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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. Audiowood
    If my source is single ended and output is balance, will that make any differences or do I got to have both balance in and out to hear real improvement over the single ended. I am contemplating on getting balance cable for in and out.
     
  2. slwiser Contributor
    Quote:

    My experience using the HD25, DT1350 and Westone 4r single ended in and balanced out compared with simply single ended out is an improvement.  With my ES5 I really can't tell if it really is an improvement between single ended and balanced out.  The ES5 to me makes almost everything sound good; therefore, it is harder for me to evaluate any difference.  I do not use my iBasso DB2 balanced input into the Mk3 because my DX100 single ended output from its dac is better in my opinion than the balanced output of the DB2, not that the DB2 isn't good.
     
  3. Audiowood
    Quote:
    Ok good, in that case I will order a balance just for the LCD-3 and use single ended in. I am going for Q -audio again and was wondering which termination should I select.
     
    I am also curious about the es5 when you said it makes almost everything sound good. I just order the sony ex1000 2 days ago and now thinking of getting es5 as well. Did you use the free self impression kit that comes with it?
     
    Thanks slwiser
     
  4. estreeter
    Quote:
     
    How is it valid to compare a balanced portable amp to a high end portable source, albeit one with an internal amp ?
     
    RS71B - sure 
    DX100 - lets compare apples with apples ..... 
     
  5. shigzeo Contributor
    Remember, earphones/headphones that use multiple crossovers will have their optimal frequency responses affected by use in balanced mode. Some, in fact, sound worse because they were tweaked for very specific frequency responses. Some, may sound as good or better. It's a crap shoot.
     
    With phones like LCD, however, I would expect in every instance for the balanced mode to sound better as there is simply more signal quality for each channel: better stereo separation, less distortion. Audible improvement for sure.
     
  6. estreeter
    Quote:
     
    Ken, pardon my naivety, but isn't it fair to say that you designed the Mk3 to drive demanding fullsize cans rather than ultra-sensitive IEMs ? To my way of thinking, we already have an abundance of portable headphone amps for the IEM crowd. 
     
  7. sunninho
    Quote:
     
    I think it's fair to compare their overall sound quality, considering the money they cost -- particularly with single ended output from the DX100 with single ended from the Rx3 (from a similar source, if possible).
     
    And even with the Portaphile 627, I'd like to see how its single ended output compares overall to both balanced and single ended from the Rx3.  For me, and maybe for others, either one of these will be the next major upgrade path.
     
  8. slwiser Contributor
    Quote:
     
    I got my ES5 via a local audiologist who made the order for me.
     
  9. slwiser Contributor
    Quote:
    The comparison I was making was the  single ended source part of the DX100 (line out) to the balanced out of the iBasso DB2 which are both source signals into the Mk3. 
     
    Now my question to anyone able to answer this is anyone in agreement with my take on the quality of the DX100 line out compared with say the balanced output of the DB2 into the Mk3.  I am open to having this opinion challenged since I am not so sure that I am able to shave such distinctions clearly.  I am comfortable with using it in the manner that I do though.  It certainly is easier to handle than adding a third box to the mix with the iBasso DB2; i.e., only the DX100 + Mk3-b.  If I had to bypass the DX100 dac it would be better for me to use my iTouch since it would be much smaller than the DX100 being used only as a transport.
     
  10. slwiser Contributor
    Quote:

    Actually i would agree with this assessment even though I  use my Mk3 primarily with my ES5 now.
     
  11. shigzeo Contributor
    It seems to work just as well for multi-crossover, lowΩ balanced armature IEMs, which for most amps, are actually harder to drive resolution to. If you are talking about volume to ear-destroying levels with headphones, that is one thing - a thing that for some reason isn't discussed enough here. I've heard some people here say with pride that they listen to volumes of 115dB with headphones/earphones. 
     
    Most amps can pump that, and voltage isn't something hard to pump out, either. Giving balance, control, and full resolution to specific Ω levels, is harder. The Rx gives all of that to the lowest of Ω earphones and to the highest Ω of headphones, all within bleeding levels of volume (over 100dB). No phase errors, very good balance (to within 0,01 dB) in low gain, and off by up to 0,03 dB in high gain which is far better than most of the competition (read in the price category). ALO aren't selling an advertising claim, they seem to be selling still the optimal amp for all headphones. IEMs are the hardest to drive full resolution into. Then you have headphones like K701 which are at a low enough Ω level with low/high enough impedance swings (like balanced armature IEMs) and they, too, are tackled perfectly by the Rx III. 
     
    Maybe it's the be-all-end-all amp. I'm not sure. It's certainly impressive.
     
  12. Kremer930
    I am still in love. Like a teenagers first love...every time I pick up the RX3 it amazes me without me even having to think about sound quality.
     
  13. maguire
    As I posted on another thread, I got a chance to try firstly the RX II with CLAS running my Miracle Custom IEM, and thought wow..... as this was my first session with this combo, even though it was SE - a match that sonicaly was a Awesome. Then it was bought to my attention that they had a RXIII in the Store......Again SE do not own a balanced cable. I thought I had found an Awesome match well let me tell you even at SE it was really something else another level again. I have not tried Ray's amps or the other amp that I would like to hear would be Jans Stepdance....But Honestly How good is this MKIII ? Ken youre on a winner mate. Congratulations, aghhh I can only Imagine what this thing is capable of in balanced mode???? kinda wets the appetite...
     
  14. shigzeo Contributor
    I'm meeting another RXIII owner this weekend and will compare our devices. Mine's black. So is my MKI. I think the new finish is nicer, surely doesn't attract as many finger prints. Maguire, how is balance on your unit? Mine is within 1 decibel on lowest volume settings, and within 1/10% at near 100% in low, and mid, and on high, within 1dB at 70-80% volumes. 
     
  15. maguire
    shigzeo, I just tried a unit at a local store, I dont own one as yet. I had it on low gain, and on SE everything was fine I did not notice any balance issues.
     
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