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Portaphile amp reborn!! - Page 3

post #31 of 36
post #32 of 36
Originally Posted by sunninho View Post


Yep, I'd like to see a comparison with the RX3 based on their similar price points, but would like to see comparisons of sound signatures, staging, pairing with high-end cans (HE-6, LCD2, HD800) and noise floor/low volume performance with sensitive IEMs.  Balanced output of the RX3 can't be compared, of course.


Respectfully disagree. The obvious comparison for the Mk3-B is with the SR71B, not the single-ended amps. If you go back and read Skylab's last ever portable amp comparison, after reviewing roughly a hundred portable amps, he put the Triad Lisa III, Stepdance MKI and SR71B in the ring with his LCD-2 and the 71B, after lagging in single-ended mode, pulled ahead as soon as he went to balanced mode. Of course, that's one person's opinion, but I suspect that it sold a truckload of Ray's amps.


Fast-forward to my old sparring partner, Headfonia Mike Alphabet, an outspoken critic of balanced headphone amps (bigger soundstage = poorer imaging - more below):


Like all the other balanced portable amps I’ve reviewed, the Mk3-B does suffer from the same shortcomings compared to the best of single ended portable amps. It doesn’t quite have the composure of high quality single ended amps, the mid range, the soundstage depth, image, and coherence, and so with highly resolving headphones like the HD800, I’d still take the Continental or the L3 over the Mk3-B. I think the sound is a bit grainy and not as clean as the Continental and the Triad Audio L3. I did enjoy the sound of the Mk3-B and HD800 pairing, but I just felt that it’s not the best combination that I’ve heard the HD800 out of.


Again, one person's view, and anyone crazy enough to want to drive the HE-6 from a portable amp has just one choice at this point in time, and its found in Portland, Oregon. 


Compared to the other balanced portable amps in the market, the Mk3-B indeed is the best implementation I’ve found as it really has the guts to drive difficult headphones up to the Hifiman HE-6, while the SR-71B and the PB-2 amps fall short.


Make of that lot what you will - Mike and I havent always seen eye-to-eye, but I dont know anyone who can get gear as quickly as he can. Not sure if Mike can get the Portaphile, but he might be able to give us comparisons with the Continental and the L3.  

Edited by estreeter - 6/9/12 at 7:19pm
post #33 of 36
burn in update: 4hr with iPad >>> CLAS >>> Portaphile 627 >>> CK10

improved clarity, details, bass control vs out of box. Im just starting to hear stuff ...breathing, tongue rolling and piano bench creaking (thought it was a fart at first) and background randomness. It's letting the CK10 do it's thing. Battery just went dead with a click/pop
Edited by NocKM - 6/9/12 at 11:53pm
post #34 of 36

When I had the Portaphile 627 it was by accident that I found out that it ROCKED the LCD-2's. Was at Curbfeeler's place listening to his gear. Yeah he had the LCD-2's. We were both amazed.

post #35 of 36

Coming in late as usual, but has anyone done an in depth comparison of the V2 Maxxed (to the hilt version) compared to the new 627?


I really like my V2 Maxxed and would like to know how much better the new version could possibly sound?  (understanding that the older version is not available any more)


Here's my V2 during the blackout last October.  The coiled microphone cable was a perfect long range FM antenna.  Cans were T-1s with the Senn adapter, and the pic was taken by LED flashlight.


IMG_4678 1024.jpg

post #36 of 36

Going from memory and at my age it is not a good thing wink.gif the Portaphile 627 is more balanced in its presentation. The V2 Maxxed was great in the bass and low mids but the top end was not as open/extended as I liked, the new version is more extended, open, and the soundstage is more open as well. Of course all this from what I recall of the V2 Maxxed I owned a few years ago. Perhaps you could contact Cesar about a loaner/test unit.

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