CanJam SoCal 2016: Cavalli Audio, old and new


Seal_FINAL_CanJamSoCal2016Cavalli Audio has nothing to prove, at least not to me. They created the most powerful (and powerful sounding) headphone amplifier I’ve ever heard, the Liquid Gold. And yes, I did buy that review unit and yes, it’s still awesome.

Which is probably why they’re killing it.

Wait, whaaaa –?

Yes, it’s true — this is the last call for the Liquid Gold. Womp womp.

Noble Audio
Noble Audio is a proud sponsor of CanJam SoCal 2016 and Part-Time Audiophile

As you probably already know, Cavalli Audio is not a build-to-order company. It’s a build-on-a-scheduled-run company. That is, they take a bunch of pre-orders to fill up “a run”, then, when the run is full, they place their orders for widgets and thingamabobs, get all that in, build the run, and ship. All at once. Ta da.

Look ma, no overstock! I mean, I’m assuming they stock some bobbins and bits for repairs, but this is still crazy-clever — bulk ordering on the front end (from consumers) means bulk orders on the back-end (from suppliers), which means discounts from suppliers which means lower cost to consumers. Ta da. Like I said, impressive.

For those of us late to the party, this is the Massdrop model — before Massdrop. Cha-ching.

So, anyway, back to the Liquid Gold — this is the last run. Ditto the Liquid Glass. I’m dyin’ here as that was the other amp I was itchin’ to get. Tube roller’s funhouse, that amp. Oh, and the Liquid Crimson is also on the block.

Ah, jeez.

If you’re up for it, a deposit will secure your spot: $1,495 for the last of the Liquid Crimson; $1,795 for the last of the Liquid Glass; $1,995 for the last of the Liquid Gold. As of today, you have about 3 weeks to get your butt in line. As for what’s coming next, possibly to replace them? If anything!?!?

No idea — I’m like everyone else here; we’ll all have to just stay tuned.

But there are some fun things on the nearer horizon: Liquid Sparks ($499). Shown here in “almost finished” form, the fully-discrete super-portable will be coming soon-ish. It’s about the size of an iPhone (and two of them deep), the little bugger was driving my current favorite headphone, the HE-1000 from HiFiMAN. Sounds pretty sweet, too. Keep an eye out for some more news on this amp come summer.

Also on the near horizon, Run #2 of the Liquid Carbon. More portable than pocketable, the LC was $499 on the first run, but I’m hearing that this next run will see a bit of a hike.

The big news at the show, however, was another prototype — this one, Cavalli’s new chief Warren Chi was calling “Liquid Tungsten”. The LT had no clothes on (my eyes! my eyes!), however, so it’s hard to say what this next-gen low output impedance OTL (I kept hearing “Futterman-like” in the semi-secret demo room) will ultimately cost, look like, or really much of anything at this point other than this: I think they’re on the right track, sonically.

Tunes, coming courtesy of Mike Mercer’s laptop and playing through the MrSpeakers Ether headphones, were deep, strong, and fast-as-[something very fast].

I’ll offer this — I love me some thermionic glory. This new Cavalli? Oh yeah. Hook it up, bro.

About Scot Hull 1039 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.