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ALO Audio RXMKIII Balanced Portable Amplifier Impressions - Page 36

post #526 of 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Room40 View Post

AnakChan

 

I have a balanced out to balanced in IC from my RX3B>-dB but only SE out to my LCD3s. I have turned the volume up to the max on high gain and there is no hum coming out of the LCD3s only the annoying scratching on the volume pot on the RX3B

 

Room40,

 

Presumably this is off your MBA. I was talking to someone else on PM and they don't get the hum either. Something weird about my setup then.

 

Thanks for the test.

 

Cheers,

Sean

post #527 of 907

Yep out of my MBA

post #528 of 907

Hey all, I am currently considering a purchase of the new balanced CLAS and the RX MK3-B for use with my iPod and my HD800 cans, along with a balanced Silver Dragon cable from Drew at Moon Audio. I read quite a few comments about having an audible layer of hiss when using the RX with a certain variety of sensitive IEMs, can anyone please provide some info on how the HD800s sound when paired with a CLAS and the MK3? It would really help me out, because I don't wanna drop a large amount of cash and discover that they are not up to my standards afterwards, since I don't even live in USA and will have to have them shipped overseas to myself ( I live in Europe ).

 

Also, is fully balanced a good idea with those components and the HD800s? Since the CLAS has a balanced output and the amp is fully balanced too, along with a balanced cable for the Senns, I assume that would provide me with the best value for the money?

post #529 of 907

I do not own the 800's but neither my Ultrasone Sig PRO's on high gain or my JH-16's on medium gain have any appreciable hiss. I too was afraid based on comments on the forum but either Ken fixed the problem or else the issue was just mass hysteria lol.

post #530 of 907

Sounds good. Having hiss would be an absolute deal breaker for me, but since that specific issue has been talked of for quite a while now, I would safely assume that the problem's already been isolated and removed from both possible sources ( CLAS and the RX MK ). I would just fancy having a few more reviews and comments on the synergy between the CLAS -dB, the MK3 and HD800s, since there have been few to none when it comes to those specific headphones.

post #531 of 907
I contacted ALO to ask about this exact issue (the hiss) as it's my personal pet peeve, but I was told by them that adjustments have been made since the first production run to produce noiseless amplification even with sensitive IEMs. As for synergy with HD800's I can't comment, but I sympathise as I'm hoping to run both JH16s and an HD650 off the amp.
post #532 of 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimerino View Post

I contacted ALO to ask about this exact issue (the hiss) as it's my personal pet peeve, but I was told by them that adjustments have been made since the first production run to produce noiseless amplification even with sensitive IEMs. As for synergy with HD800's I can't comment, but I sympathise as I'm hoping to run both JH16s and an HD650 off the amp.

Not trying to hijack the thread....You may want to try out a Fostex HP-P1...It pairs great with the HD650's and My T1 CIEM's...I am a big ALO fan, but I don't care for hiss and unless I have the gain on high and the volume up, I don't have any on the HP-P1. I am a fan of the AKM DAC chip too. As always around here YMMV....

post #533 of 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimerino View Post

I contacted ALO to ask about this exact issue (the hiss) as it's my personal pet peeve, but I was told by them that adjustments have been made since the first production run to produce noiseless amplification even with sensitive IEMs. As for synergy with HD800's I can't comment, but I sympathise as I'm hoping to run both JH16s and an HD650 off the amp.

I use the HD650s all the time with the Mark III.  No hiss that I can discern.  

 

Also the HD650s respond well to balanced operation.  Better separation, and perhaps because of that,

a more immediate sound and more access to musical detail.  Also worth considering.

post #534 of 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post

Not trying to hijack the thread....You may want to try out a Fostex HP-P1...It pairs great with the HD650's and My T1 CIEM's...I am a big ALO fan, but I don't care for hiss and unless I have the gain on high and the volume up, I don't have any on the HP-P1. I am a fan of the AKM DAC chip too. As always around here YMMV....

I did look into this as an option, but discarded it on the basis of numerous reports that it cannot deal adequately with high-impedance cans, which in my personal case would render it unsuitable. Though the DAC is good, paying for an integrated unit only then to have to supplement it with a separate headphone amp is untenable. That disregards the lack of balanced output, which is a huge draw with the CLAS -dB/ALO R x Mk III combo, the extra expenditure over a single unit notwithstanding. 

post #535 of 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimerino View Post

I did look into this as an option, but discarded it on the basis of numerous reports that it cannot deal adequately with high-impedance cans, which in my personal case would render it unsuitable. Though the DAC is good, paying for an integrated unit only then to have to supplement it with a separate headphone amp is untenable. That disregards the lack of balanced output, which is a huge draw with the CLAS -dB/ALO R x Mk III combo, the extra expenditure over a single unit notwithstanding. 
Makes sense...Good luck in your search!
post #536 of 907
Actually my self also has a bit dissapointed with this combo (rxmk3+clas db). To be honest...i still prefer the sound from my hpp1 alone compared to this cool stack. I did a couple test (based on my equipment i have) on both...the dac alone and so does the amps section. And i am afraid hpp1 is more to my liking.

Rx mk3 vs hpp1 (single ended):
To me..rx mk3 is not bad at all. It is a good amps indeed. Music separation is good. Detail is good. Bass is exceptional. Not to mention the bass knob which i like the most. It works woderfully. The highs is smooth. My problem is on its mids. I am not saying the mids is poor. But to me it fails to deliver a true sound for vocal. Still good though. But i am having a hard time to get hooked to the music using this combo or the mk3 alone. I know...i could be so i do not have the right cans with the right impedance (mine is all below 100ohm) to pair with. All i am saying this amps is a bit too aggresive for me. Its a very dynamic amp. For toe tapping kind of music i think this will suit most. Being said..this amp can handle very well with fast pace genres (pop/rnb/rock). Pairing this rxmk3 (+clas db) with my t5p sometimes at one point in certain genre gives me peaky sound so does even worse with grado ps500. And for that i still prefer hpp1 which has more refined in producing the sound (easy listening genres is my main music)..more neutral..smoother..softer..more realistic sound is like all more proper in handling all my cans (incl. My iems). Btw...using my iems on this combo or mk3 alone...i do not think is a good match. And that HISS is really annoying..especially with shure 535LE although is less noticeable with my sm3v2 (but hiss still there).

I've read somewhere in forum mentioning the amps section in hpp1 is lack of power. So..i did some a/b test using my laptop via dac centrance lx and plug into hpp1 and mk3 swap after one another...and the result was hpp1 still better for me (especially on soundstaging).. And i do not agree if hpp1 amps section alone is weak. To me the hpp1 build in amp is very pleasant to listen and has more than enough power compared to mk3 it self.

DAC section (clas -db vs hpp1).
I watched jude's comparison review in youtube between clas and hpp1. Jude said the dac alone is almost identical. I never had original clas before. The one that i have is -db version. So..i did a/b test using my ipod 160gb with wav/lossless file. The way i do the test is to use each hpp1 dac and clas db with my srgii destop amp (it has 2x RCA port). The use of ipod+hpp1 dac plug into graham slee srgii is my daily habit to listen music. The regular volume is somewhere between 40-60% out of srgii. Now..the first time i use clas db with grahm slee..i was a bit shock.. it seems i have to adjust volume to 80-85% on srgii to get the same hearing level as hpp1 does. The whole sound is becoming smaller and less appealing.. At this point..i assumed hpp1 dac has more power?? I am not sure why. But i can surely say the hpp1 will definitely still be my favorite dac (in my case). My guessing..it looks like the clas db version is meant to lower the gain output. This might be made to compliment with aggresiveness of rx mk3. In fact..i found pairing rx mk3 with clas is better (the sound is more enjoyable) than the rx mk3 +hpp1 dac combo.

My conclusion is like this...the rxmk3 + clas db will be suitable and better match with cans which has darker soundsig. The higher impedance cans might be more appropriate as well. I see many people has a good experince using their audeze lcd2. Actually i am still waiting my hd650 to arrived. I hope it eill be agood match to with rxmk3. But for a lower impedance cans...i prefer using my hpp1. And one thing i like from hpp1..it can drives all my cans beautifully without any problem at all.
post #537 of 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by muzic4life View Post

Actually my self also has a bit dissapointed with this combo (rxmk3+clas db). To be honest...i still prefer the sound from my hpp1 alone compared to this cool stack. I did a couple test (based on my equipment i have) on both...the dac alone and so does the amps section. And i am afraid hpp1 is more to my liking.

Rx mk3 vs hpp1 (single ended):
To me..rx mk3 is not bad at all. It is a good amps indeed. Music separation is good. Detail is good. Bass is exceptional. Not to mention the bass knob which i like the most. It works woderfully. The highs is smooth. My problem is on its mids. I am not saying the mids is poor. But to me it fails to deliver a true sound for vocal. Still good though. But i am having a hard time to get hooked to the music using this combo or the mk3 alone. I know...i could be so i do not have the right cans with the right impedance (mine is all below 100ohm) to pair with. All i am saying this amps is a bit too aggresive for me. Its a very dynamic amp. For toe tapping kind of music i think this will suit most. Being said..this amp can handle very well with fast pace genres (pop/rnb/rock). Pairing this rxmk3 (+clas db) with my t5p sometimes at one point in certain genre gives me peaky sound so does even worse with grado ps500. And for that i still prefer hpp1 which has more refined in producing the sound (easy listening genres is my main music)..more neutral..smoother..softer..more realistic sound is like all more proper in handling all my cans (incl. My iems). Btw...using my iems on this combo or mk3 alone...i do not think is a good match. And that HISS is really annoying..especially with shure 535LE although is less noticeable with my sm3v2 (but hiss still there).

I've read somewhere in forum mentioning the amps section in hpp1 is lack of power. So..i did some a/b test using my laptop via dac centrance lx and plug into hpp1 and mk3 swap after one another...and the result was hpp1 still better for me (especially on soundstaging).. And i do not agree if hpp1 amps section alone is weak. To me the hpp1 build in amp is very pleasant to listen and has more than enough power compared to mk3 it self.

DAC section (clas -db vs hpp1).
I watched jude's comparison review in youtube between clas and hpp1. Jude said the dac alone is almost identical. I never had original clas before. The one that i have is -db version. So..i did a/b test using my ipod 160gb with wav/lossless file. The way i do the test is to use each hpp1 dac and clas db with my srgii destop amp (it has 2x RCA port). The use of ipod+hpp1 dac plug into graham slee srgii is my daily habit to listen music. The regular volume is somewhere between 40-60% out of srgii. Now..the first time i use clas db with grahm slee..i was a bit shock.. it seems i have to adjust volume to 80-85% on srgii to get the same hearing level as hpp1 does. The whole sound is becoming smaller and less appealing.. At this point..i assumed hpp1 dac has more power?? I am not sure why. But i can surely say the hpp1 will definitely still be my favorite dac (in my case). My guessing..it looks like the clas db version is meant to lower the gain output. This might be made to compliment with aggresiveness of rx mk3. In fact..i found pairing rx mk3 with clas is better (the sound is more enjoyable) than the rx mk3 +hpp1 dac combo.

My conclusion is like this...the rxmk3 + clas db will be suitable and better match with cans which has darker soundsig. The higher impedance cans might be more appropriate as well. I see many people has a good experince using their audeze lcd2. Actually i am still waiting my hd650 to arrived. I hope it eill be agood match to with rxmk3. But for a lower impedance cans...i prefer using my hpp1. And one thing i like from hpp1..it can drives all my cans beautifully without any problem at all.

 

Just a few thoughts in no particular order :-

 

- were you using the -dB & Rx Mk3 in balanced or SE mode? I gather your "single ended" referred to the HP-P1 instead. You're quite accurate that the Rx Mk3 mids aren't as forward. For my personal tastes, I prefer the -dB/Rx Mk3 in balanced as my first choice, the old CLAS/Rx Mk3 as 2nd, and -dB/Rx Mk3 in SE as 3rd. The HP-P1 didn't cut it for me so I traded it for the SR-71B (back when I had the old CLAS/Pico Slim)

 

- the new CLAS -dB has an output voltage of 1.69V whilst the older original CLAS has 2V. i.e. with the older CLAS+Rx Mk3, you wouldn't need to turn up the volume that high. Also presumably you have the new Rx Mk3 where the low gain is further lowered by default?

 

- with regards to Jude's video on the HP-P1, that was done with the original CLAS and to be fair, back then there was no Rx Mk3 as it was released 9 months later. In fact in the video, he paired up the CLAS with the SR-71B (which already has a warmer signature).

post #538 of 907
Hi Anakchan.
I am using rx mk3 in single ended mode as i do not have any balance cable right now. Btw...iam planning to have a balance cable for my hd650 which i have not received it yet. The hd650 going tol be my only can with detachable cable. My question to you...by using single ended and balance mode on mk3..will the sound be improved? If yes...how noticeable?

Are you saying original clas has more gain than the db version? In this case i should say lucky me to not getting the original if like so. One thing i do not like from my mk3 is the way they do with the gain level. I feel like swicthing from lower gain to higher gain..the gain power is not increasing as supposed to be. I dont know how to explain but let me put this way...from low gain to medium gain...the sound increased not equally as much as i swicth from medium gain to high gain (which is too much gain at highest). Using lowest gain is just too low for me for the sound. Medium gain is not much different. Turn up volume at max still not enough juicy to the sound (using z1000/dt1350).. But using "high gain" i am not even dare to cross volume at 40% which very loud already. I hope u see what i mean. So i can not imagine if i used original clas this problem could be worse? While changing gain on hpp1..power increased is noticeable in equal portion smoothly from gain to gain. I am not sure what bacth mine is. new or older. I may find out tomorrow.

Btw..how do you find comparing rsa71b and mk3 with clas? Which one is better for vocal or easy listening kind of genres...tx
post #539 of 907

Sorry for the late reply. Been a long day.

 

I've not actually tried dynamic drivers but with balanced armatures such as the FitEar TO GO! 334 and Unique Melody Merlins/SE530x8 customs. I have SE and balanced for those IEMs. IMHO and I've had other Tokyo Head-Fi members test/agree with me on this, balancing IEMs yield little reward in this case (I don't know about other amps, other cases) in comparison to balancing the backend IC.

 

In other words, when we switched over the backend SE to balance, the improvement was greater than balancing the earphone end. And that improvement is quite obvious So my recommendation is to try balancing between the -dB & the Rx Mk3. You may like it more. Now balancing the IEM side although was only a slight improvement, it was an improvement nevertheless. So I'm not saying that there is no difference but it's just slight. Whether balancing the IEM side is worth $300, that's entirely up to each individual.

 

I should add one more thing though. Someone mentioned to me that balancing BA's such as the IEMs I mentioned above don't improve as much as balancing dynamic drivers like your HD650. So maybe a balanced cable for dynamic drivers may be better.

 

About the gain of the original CLAS vs the new dB, I'm not certain if gain is merely larger voltage. If gain is solely increasing voltage then yes the original CLAS has more gain than the new -dB. One thing for sure I do know is the old CLAS is 2V and the new -dB is 1.69V.

 

About the SR-71B vs the Rx Mk3, I'm going to have to admit I've never really been a fan of the SR-71B. I was told that I did my evaluations wrong 'cos i tested the SR-71B in Single Ended mode when really I should have done it in balanced. I'll admit that in balanced the SR-71B had finally proved it's capability but in the end, isn't my kind of signature. This is not to say all RSA amps aren't my signature but I actually prefer the Predator to the SR-71B. If it's vocals though, the SR-71B does have a more warn rich signature (in balanced) though (to my ears).

post #540 of 907
Thanks anakchan for your thoughts. I think i am gonna get balance to balance cable to connect mk3 with clas db as u mentioned. And i also made up my mind to get balanced cable for my hd650.

Actually i am about to buy 71b...but i think i should wait a little while until centrance m8 is released in my country here in indonesia. Looks like is gonna be interesting product to get. smily_headphones1.gif
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