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Alo Audio Continental V2 - Page 2

post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

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.

 

I see what you're saying now. So most headphones (portable and full-size) have an impedance of greater than 32 ohms, which fulfills the 1:8 impedance rule of the Continental. Since they fulfill the same rule for the National, the choice is mostly based on sound signature. Thank you for patiently explaining that.

post #17 of 42

@The Fed

I hope I was lucid enough. There is also this issue: if an output impedance is too high, then when the headphone/earphone dips below its output threshold, it won't be able to supply enough current to sustain a signal, hence wild frequency response shifts such as those seen with the Graham Slee Voyager when driving the FitEar Private 333.

 

It's not just the bunching of volume or control of the volume pot. It's a lot of other stuff. 

 

Hence my recommendation to use the Continental with portable headphones or full size phones, same as the Graham Slee Voyager (another favourite amp).

 

Impedance: I don't have a multimeter handy and am not that good with maths anyway, so I can't measure for you. If I pick one up, I'll do it. I'd guess it is under 20, perhaps less than 10. 32Ω phones affect the output some, but nothing like 16Ω phones do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fed View Post

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.

@tzjin

Most portable headphones are single driver, dynamic headphones and have more than 32Ω. Most should. There are a number of amps and sources that output impedances high enough that even 32Ω phones will show some sort of distortion in the signal, be it loss of frequency response, or something else. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tzjin View Post

 

I see what you're saying now. So most headphones (portable and full-size) have an impedance of greater than 32 ohms, which fulfills the 1:8 impedance rule of the Continental. Since they fulfill the same rule for the National, the choice is mostly based on sound signature. Thank you for patiently explaining that.

post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

@tzjin

Most portable headphones are single driver, dynamic headphones and have more than 32Ω. Most should. There are a number of amps and sources that output impedances high enough that even 32Ω phones will show some sort of distortion in the signal, be it loss of frequency response, or something else. 

 

Yep, there's some controversy in the Dragonfly thread about it right now, though it is mostly with sub 32ohm impedance IEM's.

post #19 of 42

So... has anyone measured the output impedance of the Continental V2?

 

Want to pair it with LCD-2's and maybe Unique Melody Merlins (12 Ohms)

post #20 of 42
I've been listening to both of them pretty extensively side by side last couple of days and i honestly dont see a $200 plus sound quality improvement in the continental.. it is certainly cleaner and can soar through mid range stuff more clearly and detailed than the national... but it takes some pretty serious attention to notice it... likewise the national is a bit more grainy and doesnt quite sing as clearly through mid and high frequency details... the word that comes to mind is beautiful with the continental... but the national is not that far off... plus the ability to get underneath low end bass and push it is a definite plus on the national... i love the aesthetics of the continental...and am a fan of bigger form factor and think theb continental is one of, if not the nicest looking portable amps out there.

Its clearly the more "audiophile" friendly amp... and the more mature of the two... but i find myself plugging into the national alot more.... i think the continental is for the audiophile and the national is for the music lover.
post #21 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fed View Post

I've been listening to both of them pretty extensively side by side last couple of days and i honestly dont see a $200 plus sound quality improvement in the continental.. it is certainly cleaner and can soar through mid range stuff more clearly and detailed than the national... but it takes some pretty serious attention to notice it... likewise the national is a bit more grainy and doesnt quite sing as clearly through mid and high frequency details... the word that comes to mind is beautiful with the continental... but the national is not that far off... plus the ability to get underneath low end bass and push it is a definite plus on the national... i love the aesthetics of the continental...and am a fan of bigger form factor and think theb continental is one of, if not the nicest looking portable amps out there.
Its clearly the more "audiophile" friendly amp... and the more mature of the two... but i find myself plugging into the national alot more.... i think the continental is for the audiophile and the national is for the music lover.

Interesting thoughts from you. Do you think your statements would apply to both: IEM and Headphones?

post #22 of 42

It won't be 1/8 of 12Ω for sure. What is great is that hiss is very low on the Continental V2. It sounds very nice with IEMs, but it will certainly show aberrations in frequency response when paired with headphones below 32Ω. 

 

But many amps do. 

 

I've used the V2 very well with ToGo! 334 and GR8 (GR8 are over 120Ω). The overall character of the V2 is just toned down a bit with low Ω IEMs, slightly in a way gaining an edge (as in sound edge, not performance edge) when compared with higher Ω headphones. In some ways its tubey character is toned down. So, I think that many people will enjoy it either way. Frequency response aberrations are NOT immediately obvious in all cases, and after looking at a broad sweep of what people have been using here and swear by, I think that 99% of us will never even know the difference because only recently have we been buying or utilising lowΩ output devices - even amps.

 

The sudden interest in low Ω output amps is good from a scientific standpoint, but from a listener standpoint, I really doubt that many of us (even those who claim golden ears) are able to discern such differences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValentinHogea View Post

So... has anyone measured the output impedance of the Continental V2?

 

Want to pair it with LCD-2's and maybe Unique Melody Merlins (12 Ohms)

post #23 of 42
@ The Karakiri.... i cant say for sure with iem's... i dont have any high end iems but i do have a set of $30 beaters from sennheiser.... for the family computer.... i can plug in after the critters are down for the night and try to get a gauge...... layman logic would say the continentals cleaner background will translate well with iems... but i dont think its that simple... i'll let you know what hear.
post #24 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fed View Post

@ The Karakiri.... i cant say for sure with iem's... i dont have any high end iems but i do have a set of $30 beaters from sennheiser.... for the family computer.... i can plug in after the critters are down for the night and try to get a gauge...... layman logic would say the continentals cleaner background will translate well with iems... but i dont think its that simple... i'll let you know what hear.

Thanks for reply.

post #25 of 42

Karakiri, sorry for the belated response.... I wasn't able to really spend any time with my equipment till last night and then packed it up to bring with me to work this morning and listened through my Sennheiser IEMs (i don't know the model but they are cheapies I got for the kids and my wife for like $30). I did 20 min direct from the ipod.... twenty minutes with the National and twenty minutes with the Continental using the same tracks and trying to match volume (although it's an imperfect science as I was just trying to match volume by ear).

 

Real quick cuz I am at work

- Low gain switch on both makes them perfect matches for IEM's

- Continental was at 3:00 on low gain to match max volume on iPod

- National was at 1 or 2 o clock on low gain to match volume on iPod

- iPod sounded crowded... singer standing an inch from my face

- Continental singer stepped back 5 feet, balance of instruments was shocking, if the iPod was a crowded club and I was in the front row, the Continental turned it into a well designed acoustic concert hall (the spacial imaging and sound stage improvements were no joke!) I can't say enough about this.... given my objective tendencies, I was blown away by this.

- National gave same improvements on sound stage and imaging (to a slightly lesser degree) but was more dynamic, if the Continental was a concert hall, the National felt like the recording studio. National hits harder, more potent, better bass.

 

Conclusions:

Both are good options for IEMs

iPod's headphone out jack really sucks next to both

Continental is more refined and smooth - 

National is more dynamic and hard hitting.

 

I think they both have a place in my collection.

post #26 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fed View Post

Karakiri, sorry for the belated response.... I wasn't able to really spend any time with my equipment till last night and then packed it up to bring with me to work this morning and listened through my Sennheiser IEMs (i don't know the model but they are cheapies I got for the kids and my wife for like $30). I did 20 min direct from the ipod.... twenty minutes with the National and twenty minutes with the Continental using the same tracks and trying to match volume (although it's an imperfect science as I was just trying to match volume by ear).

 

Real quick cuz I am at work

- Low gain switch on both makes them perfect matches for IEM's

- Continental was at 3:00 on low gain to match max volume on iPod

- National was at 1 or 2 o clock on low gain to match volume on iPod

- iPod sounded crowded... singer standing an inch from my face

- Continental singer stepped back 5 feet, balance of instruments was shocking, if the iPod was a crowded club and I was in the front row, the Continental turned it into a well designed acoustic concert hall (the spacial imaging and sound stage improvements were no joke!) I can't say enough about this.... given my objective tendencies, I was blown away by this.

- National gave same improvements on sound stage and imaging (to a slightly lesser degree) but was more dynamic, if the Continental was a concert hall, the National felt like the recording studio. National hits harder, more potent, better bass.

 

Conclusions:

Both are good options for IEMs

iPod's headphone out jack really sucks next to both

Continental is more refined and smooth - 

National is more dynamic and hard hitting.

 

I think they both have a place in my collection.

Great comparison! It's really gonna help me with my decision making!

 

Thanks.

post #27 of 42

Yes, that is a good way to put the sound of both amps. Well done.

post #28 of 42
What headphones will best compliment the ALO CV2 for mostly alternative & slow rock music? From what I've learned from the previous posts, higher impedance hps are ideal? What brands & models will fall under this category? Thanks!
Edited by icemanmd78 - 10/20/12 at 3:31pm
post #29 of 42
  • 100x100px-LS-a3b9cd4d_129642444_51210a014a_o.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Impedance: I don't have a multimeter handy and am not that good with maths anyway, so I can't measure for you. If I pick one up, I'll do it. I'd guess it is under 20, perhaps less than 10."

 

Did you find out what the impedance of the Continental is ?


Edited by zorin - 1/15/13 at 7:30am
post #30 of 42
Heir Audio IEMs are good choice for the ALO amps too.
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