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ALO Audio RXMKIII Balanced Portable Amplifier Impressions

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by monotune, May 13, 2012.
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  1. shigzeo Contributor
  2. Kremer930
    Yes. Forget about analysis. Just get drawn into the music. Glad you like it.
  3. thread
    Good news !

    I received my replacement amp today. All around *vastly* reduced hiss. I can definitely hear it with the JH13, but even then it's not enough to ruin the fun once the music starts. Also, the distortion I was having when the balanced input was used on the original amp is gone.

    This be cause for imagery !

    Here it is with my well-worn UMDAC.


  4. Kremer930
    Great news thread.

    I assume you have one with reduced gain. Does it still have that awesome bass texture and extension?
  5. Audiocrack
    I just tried using it with my CIEMs, and though its true that theres a slight hiss when nothing is playing, just like you might experience with a speaker amp, it is such a low volume that its not noticeable once music is playing. And through my Beyer T1 there a completely black background...
  6. shigzeo Contributor
    I'm confused about the gain problem. The unit I'm testing has zero issues with gain being too loud for sensitive earphones (CT7, ToGo 334). Balance is taken fully at very low volumes, so I have room to adjust. Of course, I can't crank the volume up at all, even on low gain, but there is lots of room to play with. 
    Of course, we aren't talking about the same level of balance as was had on the original Rx or Rx II for the simple reason: it isn't a digital volume control anymore, but for analogue volume pots, this one is nigh on perfect. Ken also assured me that this unit is NOT a low gain model.
  7. KB Contributor
    Hey Shigzeo,
    I think some customers would like more travel in the vol knob before you reach a comfortable listening level, I can understand that for sure. Also I would suspect some 120 - 128 dB IEMs would get loud quick. 
    ALO Audio Stay updated on ALO Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  8. DimitriTrush
    Is this as much power as the Porta Tube?
  9. Audiocrack
    Its a LOT more...
  10. SHAHZADA123
    Power WITH finesse.
    It drives both the HE-6 as well as the K1000s with ease...
    Single ended outs from the venerable Esoteric K-01, this amp seems perfect for the aforementioned headphones, IMO
  11. zachchen1996
    shahzad, how are the lcd3's with the rx3 compared to the lcd3 with the ecba?
  12. zachchen1996
    no contest I know, but would still love to see a comparison
  13. SHAHZADA123

    It wouldn't be a fair contest, or so I thought, the ECBA costing 5x more.

    BUT, The RxIII comes SO close, that in a blind test, these ears wouldn't be able to discern between the two.

    With open eyes, the sounstage is just a little wider, instruments seem to have a bit more air with the ECBA. That's it. Tonality is much the same. Vocals seem to be about the same, both in size and distance. Neither too close nor too far.

    And with eyes wide open, the bass on the RxIII, when turned up fully, takes the biscuit, IMO.

    There's just a subtle increase in the bass, when you turn it up. It doesn't get into the other frequencies. But when you turn it off, it kind of sounds thin.
    To be honest, the quality of bass on the ECBA is just a bit more textured.
    Personally I prefer the bass on the RxIII.

    Both ECBA & RxIII were fed single ended inputs from the same source while the LCD-3s were fed balanced inputs.
    All, IMHO:cool:
  14. Audiowood
    Oh man.. so much good review as the prefered choice over the RS71B and Dx100 to some extent... How can I miss this boat. I just pull the trigger and join the fun. Now waiting for Mr Ball to ship. Thanks for all the review.
  15. shigzeo Contributor
    I spent the better part of a working day with the RXIII yesterday and the ToGo334. I don't bring big headphones to office. Um, so far, I have to say that I'm as impressed as I was with the original Rx despite the years. That is saying a lot. Remember, the Rx has been my gold standard for portable amps in terms of performance. The RxIII is much more expensive, but seems to have much more to offer. I will be checking out the balanced in/out this weekend at e_earphone.
    EDIT: Since I've spent a week with the Rx MKIII, I decided to finally do measurements. As probably all of us who own this amp know, they are good. There is no resolution fall off anywhere, and, for IEM only users who would never suspect it, gain modes are powerful, and there is LOADS of control within the volume pot. I don't think anyone could have picked a better volume pot. At first, I was hoping for a digital attenuator, but I'm pretty damn happy with the volume pot. Can't sing enough praises for now. Perhaps the original Rx will be dethroned... sad day.
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