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Ray Samuels Emmeline "The Black Bird" SR-71A Portable Headphone Amp


Pros: Soaring the Upper Altitude in Recon HiFi

Cons: Pricey



It takes a lot of confidence to name your product after the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. If your going to honor the legendary mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft, your design better not blow or your reputation in HiFi will become worthless.



The Emmeline "The Black Bird" SR-71A Portable Headphone Amp lives up to its name. Here I have it strapped to my iPod Classic 7th (now almost a relic/collectors item) and the HiFiMAN HE-400 magnetic planar headphones. I think the HE-400 sounds better with this amp, yeah the HE-400 has 93db sensitivity, but I'm not going to debate that sensitivity here.       



I'm using the pricey Mil-Spec (military specifications) silver wire 30 pin line out dock, I'm not going to make the claim that the silver wire is better than copper wire or that interconnects in general are just a HiFi scam. I do believe that balance connections have proven fidelity advantages over single ended designs, shielded has an advantage over un-shielded line, aftermarket headphone cables can alter the sound compared to stock cables, tubes and solid state amps sound different, military spec components measure better than bottom bin mass produced components, some circuit designs sound better to me than others.


Recon Mach 3 setup..

iPod Classic 7th Gen, CD quality WAV files only

Mil Spec 30 pin LOD by Ray Samuels

Emmeline "The Black Bird" SR-71A Portable Headphone Amp by Ray Samuels

HiFiMAN HE-400 Headphones with HiFiMAN silver coated copper cables

(2) 9-volt Duracell Copper Top Batteries

Rubber Strap 


Clear for take off 


Pros: 1.Sound Quality Superb 2. Warm and very detail (Strip the song naked & you simply can hear every detail clearly) 3. High Power Amp

Cons: 1. Unable to recharge 2. Quite Bulky

I have never used a renown high end Portable Amp before as previously what I had used was Fiio product. Im new to Audiophile Headphone too.... 


Fiio E7 was my first portable DAC/Amp and i was quite disappointed as I don't feel the "punch" from my music. The overall of the song also seems grey to me. I am using HD650 and it doesnt go well with the can. I was so displeased which i later change it to Fiio E11. E11 makes my songs rumble to LIFE due to the strong bass and overall seems more lively than ever. Everything seems rite now but I was a little bit greedy and wanted something more from HD650. 


I began reading reviews and it seems like RSA SR-71A was the RIGHT Amp for HD650. I was so tempted by RSA SR-71A and how much it can delivered. I LUST for good sound quality and without much consideration I have gotten one.


RSA SR-71A is terrific... my songs now seems smoother and warm as compare to E11, E11 sounded kind of harsh and sharp. The bass and tremble are very good. The instruments that playing behind the song became stronger and prominent to my ears. Im always a great lover of instruments sound as I'm listening more Jazz and pop songs than the other music... I always appreciate how musical instruments makes the song so juicy... every detail of the instrument playing is very important for me.... And RSA SR-71A is able to deliver that requirement for me. Sound Stage nevertheless is wider. I have tried other Amp like Pico amp and ibasso P4 but regrettably they didnt impress me....  


The down side of RSA SR-71A is it doesn't come with rechargable batt and Amp is kind of heavy and bulky. I don't really care about all these factors as I'm already using an Audiophile headphone what is important to me is god sound quality. A good portable amp will allow me to have some small mobility at home. :)


i brough the SR-71A today...

i want to say the SR-71A output is very powerful~
it's better than sharps~!!!
if u use the ipowerUS.u will have a amazing feeling!
and then,SR71A have a slim body and the good design~
i think it's good for TPC,MDT and the bass head:)

Ray Samuels Emmeline "The Black Bird" SR-71A Portable Headphone Amp

Portable headphone amp

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