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