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Larocco Pocket Reference sounds great!

post #1 of 128
Thread Starter 
As title. Mine is brand new, so the following are only first impressions. I have the maxed-out version, i.e. with four stacked buffers per channel, blackgate capacitors and Cardas RCA jacks. Tried it with HD-650, Ety 4 and Grado PS-1.

Sound: Very clear, very powerful, very deep bass. Lots of detail. Very dynamic. Incredible that so much sound emanates from such a small enclosure. Sound remains identical when switching between battery and mains power.

Bass is clean and controlled at all times, never boomy. The bass boost switch is a standard feature, but even when it's switched off there is ample bass. When it's switched on, the increase is not subtle, but at the same time the bass remains well integrated into the overall sound. This is the most tastefully executed bass boost circuit I am aware of (I presume it is similar to the one in the PPA).

Compared to other amps with 2 X 9V batteries: I used to own a Grado RA-1, which costs $350 in the States and more than EUR 600 over here. The Pocket Reference @ $350 for the base model and $450 for the maxed-out version puts the former in its place. I will try to do a comparison against the Ray Samuels XP-7 and post the results.

Thanks for looking.
post #2 of 128
glad you like that amp, i am looking for an amp, would you recommend the grado ra-1 or the PR? i have the grado sr-225, ety 4, thanks
post #3 of 128
Thread Starter 
I wrote:

"I used to own a Grado RA-1 [...]. The Pocket Reference [...] puts the former in its place."

You asked:

Quote:
Originally posted by chiefroastbeef
would you recommend the grado ra-1 or the PR?
My reply, just in case I didn't make myself sufficiently clear:

"I would recommend the PR."
post #4 of 128
Thanks for the impressions sugano-san, keep us posted as the amp burns in!
post #5 of 128
Thanks for the news, Sugano-san. Please keep us posted on battery life with the maxed out version.

Thanks,
kcaesthete
post #6 of 128
Quote:
Originally posted by kcaesthete
Thanks for the news, Sugano-san. Please keep us posted on battery life with the maxed out version.

Thanks,
kcaesthete
Yes, I'm also very interested in battery life with this maxed out model (I thought I read that the maxed out unit's battery life is supposed to be slightly worse than the stock version). Also, could you tell us what type of battery you are using with the PR? Thanks!
post #7 of 128
Great initial impressions, look foward to hearing more impression. Also how heavy is the Larocco Pocket Reference compared to the other amps you previously owned?
post #8 of 128
I am especially intrigued with the shootout between the maxed out PR and the XP-7. With no disrespect intended to any other builders/manufacturers, these may be the two greatest portable amps available today.
post #9 of 128
I would love to read your impression. It is informative to know that the META42 is inspired by PPL portable/pocket amplifier.
post #10 of 128
Thread Starter 

Batteries and Battery Life

I am using the yellow rechargeable batteries that came with my PR. If you want to have a look, click here and follow the link "Larocco Pocket Reference". I left the amp on overnight and this morning the batteries were dead. Please do not expect me to provide exact numbers, but my estimate would be that the batteries held the charge for approx. 6-8 hrs. I read elsewhere in this forum that battery life with non-rechargeables may be up to 60 hrs.

Quote:
Originally posted by Shurenuff
Yes, I'm also very interested in battery life with this maxed out model (I thought I read that the maxed out unit's battery life is supposed to be slightly worse than the stock version). Also, could you tell us what type of battery you are using with the PR? Thanks!
post #11 of 128
Thread Starter 

PR's weight compared to other amps

It's heavier than the Xin Supermini and maybe heavier (but certainly smaller) than the Grado RA-1, but it's clearly more lightweight than the Audiovalve RKV Mk II, the Musical Fidelity X-Can v2 & X-PSU or the AKG/SAC K-1000 amp. It's easier to transport than the Earmax Pro.


Quote:
Originally posted by warubozu
Great initial impressions, look foward to hearing more impression. Also how heavy is the Larocco Pocket Reference compared to the other amps you previously owned?
post #12 of 128
Thread Starter 

Inspiration vs. Simplification

I was told by an absolute expert that the Meta's circuit is in fact based on the PPL portable amp. However, he added "sadly they took out all the good elements that make the PR's circuit special". It would appear that the Meta is an over-simplified version of the PR. I wouldn't know because I don't know much about such things.

Quote:
Originally posted by purk
It is informative to know that the META42 is inspired by PPL portable/pocket amplifier.
post #13 of 128
Thread Starter 

K-1000 Surprise

Quote:
Originally posted by Sugano-san
Tried it with HD-650, Ety 4 and Grado PS-1.
Yesterday evening I hooked up my K-1000s to the PR, switched on the bass boost and was amazed! What a great way to listen to K-1000s!!

Clearly, the maximum available volume is limited, but I never listen at high volumes anyway. And it was loud enough for me. It could be sufficient for others too!

As many of you know, the K-1000s' frequency response drops rather sharply below 50 or 60 Hz. One solution is to use an oversized amp (I have the EAR V20 for that purpose), another solution are subwoofers in the room, but that's a rather complicated setup.

Many Larocco amps include a bass boost, and while they're not meant drive K-1000s, my PR certainly did a great job at my preferred lower volume. The bass boost fills up the K-1000s' hole below 50/60 Hz in a very pleasant way, and thus the PR has afforded me a totally new and really satisfying K-1000 experience when I least expected it.

This means that, when powered by the Larocco PR, the K-1000s have finally joined the ranks of headphones for portable audio (not that I would ever use them outside) , and that adds a completely new aspect to the other thread I saw some time ago where head-fiers discussed the most outrageous headphones they would be willing to wear outside.

It also means that there is a second real use and purpose to the bass boost that comes as a standard feature with the PR: Apart from beautifying thin sounding CDs you can also use the PR (and presumably also the other Larocco amps that come with a bass boost) as a low-volume but close-to-complete-sounding alternative to more substantial amplifiers for the K-1000s.

What a great product! Thanks Phil and Larry!!
post #14 of 128
Sounds intriging
post #15 of 128
Am most definitely looking forward to any possible comparisons versus the XP-7. They're about in the same price range and are both "portable." How portable do you find the Pocket Reference? And is there any particular reason you went with the reference rather than the PPA?
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