I was curious if anyone has compared these amps and what their impressions are when pairing with a CLAS or other DACS or such.
I compared them very briefly at a recent headfi meet, but not one of us had balanced sources and/or headphones to try. So, I just used the FitEar 334 (nice) on both. The SR71B seems much more tilted toward IEM use than the RXIII, particularly in total output power, and because it has a blacker background (very low hiss).
But then again, IEMs with crossovers should be handled very carefully in balanced mode as the crossovers will act differently in balanced mode, getting overall different (not necessarily better, often worse) output in balanced mode. So, both amps are better when used with headphones with dynamic drivers or single driver earphones.
In that case, it really depends on what you want. The SR71B is pocketable, similar in size to the Vorzüge VorzAMP. The ALO RxMKIII is much larger, has a massive battery, and powers larger headphones with lots and lots of power. Different strokes in many ways, though I'm a sucker for the MKIII.
In terms of power and impact, the RxIII is pretty much unmatched. The SR71B is smaller and thus more pocket friendly, while the MKIII is really part of a stack, for use with straps and maybe a carriage of its own. I've not spent enough time with the SR71B to be able to recommend it other than its size and very low noise floor. The RXIII is obviously a favourite around these parts, an opinion I agree with.
I have no idea if that helped or not, but there it is. Will this be a new purchase, or are you coming from a long list of headphone amps before? both are reputable manufacturers known for pushing boundaries. And both are pricey, but there still isn't really too much competition in the balanced output space.
I appreciate the comments is what I was saying. In the end, you have to listen for yourself. Everyone has a different idea of what sounds good to them. One person could say detailed, and the other could say, no it is bright, etc.
I am new to the portable hifi but have a very extensive 2 channel system at home. I only have tried one amp and I love it. I mentioned it above, Portaphile 627. Average_ Joe rated it as the best amp he has ever owned. The soundstage, detail and bass slam is amazing. I would say on well recorded tracks, it approaches as good as what I hear in my room.
But unfortunately I have this habit of trying out new things to get the holy grail. I wanted to give a balanced amp a try as well.
With regards to owning a stack of equipment, I'm already there. :)
160gb Ipod Classic with uncompressed music.