The inherently quiet backgrounds afforded by the Liquid Lightning are part of the secret to its resolution, as you’ll quickly discover if you play a recording whose output levels have been mastered toward the lower end of the spectrum. Some good examples would be most any track on Professor Johnson’s 30th Anniversary Sampler disc [Reference Recordings, HDCD], which is rightly regarded as something of an audiophile classic. On first playing, it becomes obvious that signal levels on the disc are much, much lower than for typical pop recordings, so that you may feel the need to dial up amplifier gain levels considerably higher than you would with run-of-the-mill records. But with some amps this can be a tricky proposition, because as gain levels come up so, too, do noise floor levels, which inevitably robs listeners of some measure of low-level resolution. Happily, this doesn’t happen with the Liquid Lightning; even with gain levels turned up quite high the noise floor remains very low, so that you can have the gain you need without paying a sonic penalty. The reward, as you’ll discover if you listen, for example, to the excerpt from the angular, modernistic, and at times quite percussive Skrowaczewski Concerto Nicolò from the 30th Anniversary Sampler disc is a Tour de’ force in tonal colors, transient attack, dynamic expression, and inner detail. It’s a breathtaking recording made even more enjoyable and intelligible by the Cavalli amp’s low noise, an amp that proves the truth of the old adage that, “less noise = more usable sound.”
Consider this electrostatic headphone amp if:
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Ratings (relative to other cost-no-object electrostatic amps):
The Cavalli Liquid Lightning electrostatic headphone amplifier is arguably the most honest and revealing amplifier that money can buy for purposes of powering electrostatic headphones in general and in particular for driving the state-of-art Stax SR-009 headphones.