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The RSA Protector balanced portable: Images and impressions 1st page, Please post your impressions . . - Page 36

post #526 of 837
Well, I just received in the mail a JH13 TWag balance Protector recable, a female balance to 3.5mm adaptor, and a TWag XLR to male protector adaptor. After hearing the effect of fullsize headphones from the Protector from a few observations (Skylab, Jamato etc), I have been wanting to try my HD800 on the Protector, so without any delay I immediately go to compare the followings:

1. Itune-->Apple Lossless-->optical toslink connection-->Headroom UDAC-->SAA balance flat cable to-->Headroom BUDA/DPS on medium gain-->Balance SAA Voice recable --> HD800.

2. Ipod Classic 6 gen--Apple Lossles-->ALO SXC 18g-->Protector on medium and high gain--> Whiplash TWag XLR to Protector adaptor --> Balance SAA Voice recable --> HD800.

My protector has not been burn in at all. It has about five hours SE and one hour balance burn in time. I love vocal so I use a few tracks to compare the two settings. Specifically, I used the Irish Tenors (Danny Boy, Grace), Holly Cole Trio (I can see clearly now, Tennesee Waltz). I find specially with tennor and soprano voice, it is very easy to compare how an amp support a note being held in high intensity and duration.

In the track "I can see clearly now" the initial double bass sounded clear, full, crisp and punchy on both systems. I am very happy with the Protector.

In all four tracks when a high note is played, the UDAC/BUDA/DPS trio clearly has rounder and fuller performance. For the Protector system, it sounded amazingly good on medium volume (medium gain at 3 o'clock, or 12 o'clock at high gain). However, there are several instances that I do notice a slight cracking when I turn up to high volume (90 to 100 percent on both medium and high gain settings).

The Protector is amazingly quiet given the fact that I am listening to it at 90 percent volume now.

In term of quickness, punchiness, and crispiness, the Protector is about 90 to 95 percent of the BUDA/UDAC/DPS trio which is rather surprising to me.

In terms of sound presentation, both systems seem to have a similar distance to me. I find myself on the stage with the source.
The Protector seems to present the music a little closer to me than the desktop ssytem. Channel balance is pretty good.

I know this is just a very initial impression, but I don't think the overall picture or the final result is going to alter too much. I think after I have 200-300 hours on the Protector, I'll expect it to be a little smoother but as a protable system, I really think the protector is doing a very good job.

I think in the middle range, the Protector comes very close to the desktop system, in the low range and in the treble, the difference is a little bit more clear in that the notes are much more fuller and smoother for the desktop system.

Really the major difference between the two systems is that the desktop system sounded a little cleaner, smoother, fuller, and rounder. But the Protector is not far behind. If I have to put a number down, I will say the Protector is about 85 to 90 percent of the desktop trio and will be close to 90% when it is fully burn in.

Given the fact that the UDAC/BUDA/DPS trio, may not be the best of the desktop systems, it is nevertheless in the top group of desktop performers. I think for those people who wants to know whether the Protector can substitute for a destop system. I think it can compete with many medium level desktop systems. And for a portable system, it may be the only way one can listen a high level cans like the HD800 on the road. The bottom line is that the Protector is an enjoyable system and a rather capable performer at home or on the road.

My next interest is to compare the JH13 to the HD800 on the Protector.

I am also interested to hear from some of you who have received your Protector and your impression.
post #527 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
that connector is trouble: Japanese but looks to be discontinued here. Still not hard to re-pin to a more useful system.
Ray has a lifetime guarantee on this amp, so I'm not sure there is an issue. YMMV.
post #528 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by jelt2359 View Post
Larry's comment here:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f149/t...0/index10.html

In particular, this "If I use the TWag cable + single ended adapter with Pico Slim Demo Amp or RSA P-51, I can enjoy it just as much as with the Protector single ended. But when I remove the SE adapter and go balanced, then the soundstage opens up and also becomes more transparent (I have about 160 hours on the Protector)."

Has made me decided to just stick with my Protector and forgo the Slim. I read this as the Protector, Mustang and Slim being on a fairly plane when SE, but when the Protector is used in balanced mode things are taken to another level.
Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
you should use your own ears, and not the ears of someone else on the internet.
X3 - use your own ears, or wait for a more in depth review.

The Pico Slim is a fantastic portable for the size. I posted elsewhere that it's only 1/2" longer than my miniature iBasso T3, well above it in sound quality, and half as thick as the Protector. For a while I had stopped taking a portable amp with me for an iPod because I wanted something small enough to fit in my pants pocket when velcro'd or stacked with a Nano, iPhone or iMod. I ended up only looking at portable amps with USB built-in because the thicker amps available served me better being used with my Macbook Pro.

The thin Fiio E5 and iBasso T4 were not an improvement over the iPod, except in warming up the sound signature and giving more power - but not really hi-fi sounding as far as detail and soundstage. The T3 improved on that in terms of detail and transparency, and it could sound better than the iPhone 3GS headphone out, so I started carrying an amp again.

But I kept wishing for something that size that could match the P-51 (which is fatter like Protector). The Pico Slim is all that and more, based on the demo loaner unit I have here. It's a perfect match with my ES3X which can sound slightly aggressive paired with the P-51, and it gives a boost in the bass to them and my JH13Pro.

I'll be using Pico Slim as a portable with an iPod every where I go now, and Protector will be more likely to stay with my Macbook Pro using Pico DAC or DACport for source (at home or traveling). I see them filling two different needs for me. I am using the Protector A LOT with my HD600 and Macbook, rediscovering how much I still like them - I've missed using balanced HD600 since the PSU on my Sq Wave XL went bad, and then when my Sigma 22 PSU had a different issue that was causing problems.

Back to the amps in question: The Protector is slightly "harder or aggressive" sounding in the upper mids and lower treble like the P-51 Mustang, but also improved. The Pico Slim is slightly smoother in those upper registers and more refined, but has a upper bass hump instead which seems to resonate a tiny bit in my ears with the JH13pro. So, with the JH13Pro the Slim is a little more neutral in the upper mids and treble and the Protector is more neutral in the upper bass and lower mids. Switching to the Westone ES3X, which are what I used to audition the Slim at CanJam 09, I fell in love all over again.





post #529 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
X3 - use your own ears, or wait for a more in depth review.

The Pico Slim is a fantastic portable for the size. I posted elsewhere that it's only 1/2" longer than my miniature iBasso T3, well above it in sound quality, and half as thick as the Protector. For a while I had stopped taking a portable amp with me for an iPod because I wanted something small enough to fit in my pants pocket when velcro'd or stacked with a Nano, iPhone or iMod. I ended up only looking at portable amps with USB built-in because the thicker amps available served me better being used with my Macbook Pro.

The thin Fiio E5 and iBasso T4 were not an improvement over the iPod, except in warming up the sound signature and giving more power - but not really hi-fi sounding as far as detail and soundstage. The T3 improved on that in terms of detail and transparency, and it could sound better than the iPhone 3GS headphone out, so I started carrying an amp again.

But I kept wishing for something that size that could match the P-51 (which is fatter like Protector). The Pico Slim is all that and more, based on the demo loaner unit I have here. It's a perfect match with my ES3X which can sound slightly aggressive paired with the P-51, and it gives a boost in the bass to them and my JH13Pro.

I'll be using Pico Slim as a portable with an iPod every where I go now, and Protector will be more likely to stay with my Macbook Pro using Pico DAC or DACport for source (at home or traveling). I see them filling two different needs for me. I am using the Protector A LOT with my HD600 and Macbook, rediscovering how much I still like them - I've missed using balanced HD600 since the PSU on my Sq Wave XL went bad, and then when my Sigma 22 PSU had a different issue that was causing problems.

Back to the amps in question: The Protector is slightly "harder or aggressive" sounding in the upper mids and lower treble like the P-51 Mustang, but also improved. The Pico Slim is slightly smoother in those upper registers and more refined, but has a upper bass hump instead which seems to resonate a tiny bit in my ears with the JH13pro. So, with the JH13Pro the Slim is a little more neutral in the upper mids and treble and the Protector is more neutral in the upper bass and lower mids. Switching to the Westone ES3X, which are what I used to audition the Slim at CanJam 09, I fell in love all over again.
Thanks for the comments! I have no need for an ultraportable solution, but if I did I would probably be all over the Slim. That aside, I'll wait for a full review, just for enjoyment's sakes.
post #530 of 837
thanks for the comments larry im loving my protector, and i really have no need for an ultrapotable, but for some reason im getting the slim anyways haha cant wait to compare the two myself. I guess if the slims small enough i could using it working out...now thats an idea, hifi at the gym
post #531 of 837
what do you think?

post #532 of 837
Nice, wanna sell me one?
post #533 of 837
Thread Starter 
Looks effective. Nice job.
post #534 of 837
indeed, that looks pretty great, good job
post #535 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post
now thats an idea, hifi at the gym
I was actually thinking of getting my x10's redone into customs for that reason alone. The protector (se) has brought these back to life for me. I'm getting the slim too to compare, which should be fun. I'm getting an iphone in june so I may just use the slim as a ultraportable when i need to travel and dont want to deal with a dac/amp combo or can't bring my laptop.

I do consider the protector portable (as it was intended) so if the slim doesn't sound good to me, i'll just rock out with the protector
post #536 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by OPTiK View Post
I was actually thinking of getting my x10's redone into customs for that reason alone. The protector (se) has brought these back to life for me. I'm getting the slim too to compare, which should be fun. I'm getting an iphone in june so I may just use the slim as a ultraportable when i need to travel and dont want to deal with a dac/amp combo or can't bring my laptop.

I do consider the protector portable (as it was intended) so if the slim doesn't sound good to me, i'll just rock out with the protector
i agree the protectors portable, i just dont think i could use it at the gym, or while im runing, whereas with the slim, i could get an ipod classic armband, and put a nano and the slim in there without too much trouble. I just wear the 13's though, no need to get another set of headphones
post #537 of 837
Blutarsky, Sherwood and I did a mini-meet Saturday to listen to our custom IEM on the Pico Slim and Protector. Blutarsky owns the ES3X and Sherwood has JH13Pro, while I own both. Remember, the ES3X are a more forward and revealing IEM, and JH13Pro are a more laid back IEM with a little bump in the bass We all tried each amp with stock cable and with a 125 hour TWag cable. We used a single ended TWag adapter with both amps, and also tried them balanced with Protector.

Blutarsky thought the ES3X had a little better synergy with the Pico Slim because the mids and treble are smoother and not too forward while the bass is very strong (paraphrasing). Sherwood seemed to feel the Protector had a little better synergy with the JH13Pro because it filled in the mids and didn't bump the bass too much like the Pico Slim. I agreed with both of them, and it's interesting that they didn't read my post above where those were the same things I noticed when I compared them.

Interestingly, my bass heavy UE11Pro are not excessively bassy with Slim or Protector, as the amps seem to improve bass control so that it doesn't sound sloppy. Mind you, I can listen to any of these amps with any of my IEM and enjoy them; but many of us will have different preferences for which amp we grab first depending on their synergy with the IEM we own.
post #538 of 837
Thread Starter 
So was the impression the same with the Protector in single ended and balanced?
post #539 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Blutarsky, Sherwood and I did a mini-meet Saturday to listen to our custom IEM on the Pico Slim and Protector. Blutarsky owns the ES3X and Sherwood has JH13Pro, while I own both. Remember, the ES3X are a more forward and revealing IEM, and JH13Pro are a more laid back IEM with a little bump in the bass We all tried each amp with stock cable and with a 125 hour TWag cable. We used a single ended TWag adapter with both amps, and also tried them balanced with Protector.

Blutarsky thought the ES3X had a little better synergy with the Pico Slim because the mids and treble are smoother and not too forward while the bass is very strong (paraphrasing). Sherwood seemed to feel the Protector had a little better synergy with the JH13Pro because it filled in the mids and didn't bump the bass too much like the Pico Slim. I agreed with both of them, and it's interesting that they didn't read my post above where those were the same things I noticed when I compared them.

Interestingly, my bass heavy UE11Pro are not excessively bassy with Slim or Protector, as the amps seem to improve bass control so that it doesn't sound sloppy. Mind you, I can listen to any of these amps with any of my IEM and enjoy them; but many of us will have different preferences for which amp we grab first depending on their synergy with the IEM we own.
Thanks for the update HPA, looks like the protector might have better synergy with the 16's too since it improves mids an doesnt bump the bass too much. Either way it'll be fun to compare both the slim/protector.
post #540 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by OPTiK View Post
Thanks for the update HPA, looks like the protector might have better synergy with the 16's too since it improves mids an doesnt bump the bass too much. Either way it'll be fun to compare both the slim/protector.
im with you there, cant wait for my slim to get here though im worried if i like it more ill be sending my TWag back for another re termination...hopefully that doesnt color my opinion
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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 . .