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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

Hybrid Amp From a Top-Tier Designer

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. It’s quiet enough for sensitive headphones like the Massdrop x Fostex TH-X00 and powerful enough for higher-impedance headphones like the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX. With the supplied 6922 vacuum tube, the sound is smooth, natural, and resolving with precise detail and just a touch of tube character. And at this price, this amp is an easy addition to any desktop setup—especially when you consider that Cavalli’s desktop amps start at $800, and his tube amps at $3,500.

Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)

The Resurgence of Tube Amps

The founder of boutique brand Cavalli Audio and a longtime favorite of the audiophile community, Alex Cavalli has, by all accounts, a pretty impressive background. He earned a PhD in plasma physics from Dartmouth, where he also studied thermonuclear fusion. He then worked on CAD software and semiconductors, and went on to help create one of the first internet search engines and commercial-quality web browsers. But it wasn’t until his son needed an idea for a science project that Cavalli revisited his first passion: tube amplifiers. He had experimented with tube amps when he was a kid and was surprised to discover that they’d seen a resurgence over the years as headphone amps. Smaller and easy to work with, tube headphone amps had inspired many new manufacturers and a vibrant DIY community, and Cavalli decided to get in on the fun.

Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)
Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)
Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)
Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)

A Revision of an Early DIY Design

Over the next few years, Cavalli helped design several tube amps that could be built by anyone with patience and a soldering iron. He began developing his own ideas, and after some encouragement from the community, started making prebuilt amps for purchase. Soon after, Cavalli Audio was born: premium amps in limited runs, raved about by audiophiles everywhere. The Massdrop x Alex Cavalli CTH is a revision of one of his early DIY designs: the CTH (Compact Tube Hybrid) amplifier. He reworked every section of the original circuit based on knowledge gained at Cavalli Audio. The chassis is made of CNC-milled aluminum with a clean design and a lack of visible screws, and the ventilation pattern resembles the silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge in our native San Francisco. Better sounding and made with the desktop user in mind, this amp is no longer “compact”—instead, the “C” stands for Cavalli.

Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)
Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)
Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)
Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)

Specs

  • Massdrop x Alex Cavalli
  • Chassis: High-grade CNC-milled aluminum with bead-blasted finish, silicone pads on feet
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz–20 kHz, -0.2 dB
  • Maximum power, 50 ohms: 1W Rms per channel
  • Output impedance: < 0.5 ohm at 1 kHz
  • THD: < 0.008%, 20 Hz–20 kHz 1 Vrms
  • THD: 0.0014% at 1 kHz, 1 Vrms with 50R load
  • IMD: 0.002% CCIF 1 Vrms
  • SNR: -97 dB, 20 Hz–20 kHz (1 Vrms into 45 ohms)
  • Crosstalk: -85 dv at 1 kHz
  • Topology: Capacitor-coupled tube hybrid using 6922 tube, single-ended
  • Gain: 8x (18 dB)
  • Input: RCA
  • Output: 4-pin XLR, ¼ in (6.3 mm) TRS headphone jacks
  • Protection: Delayed start with muting relay and DC offset detection
  • Power supply: Wall wart with 28V DC 1.25A
  • Power consumption: Maximum 35W (28V, 1.25A), ~9W idle
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 9.1 x 2.2 in (210 x 230 x 57 mm)
  • Weight: 3.6 lbs (1,625 g)
  • Individually serialized

Included

  • 6922 dual-triode vacuum tube
  • Cloth storage bag
  • Switching power supply that handles 100–240 VAC (add plug adapter for your country’s outlet)
  • 1-year warranty

RETURNS—NO QUESTIONS ASKED

We get it. Sometimes what you ordered just doesn’t work out. If that’s the case for you, don’t fret! All customers (both US and international) may return this item in new, unused condition within 30 days of delivery.

Shipping

Estimated ship date is Dec 2, 2020 PT.

Payment will be collected at checkout.

Top Customer Questions28
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Question
Whats the best tube for this amp?
Nov 6, 2019
Top Answer
chame1i0n
79
I think the stock tube they have included is actually a great match. I would suggest sticking with it.Read More
Dec 18, 2019
See 21 More
Question
Because the inputs are RCA Red & Black, is the 4-pin headphone output truly balanced?
Jul 20, 2020
Top Answer
leoflo1982
13
No it is not balanced at all. Just convenient for using headphones with 4pin Xlr connector...Read More
Jul 21, 2020
Question
What type of headphones are a good match for this amp?
Nov 6, 2019
Top Answer
Artismo
452
It’s a Hybrid, it’s safe with anything it can power.Read More
Nov 6, 2019
See 3 More
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User Photos80
chame1i0n
My Home PC Set Up so far
JoeIke
Cheers to a great sounding headphone amp
Rboggyz
W A R M T H
NZMLN
Currently burning it in. Will probably write a review soon.
Sirclay
Gift to my son
bxironman
Best Purchase this year
911Turbo
Collecting dust becuase its a permanent addition to my desk setup 😄
adog_beer92
Paired with a JDS Atom
MasterChief
CTH Unboxed
tieuhuynhtrieu
Cowon+...+6xx
Aegis700
CAVALLI AS A PREAMP TO A PARASOUND POWER AMP! GREAT SOUND!!
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