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RSA MUSTANG P-51 . little amp BIG sound . image 1, 28, 30, 55, 59, 61 Reviews, 30, 34 . Post... - Page 69

post #1021 of 1189
Permagrin,

The Wine color looks very close to your other two pics. It actually looks like a dark red. I like that color combo. I was going to ask if you're listening with Grados which have that low listening level detail retrieval with many amps but I read your profile. I agree though and I think the P-51/HD 650 combo is great.
post #1022 of 1189
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatDane View Post
I can't help but recommend the HeadAmp Pico DAC. At its $350 price I believe you'd have a tough time finding a better option,especially if you want to eliminate the need for external power. I've listened to the Pico DAC and it sounds identical to my Pico DAC/amp combo so I don't agree that a combo like this can't be good, in fact I think the amp section sounds great.


HeadAmp Pico DAC

The cables you'd need for a USB DAC like the Pico would be either a 3.5mm to 3.5mm or stereo RCA to 3.5mm. You probably already have a USB Mini-B cable for connection to the laptop.
Thanks Jochen and Greatdane for the info. Helps clear up cable confusion for me!!!

So as far as relatively small DACs go Pico sounds like a good option. I don't hear much about the Benchmark DAC1 on this forum (also has a built in amp which I am not sure people like). Is it mainly because the cost is so high comparatively to other desktop options?
post #1023 of 1189
It's a lot more money, and it is not portable, two knocks against it. I own a Benchmark DAC1 as well as the P-51 Mustang, and also a Nuforce Icon Mobile and a very old Headroom Total Bithead. The Benchmark DAC1 is in my eyes an excellent value for overall sound quality and easily contributes to the great sound of my speaker setup here at home (lossless audio via S/PDIF from my PC to the DAC1, then from the DAC1 to a PS Audio Control Amp, driving a pair of JM Labs speakers). Its DAC is easily superior to that of the Total Bithead and the Icon Mobile, but I have to say that there may be better synergy between the P-51 Mustang and Westone IEMs than between the DAC1's amp with the Westone IEMs. That being said, DAC1 still gives stellar sound in comparison, and it may simply be that the DAC1's headphone out is less, "colored," than the Mustang's, and the Mustang's colorization happens to suit Westone 3 and Westone UM3X particularly well--I actually prefer listening to the Westone IEMs via the P-51 Mustang being fed by the DAC1's line out with a CablePro Ear Candy RCA stereo to mini cable than straight from the DAC1's own headphone out!

-Ed
post #1024 of 1189
Quote:
Originally Posted by allbald View Post
Thank Jochen and Greatdane for the info. Help clear up cable confusion for me!!!

So as far as relatively small DACs go Pico sounds like a good option. I don't here much about the Benchmark DAC1 on this forum (also has a built in amp which I am not sure people like). Is it mainly because the cost is so high comparatively to other desktop options?
I'm glad to have helped, if only a little bit. I am aware of the Benchmark but I have no experience with it. It is a respected high-end option but my simple needs never lead me to go that far. A couple years ago I was searching for a low price option for a desktop DAC and I found the PreSonus Central Station which has served me well.
post #1025 of 1189
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatDane View Post
I'm glad to have helped, if only a little bit. I am aware of the Benchmark but I have no experience with it. It is a respected high-end option but my simple needs never lead me to go that far. A couple years ago I was searching for a low price option for a desktop DAC and I found the PreSonus Central Station which has served me well.
No I understand. I am more in the boat of how much is appropriate to spend. If you get down to it, the separate DAC + Amp (and cables -argh) -- in my example lets say pico + P-51 is about $725 already, whereas the cheapest Becnhmark is at $995 (a bit less on audiogon). However the ones with USB in option is alot more still.

p.s. -- by the way headroom has 15% off on headphones if you answer a survey for them -- got 15% off the ER-4p and AKG 702 -- which made the ER-4p cheaper than normal and the AKG about market price).
post #1026 of 1189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Ng View Post
It's a lot more money, and it is not portable, two knocks against it. I own a Benchmark DAC1 as well as the P-51 Mustang, and also a Nuforce Icon Mobile and a very old Headroom Total Bithead. The Benchmark DAC1 is in my eyes an excellent value for overall sound quality and easily contributes to the great sound of my speaker setup here at home (lossless audio via S/PDIF from my PC to the DAC1, then from the DAC1 to a PS Audio Control Amp, driving a pair of JM Labs speakers). Its DAC is easily superior to that of the Total Bithead and the Icon Mobile, but I have to say that there may be better synergy between the P-51 Mustang and Westone IEMs than between the DAC1's amp with the Westone IEMs. That being said, DAC1 still gives stellar sound in comparison, and it may simply be that the DAC1's headphone out is less, "colored," than the Mustang's, and the Mustang's colorization happens to suit Westone 3 and Westone UM3X particularly well--I actually prefer listening to the Westone IEMs via the P-51 Mustang being fed by the DAC1's line out with a CablePro Ear Candy RCA stereo to mini cable than straight from the DAC1's own headphone out!

-Ed
I have a big speaker rig of bel canto pre3 + bel canto mon ref 1000s + triangle speakers so this is more for semi portable use.

I think I keep thinking about how important portability is. Like how willing I will be to carry all this extra gear (dac + amp) around for an iphone source.

I have been looking at the different Benchmarks and I am not sure other than the USB input on the more expensive models what the difference is? Since they all have a built in amp -- they must all have a pre-amp of some sort by default right? Trying to understand the differences between the one from 2004 and the one from 2008.

But bottom line seems to be that you like the DAC1's dac/preamp capabilties enough to feed your portable IEMs and your full size home rig.
post #1027 of 1189
I definately prefer the P-51 over the SR-71a for the headphones that I listen to. All of my headphones have less than 50ohms of impedance. I do at times wish that the P-51 could put out more current. It doesn't sound as good as my super tweaked millett with my on-head headphones. That is comparing home amps to portable which isn't always entirely valid.

I still fully support my experience in August when I heard the prototype. Immediately, I told Ray I wanted to be first on the list and he hadn't even given a price range.

I have never owned a portable amp for as long as I have had this one and it does get used for hours every day. It is the ONLY piece of stock sound equipment that I own. Literally.
post #1028 of 1189
Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Germania=- View Post
I definately prefer the P-51 over the SR-71a for the headphones that I listen to. All of my headphones have less than 50ohms of impedance. I do at times wish that the P-51 could put out more current. It doesn't sound as good as my super tweaked millett with my on-head headphones. That is comparing home amps to portable which isn't always entirely valid.

I still fully support my experience in August when I heard the prototype. Immediately, I told Ray I wanted to be first on the list and he hadn't even given a price range.

I have never owned a portable amp for as long as I have had this one and it does get used for hours every day. It is the ONLY piece of stock sound equipment that I own. Literally.
Must say I am always impressed with folks who understand enough electronics to roll their own audio gear!

I suspect that I would like the P-51s as well, even though I tend to like neutral/bright sounding headphones/IEMs (ER-4p andd 702s).

It's a bummer that their is no portable solution yet for bypassing the iphone's DAC (we need a portable version of the wadia itransport).
post #1029 of 1189

P-51, Mustang....

Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Germania=- View Post
I definately prefer the P-51 over the SR-71a for the headphones that I listen to. All of my headphones have less than 50ohms of impedance. I do at times wish that the P-51 could put out more current. It doesn't sound as good as my super tweaked millett with my on-head headphones. That is comparing home amps to portable which isn't always entirely valid.

I still fully support my experience in August when I heard the prototype. Immediately, I told Ray I wanted to be first on the list and he hadn't even given a price range.

I have never owned a portable amp for as long as I have had this one and it does get used for hours every day. It is the ONLY piece of stock sound equipment that I own. Literally.
P-51 puts out 250ma of current, per channel, which is equal to all those amps that use BUF634 buffer as an output stage.
Ray Samuels
post #1030 of 1189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Samuels View Post
P-51 puts out 250ma of current, per channel, which is equal to all those amps that use BUF634 buffer as an output stage.
Ray Samuels
At what impedance? Thanks in advance. BTW, I do love my P-51.
post #1031 of 1189
If you use the SDK version of OS3 for iPhone..... yeah there is. I have been having fun with my little DIY and a friends iPhone. though, most of teh time I use it with a USB dongle and walk around with it. Right now it is my main DAC

I hope to have a working version of the final thing in about 2-3months that does digital out, but I can't seem to find a tiny DAC design that I like as a potential pair. Might just buy a D10.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allbald View Post
Must say I am always impressed with folks who understand enough electronics to roll their own audio gear!

I suspect that I would like the P-51s as well, even though I tend to like neutral/bright sounding headphones/IEMs (ER-4p andd 702s).

It's a bummer that their is no portable solution yet for bypassing the iphone's DAC (we need a portable version of the wadia itransport).
post #1032 of 1189
Just got my P51..It really improve the SQ of my sennheiser HD 485, but not much with my UM3X..I got a quick question tough..how can I now what gain to use? what is the difference between each mode?
post #1033 of 1189
Quote:
Originally Posted by CooLy_oNE View Post
Just got my P51..It really improve the SQ of my sennheiser HD 485, but not much with my UM3X..I got a quick question tough..how can I now what gain to use? what is the difference between each mode?
I've found that medium gain works best for my PFE IEM and HD 650. I like to be able to use the volume knob at around 1 o'clock at near my maximum loudness.

Just experiment, there is no universal correct answer for which gain setting to use.
post #1034 of 1189
I use medium gain with everything from 124 db/mw ES3X to HD600.
post #1035 of 1189
Thread Starter 
Medium gain is what I seem to have it on all the time. Works with everything I have tried and gives me a good range on the volume control.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › RSA MUSTANG P-51 . little amp BIG sound . image 1, 28, 30, 55, 59, 61 Reviews, 30, 34 . Post images . Monitors pg 1