet our estimated ship date of February 27. We are looking forward to everyone receiving the first production of the Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp!
Feb 15, 2018
EniGmA1987
493
Feb 16, 2018
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Are the Carbon X's also on the same boat since the ship date is basically the same?
Feb 16, 2018
CEE_TEE
3109
Collaborations
Aug 11, 2017
Stickied
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Oh boy... Where do I start?? The journey, the designer, or the amp?
As an enthusiast myself, the coolest thing at Massdrop is getting to work with and know the people who make our favorite stuff. I’ve had the privilege of being able to speak with and learn from Alex Cavalli over the past year while working on this new amp with him. I understand more about the design decisions in amplifiers and what’s possible given different goals and constraints. (Though Alex would probably half-joke that “it still isn’t much”.)
Entry-level End-game Amp? Is that a category?
This project started out as a conversation to take a community-favorite DIY amp engineered by a community-favorite designer and make it accessible at an entry-level pricepoint. But when the prototype arrived, it had been completely re-worked by Alex. In comparison to the original Compact Tube Hybrid, it was a whole new amp. Sticking to the original vision, we worked toward the most accessible pricepoint possible while keeping the high-end sound that Alex passed down from his more expensive and more powerful amps. The amp needed to be audiophile-approved, more affordable, and simple to use. It also deserved a nice chassis, one that has some room in it and some stackability…
I’m sure there will be a lot more discussion these next few weeks. We’re working with Alex to have some information for those interested regarding the differences between the Compact Tube Hybrid and the Cavalli Tube Hybrid. Alex happens to have some travel during the drop so we may have a Q&A session where we’ll collect questions and Alex will answer them during the second half of the drop.
This is an important step for Massdrop, it marks the evolution of our ability to work with the best partners and designers to bring you the best versions of products for our communities. Each one of these collaborations is the result of our coming together to keep growing and moving our hobby forward.
Thanks for your participation!
EDIT 8/12/17: Here is a link if you are interested in the differences between the original COMPACT Tube Hybrid and the new CAVALLI Tube Hybrid. https://www.massdrop.com/talk/2167/the-massdrop-x-alex-cavalli-tube-hybrid-in-with-the-new
Aug 11, 2017
pshanks01
36
Jun 1, 2019
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Good, that would give me more confidence.
Jun 1, 2019
bfitz
356
Jun 2, 2019
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I have never had any issues using the EH tube, it was just very easily seated and removed. The Matsushita, however required some effort on my part to get seated. I suspect that if I tried to lift the amp by the tube, the EH would just pull right out of the socket and the M would allow me to lift the amp off the stand it's on before it loosed from the socket. Something I am not willing to put to practice. I am glad for your reply though and will post pics of both tubes side by side for a visual comparison of their pins. If it does make any difference, the M is a Platinum grade, cryo treated tube. Not sure if that would be something to consider, in terms of how securely the tube is seated.
Jun 2, 2019
AlexCavalli
288
Cavalli Audio
Feb 24, 2018
Stickied
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Hey folks. Here's a post I made at headfi. In case it's useful.
I see that many of you have or are about get your CTHs. Since I happen to have Serial #00001 I thought I might make a few comments on break in. First, the amp sounds pretty good out of the box, at least to me. But, as we all know tubes take about 50 hours to clear out the impurities still clinging to the various internal parts and SS portions do need some time. I don't think it's necessary to do a marathon break in session for 10,000 hours before listening. My experience has been that after about 25 hours playing music the amp begins to take on its full character. And then after that it evolves into is inherent sound signature. For me, I was able to listen fairly happily even with no hours, noticing the changes at about 25 hours and then better over time. I still have less than 100 hours on the amp. YMMV some. I hope you all like it. It has a long history from a popular and very compact DIY project to a much more sophisticated amp.
Feb 24, 2018
Dogfaceriley
1
Nov 27, 2018
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Hello, Love the amp! Would listening to the hard to drive HE6 cans at moderate levels be likely to trip the protection circuitry of the amp and shut it down, or would the CTH amp be likely to run out of gain before moderate levels were reached? HE6 sensitivity 82db, The amp has no problem with my HE5 cans which are 87db sensitivity; terrific sounding as well.
Nov 27, 2018
AlexCavalli
288
Cavalli Audio
Nov 28, 2018
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The max output power is a little over 1W per channel. You might find this ok, but often not enough to satisfy with power sucking headphones like HE6.
Nov 28, 2018
GuitarStruck
12
Jul 19, 2019
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Is this amp significantly better than the Monolith Liquid Spark?
Jul 19, 2019
trodiem
2
Jul 12, 2019
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Does the 1W per channel at 50 ohm apply to both SE and XLR output?
Jul 12, 2019
Boozemun
1
Jun 21, 2019
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This amp has balanced outputs but no balanced inputs doesn't that defeat the purpose? I mean if you are only balanced at the end what about the signal path before that. Won't distortion be introduced.
(Edited)
Jun 21, 2019
trodiem
2
Jul 12, 2019
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Is there a power difference, or are they both 1W at 50ohm?
Jul 12, 2019
verifonix
597
Jul 13, 2019
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No power difference whatsoever on the CTH
Jul 13, 2019
47anLoken
3
Jun 11, 2019
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Anyone tried any of these 6C8G tubes? Purotron, Ken-Rad, National Union, Mullard (RCA), RCA VT-163  I was looking for Tung Sol but my tube guy only had these NOS tubes, but maybe any of these is just as good? They're all between $25-30.
Jun 11, 2019
Jakob
26
Jun 5, 2019
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Got a udac5 but just upgraded to the Topping dx7s... My question is, would this be any kind of upgrade amp wise to the Topping or pretty much a side grade?
Jun 5, 2019
Richerino
18
Jun 5, 2019
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How tall is the unit including the tube height?
Jun 5, 2019
Valkyyr
7
Jun 3, 2019
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Forgive me if I'm asking a dupe question, but is there a point to getting both this and the Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Liquid Carbon X Amp? Do they work in sequence or just two options for audio amplification?
Jun 3, 2019
verifonix
597
Jul 11, 2019
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there's really no point getting both. the liquid carbon is made for balanced, the CTH is made for tubey sound and is not really balanced (no xlr inputs).
(Edited)
Jul 11, 2019
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