ALO Silk dockI had the opportunity yesterday to listen to a new ALO LOD using the same materials as the cotton, save for the insulators, which were made from silk in this case rather than cotton. I almost forgot, the actual connector that plugs into the iPod is different too. Overall, the silk dock is mechanically more compact and flexible than the cotton dock, which is on the bulky side. I will post pictures when I get a chance.
Of all of the LOD's that I've heard, the silk is so close in sonic signature to the cotton docks that I am still haveing trouble in articulating the differences that I hear, so I'm going to ramble for a bit.
At this point, for lack of better words, I would say that the silk dock has a little more of that "ringing" characteristic that I hear with the silver dock than does the cotton. The cotton dock has absolutely all of the extension and detail of the silver, but is so completely controlled, whereas the silver dock seems to be "wild" and undamped in the extreme high end.
Listening to high frequency program material you hear everything with both cotton and silver docks, but it seems as the silver dock adds a very small element of its own sheen to the sound. In complex passages, massed strings for example, with the cotton dock, you hear only and exactly what the source provided, so instrument to instrument seperation is ever so slightly better. Nothing more, nothing less. The silk dock seems to fall in between the very subtle "extremes." I struggle with this word "extreme" because many would not hear the subtle differences we're talking about here, at least they would not notice them. The differences, I assure you ARE there.
Please understand I am trying to describe very, very, subtle differences here.
Let me try one more time to describe what I hear. In terms of general characterization, starting with the copper dock as the baseline, the sound is full and articulate, and cleaner than anything I've ever heard come out of an Ipod. The silver docks seem to add a subtle sheen to the top end. Many will find this very desirable. The Cardas seems to have ever so slightly more top end detail and more fullness than the copper dock but without the sheen of the silver dock. The Cardas dock retains all of the fullness of the copper dock, whereas the silver dock seems like the fullness is slightly diminished in balance to the high end.
The cotton dock has all of the copper and Cardas dock's fullness and then some, plus it has the added detail of the silver dock without the added sheen. The silk dock falls in between, being much closer to the cotton dock in character than to the copper dock. The Cardas dock to my ears, is closer to the copper dock in character, but clearly better than the copper.
I hope I have not managed to confuse any of you. These ALO products are all top notch and even the least of them will give you better sound than you have ever heard from your iPod. I dare say, you wont believe your ears at first because the sound is that good.