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The RSA Protector balanced portable: Images and impressions 1st page, Please post your... - Page 30

post #436 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
Larry, make sure you try your Protector with your best DAC if you really want to hear what it's capable of. Then you can see why it could be used as a desktop amp.
Well, the DACs I'm using in my bedroom with the Macbook are good enough for desktop amps (uDAC, D4, D10, Pico DAC only, DACport, Nuforce HDP, and Apogee mini-DAC). I'm not putting the Protector in my main rig with the PWD, because I'm using the ZDT and WES with that DAC, and I'm going to use the Protector like a portable.

For the portable rig, I'm pairing it with my iMod with piccolino LOD or portable Vcap dock, which comes close to the Nuforce and Apogee as a source. The 16gb 5G Nano will also get some use with the Protector, but my ultra-portable rig will be using the 5G Nano with Pico Slim stuffed into my pants pocket.
post #437 of 837
Yes, but don't you think you should TRY it to see what the Protector is really capable of? It sounds much better out of a high-end DAC.
post #438 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalo View Post
Hmm, let me guess, Ray is staying up late right now working on the drawing board for a DAC/amp project just like the Predator but this time with a balance DAC feeding balance signal to the Protector, right?
What would be the point? The Protector does not have balanced inputs.
post #439 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
What would be the point? The Protector does not have balanced inputs.
and im pretty sure it has only 2 gain stages....no need for a balanced dac.
post #440 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalo View Post
Hmm, let me guess, Ray is staying up late right now working on the drawing board for a DAC/amp project just like the Predator but this time with a balance DAC feeding balance signal to the Protector, right?
That would be nice

I wonder what a genius he is
post #441 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
Larry, make sure you try your Protector with your best DAC if you really want to hear what it's capable of. Then you can see why it could be used as a desktop amp.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Well, the DACs I'm using in my bedroom with the Macbook are good enough for desktop amps (uDAC, D4, D10, Pico DAC only, DACport, Nuforce HDP, and Apogee mini-DAC). I'm not putting the Protector in my main rig with the PWD, because I'm using the ZDT and WES with that DAC, and I'm going to use the Protector like a portable.

For the portable rig, I'm pairing it with my iMod with piccolino LOD or portable Vcap dock, which comes close to the Nuforce and Apogee as a source. The 16gb 5G Nano will also get some use with the Protector, but my ultra-portable rig will be using the 5G Nano with Pico Slim stuffed into my pants pocket.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
Yes, but don't you think you should TRY it to see what the Protector is really capable of? It sounds much better out of a high-end DAC.
Great, I get it, I get it. But I explained my DAC choices for pairing with my Protector which replaced the Predator. I already like the Protector combined with any of those portable DACs more than the Predator that I sold to pay for it. If someone doesn't like the Protector (not me), even if they have a nicer DAC than I used you can still blame it on the phones, cables, or choice or music.

Maybe I'll just try cutting my headphone cable shorter first, because several of the DAC's I mentioned sound fairly high-end (Pico DAC, 24/96 DACport, 24/96 HDP and Apogee mini-DAC). Or, I could pair the Protector up with my old Digital Link III instead of selling it, because the cubic volume of the DLIII is about 50 times greater than the Pico and so it should sound much better.

The point I'm trying to make is that as silly as the above two comments sound, demanding that I use the Protector with a $3000 full size home DAC like my Perfectwave to get the best performance is a little overkill, don't you think? It's a PORTABLE amp, and I'm using it mostly with VERY good portable or small desktop DAC's that can fit next to a computer on a desk. Sure, I can hook it up to my PWD, but it's not going to replace my ZDT or WES amps, and with my disability I'm not going to do any more work than I have to in order to enjoy this.

Even if you don't agree that these DAC's come close to high-end, the Apogee mini-DAC with Sigma 11 PSU is a well respected DAC that compares well to other DACs in the $1000-$1500 range. The HDP, unbelievably, comes very close and uses the digital circuit from a respected $1500 DAC. Still, you keep telling me to try the Protector with a "high-end" DAC, which means you must have heard them all and feel that the ones I mentioned aren't good enough. What is high-end enough for you?

My feeling is that the Protector amp is designed to be used with exactly the type of portable sources I have mentioned are being used. It may yet become my favorite portable amp - with the power to drive Sennheisers and the finesse to drive my IEM. So I am going to get to know it best with the sources that will be used with it the majority of the time. If this fills the job as a balanced desktop amp, then great, but I'll still know if that's the case with the DACs I have listed already. Much of the time I'll be carrying around my 5G Nano with Pico Slim in a pocket, and using the Protector with my Macbook and a portable USB DAC. That does qualify as a desktop amp I suppose, but I'm not plopping down in front of my main rig and using the Protector there. I want to use the Protector anywhere in my house where I don't have my main rig set up.
post #442 of 837
this or the pico slim to pair with an iphone 3gs?
post #443 of 837
Too early to tell since Pico Slim is not shipping yet.
post #444 of 837
Where are the impressions and comparisons guys?we are still waiting here...
post #445 of 837
Just got my Protector. It's about half the size I thought it'd be! Amazing. I can truly understand why others said it looks like what they thought the Shadow'd look like.
post #446 of 837
Did anyone notice it sounds funny when you press play after you power on the amp? It only last half a seconds.
post #447 of 837
BTW, I got S/N #008. So Ray does honour serial number requests. One happy camper here!
post #448 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
What would be the point? The Protector does not have balanced inputs.

DACs are by nature balanced so if you put one in the Protector, then you would have a balanced input then simply bypass the single ended stage?
post #449 of 837

Protector vs Pico Slim - a few notes but not a review

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmbphan041 View Post
this or the pico slim to pair with an iphone 3gs?
It really depends on (1) the form factor you need and (2) what you will drive with the amp (power requirement). I have the demo Pico Slim here right now in front of me. You can see it in the photo I posted yesterday. The slim is the same length as Protector, about 1/4 - 1/3" narrower, and about half as thick as the Protector. So, if you want to slip the two stacked together in your pants pocket the Slim is going to fit much better. The Slim is the same width and thickness as the tiny iBasso T3, being only about 1/2" longer than the T3 (or 2/3" including volume knob). Even in it's leather protective case the Slim is a little smaller/thinner than the Protector.

I am mostly using the DACport 24/96 USB DAC as my source, with the volume knob at about 80% of max, feeding it into my portable amps via a jumbo cryo silver x clone (copper/silver) mini-mini. The Slim with non-balanced JH13Pro or ES3X is every bit as good as the 72 hour Protector or P-51 Mustang with the same NON-balanced custom IEM. (I only just got my balanced TWag cable and adapter that I have to burn-in).

The Slim cannot drive the HD600 with the same authority as the larger balanced Protector, but then the HD600 are not really a portable headphone either. The Slim can actually drive the HD600 to decent levels and sound quality (RSA balanced adapter/Equinox cable plus TWag SE adapter), and you can turn the volume to max without clipping. Although the Slim with HD600 wont get loud enough to feel the bass hitting hard like with the Protector, the volume is louder than my normal listening volumes. The Slim is a definite upgrade over the iPhone or iPod driving the HD600 unamplified, and I get close to an extra 3 dB or so out of my iMod with the Slim vs the headphone out, along with a lot of extra detail and soundstage. I have not had a chance to compare the Slim's power output using HD600 to the P-51, which also cannot drive the HD600 as authoritatively as the Protector but does a decent job in a pinch.

I will not do any more detailed comparisons than that yet - it's too early and I haven't had enough time with either amp. Yes, there are small differences in sound signature that I will delve into once the Protector is burned-in, but I'm not ready to do a full on review until the Protector has the recommended number of hours. I have written notes on the differences, but they may change or go away with more burn-in.

I can say that Ray and Justin have outdone themselves this time. Overall I do prefer the Slim to the original Pico, and I like it as much as my P-51 Mustang, while having their small differences in sound signatures. The P-51 has the signature RSA sound, and the Slim has the signature Headamp sound. Both are a noticeable step up from the tiny T3 portable, with only an extra 1/2" in length, and they belong in the top tier of portable amps. In my case I will be more likely to carry the Slim with my 5G Nano and IEM in my pants pocket, and use the Protector in my laptop rig with a nice DAC and balanced headphones. But that is just me - I had a purpose in mind for each of these amps when I bought them, and they will suit them perfectly.
post #450 of 837
Thanks for the impressions Larry.so until now,does the protector fit in the same class as home amps in driving the hd600 like others say?
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › The RSA Protector balanced portable: Images and impressions 1st page, Please post your impressions . .