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Appreciation thread for the Ray Samuels - SR-71A: I just spend the night listening to the SR-71A... - Page 4

post #46 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post

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. 


John, I love to hear your impression between the SR71a and SR71B.  I sold my SR71a after I received my 71b.  To me, the 71b is much more dynamic, more air, more open with bigger soundstage, more personal, more PRat, better bass, it is just more fun and more life like than the 71a.  I am not trashing the 71a at all.  It is a great amp, but it is sort of boring for me.  It is there and does it job with almost any phone you connect to it.  I was having the 71a and the Mustang for almost a year and I preferred the Mustang over the 71a for some of the above reasons when I use my JH13.  But one thing for sure, if using full size cans, the 71a did better than my Mustang.

 

post #47 of 115

Single ended I find the 71a and 71b to present differently, a little but both very good. I like the 71a because it is open, throws a large stage and I hear way into the detail i.e., audience sounds that sound real. I use the DB-1, which is a dual Wolfson 8740 portable dac fed optical lossless standard CD and 24/96. For whatever reason, to me it is possibly the difference in sources. 

post #48 of 115
Thread Starter 

I find it very hard to believe that the SR-71A could ever be boring - but that is me...

post #49 of 115

After reading this thread, and many positive reviews, I am now a member of the sr-71a appreciation society. I took the long way around, though. 

 

 

It all started with my first reference cans, the hd650's, about 2 months ago. I got the nuforce udac2 at the same time and was impressed with the sound for a short time, and then started reading these forums to find something better.

 

Decided to send back the udac2 and got the Firestone Spitfire MKII dac and external power supply and the SCHIIT Valhalla amp. I was disappointed that the spifire MKII was not 24/96 USB (unlike the cheaper udac2).

 

As for the Valhalla, I liked it. It was smooth and warm like they said, but a little too blah for my taste. I listen for extended periods at low volumes and wanted more excitement. A fine amp for the price, but not for me.

 

So the Valhalla went back. And because I was reading about the benefits of 24/96 asych USB on dacs and wanted that too, the spitfire mk II went back as well. 

 

I wasn't sure which way to go next. Then the portable amp roundup article appeared on Headfonia, and I couldn't help but notice that among all those new amps being reviewed with their new features and tiny footprints that a much older model amp without all these new features, without even rechargeable batteries, seemed to the get the most praise. That lead me to search for more info on the sr71a which led me to this thread. 

 

200+ burn-in hours later I am loving my sr-71A. I've been disappointed by hype so often that it amazes me when I encounter a product that lives up to said hype. Wow.

 

current rig:

Macbook pro lossless file > (nuforce gold plated USB cable) > HRT Music Streamer II+ > RSA SR-71A (blue jeans rca to mini interconnect) > Sennheiser hd650 recabled with Moon Audio's Blue Dragon.

 

 

 

 

post #50 of 115
Thread Starter 
I am so happy to hear that. It's the best amp I have ever heard portable or not...and I have owned quite a few. The natural sound of instruments as they exist in acoustics is represented second to none. Clean as a whistle and also full of energy and vitality. Sound - staging - OMG!
post #51 of 115

As someone who was ready to completely give up portability for sq, I'm happy to find that I no longer need to choose. So from that perspective, the sr-71a is tiny in size. At home i use the mac as the source, with MS II+ dac. Obviously to go portable, the source and dac are out. 

 

I have 160gb ipod classic that cannot be modded and a 5th gen that could be modded to bypass the internal amp and shorten the Wolfson dac signal path (don't understand all that completely yet). There are DIY instructions that I think I could handle (I would practice on a old broken 4th gen to see if I have the mod chops). Another option is the Red Wine Audio imod service. 250.00 US I think. Mail it in and they do it in about 3 weeks. Mail a larger hard drive and replacement battery and they say they will do those too for additional charges of course. Mine is the smaller 30GB and the battery doesn't hold charge well anymore. 

 

However with release of the cypher labs algorhythm solo I'm wondering if it's even worth it to imod the 5th gen or just bypass the ipod dac completely and pass higher quality dac signal to the sr-71A. Then I could use the 160GB Classic (which is almost new) and store more lossless audio. However, at $579 US I think I will give it more thought first. This option would mean almost the exact same sq either at home or away which is very appealing. I think the only difference would be no 24 bit file support on the portable side, which I could easily live with. Oh, and the cans would be out in most cases (walking the dog, travel ,etc)

 

So I would need IEMs. Any suggestions anyone? I love my hd650's and would want similar sound (bigger bottom, with scaled back highs). I'm 44 and am a first generation "crank your walkman volume to 11"  idiot so I need to treat my ears much kinder these days. I listen at lower than average volume most of the time. 

 

post #52 of 115

I like the JH13 Pro IEM's but they may be more than what you want to spend. There seems to be other pretty good options out there but I haven't kept up with them lately. 

post #53 of 115
Thread Starter 
I like the SHURE SE535s with the SR-71A. Full bodied sound.

I use my Sr-71A with my ipod 160GB without any DAC and am in total bliss. It really isn't necessary. The SR-71A sounds so amazing - I would rather not add anything else to the sound...and just let be...
post #54 of 115

But you are getting the dac in the audio chain, it's just the dac in the pod which is reportedly of lesser quality, especially in the classic line. The point of the external dac is to completely bypass the ipod dac. Nothing added. Just swapping a (reportedly) bad dac with a reference level dac and passing the very best signal possible to the SR-71A which would make it shine all that much more.

 

I can't prove any of this is true as I've not compared the 2 methods, but here's an email quote from Ray Samuels when I asked him which dac I should use with the SR71A:

 

"As to DAC I use the one from my home unit which is to die for. It is made by Esoteric."

 

I don't know which model he has but these dacs are in the 2-3K range if I remember correctly. The point is that the sr71a scales up. That doesn't change the fact that it still sounds great just using an ipod, don't get me wrong. Headfonia reviewed it that way, and Ray makes ipod to amp LOD cables which means he's declared it sounds like an emmeline even using the lesser ipod dac.

 

It's simply audiophile curiosity in me makes me wonder how good can it get? What does the black bird sound like connected to a 3k dac? I may never know, but a 600 dollar dac? that's the current dilemma. Also, to use it without a dac I need to commit to a 100+ dollar cable that will be useless if I  end up adding the portable dac later. Of course with the dac I have to commit to 2 100+ dollar cables.

 

Thanks for the IEM recommendationsI Wow, IEM;s are expensive. I didn't realize at first their price points are above good cans in many cases.  

 

I think the mobile solution will have to wait a few months. 

 

 

post #55 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syan25 View Post


I use my Sr-71A with my ipod 160GB without any DAC and am in total bliss. It really isn't necessary. The SR-71A sounds so amazing - I would rather not add anything else to the sound...and just let be...

 

If Apple sold you an iPod without a DAC, you need to send it back for a full refund immediately.

 

All jocularity aside, I agree that if you like the sound of the iPod through your amp, there is no point spending more money.

 

I am a huge fan of the potential offered by several devices that bypass the iPod DAC, but there is no way that I am going to cart all that gear around for use on public transport etc. Even road warriors have cheaper options available to them for those long hours hunched over a notebook computer in a hotel room or airport lounge : I believe that ALO have signalled that the next iteration of the Solo will combine transport/DAC and amp in a single enclosure, and that really will be something worthy of consideration for portable users with a 160GB+ iPod. Expensive ? Sure, but it was never going to be cheap to reproduce desktop-quality sound from a stack that weighs less than most netbooks.
 

 

post #56 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinWolff View Post

But you are getting the dac in the audio chain, it's just the dac in the pod which is reportedly of lesser quality, especially in the classic line. The point of the external dac is to completely bypass the ipod dac. Nothing added. Just swapping a (reportedly) bad dac with a reference level dac and passing the very best signal possible to the SR-71A which would make it shine all that much more.

 

I can't prove any of this is true as I've not compared the 2 methods, but here's an email quote from Ray Samuels when I asked him which dac I should use with the SR71A:

 

"As to DAC I use the one from my home unit which is to die for. It is made by Esoteric."

 

I don't know which model he has but these dacs are in the 2-3K range if I remember correctly. The point is that the sr71a scales up. That doesn't change the fact that it still sounds great just using an ipod, don't get me wrong. Headfonia reviewed it that way, and Ray makes ipod to amp LOD cables which means he's declared it sounds like an emmeline even using the lesser ipod dac.

 

It's simply audiophile curiosity in me makes me wonder how good can it get? What does the black bird sound like connected to a 3k dac? I may never know, but a 600 dollar dac? that's the current dilemma. Also, to use it without a dac I need to commit to a 100+ dollar cable that will be useless if I  end up adding the portable dac later. Of course with the dac I have to commit to 2 100+ dollar cables.

 

Thanks for the IEM recommendationsI Wow, IEM;s are expensive. I didn't realize at first their price points are above good cans in many cases.  

 

I think the mobile solution will have to wait a few months. 

 

 


I use the SR-71A in conjunction with my D100 for PC audio - and it has sounded marvelous. Don't get me wrong - but for ipod - i would not bother with an external DAC - for home use - it's a different story.
post #57 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post



 

If Apple sold you an iPod without a DAC, you need to send it back for a full refund immediately.

 

All jocularity aside, I agree that if you like the sound of the iPod through your amp, there is no point spending more money.

 

I am a huge fan of the potential offered by several devices that bypass the iPod DAC, but there is no way that I am going to cart all that gear around for use on public transport etc. Even road warriors have cheaper options available to them for those long hours hunched over a notebook computer in a hotel room or airport lounge : I believe that ALO have signalled that the next iteration of the Solo will combine transport/DAC and amp in a single enclosure, and that really will be something worthy of consideration for portable users with a 160GB+ iPod. Expensive ? Sure, but it was never going to be cheap to reproduce desktop-quality sound from a stack that weighs less than most netbooks.
 

 


I agree with you - portable wise the SR-71A + ipod is enough of a load to carry around....

But at home - I do enjoy the SR-71A configured a variety of ways
post #58 of 115

No probs, and it sounds like a much better amp than some of the diehard fans of the original SR71 give it credit for. Two things helped me choose the P4 over the SR71-A

 

1. I'm completely over the battery-changing ritual on the D4 and I have no desire to buy another amp that chews 9-volts.

2. Price. Yes, I'm cheap, but honest. If it had a rechargeable battery-pack, I may have been able to justify the price difference, but it doesnt and I cant.

 

Enjoy your amp.

post #59 of 115
Thread Starter 
After 10 hours of listening these past two days - I maintain it's the best amp I have ever heard - EVER - and I can't wait to hear the Ray Samuels HR-2 that I will be getting this summer...
post #60 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinWolff View Post

But you are getting the dac in the audio chain, it's just the dac in the pod which is reportedly of lesser quality, especially in the classic line. The point of the external dac is to completely bypass the ipod dac. Nothing added. Just swapping a (reportedly) bad dac with a reference level dac and passing the very best signal possible to the SR-71A which would make it shine all that much more.

 

I can't prove any of this is true as I've not compared the 2 methods, but here's an email quote from Ray Samuels when I asked him which dac I should use with the SR71A:

 

"As to DAC I use the one from my home unit which is to die for. It is made by Esoteric."

 

I don't know which model he has but these dacs are in the 2-3K range if I remember correctly. The point is that the sr71a scales up. That doesn't change the fact that it still sounds great just using an ipod, don't get me wrong. Headfonia reviewed it that way, and Ray makes ipod to amp LOD cables which means he's declared it sounds like an emmeline even using the lesser ipod dac.

 

It's simply audiophile curiosity in me makes me wonder how good can it get? What does the black bird sound like connected to a 3k dac? I may never know, but a 600 dollar dac? that's the current dilemma. Also, to use it without a dac I need to commit to a 100+ dollar cable that will be useless if I  end up adding the portable dac later. Of course with the dac I have to commit to 2 100+ dollar cables.

 

Thanks for the IEM recommendationsI Wow, IEM;s are expensive. I didn't realize at first their price points are above good cans in many cases.  

 

I think the mobile solution will have to wait a few months. 

 

 



Can you gimme the link or show me the picture how you connect the music streamer to sr71a? thanks

 

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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.