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ALO Pan Am desktop/portable headphone amp/DAC: Impressions and Reviews - Page 30

post #436 of 1109
Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen View Post
 

Just received it today.  So much smaller than my Greatech muVac. 

 

Can't wait to listen to it.  Now trying to get the computer to recognize the USB connection.  It's supposed to be plug and play, right?

 

 

Got it working.  Got a different USB cord and plugging it into my win8 tablet now and sounds great.  I think I might have damaged the first USB cord when trying to plug it into the Pan Am.  The fit is a bit tight.

Congrats! Nice headphones too! :)

post #437 of 1109
Quote:
Originally Posted by BattousaiX26 View Post
 

Congrats! Nice headphones too! :)

Thanks!  Just to answer my own question earlier, the dac on the pan am seems to be the unit's bottleneck.  But, that's with only 24 hours of burn in.  My ancient Audio Sector dac and my newish Audioengine D3 both made the Pan am sound better when using analog inputs into the pan than when using the USB input. 

 

Pan Am is connected to Gateway with Moon Audio Blue Dragon powercord hooked into it.  Currently, even when using analog inputs, pan am is still not as good as the muVac.  Might have to invest in some tubes suggested on this thread in order to get the most of out of the amp. 

post #438 of 1109
Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen View Post

Thanks!  Just to answer my own question earlier, the dac on the pan am seems to be the unit's bottleneck.  But, that's with only 24 hours of burn in.  My ancient Audio Sector dac and my newish Audioengine D3 both made the Pan am sound better when using analog inputs into the pan than when using the USB input. 

Pan Am is connected to Gateway with Moon Audio Blue Dragon powercord hooked into it.  Currently, even when using analog inputs, pan am is still not as good as the muVac.  Might have to invest in some tubes suggested on this thread in order to get the most of out of the amp. 

I am still waiting for my PanAm+Passport to arrive but I'm already interested in tube rolling.

So, here, let me help you with 2 articles you might be interested. If you haven't checked them out yet...

http://headfonics.com/2012/10/alo-audio-the-pan-am/
http://www.headfonia.com/high-octane-fuel-for-the-pan-am-a-tube-rollers-notes/

Let us know your impressions afterwards :-)
post #439 of 1109
Quote:
Originally Posted by themad View Post


I am still waiting for my PanAm+Passport to arrive but I'm already interested in tube rolling.

So, here, let me help you with 2 articles you might be interested. If you haven't checked them out yet...

http://headfonics.com/2012/10/alo-audio-the-pan-am/
http://www.headfonia.com/high-octane-fuel-for-the-pan-am-a-tube-rollers-notes/

Let us know your impressions afterwards :-)

I currently have mullards on the way and waiting for the local store to stock siemens and russian from alo :) I'll post impression when they arrive

post #440 of 1109
Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen View Post
 

Thanks!  Just to answer my own question earlier, the dac on the pan am seems to be the unit's bottleneck.  But, that's with only 24 hours of burn in.  My ancient Audio Sector dac and my newish Audioengine D3 both made the Pan am sound better when using analog inputs into the pan than when using the USB input. 

 

Pan Am is connected to Gateway with Moon Audio Blue Dragon powercord hooked into it.  Currently, even when using analog inputs, pan am is still not as good as the muVac.  Might have to invest in some tubes suggested on this thread in order to get the most of out of the amp. 

This made me want to upgrade the DAC section more :)

post #441 of 1109

I use the Bifrost as DAC when I use the PanAm as a desktop amp. When travelling though, I don't feel the PanAm lacks - for a portable that is. Still a step up in my books. 

 

BattousaiX26, how do you plan on using the PanAm, majority of the time, if I may ask?

post #442 of 1109
Quote:
Originally Posted by themad View Post


I am still waiting for my PanAm+Passport to arrive but I'm already interested in tube rolling.

So, here, let me help you with 2 articles you might be interested. If you haven't checked them out yet...

http://headfonics.com/2012/10/alo-audio-the-pan-am/
http://www.headfonia.com/high-octane-fuel-for-the-pan-am-a-tube-rollers-notes/

Let us know your impressions afterwards :-)


Thanks!  I read the headphonia one already and based on that and other posts on this thread, I already ordered a pair of Mullards and a pair of Cifte from the tube seller in Taiwan that is linked on page 12 of this thread.

post #443 of 1109
Quote:
Originally Posted by BattousaiX26 View Post
 

This made me want to upgrade the DAC section more :)

At the 48hr mark. the Pan Am sounds much better even with USB input. 

 

My theory is the PSU's caps are "charged up" now and is supplying the DAC with better power. 

 

Quick comparison between internal/external dac, external dac sounds smoother/more intelligible with vocals, more body, detail's more palatable.  Less shimmer/glare with instruments. 

 

But, it's much much closer between the two dacs compared to 24 hrs ago.

post #444 of 1109
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZheadcase View Post
 

I use the Bifrost as DAC when I use the PanAm as a desktop amp. When travelling though, I don't feel the PanAm lacks - for a portable that is. Still a step up in my books. 

 

BattousaiX26, how do you plan on using the PanAm, majority of the time, if I may ask?

How would you compare the two dacs?  What's the rest of your setup?

post #445 of 1109
Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen View Post
 

How would you compare the two dacs?  What's the rest of your setup?

 

Comparing the built-in DAC to the Bifrost using just the PanAm as the amp (of course this is the logical way to compare) I would summarize my experience this way:

 

The biggest difference I have found is soundstage:

 

The Bifrost (non-uber) has the bigger soundstage. Instruments can be better picked out and it feels to me like the instruments are more spaced out width-wise. Sound feels to be coming from distinct sections on a platform/plane. You may imagine this as you sitting two rows in front of the musicians, or sitting with the musicians facing on the stage - depending on the track of course. 

 

The PanAm gives a more enveloping sound, instead of giving you a sense of space. One friend described it as a cocoon of sound. The stereo image is very good in the sense that you can pick out the direction where the sound is coming from, but you can't pinpoint the specific location of a given instrument. Sound feels like it is originating from around your head, instead of laid out on a specific point. It is not an in-your-head sound though. 

 

For everything else, my personal estimation is subtract 10% (give or take a few percentage points) quality from the PanAm built-in DAC from the performance of the Bifrost (non-uber) running via USB. 

 

The rest of my chain, please check my community profile. :) Hope this helps. You can always PM me for more detailed impressions if you wish. 

post #446 of 1109
 

 


Edited by BattousaiX26 - 1/6/14 at 2:53am
post #447 of 1109
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZheadcase View Post
 

I use the Bifrost as DAC when I use the PanAm as a desktop amp. When travelling though, I don't feel the PanAm lacks - for a portable that is. Still a step up in my books. 

 

BattousaiX26, how do you plan on using the PanAm, majority of the time, if I may ask?

Yes, I use pan am majority of the time because I didn't have other good amplifier/dac. :) I also dont have big desk so the size of the pan am really helps :)

post #448 of 1109

BTW anyone of you have an experience driving a headphone 16 ohms on pan am?

post #449 of 1109
Momentum are 18 ohm, and they sound really nice with Pan Am. Though, they are not good enough to pick the differences between DAC's (Pan Am vs. NAD pre-outs connected to Pan Am). But if I use Alpha Dogs (50 ohm) then I would say Pan Am sounds digital (fuzzy, glaring as you mentioned) while NAD sounds analog (smooth, clean and very precise). On the go I am quite happy with what Pan Am has to offer, however I still kinda want to have my NAD with me, but in Pan Am sized package and obviously weighing grams and not kilograms. And it would be super cool if it could be powered from something like Passport. I was always curious what DAC sits in this NAD. Some day I'm going to open it up and see :>

BTW Just ordered from ebay some NOS (what is that?) matched Mullards, hope they'll be fine. Can't wait to hear the difference smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by koolas - 1/13/14 at 3:45pm
post #450 of 1109
Quote:
Originally Posted by koolas View Post

Momentum are 18 ohm, and they sound really nice with Pan Am. Though, they are not good enough to pick the differences between DAC's (Pan Am vs. NAD pre-outs connected to Pan Am). But if I use Alpha Dogs (50 ohm) then I would say Pan Am sounds digital (fuzzy, glaring as you mentioned) while NAD sounds analog (smooth, clean and very precise). On the go I am quite happy with what Pan Am has to offer, however I still kinda want to have my NAD with me, but in Pan Am sized package and obviously weighing grams and not kilograms. And it would be super cool if it could be powered from something like Passport. I was always curious what DAC sits in this NAD. Some day I'm going to open it up and see :>

BTW Just ordered from ebay some NOS (what is that?) matched Mullards, hope they'll be fine. Can't wait to hear the difference smily_headphones1.gif

Hey thanks for the input! I currently have my eyes on the momentum so your input is a great help! I too ordered some mullards and waiting for them to arrive! I am excited also. :)

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