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Ray Samuels B52, has it been forgotten? It's the king, imho.

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

OK, it's expensive. But mine, 2 years on, brings out the best in my HD800s, T1s, and PS1000s.

All of these phones are transformed into greatness with the B52. I'm not kidding.

I read about the shortcomings of these headphones and agree with them on other amps, but somehow

the B52 tames brightness, uncontrolled bass, traces of grain, brittle midranges, lack of pace/timing,

whatever. (And not through big coloration, either, as the character of each of the phones is preserved loud and clear.)

 

Although its sounds trite, the B52 takes all these phones to a new level and beyond.

 

I don't say this lightly and I have nothing to gain from this (I'll never sell mine).

I've been thru other amps from Headroom, Stax (with Omegas),

Luxman, and even RSA itself and own a big  Rudistor (which I really like, but the B52 is better).

But, instead of churning thru lots of phones and amps, it would have been cheaper for me to just bite the bullet

and buy a B52 first and one set of top-end phones and leave it at that.

 

I been playing with headphone systems seriously for decades and never found happiness, but I really think

if you can live with tubes, the B52 can stop any thought of upgrade-itis for amps AND phones for good

and save money in the long run.

 

I guess it's the price that keeps it from being mentioned, and maybe the owners are just so happy they don't

need to ask questions here anymore. (I wish owners would chime in, because a product like this really deserves some

continued attention.)

 

Thanks for reading.

post #2 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

I guess it's the price that keeps it from being mentioned


X2 !!!!

 

I don't know a lot of people who "can/want to" spend +5k $ for a headphone amp ! It's better sound good at this price

post #3 of 35

Sold mine and bought a Grace m902. I'll stick with my Grace. wink.gif

post #4 of 35

I haven't really liked any headphone out of the B52.  Could you explain how an amp affects "pace/timing"?

post #5 of 35

I think he means either speed or decay, although a lot of times those are also just buzzwords.

post #6 of 35

I thought AMB B22 was the king

post #7 of 35
Much like the hungarian empire, there are lots of kings. ; )
post #8 of 35

The B-52 hasn't been forgotten.  It's just that the "new product" hype isn't there any longer.

post #9 of 35

Comparatively more high end users (deep pockets) are in the land of stats. I know if I were contemplating a $5k amp (such as this) I would have to give a BHSE and it's associated gear a run also.

 

 

 

Also, this is really easy to say when you are at the end of you headphone journey.

 

Quote:

But, instead of churning thru lots of phones and amps, it would have been cheaper for me to just bite the bullet

and buy a B52 first and one set of top-end phones and leave it at that.


Edited by Maxvla - 10/20/10 at 10:52pm
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiogamma View Post

Sold mine and bought a Grace m902. I'll stick with my Grace. wink.gif



cool story bro... care to tell it again?

post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 

About pace + timing? Well, to my ears, with like piano, there is just the right amount of pleasant fade-out that is warm but not with any icy ringing,

and it is not cut short or left on too long like a tuning fork. And with drums and other percussion, which in mid-fi can sound like "pffffft", an artificial

noise, you hear something that just splashes (like a snare drum) or thumps (like a bongo) or rattles (like castanets) naturally. Percussion is one of the

hardest things to get right in audio, I think, and a good thing to listen closely for when judging sound quality.

I think my phones thru the B52 are great at all of this,

 

And as far as stats go, my only experience is with my (sold) Stax setups: an Omega2/007t and also an SRMW1 system. They did have some magic to them,

especially with you-are-there vocals, but the bass was not full or deep enough and there was always some annoying grain. Maybe a better amp would

have helped, but I never tried, so I can't judge it. It may be a matter of taste here, but I once heard the Senn Orpheus at a show, and

I thought it was just a bit better than the Stax Omega system, and definitely not as nice as my B52 setup.

 

I just wrote this to give credit to Ray for what I think is a masterpiece of work.

 

And as far as the price goes, well, audiophilia is black hole of money, with lots of $30K+ speakers and other components common these days,

and some moneyed guys easily spend 6-figures on a system,

With Ray's amp and some top-quality used source components and cables, you can have the best sound anywhere with a whole system

under $15K.

post #12 of 35

Do I look like a bro? Sure, anytime... happy to have made your day!

post #13 of 35

Have to chime in on the B52 here. This amp completely changed my point of view on tubes in head amps. Apart from the shameless price, it's been hard for me to find fault with, even though the honeymoon is over. Perhaps the only thing negative I could say is that it's better with higher-Z phones like the Senn's than lower Z, like the Denons - but I'm really quibbling here.

 

I have not heard it with the HD800's - only the HD650's, but if it does for the 800's what it does for my 650's, that would be a special marriage.

 

I have not experienced another amp that can make me smile like this one. I don't know about "best amp" titles - it's so subjective, and some amps are better with certain headphones.

 

And clearly - the price is crazy, and there are other alternatives in this league.

 

But it is far and away the best amp that I have personally experienced, and has done more for my joy in music than even Mile Davis... Well maybe.

 

Peter

 

post #14 of 35

it's a great amp. the best i have heard the HD800 (as well as other senns) is on the B52. i sold mine b/c i purchased a BA and it was not economical to own two expensive tube amps.

post #15 of 35


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingpet33 View Post

Have to chime in on the B52 here. This amp completely changed my point of view on tubes in head amps. Apart from the shameless price, it's been hard for me to find fault with, even though the honeymoon is over. Perhaps the only thing negative I could say is that it's better with higher-Z phones like the Senn's than lower Z, like the Denons - but I'm really quibbling here.

 

I have not heard it with the HD800's - only the HD650's, but if it does for the 800's what it does for my 650's, that would be a special marriage.

 

I have not experienced another amp that can make me smile like this one. I don't know about "best amp" titles - it's so subjective, and some amps are better with certain headphones.

 

And clearly - the price is crazy, and there are other alternatives in this league.

 

But it is far and away the best amp that I have personally experienced, and has done more for my joy in music than even Mile Davis... Well maybe.

 

Peter

 


Now that is a marketing gem if there ever was one.

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