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Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo - Discussion and Impressions Thread - Page 69

post #1021 of 1650

I agree that they could have jacked up the price given what it can do right now. My main gripe with it was that it was only usable with  iDevices and that it would drain their batteries pretty quickly. Now that those issues are solved I am definitely getting one. The only issue is not knowing how it will sound as the DAC chip seems to be different (AKM) than the previous one (Wolfson?). 

post #1022 of 1650

Another thing I am curious about is whether it is compatible with other Android devices since it uses mini USB entry 

post #1023 of 1650

we can't tell unless we hear the new CLAS compared to the old one. But the old CLAS is definitely a keeper. i dont really see upgrading if they have the same sound or only a small incremental difference,and if you use it for portable solution like ipods.

post #1024 of 1650
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwirugby View Post

This is a very good point and I would agree that the added value of the extra features for the relatively small increase is so worth it.  Now, if only ALO would ask those of us who have older Solos to send them back for upgrades to the new version!!!!


I would sooooo be in that. I second the motion!

 

Or at least credit towards the new version.

post #1025 of 1650

Good to see some folks still dream in Technicolor ...

post #1026 of 1650
Thread Starter 

Per HeadphoneAddict's impressions, the -dB's output voltage was lowered by almost half compared to the original CLAS.  He didn't like this, because he seemed concerned about the dB's ability to output enough volume for higher-to-drive cans like the HE-500, but I see this change as a very positive move by Cypher Labs.

 

One of the main problems I have with the CLAS is its high output, which leads to either hiss or an excessively high volume with many portable amps (even when those amps are set at their lowest volume setting).  This is especially a problem for IEMs and sensitive full-size headphones, like the DT1350 and Ed. 8. 

 

I don't think the -dB's lowered output is going to create problems for LCD-2/3 users, since with the LCD-3 in balanced mode and the original CLAS, I never have to go beyond low gain on the MK3.  The only headphones that might have issues with lowered output are the HE500, HE-6, and HD800, but it's still hard for me to see how the MK3 on medium or high gain won't drive these cans to suitable volumes.

 

Also, it's nice to see that the -dB can be used as a USB DAC, though it remains to be seen if it can compete in the $700 (or less) USB DAC market, which seems to have lots of good options these days.

post #1027 of 1650
I agree, I see the lowering of gain an advantage. I rarely use my LCD's since the arrival of the Piano Forte's but when I did I never needed anything other than low gain on my SR71-B and volumes were never more than 12.00pm. With the lower gain setting on the CLAS now I would imagine one would still only need the mid level on the blackbird with the LCD's. I tried the HE-500's recently with my set up and found low gain on the blackbird was plenty for my ears, the volume pot no where near the end of its travel for perfect listening levels.

I see that they have also introduced a lower priced model that is pretty much the same without the balanced mode and I think not the computer mode (not sure on the latter) It will be interesting to hear how the change in DAC affects sound, I doubt not a lot as in conversation with David recently he explained his designs are more about the whole experience rather than relying on one part to make the sonic signature. If mine ever gives up the ghost (highly unlikely as it has performed faultlessly thus far) then I would get one of the new models in a heartbeat, so happy am I with the sound of my present one.

I also have seen a few folks commenting if they will get a deal on trading an old one in for a new one. I don't really get that. Now, if it were IBasso we were talking about who seem to change their product line like i change socks then I could understand but the Solo has been out for a while now, glacial in fact in headfi terms. I personally have had it's worth in musical enjoyment many times over and would not feel bad at all if I were in the mind to get the new one to pay full whack.. I am sure there would be plenty of folks who would still want the old one after all so it would not be hard to sell it.

But listening tonight I simply do not see the point for me. I am happy and the music fully absorbs me, what more could I want!
post #1028 of 1650
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj nellie View Post

Per HeadphoneAddict's impressions, the -dB's output voltage was lowered by almost half compared to the original CLAS.  He didn't like this, because he seemed concerned about the dB's ability to output enough volume for higher-to-drive cans like the HE-500, but I see this change as a very positive move by Cypher Labs.

 

One of the main problems I have with the CLAS is its high output, which leads to either hiss or an excessively high volume with many portable amps (even when those amps are set at their lowest volume setting).  This is especially a problem for IEMs and sensitive full-size headphones, like the DT1350 and Ed. 8. 

 

I don't think the -dB's lowered output is going to create problems for LCD-2/3 users, since with the LCD-3 in balanced mode and the original CLAS, I never have to go beyond low gain on the MK3.  The only headphones that might have issues with lowered output are the HE500, HE-6, and HD800, but it's still hard for me to see how the MK3 on medium or high gain won't drive these cans to suitable volumes.

 

Also, it's nice to see that the -dB can be used as a USB DAC, though it remains to be seen if it can compete in the $700 (or less) USB DAC market, which seems to have lots of good options these days.

 

I think that this is a real improvement. The CLAS was sometimes too loud with my Stepdance + ES5 combo. Dropping the output by half to 1 Vrms (equivalent to an iPod Classic) would solve this.

post #1029 of 1650
Thread Starter 

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels the CLAS' output is too hot.  Just to clarify, in addition the MK3, I've also used the SR71b, TTVJ Slim, and Pico Slim with the CLAS, and the Pico Slim is the only amp that was able to provide comfortable low-volume listening with IEMs and sensitive full-size cans.  The other amps were either too loud even at the lowest possible (channel-balanced) volume setting, or had very little usable range before getting too loud.

post #1030 of 1650

Interesting.  I have never had this problem with my ALO Continental V2 or JH-3A.  The Pico Slim has always had lots of room to adjust.  One thing I really like about the Pico with my JH13s.

post #1031 of 1650
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwirugby View Post

Interesting.  I have never had this problem with my ALO Continental V2 or JH-3A.  The Pico Slim has always had lots of room to adjust.  One thing I really like about the Pico with my JH13s.

 

Pico Slim has the best low volume control bar none. It's a fine amp but too bright for me. (I am very sensitive to treble.) 

 

Regarding all other amps, a big part of the analysis is how quietly one likes to listen. To give an extreme example, I know one person on here that used the Stepdance in high gain mode with the ES5. That is an outlier (wild actually)  but we all have different volume requirements. 1 Vrms will generally provide a larger usable volume control. If your amp has also has a high gain mode, most headphones will be fine. Actually I can drive my 600 ohm Beyer DT880 quite loudly with a 1 Vrms source and the Stepdance in low gain mode (and mine was adjusted down to unity gain, the same as the default on the 2Stepdance and Quickstep). In high gain mode, I can bust my eardrums. Huzzah!  :-)

post #1032 of 1650
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj nellie View Post

Per HeadphoneAddict's impressions, the -dB's output voltage was lowered by almost half compared to the original CLAS.  He didn't like this, because he seemed concerned about the dB's ability to output enough volume for higher-to-drive cans like the HE-500, but I see this change as a very positive move by Cypher Labs.

 

One of the main problems I have with the CLAS is its high output, which leads to either hiss or an excessively high volume with many portable amps (even when those amps are set at their lowest volume setting).  This is especially a problem for IEMs and sensitive full-size headphones, like the DT1350 and Ed. 8. 

 

I don't think the -dB's lowered output is going to create problems for LCD-2/3 users, since with the LCD-3 in balanced mode and the original CLAS, I never have to go beyond low gain on the MK3.  The only headphones that might have issues with lowered output are the HE500, HE-6, and HD800, but it's still hard for me to see how the MK3 on medium or high gain won't drive these cans to suitable volumes.

 

Also, it's nice to see that the -dB can be used as a USB DAC, though it remains to be seen if it can compete in the $700 (or less) USB DAC market, which seems to have lots of good options these days.

 

The Mk3 had enough gain with the CLAS -dB to drive the HE-500 well, it was just my SR-71b with a gain of 11 that was not able to take full advantage of the HE-500.  The Intruder's gain of 21 in high would also be plenty I think.  I heard the Intruder with HE-6 at Ray's table using the built-in DAC and it had gobs of power without maxing the volume knob, so that extra gain could allow use with the CLAS -dB and it's lower output levels.  I just thought the CLAS could maybe offer the 1.2v with 3.5mm output and 2v with balanced output, which would solve the problem I had. 

post #1033 of 1650
It's funny how we hear things differently. My experience with the HE-500 and my SR-71B/CLAS combo was that there was plenty of power in reserve to drive them. In fact for me anything past 2:00pm on the Blackbirds volume dial was painfully loud. I also tried the 500's with some shiit gear (and my experience of it that name was appropriate!) which had a great deal more power and I actually preferred the sound coming from the blackbird, richer and easier on the ears but still with gobs of detail and plenty of headroom and more than enough treble extension but not in the way the Schiit stuff gave it which was edgy and glassy (it was a tube amp and DAC that I heard). It has been explained to me that this is the sound with stock tubes.
post #1034 of 1650
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post

It's funny how we hear things differently. My experience with the HE-500 and my SR-71B/CLAS combo was that there was plenty of power in reserve to drive them. In fact for me anything past 2:00pm on the Blackbirds volume dial was painfully loud. I also tried the 500's with some shiit gear (and my experience of it that name was appropriate!) which had a great deal more power and I actually preferred the sound coming from the blackbird, richer and easier on the ears but still with gobs of detail and plenty of headroom and more than enough treble extension but not in the way the Schiit stuff gave it which was edgy and glassy (it was a tube amp and DAC that I heard). It has been explained to me that this is the sound with stock tubes.

 

Well, I use the SR-71b 95% of the time plugged into the back of my DACmini via RCA>3.5mm cable, and in high gain it's got more than enough power for the HE-500 and LCD-2.  With the CLAS -dB 1.2v source I wasn't getting much more volume out of the HE-500 than when I drop the gain to medium (= 6) and use it with the 2v DACmini as source.

 

I actually don't recall how the HE-500/SR-71b combo does with my iPhone's 1v output, since I only use iPhone/SR-71b with IEM when I'm portable, using low or medium gain.  Regardless, with the full size DAC and at least 2v output the SR-71b feels like a desktop amp.  I can't try the SR-71b right now with a 1v source because it's having 4 resistors swapped out to increase the gain in the high setting to 21 (same as Intruder).  Low gain will still be 1, and medium will still be 6.  Once this is done, I can drive the HE-6 better with a 2v source, and drive the HE-500 better with a 1v source. On the Intruder with a gain of 21 I still had a useable volume range with HE-500 from 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock, and my Blackbird will be similar.  

 

I'd really like to try the CLAS -dB some more after this, and with other amps and phones to see if I'd want to buy it.  Maybe someone will have one at a meet before next RMAF.

post #1035 of 1650
Looking forward to more thoughts on this new device and the cheaper version
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