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The RSA Protector balanced portable: Images and impressions 1st page, Please post your impressions . . - Page 40

post #586 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Samuels View Post
The nice feature about the Kobiconn connector is that it needs no wires to be soldered to, then soldered to the PC board. As the Kobiconn connector is a PC mountable. This way it is very easy to remove the face plate & pull the PC brd out as one piece. The other connector, PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG, you have to pull the face plate with the PC board & might cause to have cut wires during the repair or for what ever reason. Also when you connect the headphones to the amp the connector stands out like a soar thumb beyond the size of the amp.
The Kobiconn is very close to the face plate & does not add any more length to the amp. All these possibilities I have been though them when I was looking for a good connector for the Protector. The one that stood out of the crowd from all the other connectors with perfect fit, solid construction, price & the pc brd foot print.
All these features do make the Kobiconn connector, to my long search, the best I could do & find.
Ray Samuels
So far ray i like it. I seriously though it not being able to turn would be a problem, but hasnt been a big deal at all now the only thing to see will be if it wears down over time, but that will take time to find out.
post #587 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Samuels View Post
The nice feature about the Kobiconn connector is that it needs no wires to be soldered to, then soldered to the PC board. As the Kobiconn connector is a PC mountable. This way it is very easy to remove the face plate & pull the PC brd out as one piece. The other connector, PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG, you have to pull the face plate with the PC board & might cause to have cut wires during the repair or for what ever reason. Also when you connect the headphones to the amp the connector stands out like a soar thumb beyond the size of the amp.
The Kobiconn is very close to the face plate & does not add any more length to the amp. All these possibilities I have been though them when I was looking for a good connector for the Protector. The one that stood out of the crowd from all the other connectors with perfect fit, solid construction, price & the pc brd foot print.
All these features do make the Kobiconn connector, to my long search, the best I could do & find.
Ray Samuels
At first I wasn't all that excited about the Kobiconn connector, and had contacted you about maybe using a TRRS 1/8" jack instead. I later was told by someone that using the TRRS could cause compatibility problems with iPhone headsets if they were plugged into that jack. So, I understood your choice better after that.

Now that I have the Protector here, and a single ended adapter for my balanced IEM cable, I really don't mind the Kobiconn connector at all. The only things I could ask from the Protector that it doesn't do already would be (1) to have a balanced USB DAC inside, and (2) to have been able to drive a balanced and a single ended headphone at the same time.

I can live without either of those features easily, because right now it's the best portable amp I have for my balanced HD600, JH13Pro and UE11Pro.
post #588 of 837
anyone listened to some phones other hd600 running in balanced mode? i'm curious about how far can the protector go.
post #589 of 837
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by takoyaki View Post
I have both balanced amps.
Attachment 27794

The protector is a sound powerful brightly, but a mid is slightly unnatural. Albireo is slightly soft, but mid is superior in nature.

BTW, I made conversion cables with Hirose connector.
Attachment 27795 Attachment 27796

I use Ultrasone edition8 well outside,
but can't use HD800 outside.
Attachment 27798Attachment 27797
That is the great thing about having different amps available. I heard the Albireo here at home and while it is nice, the mids were not distinct or transparent, IMO, and the drive and dynamics did not reach the same level as the Protector. I know that preferences differ and again that is where choices come in handy. This was with the Ed. 8 balanced and my JH13's. I do have to add that to my ear the Protector will change according to your source. I find the mids very natural a lifelike with what I listen with, my MB-1 or 2 or the nicely modified Monica II nonoversampling asynchronous dac. .

I look forward to more of your impressions. It looks like you have some pretty nice gear.
post #590 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycdoi View Post
anyone listened to some phones other hd600 running in balanced mode? i'm curious about how far can the protector go.
I will have the balanced HD800 cable soon. Hopefully within next week.
post #591 of 837
Balance connector of the protector is Japanese standardized JEITA RC-5204.
post #592 of 837
Ran the Protector single ended 24/7 for 13+ days using the Isotek burn-in disc / AKG 701 phones. Took the Protector to work today with the AKG 701s in single ended configuration and "HI" impedance amp mode, and was sometimes under-impressed. Burn-in time was more than sufficient.

Findings: Congestion in challenging passages, had to push the volume knob to get some separation but was never enough. Good soundstaging, but definite lack of detail with various cds when things got busy.

I'm hoping that my HD650s, running in single and balanced mode, will make me want to keep this amp. Going singleended with the HD650s tomorrow at work, with balanced hopefully next week.

I'm not sure what to think, since the amp's construction seems superb and this thread's comments are generally great, but my AKG701s in single mode are not delivering the goods by any stretch of the imagination. More to come.
post #593 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by djbnh View Post
Ran the Protector single ended 24/7 for 13+ days using the Isotek burn-in disc / AKG 701 phones. Took the Protector to work today with the AKG 701s in single ended configuration and "HI" impedance amp mode, and was sometimes under-impressed. Burn-in time was more than sufficient.

Findings: Congestion in challenging passages, had to push the volume knob to get some separation but was never enough. Good soundstaging, but definite lack of detail with various cds when things got busy.

I'm hoping that my HD650s, running in single and balanced mode, will make me want to keep this amp. Going singleended with the HD650s tomorrow at work, with balanced hopefully next week.

I'm not sure what to think, since the amp's construction seems superb and this thread's comments are generally great, but my AKG701s in single mode are not delivering the goods by any stretch of the imagination. More to come.
ive been interested in how the protector would fair with the balanced 701's so i look forward to your observations.

And as a side not, the hi low mid switch on the back of the protector is for gain, not impedance
post #594 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post
And as a side not, the hi low mid switch on the back of the protector is for gain, not impedance
Good catch, ty.
post #595 of 837
The K701 are fairly low impedance at a constant 62 ohms through out their FR anyway. I don't know if the Protector can give the K701s what they desire in single ended mode, but they may fare better when balanced. I haven't been particularly thrilled with this combination (single ended), but I wasn't thrilled with the AKG K701/Canamp combo that is supposed to be all the rage either. I'm pretty impressed with the TF10/Protector combo - again single ended.

Anybody know which if any of the cables for custom IEMs have four conductors. I mean the reasonably priced ones from Ultimate Ears, Westones, etc - I'm not interested in dropping the coin for all that cryo treated stuff. I tried building my own cable, but it's been a PITA so far. I tried buying some wire at Radioshack but the stuff I picked up was way too stiff and not the gauge I wanted anyway. I'm not sure where to buy a suitable wire locally.

Maybe tomorrow I'll go pick up a multimeter so I can put my HD580 cable back together and make the 4-pin to Protector adapter and give that a whirl.
post #596 of 837
Thread Starter 
My Woo 6 doesn't even drive the K701 well. I will admit a bias as I am not crazy about the sound of the 701 and as to the Protector, it is a balanced amp first with the side benefit of having single ended out. I do know, as stated in other places, that the 650's driven balanced are excellent, to my ear.
post #597 of 837

competition is the name of the game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Samuels View Post
Hi my friend...
I have talked to mouser electronics and to the person who does the special orders for purchasing big quantities, they have informed me that the connector is NOT discontinued, it is in production BUT is not a stocking item. You have to put an order for big amount & they will make it for you.
My first order was for 2000 units which arrived faster as I paid air shipping but now I have an order for 3500 units & they have no problem making them for me.
Ray Samuels
Thank you for the response Ray. Your response is great, but I think the current connector is simply OKAY, not great. The one which popped up in this thread is sturdier and easier to use, but then again, in your position, sharing the connector with other companies would also mean you'd have to share your work and research and the fact that you will release a special amp.

I understand that you needed to keep things to yourself, but having compared both connectors side by side and pulling one in and out and really yanking things a bit (yep, I said yank), I feel that the current Kub version is not the best option.

That said, your amp is very nice though I didn't have a chance to hear it with my FitEar, only with a borrowed HD25.

Best.
post #598 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
My Woo 6 doesn't even drive the K701 well. I will admit a bias as I am not crazy about the sound of the 701 and as to the Protector, it is a balanced amp first with the side benefit of having single ended out. I do know, as stated in other places, that the 650's driven balanced are excellent, to my ear.
I tested today with single ended HD650s and it was more of what I had experienced with my single ended AKG701s. I think my take on this amp of Ray's is, "Go balanced or go home". I feel jamato8's comment about the Protector being a balanced amp first with the side benefit of having single ended out is sensible; however, I feel that if someone only wants this amp for it's single ended part, they would be disappointed; I imagine other amp's in Ray's stable would better suit those persons looking for high end single ended performance.

I am waiting for a balanced connector adaptor, and reterminated balanced HD650 cable, before making up my mind on the balanced side of the amp. I look forward to hearing / experiencing what others have so favorably commented on re: running this amp in its balanced mode.
post #599 of 837
I received my Protector last week and have spent quite some time comparing it to my other portables as well as various headphones and IEMs, all of which was using the Protectors SE output, as I didn't have time to make up adapters, connectors and interfaces.

In comparision to my other portables, the Protector sounded quite good, better with some phones and not quite as good with others. I am surmising that the differing impedances of the headphones accounted for the differences in sonic performance. Some, such as my Sony F1's, did not sound quite as good with the Protector as with some of my other modified portable amps, but others, such as my Maestro 8.300's and Ed8's sounded absolutely stunning, outperforming all of my other portables. I did discover that it is very important to have the gain selector set to the appropriate setting for the phones being used. This seems to be more important in the Protector than in many other portables. As an SE amplifier, the Protector is a very capable performer and can easily drive all of my phones, including my K-340's, which are notoriously power-hungry.

Today, I had time to make up some balanced Protector interfaces and a SE adapter. As I plan to interchange my phones between balanced and SE, depending on the amps I am using, I decided to use mini-XLR 5-pin connectors as my interface connectors. They are small, sturdy, inexpensive, and make for a very neat single-connector termination, as can be seen in the picture below. I also re-terminated a set of cheap Sony circumaural phones to use as a test mule while comparing the performance of the Protector in both SE and balanced configurations.

WOW! What a difference! Using the balanced output, the soundstage was far more expansive, with very accurate and solid imaging. The differences between the SE and balanced outputs was comparable to watching Avatar in 2-D vs 3-D! I was not expecting such a marked difference between the 2 outputs, especially with such unremarkable phones.

I have a set of balanced AKG K-501's enroute as well as TWag cables for my ES3X, so it will be very interesting to see how well the Protector scales with better phones and IEMs.

As this is my first RSA product, I can say at this point that the performance in the SE mode is very good, comparable to other top-tier portables, but in the balanced mode, the performance moves to a much higher level, and IMO, can be very favorably compared to home amplifiers costing hundreds of dollars more. I am also very pleased with the quick delivery and safe packaging.

If, according to Ray, the performance continues to improve over the next 100-200 hours, this little powerhouse in balanced mode could very well change the way I do portable!



Addendum: Today I received my balanced AKG K-501s, and feel that the Protector brings out the very best of the 501s..no more thin bass, just beautiful music that is almost holographic in its presentation. I have listened to some of my binaural recordings and it is about the closest to a live performance that I have heard. Really nipping at the heels of my K1000's!!

This is the 4th set of K500's that I have owned, and none of my previous ones have sounded this good. I am very glad that I finally decided to "go balanced" after procrastinating for years, and many thanks to Ray for bringing the Protector to the portable marketplace!



Ron
post #600 of 837
The amplifier is smaller and lighter than I thought. The light on the charger turns green when the amplifier is fully charged. I'm using balanced Sennheiser HD650 with Zu Mobius mk2 cable to listen to my Protector. Balanced mode delivers much more power.

Listening to the soundtrack of "pirates of the caribbean: at world's end", I have always felt that RSA HR2 desktop amp couldn't bring out the bass of the last few tracks. However listening to Protector in balanced mode has changed that. It brings out the bass and the subtle details. The bass is also tighter.

As for female vocal, I have only listened to Enya so far. Her voice is "wetter" in balanced mode.

May be it's too early to say this, I now know what Ray mean by "balanced is a different beast".
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