ALO Pan Am desktop/portable headphone amp/DAC: Impressions and Reviews
Sep 9, 2015 at 2:05 PM Post #1,066 of 1,147

TonyNewman

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  Thanks! So this is more bassy than teles? :)

 
I think so, yes. Deep and controlled bass, whereas the Mullard can go a little "woolly" low down.
 
Still not decided on the mids / treble - tubes only have about 40 or so hours on them. Want to put a few weeks worth of hours on them and then A/B with the Teles.
 
Sep 27, 2015 at 4:32 PM Post #1,067 of 1,147

InebriatedGnome

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My Pan Am just came in, courtesy of our own Steve Toney. I love this thing. This really is the old audio cliche, but my music has never sounded this good. I love that I can just sling it around in my bag and not worry about something breaking. And the French tubes are phenomenal! It sounds like a different amp with them in. There's almost too much bass for me, actually—but it was such a surprise the change in the sound. It went from being a pretty anaemic-sounded amp in the bass department with the stock tubes to something of a low-end monster—through the HD650, no less. 
 
I do, however, need a Gateway/Passport for my (black) Pan Am. If anyone's looking to sell theirs, please let me know 
wink.gif

 
Sep 27, 2015 at 5:36 PM Post #1,068 of 1,147

TonyNewman

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  My Pan Am just came in, courtesy of our own Steve Toney. I love this thing. This really is the old audio cliche, but my music has never sounded this good. I love that I can just sling it around in my bag and not worry about something breaking. And the French tubes are phenomenal! It sounds like a different amp with them in. There's almost too much bass for me, actually—but it was such a surprise the change in the sound. It went from being a pretty anaemic-sounded amp in the bass department with the stock tubes to something of a low-end monster—through the HD650, no less.
 
I do, however, need a Gateway/Passport for my (black) Pan Am. If anyone's looking to sell theirs, please let me know 
wink.gif

 
I can recommend the Telefunken tubes. A little hard to find, but worth the effort. They beat anything else I have tried (Tung-sol / Mullard / Voshkod(sp?) / RTC / RCA ... etc).
 
If you want deep and strong bass I recommend the Mullards or the Voshkods - both are strong in the bass. I didn't find the French RTCs strong in bass at all - more pointed at the high end.
 
Sep 28, 2015 at 3:39 PM Post #1,069 of 1,147

InebriatedGnome

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Maybe it's the mix I was listening to, or perhaps my bass tolerance is waaaay lower than I thought it was. I actually got a few tubes with the amp; I don't think I have any Telefunken but I do have the Mullard CV4010 with me right now. I'll have to hunt around for some.
 
I really wish I had a Passport right now, though; being able to actually use this thing on the go would be ideal. Do you know of any alternative power supplies I might be able to use?
 
Sep 28, 2015 at 4:33 PM Post #1,070 of 1,147

TonyNewman

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  Maybe it's the mix I was listening to, or perhaps my bass tolerance is waaaay lower than I thought it was. I actually got a few tubes with the amp; I don't think I have any Telefunken but I do have the Mullard CV4010 with me right now. I'll have to hunt around for some.
 
I really wish I had a Passport right now, though; being able to actually use this thing on the go would be ideal. Do you know of any alternative power supplies I might be able to use?

 
I have the passport and gateway in a nice 3 stack. I guess any 12 volt supply might do the job, but I'm no expect in such matters, so please take that with a huge grain of salt.
 
I view the PanAm as "transportable" rather than "portable". It is just too big and bulky and fragile with the protruding tubes to carry around IMHO. I use mine as a "mini-desktop" unit in the office, taking it to and from each day. Even that has me a little concerned that I might break it - so I am replacing it with a Simaudio 230HAD for the office and will take the PanAm home and use it as a desktop DAC/Amp for my PC. YMMV.
 
Sep 28, 2015 at 5:04 PM Post #1,071 of 1,147

hardbop

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Keep an eye on http://warehousedeals.aloaudio.com/ to see if PassPorts show up again.
 
 
EDIT: and... tada! 
 
http://warehousedeals.aloaudio.com/the-passport-silver
 
You can also get the zippered carrying pouch, too.
 
Sep 28, 2015 at 8:04 PM Post #1,072 of 1,147

InebriatedGnome

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Thank you! I saw that one earlier but wanted to wait for a black one to match my Pan Am. Beggars can't be choosers though, I suppose. I have a carry-on too.
 
I do think the Pan Am can be a portable amp for bus or library use to be honest—packing the tubes into some narrow cardboard cylinders full of cotton wool and putting those in the Carry On seems like it'll work fine. The trouble is just finding a power supply.
 
Oct 2, 2015 at 1:26 PM Post #1,075 of 1,147

TontonJoK

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yes
 
Oct 20, 2015 at 11:09 PM Post #1,076 of 1,147

JoeDoe

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Well gents, I couldn't do it. I sold the Pan Am to recoup funds from the WA7. Then I sold it to free up some cash for the wife's student loans. Now I've gone and traded for another Pan Am so I suppose I'm back in the club! Hopefully the new one will be in by the weekend!
 
Nov 21, 2015 at 12:15 PM Post #1,077 of 1,147

poweredbyjae

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  Well gents, I couldn't do it. I sold the Pan Am to recoup funds from the WA7. Then I sold it to free up some cash for the wife's student loans. Now I've gone and traded for another Pan Am so I suppose I'm back in the club! Hopefully the new one will be in by the weekend!


Congrats, welcome back to the club.  Have to ask, what tubes are you using and are you using a Gateway, Passport or rolling with the wall wart?
 
Nov 21, 2015 at 12:48 PM Post #1,078 of 1,147

JoeDoe

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Congrats, welcome back to the club.  Have to ask, what tubes are you using and are you using a Gateway, Passport or rolling with the wall wart?

Thanks! I've got the Gateway and at the moment using the RTCs, but I've got Mullards as well. Back when I had my first stack, my favorite tube (over the Teles or Mullards) was the Raytheon JRP 6AK5. If I can sell my Voskhods and Tung Sols, I'll pick up a pair of those again!
 
Jan 28, 2016 at 1:26 PM Post #1,079 of 1,147

jeffu

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Hey all, I have a quick question about the ALO Pan Am.  Obviously it's been discontinued, which is sad, it sounds like a great little unit and a good way for me to start exploring Tubes without breaking the bank.  I'd love to get one of the Woo WA7's, but it's a lot of $$ right now.
 
So I see there's a couple of Pan Am's for sale on the used forum - one comes with the Gateway and a few tubes for $550 - the other is the Pan Am with the Passport, but the battery is pretty much shot according to the posting, that one goes for $350.  While I don't see ever really using this with battery power or needing to be that portable and the lower price is appealing - is there an advantage to getting the model with the Gateway vs. getting the one with the dead battery Passport?  Even though the battery is shot, is it still better to run the power through the Passport?
 
Just not sure which way to go - thanks for any advice!
 
Jan 28, 2016 at 1:43 PM Post #1,080 of 1,147

JoeDoe

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  Hey all, I have a quick question about the ALO Pan Am.  Obviously it's been discontinued, which is sad, it sounds like a great little unit and a good way for me to start exploring Tubes without breaking the bank.  I'd love to get one of the Woo WA7's, but it's a lot of $$ right now.
 
So I see there's a couple of Pan Am's for sale on the used forum - one comes with the Gateway and a few tubes for $550 - the other is the Pan Am with the Passport, but the battery is pretty much shot according to the posting, that one goes for $350.  While I don't see ever really using this with battery power or needing to be that portable and the lower price is appealing - is there an advantage to getting the model with the Gateway vs. getting the one with the dead battery Passport?  Even though the battery is shot, is it still better to run the power through the Passport?
 
Just not sure which way to go - thanks for any advice!

Either of the additional PSU's will show some improvement in sound quality. Supposedly, the Passport is a hair better since it completely isolates from 'dirty' power, but for some (myself included) I didn't hear an appreciable difference between it and the Gateway. If you're going to be taking your PA on the road somewhat regularly, the Passport is the way to go, but if it's mainly going to sit on your desk, I'd go the Gateway route and grab some nice upgrade tubes.
 

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