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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. Anthony1
    Hmm.. we have a problem Houston.. hit the Man Cave tonight and knocked up a silver mini to mini and one channel doesn't work when connected to the DX 
  2. a1right
    Has anyone compared the mkIII to the Lisa 3? the L3 impression thread mentioned that it worked with more 3d depth with a power source and it wasn't as good on battery power.
  3. Anthony1

    Search this thread as Im pretty sure Currawong has albeit briefly with AnakChan's RX3B
  4. dj nellie
    Just got my MK3.  The volume and bass knobs aren't quite as large and obtrusive as they look in pics.  Build quality seems very solid, and I like that the light indicates low battery (unlike the SR71b).
    I plugged in my Edition 8s, wired with a TWag v.2 balanced cable.  There is a light pop when turning the amp on, but it's much less powerful or bothersome than either the SR71B or Pico Slim's power-on pops.
    There is definitely channel imbalance at low volumes, and the sound kind of warbles in and out with some soft static when turning the volume knob slowly between the lowest volume and a normal listening level.  The amp is too loud at the lowest, channel-balanced level for my Edition 8s in balanced and low gain (with the CLAS as my source), but I had the same problem with the SR71B.  I haven't tested my UERMs yet, but I have a feeling they'll also be tough to find a comfortable listening volume for.  There's also a noticeable layer of hiss with no music playing, but it's not too loud.
    Using the CLAS as a source, I'm definitely impressed with the sense of resolution, clarity, and realism that I'm getting.  Overall, it seems more refined and less veiled than my SR71B was.  The MK3's bass seems a bit better defined, and its imaging is less stretched to the extreme right and left, resulting in what I feel is a more cohesive and natural presentation.
    As others have reported, the bass adjust knob is very subtle, to the point where I can only notice its effect on certain songs with a constant, thick bass presence.  It seems to add a little thicker "shroud" of bass, as opposed to increasing impact.  It seems very tastefully done, although I'm sure some people would like it to be more dramatic at its highest levels.
    I'm really happy with the MK3 so far, although I would like a wider range of channel-balanced, comfortable listening volumes on the knob.  This is mainly an issue with my modern rock/pop recordings, which seem to have a higher baseline volume than my older jazz and classical stuff.
    I had to send off my LCD-3s for repair, so I can't test them yet but I imagine they would have a little more usable range on the knob.  Also looking forward to seeing whether the bass knob can add a little more weight and warmth to my UERMs and DT1350s...
  5. ericfarrell85
    I had mine adjusted for lower gain. The synergy with the UERM is phenomenal, probably best among my customs. It adds heft or body to the UERM and improves on its ability to recreate the atmosphere of a recording (not one of the high points of the UERM, as I feel air and reverberation is comparatively lacking with others). On my unit the volume knob is approximately 30% turned and the bass knob 50-60%. Also use the CLAS as a source, though less often I'll use the DX100. 
  6. a1right
    Form what I read The L3 has trouble with treble which means the Mk3 would the best amp right now to pair with the solo if i decided to pick up either. I keep thinking that pairing an amp and dac from the same company is a problem but don't know why?
  7. spkrs01
    [​IMG] ???
  8. Anthony1
    Ive posted this in the DX thread as well.
    Have paired the RX3B up with the DX100 (SE only at the moment) as Im waiting on some balanced connectors.
    Early indications are [​IMG]
  9. Kremer930
    What do you think of the sound compared to the amp in the Dx? Do you find more fullness in the bass and greater texture overall?

    Nice LOD by the way. I assume it is your handiwork.
  10. Anthony1
    Thats it in a nutshell! It just fills everything up. Have been A/B'ing and the DX100 by itself is a tad laid back compared to the RX3/DX100. The only headphones I have at the moment (for my comparison at least) are my K701s and they just come alive with bass slam (is there such a thing with the K701s?). I find I dont have to use the bass knob much if at all. After listening to yours and AnakChan's followed by my demo session with the LCD3s at A2A Im really happy with my purchase. Didn't think I would return to the "stack building" but hey never say never. Cheers on the LOD.
  11. AnakChan Moderator
    Kremer930, you didn't try the DX100+RxMk3? Pity since we had the gear then. Well guess you can meet up with Room40 to test his setup.
    I actually sent my RxMk3 back to Ken/ALO to have the gain further lowered as (thanks to temporaryname) I could hear hiss even at low gain with the FitEar TG!334.
  12. Kremer930
    Hi Anakchan. Yes I have demo'd the Dx and rx3 before when the Rx3 first came out. I expected it to be a close outcome but was amazed that the Rx3 was so much more punchier and fuller. Neither the Dx or the RX had many hours on them at the time so I thought that the Dx may have improved with some burn in. Looks pretty clear now that the RX lifts the Dx up another level.

    I also don't use the bass boost function all that often. I really only use it if the music is a little flat.

    I will be interested to hear your impressions of the RX with reduced gain as my window of adjust, even on low gain, with my Jh16's is pretty small. I listen just before 3 o'clock on the volume dial.
  13. Anaxilus
    Compared to amps like the UHA6S, Portaphile, L3 and Rx3, the amp in the DX100 is simply outclassed.  
  14. a1right
    If that's not true and the L3 is a better amp than I would grateful for the news because I haven't purchased an amp yet.
  15. dj nellie
    Just tried my MK3 with my UERMs.  The level of hiss is unacceptable, and the volume is already too loud for me right at the turn-on point. 
    This is really disappointing, since the MK3 sounds better than either my SR71B (more resolution) and my Pico Slim (less digital-sounding and more bass weight).  But the hiss is clearly audible even with music playing.  With customs, my SR71b had virtually no hiss, and the Pico Slim has both no hiss and a wide listenable volume range.
    I guess I should've known to request low gain from the start, but I don't think any special requests should have to be made in order to use an amp with custom IEMs.  Ken had said that he tested the amp with customs, and at least 1 person reported that he didn't hear any hiss with sensitive IEMs.  My hearing is definitely not especially sensitive, and I don't tend to listen to music at abnormally soft volumes.  The MK3 is just way too loud with sensitive headphones, and seems to have been designed with more power-needy headphones like the LCD-3 and HE-6 in mind.
    Going to have to send these back.  For those that got the gain adjusted, were there any side effects on the sound?
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