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ALO Audio International Impressions and Appreciation Thread - Page 2

post #16 of 47

One thing I haven't figured out is whether the ALO International will work as a DAC and amp with an iPhone 5, iPhone 4 or iPod Classic 160GB. I don't mind buying an iPad Mini to make it work, but my desire is to have the smallest setup possible for my LCD-2 cans when I am away from my office (home use or when on business trips and stuck in a hotel room).

post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by voteforpedro View Post

One thing I haven't figured out is whether the ALO International will work as a DAC and amp with an iPhone 5, iPhone 4 or iPod Classic 160GB. I don't mind buying an iPad Mini to make it work, but my desire is to have the smallest setup possible for my LCD-2 cans when I am away from my office (home use or when on business trips and stuck in a hotel room).

I tried in vain to get the Int'l work directly with the iPhone 5.

Perhaps if the phone is jailbroken to work with the Lightning to USB Camera cable it's possible, but I don't want to jailbreak my phone.

However, it works flawlessly with said cable and my iPad Mini.

post #18 of 47
The lightning to usb cable is suppose to work with the iphone 5 on ios7 (no jailbreak). We will find out this month
post #19 of 47
Right now I have a few avenues:

Get a Sony PHA-1 and use existing iPhone 5

Get an ALO International and buy an iPad Mini

Resurrect my old iPod classic, forego an external DAC and go to an ALO National
post #20 of 47

I'm going to weigh in here since I've done pretty much all of the below (not with the National specifically, but a standalone amp) so can share my thoughts.

 

Quote:
Get a Sony PHA-1 and use existing iPhone 5

 

 

I got the PHA-1.  Almost immediately I found it super annoying to swap my iPhone in and out of it.  I broke down and bought a dedicated iPod Touch for it.  YMMV depending on the amount of times you intend to connect/disconnect in a day.  I have to admit now I'm very happy with this setup.  It's relatively streamlined compared to a Cypher Labs-based setup.  And as an amp, so far I'm happy with the PHA-1.  Got mine at B&H for $379 FYI.  This is the setup I use most on-the-go since it's easiest to handle.  I've found myself using it at home, strangely, when I just want to take a quick 20 mins to listen rather than plug in to the bigger setup.  I have two kids (one new) so being able to take those 'stolen moments' is an unexpected use case for me that's really worked out.

 

 

Quote:
Get an ALO International and buy an iPad Mini

 

Option 2: I already had the iPad Mini but bought the Int'l primarily to be a portable amp to use with computer.  Using with Mini is a great bonus, but if you don't already have the Mini it's an investment.  I found this setup to be a little annoying trying to find a graceful way to do things like change the music while on the go.  The footprint of the Int'l isn't a great match for the iPad if you're trying to handle both simultaneously.  To me the value of the Int'l is being able to throw it in my bag easily for a business trip to connect to my laptop, take it to work etc.  I have a feeling now the PHA-1 setup's going to supplant that.

 

 

Quote:
Resurrect my old iPod classic, forego an external DAC and go to an ALO National

 

Cost effective! If you decide later on you want a DAC you might find yourself in a pickle.  I tried this setup for a little while, got a cheap used Fiio amp just to see if I liked the setup in principle before getting the National or Continental.  Then again, you can easily add the CLAS later on if you don't mind the weight and size.  For me the flexibility of having the DAC was key.  I imagine moving a National if you change your mind and don't need it wouldn't be hard on Head Fi.

 

Then there's this:

Quote:
The lightning to usb cable is suppose to work with the iphone 5 on ios7 (no jailbreak). We will find out this month

 

I'd love to read more about this, if you have any links to point me to.  This sounds really great.  The International would work off the bat, it doesn't leech too much power if any from the iDevice--i.e. it already works with the iPad.  I just ordered a USB hub that's supposed to get around the iDevices' current power consumption limit.  If that worked, and the lighting to USB cable worked with the iPhone 5, I think the iPhone->Lighting/USB cable-->small USB hub-->Dragonfly would be the lightest possible "rig" I could imagine.  I live in NYC and would see if that could be my subway rig.  I'd also happily strap the Int'l to the phone despite the odd ergonomics.

 

This is like group therapy.  I have to admit, I've been an Apple fan traditionally but the mental gymnastics involved in getting the digital signal out of their devices has pushed my patience.

post #21 of 47

Thanks for your thoughts, andydavid. Very much appreciated. I don't shy away from costs, as I tend to know what I want and the incremental costs don't freak me out. I am more sensitive to bulkiness, PITA factors and want to find where I get the best bang for my buck, even if it costs me more. I don't like throwing money away, so I like to find that point of inflection where the extra money spent doesn't return much and then stop right there.

 

This means I am willing to buy a FiiO X3, AK100, AK120 or whatever if it means I get better quality, fewer cables, less bulk and great overall sound. And the more I work with ALO the more I like what they are doing and I emotionally want to use more of their products. Too bad the International isn't quite what I need to make things work. Right now I am leaning towards getting an AK100 or FiiO X3 player with a National amp. Just thinking about moving towards a decent DAC built into a player, versus looking for a DAC/Amp combo with all of the challenges that go along with iOS devices.

post #22 of 47
Your desire for portability make no sense when you intend to have the lcd2 with you. Just put everything in the same peli case. Or forget that idea and go iem
post #23 of 47
...I neglected to mention that I have a pair of Cardas EM5813 IEMs for on the road use.
post #24 of 47

I am waiting for a Pan Am and this amp to compare.

post #25 of 47

The iPhone 5s doesn't work with The International.


Edited by Schmitt - 10/17/13 at 6:48pm
post #26 of 47

I don't know if this will help or not -- but I just got the International yesterday (I've had it on for 8 hours listening with the new UM30 Pro's) - and I added the C-Labs Solo -db just today. I don't plan on using my iPhone 5 in the mix at all (I prefer my iPod Classics - 5.5 - and current version - especially now that I can bypass the DAC in them). I used a connector from Cypher with the Lightning end -- and it works great. The one caveat is when you first plug in the iPhone 5 to the Solo -db, you get the message indicating that the device you plugged in isn't compatible (something like that) -- I just click OKAY -- and away I go - no problem. I was at my headphone shop in Toronto listening to the Grado PS1000's via the International / Solo -db / iPhone 5 -- no problem at all. Yes, I know the Solo adds a whole other layer (cost / footprint / etc) -- but I just wanted to point this out as an alternative.

 

As for the International -- I wanted to upgrade from my JDS 02amp/dac --- and I wanted portable --- I researched for a couple months. I thought I was sold on the SR71B -- until I found the International -- fantastic amp all on its own with an iPod - and when you through the Solo db in the mix -- I couldn't be happier right now. I don't have any plans to use balanced headphones - but it's an option with the International.

 

I've only been listening over two days here and there -- but I'm simply amazed -- and I love the UM30 Pro's (the True-Fit foam tips are fantastic). I also have the IE-80's -- and I have to say the International brings out the best in them - much warmer sound than the UM30's -- great sound stage -- wonderful detail...

 

I'm loving the International -- coming from traditional analog sound (vinyl and tape) -- the sound from the International just takes me back.

post #27 of 47
Edited by Schmitt.

Edited by Schmitt - 10/19/13 at 9:36pm
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by notraces View Post
 

I don't know if this will help or not -- but I just got the International yesterday (I've had it on for 8 hours listening with the new UM30 Pro's) - and I added the C-Labs Solo -db just today. I don't plan on using my iPhone 5 in the mix at all (I prefer my iPod Classics - 5.5 - and current version - especially now that I can bypass the DAC in them). I used a connector from Cypher with the Lightning end -- and it works great. The one caveat is when you first plug in the iPhone 5 to the Solo -db, you get the message indicating that the device you plugged in isn't compatible (something like that) -- I just click OKAY -- and away I go - no problem. I was at my headphone shop in Toronto listening to the Grado PS1000's via the International / Solo -db / iPhone 5 -- no problem at all. Yes, I know the Solo adds a whole other layer (cost / footprint / etc) -- but I just wanted to point this out as an alternative.

 

What "connector from Cypher with the Lightning end" are you referring to?

 

What "connector" did you use to connect the Solo -dB to the iPhone 5?

 

On the Cypher Labs website, it says the AlgoRhythm Solo -dB is designed to work with the iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, and 4S. It doesn't mention the iPhone 5 or 5s.
 
I'm getting ready to send The International back, because it doesn't work with the iPhone 5s or my MBA. If it works with the iPhone 5 (like you said it does), then it should work with the iPhone 5s.

 

The people at ALO never tried using The International with an iPhone 5s to see if it works or not.


Edited by Schmitt - 10/19/13 at 9:54pm
post #29 of 47
I used a connector the headphone shop said they got from Cypher. You may want to send them a note to ask.

"The people at ALO never tried using The International with an iPhone 5s to see if it works or not."

I don't think that's unreasonable given the 5s is brand spanking new. I don't think you can assume that what works for the iPhone 5 will also work on the 5s.

And - I missed the part about your International not working with your MBA - mine works fine (with and without the Solo).
post #30 of 47

...The ALO International has never been marketed as anything other than a USB DAC, which in turn means no promises it will or won't work with iOS devices. They have communicated that the iPhone 5 with the CCK does work, though.

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