Message started by Pale Rider on 06/29/11 at 01:56:30

Title: Damn you, Lucid Mode!
Post by Pale Rider on 06/29/11 at 01:56:30

Damn you, I say! I am now unreservedly spoiled by Lucid Mode. Although there are occasional recordings, where turning off LM sounds marginally better, on over 90% of what I listen to, what LM does for the soundstage is just too damn good. It has spoiled me on my other headphone rigs.

As it happens, I am awaiting the arrival of my Cavalli Audio Liquid Fire headphone amp. It's a hybrid amp, and by all accounts, very, very musical and revealing. But whether it can best the Taboo remains to be seen.

Title: Re: Damn you, Lucid Mode!
Post by Rivieraranch on 06/30/11 at 02:55:58

Damn you Hazen grid mod and 6P15P-EV's. Every time I pull the 6P15P-EV's out I end up putting them back in again.

Title: Re: Damn you, Lucid Mode!
Post by Pale Rider on 06/30/11 at 15:06:03

Same here RR! I have tried others in that socket, and I always come back to the SV83. The difference has become more noticeable now that the amp and V-caps are broken in. The Grid seems to offer a much smoother transparency in the mids with very well-controlled bass and clear upper end. Like the aural equivalent of optical glass. Sharper, brighter, more natural, all at the same time. One less veil.

Title: Re: Damn you, Lucid Mode!
Post by Rivieraranch on 07/01/11 at 12:13:56

I favor the 6P15P-EV over the SV-83 because the former is a military version.

Title: Re: Damn you, Lucid Mode!
Post by Pale Rider on 07/01/11 at 14:16:51

Actually, my mistake, because I did not mean to draw a distinction, referring instead to the category of tha tube type that activates the Grid. My Taboo is running the 6P15P-EV tubes as well, the cryo'ed ones I acquired from Rob here.

Title: Re: Damn you, Lucid Mode!
Post by Juan Antonio on 07/05/11 at 17:36:03

I heard about the release of the Liquid Fire and seems to be very promising.

Keep us posted about the comparison between them. I'm using my Sennheiser HD800's with the CSP2 and the SPL Phonitor. Although there's nothing like this beast in terms of features (crossfeed for monitoring) and having an incredible effortless driving capabilities, High gain, dynamic range and distortion, the CSP2 is more on the musical and body side though. It's more punchy and richer in tone than the Phonitor. The magic of tubes, of course. But worse in finesse and soundstage cues and high frequencies.

The Lucid Mode on the Taboo with headphones must be intriguing.

What I want to do is to try the Leben CS300X and see what it could does for me. It's driving headphiles crazy due to the gorgeous headphone out of this 15W integrated tube amp. It seems to be one of the best amps for headphones out there, being able to drive any type of headphone regardless of impedance. Great on HD800, T1, LCD-2, HE6 (binding posts), AKG K1000 (binding posts), Denons, AKGs, ... Great also on efficient speakers too.

Apart from Decware, this japanese brand is in my spotlight recently.

Title: Re: Damn you, Lucid Mode!
Post by Pale Rider on 07/05/11 at 22:04:55

Hey Juan. There is no question the Leben is incredibly well-reviewed by people on Head-Fi who know what they are talking about. I would love a chance to hear it sometime.

I almost pulled the trigger on a Phonitor early on in my upgrade path. I eventually landed on the RSA Apache. With my IEMs and my Senn 800s, it was superb. But it was no match for the LCD-2. The LCD-2 is what gave the final push to my first Decware purchase. And once I plugged the LCD-2 into the Taboo, there was no looking back. I sold my Senns and the Apache.

The Liquid Fire is in the hands of FedEx now.

Title: Re: Damn you, Lucid Mode!
Post by Juan Antonio on 07/09/11 at 13:51:45

Pale Rider,

There's no question I have wanted a Taboo for time ago with my ERR's and now for headphones, specially now because of my interest in the LCD-2 and in few weeks an AKG K1000 is gonna be in the house. I ended up purchasing the big amp from Leben for a great price, the CS660P power amp. But I feel the little 15 Watts integrated is gonna be even better for me, needless to say to be able to have that amazing headphone out directly from the custom designed output transformers.

The discontinued CS300X with the vintage Mullards EL84 and General Electric 5751 and the current production of CS300XS with sovtek tubes are not in the same league.

But the dealer here in Spain sells the "XS" with the very good Genalex Gold Lion tubes for the same retail price, very good price indeed, 2500 (around $3566). It is said that the result is not inferior to the "X" version with that setup.

Anyway, I have a contact with someone who has the "X" version almost brand new but he has Sonus Faber Electa Amator speakers, very inefficient in a small room. He likes to roll gear a lot and he has never found an amp to sound as good as this and specially in timbral accuracy. He said he couldn't believe that this 15W only drove his speakers and others of his friends so effortlessly and great, still not enough power for those inefficient speakers, but very good though. The anecdotic point is that he went one day at the hi-end audio shop and he was talking about getting a good speaker match with the Leben, so, other random guy at the shop heard the conversation and told him: "Hey! Do you own a Leben CS300X? I bet that you haven't ever listened to an amp to sound as good, have you?" Then the other said: "Well, I think so". (the anonymous guy owns a CS300X too)
He also is not into headphones so finally he is not going to keep the amp and he will sell it to me. He will sell his speakers for some with high sensitivity and buy the Leben Cs300 at 12W as the first option or any other low powered tube amp. I told him about Decware and all, but he prefers gear in which he can find where he lives as always, in Barcelona.

That situation is bit similar to what Decware philosophy is about, truly usable power.

So, at the end, it seems I'm gonna have the "X" version ;D. I'm still interested in Decware amps but, that is a task to be made in the future. Now I'm going to have my system around this amp and spend the money upgrading the rest of the equipment, not in Decware for now. But I'm insterested in the Trapeziums desktop speakers from Bob, and who knows, maybe I'd like to try the MG944's. I think these is gonna be well paired with the Leben.

If I like this amp more than the CSP2 and Phonitor I will sell them. Of course I'm gonna give away the CS660P. Just the source and the integrated amp for all the purposes sounds great.

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