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post #46 of 83

thanks

your review was very well done and it helped me quantify how well the amps did. im still in the process of choosing an amp for my nw-A808/SE530. and from your reviews i might just go with the RSA predator. if you have any specific input for me, your most welcome!
post #47 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by channum View Post
Well, my point wasn't to say anything personal, and my apologies if you took it that way, just being honest about how I read these boards. Until a recent spate of posts, mostly spurred by my growing obsession to upgrade the SF5s followed by getting the TF10s, I've mostly been a lurker these past few years. When I read these sort of reviews, I look for people who's comments about gear I'm familiar with agree with my take - those people I listen to. Those people who seem to express preferences and dislikes different than mine, I don't listen to so much. I might compare their reviews to those I feel I should be able to trust to see what I can learn from the comparison, but that's about it.

In the end, I feel I can only draw so much useful information from your posts, not because you don't know what you're doing, but just because after reading a lot of posts from you I feel pretty confident that we could sit down at a meet and listen to a couple of table's full of gear and we'd both have very different takes on the majority of it. It's interesting to read about how different people perceive different gear, but when they're evidently approaching things with different priorities, different standards, and different goals than you are, there's not much sense in using those reviews for making your own decisions.
Fair enough. My "priorities, standards and goals" are to experience the most transparent immersive illusion of the presence of real instruments being played in front of and around me as possible There are a lot of systems (headphones/amps/source/program material) that sound "good enough", but my Holy Grail is the opportunity to disappear into the music and forget that I am listening to tiny little speakers right next to my ears. So if those are your priorities and standards and goals too, then we're on the same page.
post #48 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ppau0822 View Post
your review was very well done and it helped me quantify how well the amps did. im still in the process of choosing an amp for my nw-A808/SE530. and from your reviews i might just go with the RSA predator. if you have any specific input for me, your most welcome!
Specific input for you? How about not making me try to wipe the bug off my screen next time

Ok, here is more. Last year I found good synergy with the universal fit SE530 and a Tomahawk amp, which helped with the rolled off highs. But at the time the iBasso D1, Lyrix and Caffeine were good with SE530 too. I did not get to the try my SE530 (when they were stock) with the Predator, Pico or D2 because I had shipped out my SE530 with my ear impressions to be modded before I got the newer amps. Since the current sound of my SE530 customs is NOTHING like they were stock, my experiences with the SE530 customs here probably wont translate over to the stock SE530. (The bass is now flatter and the highs are not rolled off anymore).

But, based on my experience with these amps, I will guess that the Predator, Pico and D2 would be a good choice too. The good thing about the Tomahawk and Predator is that the low gain is 1:1, and the volume knob works well at the lower volumes with high sensitivity IEM like SE530, Livewires and Freqs. As a warning about the Tomahawk - while I felt it was great with the SE530, I didn't think it was my favorite with other IEM and headphones. If I could only pick one amp, it would be the Predator, and then give it 600-1000 hours of burn-in.
post #49 of 83
Thank you - great review
post #50 of 83
Very interesting read. This made me think of the recent number of issues of british HI-FInews where Keith Howard has been reviewing a number og headphones (both full size and iem's) and amps. One of his conclusions is that an often overlooked factor is the outpur impedance of the amp/source and how that can quiet dramatically affect what you hear and this could be (at least to some extent) what you are finding.
post #51 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
...So if those are your priorities and standards and goals too, then we're on the same page.
That doesn't reflect my standards or goals very much, which was my point. It's not realistic nor even possible. It's chasing a holy grail that doesn't exist and leaves your wallet empty and your ears never satisfied.

I could go into a long schpiel about my thoughts on how relatively small a part gear plays in the realism of playback compared to how the recording was made and mastered in the first place, or how real, live music (your stated goal of what you're reaching toward) is, more often than not, distorted and imbalanced far beyond what first gen iBuds plugged into an old cassette walkman can manage, but I'll spare you and everyone else

I'll just close on a paraphrase of what I already said: I'm glad there are people with the pockets and patience to try out and comment on all this gear is out there even if not every review helps me personally all that much...
post #52 of 83
Excellent post as usual, H.A!!!

I think I should be getting my triple fis to pair them with my headstage lyrix pro USB.

You werent too specific about what one should expect about this combo, but being the triple fi in the "top of the universal fit IEM" and the headstage lyrix being one solid amp I guess this will be a heavenly match. I really have high HOPEs because after liking and then loving the HD650, there was definitely something that wasnt cutting it for me, and I now WANTto love the triple fi and end the quest for a while...my wallet needs it.

Would you consider the Predator to be a HUGE upgrade from the Lyrix if I am going to be using it exclusively with the TF10??

Great reviews! Keep them coming!!
post #53 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alitomr View Post
Excellent post as usual, H.A!!!

I think I should be getting my triple fis to pair them with my headstage lyrix pro USB.

You werent too specific about what one should expect about this combo, but being the triple fi in the "top of the universal fit IEM" and the headstage lyrix being one solid amp I guess this will be a heavenly match. I really have high HOPEs because after liking and then loving the HD650, there was definitely something that wasnt cutting it for me, and I now WANTto love the triple fi and end the quest for a while...my wallet needs it.

Would you consider the Predator to be a HUGE upgrade from the Lyrix if I am going to be using it exclusively with the TF10??

Great reviews! Keep them coming!!
I found the Lyrix Total Pro and Caffeine Pro (like a Lyrix Pro) to both do very well with the Triple.fi, so I wouldnt change anything.

The Predator was okay, but it wasn't burned in before I traded the Triples towards some Lambda Signature. The Meier HeadSix has just a little more forward mids but it didn't cause problems.
post #54 of 83
Thread Starter 
I had dirty contacts inside my DanT switchable impedance pod on my IM716, I was getting slightly muted sound and occasional channel imbalance.

Now that I have that cleared up, I have to say I like the IM716 with podectomy a little more than the q-JAYS. Not that the q-JAYS do anything wrong, the sound is just different and I prefer the IM716 just a little more at anything from 33 - 69 ohm through my Predator or D2 viper. The bass is not as good as the q-JAYS, but the highs are a little more transparent.
post #55 of 83
Thanks for the is great review HA. One slight question remains for me. That is, if I was only allowed one portable amp for both IEM and full size cans should I get the pico or the predator? i will most likely have the LiveWires soon and mostly Grado full size.

Thank you for any help!

p.s. just about to send in my impressions...oh and do i get the cables with resistors? couldn't find it on the LW thread.
post #56 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinseljim View Post
Thanks for the is great review HA. One slight question remains for me. That is, if I was only allowed one portable amp for both IEM and full size cans should I get the pico or the predator? i will most likely have the LiveWires soon and mostly Grado full size.

Thank you for any help!

p.s. just about to send in my impressions...oh and do i get the cables with resistors? couldn't find it on the LW thread.
With what you said you will be using, I would get the Predator - unless you really need the high end DAC in the Pico to feed full size desktop amps later. The Pico USB DAC easily matches my Apogee mini-DAC USB DAC when feeding a full size tube amp (both are upsampling DAC), even though the Apogee with Optical and Coax is a little better than USB. The Pico would not be out of place as a DAC/Pre-amp in a high end desktop system.

HOWEVER, the Predator DAC is still quite good, and overall I like the Predator driving headphones better than the Pico with headphones, even though the Pico is also quite good driving headphones too. While the Pico is wonderful with the Denon D2000, it is too bright sometimes with the Grados. I like the Predator battery life better too, and I like being able to leave it connected to both my Macbook and my iMod, and flip a switch to go between the sources. And, the Predator has better volume pot accuracy at low volumes with high efficiency IEM like the Livewires.

I haven't needed LW cables with resistors. If I get a source with hiss I can use a $10 Shure volume attenuator with the standard cable.
post #57 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
With what you said you will be using, I would get the Predator - unless you really need the high end DAC in the Pico to feed full size desktop amps later...overall I like the Predator driving headphones better than the Pico with headphones, even though the Pico is also quite good driving headphones too. While the Pico is wonderful with the Denon D2000, it is too bright sometimes with the Grados...And, the Predator has better volume pot accuracy at low volumes with high efficiency IEM like the Livewires...I haven't needed LW cables with resistors.
X2

HeadphoneAddict is spot on.
post #58 of 83
Well, thank you very much. That makes a lot of sense!

James
post #59 of 83
Great comparison. How would you rank it with the iqube?
post #60 of 83
Thread Starter 
Haven't heard the iQube. HiFlight says the D2 viper with two LMH6622 in it will sound identical to the iQube, but I haven't gotten those opamps yet.
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