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Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo - Discussion and Impressions Thread - Page 8

post #106 of 1641

I'm even getting PM's now.....

 

I think its great that kids so young are able to access sites likes this but surely parents should know if their kids are getting into stuff where they are out of their depth, it's a bit like swimming no??

post #107 of 1641

When it first came out, the Solo was in a CLASs by itself, now joined (or so I hear) by the Fostex DAC/Amp combo. I purchased the entire ALO combo (Solo, RX, cables), and couldn't be happier. I could understand someone comparing apples to apples (Solo vs Fostex), but not apples and oranges (Solo vs DIYmod)... particularly when the estimable "Q" hasn't actually heard the Solo. I could also understand someone saying the Solo is simply too expensive (and leave it at that), but it's silly to say "x" is better than "y" when no comparison has been made.


Edited by Richiyaado - 5/30/11 at 4:26pm
post #108 of 1641


zilch0md, you should really have a listen to both yourself (and SEE their physical difference) before deciding. Just a friendly advice to avoid $$$ wastage. If you read the iMod thread, just a couple of years ago, the same compliments were given to it. There is little doubt that we will have another product coming along that would make the Solo sound inferior IN COMPARISON. 

 

I'm just saying so you don't go away thinking that the iMod is warm or dark or lacks resolving power. Its all in relation to the comparison made. Personally I don't agree, but then we all hear things differently.

 

Now I see you considering all the current top dogs - Stepdance and LCD-2. Which would make for a really bulky portable setup. I think you only intend to use them in the office, thus its more of a "transportable" setup than a "portable" setup? I doubt you should be using the LCD-2 on the subway...

 

You might want to consider cheaper desktop options that give you the same if not better quality if you don't really need the portability?

 

My decision to stick with the iMod was because of portability, being able to listen to my music on the go without getting frisked by cops for carrying a dubious Improvised Explosive Device lookalike about with me. I also invested in a DAC for my laptop for those desk-bound moments at work.

 

Just being nosy here, but thought I'd share... go with what works for your needs! Someday I'll go for a CLAS too when it has evolved into something that meets my needs and not just wants :)

 

BTW, the CLAS really sounds awesome~ just not enough to make it into my "Need" list at the moment!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Cooperpwc,

 

Your comparison of the iMod and the iPod+Solo is very compelling - and very credible in that you've identified the strengths of both of them with obvious affection.  Thanks!

 

beerchug.gif

 

I personally don't crave the sonic traits you've said the iMod has vs. the Solo (warmth, darkness) as much as I crave detail and transparency.  I'm nuts for resolution because I'm convinced that with it comes a sense of reality.  Without it, the soundstage comes in close to your head and you're no longer able to "see" as far beyond your ears as you would in real life.  When the resolving power of a system is lacking, those low-level, airy signals that define the soundstage and bring the image into sharp focus (as opposed to, worst case, a blog on each side of your head) are lost under noise and distortion (under a lack of resolution).  I recently reached this conclusion on my own while comparing amps, only to read Tom Martin's review of the Apex P/V a few days later, where he says much the same thing:

 

 

 

If the iPod Classic 7 + CLAS can do their part to deliver this kind of resolution, Stepdance and LCD-2 willing, I'm drooling already.  tongue_smile.gif

 

Mike



 

post #109 of 1641

I briefly compared my DACmini (a DAC/Amp combo, USD $795) to the CLAS some time ago. I fed the analog and digital outputs of the CLAS into the DACmini simultaneously, and used the input selector to switch between them quickly. Headphones were LCD-2's and HD800's.

 

They were very close and to be honest, I couldn't reliably tell them apart. The bottom line? The CLAS is as good as the DACmini biggrin.gif

 

P.S.: The DACmini uses some chip from AKM.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

[.....]


All I need is for someone to twist my arm on the SQ benefits of the Solo.  How does it's Wolfson DAC compare to any desktop DACs you've heard (same amp and headphones)?

 

[.....]

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

(So close to pulling the trigger.)

 

 

 

 



 

post #110 of 1641

Lol so DACmini and DACport users should consider selling theirs and get CLAS for both desktop and portable use? biggrin.gif

post #111 of 1641

I do prefer the CLAS sound signature to the the Headroom MicroDAC. What limits the CLAS' potential as a full-time home DAC for my purposes is that you cannot feed it from Foobar.

 

A CLAS that also has reclocked USB input - now that would be both lovely and versatile!


Edited by cooperpwc - 5/30/11 at 8:38pm
post #112 of 1641

@uelover: LOL I'd say no. Both DACxxxx have a nice built-in amp.

 

 


Edited by pekingduck - 5/30/11 at 8:32pm
post #113 of 1641


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dallan View Post

I must admit the ALO thing turned me off too.  I have three of their interconnects and have had trouble of one kind or another with all of them.  Last time i tried to find if something could be done with one of them to get it right, my emails were left with silence.  I spend a lot on audio but not another dime will go to ALO.  

 

On the other hand the Solo looks great and I miss the capacity and ease of my ipod since i got the HM801.

 


yep, exact experience here, if anything goes wrong with your cable, ALO will leave you in the dust. many have this experience. they would rather sell new over priced cables than repair broken over priced ones. that's how businesses are taught to run these days though, bottom line is the only important thing. (it's okay to post about it because if ALO doesn't care, why should we.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Q View Post

It's pretty obvious why I think my diymod is better, just look at the thing and it limited functionality(I think it can be done better with more fuctionality with much more reasonable price(high price and ALO goes hand and hand from what I've seen, look at his markups on his cables)).  Also, I'm here to give an honest impression, I'm not here to add anymore to the hype that there is in this thread.  I'd like to see a thread being as neutral as possible.  I think it would be more impartial for the people that reads these threads.
 



 


 

I agree, I think the solo will probably be outdated soon enough, maybe in as soon as a year people will look at these solo rigs and snicker. however the owners have been happy with it so it probably is a good sounding product. Even though I don't support ALO, if I didnt have a hifiman 801 I'd get a solo


Edited by AndrewG - 5/30/11 at 8:40pm
post #114 of 1641
Quote:
Originally Posted by pekingduck View Post

 

P.S.: The DACmini uses some chip from AKM.


Is this confirmed for the DACPort also?  It reminded me of the Sabre DAC but I haven't heard an AKM to know the differences.

 

post #115 of 1641

Don't think it's ever been confirmed but I found this:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/456768/new-product-centrance-dacport-24-96-usb-headphone-amp#post_6258427

 

"BTW, for the curious amongst us this thing uses an AK4396 DAC and OPA1612(a lower grade OPA211 in dual form w/ improved crosstalk) op-amps....and it would appear the same HP amp as the STX(wasn't 100% confirmed, and I hope not). Too bad they didn't put AD797BRZ."


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post




Is this confirmed for the DACPort also?  It reminded me of the Sabre DAC but I haven't heard an AKM to know the differences.

 



 

post #116 of 1641

As long as future iDevices use the same protocol, the Solo won't be outdated.

 

If by "outdated" you mean the Solo will be superseded by a better version or newer technologies, then you are right. But that's also true for all other DACs, amps etc on this planet biggrin.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewG View Post

I agree, I think the solo will probably be outdated soon enough, maybe in as soon as a year people will look at these solo rigs and snicker. however the owners have been happy with it so it probably is a good sounding product. Even though I don't support ALO, if I didnt have a hifiman 801 I'd get a solo

 

post #117 of 1641
True that. But even if something new and better comes out it does not suddenly make the old product sound worse than it did
post #118 of 1641

 

Justanut,
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanut View Post


zilch0md, you should really have a listen to both yourself (and SEE their physical difference) before deciding.

 

[snip]

 

Now I see you considering all the current top dogs - Stepdance and LCD-2. Which would make for a really bulky portable setup. I think you only intend to use them in the office, thus its more of a "transportable" setup than a "portable" setup? I doubt you should be using the LCD-2 on the subway...

 

You might want to consider cheaper desktop options that give you the same if not better quality if you don't really need the portability?

 

[snip]

 

 

I will be able to hear the iMod soon - a Head-Fi member sent me a PM volunteering to lend me his as soon as he returns from vacationing in Florida. And I didn't even ask anyone to lend me their gear.  That's the second time this has happened - there are some really nice people here at Head-Fi!    I'll have the iMod in a week or two, but I don't have any way to hear an iPod Classic + CLAS - and that's OK, because literally everyone says it sounds great- it seems to be beyond reproach - so hearing the iMod will allow me to ask myself the question, "Is it good enough?"  

 

Regarding portability, I have a Sansa Clip + Shure SE530 for true portability (and if I get the iPod Classic + CLASS) I could replace the Clip with the Classic for use with the SE530.  I know it won't sound as good as an iMod, but that's fine for my needs when true portability is the goal - infrequently the case, for my lifestyle.

 

And I'm not interested in a desktop rig either - the thought of using my laptop or PC as a source is unappealing to me - because you're tethered to it. I don't even have a decent home stereo system and believe it or not, my main television set is a 27-inch CRT.   Hint:  I'm not a couch potato (for either TV or music) - but I guess I could be called a hammock potato - I spend a lot of time outdoors, be it in the backyard or car camping, day hikes, walking the dog, etc.

 

So your suspicions are correct - I'm trying to improve my transportable rig.  This is what I have currently:

 

44.1/16 and 96/24 WAV > Sony PCM-M10 > 15-Volt powered Stepdance > LCD-2

 

My travel rig (in a hard case):   

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/439019/pictures-of-your-portable-rig-part-xiv/3030#post_7414139

 

My "walkabout" rig (same gear, in a shoulder bag):

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/439019/pictures-of-your-portable-rig-part-xiv/2310#post_7250861

 

This second set of photos are a bit dated - I now have the newer Audez'e cable and a Grado pigtail for 1/4-to-1/8 and I use 4-cell RC-style LiPo batteries in the shoulder bag, now.  I have to pre-discharge these after charging them, to get them down to 15-Volts for the Stepdance, as explained here:  http://home.globalcrossing.net/~zilch0/images/Zilch0MD-Stepdance-on-LiPo.pdf

 

So... I'm considering the CLAS as an upgrade to my "transportable" rig.  

 

My interest in the CLAS came from my having borrowed an April Music Stello DA100 Signature DAC from Yuceka (a Dallas area Head-Fi member).  After connecting it to my Win7 laptop's USB port, then using it to feed my Stepdance + LCD-2, I only then realized that the 96/24-capable sigma-delta design DAC in my Sony PCM-M10 lacks some detail - especially in congested signals that have a lot of voices (i.e. classical music or even metal, anything that's super busy.)  In terms of resolution, the Sony's DAC sounds identical to the Stello DA100 with uncomplicated signals like a solo acoustic guitar, but when things get complicated, it can't compete.  It's really as if the Sony DAC isn't fast enough to handle the workload of busy signals.  The Stello is a little bright for my tastes and the more I listen to it, the more I find it to be just a tad too clinical, analytical, sterile, not musical, compared to the not nearly as dry Sony DAC, but its ability to retrieve detail, to separate complex signals, expanding the soundstage and focusing the image has been a real eye-opener for me.  The Sony's DAC just isn't cutting it any more. As I like to say, having ventured outside my cage and tasted life beyond the bars for the first time, I don't want to get back in.  

 

I would actually be proud of myself for just being content with the Sony PCM-M10 for another year or so (it's DAC is very appealing in ways that the Stello is not and it's detail is probably 90% of the Stello's 100%), but if the CLAS can be the best of both worlds, less dry than the Stello, more detailed than the Sony's DAC, I'll want to go there sooner than later.

 

I'm really looking forward to comparing the detail and transparency of the loaner iMod to both the Sony DAC and the Stello DA100 - everything into the Stepdance + LCD-2.

 

Mike


Edited by zilch0md - 5/31/11 at 1:58am
post #119 of 1641

Oh wow Mike~ looking at your current setup I guess the CLAS really is for you then~ Still lots of space in that case of yours :) There's no better transportable setup ATM heh! 

post #120 of 1641

Mike, that is some serious stuff going on in those links.... For someone obviously so 'into' their gear I would have also thought the CLAS would have a place in that case for sure.

 

That travel case is incredible but how do you shape the foam? I would have thought that some smaller blocks are removeable but I can't make that out on the pic.

 

I'm seeing a lot of love for the Stepdance recently I think I'll be looking at one very soon tongue_smile.gif

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