My New Portable Audio System (Headphone Based)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LeeS, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I am now rocking the Grado RS-1i headphones with an outboard amp by ALO Audio, the Rx Mark II Tactical Edition connected by a Fiio L9 line out dock cable which takes the analog stream out of the iPods 30 pin dock connector from my new iPod Classic.

    I store all of my music in AIFF files which I find sound better. This is a nice portable system for my business travels on the road.

    And it sounds terrific!

    Here are some pictures for those of you into headphones. Here is a view from the top:

    [​IMG]

    Side view which shows on/off switch, low/high gain switch, volume toggle and how the Fiio L9 connects the two devices. The headphone jack is on the left and the iPod analog input is one the right via the L9.

    [​IMG]

    You can also add an outboard DAC for really top-notch sound. I may do that later.
  2. adamdube

    adamdube Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Elyria, OH USA
    THAT looks very nice....how is the AMP powered?
  3. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
  4. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
  5. Thurenity

    Thurenity Wood Fill and Non Glue

    Location:
    Eastern PA, USA
    Sweet! I was a head-fi.org regular before I found my way here. DAP's and headphones are still important to me, but once I had what I needed it was time to concentrate on the music itself. I wasn't even aware that there was a FiiO LOD. :)

    Currently I have a Cowon D3 DAP, A MiniBox E+ amp with with either my Yuin PK1's or my Sennheiser HD600's, depending on how "portable" I need it. And I still use my FiiO E5, in a pinch.
  6. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    The Headfi guys love those Cowens. Looks like a nice rig. :righton:
  7. TONEPUB

    TONEPUB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    ALO makes great stuff....
    Good guys.

    Just over at the factory today and saw something VERY exciting that will be out next year.
  8. head_unit

    head_unit Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Mmm, I was thinking about something like that. Not too huge, either.
  9. I like that camo cover on the amp. It's hunting season. You can take that rig out while hunting. ;)

    ALO has some good amps. Maybe the new toy Jeff is teasing is a full size amp? That'd be neat.
  10. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Cool, post it on the Tone site when you can. Inquiring minds...

    Ken Ball seems like an interesting guy - he has always been very nice and very knowledgeable when I have spoken to him.

    I heard the Cypher Labs DAC with this amp and the LCD2 and it blew me away. Spectacular sound quality.
  11. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I live in Georgia. The "camo" helps me blend in. :winkgrin:

    For full-size amps, I think ALO is partnered with Red Wine Audio and their amps are terrific as well.
  12. TONEPUB

    TONEPUB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    That's exactly what I'm using... Full review in issue 42.
  13. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
  14. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Puma,

    There are two types of cables, one type strips out the digital bitstream (30 pin to USB) and one (the Fiio L9 like above) strips out the non-amped audio stream. So you really have two options.

    1. Just better amplification.

    2. Outboard DAC and amplification (sometimes in the same box). So that is 30 pin to USB>>DAC>>audio 3.5 mm to headphone.

    The latter has the better sound quality if you go with a good DAC like the Cypher Labs like Jeff has.
  15. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Thanks, Lee for the explanation.

    Looks like a nice setup.
  16. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Harrisburg PA
    Knowing Lee, I'm surprised there aren't tubes involved somewhere...




    Now playing on Ariel Stream: Supreme Beings Of Leisure - Everywhere
    LeeS likes this.
  17. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    ALO makes a portable tube amp called The Continental!
  18. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Head-Fi just released 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. Good info for those wanting to learn more.
  19. Typical Head-Fi. All about the gear. The only mention of music is at the very end where they recommend some sampler collections. :rolleyes: At least they didn't recommend any gaming OSTs.

    I LOLed that they used a quote from Skylab's review of the HD800 to promote the HD800. :laugh:
  20. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Another Portable HiFi system...

    While everyone is out dealiing with the travails and slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that Black Friday brings, I'm up at my sister's modest but comfortable home for the holiday listening to my own version of a portable high-end system.

    While my sister and mom are watching a chick-flick, I'm listening to my Macbook Pro loaded with AIFF rips of Audio Wave Blue Note XRCD24s, XRCD2, K2HD "quasi-XRCDs", and 24/96 tracks streamed to my HRT MS II asynchronous USB DAC (bus-powered, no batteries or power cable req'd). The MSII connects with two Zu Wylde ICs to my Grado RS1 battery powered headphone amp driving a pair of Grado RS60is. All powered by Pure Music, of course. It sounds pretty dang good. :edthumbs:

    While Lee has got his uber-trick, uber-portable system, my "fits in a small cardboard box" portable "hi-fi" system is standing me in good stead and saving me from an afternoon of chick-flicks! :cheers:
  21. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
  22. Here's my current transportable setup. I'm visiting my parents and brother in Georgia for the holidays from Thanksgiving through Christmas. I'm not going to go a month without good headphone tunes. So I brought a bit of kit. My carry-on was all headphone gear. :D

    LCD-2, HD580, SR325is, EMU 0204, a Pop Pulse USB DAC I got but haven't tried yet, Schiit Asgard, Schiit Lyr is coming in the mail, iPod Classic 80GB with HeadRoom Total AirHead, and a hard drive full of music along with JRiver Media Center on a laptop.

    Attached Files:

  23. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Correction, my headphone amp is Grado RA1, RS1 are the headphones Lee just got recently.
  24. slwiser

    slwiser New Member

    Location:
    richmond
    [​IMG]

    iPod Touch + Moon Audio IEM iPod Touch doc to USB + Fostex HP-P1 + Beyerdynamic DT-1350 recabled with Moon Audio IEM cable.

    A recent change from my original portable setup.
    LeeS likes this.
  25. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    ^Sweet!

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