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Portaphile Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by poimandres, Jan 28, 2013.
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  1. audionewbi
    I posted this in the other thread, I will do so here as well:
    I am not just bumping an old thread for no reason , some of you might have noticed that Cesar has announced the future release of his Shohin amp back in may. Specwise I have no idea what is inside it and I have not opened it yet. I will leave those information for later as I want to first listen to this unit without any part bias.
    The model I currently have is not the final product, i am just listening to this unit for give a final feedback on the unit. Size and how the model looks is infact the same as the Portaphile micro. 
    The picture above looks identical to the model I currently have in my possession, I will take some pictures during the weekend.
    Early sound impression:
    When I get a new gear I take 6 IEMS out, I will mention why later in my longer proper review (if it comes to that stage): Kaede II, K3003, EX1000, Ortofon eQ-8, IM04, Dita Truth.
    First thing that stands out is it has a particular strong emphasis on treble and higher frequency yet the lower end remains very compact and never suffering from any midbass bloat. The soundstage is not vast and remains more inline of 627x. It really depends on what IEM you are using, paired with Kaede II the classical music had a larger enough soundstage but on its own this amp remains neutral when it comes to soundstage. Unlike Wagnus Epsilon S which just has a larger 3D sound that just tries to show itself regardless of what IEM we are using. 
    It feels like this amp maintains the bass quality of 627x but the quantity has increased a few db with bass but the treble energy is considerably more. I will not consider this a V shaped sounding amp as the midrang is inline with bass, it has a very forward sound due to the more treble emphasis.It makes 627x sound dull. I have never heard my Kaede II and IM04 sound this good, in particular IM04 which is an IEM that I disliked for how its lacks treble spark.
    IEM pairing:

    I just disliked the pairing with K3003, the tuning is off. 
    Dita Truth, I always complained that with the wrong source/amp the wondering decay of Dita can come across as woolly, just very loose bass but with Shohin it just sounds right but brighter recording sound bright/sibilant. 
    Kaede II: Too soon to call it but I am willing to say it, this is the best amp that I have heard for Kaede II. Treble detail and extension is out of the scale (will not really but you get my excitement). I try to make it sound sibilant but it doesnt, this is the magic of Kaede II engineering, it will sound bright but not sibilant (at least not for me).
    ATH IM04: I always complained about the lack of treble extension, lack of proper sub-bass, despite the BA no speed, instrument separation average but with Shohin all that changes. The treble gained the extension that I never managed to get no matter how hard I tried. I even tried to change cable for IM04 and out of my Chord HUGO with the new cable IM04 sound remained the same. Different story with Shohin. IM04 transformed to a much more expensive IEM sound. Part of the treble reminds me of the EX-1000 (without the harsh 5 khz peak)
    I could not listen to the other IEM as battery ran out, more to come later. 
    What I wish for: lower low gain setting. 
    The gain at low setting produce no hissing noise at all while I turn the volume knob, also no hissing is produced when I turn the knob however I feel the gain might be high for sources where the lineout is loud . The high gain just produce hissing at the lowest setting and I really don't know what that high gain is aimed for as I do not see anyone to use an amp of this size with harder to drive IEM. Perhaps it is wiser to reduce lower gain and just add 2 db to the current lower gain setting of Shohin, That is my wish but I don't know if that might alter the sound.
    Will I say this is an amp for treble head, maybe, yes maybe but I rather would describe is as a revealing amp and for most cases anything which is classed as revealing. Revealing of what? For now I will say the song itself. Quick listening of the same song from both my NWZ A16 walkman and Lotoo PAW Gold produce the same microdetail however LPG produced a better dynamic ranger but that is just better dynamic ranger, I was able to pick up the same faint breathing that I hear in the track (eyes shut-Nocturne in C minor from the album The chopin project ). 
    I guess at its current status it will not offer the same universal performance as something like the objective 2 amp or better the Meier Audio Quickstep (which is the same size and has the wider soundstage). 
  2. Shini44
    hey guys try to comment about the Shohin un the Shohin's thread ^^  i did post there as well :p  

    i know this is a portaphile thread, but i don't want the other thread to stay dead :/ 
    yet ofc you have the right to post here what ever you want, i am just saying . 
  3. Shini44
    Shohin – Preordering Now is Open , and you save 100$ !! only for the 1st 20 amps pre-orders, 399$ for now, then 499$ in 6-8 weeks.
  4. Sound Eq
    how well does the 627 drive audeze lcd2 rev2 pre-fazor
    how does it compare to alo mk3 B in regards to bass 
    does the 627 have a bass boost adjustment
  5. Sound Eq
    y not so well with lcd2
  6. audionewbi
    New flagship coming out in 6-9 months, code name: Portaphile NOK
  7. Shini44
    ouch, too bad i don't use CIEMs anymore, and i have HE-6, i doubt this will be good for it :< power etc T_T
    still portahile offered the best portable amp i had of all the times, its better than pico power itself. 
    so far now the best for the amp for the price and quality (desktop wise) is the Liquid Carbon, and its only for 600$, also some said its on par with Audio Gd Master 9 itself, they gonna do another run, soon too. 
    i highly doubt that any 1k USD amp can overcome this LC, and i am a big fanboy for portaphile so i hope this new amp will prove me wrong, cause i won't say no for a new king around this price tag :D 
  8. db02922
    Hi all
    Just wondering if anyone in the UK has had any trouble with goods being held up in UK Customs after ordering from the US? I am in this thread only because Cesar sent me my new Micro on 3rd May.  It arrived in the UK on 5th May but according to the tracking info it has been with Customs since then.  I am wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and can give me any idea how much longer I might have to wait and whether I will need to pay VAT and import duty before they will release it?  I can't ask the courier (USPS - whose scheduled delivery date according to tracking was today incidentally) as they insist you go back to the seller for international shipments, but I can't see what Cesar can do if the amp is stuck over here.  It doesn't seem that easy to contact Customs either.  I'm also assuming that the package should be handed to a UK courier for final delivery but as I don't know which one I don't seem to have anyone I can go to.
    Any advice greatly appreciated - all was going well but seems to have stumbled at the last hurdle!
    Kind regards
  9. Sound Eq
    liquid carbon is not portable at all so this amp might have a different objective for people buying it
  10. hqssui
    David, You probably would have already done this. But did you try Royal Mail tracking (with USPS tracking num)?  What's the last update there?
  11. audionewbi
    Why not call the postal office? I think they might be wanting there VAT fees.
  12. Shini44
    oh i though that the desktop amp is about to come. man so many portable options with portaphile :p 
    now i am too curious about how will it sound CIEM wise, but i sold my portable rig sometime ago T_T
  13. upstateguy
    +1 for making the best portable amp ever........
    My vote goes to the Portaphile V2 MAXXED.  No other portable amp has come close to it for versatility, sound quality, small size and a single, user replaceable battery.
    And I've heard the Pico amp. I liked the Portaphile's sound better and the V2 has a user replaceable battery... the Pico didn't.  After a number of years, there's a lot of AC only Picos around, sure you can send it back to Justin for a new battery, but with the V2, you just pop in a new rechargeable 9V.
    I have used the PMaxxed for everything.  It has been my go to amp when the power goes out... (taken by flashlight during a hurricane, listening to weather reports on the FM radio in the Fuze and using my DiffMaker cable as an antenna.  Picked up stations 42 miles away with no trouble.
    Using V2 maxxed with a bedroom TV and my first DAC, a DAC-AH
    Using the V2 with a Constantine Plus DAC
    comparing the difference between the Portaphile and Hornet with T1 headphones (Winner V2Maxxed )
    Portaphile Vs. the O2...  now that was a tough one.  Overall the sound was close, but I felt the O2 had more resolution, But and this is a really big But, the O2 was much bigger, heavier and needed 2 9V batteries.  Winner V2 Maxxed.
    Portaphile V2 MAXXED compared to a 627 and O2 with Pico DAC  [627, O2 and V2 Maxxed had different sound signatures. But the 627 didn't have a user replaceable battery and the O2 was way too big and heavy to carry around. 
    So, after all these years, still the greatest, most useful, best sounding portable ever, the Portaphile V2 Maxxed.
  14. db02922
    Thanks audionewbi and hqssui for your replies.
    Good shout about trying the tracking number with Royal Mail - it seems Parcelforce now have my amp but it looks like they won't release it for delivery until I have paid the VAT and import duty.  They will send me a letter (what century are we in again?) detailing the charges.  The waiting is hard, but hopefully I should soon know what all you good people are so enthusiastic about!
  15. northendjazz
    You can cut out the letter stage and save a day, when the tracking shows it at you local depot ring up with your tracking number and ask to pay the charge. I'm in the same situation my Portphile v2^2 is one the way back from Cesar, it went for repair to the dc input, but the chance to upgrade the op amp's to 627's was to good to miss. So its now its a desktop amp dc power only and on should be delivered friday.
    Impressions to follow. 
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