New ALO Rx-1st Day Impressions (lengthy)Well, I just got my ALO Rx today; I bought the bundle with the triple pipe LOD and the straps. I have an iPod Classic 160GB (latest model) and my music library is all Apple Lossless.
After unpacking the amp, I noticed the straps weren't in the box; I've emailed Ken to send them along. I plugged the charger in, and after a few minutes, the blue light went from solid to flashing. The instructions say that the light should go out when fully charged, but I think this one is solid while charging and flashes when fully charged.
This is the first time I've used any kind of LOD or external amp with my iPod. My two current sets of earphones are the TripleFI 10s, and a 5-year old pair of Future Sonics EM3s. (My ear impressions are in Florida now, though, and I'm expecting a new pair of JH13s in a week or so.)
I do a lot of winter walking in very cold weather, with a hat (toque) pulled down over my ears, so the Triple Fi 10s are not wearable. (I find them a little mid-bass boomy, anyway, with not much in the way of good mids or highs). I generally just plug the EM3s into the iPods HO, and then go. The EM3s aren't perfect, but they give me balanced sound and a perfect seal every time.
So this afternoon, I plugged in the LOD and the Rx, and the EM3s, and headed out. I just let the iPod shuffle, and briskly walked 3.5 miles in 12 degree temperatures. Turned it up just loud enough to not hear my boots crunching in the snow. I like the way the RX volume control works.
Listening with the amp is a huge difference. Much wider, more spacious soundstage. Bass is clean and deep, without the midbass mud. I listen to a lot of classic rock, from the days when imperfect vocals were covered with reverb and delay, rather than autotune. (Yes, ELP, King Crimson, Little Feat, etc.)
I'm 57 years old, and I'm sure my hearing has degraded with my age, but the Rx has given me a little extra boost of airy highs. I can't wait to go again tomorrow. (and next month, if the theories about burn-in improvements can be believed . . .)
I've ordered the iPod Classic HippoCase to house these components; today I kept the iPod in its rubbery Speck case, put the amp in the mini-burlap looking bag that came with it, rubber banded the two together, and stuffed them in a front pocket. Brisk walking didn't jar the power switch or the volume control on the Rx, and the LOD seems quite flexible and sturdy. Should be even more secure in a proper case.
My reasons for investing close to 2K in a portable rig are probably different than many on these forums. I have always appreciated well recorded music and great gear to reproduce it; but in addition, my walking regimen, which is fueled by music, has, in the last year, helped me to lose 40 pounds and 58 cholesterol points, as well as putting my blood pressure comfortably down into the normal range.
The JH13s will hopefully add another dimension to all this; I can't wait to see how they will work with my existing gear. An addictive hobby, to be sure, but so far with quite a few great results, in more ways than one.