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Alo Audio Continental V2

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I need a portable amplifier to go with my portable rig. I use an Ipod 5.5g & CLAS with the Westone UM3x & Westone 4. Do you think the Continental V2 will benefit this setup?

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 42

I would hesitate to call the proposed rig portable. Maybe transportable biggrin.gif

 

As for the V2, it really depends on your preference of sound signature. The Continental has a nice warm sounds with brilliant mids, great treble, and decent bass. It will be lacking a bit on the sub-bass, as most tube amps tend to do. Soundstage is great as well. 

 

If you're looking for a a more portable and dynamic amp, I would suggest the RX series or the C421 (8620). The National is another great option with better soundstage depth than it's older brother, and a much nicer low end.

 

If you describe more of what you're looking for, that would help narrow the options.

post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Thanks for the reply. The majority of  what I listen to is: Pop, Rock & Alternative. Also, is it worth considering the Continental V1?

post #4 of 42

The Continental should do admirably with alternative, since a lot happens in the midrange. With Rock, you probably would want something like the RX or National for more bass impact. Pop kind of depends on the song. BTW this is all relative. The Continental will probably sound great with everything, but will be better in certain regards.

 

The V1 should sound the same. The only reason I would consider the V2 is because you are using two very sensitive IEM's that could benefit from lower gain (more control of volume).

post #5 of 42

It also depends on the headphone/earphone at the end. The National seems to push better resolution into all headphones, and the continental is most at home with high Ω headphones, where it will add a few decibels in the low registers. Remarkable, really, the difference. For a non-descriminatory amp, the National is the most cost effective (and in some ways, fun) amp in ALO's line up. No-holds barred performance, on the other hand is the realm of the Rx series. 

 

Again, the national is a very big favourite of mine.

post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys. So the national or continental for the sensitive IEMs?

post #7 of 42

I think the Continental has a little less background noise than the National does, but the National has better resolution overall than the Continental does. It depends on what you want to hear. The National has a clearer, more precise sound, and can push bass resolution very well into low impedance earphones, whereas the Continental really shines when you are using headphones of full size or portable headphones.

post #8 of 42

I'm curious. Can you please elaborate why the Continental is a better match soundwise for portable headphones?

Unrelated to sound, wouldn't the National be better for portable use because it is slightly smaller, and does not run as hot? (Though I would not mind a handwarmer biggrin.gif)

post #9 of 42

I think you read my post in the opposite order, or what I wrote (and I wasn't drunk when writing) wasn't lucid. 

 

The National drives more resolution into low impedance earphones. That's what I said. The Continental really shines when using full size phones or portable  headphones. I never said one was better than another other than background noise, and resolution (hinted at). 

 

The continental's output impedance is higher, so you will need a headphone with over 32Ω to pair it with for best performance from the amp. With a high enough Ω headphone, the Continental will sing with lungs that only it has in the portable world: a very tubey sound, and a hint of extra low-bass. It is wonderful. The National is more straight/arrow with a rather low output impedance that isn't bothered that much by lowΩ earphones such as the SM2.

 

For earphones, my recommendation is the National, although, the national is perfect for home, too. The Continental is better matched (grammar here pointing to the Continental rather than National) with high Ω phones where it spits great resolution and power and is free to make its mark wonderfully. Maybe I should publish my review of it before the RxIII to clear up confusion. You know what, I'll do that. 

post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

 

The National drives more resolution into low impedance earphones. That's what I said. The Continental really shines when using full size phones or portable  headphones. I never said one was better than another other than background noise, and resolution (hinted at). 

 

Sorry, I'm probably just missing something here.

 

The full-size headphones make sense, since they would be less affected by the higher output impedance, and would benefit from the greater power of the Continental. I am just curious to why the Continental would shine with portable headphones. That would be its primary use for me. Already efficient, these headphones probably would not need the extra power. Their impedance also would not be abnormally high, since they need to be able to be driven by a standard DAP that they will usually be used with.

post #11 of 42

I assume we're still talking about the Continental v2.  It has a "hi/lo" gain switch.  I use the "hi" for full-size ear phones (K501; HE-500) and the "lo" for IEMs (JH-13s).  I am not sure what impedances we're talking about with the "hi/lo", but all I can say is that the Continental v2 works well for my phones.

post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 
The National being 200usd less makes it a big attraction.
post #13 of 42
Thread Starter 
biggrin.gif
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzjin View Post

 

Sorry, I'm probably just missing something here.

 

The full-size headphones make sense, since they would be less affected by the higher output impedance, and would benefit from the greater power of the Continental. I am just curious to why the Continental would shine with portable headphones. That would be its primary use for me. Already efficient, these headphones probably would not need the extra power. Their impedance also would not be abnormally high, since they need to be able to be driven by a standard DAP that they will usually be used with.

Portable headphones induce NO impedance mismatches as most are above 32Ω, some much higher. The Continental does better with higher Ω headphones, hence the reason I said it shines with full size and portable headphones. If impedance goes too low for the Continental, it starts to have a different sound signature and loses some of its power. Sweet spot is 64Ω and higher, though 32Ω is great, too.

 

Maybe it would be best to say it like this: both amps are great, but if you are using earphones, the National is better. If you are using headphones/portables, it is up to you. The National has a more squeaky clean signature, the Continental more of a tubey/warm signature, which is best used with phones of more than 64Ω, though down to 32Ω is good too. At that point, it is up to you which you prefer: one does NOT drive necessarily headphones better than another, but the Continental has its unique sound signature that the National mainly steers clear of. 

 

Preferences, that's all, as it pertains to headphones/portable headphones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwirugby View Post

I assume we're still talking about the Continental v2.  It has a "hi/lo" gain switch.  I use the "hi" for full-size ear phones (K501; HE-500) and the "lo" for IEMs (JH-13s).  I am not sure what impedances we're talking about with the "hi/lo", but all I can say is that the Continental v2 works well for my phones.

 

The 'hi' and 'low' switch is for gain, not impedance. The impedance of the amp will not change depending on the switch, just the amount of gain to supply volume to different headphones. 


Edited by shigzeo - 7/31/12 at 7:03pm
post #15 of 42
i get what you are saying Shigzeo.... you're optimal ratio between output impedance of the amp and the resistive impedance of the headphone is 1 to 8 so if your cans are 32' ohm you want an output impedance of less than 4 on your amp.... otherwise you crowd the pot because you gain decibels to quickly... and your amp is optimized near the end of the pot, not the beginning... better to run at 3 o clock on low gain than 9 o clock on high gain....

Do you know what the output impedance is on the continental? ive got both the conti and the national but dont know the output impedance of either... i know in car audio and home audio, ohm compatibility is a big deal.... to maximize trms delivered... and so you dont match up amps with trms floors of 4ohm in some bridged set up which burns up the amp or destroys your drivers.

only good things can happen when people have the roght info to properly pair components.
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