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post #16 of 73
Neither can I
post #17 of 73

Seems from the reviews that i read that the national has an overall warm signature. I was wondering how it might fair with the headamp pico (non-slim version), Since they both have a warm/dark signature. Furthermore, their price range about the same, with the pico being only slightly more expensive.

post #18 of 73

^ Was thinking the same thing. Am basically thinking about how the National compares with the Stepdance and Pico.

post #19 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophile2359 View Post

Seems from the reviews that i read that the national has an overall warm signature. I was wondering how it might fair with the headamp pico (non-slim version), Since they both have a warm/dark signature. Furthermore, their price range about the same, with the pico being only slightly more expensive.



The National isn't dark, it's warm, but dark means it has a very veiled or shut off treble presence, which is not the case at all.

post #20 of 73

In general, how does this amp match up to the JDS Labs C421 since they are both around the same in that price range.

Considering pairing the amp with my upcoming Heir Audio 8A and iPod Classic 160gb.

post #21 of 73

Headfonia's review: (with comments comparing the National to the JDS Labs c421)

 

http://www.headfonia.com/the-sequel-alo-audio-the-national/

post #22 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkanai View Post

Headfonia's review: (with comments comparing the National to the JDS Labs c421)

 

http://www.headfonia.com/the-sequel-alo-audio-the-national/



I was about to post that link, thanks for catching it for me.

post #23 of 73

Any other reviews on the National along with comparisons between for example the Pico Slim, ALO Rx II etc ...?

 

 

post #24 of 73

Actually, I've a full review coming on the weekend! The short of it - I love that ALO chose a sound signature and stuck with it rather than razor-sharp flatness. It speaks volumes that expensive amps nowadays are leaving the all out performance min set of yesteryear and forming unique sounds themselves. Actually, the bright clarity and great low end width in the National goes head-to-head with another favourite of mine: GoVibe Tube amp (but that one is much more expensive).

post #25 of 73

So in short you are recommending the National?

 

For me it is between the national and pico slim. However, I have owned multiple ALO products and have always been satisfied with the quality build and sound. And for this price it's hard to beat I think. Also I like how the size seems to match well with my 160gb silver ipod.

 

As I write this I think I am convincing myself to pull the trigger on the national.

 

 

post #26 of 73

Why not between the National and Pico (instead of the Slim)?

post #27 of 73

The National is a refreshing break from the typical in this price category, and is well worth what seems a meagre sum in comparison. It is made of quality far beyond its price category, and its balance and use of the volume pot are perfect. But what sets it apart from the pack is its slightly unique voice: a bit of analogue smear here and there where one doesn't expect it. Honestly, it is in many ways similar to listening to the GoVibe Porta Tube+ (which costs much more).

 

On at technical level you could argue many ways here, one of them being the National is ahead in its price category, but on a satisfactory level, the National is not competing. In that price range, there are very few amps that voice their own sound. The National has a unique use of distortion that is very pleasing. I've only reference use of the Rx of a year or two back, but at this point, the National is more pleasing for sure. And that is saying a lot. 

 

For ultimate drive performance, especially for hard to drive balanced armature earphones, the Rx may be better, but for a full range of phones, with an accent of its own, the National really spells a unique place among solid state amps. I've got a few more words to add, but my full review of the National should be out very soon with lots of love. Ken didn't put out a mediocre product in terms of price class or build class, and obviously aimed at creating a sound, not disappearing into it. There is nothing to fault unless your earphones are very very sensitive. If you enjoy Digizoid zO2 or Rx levels of background noise, you'll do fine with the National. Again, that is only applicable with very sensitive earphones. With headphones, I've yet to hear any background noise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skoog5600 View Post

So in short you are recommending the National?

 

For me it is between the national and pico slim. However, I have owned multiple ALO products and have always been satisfied with the quality build and sound. And for this price it's hard to beat I think. Also I like how the size seems to match well with my 160gb silver ipod.

 

As I write this I think I am convincing myself to pull the trigger on the national.

 

 

 

 

post #28 of 73

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

The National is a refreshing break from the typical in this price category, and is well worth what seems a meagre sum in comparison. It is made of quality far beyond its price category, and its balance and use of the volume pot are perfect. But what sets it apart from the pack is its slightly unique voice: a bit of analogue smear here and there where one doesn't expect it. Honestly, it is in many ways similar to listening to the GoVibe Porta Tube+ (which costs much more).

 

On at technical level you could argue many ways here, one of them being the National is ahead in its price category, but on a satisfactory level, the National is not competing. In that price range, there are very few amps that voice their own sound. The National has a unique use of distortion that is very pleasing. I've only reference use of the Rx of a year or two back, but at this point, the National is more pleasing for sure. And that is saying a lot. 

 

For ultimate drive performance, especially for hard to drive balanced armature earphones, the Rx may be better, but for a full range of phones, with an accent of its own, the National really spells a unique place among solid state amps. I've got a few more words to add, but my full review of the National should be out very soon with lots of love. Ken didn't put out a mediocre product in terms of price class or build class, and obviously aimed at creating a sound, not disappearing into it. There is nothing to fault unless your earphones are very very sensitive. If you enjoy Digizoid zO2 or Rx levels of background noise, you'll do fine with the National. Again, that is only applicable with very sensitive earphones. With headphones, I've yet to hear any background noise.

 

 

 


The National is on its way and looking forward to it. I will add my two cents worth when it arrives. It will be paired up with the Rooth 8-driver CIEMs, a 160gb iPod and a pair of slightly used Beat Audio "Thor" cables.

 

 

post #29 of 73

I've not paired the National with more than 6-drivers, but it does well, holding signal quality highly even with very low Ω balanced armature earphones. Indeed, the volume pot balance is one of the best I've used in analogue volume outputs. There is an incredible amount of power for full size headphones and IEMs alike. 

 

My full review should be coming tomorrow or Friday. The National will be pared with HiSound AMP3 Pro (yes, that old beast), iPod nano 7G, iPod touch 4G, iPhone 4s, Sony A828 and briefly with the Colorfly C4 (which I borrowed). 

 

There is little lacking in it at all. Its design: input and output split, gain switch placement, perfect volume pot are impeccable. But its sound (the fact it has one) is one of the best parts. 

post #30 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

I've not paired the National with more than 6-drivers, but it does well, holding signal quality highly even with very low Ω balanced armature earphones. Indeed, the volume pot balance is one of the best I've used in analogue volume outputs. There is an incredible amount of power for full size headphones and IEMs alike. 

 

My full review should be coming tomorrow or Friday. The National will be pared with HiSound AMP3 Pro (yes, that old beast), iPod nano 7G, iPod touch 4G, iPhone 4s, Sony A828 and briefly with the Colorfly C4 (which I borrowed). 

 

There is little lacking in it at all. Its design: input and output split, gain switch placement, perfect volume pot are impeccable. But its sound (the fact it has one) is one of the best parts. 

My National just arrived yesterday and am waiting on my new CIEM cable before offering my two cents worth of opinions, but I have to concur with Shigzeo that there is little lacking (especially for the price). It is a solid build and design and aesthetically pleasing to the eye especially when matched up with my silver 160gb. (I purchased the silver). My new cable should arrive tomorrow and will be paired up with the LS8 Rooth 8 driver CIEMs I've had for nearly two years. Looking forward to bliss.

 

Stay tuned.

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