The all new Continental Dual Mono

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by kb, Mar 26, 2015.
  1. bflat
    There are some characteristics of tubes that cannot be simulated or EQ'd. First, tube distortion tends to be more even order harmonics which means the added distortions are incremented in octaves so that it gives sound a more full/richer tone. Next, tubes measure consistently across power output whereas solid state tends to be optimal at full power. There are other differences like feedback and clipping, but these are the main points. However, if purity is your goal, then putting any amplification to the H2 or even Dave goes against that philosophy (and Chord's). In fact I think most Dave owners sell off their expensive amplifiers.
  2. Frida309
    What does the ALO CDM with Fiio X7Mkii better? And what does the Wa8 better? Thanks Frida
  3. pbca26
    I have a serious issue pairing my CMD with AK240/320. After I upgraded to the latest firmware both daps I hear unpleasant clicking sounds when I change tracks and stop/pause music.
    For some reason this doesn't happen if I pair a phone or a laptop with CDM. In USB-dac mode everything acts normal as well.
    I guess I have to visit local repair center to roll back firmware on my AK's :frowning2:
  4. thecrow
    AN issue with my cdm.

    When using with my iPhone (tidal streaming and offline) i find that apmost every song has a momentary/brief drop out or two

    Are others experiencing this?
    I’ve been told by my store that this is an ios issue. And that’s always a possibility

    I will be trying it with my mac as well to validate or discount that theory
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  5. meomap
    Other thread like iBasso DX200, users experience the same drop.
    It is Tidal problem, not any unit ptoblem.
  6. thecrow
    Thanks for the info

    And only when using with ios?
    Edit: i guess not as I assume dx200 is using android system
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  7. seedubchris
    Just got cdm. It didn't come with a 2.5 to 2.5 cable so here is no way to experience the balanced out to UE uerm.
    Do you have to run into the cdm balanced to use the balanced out of the dac? If so where would I find a proper balanced to balanced cable.
    My ak320 sounds good feeding se but I read it sounds better in balanced.
    Can I plug in my ak320 via USB and then use the onboard dac to balanced out. Has anyone had any success with ask players USB out to cdm via mini USB or whatever android calls the mini out port? Will I have to send in cdm to have the mod done to enable this . When did alo start doing this mod to all outgoing cdm's? Maybe mine already has this from factory. Can anyone comment on which is better sounding ?
    Finally what cabling do I need to run out of my iPhone 5. Cck? Thanks sounds great so far with mullards.
  8. kukkurovaca
    ALO sells a 2.5 interconnect, and I'm sure most custom cable makers could also provide one.

    The CDM is designed to give good balanced output from either single-ended or balanced sources. The CDM's own dac is not balanced IIRC.

    Yes you need a CCK cable for use w/iPhone.
  9. bflat
    I would recommend you go with your AK320 as balanced DAC output to the balanced input to your CDM. I recall Ken Ball himself showing how he used his AK380 balanced output for his CDM. You will also get a lot more battery life using the CDM as just an amp versus amp plus DAC.

    As for your iPhone as source, yes you want to use the CDM in DAC+amp and need a CCK cable or you can get a 3rd party unofficial integrated cable from Penon Audio like this one:

    This one actually uses a disassembled CCK to ensure compatibility. There are cheaper ones that use their own circuitry but may not work.

    Lastly, if your CDM is purchased earlier than 2016, it definitely does not have the "R" mod. If you are the original owner, ALO will do the mod for free. All you incur is one-way shipping costs. I just did this a few weeks back and they turned it around within a week. The mod improves OTG compatibility for iOS and Android.
  10. haiku
    In the Hong Kong high end circles there´s the unanimous opinion, that the AK380/320/300 usb output is the worst sounding, and the total true balance output is the best sounding. This is also my experience.
  11. vlach
    My understanding is that the micro-USB on AK players is meant for connection to a computer (to be used as a DAC) or for charging and that no digital audio output is possible through USB. Is that not the case with the 300 series?
  12. bflat
    All Android based AK DAPs support USB digital output. They updated firmware across the board about a year ago. Not sure how many owners use it that way considering much of the premium cost of an AK DAP is in the DAC and amp functions.
  13. vlach
    The issue is double amping. I would love to take advantage of the DAC, however the absence of a dedicated line out port means the connection to my CDM has to happen through the headphone out jack of the player which is an amplified signal. The additional gain stage, volume pot, etc in the signal chain affects SQ unfortunately.
  14. vlach
    Good to know, thank you. I will give it a try.
  15. bflat
    I had a chance to compare the AK380 CU line out from the headphone jack and also "true" line out with the dock (e.g. 4 line out pins on the bottom of the AK380) and I could not detect any difference in sound when connected to the ALO CDM. From my perspective, I view the headphone jack as a variable line out, much like the Chord Mojo and Hugo. Yes, I realize there is no amp section to the Chord products, but the resulting measurements of the AK headphone out is extremely clean, especially when driven with no load such as a very high impedance line in which is typically in the 10K Ohm or more range.

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