CanJam SoCal 2016: ALO builds a Campfire and a smaller Continental
There are three offerings from Campfire: Jupiter ($899), Lyra ($749) and Orion ($399). They come with a rather unexpected twist; aside from the brand, none of these three have pretty much anything to do with each other. The Lyra is a single-driver model. The Orion is a balanced armature approach, with the Jupiter having for of balanced armatures. Their voicing is also distinct, and pretty much in line with what you’d expect: Jupiter brings bass and overall coherence; Lyra brings sweetness and punch, Orion brings immediacy. Which one you prefer will depend entirely on your personal tonal preferences — but if you want to dig in, DAR has a slightly deeper exploration of the trio.
At the end of the table, Ken Ball had a few more surprises, including the new/forthcoming Continental v5 (availability is “soon” and pricing is still TBD, but expect ~$700). Based on pretty much everything in the Continental line to this point, the new v5 (in another collaboration with Vinnie Rossi) will swap out the dual-triodes-run-mono from the Continental Dual Mono ($1,495) for a single dual-triode run as a dual-triode — you can see the glow peeking out from behind the drilled-out/mesh of the case. The v5 also drops the DAC — this is “just” a headphone amplifier. But it will let you take your tunes on a long trip — think “25 hours” — which is something of a marvel for the tubes-to-go crowd.
Last but not least, I got a sneak peek at something new and forthcoming from ALO, but I’m gonna let you guess what it is because there’s nothing to see here. Nope. Nuh uh. Zippo. Zilch. Mum’s the word! Wait, what’s in that photo …?