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Turns out Cesar is about 10 miles from me; he offered to meet me for an audition!
I've never had the opportunity to sit down with a manufacturer before; looking forward to it - hopefully next week
Thanks, colinharding, for all the info
Hey not a problem, definitely let us know how it goes!!
Would like to provide an update: I actually got to meet Cesar Aguilera (owner of Portaphile) last week.
He brought his own personal amp to my house and loaned it to me for several days; even offering to let me take it on the road for a few. Before picking it up yesterday; we chatted.
Having never written a review before; here goez (sic).
Gotta tell you; this is one heck of a good amp and Cesar is one heck of a great guy!
I tested it using an iPhone 4s, EASE LOD, Westone 4R's (stock cables - haven't gotten around to swapping them out for my Chris_Himself's recable mod) as well as the cans found in my sig.
A-B'ed the 627 against Amped Up's cmoy, FiiO E11 & Gary Ali's PA2V2.
What I noticed was the 627 was appreciably louder with a much broader soundstage (especially on live recordings) and tighter bass than the other amps.
I heard things in the music I had either never heard before or became more expansive as well as defined; eg., the opening of the (live) Eagles "Hotel California".
Please see the attached playlist for the songs I listened to; also the new Paul Simon "Live In New York" album.
I would like to personally thank Cesar for providing the opportunity to audition such a quality product.
My bad; should have read EACE LOD... It's by Dennis Eskens (apologies, Dennis) out of the Netherlands.
Mike of headfonia.com has just reviewed the Portaphile 627.
Can anyone say more about how this sounds compared to the ALO National?
Nice review although I did not find the 627 grainy as stated.
I am really interested in these. It's such a shame I'm in the UK. By the way are there any others out there based on the 627 opamp?
This sounded perfect for my setup, so after reading the over the top review on Headfonia (http://www.headfonia.com/possibly-the-best-the-627/) that compared it very favorably to the SR-71a and the ALO Rx Mk3, I ordered one from Cesar. It should ship out next week, and I will post my impressions when it arrives.
Did you just order it or did you contact Cesar? I sent him an email last week and haven't heard back from him yet. I was really leaning towards the 627 after average joes and mikes review however the battery life kind of changed my mind. Plus in Mikes review he stated:
"627 vs Apex Glacier
I just received the ultra slim Glacier and decides to throw it in this comparison.
The sound quality of the Glacier is very solid and definitely among the best sounding portable amps out there. Single ended, and talking purely on sound quality and ignoring power output (though the Glacier is actually quite powerful), I would immediately rank it as better than the Rx Mk3B’s sound quality (ignoring the balanced features on the Mk3B). The Glacier is very spacious and the detail retrieval is amazing, and the closest to the 627 among all the other amps I compared here. The sound is forward and lively, similar to how the Continental and RX Mk3B are which is quite a contrast from the mellower 627. However when I listen to the sound as a whole, the 627 is far more natural sounding and closer to a big desktop amp. Coherence from top to bottom is top notch with the 627, soundstage is very natural (I’ve said it for a few times now, this is among the best aspects of the 627)."
So he is basically stating that it is closest to the 627 than te other amps that he tested but also with the qualities of the alo amps with a better sq than the RX Mk3B. Although there are not many reviews on it yet that steered me towards the glacier. Plus it has a built in dac.
Let me know how it works out for you. It should be a great amp based on the stellar reviews.
I would try sending another email to Cesar. He did not respond to my first email, but when I resent my message this morning, he responded immediately. So maybe he was having a problem with email. Then once I had some questions answered, I just ordered it on his website. For me the short battery life is not an issue as I have more of a transportable system, and so am often near an outlet to plug in. And my system is already pretty detailed and lively, so maybe a little more mellow will be a good thing
I am sure the 627 will be phenomenal. I just ordered the Glacier and it should be here on Friday as TTVJ just got a shipment in today.
I look forward to your thoughts.
Cesar just responded to my email and I must say he seems like a great guy. He also stated that he should be releasing a 627 with a longer runtime later on this year. I am certainly looking forward to that as that is one of the main reasons I decided to go with the Glacier.