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tomjtx
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Phono stage from Ray Samuels

I listened Sat. to the new Phono stage from Ray: F-117 Nighthawk
Battery operated, dual mono with dual rotary controls on front for gain and capacitance.

I have recently re-tubed my SFP-1 Sig and auditioned some phono stages in the 3,000 range.

I ordered the Nighthawk after hearing it. I was VERY impressed.Nothing I have heard recently is better and I suspect maybe not as good.
I had planned to buy it sans hearing b/c of my experience with Ray's headphone amps.
But a friend bought one 1st so I decided to wait.

The initial order price is only 650.00.

This thing is dead quiet, punchy, great bass , mids, highs, soundstage.

Go to the MOT section of head-fi.org to find out more.
Don't let the price fool you. This is direct from the manufacturer and EASILY equals some of the 3,000 phono stages I have heard.

Mine should get here Wed. or Thurs. so I will post more after more listening.

BTW, Ray uses no capacitors in any of his amps and that may contribute to the incredible lifelike quality and dynamic punch of his products.

linden518
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

Very cool, thanks for the heads-up! I use the Ray Samuels SR-71A portable headphone amp and I haven't heard many other portable amps better than that... so not difficult to believe this new little phono pre from Ray Samuels is great.

tomjtx
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

Hope you get a chance to hear it.

In the few hours of my 1st listen I found it quite addictive.

The nice thing about this buy is that the regular price will be 750.00- 800.00 so I can always sell this down the line with probably no loss. Ray's stuff goes quick on head-fi.

I doubt, however, I'll want to sell

rvance
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

Does he name all his units after supersonic aircraft? Is there an aviation connection in his background?

tomjtx
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels


Quote:
Does he name all his units after supersonic aircraft? Is there an aviation connection in his background?

I can say when you listen you feel your in a jet, 1st class, pampered with sonic lushness.

tomjtx
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

Check out shaizada'a comments on both head-fi and AudioCircle re the Nighthawk.

Seems he went through 6 phono stages in 6 months including the Manley Steelhead and Einstein.
He stayed with the Einstein.
Seems he feels the Nighthawk is as good.Preliminary impression.
Impressive.

tomjtx
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

I spent 6 hours tonight listening to the Nighthawk.

My impression of this kit just gets better and better.

It's hard to accept that so much good sound comes out of such a small package.
I hope someone else from here gives this a try.
With a 30 day trial it's hard to go wrong.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

I did not see a price listed for this phono stage on the RS website. Am I missing something?

tomjtx
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels


Quote:
I did not see a price listed for this phono stage on the RS website. Am I missing something?

Jim, you have to go to head-fi.org to the MOT section.
You will see the Nighthawk there with ordering info.

The intro price is 650.00 plus 18.00 shipping

Add 20.04 to that if you use payPal.
My total was 688.04 with PP.

I ordered Mon. am and had it Wed.am.

Actually since you now know the prices you could just PP his email the info is on his sight.
There are a lot of cool pics on the head-fi site however.

Also just call Ray. He is a great guy.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

Thanks for the heads up. My first new purchase is to be the AKG 702s and then a RS headphone amp.

After that I am going to end the refurbishing of my old Dual 502 with the addition of a Rega RB 301 tone arm.

Next is the purchase of 2 Behringer large capsule tube mics that are stupid cheap at $159 each. Too many little projects starring at me.

That phono stage might be just the ticket for the Dual/Rega combo.

Thanks, again.

Satch
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

Sounds as though your planned purchase of new phones and amp coupled with a nice analog front end might move the sound in that man-cave you talk about a notch or two above the knuckle dragging level. Nothing like a good set of phones when you're sitting at the keyboard, eh?

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

Due to my hearing loss issues I find that I need to use phones more if I really want to hear more of what in in the media. My HF loss is not as noticable with cans, and also why I like Grado cans as nothing can be too bright for me. Still, the AKGs have gotten such great reviews there is no point to not jump in. I am not sure that there is anything in the Grado line that would float my boat as much under $300.00 .

There is great pricing on AKG 701 off Amazon so it is a no-brainer for me to own one great pair of cans. Any time I do recordings anymore I have some friends also do the mastering with me as I do not trust my ears alone anymore.

I will at some point upgrade most of what I have one more time just for the fun of it. I doubt that I will do much more on the digital front other than a great DAC like the Benchmark.

So much gear and so little time.

tomjtx
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

Jim,
I hope you like the AKG 701 or 702.

I have a pair and I like em a lot.

They do need a lot of power to shine.
I have a tube dual monaural Darkvoice 337 headphone amp.
With that the 701 has great bass as well as everything else.

My next experiment is to hook the Nighthawk up to the DV 337 and 701s

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

You really know how to hurt a guy...just when I thought I had my priorites in order you give me some great suggestions. I hate it when that happens. lol

My Phile issue came today and it is killing me as I just HAD to plant some flowers in the front yard for my lovely wife BEFORE I could begin to read it. That is what being married for 40 years will do to you. I am very lucky.

She suffers my hobby so well.

Satch
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

Think about it this way, Jim, if instead of upgrading your gear you had followed the route some do and decided to "upgrade" your wife, you wouldn't be anywhere near as happy. Plant the flowers, the magazine won't know that you neglected it for a while.

tomjtx
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

I'm on day 4 now with the Nighhawk and no decrease in enjoyment.

This is a keeper for me.

ncdrawl
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

I use a Rock Grotto'd musical fidelity XCAN VII...and it is great for the 701s. not much coin either... i think i paid 150 for the amp, and just a tad more for the mods.

http://www.rock-grotto.co.uk/xcanpropage.htm

Buddha
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels


Quote:
You really know how to hurt a guy...just when I thought I had my priorites in order you give me some great suggestions. I hate it when that happens. lol

My Phile issue came today and it is killing me as I just HAD to plant some flowers in the front yard for my lovely wife BEFORE I could begin to read it. That is what being married for 40 years will do to you. I am very lucky.

She suffers my hobby so well.

I hear ya, Jim. After my March issue came my wife hid it and told me she wouldn't tell me where it was until after I laid some pipe.

Us married guys suffer for our art, for sure.

Planting flowers in the front yard, eh? You guys are wild!

tomjtx
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels


Quote:

Quote:
You really know how to hurt a guy...just when I thought I had my priorites in order you give me some great suggestions. I hate it when that happens. lol

My Phile issue came today and it is killing me as I just HAD to plant some flowers in the front yard for my lovely wife BEFORE I could begin to read it. That is what being married for 40 years will do to you. I am very lucky.

She suffers my hobby so well.

I hear ya, Jim. After my March issue came my wife hid it and told me she wouldn't tell me where it was until after I laid some pipe.

Us married guys suffer for our art, for sure.

Planting flowers in the front yard, eh? You guys are wild!

Being single, I got to spend my spring break listening to the Nighthawk.

tomjtx
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Re: Phono stage from Ray Samuels

The Nighthawk just got an award of excellence in Enjoy the Music .com

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