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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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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
7
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
33
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)
100% 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
33
Feb 5, 2021
Thanks!
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?
Not 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
7
Feb 1, 2021
Giving 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?
Pretty 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
Hi 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
I 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
Drue
235
Dec 4, 2020
I recently picked up a Cavalli Tube hybrid amp to complement my THX 789. I use a SMSL M300 MKII dac which I run XLR into the back of my 789 and I run SE into the CTH. If I try to use the CTH with the THX 789 turned off it sounds terrible. I'm talking complete distortion and crackling, but the second I turn the power back on the 789 everything goes back to normal. If I plug in my CTH into the dac without the 789 plugged in everything sounds perfect as well. I wanted to ask for any ideas on what is going on since this is beyond my pay grade and I'd really like to keep them both plugged in so I can A/B, but I really don't want to keep my THX789 turned on just to listen to the CTH on its own. Thanks!
Drue
235
Feb 11, 2021
No I don't use the bypass since it is just extra cables. I run SE out of dac to CTH and balanced out of dac to 789. I've tried every combination possible and no matter what I do I can't run the 789 balanced and the CTH SE unless I keep the 789 turned on. My dac just doesn't like it. The only way I can get it to work perfectly if I go full SE using the 789 passthrough. Also If you're asking if I use the headphone port on the front of the 789 to the CTH that is a no lmao.
(Edited)
Alex_May
163
Feb 12, 2021
One thing I know for sure is that I don't have that problem with my SMSL SU-9 which is connected via XLR to the 789 and SE RCA to the CTH simultaneously. Both amps work as a charm whether or not one of them is on or off. So I'd agree with you that the problem lies within your particular SMSL M300 and is definitely not attributed to the 789 whatsoever. Unfortunately, I don't have an opportunity to test an M300 to see if this is a common fault for the whole lineage or just your particular DAC. Anyways, all the best with your audio experience!
(Edited)
JonnyModena
211
Nov 26, 2020
Stock tube failed in 2 months, assuming it’s the tube and not the amp giving me issues. SMH. At $175, sound wise, this amp is a steal. Pairs amazingly well with the Ananda. A little bright way up top, but manageable. Problem is the stock tube went bad already - I purchased this amp in September 2020. Now I have a ton of white noise in my right channel, no matter which headphones I use. If I touch the tube I hear ringing in my right channel only. Reached out to Drop last week about it and they responded within a few days offering to exchange it for a new one or issue a refund. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
(Edited)
Evshrug
2420
Dec 22, 2020
Luckily it’s probably just the tube part... maybe time to experiment with some 6DJ8, 6922, E88CC, CV2492, 6N23P, and 6N11 tubes!
Josepfe
49
Nov 26, 2020
How can Drop keep a drop for such a short time?. Sorry to say this, to me this is not an acceptable behaviour from Drop, moreover in the middle of the Black Friday campaign. I was about to buy this hybrid and the txh 789 but now I will buy none.
Drue
235
Nov 26, 2020
They probably found stock sitting somewhere, so there were limited units available.
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