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A Full Review: Ray Samuels Audio - The Protector - Page 4

post #46 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post
saisunil, which version of the Reference do you have? Thanks.
It was the one with 200 hours battery life ...
post #47 of 81

My initial mini-review of the Protector/TWAg

RWA Super iMod->RSA Protector->Whiplash TWAg Balanced Recable->JH16 Pro...Yummm!

So I got my Whiplash Protector terminated TWags yesterday. A long, long time ago (what, two weeks), when I tried the JH16s with the single-ended Whiplash cables, I simply could not imagine that they could sound any better. At that time I was using the RSA Predator and the ALO RX. Both fine amps. Then Craig has the nerve to send me the balanced version and my Protector is far from burned in, only about 25 hours out of the 200 hours recommended by Ray Samuels.

Yes, there are those experts who claim there is no benefit in using a balanced op-amp design such as the Protector when you are feeding it from a single-ended source, such as the iMod or even James' priced HifiMan. Yeah...right! Even out of the box, new amp, new cable and new IEM, some of the benefits are immediately obvious. I did not think the quality of bass experienced from a properly fitted JH16 Pro could be beaten, especially when recabled with a TWag. I did not think the instrument separation, mid- and treble refinement and extensions could be improved in a portable gear any further. I was wrong. All I needed is an RSA Protector with a balanced TWAg. There is now a definite subharmonic to Bella Sonus and Blue Stone tracks that wasn't there before. Diana Krall seems to be in the room with me (I wish). Need I go on? I did not yet experience a definite enhancement in soundstage, partly because I did not test reference recordings emphasizing this quality, and the fact that I have a lot of burn-in to do. So, these are just some very initial impressions. But yes, even the best can get better..

Word to you vallet!
post #48 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by saisunil View Post
It was the one with 200 hours battery life ...
There were a few of those, he made it up to version 5 in four variations: A through D. Thus why I asked.
post #49 of 81
Very nice review man. I've read a lot of short snippets about this amp but nothing as detailed as this. In the future when I inevitably pick up some customs with a balanced cable (I say inevitably because I come to these forums every day lol) I'll definitely pick this amp up.
post #50 of 81
Thread Starter 
Thank you, kind members.
post #51 of 81
Hi guys,

I am soon to get either the JH13 or 16 pros soon with a twag cable and will be using it with my desktop amp (Naim Headline with Nap SC power supply if anyone knows it!) and i know after a while of listening to it on my Naim in comparison to just solely from my dap (currently Sony X series) i will be looking at my first porta amp to match my desktop amp sound with my dap.

Which brings me to my main question which i just want know if i can have the twag for my JH pros with the viablue jack at the end still and have an adapter for it to go in for the balanced socket into the Protector?

If this is possible would there be any sound degradation using an adapter?

As i have heard that regular changing of the ear terminal ends on the JHpros can work the ear piece connection loose over time so a balanced adapter connector would be the perfect solution as i don't want to find out how resistant my JH ear connectors will be when i get them by repeatedly doing an Ikea resistant test on them by keep chopping and changing cables when swapping between SE amps and the Protector with my JHpros.

I might be wrong and sorry for the naivety in advance as the technical side is not my strong suite with amps but the Protector does not have a digital volume control like the Shadow for example, is there a reason the Protector doesn't if so? or is it a case of it can not with it having a balanced configuration?

From the enjoyable read so far i have experienced i get the impression with the Protector with it having a good presentation with mids that seem to stand out, does the Protecor have a fairly neutral, balanced signature about it as i am trying to gauge if it has a dry, dark or warm side to it's SQ at all if any?
Can anyone just elaborate a little more on the signature the Protector has?

Only ask as i was looking at my first portable amp a year ago (ironically) in the RSA P51 mustang, but got a new dap instead and now with the JHpros on the horizon i have being looking at SE amps again in the TTVJ Slim (heard is fairly warm, tube like sound), ALO RX or Pico Slim, but the benefits of going balanced intrigued me with the Protector and i am looking for an amp that can just replicate the music with a neutrality about it without too much discoloring the Sig in any way but still be quite dynamic in it's response.


If it help's in any way i am currently loving the sound of my K702's with ALO SXC cables through my Naim amp, which i know might not be to well known to you guys with the amp i have, but love the neutral stance this combo gives me at the moment.

I am sure looking forward to this leap in SQ quality soon with the JHpros as they are, let alone a porta amp that can sound as good as a good desktop, the mind boggles with the size factor of the Protector also! lol

Has anyone heard the Protector with K702's out of curiosity?
post #52 of 81
Hmn, if you like neutrality, sounds like you are a JH13 guy as oppose to JH16 even though everything I've read says the JH16 doesn't color the other frequencies that much.

As for Protector connection, it all depends on how much you are using the JH13/16, if it is more than 50% of the time with the portable set up, just go ahead and terminate the TWag in balance protector connector and order an adaptor from a female balance protector connector to you home amp. This way, you will get the best sound out of the Protector when use it in portable settings.

Furthermore, even if you make an adaptor from the viablue jack to the balance protector, you are still listening to it single ended. There is no point of doing it because you can just plug the viablue into the mini se output of the Protector but you miss the whole point of getting the protector this way.

As for the reason that the Protector does not have a digital volume control, please read the MOT thread on the Protector and get it straight from the horse's mouth.

The balance Protector does not sound dry or dark.

I am familiar with all these parts as I have the protector and the TWag and the JH13. It is a nice package.
post #53 of 81
Hmn, if you like neutrality, sounds like you are a JH13 guy as oppose to JH16 even though everything I've read says the JH16 doesn't color the other frequencies that much.

Thanks Jalo, Hopefully i will find out on April 30th when i finally get to go to my UK JH dealer to demo the 13 & 16's and make my choice and get my ear impressions done and get the order in pronto!

Although i stated i do prefer the more balanced neutrality type of SQ i have sold my Shure Se530 & Senn IE8's recently to help fund my grand adventure i am left with a pair of jvc fx500's whilst in my "transition phase" to my JHpros and the fx500's are the most heavy bass in an iem i have experienced and am enjoying them as much as my Senn IE8's in many ways that where twice the price, i digress there slightly as my point is i may just like the 16 sound perhaps if i am liking the low deep bass of these fx500's, all though i am under no illusions of grandeur that the quality of the 16 bass will be a galaxy apart to the fx500, but the natural depth and layering albeit not always controlled tight enough bass, but for a $130 pair of iems is quite an achievement although the trade of for this bass is they do cloud and recess the mids to the point it really bugs me!


As for Protector connection, it all depends on how much you are using the JH13/16, if it is more than 50% of the time with the portable set up, just go ahead and terminate the TWag in balance protector connector and order an adaptor from a female balance protector connector to you home amp. This way, you will get the best sound out of the Protector when use it in portable settings.

Furthermore, even if you make an adaptor from the viablue jack to the balance protector, you are still listening to it single ended. There is no point of doing it because you can just plug the viablue into the mini se output of the Protector but you miss the whole point of getting the protector this way.


This is a tricky dilemma for me as A) i am do not know for sure how long the gap between me getting the JHpro with my twag and the Protector will be if i do, and B) i will in certain circumstances still need to go portable without the amp with the need for the jack into hp socket on the dap.

I think i see what you are saying about the last paragraph there you have stated, just thought i had read somewhere that whiplash was doing an adaptor without the need for retermination of a standard twag with viablue jack, but most probably read that wrong in my infancy of learning about the wisdom's of going balanced on here! as your point does obviously make sense reading that out aloud, bit of a doh! moment i feel

As for the reason that the Protector does not have a digital volume control, please read the MOT thread on the Protector and get it straight from the horse's mouth.

Managed to track down that thread if i have the right one started by the man himself and a few pages in even though an interesting read that thread, there is a lot more technical talk than i am comfortable with

As long as it just sounds damn good at the end of the day that is all that matters, it was just after seeing a lot of amps including the Shadow start to have digital volume control it perplexed me a bit, but now know the reasons as to why Ray has not gone that route.

The balance Protector does not sound dry or dark.

I am familiar with all these parts as I have the protector and the TWag and the JH13. It is a nice package.


Ruling out a dark or dry sound moves me a step nearer this amp, i am sure if i do go this route by what i have read i would be pretty happy with that combo setup of the JHpros which are well renowned for sounding good anyway without a twag cable let alone a balanced porta amp such as the one Ray is making so really cannot wait to see when all those ingredients are put together and hear what magical sound would greet my inner hollow chamber of a head through entrance of my pink lug holes will be like!?

Just think i will want & need to use my JH pros with twag in SE mode with other sources at times which makes it a bit tricky in this respect, maybe i will have to bite the bullitt and when i get the Protector amp get another twag cable and have it balanced and just be very carefull swapping them over on the JHpros between the SE twag and a balanced twag cable!

Thanks Jalo, much appreciated the direction through the forest as i cannot see the trees!
post #54 of 81
Nice review!
post #55 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
[center]Ray Samuels Audio Protector
Balanced Portable Amp


Most of the past RSA amps in the last 4 years have had that Ray Samuels house sound, which you either love, or you don’t. The Protector is an entirely different sound, which brings out the best that a headphone and a recording has to offer, ........
I've never heard a RSA amp but I've seen many references to the RSA "house sound" by many, many members. Would you try to elaborate on what is this sound--although often spoken of, no one goes further to say what it is. Does Ray send out the death squads to get those who spill the beans?

And of course the follow up , would you please try to specify how the Protector is different?

TIA, George
post #56 of 81
Thread Starter 
I can't tell you or else I'd have to kill you.
post #57 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
I can't tell you or else I'd have to kill you.
But you'd have to find me! I'll take the risk. BTW in my location that mass is short for massassipi--just to help you out.
George
post #58 of 81
My guess is that the RSA sound has a slight emphasis in the bass with a relatively flat midrange and treble.
post #59 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by FortisFlyer75 View Post
Hi guys,

Which brings me to my main question which i just want know if i can have the twag for my JH pros with the viablue jack at the end still and have an adapter for it to go in for the balanced socket into the Protector?

If this is possible would there be any sound degradation using an adapter?

As i have heard that regular changing of the ear terminal ends on the JHpros can work the ear piece connection loose over time so a balanced adapter connector would be the perfect solution as i don't want to find out how resistant my JH ear connectors will be when i get them by repeatedly doing an Ikea resistant test on them by keep chopping and changing cables when swapping between SE amps and the Protector with my JHpros.
Hey Fortis,

I just ordered a balanced TWag from Craig and he sells an adapter (which I bought) that is an RSA female balanced connector to 3.5mm Viablue. So you can just leave the balance cable on your JH Pros and then when you want to use single ended on another amp use the adapter cable to plug RSA male and female together and that is terminated with regular headphone jack.

My concern was spending the money on a cable I could only use with the Protector but now this gives me more flexibility.

Hope this helps
FRGus723
post #60 of 81
That's also what I got
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