Audiophile Friday Intro – A look at the AlgoRhythm SOLO and Venturecraft Unit 4.0

SPDIF is no longer the iPhone's Holy Grail

Today, I’d like to briefly introduce two remarkable iDevice accessories: the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm SOLO and the Venturecraft GoDap Unit 4.0, both portable units that output SPDIF digital signals to high-end audio equipment. iPhone zeitgeist, marked as it was by cute bunny-eared cases, vibrators, and farting apps, has obviously evolved.

These are two very different items.

The Venturecraft Unit 4.0 is very Japanese, fulfilling every necessity an iPhone user has in a single device. It is a case, charger, external battery, USB sync, music transport, and a fantastic headphone amplifier. Whew! Just like its forerunner, the Go-DAP for iPhone 3G/s, it happens to be a personal favourite of mine precisely because it does everything in one box. If it trades a bit of audio quality for convenience, who am I to complain?

But as an audio device, the AlgoRhythm SOLO (aka CLAS) carries more weight. It serves one purpose: to translate your digital files to external amplifiers and DACs. Its guts are high grade and the signal that spews from its coaxial port is pristine. It is part of ALO’s The National SOLO package, powered by The National, a truly excellent portable headphone amp.

Sorry about the cheap cables - at least the colours work

Coincidentally, the Venturecraft 4.0 is made in Japan and the SOLO is made in USA, and they will be going head-to-head in next week’s episode. Oh yes, TMA will be running a new column called Audiophile Friday. This is its introduction. We are looking forward to unveiling some great products that will help you rediscover your music.

In the meantime, you can bone up on both devices by following the links below:

Venturecraft Go-DAP Unit 4.0
Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm SOLO

If you can’t wait till Friday, check out our headphone and headphone amp reviews. There’s lots to fill a lazy weekend.

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