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Portaphile amp reborn!!

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

Some years ago, the Portaphile amp came to market with many new and interesting features such as user=friendly internal switches to adjust channel bias, gains, and other sonic features.  The amp also had many advanced electronic features, dual Blackgate caps and a HUGE appetite for batteries--average battery life was about eight hours.  And what did you get out of this?  Phenomenal sound, huge sonic depth and realism and most agreed it sounded as good as or better than a tab letop amp.  Many pages were devoted here--under the thread "Portaphiles Get no Love"---discussing the amp's merits and several threads abotu which  batteries provided the most life, most of us agreeing that the Lithiium Polymer rechargeables were thebest.

 

Then the developer, Cesar Aguiellara could no longer find the Blackgates and production stopped.  Owners lamented the amp's demise but held onto their Portaphiles, proof of which is that you rarely if ever see them for sale on the forums.  Additionally,e ven though he stopped making them, Cesar still provided excellent customer service in maintaining the product

 

How good were these amps??  I've owned two and have also owned every portable amp Ray Samuels makes, three iBassos, three Jan Meier amps including the Stepdance and several Xin SUpermacros.  All except for the Stepdance have been sold.  Still with me is my Portaphile.

 

So much for history.  SOme of us were awaiting another amp from Cesar, called the Shonin, that would use rechargeable batteries and be a bit smaller than the original Portaphile.  Now, Cesar has answered the call and is introducing the new Portaphile.  He has a new website launched--www.portaphile.com-- where there are pictures.  It's smaller, does not have the Blackgate caps, and is about the same size as an iPod.  Has a rechargeable lithium ion--the original Portaphile used a 9v. with no recharging capabiities--but still will only get abouty four hours per charge.  But as Cesar has said, it's all about sound quality not battery life

 

 

 

The amp will not be available until the fall.  But that's OK, it will price a bit higher than the original, which was around $275 or so, but if the new one is anything like the older one in terms of sonic quality, soundstage depth and overall build quality, I'll be in line for one.

 


Edited by tnmike1 - 7/17/11 at 4:20am
post #2 of 36

OPA627. NICE!

post #3 of 36

Interesting... I'm curious how's he's powering 3xOPA627's and 6xBUF634's off a single 3.7V battery.

post #4 of 36
Opamps and buffers have over 20vs from the power supply.
post #5 of 36

The battery is 3.7V... how is he getting 20V from the battery?

post #6 of 36

Hey, I have one of these guys packed away in a zip lock baggy in the office somewhere.  Didn't realize it would be worth anything.  I recall liking it quite a bit before I got into a desktop rig.

post #7 of 36

how did the portaphile compare sonically with Xin's offerings?

post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 

I had owned, in addition to the original maxxed Portaphile, Xin's Supermacro III V6, his Reference and a few others over the years.  All were spectacular amps.  But that said, the Portaphile beat Xin amps in overall soundstage.  They all did a great job of horizontal imagina, left to right, but when listening to symphonies or large choral works--think B Minor Mass--only the Portaphile gave the stage depth and well as breadth.

 

Can only hope the new Portaphile does as spectacularly as the original product.

 

O and plus Cesar responded to questions and problems within a few hours, not the months it took Xin.  Same with any repairs--had the amp back in a few days

post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnmike1 View Post

I had owned, in addition to the original maxxed Portaphile, Xin's Supermacro III V6, his Reference and a few others over the years.  All were spectacular amps.  But that said, the Portaphile beat Xin amps in overall soundstage.  They all did a great job of horizontal imagina, left to right, but when listening to symphonies or large choral works--think B Minor Mass--only the Portaphile gave the stage depth and well as breadth.

 

Can only hope the new Portaphile does as spectacularly as the original product.

 

O and plus Cesar responded to questions and problems within a few hours, not the months it took Xin.  Same with any repairs--had the amp back in a few days


I have high hopes for the new Portaphile and if the price is anything near the $275 quoted above I will buy one. However, the amps by Xin blew the Portaphile IMO. So much so I sold my Portaphile many years ago. Again this is my opinion and your milage will vary. BTW, I am not advocating people try to get a Xin amp since he has not been responsive for years.

 

post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post


I have high hopes for the new Portaphile and if the price is anything near the $275 quoted above I will buy one. However, the amps by Xin blew the Portaphile IMO. So much so I sold my Portaphile many years ago. Again this is my opinion and your milage will vary. BTW, I am not advocating people try to get a Xin amp since he has not been responsive for years.

 


Which Portaphile did you have?

 

I have the V2 Maxxed.  Recently, I found it had very good synergy with my Pico dac and 701s.

 

IMG_0606 1024.jpg

 

post #11 of 36

I had ...

 

PortaphileFrontView.jpg

 

InteriorTopView.jpg

 

PortaphileSideView.jpg

post #12 of 36

Hi Miguel, do you have pics of the bottom of that amp?  Not sure if that's a Maxxed with LT1210 or just a V2^2.
 

post #13 of 36

Hi Cesar, I had the maxed version unfortunately I did not take a picture of the bottom board.

 

BTW, would it be wrong if I spoke of the OP627 version … eek.gif

post #14 of 36
Speak away my friend, I think there's officially two 627's in the USA at moment, including the one you have. Average_joe has the other one. Most of the amps I've built to date have gone to Japan.
post #15 of 36

I will later today, as the unit is burning in at the moment.

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