Originally Posted by spook76
As an an owner of the Protector also driving IEMs does the Intruder materially improve the sound? I use the Protector in balanced output but single input and want to keep it that way for now. I would appreciate any insights you have.
you lose a lot of that unique lush warm sound of the protector, and you gain something much more balanced (tonally), and overall more details and resolution. yes it's an upgrade. unless you have some amazingly bright IEMs that only the protector could tame, I doubt you could regret going up in the line.
can't guess your tastes for you, so I'll tell you why I got rid of the protector:
the protector to me had a cut in the sub bass. all warm and bassy it was, I didn't get the extra low rumble I could get on other sources. the sr71b/intruder go noticeably lower.
trebles! the protector is overall very nice to listen to, but trebles are washed out. on the sr71 you're still not in the neutral sounding zone, but you get a lot more details and to my ears, this adds to the overall imaging. being able to pinpoint more high pitched notes seems to give more layers.
shielding against smartphones!! the protector is badly shielded and it can get much worse depending on what cable you use. I can't say the sr71b and intruder are 100% shielded as I didn't try to call while sticking the phone onto the amp, but the shielding is good. day and night compared to the protector.
sonically unless you're in love with the protector's lush sound (something I could understand very well), the sr71b or the intruder are simply better and closer the a hifi sound (if that means anything).
but you give up the battery life and ofc the small size of the protector. that's why I'm so curious about this small lightning ^_^.
anyway if you don't plan to use the dac of the intruder to go fully balanced, and only use IEMs or easy to drive cans, you should go for the sr71b. no point in getting a bigger gain, bigger size, and less battery for the same sound on IEMs.
question to people who have a lightning already, where are you on the volume knob for a given IEM and a given source plz?
I'm afraid the minimum gain is already a lot for iems if you don't use an out of breath 0.5v apple like line out. (I fear for the 1.7v of the X3 for example)