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Predator vs Protector

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

 


hey everyone, i currently have a predator and am thinking of maybe switching to a protector as I don't use the DAC much. That said, how much better is the protector as compared to the predator? That said, how good is the protector at all? I can't seem to find many reviews of the protector here =\ and there doesnt seem to exist a comparison between the pred and the protector.

post #2 of 20

I think Ray may have shot himself in the foot with the Protector - he released the SR71B and that seems to have grabbed most of the (Head-Fi) keystrokes despite being more expensive. You might need to ask Ray if you would be that much better off with the Protector over your current amp.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

i asked, but he hasnt replied. The sr71b is so much more expensive and pretty big too


 

post #4 of 20
there have been plenty of Protector threads, it might take you awhile to find them.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

Protector alone maybe, but not predator vs protector


 

post #6 of 20

I had both for a year or two and I can tell you that it is worth the upgrade if you decide you don't need the dac.

 

To me, the Protector gave me a more refine sound with the balance out.  You won't be disappointed with the Protector.  Of course now I'm onto SR71b.

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalo View Post

I had both for a year or two and I can tell you that it is worth the upgrade if you decide you don't need the dac.

 

To me, the Protector gave me a more refine sound with the balance out.  You won't be disappointed with the Protector.  Of course now I'm onto SR71b.


Forgive my logic Jalo - I may be missing something - but your post says this to me:

 

Leapfrog the Protector if you are willing to go balanced - get the SR71B.

 

Sure, its more money, but I have to wonder if he would only be back in 6 months asking if he should upgrade from Protector to SR71B.

 

This is what Mike from Headfonia had to say on that:

Dimension check: SR-71B (left) vs Protector (right).

 

RSA SR-71B vs RSA Protector
If you currently own the RSA Protector, then moving to the SR-71B will give obvious improvements in sound quality while retaining pretty much a similar signature. I don’t know if the improvements are due to the quad mono topology, or if Ray had implemented some other design changes in the amplifier. With the HD650 headphone in balanced, I am hearing a wider soundstage, much improved instrument separation, and a more open sound. On the HD800, the difference becomes even more pronounced. While the RSA Protector’s soundstage feels like a small blob, the SR-71B’s extend very wide, filling the whole space of the HD800′s huge earcups. Instruments very clearly projected from the black background. This, of course, is aside from the improvements in power output ratings, which again you get with the SR-71B. If you own a Protector, definitely go for an upgrade!

 

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

that is in the case of full-size earphones though, not sure how much larger it can push the jh-16s's soundstage

 

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaosfayt View Post

that is in the case of full-size earphones though, not sure how much larger it can push the jh-16s's soundstage

 


Agree that its a tough one, but like many of the whys-and-wherefores discussed here it largely comes down to a leap-of-faith in the end. If you dont need to go balanced, and Mike puts forward some compelling arguments for us to think about *not* doing so, there are so many more options open to you.

 

As I understand it, Mike seems to be saying that the soundstage is a lot wider with the balanced rig, but that he felt he had lost some of the imaging and focus he had single-ended. A lot of it comes down to personal preference, but he ended up with the SR71A as his favourite all-round amp out of a huge set of candidates. I'm sure there are several very good (single ended) amp recommendations specifically for the JH16, but this thread asks a very specific question. 

 

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

I like big soundstages, but too wide a soundstage takes away the intimacy of the music. So i'm looking for something bigger than the predator yet not too wide. Because the predator seems to have a very in your face presentation of the music and bass which is sometimes not the best for laid back relaxed music. I tried the protector Single ended once and i felt the soundstage was *almost* too wide, that it started to lose some intimacy. But nonetheless the increased soundstage was impressive. I was going to purchase the protector today, but im feeling abit discouraged because of how mike describes the protector to have a small blob soundstage lol. Makes it sound so inferior... If the protector has a small blob soundstage and its already way bigger than the predator, i wonder how he would describe the predator's soundstage?

Also, i doubt i'll be back in 6 months wanting an upgrade from the protector. I'm getting the protector in the mean time while i wait for the release of the jh3a. Once that is out i'm switching :)


Edited by chaosfayt - 4/7/11 at 8:39pm
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post




Agree that its a tough one, but like many of the whys-and-wherefores discussed here it largely comes down to a leap-of-faith in the end. If you dont need to go balanced, and Mike puts forward some compelling arguments for us to think about *not* doing so, there are so many more options open to you.

 

As I understand it, Mike seems to be saying that the soundstage is a lot wider with the balanced rig, but that he felt he had lost some of the imaging and focus he had single-ended. A lot of it comes down to personal preference, but he ended up with the SR71A as his favourite all-round amp out of a huge set of candidates. I'm sure there are several very good (single ended) amp recommendations specifically for the JH16, but this thread asks a very specific question. 

 


Estreeter, I really did not come away from the headphonia review with the same conclusion.  The OP obviously is using a IEM and as far as iem is concern, the Protector is 95% as good as the SR71b if both are using SE input.  And because the 71b cost so much more than the Protector, that is why I did not recommend the 71b.  If Chaosfaty plans to use the amp for full size as well, then the 71b is a good choice.  At least to me and in balance mode, both the 71b and Protector has a bigger sound stage than the Predator but at the same time provide a closer sound than the predator.  I really felt the 71b gives me more intimacy than the predator.    Regardless of how good an iem is, they are different from full size cans in terms of immersion factor.  That is why anytime when an amp can give more air and soundstage to the music, I welcome them.  Mike will get use to the balance sound after he has it for a few months and when he goes back to SE, that is when he will miss the balance sound.

 


Edited by Jalo - 4/9/11 at 11:15am
post #12 of 20

No problem - I hope he gets the amp that is right from him, and I havent heard any of Ray's amps. Too expensive for my moth-eaten wallet :)

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

No problem - I hope he gets the amp that is right from him, and I havent heard any of Ray's amps. Too expensive for my moth-eaten wallet :)


You really owed it to yourself to play around with some of Rays amps, Predator, Mustang, Shadow, SR71a, SR71b, Protector etc.  If I were you, I'll try the Mustang or the Protector, I guaranty you'll like them.  You should buy it on the For sale forum (you can get them pretty cheap these days), I know cus I just sold them confused_face.gif .  If you don't like it, sell it back on the forum and most likely you will be able to get very close to what you pay for, and report backwink.gif.

 

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I just got the protector and twag balanced cable and i must say I'm pretty impressed with how my music is presented now. The soundstage is pretty huge, and it feels like you're sitting in the concert hall as opposed to listening to a 1 dimension playback of the music. And yeah I'm using the protector with an IEM and SE input. That said how many hours of burn in does this amp need and does the sound change much with burn in at all? Its already awesome now :)


 

post #15 of 20

Play it for 80 to 100 hours.  You'll get use to it.  I used it for 10 months until I got the 71B.  Give us more impression and lure Estreeter into getting one also biggrin.gif

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