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The P-51 Mustang

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was fortunate enough to have one of these little beasts loaned to me and have been listening to it for a couple days now trying to form some opinions. I've been away from headfi for almost a year during which time I've been using my Pico as my only amp/source and my D5000 or UE-11's.

When I first plugged into the P-51 I wasn't quite sure if I liked it. I'd been so used to a certain sound that anything different was... well different. I've spent probably a total of 4-5 hours over the last two days using my UE-11, D5000, and PK-1 and I still have some more time I'd like to put in before I draw any final conclusions but I have enough to form an opinion.

I think the most obvious thing for me with this amp is its attack. The P-51 has a very well defined attack in that the initial strike of each note from any instrument or voice is sharp and has exceptional definition as it suddenly appears from a black background. Percussion instruments sound very snappy, very much like they would sound live scenario without any unnatural decay or bleeding into what should be a black background, much less other notes. They isolate themselves very well in their own space.

The vocal presentation is somewhat forward which I think is the proper way to have it as any live show I've been to with good sound the vocals are always in the forward focus. Female vocals sound particularly sweet, the P-52 seems to capture an edge of the female voice that can often be easily glossed over or simply presented in a way that sounds soft when compared to how they sound live. Another thing that the midrange does very well is guitar tones. Guitar tones sound extremely lively and posses a body that is once again very much what one would hear at a live show with accurate energy and decay.

The top end has impressive extension and is well defined with plenty of sparkle. I did not hear an ounce of sibilance nor did I notice anything being overly splashy, again it just sounded tight and accurate. Bass is similar to other RSA amps, it is well defined, has impressive extension, and plenty of impact.

All in all I was very impressed with this amp and felt that it had a lot of energy and does a lot of things very well. The soundstage did sound a bit closed in compared to my Pico and I also preferred the way in which the Pico captures the tone of certain stringed instruments such as violins and cellos. The P-51 would be my amp of choice for female vocals, rock/country/metal while I would opt for my Pico for classical, larger jazz ensembles, and some female vocals. The review was not meant to be a comparison but I know someone would ask so there you have it. Bottom line is if I had no amp and was looking for a portable I would be content with either or maybe both

Music used for this demo:
Pink Martini - Hey Eugene! & Hang On Little Tomato
Brad Paisley - Time Well Wasted
Mudvayne - L.D. 50
Allison Krauss - Live
The Ditty Bops - Summer Rains
Hilary Hahn - Shönberg / Sibelius: Violin Concertos
post #2 of 13
Beautifull pictures! I love the P-51 but the Pico really is awesome too.
post #3 of 13
post #4 of 13
It's good to see you made it back...wallet looking for more torture?

Nice pics and nice amp!
post #5 of 13
Thanks for the impressions and pretty pictures.
post #6 of 13
x2. The P-51 Mustang is a beauty!

Sounds like I'll have to hear a Pico, tho...
post #7 of 13

Does anyone know the size of the retaining screw for the vol control knob  on the P-51 Mustang?

post #8 of 13
Nice write up, made me miss my old P51!!
post #9 of 13

I posted this in another p-51 thread but I thought it could go well here too. 



Reviving a dead thread with some pictures and late to the game impressions!


After reading all of the great things about this little amp I decided to see for myself if I could replace my home rig and current portable with just one rig. I wanted one good setup for work and home that I could take back and forth easily. So far this is a stellar combo. I keep my paradox at work and the ath-ad2k at home, it drives both of them superbly. The combo of the p-51 and ad2k is really special, the mids, good lord are they good, forward and vivid. The unit is no where near burnt in, but if it gets better its only a plus from what i'm hearing now. I will most likely be putting my CTH up for sale since the p-51 is on par with it, the p-51 has that solid state clarity over the cth which I like, the p-51 is also more aggressive than the CTH. I use the term aggressive carefully since it evokes the thought of in your face sound, which i think the p-51 is not, it is a very big but confident sound. I will miss the liquid feel of the CTH from time to time I suppose, but as i type this listening to the p-51 I feel no need to be plugged into the cth instead of the p-51. Color me impressed with Ray's work he accomplished a few years ago already with the p-51! 


I hope these thoughts add to the words already been said about the p-51 and maybe help someone on the same search I was a week ago.


Cheers Head-Fi !






post #10 of 13

beautiful set-up!

post #11 of 13
They must be sooo tiny, it's hard to imagine from those close-ups...
Edited by HeadFiend - 2/19/13 at 1:04pm
post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by HeadFiend View Post

They must be sooo tiny, it's hard to imagine from those close-ups...

They are both really small! I still sometimes stare at it while listening wondering  how it can do what it does...


Originally Posted by roma101 View Post

beautiful set-up!

Thank you! It's really growing on me. 


Also it has been going for more than 50 hours on the first charge!!! insanity.



post #13 of 13
Indeed I miss that amazing battery life!
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