If I may, I'd like to clarify something for jcw-mini.
ALO Solo (aka Cypherlabs Algorhythm Solo or CLAS for short) is not the same as the Fostex HP-P1. I have both. I don't know if jcw-mini is aware of this cos I re-read the thread twice and it wasn't clearly mentioned but :-
CLAS = DAC mode or transport mode
Fostex HP-P1 = DAC mode, Transport and/or Amp
i.e. if you buy the HP-P1, it's a DAC and an Amp. But if you buy the CLAS it's only a DAC and you'll still need to buy another amp. You cannot plug your headphones straight into the CLAS. That is why the HP-P1 has a volume knob whereas the CLAS doesn't.
So with the Fostex HP-P1, you carry only your iPod+HP-P1+headphones. But for the ALO Solo you carry iPod+CLAS+Amp+headphones.
If you guys are aware of this, then my apologies but as mentioned, I don't recall this being clearly stated in earlier posts of this thread.
Thank you for clearing that up. I didn't think the AOL CLAS has an amp built-in.