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Singlepower or Ray Samuels Raptor - Which is best for the $$$ - Page 3

post #31 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canman
The Singlepower has a warmer sound than the Raptor
Wouldn't this greatly depend on the tubes used? You can make what i would call drastic changes to the sound by swapping a tube.

I have only heard the PPX3 for about 1 hour at a meet and have had the Raptor for almost a year. They are both very fine amps both sound and build. I have not seen the PPX inside only outside. I would be happy with either amp. The Raptor is a two box design so that should add to the blackness of the sound which is very black do to the separation of the components. Both amps are very musical and very involving. They make my setup very transparent. Again the exact characteristics of the sound depends on the tubes used. The PPX and Raptor use very inexpensive tubes while the MPX uses much more expensive ones. The only real way to decide is to audition the both amps with the rest of your setup preferably in a comfort of your home. I know Ray has a demo program so you can check the amp out before you buy it.

Darius
post #32 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by PATB
The more I think this through, the more I realize I don't need a Raptor or SDS-XLR or whatever -- the HR-2 is good enough and I am better off getting a Wadia CD player or another headphone instead!

Peace
Right on buddy! Question for you though. If you were wowed by the HE-90, why did you give it up?
post #33 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canman
Right on buddy! Question for you though. If you were wowed by the HE-90, why did you give it up?
[OT]
I barely listened to my home rig the last two months so, in a moment of weakness, I sold the estats. But now that that estat setup is gone, I kinda miss it. I am still hoping a killer/super expensive amp paired with the HD650 will do the trick, but so far it ain't working. If the Max balanced does not appreciably edge the HR-2, I will be switching the search to new headphones or source.
[/OT].

Back to your regularly scheduled program.
post #34 of 104
I have not heard the Raptor but for what it's worth I have the PPX3 Slam and I have not been hanging in the amps forum much since I got it. Also Zu cables tend to mate better than Cardas with the SP amps.
post #35 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by dariusf
Wouldn't this greatly depend on the tubes used? You can make what i would call drastic changes to the sound by swapping a tube.

I have only heard the PPX3 for about 1 hour at a meet and have had the Raptor for almost a year. They are both very fine amps both sound and build. I have not seen the PPX inside only outside. I would be happy with either amp. The Raptor is a two box design so that should add to the blackness of the sound which is very black do to the separation of the components. Both amps are very musical and very involving. They make my setup very transparent. Again the exact characteristics of the sound depends on the tubes used. The PPX and Raptor use very inexpensive tubes while the MPX uses much more expensive ones. The only real way to decide is to audition the both amps with the rest of your setup preferably in a comfort of your home. I know Ray has a demo program so you can check the amp out before you buy it.

Darius
Yes, you are right. That makes direct comparison difficult. So far from what I've heard, the MPX3 has more midrange bloom than the Raptor. I think the Raptor is more refined than the PPX3, though the MPX3 makes for some interesting competition.
post #36 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
I would refer to some other heated threads on this with photos, but I'm pretty sure they've all long been deleted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
That said, it's impossible to fault the Samuels stuff when it comes to build quality which is impeccable.
Tom was comparing Singlepower build quality to Antique Sound Labs build quality. The only time he brought up a Ray Samuels product in his post was when he stated that he had not heard the raptor.

Well, I for one think that the Raptor is a fine amp and was quite impressed with it at the Chicago meet. I also had a chance to hear a PPX SLAM at the Detroit meet and thought it was a good match for my K340's. It had a palpable bass that was quite enjoyable.

Either way you will be happy, but as Tyrion said, listen to them first if at all possible.
post #37 of 104
I have purchased 2 products form singlepower. A maxed MPX3 and a SDS-XLR. My MPX3 was recently abducted by Voltron.

I have purchased 2 products from Ray Samuels. A SR-71 and a XR-10B. The SR-71 was returned only b/c I realized I don't like using amps when i go portable.

First I will say, that both companies do an excellent job at building products with stellar build quality. I don't think that is an issue.

As far as design goes, I favor Singlepower designs. Their designs seem a bit more creative to me, however that is just my opinion. Of course, getting my SD-XLR with its blue lighting in the tube rectified source and the black chrome posts certainly made a lasting impression on me.

That isn't to say I don't like Ray's designs. My XR-10B is simply stunning.

I will say that as far as tube amps go, I favor Singlepower. Having lived with a maxed MPX3 for a year and my SDS-XLR for a week, I know I will always turn to Mikhail when I want a tube amp/preamp built. The sound of his amps simply provide the perfect sound and dynamics for the music I favor. I listened to the Raptor briefly. It didn't do it for me, but I'm sure it will be perfect for many people. I just think you have to listen and figure out which sound suits you best.

As far as solid state gear goes, I was extremely impressed with the SR-71 and absolutely love the XR-10B. The XR-10B is dead silent and really brings the best out of my Super Scoutmaster and every piece of vinyl I throw at it.

In the end I have two amazing products from each of the respective companies, a SDS-XLR from Mikhail and a XR-10B from Ray. Both will be permanent fixtures in my audio setups. I'm just happy that both companies exist and provide me with a vast array of excellent choices.
post #38 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleestack
I have purchased 2 products form singlepower. A maxed MPX3 and a SDS-XLR. My MPX3 was recently abducted by Voltron.

I have purchased 2 products from Ray Samuels. A SR-71 and a XR-10B. The SR-71 was returned only b/c I realized I don't like using amps when i go portable.

First I will say, that both companies do an excellent job at building products with stellar build quality. I don't think that is an issue.

As far as design goes, I favor Singlepower designs. Their designs seem a bit more creative to me, however that is just my opinion. Of course, getting my SD-XLR with its blue lighting in the tube rectified source and the black chrome posts certainly made a lasting impression on me.

That isn't to say I don't like Ray's designs. My XR-10B is simply stunning.

I will say that as far as tube amps go, I favor Singlepower. Having lived with a maxed MPX3 for a year and my SDS-XLR for a week, I know I will always turn to Mikhail when I want a tube amp/preamp built. The sound of his amps simply provide the perfect sound and dynamics for the music I favor. I listened to the Raptor briefly. It didn't do it for me, but I'm sure it will be perfect for many people. I just think you have to listen and figure out which sound suits you best.

As far as solid state gear goes, I was extremely impressed with the SR-71 and absolutely love the XR-10B. The XR-10B is dead silent and really brings the best out of my Super Scoutmaster and every piece of vinyl I throw at it.

In the end I have two amazing products from each of the respective companies, a SDS-XLR from Mikhail and a XR-10B from Ray. Both will be permanent fixtures in my audio setups. I'm just happy that both companies exist and provide me with a vast array of excellent choices.

I totally agree here. We all win with this situation. There are quite a few flavors of goodness out there for us to choose from!!

Now we have to convince these small companies that are putting the emphasis on parts and build quality, rather than posh advertising campaigns, to build some killer Tubed amps for speakers!

Bob
post #39 of 104
Sadly, there is no single good answer to this question other than to try to listen to each of the amps and trusting your own ears.

Try attending a local meet or a 1-on-1 with anyone in your area with those amps. At very least, you can order the RSA amps from Todd, who does offer a return policy. Contact Mikhail directly to see if he would offer the same (I do not know the answer).

If you are going to buy it without having listened to it first, just research til you can't research it any more, reading people's impressions regarding the traits you're after. but since it is all subjective to the individual, one person's "warm" may be another person's neutral.

**
I forgot to add my own thoughts:
I currently have a SP Supra, which I use with Senn 650s w/ the Equinox cable. I love the combo. Tube rolling the Supra offers flexibility, and frankly, I think the Singlepower + Senn synergy is fantastic.

I haven't had a RSA amp in my own rig at home, so I can't chime in on Ray's amps. I've only heard them at meets, and while I liked the Stealth that I briefly heard at the last meet (w/Senn 650s), I have never had much of a chance to compare the amps to each other.
post #40 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by photobob
I totally agree here. We all win with this situation. There are quite a few flavors of goodness out there for us to choose from!!

Now we have to convince these small companies that are putting the emphasis on parts and build quality, rather than posh advertising campaigns, to build some killer Tubed amps for speakers!

Bob
I've been talking to Mikhail about speaker amps already. He has a prototype he is using with his speaker system that he built some time back. Hopefully he can put something together for me to listen to.
post #41 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom hankins
I've been talking to Mikhail about speaker amps already. He has a prototype he is using with his speaker system that he built some time back. Hopefully he can put something together for me to listen to.
I'm anxious to hear your impressions!
post #42 of 104
Quote:
My MPX3 was recently abducted by Voltron.
And don't think you are getting that sucker back, because now it's

Back on topic, I agree that both Ray and Mikhail make beautiful gear and that they sound distinctly different in many ways. For tubes, I am sticking with SinglePower and truly love the way the MPX3 sounds for jazz, blues, latin, vocals, and the like. On Slee's former amp last night, I was playing tracks ranging from Muddy Waters to Iron & Wine to Jacintha and then to Fat Boy Slim. I *might* prefer a more solid state sound for FBS although it sounded very good.

I did not love Ray's Raptor or Stealth in the limited time I listened to them at the SJ meet, but I liked his SS HR-2 a whole lot. I also love the Katrina SR-71 I was fortunate enough to win. For those same musical selections above, I prefer it to my SM3.

It all comes down to your ears, so you are going to have to find a way to hear some things or just take a leap of faith based on the available data. If you are choosing between SinglePower and RSA, however, that leap is not too big because both of them make fine products that will help you get lost in your music.
post #43 of 104
Guys, I'd like to add my two cents worth here. I do know that both Singlepower and Ray Samuels gear are highly thought of here in Headfi. I haven't heard the Singlepower gear, but I do own a RSA Raptor which I've had for about a month and I'm quite happy with. The sound is outstanding with my current set-up:

Optimus 3400 CD Transport (on a Sequerra PS-1 Battery Power Station)>Illuminations D-60 Data Flex Studio Digital Cable>Theta Cobalt 307 DAC>Adioquest Lapis IC's>RSA Raptor>Cardas-Cabled Senn 650's

Tuberolling has been alot of fun. I've tried one other input tube besides the Sylvania 5963 that came with the Raptor, namely a Sylvania 12BH7A. The verdict isn't in yet. Another input tube on the way is a Sylvania 5814A tube (Thanks to Dennis @ Chimera). I'll also be listening to a couple of Tung Sol 5687's soon in place of my stock Philips 5687's. It has been a blast.

I can say without reservation that I recommend the RSA Raptor. The sound is great and the fun-factor high. 600smile:
post #44 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by TLH
Hi Folks, I am a new member and poster but have been big into audio for a while now. I am interested in purchasing a headphone amp for use with Sennheiser HD650's with Cardas cabling. The only headphone amps I've heard with these are the Earmax Pro (didn't sound that impressive to me and looked grossly overpriced) and the ASL MG OTL 32 (sounded excellent and looked like good value). I've been reading through the archives here for a week and see a lot of complimentary reviews of the Singlepower amps. Since I've got a lot of 6SN7's here the Singlepower design (or tube compliment, I suppose) appeals to me. The Ray Samuels Raptor also seems to get great reviews and is interesting to me.
Welcome to Head-Fi.

Quote:
Here is my question... Would $1200 be better spent on the Ray Samuels amp or spent towards a similarly priced Singlepower amp, perhaps the MPX3. I can't find current retail prices for the Singlepower amps so I am guessing here. My listening goals are to find an amplifier that creates a beautiful sound that one can get lost in, ultimate accuracy takes a lower priority to me.
I think you should ask more questions, don't be afraid of the amp. wars I would think some of the guys here have already sent you a Personal Message discribing the sound of the 2 amps I think the quote: Would $1200 be better spent on the Ray Samuels amp or spent towards a similarly priced Singlepower amp,end Quote was way to imflamatory(sp) but sometimes when this kind of stuff goes underground so to speak (PM) we loose a lot of information you should read some of the discriptions by some of these guys answering some of the PMs I have sent them. The discriptions are amazing. I find they will go out of there way to help you. I sent a PM to sacd lover and he actualy went to his friends one night to borrow a set of headphones so he could answer a question for me! Thats friendly!
I was on the phone with Mikhail yesterday and can only say he is the nicest guy same goes for Ray,Tyll,Justin,Steven,all the amp. builders I have met are very nice easy to talk to and have tons of info as do the members here, so ask away!

Quote:
I would appreciate anyone with experience with these two amps and/or companies to make some comparisons between them. I would like to stay in the $1500 or lower budget range though this is flexible to some degree. Thanks for any advice. Also, how do the amps above compare to the ASL MG OTL 32? While it sounded excellent to me I am confident there are probably better amps, it sounded very smooth but perhaps a touch boring.
You can stay in that price range for sure. There are better writers here than me but they do sound differant The PPX/MPX from Single power have a full rich powerfull sound lots of sound stage and good instrument seperation I am sending my MPX3 back to Makhail for some adjustments in the sound or a possable conversion to a slam the 5687 tubes so you can have Single power customize the sound to your headphonse and source and your ears and music collection! I have only heard the Raptor at a couple of meets but think it does run hot (that bothers me sorry) and is in my opinion not as tubey sounding more like a solid state amp. some one else said the HR-2 from Ray just let his Meridian go through the amp. That also discribes the Raptor to me. where the Single power amps will let the tubes do there job along with the source.

Quote:
My listening goals are to find an amplifier that creates a beautiful sound that one can get lost in, ultimate accuracy takes a lower priority to me.
For what its worth in my opinion you are discribing the MPX3
post #45 of 104
Thread Starter 
Hi Mark and others who have made comments. I appreciate all of the posts thus far as things are clearer now as to the sound signature of both of these amps and styles of builders. I tend to prefer a lush sound as long as it keeps plenty of distance from warm-syrupy territory (think Christmas albums on a 70's solid state Marantz).

I was very fortunate to have done my tube hoarding 10 years ago when the prices were 5-20% of today's. I'm sure there are still bargains around but they are a lot harder to locate, I certainly haven't found many lately. I've got an embarassment of riches when it comes to the 6SN7 family of tubes, I'd love to brag but I'll probably end up sounding like a jerk. My stockpile in this family (and the fact that this is one of my favorite tubes) is a major vote for the Singlepower amps that utilize it. It is at least a major consideration in my mind.

Simply based on descriptions of the two maker's amplifiers sound, I have a pretty clear idea of what would likely sound best to me (based on my listening preferences). Are there any other contenders I should be aware of that will produce a (slightly) lush yet detailed sound that people will agree is world class? I know this is probably opening up a real can of worms but if there is anything else I should consider, I certainly will. Thanks again to all who have contributed...
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