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Team "The Raptor"...proud new member

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Well, The Raptor arrived Friday. This is my first ever tube amp & replaces the Gilmore V2-SE that I recently sold. I have about 4 or 5 hours of listening time on it so far with limited burn-in time aside from what Ray did prior to shipment...so my impressions are still forming.

Things I can say for sure so far:
- I can now begin to understand what all the tube folks were talking about. In comparison to the Gilmore it replaces, this amp is warmer, mids are more lush, and the bass hits quite hard. The bass with the Senns is really creating some impressive air movement resulting in a palpable, concussive bass that kinda leaves me drop-jawed in amazement. I never had this sensation with the Gilmore.
- This amp synergizes with the rest of my system much better than the Gilmore did, at least for my taste. The Gilmore was a fast, detailed amp & an outstanding performer without question...but I far prefer the sound sig I'm hearing so far with this tube amp.
- So far I've used 650/zu & Headphile modded MS-2i in this setup. The 650 sounds superior with better balance & bass impact. I've never heard the 650's sound so lively, engaging, & musical.

Anyway...here's a pic:

Peace,

Graz
post #2 of 31
Wow that is a beautiful setup in all imaginable ways!!! I like the headphone stands!!
post #3 of 31

><

/drool

post #4 of 31
Wow, that is a fantastic little set-up. I liked the Shanling's headphone out whenever I've tried it - but the Raptor is a whole new level. I imagine it must really kick your Senns to life! You are definitely a member of "Team-it's-gotta-look-good before it gets to my living room!"

How is it with the MS-2 though? I'd be somewhat concerned that maybe it'd have too much energy?

Best,

-Jason
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Jason,

Yea, from what I've heard so far, this system really favors the 650/zu. The MS-2i is not really in it's element here...it sounds veiled & congested in comparison & you notice it right away. I need to listen to some more music though...I've been mostly stuck on jazz (Pat Metheny...this is the music I'm most familiar with, so initial impressions usually start there for me) & for whatever reason I've had a Jamiroquai thing going on lately...some well recorded stuff there. The modded Alessandro's may yet come to life with some hard rock/metal ... they're about to get a dose of Dream Theater here in a bit, so we'll see how it goes.

Anyway, I still want to hear the RS-1 on this system...that could be my next purchase.
I'm playing around with IC's now...dang this is fun!

Peace,

Graz
post #6 of 31
Congratulations on buying such an fine amp.
Hand-built to near perfection, that's how I would describe it.
I recall Ray personally mentioning that NOS 12BH7A tube is great replacement for the 12AU7 position, but I guess you already know that.
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graz
Yea, from what I've heard so far, this system really favors the 650/zu. The MS-2i is not really in it's element here...it sounds veiled & congested in comparison & you notice it right away.
i find that to be really strange.
post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdipisReks
i find that to be really strange.
Yea, I'm a bit confused too. As I mentioned, I have to turn up the amp for the Alessandro's as high or higher than i do for the 650's to get the same volume level. Makes me wonder a bit about the re-cable...I'm not sure what that's done to the impedance.

Peace,

Graz
post #9 of 31
I am not surprised. Raptor has a very similar sonic character to my Cayin HA-1A. It is a poor sonic match for SR225 or RS-1. I think Grado needs low distortion SS amps that is very fast. To my ears, Gilmore amps make Grados sound more balanced.
post #10 of 31
WOW !! Congrats - I heard the Raptor with Ray himself handing me the HD650.. Hmmnn Just Incredible. Enjoy!

yEa !
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graz
Yea, I'm a bit confused too. As I mentioned, I have to turn up the amp for the Alessandro's as high or higher than i do for the 650's to get the same volume level. Makes me wonder a bit about the re-cable...I'm not sure what that's done to the impedance.

Peace,

Graz
I would assume it's the way the amp works with low impedence cans in general, or it has "auto" gain, similar to a Solo. I would also assume when using the Gilmore, the Senns took more volume to get to the same loudness as your MS-2i, which would be normal.
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanadu777
I would assume it's the way the amp works with low impedence cans in general, or it has "auto" gain, similar to a Solo. I would also assume when using the Gilmore, the Senns took more volume to get to the same loudness as your MS-2i, which would be normal.
Thanks Larry...I had a hunch something like that was going on. You're right about the Gilmore...more volume was required for the Senns, less for the Alessandros.

Peace,

Graz
post #13 of 31
wow,the Raptor is very beautiful, is it a OTL or a transformer amp? and how much?
post #14 of 31

The Raptor....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graz
Yea, I'm a bit confused too. As I mentioned, I have to turn up the amp for the Alessandro's as high or higher than i do for the 650's to get the same volume level. Makes me wonder a bit about the re-cable...I'm not sure what that's done to the impedance.

Peace,

Graz
Hi Graz....
It is normal to have more volume (sound) /per volume knob turn when using high impedance headphones like the Sennheise 600/650 with the tube OTL design amp. While you need more turn of the volume knob to accomplish the same level of sound when using the low impedance headphones like Grado.
Now it is true also that the apposite happens when using the SS headphone amp. The high impedance require more turn on the volume knob to reach the levels of the low impedance headphones which do not require a lot of volume turn.
Hope made it clear...
Ray Samuels
post #15 of 31
Thanks for your impressions Graz, its rare to read an opinion which I can actually trust, and your use of words and expressions to describe the raptor's sound, i find, is fair and rational. Congrats for the new amp
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