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ALO Pan Am desktop/portable headphone amp/DAC: Impressions and Reviews - Page 38

post #556 of 573
My galaxy note 3 creates noise into the amp unless there is 3 feet minimum between the 2

I have siemens, mullards and voskhod tubes and so far I prefer the Russians
post #557 of 573
I received my Pan Am on Saturday, I bought it from a fellow member here with a pair of Siemens & Russian tubes. I had been listening to my AKG Q701's with my Fiio E17 & had expected the Pan Am to blow the Fiio out of the water which quite frankly didn't happen. I spent the weekend listening to the Pan Am rolling the stock tubes, the Russian tubes & the Siemens, overall I am not hearing the warmth & smoothness I expected out of a tube amp so I've ordered the Mullards & French tubes. At this point I am thinking the bottleneck is the AKG's so I'm looking for a new set of cans that sound as detailed & lively as the AKG's with a little less harshness in the treble region. I listen to rock music exclusively & owned a pair of HD598's that I found grainy & dull. So where do I go from here? My budget is around $400 used, as much as I'd love the LCD2 that isn't going to happen just yet, I'd like to enjoy the journey trying a few different cans learning the various sound signatures that are out there. The Hifiman cans look interesting but I can't demo anything locally & there isn't a meet locally for a while. So where do I go from here?
Also if it matters I only have the wall wart for my Pan Am, I do have a portable battery that I can use to power the Pan Am but I don't know if the lack of the Gateway or Passport is my problem?
Edited by Fishwater - 4/14/14 at 4:02am
post #558 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishwater View Post

I received my Pan Am on Saturday, I bought it from a fellow member here with a pair of Siemens & Russian tubes. I had been listening to my AKG Q701's with my Fiio E17 & had expected the Pan Am to blow the Fiio out of the water which quite frankly didn't happen. I spent the weekend listening to the Pan Am rolling the stock tubes, the Russian tubes & the Siemens, overall I am not hearing the warmth & smoothness I expected out of a tube amp so I've ordered the Mullards & French tubes. At this point I am thinking the bottleneck is the AKG's so I'm looking for a new set of cans that sound as detailed & lively as the AKG's with a little less harshness in the treble region. I listen to rock music exclusively & owned a pair of HD598's that I found grainy & dull. So where do I go from here? My budget is around $400 used, as much as I'd love the LCD2 that isn't going to happen just yet, I'd like to enjoy the journey trying a few different cans learning the various sound signatures that are out there. The Hifiman cans look interesting but I can't demo anything locally & there isn't a meet locally for a while. So where do I go from here?
Also if it matters I only have the wall wart for my Pan Am, I do have a portable battery that I can use to power the Pan Am but I don't know if the lack of the Gateway or Passport is my problem?

Tubes need burn in so you might not notice the difference between the sound at short period of time. Anyway you might wanna try HD600 

post #559 of 573
yes hd 600 or even hifiman HE 400 would be a good choice in your price limit

The pan am pairs perfectly with the LCd 2 but it's not the same budget
post #560 of 573

Tube noob here as I've always been a SS guy. Got my Pan Am a few weeks back through Audeze and I'm trying to ID my tubes. It seems like most previous comments mentioned that the stock tubes were of chinese origin and some people thought the $9 russian tubes were a worthwhile upgrade. However, when looking at the tubes I have, they look a lot like the Russian tubes on the ALO website. How do I tell?

 

1 tube has a Triangle with "4 OTK" in it and a diamond with what looks like A 519/10 Pi (symbol, not text).

The other tubes lettering is much more faint. Not sure if I somehow rubbed it off while plugging/unplugging it, but I've inserted/removed them < 3 times.

 

Same tubes, different angle.

post #561 of 573

These are my russian tubes bought from the ALO website

 

These are the stock tubes that come with the Pan Am. I cant really make out anything except it has a star symbol at the center.

 

not sure if this helps at all haha


Edited by Veetastic - 4/15/14 at 6:13pm
post #562 of 573
Mine have 6Ж1П-EB printed and a rocket logo
post #563 of 573

I'm trying to figure out this amp. So far regardless of the tubes I have used it is brighter than I expected. I realize my Q701's are bright sounding but I don't find it as pronounced with either my E17 or Sansui AU-717 integrated amp. I also find the sound a touch bright with my HE-400's but obviously not as much as the AKG's. So far I have tried the stock tubes, the Russians, the Siemens & GE's. I have a set of Mullards on the way as my last set didn't make it through shipping. I am hoping the Mullards tone it down some & give me the lush sound I am looking for. How does everyone else find the sound signature of the Pan Am overall?

post #564 of 573

I don't hear it as bright at all.

 

Are you using the same source and DAC with all the amps you tried?

Did you test the PanAm right after you turned it on or you had been listening for some time before testing it?

 

I've noticed the PanAm seems to provide a smoother/lusher sound after warming up for like 10-15 minutes.

post #565 of 573
The Russian tubes are a little more agressives than the CV 4010 in my set up

The 701's are on the dry side as you already know, not sure you'll change the AKG signature that much
Edited by TontonJoK - 4/22/14 at 10:49am
post #566 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by themad View Post

I don't hear it as bright at all.

Are you using the same source and DAC with all the amps you tried?
Did you test the PanAm right after you turned it on or you had been listening for some time before testing it?

I've noticed the PanAm seems to provide a smoother/lusher sound after warming up for like 10-15 minutes.
I can't use a different DAC between sources because I'm using the Pan Am for listening or the E17 or my Sansui with my Bell Canto DAC. I did just order the Ifi Nano DSD so I can try that between the source & have at least one item be a constant. I do wait for the Pan Am to warm up before I do any critical listening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TontonJoK View Post

The Russian tubes are a little more agressives than the CV 4010 in my set up

The 701's are on the dry side as you already know, not sure you'll change the AKG signature that much
Agreed, AKG's just have that sound, I record concerts as a hobby & have used AKG microphones for years, on another note it's funny how their house sound carries over to all of their products. I was just hoping some warm tubes would dial it back a notch but perhaps I am just hearing something about the Pan Am that I don't like? Any other tube amps I have used in my main system have always been warmer & lusher than the Pan Am.
post #567 of 573
If the pan am pairs well with audeze signature (mediums and lows with dark treble) not sure about the Akg (happy treble)

Might be wrong tho

The 2 headphones are very different
post #568 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishwater View Post

I did just order the Ifi Nano DSD so I can try that between the source & have at least one item be a constant.

I can tell you straight away - Good choice! iDSD + Pan Am is really descent combo. While the built-in DAC in Pan Am is quite good (better than what you would get in your laptop), by upgrading to iDSD you get really neat sound. iDSD is a beautiful DAC, and it's solid state, then Pan Am adds this tube niceness and warmth of transistor output stage. You can get different results by setting iDSD volume knob at different levels. I use Sylvania tubes, and I really love them, but when input is 100% volume from iDSD it's slightly too tubey, so I turn Pan Am volume to 100% and I set 40% on iDSD, and I get really nice warm controlled sound. These two guys: Pan Am and iDSD - they seem like they were built for each other. And the Sylvania tubes is the best upgrade I got for my Pan Am. They not only sound great, but also glow beautifully in the dark (See photos I posted before).
post #569 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by koolas View Post

I can tell you straight away - Good choice! iDSD + Pan Am is really descent combo. While the built-in DAC in Pan Am is quite good (better than what you would get in your laptop), by upgrading to iDSD you get really neat sound. iDSD is a beautiful DAC, and it's solid state, then Pan Am adds this tube niceness and warmth of transistor output stage. You can get different results by setting iDSD volume knob at different levels. I use Sylvania tubes, and I really love them, but when input is 100% volume from iDSD it's slightly too tubey, so I turn Pan Am volume to 100% and I set 40% on iDSD, and I get really nice warm controlled sound. These two guys: Pan Am and iDSD - they seem like they were built for each other. And the Sylvania tubes is the best upgrade I got for my Pan Am. They not only sound great, but also glow beautifully in the dark (See photos I posted before).
Quote:
Originally Posted by koolas View Post

I can tell you straight away - Good choice! iDSD + Pan Am is really descent combo. While the built-in DAC in Pan Am is quite good (better than what you would get in your laptop), by upgrading to iDSD you get really neat sound. iDSD is a beautiful DAC, and it's solid state, then Pan Am adds this tube niceness and warmth of transistor output stage. You can get different results by setting iDSD volume knob at different levels. I use Sylvania tubes, and I really love them, but when input is 100% volume from iDSD it's slightly too tubey, so I turn Pan Am volume to 100% and I set 40% on iDSD, and I get really nice warm controlled sound. These two guys: Pan Am and iDSD - they seem like they were built for each other. And the Sylvania tubes is the best upgrade I got for my Pan Am. They not only sound great, but also glow beautifully in the dark (See photos I posted before).
I read all of your comments in the iDSD thread & it was part of the reason for me choosing the Ifi. I also appreciated the participation from Ifi audio in the thread, they really seem to have a good handle on DSD. I recorded in DSD for a few years so I am excited to hear the Nano. What always impressed me on my recordings in DSD is the natural openness & airy sound quality that I don't get when I record in 24 bit so I am excited to hear my recordings in native DSD over headphones. Which Sylvania tubes do you have? How would you describe them vs other tubes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TontonJoK View Post

If the pan am pairs well with audeze signature (mediums and lows with dark treble) not sure about the Akg (happy treble)

Might be wrong tho

The 2 headphones are very different
I agree about the treble on the AKG's which is why I also just picked up a pair of HE-400's. I don't know how they compare to the LCD's but so far I really like them.
post #570 of 573
These Sylvania:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Matched-Quad-Sylvania-NOS-NIB-JAN-CHS-6AK5W-6J1-EF95-tubes-1942-Little-Dot-/171040444372

Stock tubes seem to be rough, if compared to Mullards or Sylvania. Mullards do exagerated mids, so they are great for metal. Sylvania are super precise in whole range from lower to upper end, though treble feel gently distorted at times so you get that tubey flavour.
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