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REVIEW: ALO Audio Amphora SS headphone amp - Page 3

post #31 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
VCaps are sure nice, no doubt.
That they are....the advantages of battery powered (the battery powered Sutherland Ph3D phono stage for instance) vs the regular power supply topology can really make a huge difference in the end result.

The caps and the Vol pot are around 400US alone in this amp...good job as always Sky

Can you get wood over wood ?

Peete.
post #32 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by les_garten View Post

I looked over ALO's site, the only real specs offered are on the Wood. Not much said about the what makes it go. No proud pix of the inside showing the components, the connectors, the solder, board, and wiring work.

.
Hi Les_garten,

I think he meant my Head-fi forum and not the ALO website, there are 2 long threads on the Amphora located with in my sponsored forum HERE

With the Amphora discussion with some technical nuggets specificallyHERE Also the very first post does talk about the wire, components, what connectors were used etc... several posts on internal photos were posted, hope this helps?

and the Amphora impressions by usersHERE

There are lot of photos, no ones hiding anything. As Skylab said at the beginning of his review the enclosure was pretty much covered, most of which is found in these threads. I appreciate Skylabs professionalism and tact here.

Thanks all

Ken
post #33 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by KB View Post
Hi Les_garten,

I think he meant my Head-fi forum and not the ALO website, there are 2 long threads on the Amphora located with in my sponsored forum HERE

With the Amphora discussion with some technical nuggets specificallyHERE Also the very first post does talk about the wire, components, what connectors were used etc... several posts on internal photos were posted, hope this helps?

and the Amphora impressions by usersHERE

There are lot of photos, no ones hiding anything. As Skylab said at the beginning of his review the enclosure was pretty much covered, most of which is found in these threads. I appreciate Skylabs professionalism and tact here.

Thanks all

Ken
Hi Ken,
I looked over your links here, thanx for that. I can't help but look at that Internal shot and think CMOY bedecked with Jewelry for a night out on the Town.

It looks like a Board with 6 or 7 Caps or so, a couple resisters, a couple transistors, and an OPamp to me? Add two Big Boutique Caps in the Signal Path on the Inputs, and an expensive attenuator and some Glitzy Connectors and some Fancy wood.

For some reason I'm not going GaGa over it in the engineering dept. What am I missing here?


.
post #34 of 237
Thread Starter 
Les, quite honestly, that is the sort of post that would make me, as a manufacturer, very hesitant to discuss the details of my design. Are you able to tell, by looking at those pictures, that the circuit used is a CMoy? There is nothing wrong with a simple circuit - in fact, a simple circuit has the potential to offer the BEST sound, if well executed and done with premium parts, and as Pete pointed out, the parts cost of the VCaps and the Pot alone are $400 or so.

So I think you ARE missing something.
post #35 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Les, quite honestly, that is the sort of post that would make me, as a manufacturer, very hesitant to discuss the details of my design. Are you able to tell, by looking at those pictures, that the circuit used is a CMoy? There is nothing wrong with a simple circuit - in fact, a simple circuit has the potential to offer the BEST sound, if well executed and done with premium parts, and as Pete pointed out, the parts cost of the VCaps and the Pot alone are $400 or so.

So I think you ARE missing something.
Without the board in my hand and judging from a PIC that looks like it came from a Cell Phone, NO, I can't say for certain that it is a CMOY circuit. But you're right, it has to be pretty simple, there aren't enough parts for it to be Complicated!

I'm just looking at the Board, I'm not being distracted by the V-Caps, The Wood, the Back Panel Glitz, or the attenuator. Just looking at the Board, which is the Heart, ehhh?

There's a guy who lives around the corner from me with a '78 Olds Cutlass. He put $5000 of 20" ims/tires on it, but it's still a '78 Cutlass at heart? But it does have nice Wheels and Tires though.

Since there are folks here that are good at tallying up $$ and cents so fast. Do up a shopping list for the Board?

.
post #36 of 237
Thread Starter 
It's fine to ignore the wood and the connectors (although connectors can make a sonic difference IMO), but ignoring caps and attenuators doesn't make sense. What do you think you actually HEAR in an amplifier? You hear caps. And attenuators. The sound is not determined solely by the output devices and the circuit in which they are employed.
post #37 of 237
Skylab,
When you make this statement:

Quote:
I would say the Amphora is the biggest no brainer in the history of Earth.
It invites Critical analysis. That includes an analysis of the Engineering, since that's what we listen to. On recommendations and analysis one makes a decsion whether to purchase or not. My analysis of the engineering, is that it appears weak to me. I wasn't making a Joke, it really does look like a CMOY to me. I haven't heard it, it could be the end all and the be all as you reviewed it to be. I just don't see it, and of course that's my opinion.

Unfortunately, for ALO, I use that type of reasoning to at least help guide me in my decisions.

There used to be a big market for Volkswagen bodies that had a Porsche body Cloned onto it. It wasn't a Porsche. The "Ferrari Daytona" in Miami Vice was a Corvette with a Daytona kit on it. I never was a guy to do that. I just saved my $$$ till I could get a Porsche.

Anyhow, you expressed your opinion, and to show you the respect you deserve, you actually listened to it, I have not.

I expressed my opinion, from afar. I often decide not to buy certain cars with the same type of analysis. The Yugo, Yaris, Focus, Escort and a number of others come to mind. I didn't have to drive them to understand they didn't offer much in engineering.

Maybe they could eliminate some of the resisters and caps on the board and make it:

Quote:
the biggest no brainer in the history of UNIVERSE!
Definitely something to strive for!

.
post #38 of 237
Thread Starter 
Les:

I have no issue with your making your own form of analysis, but just as you are free to dissect my analysis, I am free to dissect yours. It's all in good spirit to openly debate ideas.

One thing I *DO* take exception to, however, is your quoting me out of context to "prove" your point. Please do not do that again.

For the record, what I said was (bold emphasis added):

Quote:
if you can spend a grand, want the very least editorialization possible, and highly value transparency, and highly value soundstaging capabilities, I would say the Amphora is the biggest no brainer in the history of Earth.
Those are significant qualifiers to my statement. They should rightfully be included with the end of the sentence (which was quite obviously designed to have a touch of humor to it).
post #39 of 237
If a cmoy can sound like skylab describes the amphora, I'm all over it hehehe. It doesnt really matter whats inside if it sounds like magic.
post #40 of 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by donunus View Post
If a cmoy can sound like skylab describes the amphora, I'm all over it hehehe. It doesnt really matter whats inside if it sounds like magic.
X2.

Bigger, heavier, and having more parts don't always translate to superiority. I wouldn't mind plugging my headphone into my onboard computer headphone jack if it sounds better than my tube amp.
post #41 of 237
Thread Starter 
Right! That is of course my opinion as well. Not only do I not photograph the insides of the amps I review, I do not even look at them. I learned long ago that the sound of an audio device is not equivalent to the sum of the speficiations of its parts. I have heard amps with op-amps that have .0001 THD specs that sound like frog poo compared to a tube amp with 1% THD. It just isn't as simple, IMO, as looking at the innards and saying "based on what I see, this is what I will hear".

Again, that is merely my opinion.
post #42 of 237
Skylab - thanks for taking the time to write your review. However, I have major reserves with this comment:

Quote:
I no longer have any SS amps in the Amphora’s price class on hand to directly compare it with. But at least from memory, I would unhesitatingly say it’s the best $1K SS headphone amp I have heard.
With audio memory being what it is, which is not very reliable, don't you think it's a little bit exaggerated to make a comment as hyperbolic as this one?
post #43 of 237
Thread Starter 
No, I don't. But I can qualify thusly - I have only heard two other SS amps in this price range, and the Amphora betters them, IMHO.
post #44 of 237
Based on my listening experience the more parts in an amp does not mean it will have a better sound. I have also seen a lot of eye candy being used to get attention to a given product.

There is no doubt the Amphora uses "eye candy" to attract attention. But so does Singlepower w/ their shiny black piano lacker finish, or Moth w/ their vintage looking amps. All of these amps sound IMO excellent and offer their owners a lot of satisfaction. So, nothing wrong if you ask me, heck they are in the process of selling a product to make a living. If looks were not important there would not be such a big cosmetics industry.

What I truly find humorous (yes I am being sarcastic) is when a manufacturer sells a product that is not pretty then many criticize it w/o even listening to it. An example that comes to mind is the Voyager by Graham Slee. Many of the same people posting here that looks are not important thrashed the Voyager because of its "ugly duckling looks".

I have heard other SS amps that I consider in the same price range ($750 and higher). Some like the Luxman P1 retail for considerably more. Each has a value and only the end user will be able to determine if it is sufficient to part with his/hers hard earned money.

I wish I had the opportunity to listen side by side the top seven SS amps I have listened too (Rudistor NX-02 and RPX-33, Solo SRG w/ PSU1, B22, Luxman P1, Blue Circle, TTVJ FET-A, and the Amphora). Unfortunately the best I have done is three at a given time, but even that was enough to discard two. One because to me it did not add enough performance to justify its high price and the second because I found the highs too shrill. This left me with five great SS amps to choose from.

For the sake of this post it is not necesary to name the other three amps, but if I had the money the Amphora would be one I would gladly purchase. It does a lot of things very well, looks awesome, and it is transportable. As we move forward, I would suggest improving the treble extension. Minor quibble if you ask me.
post #45 of 237
Well, I'm getting my dad's Amphora tomorrow (surprise present for him) and will have a whopping two days (maybe 5 hours listening) before I have to hand it over.

I'm not even going to post impressions based on the first five hours listening to the thing...but I am excited to hear it!!

The car comparison breaks down for me a bit when talking about sound. Sure, a Yugo doesn't compare to a Ferrari in engineering or build quality...but neither does it offer the performance of a Ferrari. One example that rings true for me from my background is a comparison between the violins of Stradivari versus those of Guarneri "Del Gesu". The workmanship, the precision, and the overall physical appeal of the Del Gesu fiddles generally don't stand toe-to-toe with the best Strad had to offer. However, talk to any concertgoer and they'll tell you that the sound of the Del Gesu equals or surpasses many Strads. Del Gesu didn't have the rich patrons Strad did and therefore couldn't afford the best materials. I'm not saying Del Gesu didn't know what he was doing (he did) or that he didn't expend some care on his violins (he did)...I'm just saying that the end result can be a grand sum of the parts and not just one element.

For the record - I'm not calling the Amphora the "Del Gesu" in the sense of lower material or engineering quality...just commenting on the ideas presented by Les.

Like Skylab said - discussion is an integral part of the site. Discuss on!
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