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Ray Samuels "The Hornet" Version 2? - Page 2

post #16 of 103
Sounds like a very interesting mod. I guess I will be getting the version 2 since I will be getting mine in January after the holidays are over.
post #17 of 103
Seems strange that the original Hornet will be no more given that it has been so well received? I wonder where the criticism came from Ray is referring to? From what I have read here the only criticism has come from people that judged too quickly and ended up loving the amp a few weeks later?

Its all academic to me though cause I went supermini. But that was before I knew it was a 6-8 week wait
post #18 of 103
I'm still waiting for an Hornet to arrive so I can't express with confidence about the matter
but to tell the truth I find the new mod-thing bit weird too ; I mean , i didn't see a lot of unsatisfied members , and I've read many good things about the amp too .
I've seen some hornets for sale but really not many given the incredibly high number of unit ordered and sold , and not so many for justifying changing the sound signature of the little amp , which from what I've read from the very beginning , has been really taken care of , which was not intended to be an sr-71 in a smaller form - but another amp , portable , small size , with a choice for a nice personal (different) character based on discovering a particularly good performance op-amp , that could even compete with some higher class amp ..
so the choice of re-setting , now , the sound signature and give another one for all the next ( and the past ) Hornets seems strange
post #19 of 103
I am just wondering if Ray could produce a model that had both sound modules in it plus an A/B switch. WOW! You could go either way. It might need a bigger housing though.
post #20 of 103

The Hornet....

Quote:
Originally Posted by boodi
I'm still waiting for an Hornet to arrive so I can't express with confidence about the matter
but to tell the truth I find the new mod-thing bit weird too ; I mean , i didn't see a lot of unsatisfied members , and I've read many good things about the amp too . I've seen some hornets for sale but really not many given the incredibly high number of unit oredered and sold , and not so many for justifying changing the sound signature of the little amp , which from what I've read from the very beginning , it was not intended to be an sr-71 in a smaller form - but another portable amp , whit a smaller size , and a choice for a nice personal (different) character ; that could even compete with some higher class amp .
Hi Boodi....
Truly, the Hornet should have been kept the way it is made, with out any mod as it does not need one at all, I had 4 Hornets returned to me only & that was just because they were not being given enough time for burn-in process & the owners were just worried about the 7 days return policy that I have on the RS-1A pre-amp that has nothing to do with the Hornet.
I thought 100 hours were enough to get the Hornet to come alive, but I was very much wrong with that. The prototype was running day & night & hours were countless on it & was taken to many meets & be compared to many amps. I found out my 4 production Hornets were not sounding like my prototype even after 100 hours burn-in, at 200 hours they started to come alive, now all 4 of them have more than 300 hours of real burn-in time. Now they are ready to be heard. This reminds me of the post by a headfier "Munkong" in Thailand, where he posted that after 300 hours the Hornet has changed dramatically & settled. He was right with that, I believe the long time of the burn-in is due to a very little use of the energy stored in the 15000mf filter which prolongs the burn-in period of the amp. Once the amp is settled, the vocal is very well balanced in comparison to the background, it really is not forward as described by many when they got their amp new. Impressions should be taken with a grain of salt, once the amp is burned-in then the impressions should be written. In fact a very new Hornet with only few hours of use was compared in a meet with another amp with hundreds of hours, that by itself would give the wrong impression to many as to what the outcome would be. I am a big believer in the burn-in process, I found few on these threads make fun of that & that is very sad.
This is not an advertisment to the Hornet but stating facts to questions asked of me.
Ray Samuels
post #21 of 103
Ray buddy, my hat off to you one more time, not only your are extremelly careful with the way you present and manufature your amps, also you have proved to be also the same way in the customer service dpt, man give other manufacturers a chance...LOL...
post #22 of 103
I also feel it is strange that the Hornet's sound signature is being changed. It seems that the "new" Hornet, or revision 2, will sound more laid-back.

To me, this implies that there was negative feedback from customers or the manufacturer is dissatisfied with the way it currently sounds. Otherwise, why change something?

This pending change reminds me of criticism of the Xin amps by some members. Their argument was that Xin amps are not as good as other amps, including the SR-71, because they "needed" to be continually improved and tweaked with opamp rolling. To me, this argument is ass-backwards. Any product deserves to be improved, and the manufacturer should do so if he can.

I have no problem with the Hornet's sound being changed; if the manufacturer thinks he can improve it, that is good for customers. However, I do not believe the explanation that burn-in issues were the reason for the change.
post #23 of 103
Meh, it's more like Hornet Option 2.

Nice that you have a choice now.

-Ed
post #24 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elephas
I also feel it is strange that the Hornet's sound signature is being changed. It seems that the "new" Hornet, or revision 2, will sound more laid-back.
Ray just offers two options with Hornet, option 1 is the original sound, and the new option is layback sound.

I think Ray is just incredible, and this new sound signature will be very welcomed by people who want something more layback in presentation.
post #25 of 103

My personal take on this

Until now I haven't posted more than a couple of comments about the Hornet that I felt were necessary in a certain discussion. I did comment in that context the it's the Hornet

I haven't organized my notes, and have purposely deferred doing so until I felt the unit I have is thoroughly burned in, stabilized and matured.

I've put well over 300 hours on it, and as Ray comment here, at 200 hours it just started to develop as I expected it would. It was just my feeling early on, based on burning a fair number of portables with large caps, that a lot more time than expected would be needed.

The Hornet isn't, shouldn't and won't sound like the SR-71. It is a tiny and supremely portable amp that certainly should have and does have a sound that will outshine other amps in its ability to make the complex character of the music heard in portable venues — just as the SR-71's subtleties and wide open air are lost in the inherently noisier environments portables generally function in but breathe effortlessly with nuance and grace in quiet surroundings.

Hey — it would really be tons of fun if Ray could pack in a tiny piggyback circuit and a switch for "switchable sound signatures" … but the Hornet performs beautifully as designed, as a deluxe and masterfully crafted portable amp.

With the huge burn in its had, the Hornet has gotten much smoother at the top and throughout, maintained a nicely extended yet well-controlled bottom end, richer texture and inner detail throughout, a slightly wider and more spacious soundstage, better placement and space around instruments and a slightly warmer, and very "full" sound.

I've done some comparisons with HD650/Equinox cable, HD600/Blue Dragon cable, Senn PXC300 folders (my favorite portable phones), and my venerable K501s. I just did a lot of listening through my iPod 4G 40GB — definitely a limited source but it's the portable I use most. Surprisingly the HD650/Equinox that I like so much with other amps did not do so well with this combo and just seem lackluster and less enjoyable (though this phone/cable sounds great with the Rudistor RP33 & NKK-02). HD600/Blue Dragon sounded much better (though a tad strident on top), the PXC300 sounded surpringly good — thank goodness, since it's about portability — and my K501s also sound really good with the Hornet, even via iPod. I know Ray doesn't care for the 501s but it matches well with the Hornet, and of course the 501s natural ability to reproduce a wide soundstage allows the Hornet (with some recordings) to extend "beyond the ears" so to speak.

That's all for now. I just wrote "off the top of my head" and will post thorough and organized notes sometime soon.

BTW — following are my comments, the pertinent 90% excerpted from the thread mentioned at the top:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Romanee
As was said, it has the rock solid and beautifully crafted look and feel that the SR-71 has, does have a built in charger, will fit in a jeans pocket and a tiny bag whereas the SR-71 will absolutely not fit in a jeans pocket (unless you wear super-baggy farmer jeans) — and the lo-hi-med gain switch will definitely serve you well with the span of phones you noted.

The SR-71 is portable, but considerably bigger than the Hornet. In quiet surroundings (at home.....) it provides the more lucid, airy, spacious, nuanced and elegant sound — but you'll lose much of that in the noisier environs where a portable amp would likely go.

The Hornet's more forward and aggressive sound, faster attack and detail are perfectly suited to cut through ambient noise clutter. I've used it very happily with my Senn PXC300s in midtown Manhattan … on our absurdly noisy streets, subways, buses and chatty offices and it sounds great (of course the noise-reducing circuit helps cut down the background growl so I can hear the music better, but the Hornet presents really enjoyable music around town under very challenging conditions).

Also, the Hornet's tiny volume knob (with a much firmer resistance than the SR-71) may have you wishing for a bigger, more ergonomic one at home — but in transit it's a big plus since once set it won't easily be changed by accidental friction in pocket or bag.

When in a quiet place the Hornet still performs beautifully if less airy and expansive than SR-71. It is a different sound from the SR-71, but with its own pluses as well. Besides more midrange energy and more vocal "presence" and closer-up intimacy, it also has more bass energy and is capable of pushing some incredible bass out of the HF-1s (for example) if the information is present in the recordings and can present bass with more punch than the SR-71 (which has good bass extension but it's less robust or muscular). It's overall sound seems bigger, faster, more muscular and close up with less open air and a bit less spacious dimensionality than its elder sibling. Don't be fooled by the small size and single 9V power … the Hornet is a big sound and will power the big Senns and AKGs, and may really surprise you with the HF-1s.
I read that Ray found the descriptive "aggressive" objectionable, but I feel that it is this muscularity of its sound that make it so successful as a portable amp — and it was not meant as a negative trait. Maybe "testosterone" might be preferred? … but it's tough to make that one work in the sentence I used.
post #26 of 103
I may be a bit naive to have so much faith in other people over the internet but -

I have seen only satisfied customers time and time again from Ray (not that others do this as well, but I'm speaking about Ray only right now). When Ray let it be known that the amp needed at *LEAST* 200 hours, I was fairly prepared to give this little amp the 200 hours it needed or more in order to hear the sound that Ray wanted to relate to us. I know a lot of people turned their towels in early after getting the Hornet, but I definitely will not ;x.

If I am unhappy with the amp in the end, I am sure someone would love a fully burned in Hornet anyways
post #27 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Samuels
Hi Boodi....
Truly, the Hornet should have been kept the way it is made, with out any mod as it does not need one at all, I had 4 Hornets returned to me only & that was just because they were not being given enough time for burn-in process & the owners were just worried about the 7 days return policy that I have on the RS-1A pre-amp that has nothing to do with the Hornet.
I thought 100 hours were enough to get the Hornet to come alive, but I was very much wrong with that. The prototype was running day & night & hours were countless on it & was taken to many meets & be compared to many amps. I found out my 4 production Hornets were not sounding like my prototype even after 100 hours burn-in, at 200 hours they started to come alive, now all 4 of them have more than 300 hours of real burn-in time. Now they are ready to be heard. This reminds me of the post by a headfier "Munkong" in Thailand, where he posted that after 300 hours the Hornet has changed dramatically & settled. He was right with that, I believe the long time of the burn-in is due to a very little use of the energy stored in the 15000mf filter which prolongs the burn-in period of the amp. Once the amp is settled, the vocal is very well balanced in comparison to the background, it really is not forward as described by many when they got their amp new. Impressions should be taken with a grain of salt, once the amp is burned-in then the impressions should be written. In fact a very new Hornet with only few hours of use was compared in a meet with another amp with hundreds of hours, that by itself would give the wrong impression to many as to what the outcome would be. I am a big believer in the burn-in process, I found few on these threads make fun of that & that is very sad.
This is not an advertisment to the Hornet but stating facts to questions asked of me.
Ray Samuels
I well understand this , but I still find the thing really strange .

I understand that people who are returning while/or discussing the Hornet sound signature are presumibily doing wrong because they do not allow the break in period. But if it is only about burn-in and return policy , and if only 4 persons returned it ( that's really a super low number , 4 costumer not satisfied on hundreds , I think it's very reasonable , I would accept it without thinking about ) , .. -why just not advicing clearly about these 2 things ..
instead of offering a change of module and think of completely change the sound for the whole Hornet production from now on ..

I'm just trying to understand
post #28 of 103
i am kind of suprised to see this. i have had my hornet for about 36 hours, it has been on most of the time, im hearing improvements and i imagine i will continue to hear improvements. this is my favorite portable amp ive ever heard. earlier today i said the sr-71 was still better, after listening to this thing nonstop with hd580s i am incredibly impressed. i love this amp a lot, i just dont know if i should send it back, this thing is just so fun to listen to, and its not like any details are lost anywhere. the headroom microdac/hornet combination is absouletely dreamy. i dont imagine it will last for more than a few months, but i am very intent with my current gear. thanks ray, this amp is fantastic.

rj
post #29 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood
Meh, it's more like Hornet Option 2. Nice that you have a choice now. -Ed
I read it as saying that from now on the Hornets will have the new sound. Presumably you could request the old sound, but if you hadn't read all this and just ordered it you'd get the new sound?
post #30 of 103
From what Ray and others says about burn-in and how it affects the sound of the Hornet, that he could just burn in all the Hornets for 300 hours before he ships them out and people would think it has a different sound signature.
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