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Appreciation thread for the Ray Samuels - SR-71A: I just spend the night listening to the SR-71A... - Page 3

post #31 of 115
Right now I'll be sticking with Etymotics ER-4Ps. Might make a change in the future, but for now it will be 4Ps on the go, and when I take this thing to school I may use an old pair of ATH-A900 that I've got laying around - we'll see how well the 71A handles those.
post #32 of 115
Thread Starter 

I spent a morning with the SR-71A and I have started to notice that the SHURE SRH - 840s occassionally feels congested when the music gets really busy - think it's time to start using the HD600 coming  in two weeks 

post #33 of 115
Thread Starter 

The SR-71A - holds the key to instrumental definition. I have to say - you really hear the sweat behind the music. A lot of systems simply present a smooth sound without the human noise behind the production of the sound e.g. the string on the bow, the finger tap on the keys of the flute, the pedal depression of the piano - but the SR-71A really brings out the humanness of the sounds being made - the realness of what live acoustic instruments really sound like.

post #34 of 115
Thread Starter 

I've been plugging my DAC through the SR-71A and enjoying the results - quite different with the DAC though than using the SR-71A in conjunction with an ipod - still gorgeous sound though - just different. I like both for different reasons - 

 

DAC + SR-71A - smooth like no other smoothness exists.- instruments sound out within a group IE. strings in an orchestra sound like a uniform group

ipod + Sr-71A - detailed and acoustical reality kept in tact - instrumental separateness is more apparent - IE can identify the individual string parts more clearly

 

post #35 of 115

i'm contemplating between the 71A to the predator that comes with a built-in dac.

i'll be using it with the ultrasone PRO 900...

what would you recommend? should I buy the 71A and a seperate dac? or the predator sounds equally the same?

how's the 71A in measurements is it big compared to other portable amps like ibasso, pico and so on?\

 

Thank you so much.

post #36 of 115
Thread Starter 

I'm serious when I say that the Sr-71A on its own is unbelievable. I often prefer to listen to it by itself without a DAC - and then there are times when I use it connected to my Yulong USB DAC D100.

 

I know that the SR-71A via LOD to ipod doesn't have the best source - but OMG - the sound is unbelievable. Clarity, detail, the black silence, dynamic range, You get to hear detail and sonorities so realistic to live performance that it is breathtaking. You can hear each note of a chord or each part of a string/wind ensemble clearly in it's own spatial area and yet they are presented as a unit of sound. I can hear the breathing through the flutes. The friction of the bow string on the cello. The nuances of the piano as it is struck differently! It is the best sounding amp I have ever heard.

I found sound-staging to be great without being recessed at all. Bass is crisp and full of detail. In short - unbelievable.

 

When I finally decided to plug it up to my Yulong D100 DAC - I found the sound to be quite different. Clearly - I am hearing the DAC - so everything was very very beautiful  and smooth - deeply smooth and full bodied - whilst retaining a vital edge. It was like an addiction - gorgeous sounding - but I would have said that by turning the signal to analog  - it prevented the SR-71A from providing me with greater instrumental detail and separation that I heard on its own.

 

So IMO - get the SR-71A and then in the future - you can have the pleasure of connecting it as an amp to a DAC and there will be times when you don't want to use a DAC...depending on the music and your mood. In other words - this is probably the best non-balanced portable head amp that is around and it deserves it's own hearing as a great piece of audio eq.

 

H

post #37 of 115
Thread Starter 

SR-71A isn't so big but it isn't the smallest amp to carry around - but for me the SQ is the determining factor. And I also think the Blackbird range of portable amps that Ray makes are probably the best not only of his portables but also of other competing companies. 

 

Ibasso and pico are great companies. But the SR-71A is in a different class of sound quality

post #38 of 115
Thread Starter 

Had a very enjoyable laid back afternoon with the Sr-71A and HD600 - absolutely wonderful - I felt so content..

post #39 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syan25 View Post

SR-71A isn't so big but it isn't the smallest amp to carry around - but for me the SQ is the determining factor. And I also think the Blackbird range of portable amps that Ray makes are probably the best not only of his portables but also of other competing companies. 

 

Ibasso and pico are great companies. But the SR-71A is in a different class of sound quality



I must have missed where you compared the RSA to iBasso & HeadAmp models.confused.gif

post #40 of 115

I've decided to go with a pro audio interface as a dac/amp as I do some mixing and recording.. instead of an audiophile dac/amp

I chose the usbpre 2 from sound device and later on i'll add a portable amp to my collection.. I think it's the best choice I got.

post #41 of 115
Thread Starter 


I've heard both amps - iBasso I heard at a shop here in Taiwan - and a friend of mine has the pico. I heard both a few times before I got my SR-71A. In my opinion - the SR-71A wins hands down for SQ - though I did enjoy the pico quite a bit. 

 

I have no regrets with the choice I made. For me SQ is the only factor in buying audio eq - people look for different aspects when buying - I can only report from my own position.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatDane View Post





I must have missed where you compared the RSA to iBasso & HeadAmp models.confused.gif



 

 

post #42 of 115

The guy at Headfonia seems to like the 71A a hell of a lot - I expect that this link has been posted (thanks to Giles for bringing it to my attention):

 

http://www.headfonia.com/the-usual-suspects-12-portable-amps-compared/5/

 

Big amps. Nothing against the i-Qube and the Stepdance, but I LOVE the SR-71A, even now. If not for the lack of recharging functions, it’ll be my primary portable amp. i-Qube fans: that’s a cool amp with its own cool sound, but I am more into conventional power

 

The main objection I would raise to his review is that he starts with this heading:

 

THE BIG CONVENTIONAL, SINGLE ENDED AMPS: SR-71A, IQUBE, STEPDANCE, P4 WARBLER

 

Er, where in the review was there any discussion of the P4 ? I had previously thought that a few of the iBasso fans here had a bit of chip on their shoulders, but I'm starting to wonder if its not justified. Even if the reviewer didnt like the amp, surely thats worth a paragraph ? If iBasso wouldnt send him a review sample, leave them out of the thing entirely.

post #43 of 115
Thread Starter 

I read the review - admittedly he should have discussed the P4. Who knows why - the article was certainly biased - Thank god I am not writing the article - because I am just as biased - the SR-71A is the best amp I've ever heard and I have heard a lot in the past. But he is supposed to act in a professional capacity....

post #44 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syan25 View Post
 
he is supposed to act in a professional capacity....
 


I dont know that rules like 'impartiality' apply to someone who starts a website and posts a few reviews. I can live with his biases - he freely admits to being a huge fan of most of Ray's product - but his idiosyncratic English really annoys me. We are all capable of typos and the odd mixed metaphor, but some of his prose simply doesnt make sense to a native English speaker.

 

He transitions from (well-constructed) sentences packed with detail about the amp in question to sentences that seem to have been written by someone else - when I worked at a University here in Oz, this would have set alarm bells ringing in respect to plagiarism. I have no reason to believe that he has plagiarised anyone else's reviews, but we all pick up a little 'here and there' in our quest to describe how something sounds. I also have a major issue with anyone who uses terms like 'sparkly' and 'sizzly' to describe treble, and you will find both scattered liberally throughout his reviews. If you tell me that you find the treble 'aggressive' or 'a little too enthusiastic' on a pair of SR325is, I know what you mean, but if you tell me its 'sizzly' - wtf ? 'Sparkling treble' I can live with, but use it once and leave it - its like the Seinfeld 'Double-Dip' episode :)

 

On the plus side, I really liked the photos in that review, particularly as they give the reader an instant fix on the relative size of each amp - I knew the Shadow was small, but I now realise that it may be 'too small' for my personal taste.

 

 

post #45 of 115

I am using the 71a with the LCD-2 right now. Beautiful and the volume control is silky smooth. I have it around 11 o'clock for volume listening to some Peter Green live. It does a fantastic job rendering his guitar. 

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › Appreciation thread for the Ray Samuels - SR-71A: I just spend the night listening to the SR-71A with a cold beer and nothing to distract me.