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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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ld100
191
Dec 12, 2022
Is this one ever coming back? What is going on with the Drop?
longedude
0
Sep 15, 2022
am i supposed to unplug the unit when I'm done using it for the day? the power button only seems to turn off the SS portion, but not the tube preamp (it's still lit)
allsmilesb
106
Apr 1, 2022
HEY DROP, PEOPLE ARE BUYING YOUR SECOND HAND DROP AMPS AND DROP DACS YOU DON'T MAKE ANYMORE. HEY JUST A THOUGHT MAYBE MAKE SOME NEW DROP AMPS AND DROP DACS PLEASE. LOL MY 789 SEEMS LONELY AND NEEDS A MATCHING DROP DAC TO GO WITH IT.
sdings
1
Jul 30, 2021
is this coming back in stock?
jontan
0
Aug 18, 2021
Yes it is. How can I contact you privately?
linsen1515
0
Oct 11, 2021
You can add my instagram linsen15 and we can dm there
Ambientdreamer
59
Feb 12, 2021
love this amp and my Hifiman Ananda's. I upgraded tube and headphone cable and the soundstage is amazing. My music has never sounded so good.
NWcherokee
8
Jan 30, 2021
I am getting static from mute through about 1:00 on the volume knob and then again close to full volume. Any ideas on what I should try to fix this?
Out of the current production stuff, the JJs are about the best in my opinion. All of the Russian variants tend to be very clean sounding, but much brighter. Great for classical strings, but a bit harsh for electronica with high frequency sounds. I'm currently running NOS Siemens made in 1954 West Germany. Lucked out and found 5 of them for $75, with 4 of them being a matched quad. They're a bit less heavy on the bottom end than the JJ, and a bit less painful on the Treble than all the Russian tubes. Pretty balanced sounding overall.
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They're pretty nice sounding, but I'm likely going to switch back to the JJs just because of preference. NOS Tesla 6DJ8/ECC88/E88CC are also pretty awesome, but JJ is making tubes on the old Tesla gear so paying the price for NOS doesn't make too much sense when you can get new production built almost 1:1 with the old stuff. You can try the 5670/2C51/396A with an adapter for taking 5670 to 6922, and they work very nice. The NOS GE 5670W will be cold and analytical sounding, but stupid easy to come by for the cheap (I've bought 20 from this vendor, and they've all been same batch, clean and balanced). They're pretty much electrically the same as the 6922, just with a different pin-out and much more rugged design.
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I find the 5670W to be pretty good for tube amp gaming. If you can score a NOS Tungstram, Amperex, or GE 6DJ8/E88CC/ECC88/6922 for a good price (less than 50), they're also highly recommended. The biggest problem with most of the popular varieties of NOS is the cost. Edit: Yeah, I do find that I use my LCX a lot with planar cans. It needs a bit of warm-up (15-30 minutes) before it sounds the best, but it does absolutely wonderful things with my Hifiman, Fostex, and Dan Clark cans. I also find it to work pretty well with my Beyer T1.2, but I've got a strong <3 for those cans on pretty much any amp that can drive them properly. If you get the urge to turn those HD6xx up to 11, consider nabbing something like the xDuoo TA-03s. Won't work with the planar cans very well as it is OTL, but holy crap it makes high Ω cans like the 6xx and 58x do some amazing stuff with the bottom end. I very much <3 the 6C19P drivers it uses. Just gotta make sure you swap those stock tubes out, especially the drivers. The Chinese 6C19 are microphonic and best replaced with Russian 6C19P-EV or 6C19P-V. Picture below is with the EV.
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Another one to keep an eye out for is the Gemtune PA1502A APPJ, which rocks a 12AX7 and a pair of 6V6. You can swap the 6V6 out with 6L6 and experience some of the better big bottle sounds. Has absolutely some of the best tube rolling potential for sub $300 price. Best yet, it is compatible with just about every set of headphones I've tried on it, as well as a few IEM. Some examples of it rolled:
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(Edited)
kent10ou
1
Sep 17, 2021
Thanks for the suggestion! I also bought the JJ E88CC and it fixed my static issues as well. Not sure if I'm hearing any differences, but it does seem brighter than the stock tube. Hopefully it'll sound better when it settles after the burn in
mdsub
28
Jan 16, 2021
Can I use a 5670 tube on CTH (with an adaptor)? According to this article, probably yes: https://ifi-audio.com/faqs/how-is-the-ge5670-compatible-with-the-6922/
(Edited)
mdsub100% yes. I've run my CTH like that off and on since I bought it in June of 2019. The 5670W (or 6N3P-EV) are excellent tubes (with adapter) in pretty much any position designed for 6DJ8/6922. Got a picture of a 5670W in action in my review of the CTH+SDAC.
(Edited)
mdsub
28
Feb 5, 2021
FayneThanks!
adog_beer92
5
Jan 4, 2021
Hey everyone. I've had this amp for about 6 months now, and I started noticing that the noise floor has gradually worsensed. It's particularly loud when the volume knob is all the way in either direction, but the noise decreases when the volume knob is in the middle position. Anyone have an idea what's happening?
adog_beer92Not a 100% fix, but if you haven't rolled the 6922 tube, you might want to try. Tubes have a finite lifespan, not unlike old incandescent light bulbs. At some point, they will fail, the question is just when. That said, 6 months isn't many hours in the grand scheme of things (~4,250 if left on 24/7), and most 6922/6DJ8 valves should be good for at least 5,000 hours (likely more like 10,000), but you never know if you've got a dud. Something like a JJ can be had for cheap, and to my ear sounds great compared to the stock EH. Genalex is much more expensive, but also sounds pretty awesome. Personally I'd try with the cheaper tube first, no point in wasting money if the problem is elsewhere.
(Edited)
NWcherokee
8
Feb 1, 2021
FayneGiving this a shot myself.
KLee-327
1
Dec 28, 2020
I have been using the CTH with my Shure 846. There is a definite hiss on the left channel. No problem when I use the 846 with other sources or the CTH with my Senn 6XX. From prior posts, there are mixed opinions on whether this is due to a poor match between the CTH and IEMs, a problem with the tubes, or something else. Has anyone found a fix?
KLee-327Pretty much any ultra-sensitive earphone or IEM will have similar problems. Lots of background noise and hum. Or at least has this has been what I've seen with my CTH. For example the Meze 99 is very unhappy on my CTH, and the only IEM I've been able to use on it without major noise is the Pinnacle PX. I've rolled my 6922 tubes numerous times and found the same. Current production EH, JJ, Genalex, all the same levels of noise. Even NOS JAN Sylvania and JAN GE had the same problems. Also the same problems with JAN GE 5670W (with adapter to 6922). It is not the tubes. You might be able to use one of the iFi iEMatch types of things as they're designed to allow sensitive cans and IEM work on devices that are noisy. I don't personally have one as I've got enough cans and amps to allow me to work around this problem, so YMMV.
(Edited)
KLee-327
1
Jan 5, 2021
FayneHi Fayne, thanks very much for the advice and suggestions. I had thought it might have been my cable or a loose connection but I think those are not the issues. I guess I will just stay with the Senn with the amp. Thanks again for your help.
Jarvin
2
Dec 8, 2020
Will this be permanently out of stock?
TheWildVon
0
Dec 27, 2020
JarvinI hope not, I've been looking to get the CTH for a while and the moment I finally have the money to buy it its out of stock
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