The Predator’s both pc brds, the amp & the USB, are mil specs grade with 4 oz oxygen free copper. All resistors are that of high quality Dale Vishay SMDs. The Caps are the highest quality film caps by Panasonic. The power lanes & signal lanes are separated from each others with ground lanes & blocks of ground sections to minimize the floor noise.
You should hear no noise or hiss at all from the DAC when connected to your computer, it is completely silent in every sense no matter which headphones you use, including all the sensitive headphones, IEM, with full gain of 11, at MAX volume.. That by itself is just a remarkable accomplishment when comparing amps with each others using IEM’s.
The amp section has identical parts when it comes to quality; no corners have been cut, as the Predator has the lowest floor noise specs than that of the Hornet & Tomahawk.
The Predator has 3 position gain switch, low, gain of One, medium, gain of Four & high, gain of Eleven. These gain setting come very handy when a variety of phones are used with different impedances.
The USB/Source switch is located on the face plate, it selects between a mini stereo input source and the USB input. When the amp is used with an external source, the USB circuitry is completely disconnected from that of the amp as if it never exists and no battery power is going through it.
The Predator can play while it is charging, with no loss of sound quality. The charging time is within 2-3 hours, the play time is 7 days at 8 hours per day, per charge. The Lithium Ion battery in the Predator is good for over 500 times charging. This means 500X7 days with each charge at 8 hours per day comes to 3500 days at 8 hours per day. 3500 divided by 365 days per year = 9.6 years. That is how long the battery should last.
The Predator is priced at $475.00 plus shipping.
The adapter/charger of the Predator is UNIVERSAL, it works where ever you are. It won’t harm if you charge the Predator all night long, the battery will shut off by itself once it is fully charged, whether being on or off, as long as it has about 2 hours on the charger.
Do not use another adapter/charger with the Predator as it might cause the battery to overheat & explode. Please if you happen to have problem with your charger, we will be more than happy to send you a replacement free of charge, you pay shipping fee only.
The Predator has a life time warranty, parts & labor, the battery has one year. The customer will pay shipping both ways only. The warranty is transferable to any owner.
Ray Samuels Audio.
Review of John Amato @ head-fi.org.
The RSA Predator
This has to be one of the sweetest amps with a usb DAC that I have heard. It has a tube type quality to it without losing any control of the music. There is a euphonic quality in the positive sense, which I find very appealing. I can also see where this would pair very well with IEM’s. For amp only listening I use my Monica II modified Dac and an iRiver H140 with lossless or wav files. One thing I noticed right off is the bass. It has a nice growl to it, as in being well defined.
I am finding that with the Predator the sound quality is improves with the passage of time. I prefer to leave devices like this on all the time and to my ear, this is no exception. I am noticing that cymbals are getting that nice sheen and decay rather than a dead or splashy sound. What is nice is that this is not an In Your Face amp. I am getting some excellent depth and separation.
With well recorded music I don’t think there will be many people disappointed with the Predator. Seldom will everyone agree on any one point and this would be no exception but I do think the Predator gives a good dose of high quality sound. I find the high frequencies clean and without grain, the mid frequencies are not forward or recessed but enough to bring out the voice so it has dimension and the bass has impact with rhythm and pace but it does not mingle with the lower mids as some amps can do.
When using the amp section or the amp and usb dac, the Predator is very open, smooth and on well recorded music like Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”, throws tremendous depth and width with fine imaging and solid well controlled bass. It does not have character that changes the music but changes with the music giving you musical entertainment when the recording is decent or better. The sound field is very transparent and the separation of voices and instruments within space is convincing in both the front to back and side to side perspective. There is a body to sound from where it emanates that occupies space. I am finding that the amp and amp/dac section both involve me in the sound and provide a natural and enjoyable layered sound.
One thing I haven’t mentioned is the fit and finish of the Predator. As usual it is up to the extremely high standards of Ray, much like a fine watch. I thought the volume knob was plastic because it as so perfectly made but after I thought about it I couldn’t imagine Ray using plastic and upon examination I realized it is anodized aluminum. Everything fits perfectly together on the case with little room for any error in tolerance.
I want to mention that the HD650’s and the Predator go very well together. Listening to piano really brings it home. The notes seem to hold in the air with a nice rounded melodic quality and weight that is what I hear in live presentation.
Listening to The Eagles, “Hell Freezes Over”, not a great recording but some great music, the cut “in the city”, the bass feels like I have speakers in the room. Yep, booaum with quality not boom, boom, but tonal bass. (Ultrasone Ed.9)
I have over 1200 hours on the Predator now and as it settles it does it well. There is a “mature” sound that comes across as in an amp design that has come of age. The amp develops as time passes. I have plenty of other amps to reference to so I know of what I speak. The Predator grabs a note but then releases it like you hear with a guitar string. Twang, clean, sounds like a note and sounds like . . . something very special. I use the Senheiser HD650, Ultrasone Ed. 9, the Koss PortaPros for portable use as well as the UM2 iems and found them all equally well driven. The Predator joins the music and rather than just being a tool becomes a very special instrument of amplification bringing about an enjoyable musical experience. This is a very highly recommended amplifer and USB dac if you are looking for a quality musical experience.