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Ortofon new portable amp: MHd-Q7 photos, impressions, and review

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I've just completed a review of Ortofon's first portable amp, the MHd-Q7. The review can be found here :-

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/ortofon-mhd-q7/reviews/8297

 

Quick highlights of this amp :-

 

Sound: an extremely transparent airy 3D & wide presentation with a hint of tube-like taste to it.

 

At least to my ears, this rivals the likes of the ALO Rx Mk3 easily. I've found it to be quite a nice compliment to my RWAK100 DAP, and even just with an iPhone/iPad.

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 88
How much does it run and what stores sell it?
post #3 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

How much does it run and what stores sell it?
Good question about international prices cos in the review I converted local Japanese prices to international. I haven't looked at the international Rakuten/Tenso approach yet (since I get the local Japanese Rakuten page instead).

If I'm not mistaken Musica Acoustics already has the portable in their office. Just not on ther web page yet. They already have Ortofon's desktop Hd-Q7 on their page.

I actually like this amp quite a bit. But I've not compared balanced Rx Mk3 vs the SE MHd-Q7 yet.
post #4 of 88

This sounds like a perfect amp for me considering my music collection. I have recently fallen inlove with arrow 4G, paired with my CK100PRO, XBA-4, ER4S and ACS T15. It sounded decent with the ES10. Would you think this amp pairs well with the analytical IEM? 

 

Thanks

post #5 of 88
Thread Starter 

Currently I have this paired with the 1Plus2 which to me is probably one of the most surgical IEMs I've ever heard. It seems to go well. I don't have most of my IEMs left anymore (sold my UM Merlins and SE530x8, and FitEar TG!334) therefore can't really comment in too much detail about those now as it'll have to be based on memory. I can say though that I do not recall any of them not working well with this amp.

 

If I had to use an amp single ended, out of my current collection, SR-71b, Rx Mk3, or the MHd-Q7, based on sonics, I'd actually pick the MHd-Q7 as my first choice. Form factor is a little awkward but just in terms of sound, it has the nice 3D sound that I like. However, the imaging cannot compete with the CLAS -dB balanced with the Rx Mk3 to my ears.

post #6 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

Currently I have this paired with the 1Plus2 which to me is probably one of the most surgical IEMs I've ever heard. It seems to go well. I don't have most of my IEMs left anymore (sold my UM Merlins and SE530x8, and FitEar TG!334) therefore can't really comment in too much detail about those now as it'll have to be based on memory. I can say though that I do not recall any of them not working well with this amp.

 

If I had to use an amp single ended, out of my current collection, SR-71b, Rx Mk3, or the MHd-Q7, based on sonics, I'd actually pick the MHd-Q7 as my first choice. Form factor is a little awkward but just in terms of sound, it has the nice 3D sound that I like. However, the imaging cannot compete with the CLAS -dB balanced with the Rx Mk3 to my ears.

Wow, that is a surprise to me. I should go with 1Plus2 sooner, I was thinking about getting the ACS T1. Kind of confuse, how can an amp have a nice 3D sound yet fail the imaging? Is the instrument position over-exggarated? 

 

Thanks for your input, seems like MHd will suit me right. 

post #7 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbi View Post

Wow, that is a surprise to me. I should go with 1Plus2 sooner, I was thinking about getting the ACS T1. Kind of confuse, how can an amp have a nice 3D sound yet fail the imaging? Is the instrument position over-exggarated? 

 

Thanks for your input, seems like MHd will suit me right. 

 

It doesn't fail in imaging. If that's the interpretation you had from my comment, my apologies, l'll re-word it clearer. It actually has more imaging than most amps in single ended. Here's what I mean. From least imaging to most out of the two amps :-

 

Rx Mk3 Single Ended < MHd-Q7 < Rx Mk3 balanced

 

And by balanced, I mean back end balanced to the DAC. Not to the earphone/headphone.

post #8 of 88

The first time I hold this amp to my hand, I feel the build quality of amp is top notch, dare I say it's better than ALO's amps or many other branded amps in the market right now. The Ortofon feel sturdy and very precision. Perhaps the thickness can become problem for pocket size though.

 

Ortofon's product always impress me how they can produce beautiful and sweet midrange, from their IEM, desktop amp, and now their newest portable amp. For me the main point of this amp is indeed about the beautiful vocal and midrange. It's not overly forward nor laidback. It has a bit airy sensation (far from muddy) that can bring the dynamic sound become more enjoyable.

 

What surprise me is about the bass presentation, I never think Ortofon will make the bass punch can become this good (consider their other product usually have weak bass punch), in this amp is definitely not weak, though not as punchy as RX MK3.

 

What fail to impress me however is the soundstage, no, it's not sounds compress, 2D or too narrow. But when I compare to other good portable amp such Portaphile 627 then I feel the Ortofon just become less spacious and has smaller imaging. The competition is though this day.

 

After try it with some IEM and portable headphone, I like the synergy the most with ESW11 LTD. Midrange lover who want portable set-up should try this combo! bigsmile_face.gif 

 

*If you want to get a very powerful portable amp, you should stay away from this amp. When I paired with Iphone and Beyerdynamic DT770/250, I can reach the max volume easily without exploding my ears. (I'm not type of person who love hearing music very loud)

 

 

Ortofon MHD-Q7


Edited by TheMiddleSky - 1/27/13 at 8:16am
post #9 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

 

It doesn't fail in imaging. If that's the interpretation you had from my comment, my apologies, l'll re-word it clearer. It actually has more imaging than most amps in single ended. Here's what I mean. From least imaging to most out of the two amps :-

 

Rx Mk3 Single Ended < MHd-Q7 < Rx Mk3 balanced

 

And by balanced, I mean back end balanced to the DAC. Not to the earphone/headphone.

No what you wrote was perfect, I just read too quick. Head-fi always brings the inner child out. I get so excited when I read audio-gear reviews. It is 4 am and I have spent the last 4 hours reading about 1plus2 and MHd amp. 

 

Thanks again for your wonderful insight, apperciate it greatly :)

post #10 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMiddleSky View Post

The first time I hold this amp to my hand, I feel the build quality of amp is top notch, dare I say it's better than ALO's amps or many other branded amps in the market right now. The Ortofon feel sturdy and very precision. Perhaps the thickness can become problem for pocket size though.

 

Ortofon's product always impress me how they can produce beautiful and sweet midrange, from their IEM, desktop amp, and now their newest portable amp. For me the main point of this amp is indeed about the beautiful vocal and midrange. It's not overly forward nor laidback. It has a bit airy sensation (far from muddy) that can bring the dynamic sound become more enjoyable.

 

What surprise me is about the bass presentation, I never think Ortofon will make the bass punch can become this good (consider their other product usually have weak bass punch), in this amp is definitely not weak, though not as punchy as RX MK3.

 

What fail to impress me however is the soundstage, no, it's not sounds compress, 2D or too narrow. But when I compare to other good portable amp such Portaphile 627 then I feel the Ortofon just become less spacious and has smaller imaging. The competition is though this day.

 

After try it with some IEM and portable headphone, I like the synergy the most with ESW11 LTD. Midrange lover who want portable set-up should try this combo! bigsmile_face.gif 

 

*If you want to get a very powerful portable amp, you should stay away from this amp. When I paired with Iphone and Beyerdynamic DT770/250, I can reach the max volume easily without exploding my ears. (I'm not type of person who love hearing music very loud)

 

 

Ortofon MHD-Q7

the poraphile are really a desktop amp in disguise. 

post #11 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMiddleSky View Post

The first time I hold this amp to my hand, I feel the build quality of amp is top notch, dare I say it's better than ALO's amps or many other branded amps in the market right now. The Ortofon feel sturdy and very precision. Perhaps the thickness can become problem for pocket size though.

 

Ortofon's product always impress me how they can produce beautiful and sweet midrange, from their IEM, desktop amp, and now their newest portable amp. For me the main point of this amp is indeed about the beautiful vocal and midrange. It's not overly forward nor laidback. It has a bit airy sensation (far from muddy) that can bring the dynamic sound become more enjoyable.

 

What surprise me is about the bass presentation, I never think Ortofon will make the bass punch can become this good (consider their other product usually have weak bass punch), in this amp is definitely not weak, though not as punchy as RX MK3.

 

What fail to impress me however is the soundstage, no, it's not sounds compress, 2D or too narrow. But when I compare to other good portable amp such Portaphile 627 then I feel the Ortofon just become less spacious and has smaller imaging. The competition is though this day.

 

After try it with some IEM and portable headphone, I like the synergy the most with ESW11 LTD. Midrange lover who want portable set-up should try this combo! bigsmile_face.gif 

 

*If you want to get a very powerful portable amp, you should stay away from this amp. When I paired with Iphone and Beyerdynamic DT770/250, I can reach the max volume easily without exploding my ears. (I'm not type of person who love hearing music very loud)

 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 

Ortofon MHD-Q7

 

 

 

I'm surprised that the soundstage didn't impress you. For me the soundstage was very nice, but it was the imaging that probably thrilled me more. I'll have to give the Portaphile 627 a shot one day but only after they've completed the bigger battery version. I understand the current Portaphile 627 lasts for only 4 hours? That's kind of short for an amp-only. Cost-wise too though, the Portaphile 627 is significantly more.

 

Yes agreed about how the MHd-Q7 can't drive high impedance as stated in my impressions.

post #12 of 88
hey its me again, I was wondering by any chance would you know how this will pair with the CK100PRO? 
Edited by audionewbi - 2/9/13 at 7:27am
post #13 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbi View Post

hey its me again, I was wondering by any change would you know how this well pair with the CK100PRO? 

 

OMG. I really wouldn't have a clue, sorry. I don't have a CK100Pro. I could try it at a shop one  day but today I just spent the -whole- day out for the Fujiya show and head-fi dinner. So I won't be going to headphone stores anytime soon.

post #14 of 88
Thanks, hope you had fun:)
post #15 of 88

Here is some picture of the Ortofon inside:

 

 

 

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