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The RSA Protector balanced portable: Images and impressions 1st page, Please post your impressions . . - Page 42

post #616 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by monsieurguzel View Post
Congrats on your setup...but yikes, thats over $2000 worth of equipment on an ipod based portable setup...
It is that and it is a lot of money but I travel >100 days per year with work and vacations and stay about the same number of nights in hotels so to have something that is really compact and portable and sound comparable to (or even better than) many good desktop rigs is a true blessing.

And add to that my pcdp+Sysconcept cable+D10+TWag converter rig so I can also play cd's that I happen to buy along the way.
post #617 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post
How does the Protector balanced out compare with the RSA Black Bird SR71A? Is it worth selling my SR71A and getting the protector instead?
I had the SR71 (not SR71A) on loan for awhile, and IMO, the balanced Protector outperforms the SR71. Not so much tonally but more the expansive soundstage and precise imaging of the Protector. It also seems to have more output power. I did not do any measurements, but base this subjective opinion on just the volume settings vs sound level in the same phones.

Ron
post #618 of 837
NC8000: And what about imod or diymod?
post #619 of 837
iMod is very nice, especially if you swap out the hard drive with CF. I travel it all the time.
post #620 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFlight View Post
It also seems to have more output power.
X2, that is why I try to get a balanced cable for my HD800. A very cheap way to get my feet wet for balanced rig.
post #621 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bína View Post
NC8000: And what about imod or diymod?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc9394 View Post
iMod is very nice, especially if you swap out the hard drive with CF. I travel it all the time.
Some years ago I did have one of the original iMods based on an iPod video and it was good but capacity was to small and I am in no way a diy type so it is simply too much hassle also I like the size of the classic and find it's sq more than acceptable
post #622 of 837
Protector in balanced mode could certainly drive Sennheiser HD650 better than HR-2 desktop amplifier. I could hear better detail because sound is more forward, whereas with HR-2 the sound is a bit laid back.
post #623 of 837
Thread Starter 
I have my Ultrasone Ed. 9 balanced now. I have read that they don't sound good balanced but will report back. The bass certainly sounds a little different.

The sound with a little burn in has smoothed out and I have to say that the Ed. 9 do sound good balanced, at least with the Protector. Deep powerful bass and beautiful transparency. Excellent!
post #624 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by nc8000 View Post
It is that and it is a lot of money but I travel >100 days per year with work and vacations and stay about the same number of nights in hotels so to have something that is really compact and portable and sound comparable to (or even better than) many good desktop rigs is a true blessing.

And add to that my pcdp+Sysconcept cable+D10+TWag converter rig so I can also play cd's that I happen to buy along the way.
Sir, this may be a bit too early to ask you since your protector has not been burn in yet. But now you have pretty much the same portable rig as I have (Ipod classic-Protector-Twag-jh13), can you let me know how the sound of ED8 with Protector compares to JH13 w/ Protector? I don't know if you have teh adaptor or not, Thanks.
post #625 of 837
Sorry but I don't have nor intend to get an adaptor to allow me to run the Ed8 balanced from the Protector. Craig from Whiplash says that the Ed8 with a TWag cable sounds fantastic balanced from the Protector.
post #626 of 837
All right, so here's my WOW! moment for the day.

My rig consists of a 2009 Classic (320 AAC) fed to the Protector via a LOD made from the same cabling as Nordost uses pushing a pair of balanced CK10's.

I'm on my third recharge, so guessin' 'bout 70 or so hours.

I was listening to a Flim and the BB's track and the instrumental separation was not like I had ever heard before. On that particular recording, and some others, I literally get a sense of surround-'round-my-head. It's almost jaw droppingly amazing...(mumbles something)wait a minute...picks up jaw. I take it back, it IS jaw droppingly amazing!

The balanced CK10's are definitely a dual-edged sword, though. On well recorded material, they sound phen-om-uh-nal! On not so well recorded stuff, well, yeah, those really sound like turds.

I wasn't 100% certain that I would keep this amp when I first purchased it. Now, I don't see it even as a remote possibility that these will leave my hands. To get this level of sonic bliss from a (trans)portable rig blows my mind.
post #627 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioDwebe View Post
All right, so here's my WOW! moment for the day.

My rig consists of a 2009 Classic (320 AAC) fed to the Protector via a LOD made from the same cabling as Nordost uses pushing a pair of balanced CK10's.

I'm on my third recharge, so guessin' 'bout 70 or so hours.

I was listening to a Flim and the BB's track and the instrumental separation was not like I had ever heard before. On that particular recording, and some others, I literally get a sense of surround-'round-my-head. It's almost jaw droppingly amazing...(mumbles something)wait a minute...picks up jaw. I take it back, it IS jaw droppingly amazing!

The balanced CK10's are definitely a dual-edged sword, though. On well recorded material, they sound phen-om-uh-nal! On not so well recorded stuff, well, yeah, those really sound like turds.

I wasn't 100% certain that I would keep this amp when I first purchased it. Now, I don't see it even as a remote possibility that these will leave my hands. To get this level of sonic bliss from a (trans)portable rig blows my mind.
I have a Protector I've been using SE. Can you tell me how your CK10's are terminated?
Thanks
post #628 of 837
Thread Starter 

My to the point review of the Protector

The Protector is a portable balanced amplifier taking up little more room than three 9 volt batteries side by side. Who would have thought of the need or desire for such a portable device. Can the change from single ended to a balanced amp that feeds the monitor a positive and negative signal, giving a doubled voltage swing and better driver control really be of value in a portable?

How far portable amps have come in a few short years. The RSA SR71 or the later SR71a, with two 9 volt batteries and a swing of 18 volts would have seemed enough but sometimes enough isn’t enough. So does a balanced portable amp taking a single ended input and outputting balanced increase the listening experience? I could answer that at the end of this or now. Why not answer now. The simple answer is yes. Everything I have balanced sounds better. Listening to live recordings of the Grateful Dead, “Closing of Winterland”, is so fresh and so “alive”, you can’t help but be drawn into the moment. The separation of the audience from the band and then the separation of the band and imaging, that I haven’t heard so well since listening to a fine speaker system or, live, is confounding.

Listen to Creedence Clearwater Revival "The Concert" on your choice of balanced phones. It sounds like a live feed. The pulse pulls you along on a journey that is a shear auditory joy. Some systems seem to suck the life out of the music, this amp infuses the music with life.

Interesting, with my Ultrasone Ed. 9 in balanced and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers newly remastered concerts, the sound has a strange (for headphones but good) depth as in height in true dimension of space. I haven't heard this on headphones before. Such an open and fluid space yet precise. I have heard phase shifts before that add an interesting slant to the music but after a while sound unnatural, this isn't that, it is a true rendering of space but in all directions.

So why is this confounding to me? It is confounding because I had no idea there was more music, sound, depth and separation to be pulled from these recordings and especially from ear monitors. That it is there is fantastic, that it has taken so long to hear it is frustrating on one hand and rewarding, greatly rewarding, on the other.

Can we talk about dynamics and the bass line? The speed that the drivers are driven to will make many other amps sound impoverished by comparison. Listen to some good classical like the war horse, Beethoven’s 9th with Roger Norrington conducting. There is no collapse of the sound field. There is no thickness to the music on orchestral dynamic passages. The sound stays open and unopposed by the constraints of too little power. Violins are sweet and yet there is a harmonic bloom and flow and the music cascades to your personal audition. It can’t get much more fun or rewarding than this.

Jazz is something I truly enjoy. Listening to any of Scott Hamilton’s many CD’s, which some can be a little closed in sounding, a nice positive impression of his playing comes across. “No Bass Hit” has the reedy sound of Hamilton’s sax playing while the piano has the right body and feel. The brush strokes on the drums is not white noise but actually sounds like brush strokes on drums. Cymbals have the right brassy twang to them.

For the listening of this amp I am using my Ultrasone Edition 9, Sennheiser HD650, ESW10 JPN, and the JH13 Pros. These phones are all balanced but lest you think that the Protector is only a balanced amp, it isn’t. You can also use your single ended phones. While not as 3D, which it is in balanced, the Protector is still an excellent single ended amp. So there you have it. Any phones you don’t want to use balanced, you have an amp, and any that you want balanced, you have an amp.

I should mention that I achieve around 30 hours of run time and more with easy to drive monitors. It should also be noted that while the Protector is portable by size there is no reason it can’t sit at desk side pumping out the tunes. It will beg you to wonder if anything larger is or will be needed for your musical indulgence. Quite an achievement from such a small package and you will think this all the more once you place one in your hand. It is also important to know that as good as, no as excellent as the Protector is, the better the source, the better the sound. Sure it will give fine results out of a portable player and well worth it, but if you choose to use it with a home source your rewards will be even greater. The potential of this amp seems unbounded. It is neutral and puts out what it is feed so feed it good and you will be smiling to the music.

Here is one more graphic idea of what is happening with the transducers when balanced. Take a sheet of cellophane and push on it. It is a single direction and release, it goes back to flat. In a way two dimensions. Now push one way and then the other. From the single plain, you are now going in two different directions. Now add true solid control to that movement and you can see that the transducers you are using are going to spring to greater musicality, normally.

The Protector I am finding, adds new life to both recordings and ear monitors. The monitors got a reprieve and I got the reward. Have fun!
post #629 of 837
Very informative review, John...I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the Protector!
It truly does take portable listening to a new level of excellence.
Ron
post #630 of 837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducker View Post
I have a Protector I've been using SE. Can you tell me how your CK10's are terminated?
Thanks
I ordered a few of the balanced connectors from Ray when I bought my amp. The CK10's are really easy because the wire from each earpiece goes all the way to the connector, essentially already providing you the balanced capability without rewiring the whole thing.

I wrote about it in the cable forum. I would post a link here, but am not sure how to go about doing that.

If you have any questions, you're welcome to pm me.

Edit:

Here, I tried. Not sure if it worked.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f21/rs...or-amp-477311/
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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 . .