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Portaphile V2 Owners Thread - Page 2

post #16 of 456
I knew it wasn't literal. Given they have the same Hammond enclosure and that resisters, capacitors and such don't weigh all that much, it comes down to the batteries...8 AAA would certainly weigh more than 1 9v. That aside, I do really admire Dr. Xin's work. If I didn't already have the SR-71 the SM would certainly be my choice for all uses.
post #17 of 456
Umm, from the comments, I am going to rule out the SR-71.

I have no doubt that it is a fantastic amp. But the truth is, its over my budget. So I would be extremely worried about losing it. And from the sound of it, its not as portable as the SM/Portaphile.

Maybe 3/4 years down the line, I'll get the SR-71 V3 or whatever for home use.

SM V2 vs PPhile V2...

... ummmm...
post #18 of 456
I can tell you what's wrong with the Portaphile v2. I need to get up and start my day. And here I am still listening to it. I can't shower with it on... What to do?
post #19 of 456
Thread Starter 
Pleconin,

Maybe if you have some cheap open phones just leave em on your vanity/sink and blast them. Should be good enough

Oh yeah - Welcome to Head-fi, sorry about your wallet! (not _too_ sorry though )
post #20 of 456
i have a mk1 portaphyle. i dont know anything about the mk-2, as the mk-1 is nice enough in a portable that im not going to wory about upgrading.
post #21 of 456
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikongod
i have a mk1 portaphyle. i dont know anything about the mk-2, as the mk-1 is nice enough in a portable that im not going to wory about upgrading.
Has anyone or is someone going to do a comparison between the two versions?

What happened to all the people who got them this weekend? How come no one has more to say about their impressions? Also...PICTURES!
post #22 of 456
there are pictures up in the review of the mk1 portaphile.

http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/showt...ght=portaphile
post #23 of 456

Historical reference only

[QUOTE=nikongod]there are pictures up in the review of the mk1 portaphile.

That review and photos are very old. The Mini is no longer available. The exterior shot of the Portaphile (v1) is correct. The new Portaphile V2.0 is not shown, nor are any comments or review of the new amp.

Someone will have to post current pics of the new amp.
post #24 of 456
Here's a pic from my crappy camera phone. Notice the power switch is horizontal, not vertical, so its harder to accidentally flip the switch.
post #25 of 456
Quote:
How come no one has more to say about their impressions?
It's still burning, though the more I listen to it the more I like it. I just noticed that one of the thumbscrews is longer than the other, so that if you mistakenly switch them, you'll have a really hard time putting the cover back on. The longer one goes on the right!

I really like the effect this amp has on my er6i. The shrillness is practically gone, and the bass is now significantly punchier so I can listen at a lower volume. Reminds me of the SM/134.
post #26 of 456
atx, what kind of plugs are you using in that picture for the headphones and the mini-mini?
post #27 of 456
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it looks like what Atx posted Sorry, my friend's digital camera didn't have its memory card so it was useless... maybe I can get hold of a SD reader from someone at work.

Exterior-wise, the chief differences between V1 and V2 are

- V2 has left to right layout 1) output, 2) on/off switch (left=off, right=on), 3) input, 4 volume
- Thumbscrews on V2's back panel for quick removal of battery cover
- No nuts/locks on input/output with V2. Cesar indicated this due to the output jack needing to be sheilded with the extra opamp on the ground channel. The jacks are secured well on the board - this is not a durability issue.

Unfortunately the amp brought out a buzz in my Ety's left driver. Bummer. I can actually hear it faintly unamped, but it's really there with the amp. So I'll need to send them in for warranty service soon.

Honestly after 30-40 hours burnin (it was taken offline @ 3pm yesterday) I can't tell much difference between now and when it was first plugged in. But these caps do require more, maybe at least 100. The sound has filled in nicely, but the bass has only increased by maybe 4-6 dB compared to the EMU 0404 unamped. Am I expecting too much here? Remember I got Etys so maybe I am expecting a bit of a miracle.
post #28 of 456
Thread Starter 
BTW, my thumbscrews are roughly the same length (at least within a millimeter). They appear to be shortened by hand, the cuts on the end indicate they weren't machined to this length.
post #29 of 456

SWEET !!

Ok, my second impression of the Portaphile v2.

I've been interested in headphone amps for only a few months, and since then, I've learned two things: 1) Everything is subjective. 2) Enjoyment and satisfaction are two completely different things.

Having a better amp increases your enjoyment, but not necessarily your satisfaction. With every sound, there's always a "sweet spot" where you reach a sufficient level of satisfaction such that any other sound with higher fidelity will increase your enjoyment, but not your satisfaction. Bass is a good example. If your sound is lacking bass, having an increase in bass will increase your satisfaction, but there's a point where the level of bass reaches an optimum level such that any more addition will do nothing to your satisfaction. Sure, you can use more bass, and it's better, but you're just as satisfied even without the addition. In other words, if an amp increases your satisfaction, it's complementary because it adds something essential to the sound. If an amp increases your enjoyment, but your satisfaction level remains the same, it's supplementary-- it's good to have, but you're just as satisfied without it (e.g. extra bass).

After 30+ hours of burn-in or so, I've come to conclude that the Portaphile V2 is complementary, because it adds something so essential to the sound that listening to music with it is utterly a satisfying experience. What I'm noticing now that I didn't notice before was the wide and deep soundstage. The amp has really opened up in a surprising way. While not as detailed nor airy as the SR71, the Portaphile does have a unique trait that makes it, in some ways, as good as the SR71.

If you can picture a live band playing on the moon in infinite space, this is what the SR71 sounds like. Every notes that gets generated literally disappears into a black void, making the sound "dry" because in the blackness of space, you never hear any reverb or echoes. The notes never hit anything. With the Portaphile, the notes do hit *something*. It doesn't disappear into a void, but instead, there is an emphasis underlying every note that makes it come alive in a 3-dimensional way. Listening to the vocals of Pink Martini's 'The Garden of Sampson and Beasly,' I'm just amazed as to how 'lively' the sound is compared to the SR71. I think this is what Romanee referred to as 'fun.' The SR71 has air and space between you and the singer, but while the Portaphile has less air, it adds a layer of depth that the SR71 does not. Yes, the SR71 sounds clearer and more detailed, but the Portaphile sounds more dimensional !

It's hard to describe what I'm trying to say into words, but even as I'm writing these things, I just remembered Xin's slogan for the Supermacro: "From this tiny beauty, you'll hear macro hall sound with the kind of detail, accuracy and passion you've never experienced yet!" It's extremely ironic that this description for the supermacro fits the Portaphile perfectly !! It's like you're listening to music through a giant hallway, and every musical notes hit those walls and reverberates through your ears-- and mind you, not the kind of reverb that you'll find in cheap DSP effects. It's completely natural.

Listening to Garnet Crow's "Yume o mita atode," I really felt the emotion of the song that I've never experienced before. Every piano key is felt, and the melancholy mood of her voice just seems to reverberate across the room with all the sad weight it can carry. I switched to a live, acoustic version of Stacie Orrico's "Stuck," and for the first time I heard the audience clapping rhythmically along! That is way cool.

Now, I've heard the supermacro with 637s loaded. It sounds great! smooth and silky! but back to what I said about complementary and supplementary. While the supermacro makes the sound better, it does so in a supplementary way, not in a complementary way. When all is said and done, the supermacro produces a re-interpretation of the sound, but it doesn't add anything essential to it-- at least, not the way the Portaphile does. Garnet Crow never sounded better than when I heard it through the Portaphile.

Now comes the SR71. Is it a better amp? In the fact that it has more detail and air, most definitely it's a better amp! Does it bring me additional satisfaction? Well, yes, but honestly, not that much ! Without the sr71, I'll miss that extra air and detail, but really, I won't lose any sleep over it. Then why am I not sending this blackbird back for a full refund? That's a very good question indeed!


Quote:
atx, what kind of plugs are you using in that picture for the headphones and the mini-mini?
The mini-to-mini is the cable that came with the PocketDock. It's great looking but thin, and I'm afraid the sound quality might be compromised, so I ordered a canare interconnect for comparison. I'm a hard skeptic of the idea that cables make a difference. I was using SR225 in that picture. The plug you saw is a monster Y splitter because the Grado's plugs require a 1/4" to mini converter, which is huge and adds pressure to the amp's jacks.
post #30 of 456
Quote:
Originally Posted by atx
Having a better amp increases your enjoyment, but not necessarily your satisfaction. With every sound, there's always a "sweet spot" where you reach a sufficient level of satisfaction such that any other sound with higher fidelity will increase your enjoyment, but not your satisfaction. Bass is a good example. If your sound is lacking bass, having an increase in bass will increase your satisfaction, but there's a point where the level of bass reaches an optimum level such that any more addition will do nothing to your satisfaction. Sure, you can use more bass, and it's better, but you're just as satisfied even without the addition. In other words, if an amp increases your satisfaction, it's complementary because it adds something essential to the sound. If an amp increases your enjoyment, but your satisfaction level remains the same, it's supplementary-- it's good to have, but you're just as satisfied without it (e.g. extra bass).
Great comment!
(but, umm, doesn't that mean you might stop spending money?)
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