Emmeline "P-51 Mustang"
The P-51 Mustang, magic enclosed in a miniature shell ...
The latest portable, or rather ultra-portable, amplifier from Ray Samuel Audio. Despite its minute size, it is actually a feature packed amplifier.
Some of its features include:
1. 3-way gain selector
2. Built-in lithium ion rechargeable battery
3. Anodized metal case
It is the smallest amplifier in the RSA line-up but it does not scrimp on the sound quality. More about the sound quality later in the review, I will start off with the aesthetics.
It is styled in the same way as other RSA amps. It is enclosed in a beautiful anodized metal case and with a myriad of colours to choose from. The anodized metal case feels extremely well built and can probably take a serious beating.
For this review, I used the following IEMs to listen to this amplifier.
1. Etymotics ER4S
2. Westone 3
3. JVC Marshmallows + PtoS Cable
Treble: The high of the Mustang is smooth, well extended but yet highly detailed. This blend makes the P51 a rare detailed and musical amplifier. I was very impressed with the highs of the P51, it brought out the details on the Westone 3 previously hidden and refines the highs of the W3. It also had the same effect with the ER4S but not to such a great extent as the W3. More details did not really appear on the JVC Marshmallows but the laid back highs of the Marshmallows became more engaging to listen to.
Mids: The mids is extremely lush and liquid, almost tube like. This lushness does not however, constitute to it being a warm amplifier.
This aspect of the amplifier makes all 3 earphones more engaging to listen to. It brings out the fun in all 3 earphones even though there is a hint of the amplifier being marginally analytical.
Bass: The Mustang's bass is deep and controlled with little bloat. It refines both the W3 and Marshmallow’s bass, making the bass more controlled and giving it a tighter, more lifelike sound.
Bass with regards to the ER4S, is brought out with the amplifier. However, the quantity of the bass is still not as much as the W3 ot Marshmallow. But with this bass, the ER4S became more enjoyable to listen to.
Soundstage: The soundstage of the Mustang is very wide. In my opinion, wider than that of the predator. This enables IEMs to have better imaging.
Transparency: This amplifier is very transparent albeit no to the same flat level of the iQube. It has just a kiss of warmth (but it is still very neutral) with the details makes music very engaging to listen to.
Conclusion: I really could not believe such refinements could be provided by an amplifier that small. Personally, i prefer it over other RSA amplifiers. I feel that the amplifier is of very good value as it has rather good synergy with a large amount of earphones. I was in disbelief when i tried it with the JVC Marshmellows + PtoS adapter, the synergy is absolute and made the JVCs sound fabulous.
Big Sound, Small Shell.
I personally do not appreciate the sound signature of the W3 but with this amplifier, the excellence of the W3 just shines.