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Available - RSA "The Black Bird" SR-71A, Redesigned, Resized AMP images page 1,28, 33, 34, 39 ....

post #1 of 674
Thread Starter 
I thought it would be of interest to those who enjoy the SR-71 or who have wanted one that the SR-71a will be making an appearance. There will be a new appearance to this classic portable with a new restyled and smaller chassis, multiple gain control and a nice custom (well the whole thing is custom) volume knob. It will still use the two batteries and offers a nice long run time.

Edit: The main title changes as the release gets closer and as more is known.









image from RSA announcement

9 28 08
With the first few hours the 71A sounded very nice but after 10 or 15 hours the sound got a little bright with a slight grain and the staging was somewhat flat. At around 35 hours or so the amp opened up and became much more transparent with a very nice high frequency extension and a tight defined bass. From 35 on the amp has continued to refine with no real ups or down just a continued upward trend in sound quality. I am near 100 hours now. The soundstage on well recorded information is very open with both good depth and width. Placement of instruments is discernable, again on well recorded music.

I also find that this amp is very fast. I don't hear any smearing of the frequencies. The low and upper low frequency does not creep into the lower midrange, which can give the impression of a slow amp.

10 7 08 Battery of choice

I have found the Tysonic ultra low discharge rechargeable to sound the best by a good margin, much like the eneloop AA and AAA in other amp applications.

10 12 08

I am using the li-poly rechargeables and like the low discharge, the bass is slam hard and well defined. Very, very fast and articulate. This amp is powering my Ultrasone Ed. 9's very fine.

I still prefer the low discharge but the li-poly do a very good job and the amp rocks!

3 7 09

Well I have had the SR71A fired up today and I have to say that paired up with the ESW10's, the sound is impressive. The thwack of drums on some of the Grateful Dead stuff is great and the audience sounds can startle me with the realism. The 71A exhibits very good control and frequency range with these phones. Wow, what drive.
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post #2 of 674
Hmmm....All these new amps are killing me!!!
I already have a long wish-list...lol.
I wonder if its on Rays site yet. Ill have to keep checking.
You all should chip in and get me a new wallet for Christmas.
post #3 of 674
Very interesting and semi-unexpected. Can't wait for the shining reviews.
post #4 of 674
Whoa. Wonder how it'll perform against other 2x 9V battery headphone amps. *hint hint* L...I...S...A... No I did not say Lisa.
post #5 of 674
Goodness I try to stay away from this place, but I keep getting pulled back. And now this... *sigh* So many great amps, so little time.
post #6 of 674
Thanks for the info. Any projected sonic differences or just a face lift? And what's the "custom" in the custom volume knob?

o
post #7 of 674
look forward to its release and whoopy 100 posts for me
post #8 of 674
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by orkney View Post
Thanks for the info. Any projected sonic differences or just a face lift? And what's the "custom" in the custom volume knob?

o
It isn't off the shelf but designed and machined for the SR-71a as is the case, specifically made for the new 71. It is all very labor intensive but a truly, not off the shelf, product.
post #9 of 674
Is the primary upgrade the revised gain settings? Also, any idea if the volume might be "stepped"? I still carry around my beloved XP-7 but this might make me change my mind.
post #10 of 674
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigEat View Post
Is the primary upgrade the revised gain settings? Also, any idea if the volume might be "stepped"? I still carry around my beloved XP-7 but this might make me change my mind.
Stepped, as in stepped attenuator? No, this will be a portable smaller than the original SR-71. I am familiar with the volume control used in the SR-71 and it is one of the best. I believe there will be 4 gain settings.
post #11 of 674
Oh, I see. I didn't realize it was smaller than the original. What is this one in response to John? Why the subtleties in the gain control?
post #12 of 674
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigEat View Post
Oh, I see. I didn't realize it was smaller than the original. What is this one in response to John? Why the subtleties in the gain control?
The SR-71 has a little different sound from the other portables Ray makes and has remained popular. A few of the parts have been out for a long time and there will be a limited number of the 71a's, for now, from what I understand. I could be wrong on the number of gain settings but it seemed there are four. This would allow any number of sensitive IEM's or other types of transducers to be used. The face plate is has been redesigned without the lip the older version had. I think it will also have wings and a small jet engine with remote so if you need it somewhere else it will fly ahead and be waiting. :^)
post #13 of 674
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
The SR-71 has a little different sound from the other portables Ray makes and has remained popular. A few of the parts have been out for a long time and there will be a limited number of the 71a's, for now, from what I understand. I could be wrong on the number of gain settings but it seemed there are four. This would allow any number of sensitive IEM's or other types of transducers to be used. The face plate is has been redesigned without the lip the older version had. I think it will also have wings and a small jet engine with remote so if you need it somewhere else it will fly ahead and be waiting. :^)
Thanks. Maybe I will give up my xp-7
post #14 of 674
Here's to hoping it's got the SR71 sound. Put me on the list Ray!
post #15 of 674
I'm looking forward to this; I'm very tentative about giving up the XP-7 sound. But the gain features add a lot of flexibility. Which of course the XP has never had. I also like the 9V flexibility. I'm convinced that the dual 9 volts have a certain current stability (assuming the batteries are fresh) that is sometimes lost as the on board nicad batteries age and don't hold a charge as well.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › Available - RSA "The Black Bird" SR-71A, Redesigned, Resized AMP images page 1,28, 33, 34, 39 . Mini review: 40, 41, 45 .