I was next after Carlsan on the Palaios amp tour. It's taken me a while, but I finally have some impressions of the amp.
***Note! No battery was included so I used the only 9v battery I had laying around, a 97 cent Rayonac that's designed for low power draw devices. I strongly suspect that my findings were colored by the battery used.
Listening was done with a Fiio X5 and Aurisonics ASG-2, with Tralucent silver/gold interconnects and IEM cable.
As a matter of fact, the performance I'm hearing from the Palaios is so poor that I'm going to hold off posting these impression until I run out and get another battery today. I'll update this later in the evening.
Ok, upon NLNH's advice I switched to the line-out of my ipod classic 6th gen as a source due to the Palaios amp's low input voltage requirement. Much better.
These impressions are with the Tralucent T1 as my baseline. I haven't looked at the cost of the amp, since I didn't want it to really color my impressions overall.
The overall character of this amp is what I'd describe as slightly brighter, due to a de-emphasis on bass, and more on upper mids and lower treble. To my ears, there's a lack of refinement in the midrange, imparting a graininess to the sound that isn't there with the amp sections of my iphone 4 or the T1. Character-wise, I like how it matches up with warmer phones, bringing them closer to neutral. I didn't really notice anything that stands out about the soundstage. I'm not quite sure how to listen for distortion, so I can't comment on that.
One particular thing I noticed was how the imaging was skewed/inverted on the Palaios. For instance, when listening to Kanye West's Bound2 Kanye's vocals are presented on the opposite side compared to the T1 and iphone 4. I'm not sure if this is a wiring error in this particular unit, or if it's like that overall.
Long story short, I like the character of the amp. For some reason I expected a warm, organic voicing given the wood enclosure, but the clean tonality is nice. Other than the grain and strange imaging, it's not a bad amp.
And that's it for my impressions! Thanks again for allowing me on the tour, and sorry for holding it so long.
I'll be passing it along in the next couple of days.
Edited by eke2k6 - 3/24/14 at 4:46pm