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Depends on what it ends up costing. This is the superior amp, but Jot might be better value if this turns out to be $600+
EDIT: Looks like they've just come out with a price, a real bargain at $299!
The price for this is already stated to be $299.99.
I own both the Jotunheim as well as a round 2 Liquid Carbon - they are very, very different. The Jotunheim is a characterless amplifier, it takes what your headphones (or speakers) sound like, takes the song you're listening to and that's what you get. It doesn't emphasise their strengths nor does it try to hide their flaws. Some people seem to think it's too aggressive at times because of how powerful/hard hitting it is but since my preferred sound signature when it comes to headphones (and in general) is more on the relaxed and intimate side that has never been my experience.
The Liquid Carbon is far from characterless, it is obviously and admittedly on the warmer side which is, as said, my preferred sonic signature. It's a lot mellower, it does smooth out your headphones and tries to mask flaws (either upper frequency peaks or just badly recorded music) - it's up to you whether that is a good thing or not. I like it and I think it's a useful feature to have if you own brighter headphones.
Just depends on what you're looking for.
As a LC owner, do you feel it's worth the $800? What i'm reading from this is that you prefer it to Jotunheim?
Any recommendations on DAC with this amp? I was thinking Modi2 multibit!?!?!
I didn't pay $800 for mine, I paid $800 + 23% VAT + handling/storage fees + international shipping. I didn't buy it expecting bang for my buck, I bought it so I could try out a Cavalli amplifier (I live both in Europe as well as in the middle of nowhere) and see what I make of it prior to potentially delving into their more expensive offerings in the future. It was worth it for the experience - would I pay over a grand for its sonic capabilities alone? No. Would I pay 300 bucks for its sonic capabilities alone? Every day of the week.
It depends on the headphones you're using - if I'm going by the amplifiers' sound signature alone then yes, I prefer the LC. The Jotunheim is very capable however and it'll be a better all-rounder for someone who plans on only owning one amp rather than multiple.
If you're into bright, hit up the Jotunheim. If you're into warm, hit up the LC. If you don't know, get both!
I have 2 modi MBs, one at work and one in my bedroom setup - the one at work is used with my LC, it pairs very well to my ears but then again that's just what the modi multibit does, it's just an amazing DAC and it'll probably pair well with anything really. It has with everything I've tried, anyway (I own like 10 amps at this point).
I personally don't think there's any point getting a DAC these days that isn't a multibit one by Schiit unless you're spending like over 3 grand on it these days, maybe others would disagree.
Thanks for the clarification! Sounds like i'm going with the LC.
I don't think the Jotunheim is bright personally - it's characterless and accurate. If your headphones are bright, it'll be bright. If your headphones are neutral, it'll be neutral. I really don't think it is tilted one way or another. That might not be other people's experience though.
We all mellow up at some stage. As a beginner audiophile 10 years ago, I preferred a bright-to-neutral sound character. But my tastes have gradually mellowed over the years. I think we don't realize our preferred sound when we start the audiophile journey, and as we listen more, over time, we learn more about sound and its nuances. There's so much more complexity in a warm sound that I hear compared to a bright or neutral sound.
I completely agree, though in my case I never did like bright to neutral presentation - I got a pair of DT990s over a decade ago a couple years after getting my first good pair of headphones (650s) and I never was keen on them. To me the Jotunheim is about as close to dead neutral as you can get within the 300-1000 price range, I'm not gonna listen to my HD800s through it for the life of me but the HD600s for example which are super flat and neutral to my ears do just fine - they're boring because that's just what I think they sound like to begin with but they're not piercing and strident like the 800s are.
Some people have commented that the HD650s / HD6XXs would be too warm in combination with the LCX. Any thoughts about that with your experience with the LC? Would the CTH be a better or worse pairing? Running SE now, but would consider moving to balanced if better
I like the pairing, it's not the most synergy I've ever heard but it sounds sweet and the LC is perfectly capable of lifting the infamous "veil" that people perceive with the 650s. As I've said though, I am conscious of the fact that I like my music to be mellower and more intimate/relaxed sounding than others might. If you plan on being one and done I would cautiously advise that the CTH might potentially be the better choice - it's a more neutral sounding unit according to people I trust very much that have tested prototypes extensively. I have heard from those same individuals and read from their reviews that it also pair pleasantly with the 650s.
If you plan on potentially expanding on both your headphone as well as amplifier collections down the line then maybe the LCX is worth a shot as it sounds heavenly with certain headphones, it's the kind of unit that you come home from work and sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes and just listen to music. Maybe eventually that'll be something you value, it for sure is to me.
Thanks for your insights. I originally bought the CTL which I think will feed my needs for now. But then the LCX came out, and I felt like I couldn't pass it up. Now I'm trying to rationalize ordering both...
Do you want warm or neutral ? Warm this, neutral Jot.
How warm is the LC actually? Does it only have a very slight warm tilt in comparison to high end neutral amps like the Jot?
I currently have a JDS OL Dac and O2 which I'm really enjoying with HD6XX. It makes my Dacport slim sound overly warm and muddy and just lifeless. I was hoping to go in on this drop as the LC + OL dac looks like a great all rounder for all my headphones / IEMs and low listening levels. I don't mind a slight warm tilt... but I'm just a little concerned if it's too far from neutral It might veil some of that higher end clarity on the 650s like with the Dacport, as I don't have money for more amps.