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$189 ALO Audio The Key USB DAC - 32-Bit / 384KHz with PCM5102A - Page 4

post #46 of 60

Quite a shame these STILL aren't getting any recognition. It's not that they're lower performing but it seems ALO has no existing promotion for these.

post #47 of 60

The problem is that the same price can buy you a lot more than an USB DAC stick with only line-out these days. It needs a big price slash to make more sense.

post #48 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
 

The problem is that the same price can buy you a lot more than an USB DAC stick with only line-out these days. It needs a big price slash to make more sense.

 

True. ALO made their product even more an niche product in a competitive market in a niche hobby by leaving it at line-out… but that might have conflicted with their "The Island." 

post #49 of 60

I'm strongly considering the ALO 'The Key' DAC as an upgrade to my Hifimediy Sabre (ESS9023 chip) DAC.

 

There are a couple other implementations of the PCM5102A chip that have my interest as well, including...

 

Stoner Acoustic UD 110v2
M2Tech hiFace DAC

 

I'm also considering the Geek Out DAC by Light Harmonics.

 

Since I will be powering desktop speakers with a T-amp, would anyone care to offer a guess as to what some of the 'sonic' differences may be between these three DACs?  


Edited by ljbrandt - 7/18/14 at 11:34pm
post #50 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljbrandt View Post

I'm strongly considering the ALO 'The Key' DAC as an upgrade to my Hifimediy Sabre (ESS9023 chip) DAC.

There are a couple other implementations of the PCM5102A chip that have my interest as well, including...

Stoner Acoustic UD 110v2

M2Tech hiFace DAC

I'm also considering the Geek Out DAC by Light Harmonics.

Since I will be powering desktop speakers with a T-amp, would anyone care to offer a guess as to what some of the 'sonic' differences may be between these three DACs?  

Don't take my word for it as this all based on what I've read. All mentioned sound better than th Stoner Acoustic DAC due to better implementation. The Geek Out has better technicalities than the M2Tech (check out the M2Tech thread). Nothing about The Key though.

Also check out the iFi nano iDSD!! A lot of people prefer it over the Geek Out. Check out the iDSD Nano review at Audiostream.com!!
post #51 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by maricius View Post


Don't take my word for it as this all based on what I've read. All mentioned sound better than th Stoner Acoustic DAC due to better implementation. The Geek Out has better technicalities than the M2Tech (check out the M2Tech thread). Nothing about The Key though.

Also check out the iFi nano iDSD!! A lot of people prefer it over the Geek Out. Check out the iDSD Nano review at Audiostream.com!!

I did some reading on the iDSD nano and now it's in the running, doh.  One think, I assume, the Key lacks is the ability to play DSD/DXD, which is not of much concern now, but may be in the near future as more material is released.

 

Three Dacs I'm now considering are:

 

iFi Nano iDSD

Geek Out 450

ALO The Key

 

I'll be using a separate amp, so I'm hoping there won't be any issues with the Geek out and iDSD's having internal headphone amps (I'll be using a 3.5mm jack).

 

The review at computer audiophile looks good too!  http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/review-portable-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-dacs-audioquest-dragonfly-meridian-explorer-director-ifi-idac-idsd-geek-out-pulse-19272/index3.html

post #52 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljbrandt View Post

I did some reading on the iDSD nano and now it's in the running, doh.  One think, I assume, the Key lacks is the ability to play DSD/DXD, which is not of much concern now, but may be in the near future as more material is released.

Three Dacs I'm now considering are:

iFi Nano iDSD
Geek Out 450
ALO The Key

I'll be using a separate amp, so I'm hoping there won't be any issues with the Geek out and iDSD's having internal headphone amps (I'll be using a 3.5mm jack).

The review at computer audiophile looks good too!  http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/review-portable-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-dacs-audioquest-dragonfly-meridian-explorer-director-ifi-idac-idsd-geek-out-pulse-19272/index3.html

That was the idea hehe…

For the Nano iDSD, you'll need a RCA ended cable to get the signal direct from the iDSD's DAC!! And yeah I've read the computer audiophile review
post #53 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by aspegicus View Post
 

Anyone could confirm if the 'The Key' works on an iPhone 5 with the lightning to USB kit? [ http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD821ZM/A/lightning-to-usb-camera-adapter ]

 

Someone could please test and report on this thread please? Please specify your iOS version.

 

Thanks!

 

It doesn't look like anyone answered this one so I'll throw it back out there:  Does The Key work with iPhone 5 and lightning to USB adapter?   Thanks!

post #54 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesC View Post
 

 

It doesn't look like anyone answered this one so I'll throw it back out there:  Does The Key work with iPhone 5 and lightning to USB adapter?   Thanks!


Yes.

post #55 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Gukas View Post
 


Yes.

 

Ha.  Thanks.  I checked with ALO and their response was that it's only for Macs and PCs - so I guess the iPhone is unsupported.  Maybe the power over USB from iDevices is borderline or the output voltage from The Key is below spec.  Glad it works though.

post #56 of 60

I have had this DAC for a few months and loved it.  I've finally put it up for sale as I focus on a good desktop rig and give up on a portable rig.

 

 

Still shocked that there hasn't been more noise about this stellar DAC.  :confused:

post #57 of 60

Very interested in something like this but struggling to find a retailer here in the UK (and it would probably be a fair chunk more expensive).

 

My primary interest is for a compact DAC that I would use to feed my old (modded) MF X-Can V2 amp for use with my various headphones (HD580, AKG550, Yamaha HPH-MT220 and VMODA M80) but I'm also interested in occasionally using my iPad/iPhone as a source (generally Spotify streaming or local tracks) and so a USB to CCK option is a bonus.

 

I've looked at options like this, the M2Tech and Dragonfly but keep bouncing around trying to decide. I've nearly pulled the trigger on a more dedicated DAC/Amp as well e.g. the iFI Nano DSD or GeekOut.

 

In short, primarily I want a good DAC to use with largely streamed media (but also a bunch of well ripped CD's)

 

iPhone/iPad connectivity is a bonus but in no way essential (would take a better DAC and sacrifice connectivity).

 

Would appreciate others thoughts

 

Olly

post #58 of 60

Another pcm5102 implementation by Hifimediy:

 

http://hifi.me/DACs/ready-made-dacs/hifime-uh1

 

Have you seen this?

post #59 of 60
I saw it but there's not much info around.

Just asked hifime if it run on nexus 6 native audio.
post #60 of 60
... And it does.
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