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ALO The Continental - Page 5

post #61 of 456

I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy the continental.. but its SOLD OUT!!!  NOOOOOOOOOO!  so... who's selling?? seriously - PM me...

 

oops.. just got the email alert.. back in stock.. that was fast!


Edited by Br777 - 8/19/11 at 2:04pm
post #62 of 456

Holy moley...lol.

 

I literally plugged her in, using the ALO Cricket LOD, not even fully burned in...and WOW. Instantly my fave portable amp for the T1's, no question about it. In-fact it's such a good match I'm not nearly as interested in buying the LCD-2's (for now lol). Thinking I might just re-cable the T1's with silver instead. Firstly, volume around half way to get the same volume or louder than what I had on my SR-71A at 80% of the knob. But the sound....the synergy with the T1, it's...it's just gorgeous!

 

That harsh sparkle and ever so slight thinness from before is replaced with smoother highs, slightly more full vocals. The bass....that's where the bulk of the improvement is. A warmer and boomier lower end, more bass presence and quantity, but is it sloppier? No. I can actually hear all the texture in the bass, but just less synthetic and snappy than before, it's highly addictive. Listening to Phantogram - Running From the Cops, the background b-line, the sort of weird reverbial bass like sound, so poignant but still un-obtrusive allowing for everything else to flow in. Then there's the medley of drums early on in an overly busy beginning section of Watch the Throne - Murder to Excellence, it's a lot easier to make out each of the drum taps (they're thicker too) than with the SR-71A which had a slight bit of overt brightness to it.

 

They do give the sound on the T1's a warmer sort of thicker, imo less clinical sound than the SR-71A. It's not as clean, but imo it's more engaging and fun. I always said before that I thought the slight lack of bass quantity and rare sibilance were really my only negatives of the T1, and the great news is the Continental does a good job of correcting most of that (though I need more listening and further burn in to confirm).

 

I won't comment on sound stage yet, all I know is that it's sounds nice and three dimensional on the Continental, allowing a good amount of instrumental separation.

 

In any case, thus far very pleased with both the Continental and the Cricket LOD. Will do a proper thorough and full review later. All I'll say is it's a shame these are out of stock because it is truly a beautiful portable amp. Different sort of warmer thicker, more bass heavy sound to other portable amps I've tried. Tonnes of power as well. I'm literally hitting max 6/10 on the volume knob with the T1's.

 

Looks gorgeous too. Glossy finish with metallic shiny silver fancy typography, looks really plush. Amp is lighter than I expected it to be too. Top marks Ken. So far, so great.

 

 


Edited by Naim.F.C - 8/19/11 at 5:35pm
post #63 of 456

as i updated.. back in stock.. thanks for the impressions

 

I am so torn between continental and sr71b.. ahhhhg... such a tough decision.

post #64 of 456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post

as i updated.. back in stock.. thanks for the impressions

 

I am so torn between continental and sr71b.. ahhhhg... such a tough decision.



Currently is most of your gear terminated with balanced plugs or standard single ended 6.3/3.5? Also, depends on what headphones you plan to use with these. I have not yet tried the SR-71B, but the Continental certainly has a lot more power than the Sr-71A single ended speaking.

post #65 of 456
Still no answers?

I pulled up datasheets for the 6111 today (http://tubedata.tubes.se/sheets6.html).

The 6111 was only tested out to 1,000 hours by its manufacturers. Lifespan was rated at 1,000 by one manufacturer. Raytheon only tested to 1,000 hours. Data from every 6111 manufacturer is in the above link.

Where does the 100,000 hour "estimated" lifespan figure come from? Nothing suggests that in the datasheets - they show failure rates. Private tests? 100,000 divided by 24 is 4,166 days, or a bit over 11 years. Has this tube been tested continuously for 11 years?

From what data I have:

1. This amp has 6.25mW of power. Or roughly 25% the power of an iPod. You can also say an iPod is four times more powerful.

2. Bass cuts off at 40Hz. Where is the low end?

3. The tube used has an approximate lifespan of 1,000 hours, or about 20 hours a week for one year. In no way whatsoever do the datasheets suggest a 100,000 hour lifespan.

It would be wise to provide some answers and explanations. People might start to get the wrong idea.
Edited by Uncle Erik - 8/20/11 at 7:35pm
post #66 of 456

Maybe they misquoted the hours lolwink_face.gif

post #67 of 456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Still no answers?

I pulled up datasheets for the 6111 today (http://tubedata.tubes.se/sheets6.html).

The 6111 was only tested out to 1,000 hours by its manufacturers. Lifespan was rated at 1,000 by one manufacturer. Raytheon only tested to 1,000 hours. Data from every 6111 manufacturer is in the above link.

Where does the 100,000 hour "estimated" lifespan figure come from? Nothing suggests that in the datasheets - they show failure rates. Private tests? 100,000 divided by 24 is 4,166 days, or a bit over 11 years. Has this tube been tested continuously for 11 years?

From what data I have:

1. This amp has 6.25mW of power. Or roughly 25% the power of an iPod. You can also say an iPod is four times more powerful.

2. Bass cuts off at 40Hz. Where is the low end?

3. The tube used has an approximate lifespan of 1,000 hours, or about 20 hours a week for one year. In no way whatsoever do the datasheets suggest a 100,000 hour lifespan.

It would be wise to provide some answers and explanations. People might start to get the wrong idea.
 


it is definitely odd that Ken is not in the forums answering questions.. it seems like he always pops up when a new product is released - especially something this "special".. they are certainly underplaying its release in a major way.

 

maybe they are using the element of mystery, combined with "limited release" to allure customers into buying...  if so, its working.

 

they mention somewhere in their description that the tube is being run a certain way that reduces wear and tear.. or something like that.. but i agree, they dont seem to have anything but "a good guess" backing that quantified statement up.

 

on the other hand, given many people's impressions of "amazing", particularly with the likes of the k70x series, the lcd2, T1,  and others "big gun" cans there simply must be an explaination for the strange power spec, b/c clearly this thing has the juice it needs to run with the top end cans.

 

from what little i can gather, people do seem to speak of boomy bass rather consistently, though bass is soooo subjective i never take anyone's word for it anymore, but the fact that they also mention warm and possibly rolled off treble, and the sheer fact that this is a tube, would lent to the high possibility that the bass does indeed roll off.. at 40hz.. wow i hope not, but probably at somepoint prematurely.

 

put all this together, and I finally decided there was too much risk in buying this amp and am now solidly anchored in my decision to go with an sr71B for my LCD-2's instead.   I do hope to somehow audition this amp at some point though.. the prospect of a solid portable tube amp really does peak my interest.

 

Mike at Headphonia has one, and though he is apparently putting off his review for another amp that was 1st in line, I do eagerly await his take on the matter, as he seems to have a level head in his reviews, and is often very informed about the product in hand.

 

 

 


Edited by Br777 - 8/20/11 at 7:55pm
post #68 of 456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Still no answers?

I pulled up datasheets for the 6111 today (http://tubedata.tubes.se/sheets6.html).

The 6111 was only tested out to 1,000 hours by its manufacturers. Lifespan was rated at 1,000 by one manufacturer. Raytheon only tested to 1,000 hours. Data from every 6111 manufacturer is in the above link.

Where does the 100,000 hour "estimated" lifespan figure come from? Nothing suggests that in the datasheets - they show failure rates. Private tests? 100,000 divided by 24 is 4,166 days, or a bit over 11 years. Has this tube been tested continuously for 11 years?

From what data I have:

1. This amp has 6.25mW of power. Or roughly 25% the power of an iPod. You can also say an iPod is four times more powerful.

2. Bass cuts off at 40Hz. Where is the low end?

3. The tube used has an approximate lifespan of 1,000 hours, or about 20 hours a week for one year. In no way whatsoever do the datasheets suggest a 100,000 hour lifespan.

It would be wise to provide some answers and explanations. People might start to get the wrong idea.
 


1. There's got to be a mistake somewhere because this amp is quite easily the most powerful portable amp I own or have personally tested.

 

2. I also seriously doubt there's that cut off. I can actually hear more from the bass than with the SR-71A. Namely in the lower bass.

 

3. 1000 hours is the maximum time the tube was tested. To say it has a 1000 hour lifespan could be disingenuous. Perhaps the manufacturers tested up to 1000 hours but did extreme testing the way car manufacturers do to estimate a maximum life span of 10,000 hours? If they used specially orchestrated testing techniques to speed up the lifespan process, it would make sense.

 

In any case, I'm curious to know the real facts but it is not necessary since I have the product and can judge based on it's real world performance, not supposed paper specs.

post #69 of 456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Still no answers?

I pulled up datasheets for the 6111 today (http://tubedata.tubes.se/sheets6.html).

The 6111 was only tested out to 1,000 hours by its manufacturers. Lifespan was rated at 1,000 by one manufacturer. Raytheon only tested to 1,000 hours. Data from every 6111 manufacturer is in the above link.

Where does the 100,000 hour "estimated" lifespan figure come from? Nothing suggests that in the datasheets - they show failure rates. Private tests? 100,000 divided by 24 is 4,166 days, or a bit over 11 years. Has this tube been tested continuously for 11 years?

From what data I have:

1. This amp has 6.25mW of power. Or roughly 25% the power of an iPod. You can also say an iPod is four times more powerful.

2. Bass cuts off at 40Hz. Where is the low end?

3. The tube used has an approximate lifespan of 1,000 hours, or about 20 hours a week for one year. In no way whatsoever do the datasheets suggest a 100,000 hour lifespan.

It would be wise to provide some answers and explanations. People might start to get the wrong idea.
 


I'm with Uncle Erik something seems really strange about the specs. It's almost as if ALO has no idea what the capabilities of this amp is. Looks like I'm going to be watching this thread closely to see how it all pans out in the wash

 

subscribed popcorn.gif

 

post #70 of 456

Just checked:

 

"Out-of-stock

Notify me when available"
 
Again. They are offering a package with the CLAS, I didn't know that.
 
Out of stock as well, in both black and silver (silver Continental?)

Edited by grokit - 8/20/11 at 11:47pm
post #71 of 456
Spent some more time with the 6111 datasheets (link previously provided).

The 6111 looks like it likes to run hot. It was tested by several manufacturers at 200° C, which is twice the boiling point of water, or about 425° F. It's fair to say that would be a noticeable amount of heat. Just going by heat, it'd probably be dissipating a good 250°-300° to get the tube where it likes to run. Not much different from other tubes. There are four problems:

1. Most components are only built to withstand about 200° F. Higher ratings exist, but they're big and bulky. Those operating temperatures, especially inside a little case, would mean the amp would cook itself in short order.

2. Those temperatures would give users second and first degree burns. No one has mentioned extremely noticeable heat yet.

3. The battery would not last so long generating that kind of heat. Maybe a few minutes.

4. Tube life would be around 1,000 hours. Maybe a few hundred more. Certainly not 100 times more. (By the way, I linked the datasheets for a reason - go read about the failure rate. Those are the manufacturer's tests from 50 years ago. Not my opinion or something.)

Alright, so the tube cannot be operating as it was intended to.

So, how do you contain the heat, extend battery life and make a 100,000 hour claim? Oh yeah, and a "special technique" for running the tube.

My guess is that there's enough current to light the filament so it looks like the tube is "working."

Then a very small amount of power is fed through the tube as an output stage. But so little that the tube doesn't degrade as it would if correctly run. That would keep the tube from burning out for years.

What little power there is comes from solid state devices in the input stage. That would explain the 6.25mW of power.

So, as far as I can tell, this is a 6.25mW solid state amp with a tube buffer. Though the tube is probably more of a decoration.

Interesting that it is out of stock. Taking a look into the crystal ball, it will probably quietly disapper and be resurrected as a new model when people have forgotten about this one.

Of course, I could be wrong. If something else is going on inside the box, I would love to learn all about it.

Especially how you get a lot of power and 100,000 hours from an ordinary tube cold enough to hold in your hand. That would be amazing. It would totally revolutionize tube amps. Because all the other ones get damned hot when producing a lot of power and only last 1,000-3,000 hours or so. Maybe everyone working with tubes for the past 90 years was wrong.

It would be the "cold fusion" of tube research. Patents and prizes would be in order.

Weird thing is everyone is quietly looking in the other direction and acting like they hope this thread will go away.
Edited by Uncle Erik - 8/21/11 at 1:09am
post #72 of 456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Spent some more time with the 6111 datasheets (link previously provided).

The 6111 looks like it likes to run hot. It was tested by several manufacturers at 200° C, which is twice the boiling point of water, or about 425° F. It's fair to say that would be a noticeable amount of heat. Just going by heat, it'd probably be dissipating a good 250°-300° to get the tube where it likes to run. Not much different from other tubes. There are four problems:

1. Most components are only built to withstand about 200° F. Higher ratings exist, but they're big and bulky. Those operating temperatures, especially inside a little case, would mean the amp would cook itself in short order.

2. Those temperatures would give users second and first degree burns. No one has mentioned extremely noticeable heat yet.

3. The battery would not last so long generating that kind of heat. Maybe a few minutes.

4. Tube life would be around 1,000 hours. Maybe a few hundred more. Certainly not 100 times more. (By the way, I linked the datasheets for a reason - go read about the failure rate. Those are the manufacturer's tests from 50 years ago. Not my opinion or something.)

Alright, so the tube cannot be operating as it was intended to.

So, how do you contain the heat, extend battery life and make a 100,000 hour claim? Oh yeah, and a "special technique" for running the tube.

My guess is that there's enough current to light the filament so it looks like the tube is "working."

Then a very small amount of power is fed through the tube as an output stage. But so little that the tube doesn't degrade as it would if correctly run. That would keep the tube from burning out for years.

What little power there is comes from solid state devices in the input stage. That would explain the 6.25mW of power.

So, as far as I can tell, this is a 6.25mW solid state amp with a tube buffer. Though the tube is probably more of a decoration.

Interesting that it is out of stock. Taking a look into the crystal ball, it will probably quietly disapper and be resurrected as a new model when people have forgotten about this one.

Of course, I could be wrong. If something else is going on inside the box, I would love to learn all about it.

Especially how you get a lot of power and 100,000 hours from an ordinary tube cold enough to hold in your hand. That would be amazing. It would totally revolutionize tube amps. Because all the other ones get damned hot when producing a lot of power and only last 1,000-3,000 hours or so. Maybe everyone working with tubes for the past 90 years was wrong.

It would be the "cold fusion" of tube research. Patents and prizes would be in order.

Weird thing is everyone is quietly looking in the other direction and acting like they hope this thread will go away.


So put in straight non technical noobish layman terms this new amp is nothing more then a scam with a tube that does nothing but act like a fancy candle? If this is true I hope someone rips ALO a second you know what for being such crooks.

 

post #73 of 456

With respect to the amp heat, it gets warm, but never hot. Certainly warmer than my other portables.

 

It's an interesting theory you've come to, but even as you suggested, if using the tube as a sort of 'buffer', could you still extract some of the tubey sound? Because this amp is definitely slightly warmer sounding, with smoother highs and slightly more low end emphasis than my other traditional solid state amps. Also, what is your theory behind the power of the amp then? I'm not really well versed in these things, but clearly this amp has bags of power (at least a sizeable margin more than an SR-71A based purely on volume balancing driving the T1's). 


Edited by Naim.F.C - 8/21/11 at 3:24am
post #74 of 456

ALO The Controversial...

 

Well, there are other examples that portable tube designs can work, right? And the 100'000h life for the tube seems a little weird. It'll be more weird when the tube actually burns out but the amp still manages to work, hehe.

 

Though ALO has quite good reputation.

post #75 of 456
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post


So put in straight non technical noobish layman terms this new amp is nothing more then a scam with a tube that does nothing but act like a fancy candle? If this is true I hope someone rips ALO a second you know what for being such crooks.

 


Do we really need Uncle Erik's nuanced intelligent analysis distilled down to a 'Yo dude' summary?

 

We can reach our own distillations - and probably with more grace and less libel.


Edited by cooperpwc - 8/21/11 at 6:29am
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