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as of 3/1/11, which portable amp would you go with?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
if you have both a balanced cable and single ended, with a single ended source, what amp would you go with right now? there are so many high end portables out now that it makes the choice hard.

RSA Protector, SR71B
iBasso PB2
Meier Stepdance
Headstage Arrow 12HE
Pico Slim
or?

Will be with a Whipmod and JH16s.
post #2 of 26
having just received my iBasso PB1. I'm extremely satisfied (coming from someone that never wished to carry additional clunk around). but if the future is pointing towards iPods and other DAPs with thunderbolt line out, I would go with the PB2 to future proof my investment. as it is I really don't see myself upgrading within the next 2-3 years. and I've heard quite a few portable amps, and i love the RSA sound the most but it would seem the PB series is just as good although a slightly less colored sound signature.

figured i'd share what i think. all completely IMO of course.
post #3 of 26

i use an alo rx with my 5.5g ipod.

post #4 of 26
  • Love the ALO Rx (just sold),
  • Love my RSA shadow (can't imagine a better amp for custom IEM low level listening)
  • Just got the Arrow and the size plus features and the ability to drive all my cans (including AKG 701) makes it my favorite so far.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

interesting.  has anyone compared their favorites to a balanced protector?

post #6 of 26

i chose not to go balanced, because not only does it require the amp but new iem cables.

post #7 of 26

cables don't cost much if you know where to look.

 

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintkeat View Post

cables don't cost much if you know where to look.

 


where are you looking?  the cheapest balanced iem cables have been at the FS forums...around 150 for twag balanced

 

post #9 of 26

The good thing about all these choices is that you can just look for the amp that suits better your lifestyle.

 

Since you decided to go for JH16, which are supposed to have an emphasis on the bass, but will be using a source that is not supposed to emphasize it, it could be expected that you'll end with a somehow neutral sound. So in terms of sound signature, you could go with the RSA sound if you're more into dark sound, as they're reported to sound like that. If you prefer to keep a neutral sound, then you'll look elsewhere.

 

If you want to go balanced, then you reduce the choice to three models (RSA Protector, SR71B, iBasso PB2). The budget would likely be the decisive factor then, especially given the price of recabling.

 

If you're tight on budget, the Stepdance is reported to be a very good deal, while not lasting long on batteries. The Arrow is supposed to be another good deal and more portable, but not in the same class in terms of sound.

 

The Pico slim (Disclaimer : it's the only one I own) is by far the most portable of all of them, but probably won't be able to power big cans if you decided to go that way later on. It's also more expensive than some of the others.

 

The ALO RX, as stated above, could be a good contender but is rather on the high side for the price.

 

Anyway, you're the only one that can decide for yourself, according to your desiderata and needs. I merely tried to point you in the right direction, and I hope you'll find the right one with the first trial. Good luck !

post #10 of 26

Arrow or the SR71b, depends if you go balanced or not (I'd lean toward the arrow)

OR

Triad Audio L3 when they get around to releasing it....


Edited by Blasto_Brandino - 3/4/11 at 1:39am
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 

well my cable will already be balanced. i had it terminated into a mini 4 pin xlr and have adapters for 1/8 and RSA. but that sr71b is still 700!  i was considering the slim but would that be smart if i already have a balanced cable? hmm.   i guess really its rpobably personal preference and if thats so, i erally like the form factor of the slim.  the arrow ... yea it has a lot of functions but i doubt ill need bass boost, imp and cross?  i doubt id be using them with full sized much anyways. 

 

thanks for the input!

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TekeRugburn View Post




where are you looking?  the cheapest balanced iem cables have been at the FS forums...around 150 for twag balanced

 

thats the problem there ain't it? you're looking for the cheapest Boutique cable. by Boutique I mean extravagant. twags are some of the more expensive iem cables around (not counting crystal cables).

 

look at your local cable shops.

 

My local cable shop is Audiohub. And the nice man Louis makes any cable with any connector I want. Getting a Hirose balanced custom iem cable made with him. A fraction of the cost but not a fraction of Twag quality.
 

 

post #13 of 26

As for me, source first. So I am not thinking on amp for my iPod 5.5 gen or on DIYmodding iPod. I am rather thinking on upgrading my HM-602 to HM-801. And I yet to find a portable amp for HM-602, which will justify extra rig size, while I tried:

  • TTVJ Millett Portable
  • XIN Supermicro IV
  • Meier Move
  • iBasso D10
  • iBasso D12

 

These are not high-end amps, of course. They are in the right next league, though.

post #14 of 26


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintkeat View Post



thats the problem there ain't it? you're looking for the cheapest Boutique cable. by Boutique I mean extravagant. twags are some of the more expensive iem cables around (not counting crystal cables).

 

look at your local cable shops.

 

My local cable shop is Audiohub. And the nice man Louis makes any cable with any connector I want. Getting a Hirose balanced custom iem cable made with him. A fraction of the cost but not a fraction of Twag quality.
 

 


 

dont have any cable shops where around me....  how much does he charge?  and how much did u pay for your cable?  what type of wire?  where are you located?

 

post #15 of 26

he is located in Singapore.

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