*UPDATE* REVIEW: 21 "Mainstream" portable amps. GoVibe MAGNUM added.
May 7, 2007 at 5:45 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 162

oicdn

Headphoneus Supremus
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The formatting of this thread is:
  • The impressions of each amp.
  • Then the rankings on a cumulative level, although SQ based, it's not the sole reasoning, as you can find that out from most every review out there. With portables, I believe practicality plays a HUGE HUGE role.
  • After the rankings are the reasoning behind why they're sitting where they are, so if you want to find out why say, the TH is ranked 5th, you have to go to it's respective placing following the rankings. So when this is updated, you have to find where it is in the ranking to find out why I placed it where I did. I feel this keeps everything in perspective.

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This is going to be semi-formal. Most people can read about the soundstage and other qualities, but I thought I'de chime in for those who are looking for a FUN amp not so much refrencey. I think javier can agree with me here, when we were listening to some various equipment, our perception of what posters thought GREATLY varied.

Here are the culprits apprehended:

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Updated the pics to color ones....

I will tell you those RP21's.....are INSANELY GOOD. Airy-ness of DT990, with bass slam of a DT770. It has PUNCH, but not bloat. It's what was used when comparing everything...that and UM2s. All coming out of an Echo Indigo DJ, and occasionally an iMod...but for this review, everything was coming out of the Indigo DJ.


Go Vibe 6:
Well, this makes for a great amp. It's not as small as a Tomahawk, but it was the smallest amp tested. Since alot of people are familiar with the V5, I'll just say the differences are minimal. There's more airy-ness, and the extension is cleaner/more evident, but the bass isn't as pronounced. It is however, loads cleaner. Otherwise, it's the same great amp!!!! The knob isn't as tight feeling as his GV5, but that might vary from amp to amp, I dunno. All in all, this is a contender, especially if you're on a budget. Don't write this beast off simply because of it's price. It can DEFNITLY hang with the big boys.


Porta-Corda:
This amp was a shocker. I was listening to this after a TH, and was stunned at how good it was. When it was purchased, it was $160, and I must say, it's a damn steal. The soundstage is immense for it's price, and it has a tad more mids than the GV6, a LITTLE better punch, but it sounds airy-er. More or less, it's more referencey than the GV6, but it's damn ugly looking. And big. It's not heavy, it's just ugly. And you can't readily look at the amp and know where you put the line n and headphones. You have to decipher some arrows and shapes. I didn't even ask or play with the middle switch. The volume knob is ultra stiff. Stiff to the point of annoyance. It was also too small for how stiff it was. And when you had everything plugged in, it was a tad of a hassle of change the volume. The click to turn it on took alot of effort in comparision to the click to turn on a GV5 knob.


TTVJ Millet:
I absolutely LOVE analog sound. And coming to the meet, I was expecting to want to shoot myself for loving such an expensive amp. Turns out, it WASN'T my cup of tea. The things you read about the whacking it, I couldnt (and didn't want to) whack it to hear the ping sound, but when you remove ANY jack, IC or headphone, you hear a ring. There's also a SUPER LOUD thump when you turn it on, regardless of volume setting. Although I didn't listen to them with Ety's, I can already tell, it takes the edge of the sharpness. The amp sounds so rounded, but IMO, not so much tubey, as it did warm and relaxed. I listened to "Jet - Look what you've done" which sounds AMAZING on vinyl but it wasn't anything to write home about when I listened to it on the TTVJ. It didn't seem to do anything except make it warm. There's bass extension, but it doesn't hit you at all. It's like you hear the frequency, but you don't FEEL it. The mids on this amp is where this thing excels. I just didn't like it with any of the cans that were there (990's, HD600'5, 650's, K501,s RP21). Don't get me wrong, it sounded fantastic, just not my cup of tea, nor was it what I was expecting. Match this up with Grados or Ety's and you've probably got some crazy synergy. I just didn't like it.


Ray Samuels Tomahawk:
I love this amp. Thankfully, it's not the most expensive of the bunch. With UM2's, it's crazy nice synergy. It had punch, extension and bass. The soundstage made the UM2's actually sound large. In comparo to other amps it was SLIGHTLY veiled when compared to the Corda, or the TTVJ, but nothing worth saying (this thing is veiled), more or less a slight nuance or sound signature. But the energy this little amp envokes is so sweet. If you want a fun amp that has the ability to get very tech, this is it. The punch and bass just blows me away. The RP21's sounded fantastic with this amp, but not as good as UM2's. I dunno what was up with my last tomahawk listen, but it sounded like crap (broken maybe?), and made me wonder why it was such a phenom. Listening to mrarroyos made me think twice. I want this amp.


Ray Samuels SR-71:
You can definitly tell this is made by the person as the TH. The sound is so identical, it's rediculous. Even the SLIGHT veil is there, although it is cleaner sounding. It just has a bit more extension in both directions. The bass hits hard, although, considering the size differential, I was honestly expecting a bit more since people are always talking about how much better the SR71 is over everything else. Not really...this amp, and the LaRocco were the only amps that REALLY responded to silver vs. copper cables. You could VERY VERY VERY slightly tell the differences between say an ALO cable, and another copper cable. But you could DEFINITELY tell the difference between his six shooter and my Cryo-copper mini.


LaRocco PRII:
The Blue one was broken in (vorlon1's) while the silver was so-so broken in. The differences were very minute, not worth mentioning. For bassheads, this amp EXCELS!!!!! The bass knob, for those wondering, is VERY SUBTLE. It's nothing like a bass-knob on like you car where the differences are huge between minimum and maximum, the knob on the LaRocco is VERY subtle. You can hardly tell the difference if a heavy note isn't hitting, but when it does, YOU NOTICE. I would say it doesn't increase the bass so much, more like it adds PUNCH. Yeah it's increased, but it's more punchy than anything as the bass doesn't get bloated like with most bass controls. This amp is everything you could want in an amp. I would say I want this more than the TH, but will I buy one? Probably not. It's too damn expensive, and the sound difference aside from being UBER crisp and clear from the TH(that slight veil isn't there), is minor, and not worth the extra coin. The TH does sound grainy by comparo, but not to the point of me dropping THAT much coin. But if they were close in price, LaRocco hands down and I would never look back, or look for another amp. The quality alone is amazing on that beast. I really want one, but I think the only way I'll get one is if I find it used and it's from somebody dying...cause I don't know anybody in thier right mind who would let one of these go.


*Mister X XP w/AD8397:
This amp is was honestly a skeptical purchase. I couldn't understand the hype with everybody surrounding this DIY amp. And although I was going to buy the version everybody else bought, I asked told him my situation and what he recommended. He recommended the 8397 over the 6120(?) because it's more aggressive. So much more power hungry and aggressive, the battery life goes from 30hours.......to 8 hours, lol. So, he sold me one in a plastic case, without a recharging circuit. So sound wise, it was the same amp, but price wise it was cheaper. 3 days later, it shows up on my doorstep. I turn it on and was amazed. One thing this amp has that no other amp has is BASS EXTENTION. The RSA variants have bass IMPACT, but no amp has this much extension. You can hear the DEPTHS of any bass note. It may not impact you in your chest (theoretically speaking), but you can FEEL the notes. Transitioning over to this amp, everything is VERY liquidy, almost all smeared together. But you can make out the separation in everything, and depending on how good the recording is, almost pinpoint the location of each instrument. Which is why this amp gives you a wierd feeling, it's SOOOO smooth, but the seperation is impeccable. It is a nice feeling, I just had to get used to it. The mids are SLIGHTLY veiled. VERY VERY slightly...almost not worth mentioning, but it wouldn't be fair to not mention it. I dunno what better terminology, recessed isn't quite right, as they're there, but it sounds like something is veiling them, but ONLY the midrange. But it's VERY miniscule.


*Echo Indigo DJ:
Kinda doesn't count, but nobody really gave it a review. And this one will kinda be funky because well, it's not really a portable amp per say...but with a laptop, it's WAAAAAYYYY better than the HP out. The amp on it really EXPOSES the recording.. If it's crap, all you will hear is crap. It does ABSOLUTELY NO COLORING TO THE SOUND. Which I feel is what an amp is for, add it's signature to the sound sig, in order to synergize with YOUR headphone choice. Some may disagree, but I think you should find what makes your cans SHINE. This amp is VERY VERY flat, and does all the frequencies VERY nicely. There is no veil, there is nothing, it's a CLEAR representation of the source. This amp is really what it's supposed to be, a volume knob. It does nothing else. Which is good for those who feel the amp should do nothing but amplify the signal. Really shows you what your cans are. FWIW, when I had my 250ohm DT770's, it drove them with AUTHORITY. It drives my UM2s and RP21s with ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY....cept, it's so flat and neutral, it's not an engaging sound...for me atleast. I won't rank it because it's kinda more or less for those who were curious about how it sounds. FWIW, I was pleased with it's performance when I've been ampless...it's also what I've used as a basis for how much coloration and how the amp actually performs because this amp is DEAD NEUTRAL.


*Ray Samuels Hornet M
This amp IMO sounds VERY VERY VERY similar to the Move. The one noticeable thing is it sounds slightly colder, and a little grainier. Albeit, to me it sounded smoother than an SR71 and the TH. The bass impact is only SLIGHTLY behind that of the Move, but much more than the other RSA variants. The treble extension is great, and you can hear the decay very well. The mids aren't quite as smooth as I was expecting, but it's still very good. The soundstage is great on this little amp, but it's not as wide as an SR71. I can see why alot of people use this particular amp as a baseline. Also, I noticed the gain settings on this amp ARE infact equal in terms of SQ difference between eachother. On the TH, the low gain setting sounded weak and unengaging, whereas the gain setting on the Hornet actually just decreases/increases the volume. Nice. Now I know it's not psycho acoustical seeing as how there is no differences on the Hornet. I wonder why it varies on the SR71 and the TH??? But the amp is black on all settings. There's a little hiss on the high gain setting, but you really have to listen for it. The ergonomics on the amp are great, as everything is on the front, the volume knob is of decent resistance and the jacks are spread apart from everything nicely.


*Corda Move(Corda 2Move)
Since the Corda 2Move uses the same amp circuitry as the Move, this serves as also a 2Move review. I was going to wait a bit on the review of this little gem, but after all the hours I logged on it (been on and playing music since I got it earlier this week), the sound hasn't changed...This amp is a little funky. I was expecting it to be really good, but not quite as good it was. It definitly is a warm amp, but is still transparent. The impact on this amp edges out everything in the review thus far. Both quantity and quality of the bass is immense. I played around with all the settings and liked it the way it came from the factory with the crossfeed switching depending on the songs as it makes some songs sound good, and others....meh. The soundstage is wide on this, and as stated, seems to be very up front. The treble extends very high, as does the bass. The mids are about on par with the hornet. The amp isn't as pretty as the Hornet, and I think it's because of both its size and the symbols on front. Although, the Corda beats the Hornet in that it doesn't have yucky screws on the back plate. Like stated, in USB mode, it loses a little punch, and sounds very similar to the XP. This little amp is a rediculous value, and is a great option for those who have a laptop since you have it all in once package.


update 11/9
*RSA Hornet (non-m original)
This amp a considerable amount of burn-in. Original owner said approx 300 hours. I burned it in an additional 240 hours. So it's burned in. The one thing about this amp is how FOREWARD it sounds. VERY upfront, more than any amp I've listened to, and a tad on the bright/sparkly side. Essentially, what I feel the M-Mod did was tone it down, and make it sound a little more akin to the SR71, more reserved. The amp sonically sounds the same as the M, but more aggressive. Some think it's too aggressive. When this amp first came out, I think Ray listened to what people were saying about it being too aggressive, made the mod, and times have changed since, and now people want more aggressive, which is exactly what this amp is...aggro as heck. This amp is definitly punchier, more aggressive and has more bass than any of the amps in this review(thus far). The close second, being the Portaphile MAXXED with all the switches "on". The amp is a little grainy, as per all RSA amps are, but that's only when in comparison to amps when A/B'd. It lacks a LITTLE bit of detail as compared to the M-Mod(again, only noticeable when A/B'd), but the aggressiveness of this amp more than makes up for it. By far the punchiest amp out there. I actually bought this amp in curiousity of the M-mod difference. I needed another amp, and wanted a pretty one, and apparently, my money got lost in the mail for my Headsix, so I wanted to give this a shot(but mostly, curiousity). Essentially this is exactly what I was looking for...a pretty amp, small and aggressive.


*Portaphile V2^2
This amp was a loaner from a fellow head-fier (Thanks TNMike!!!). I've always wanted to give a Portaphile a go round, but it seemed like there were either never any for sale, or when they were available, I had no money, lol. This amp is pretty much a smoother Hornet original. It definitly is a bass lovers amp for sure. I would say quantity is MAYBE on par with the Hornet non-m, but it's not quite as, I dunno, defined? It's not as aggressive. The sound sig of this amp is pretty tube like with it being so smooth. Borderline dry for me, but definitly warm sounding. The details seem a bit liquidy to me, a little hard to seperate, but the seperation is definitly there. Kinda like the Move, hard to explain. Must be the smoothness. BUT, here's the downfall. With it maxxed, there's a hiss with lower impedance phones. From UM2s, to KSC75 ro my Mallows, I hear a hiss. It's not a HUGE hiss, but it's definitly noticeable. I'm not wild about the aesthetics of the amp, or the seemingly long profile of everything (long case, long switch, long volume pot), but the amp serves it's purpose very well and is SOLID. If I didn't have the Hornet already, I would deifnitly snag one of these up.


update 12/13
*iBasso D1
The amp sounds really similar to the Move in the terms of soundstage and presentation. A very smooth amp. The amp excels in the midrange. The treble seems a bit bright to me, especially when back to back with some other amps. The bass on this thing is fairly large, seems to lack a little of the oomph I like in my music, but it still has plenty of impact. However, it seems a little congested. Like the soundstage is large, but it seems to get a little overwhelmed on faster paced music. For what it's worth, this amp is reversed of the Move in that it sounds IMPECCABLE when used a DAC, but as a standalone amp, it's flaws show. Everything is exponentially better when used as a DAC. When you roll the opamps, AD8656 in the DAC (replacing the AD8616), LM4562 (2) as a buffer in the Amp (replacing the NE5532), OPA2111 in the Amp (replacing the AD823) the sound is exponentially increased even more. I would say it betters every amp in this review with the exception of the PRII and Voyager when used as a DAC when the opamps are rolled. However, the slight flaw, is it still seems to have an issue with faster paced music with complex lines and MANY MANY instruments. Not classical, but of the electronic variety. It's nowhere near as noticeable, but I could point it out when I was rolling the opamps. The negative is, this thing is so damn huge. It miniscules a PRII. Well, heck just look at the pics. It's heavy as heck too. Also, when you plug it in, there is a LOUD thump. Otherwise, nice amp.


*Graham Slee Voyager
One word can only describe this amp. WOW. I was a bit skeptical from all the hype around this amp. Especially with it's aesthetics. Honestly, this amp looks like a fairly budget DIY amp, from the knob, to the case, to the cuts in the side by the switches. The top label however depicts what everything is very well. But the amp is SOLID SOLID SOLID. But lets get past that. The sound on this thing is AMAZING. IT IS BY FAR THE BEST AMP IN THIS REVIEW as it currently sits. From clarity, to soundstage, to seperation and the entire frequency range...a shame the amp is a bit expensive for the aesthetic flaws this amp has. But again, the sound on this is ridiculous. The most mentionable thing is when the contour switch is off, it is EXTREMELY balanced and neutral. It really reveals any flaws in your recording, and is amazingly detailed. The immense change occurs when you hit that switch. The bass is HUGE. I'm talking, even on a K501, the bass gets LARGE. On DT770's, the cans literally vibrate. It's the kind of visceral bass you get from a PA system bass box. It's odd, cause it's still tight and detailed, but it's HUGE and impactful as hell. You want to think bloated, but on tracks with really fast and DEEP bass, it's still tight an accurate, it's just HUGE. If you don't like HUGE bass, I would NOT recommend turning that switch on, lol. Although with that switch on, it's nowhere near neutral, it's still clean and nothing gets muffled, distorted or overshadowed, it just gets impactful and large. No amp comes close to it in performance, even the mighty PRII. It's only detractor is it's aesthetics, and obviously it is larger than other amps. When paired with my imod, it sat pretty flush as far as footprint goes. You can't really do much about the price : aesthetics(fairly expensive for a plastic case, even if it's solid as a brick), but this amp is ALLLLLLL business. Definition of a sleeper for sure.


update 1-26
Xin SuperMicro IV(SMIV)
Lets start off with the treble: Precise and SNAPPY. You really hear decay of even a drumstick hitting the rim. It's great, not dry, yet not bland...it's in a nice sweet spot. It's airy, and you can really hear details well... mates with Grados really well without being fatiguing. High Piano notes sound very nice. Pretty forward sounding Mids. Again another nice sweet spot. It has a nice attack that a lot of amps lack, however, it still doesn't JUMP out at me like some of your other amps did. Lower mids are nicely detailed and fairly organic sounding, but something is off. I don't know what it is, but something doesn't sound quite right.... Not a basslovers amp, but it does have a decent amount of punch and organic feeling. This amp can extend fairly low, actually, lower than a lot of amps I've heard, it just doesn't have the PUNCH I feel should accompany this amps low reaching ability...nothing to write home about, but very clean and articulate. VERY smooth bass.

The soundstage and transparency is I think this is where Xin concentrated a lot of his energy. It's a VERY spacious sounding amp, more than most everything out there sans MAYBE the Voyager and Reference. There's really nothing more to say about it other than I think this will probably be the best imaging you can get for the dollar. Transparency is good and holy crap is it transparent and neutral, but I feel this amp is really deserving some somebody who uses an iMod with lossless files, otherwise, this amp will absolutely rip apart your recordings. Not forgiving at all. Some recordings that I thought were clean rips, sounded slightly dirty....but meh, what can you do... Ergonomics wise, it's kinda a PITA to mate with anything because of the way it's an in and out kinda amp, where it feels like your line in and headphone jack are touching, lol. It makes for an awkward set-up in your pocket. And on the desktop, it made the surface area that my cords laid pretty expansive because the amp is virtually the weight of a AAA battery. It kind makes the amp not feel as small as it really is because of how your cords are positioned, both in a portable environment and desktop. Right angle jacks alleviate this a little, but it's still awkward.


Xin Reference
Sounds VERY VERY close to the SMIV. Maybe a smidge less detailed so I don't feel like I'm analyzing much. A little softer on the ears as well with brighter cans. VERY punchy mids. Sometimes I had to really listen to know if it was punchy bass or just punchy forward mids. Sometimes the mids kinda overshadowed everything, but in a good way. It makes for a VERY fun listen. Pretty engaging, and I liked how it reproduced piano. Eh, if it weren't for the punchy mids, I would swear I was listening to a SMIV in a hammond case in the Bass dept. It sounds just as organic and smooth as the SMIV, but a tad weightier (not punchier), but I honestly probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference if it weren't A-B'd and/or I was blind testing if the song didn't have a prominent bassline. Like if it were a rock song, I would be hard pressed to tell the difference based SOLELY on the bass.

Soundstage and transparency....It's probably a SMIDGE more transparent than the XMIV, but it sounds warmer for sure. The soundstage is on par with the SMIV and Voyager, I felt like I was being immersed in the music, yet, could pinpoint everything with extreme accuracy. Although, it seemed as both the SMIV and reference both lost these qualities as the volume was turned up. So if you're a loud listener, you lose quite a bit of this smoothness and transparency. It seems the Xin amps are low volume listening amps in this regard atleast...


Go Vibe Petite
I know already “reviewed” this amp, but it's in direct comparison to the Xin products, ALSO, it's had significantly more burn-in and I was able to see the battery life.

The treble is a little drier than the Xin variety, and not as detailed, but still able to knit pick a tracks highs. Decay and snap are on par with Xin and Voyager quality without being fatiguing. Still the -ch and -s sounds are a little more sharp than other amps, but it's not annoying, more or less a little nuance of the amp. You can pick out that the amp favors the frequencies in those sounds. The mids still very forward, and punchy. Very aggressive sounding but smooth. REALLY makes Grados sing. Rock is absolutely spectacular on this amp, even more so than the Reference's aggressive mid range. It's impact and punch are fantastic. The bass is a strong suit of this amp. A very nice nice hitting quality. Although, in comparison to the References bass it sounds SLIGHTLY grainy when turned up in HIGH volumes. At regular listening volumes, they sound on par...

The smoothness, in comparison sounds slightly unrefined and very slightly grainy, but christ, the Xin amps strong suit is transparency and soundstage. Where the Xin amps eat the Petite in soundstage, the Vibe makes up in fun sound and punch. Also, the Petite seems fairly linear in this regard where the Xin amps seem to degrade a little as the volume goes up...


update 02/01
Lisa III
This amp is surprising. Well, not really considering the feedback it gets here. It sounds VERY VERY transparent and neutral. The soundstage is HUGE and sonically is VERY VERY smooth. It sounds a little smeared IMO. Don't get me wrong, I can hear everything, but it's akin to how the XP is, really really smooth, yet, sounds a little smeared because it's so liquidy smooth. I'm not sure what to make whether I like it or not coming from amps that sound I dunno, grainy isn't the word, but not as smooth. The treble extension, coming from the Petite and Voyager sounds a little less sparkly. Not quite as "sharp" sounding it seems, even on Grados. The mids are REALLY REALLY smooth. Vocals sound really great, but it sounds a bit "fake". I can't seem to describe it, but it doesn't sound as "real" to me. Sounds a bit "recorded" in a sense. But what's wierd is, how organic and real the bass sounds. it resonates with authority, and the bass knob, like the PRII is VERY subtle. I would say all the way down, the impact is below your other amps like the Voyager, Petite, and Hornet, but it carries more weight, akin to the XP.

The bass is VERY weighty and deep (like an XP), but it doesn't seem to grab slamming impact like the afore mentioned until about 1/3 being turned where at that point it's on par. Anything past that, it gets slamming and WEIGHTY. A true basslovers amp just like the PRII when you're using the knob.

update 03/02
Storm STB3

It sounds good enough. Nothing to write home about. Not on par with the Lisa or Petite, but a very good extension. It's not fatiguing with Grado's, but it does have a certain kind of SPARKLE, ala DT770's. I would have thought that it might be crap judging from the reviews on here, but it actually paired fairly well with Grado's. The treble is SLIGHTLY grainy however. Not as grainy as RSA amps, but cold and grainy none the less. It REALLY EXCELS with snare drum hits though. A bit of a nice surprise. The midrange is colored. I can't place my finger on it, but it has a hollow type sound. It's brought forward somewhat, but it's colored funny. If I had to describe it as a color, think of it as being yellowed. Vibrant and upfront, but it lacks weight, but is very noticeable....it's hard to describe. As far as bass, it has bass, but it's not boomy or irregular. It sounds dry, rather than organic and weighty. It's there, and it doesn't flinch on bass heavy tracks, but it's nothing to write home about.

update 3/16
Larocco Diablo
Since there was a rather INTENSE review of this amp, and the amp to follow, I won't (and frankly, detail wise, can't) post specifics without you being 100% aware of what to expect. The post/thread can be found here:
--- http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...diablo-307447/ ---

Qables iCube
As said above, please goto this link:
--- http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...diablo-307447/ ---

update 5/10
GoVibe Magnum
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...ac-amp-324577/
Wow, they're crisp AND smooth. The iQube and Voyager are the only amps that best this little box. I'm unsure as if there are any modifications to teh circuitry to implement the bassknob and gain switch, but this amp is a LARGE step up from the already good Petite. It has no harshness, or unruly jagged edges, just smooth tone. It does however, sound a LITTLE on the dry end of the spectrum, but still very well controlled and extended.
FORWARD is what best describes this range. With Grados, it gives you a VERY forward feeling. I think it adds the right amount to DT770's to lessen the "dreaded" recessed midrange. And like the treble, it has a tad bit of a dry sound. Women vocals are VERY nice on this amp. It synergizes best with DT770's and my Grado's though...
Having an adjustable bass knob on this makes it very nice. I like ebing able to tailor my bass. I don't like EQ, but I like to fine tune the bass if I'm able to. The bass with it all the way down sounds VERY close to a Hornet. With it up, it sounds like an LisaII. It has a SMOOTH organic sound. Also, the bass knob is very similar to the LISAII in that it doesn't really do A TON, rather, it accentuates it. No bloat at all here. I actually like to listen with it at about 50%. it does however seem to lack that last LITTLE bit of bass depths and kick that the top echelon amps have, like the Voyager, iQube and Diablo.



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In order or what I think are best for just having a portable/transportable (since I was listening to them out my Echo Indigo DJ line out), they are listed in terms of fun-ness and punch. Might not necessarily be so good for jazz or orchestra, but DEFINITLY the choices for rock, hard rock/industrial, hip-hop (turntablism, break beats too, not JUST rap or R&B), and pop. Basically an "extended" top 40 type of amp, lol. These are listed not only in SQ(but 90% ranked this way), but aesthetically, ergonomically, as well as pricepoint.


1. Graham Slee Voyager
1. GoVibe Magnum
2. GoVibe Petite
2. Hornet non-m (original)
2. Meier Corda Move (2Move)
3. Portaphile V2^2(maxxed)
4. MisterX XP w/8397
4. Qables iQube
5. LaRocco Diablo
5. iBasso D1 (amp only with rolled opamps)
5. XIN Reference
5. XIN SMIV
6. Tomahawk
6. Hornet M
7. LaRocco PRII
7. Lisa III
8. Porta Corda III
9. SR71
10. Storm STB3
10. Go-Vibe V6
11. TTVJ Millet


Some people are going to think I'm crazy with that ranking. "Porta corda over SR71? Both of those over the Millet???? What are you smoking???"

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*edit* *inserted*
Because so many people have asked me "based strictly on SQ, what would be your ranking?" Well, I hesitate to do so because I don't think absolute SQ should play a role in a portable rig. Why? Because as a portable rig we all make sacrifices, albeit size, weight, ergonomics, and price all play a factor in what we see as what we should be using. Sure, if none of it mattered, I'm FARILY CERTAIN most everybody would own the same exact rig, but because of financial restrictions, preferences and needs, those type of things do vary. So based on SQ alone, here is where I think the amps stand in relation to each other:


1. Graham Slee Voyager
1. Larocco Diablo
2. Qables iQube
2. LaRocco PRII
3. Lisa III
3. GoVibe Magnum
3. GoVibe Petite
4. XIN Reference
4. XIN SMIV
5. Hornet non-m (original)
5. Portaphile V2^2(maxxed)
6. Meier Corda Move (2Move)
6. MisterX XP w/8397
7. iBasso D1 (amp only with rolled opamps)
8. Hornet M
8. SR71
9. Tomahawk
10. Storm STB3
10. Porta Corda III
11. Go-Vibe V6
12. TTVJ Millet


That is STRICTLY SQ. I had a hard time doing this because when choosing something, I ALWAYS look at the entire package. And that's for everything. For example, if buying a sports car, the bottom line is performance, but would it be prudent to buy a sports car that has ridiculous insurance rates, poor reliability, and is hard to repair simply because it has the top performance? So I was kinda taken out of the comfort box doing so. I know I had to group the Hornet M, TH, and SR71 together, because IMO, the only differentiating factors in choosing those would be headphones used, battery life, and amp size, as the SQ differences between the 3 weren't anything notable for bottom line SQ...but again, only SQ is kept in mind, so it was unsettling having to put all 3 above or beyond another amp. And I am still hesitant of where things are currently standing, but this is currently how I think things stand....


-----------------------------

Well, here's why.

That Voyager is ridiculous. I REALLY REALLY want one. It's a shame the dollar is so weak right now. But the sound this amp emits ALMOST makes me dismiss it's price. It's the only portable I've heard that made me do that. Also, regardless of what anybody says, aesthetics are also important...this amp lacks it. If this had the look of his other products, I would NOT hesitate to purchase one. It seriously makes other amps like the Hornet sound brash and unrefined. It has just the right amount of warmth to sound good with almost every can I threw at it. The switches provide a NIGHT AND DAY difference, which IMO, is a nice feature because alot of amps with these switches either just add bloat or are too subtle for them to even worth being implemented. If you have the opportunity to get one, get one. I'll miss giving this back to it's owner when my loan period is over.

---------

The GoVibe Magnum just has all the things a "portable" should have. A USB DAC, adjustable bass, adjustable gain, small, and nothing is cluttered while still being incredibly small, has long battery life, and to boot it has GREAT sound. I'm starting to get away from all in one type things, and just have seperate components. but in the realm of portability, you need to have a couple things for convenience and this amp I feel is the best all in one (without hearing the Pico or Predator). I don't really have anything negative to say about this amp, other than possibly the bass lacks the LAST BIT of oomph and depth that the Diablo, iQube and Voyager have, but given the fact it's smaller and has a USB DAC, and is CHEAPER, I can most definitely live with it...

---------

The Petite all in all, a great buy. The DAC is a nice feature to have if you have a laptop, and the SQ doesn't suffer when used. The small size is a plus. The gripes I have about the Petite is how close the Volume knob is to the input jack. But after further inspection, it seems that the Predator also has this, as it appears they use the same faceplate, jacks, and volume pot. When switching back and forth, the bass was a nice addition card to have in my hand. It's punchy, deep and weighty. The treble is nice as are the mids. It doesn't so much have a V-Shaped sound curve, rather, it's just fun as the mids aren't recessed, and the highs and lows aren't boosted...it's just a punchy fun amp....WITH A DAC!

---------

The Original hornet (non-m) is just as aggressive as it gets. Which, my music tastes, that ends up working out. Sonically, for most everybody else, I can see how the Move trumps the Hornet(sometimes, you don't need it to be so aggressive), but if you want AGGRESSIVE and PUNCH, this amp trumps the Move easily. It's not as smooth, but considering this review is more than just sonic characteristics(however, it's mostly sonic), the original Hornet takes the spot. I lucked out on the price, it's smaller, lighter and prettier. And most importantly, it's what I was looking for: the most aggressive, ergonomically friendly, punchy amp out there. The fact that it's not harsh on the eyes, definitly helped it out.

---------

The Portaphile. It definitly is an amp that I think deserves more love. It has most of the aggressivenes of the orginal Hornet, with a touch of smoothness. Hmm..it's a good middleground between the Move and Hornet original, as it's just as warm, but a little more dry. The Hiss is what knocks this below the Move, and prospectively speaking, the Hornet non-m. The hiss and the thump when you turn it on. moreso the hiss though, as it was about as evident on this amp, as this hiss of UM2's coming out of a shuffle. Noticeable, you'de forget about it with music playing, but when it's black, there's definitly no denying that it's there. The prices are right on these, and if battery life isn't an issue for you (carry more!), this is the ideal amp when all the switches are up. I didn't feel like experimenting with the switches, since i would have to keep opening her up, but I can tell you the maxxed position is rediculously good sounding. It didn't trump the Orginal Hornet because it's not quite as aggressive as my tastes, but for most everybody else out there, it definitly is. Also, it isn't as pretty. Never have been a fan of the hammond cases. It goes as deep as the XP, and is punchier, but some may not find it as neutral, so that's the reason it's "tied", but on the tree, above it. If you paired bright cans with this amp, and really warm cans with a hornet original, you'de probably have the same sound, lol.

---------

The Corda Move (2Move) has all the impact and a little more than the Hornet, and goes JUST AS DEEP as the XP. For $115 less BEFORE it gets shipped. It's aestetically not as pretty as some of the others, but you're also getting a USB DAC. Which even if the amp was identical to a Porta Corda, would give it a couple extra points. It's price is rediculous for the amount of amp you get, and it doesn't look DIY or crappy. It's a SOLID amp. About as solid as a LaRocco. Also, you get a bunch of spare stuff. A nice allen wrench, a spare back plate and battery cover, an IC that doesn't sound bad at all, infact, I wouldn't mind using it everyday.

---------

The MisterX XP was only $50. I suspect he cut it that much for me not only because I skimped on getting a recharge circuit and metal case, but because his Mini3 building will take up all his time, as well as this $50 helps a little towards buying the boards, as well as this amp no longer being made. For $50, this amp blows away all other amps hands down. Well, maybe not the PRII, but that damn thing is WAAAAAYYYY expensive. And after seeing that you truley can get massive sound for not too much money, this amp absolutely proves you can get sound just as good, and in this case MUCH MUCH better than other commercial options. This amp, IMO puts some of the amps in this review a horrible name, not only because of it's price, but it seems to have good ergonomics cause it's not TOO small and everything is on the front. It's a good size.

---------

Larocco Diablo
Since there was a rather INTENSE review of this amp, and the amp to follow, I won't (and frankly, detail wise, can't) post specifics without you being 100% aware of what to expect. The post/thread can be found here:
--- http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...diablo-307447/ ---
In short, with the company practices aside, it's a great amp. Is it worth the effort and risk in getting one? There's no doubt the unit I have sounds good. But hmmm....depends on how much $500 is of value to you. I know it's alot more valuable to some than others(income restraints, etc.), but personally, I would only purchase it if the transaction took place in person, with absolutely no risk of getting a faulty unit, or just receiving it period. Or if you for whatever reason have a good repore with him and trust he will come though, but that in itself is a whole can of worms which has been explained ad-naseum. That is unless of course, the $500 isn't worth as much to you, as it is to myself....then go for it.

---------

Qables iCube
As said above, please goto this link:
--- http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...diablo-307447/ ---

The reason it's this low is mainly due to it's price, which we're all aware of the fact that we have no control over the strength of the dollar, but fact is, it's still $500 for us Americans as this review stands. Otherwise, the only concern I have, seeing as I don't have any high impedance phones, I wonder if there is enough volume knob travel for them hard to drive cans. However, SQ alone, this amp is a winner. But price, and my non-experience with higher impedance cans are what place this where it is.

---------

The D1 is a fantastic amp when the opamps are rolled. Which is why it's higher than alot of other ones, but it's not really fair since it's opamps were rolled and the others are in stock config, so that in itself takes it down a couple notches because it's money you have to spend for extra opamps...it's just another thing to buy, and if you're even remotely nervous about it, you're hesitant about swapping them out in fear of trashing it even though nothing can really happen.

But bottom line is sound after the mods and although it sounds great, there's too many things that make this amp bad. It's heavy, huge and thick. To the point where it's like carrying a personal planner when you put it's little leather wrap on it and it's coupled with an iMod. It's HUGE. The pictures really do not depict how small a Hornet is in comparison. And in a portable amp configuration, it just doesn't make much sense to be that huge, and really offer nothing else other than a DAC unless your source is a laptop, then it doesn't really matter how big it is cause it'll be in a bag getting trasported around. We have seen you can fit a DAC and amp into a small single package, so it doesn't make much sense it's this big. Well, it does since there a coax AND optical, but I think it's bordering a bit on the ridiculous end. It's nice options, but this amp is perfect proof you can't satisfy EVERYBODY and still have a tiny package......or can you?

---------

With the Xin Reference, basically, it seems like you're getting an SMIV with weightier bass and a more aggressive mid range. I achieved almost the same results in iTunes EQ with making the mids a little higher than the rest resting on flat. You can definitely tell the bass has more weight but eh, again, the crap Xin wait and shoddy customer service honestly, you can find a sound you like elsewhere in less time with better service. Alternatively, if you're just curious about his products and can afford the time to wait (have other amps, etc), I would definitely get one and add it to my stable, but IMO, as a sole amp, it's not worth waiting for. Great amp, but eh, the wait and shoddy customer service really are the deal breaker for the amount of SQ and aesthetics you get For that kind of treatment, I expect a bit more than what I'm getting. But that's just me...

---------

My gripes with the SMIV is in two places, ergonomics and sound. Ergonomics wise, it's kinda a PITA to mate with anything because of the way it's an in and out kinda amp, where it feels like your line in and headphone jack are touching, lol. It makes for an awkward set-up in your pocket. And on the desktop, it made the surface area that my cords laid pretty expansive because the amp is virtually the weight of a AAA battery. It kind makes the amp not feel as small as it really is because of how your cords are positioned, both in a portable environment and desktop. Right angle jacks alleviate this a little, but it's still awkward. Ispent a couple hours with it in my pocket mated to a Nano and it works out well, but it's still wierd cause the volume is on the SIDE. Great synergy with Grado SR80's though...very nice. The size is a huge plus when mated with a small player. The ultimate compact amped rig would be a 1st gen shuffle velcro'd t it with some IEMs....that would be a CRAZY good rig for the gym or other active activities....hmmm......

Sound wise, is how “boring” it sounds. It's too detailed and referency for me to feel like I'm out jammin unless I'm wearing really fun cans like Grado's. Actually, it has GREAT synergy with Grado's, but it wasn't so involving, for me atleast, with my other cans. I kept feeling like I was auditioning them even when I was just listening while surfing the web. Even the Xin Reference didn't do this. But, for how hard this amp is to get ahold of, it's nothing to write home about. I was really expecting more of it considering how long the wait is, and all the reviews, I think it's a bit exaggerated. One thing I'll tell you though is if I never woulda heard about it, I would be blown away by the amount of sound that comes out of something that's literally the size of a lego piece. And I think that's the reason so many people rave about its sound is the size : sound ratio. SQ is impeccable, and up there with the best, but meh, I feel for the money and god awful wait(a new version/update will be out by the time your receive yours), you can have better or slightly on par in MUCH MUCH MUCH less time....just my opinion.

---------

The Tomahawk just has such synergy with the UM2's, and even with the RP21's....it was insane. I'm not one to care about battery life, but when it's THAT significant over the others, you can help but factor it in. The ergonomics I used to think could be spread out a bit, but after seeing the layout of some of these amps, it's not bad at all.

---------

The Hornet being only $50 more than the Tomahawk, the SQ difference IMO is worth the $50, but even though I don't think battery life should really be a factor, when its sound is so similar and trumps it 10 fold life wise, I'll give it a tie, but not on top tie :p It's not quite EQUAL, but I won't drop the rankings of the LaRocco because of Battery Life. I think it's because of it's size and everything isn't as crammed, it doesn't feel as solid as a TH, so it's another reason it's not not bettering the TH. The smoothness however, trumps the TH....as does the bass, not by a huge margin, but enough to make a basshead say "Yup...$50 extra bucks??? Sign me up."

---------

The LaRocco, if it didn't sound absolutely fabulous, it'd be below the Porta Corda. The bass "punch" knob is stunning and does it's job of adding PUNCH, not bloat. At first, I was thinking "What...that sucks..." but after some longer listening to various songs, and songs WITH bass bloat already, I can see why he did it that way. If it can make a DT990 PUNCHY...it's got my vote. But it's so damn expensive, it will never be #1 because of that. But a time around tax return time, it may be a different story, lol. Also, What is the deal with the 1/4 inch plug? And believe it or not, there was a difference in SQ between THE SAME PLUG in both the silver and blue LaRocco. I dunno why, but one sounded better with a different plug. So this may be a hassle finding synergy cause it may be the factor in whether you like it more or not. Also, any amp that has the input in the back off the bat sucks for ergonomics, but this amps sound is so rediculously good, it overpowers EVERYTHING that other amps, I would knock them down for. This is really my favorite amp out of the whole bunch, both aesthetically and sound wise. But it's price, size and ergonomics just PLAIN SUCK that it lets the others go by it for those reasons alone. I really love this amp to death. But SQ and soul evoking...the PRII is my absolute favorite....but damn it's price and size.

---------

The Lisa III. Surprised it's down here huh? Well, I reserved all reasoning to why for here. Although it doesn't really "qualify as a portable, it's more of a transportable", the fact is, people will be more often than not be using it for a portable set-up. It's LARGE, however, for it's size, it's rather light. It's about as heavy as D1, if not lighter. The fact that it requires you to use RCAs, is plain stupid. Also the fact that it's 1/4 inch plug is also stupid. I think for a portable, if it's not a mini is stupid. Although, I understand the amp is used primarily as a transportable, it makes sense in that respect. But in the aspect of a portable, blah, worthless and just another thing you have to carry. And if it's anything like the PRII in terms of it being sensitive to what kinda adapter you use, another blah. Worthless unless you're using "home cans", and again, it goes back to it being a transportable.

Also, without the use of the bass knob, the sound is BORING. Granted, it has all the qualities of warmth, clarity, definition and soundstage, but meh, the sound isn't as impressive until you start to use it, and even then, it's still laid back, but just WEIGHTY. Really leaves an impression of "I'm a reference amp, not something you just plug whatever you want into me". Kinda like the feeling you get from a hot girl you dated or just know. You get the impression that some of the things you own aren't "worthy", yet, you realize it's just like anything, it's not everybody's cup of tea but anybody can have it if they really wanted it, lol.

Hence another reason it's ranked lower in "overall", but in absolute SQ, it rocks (because you can use the bass knob to tailor it to your genre and mood, it's a nice feature, like the Voyager, but with adjustability). A great amp, but I think in the aspect of a portable, it makes no sense and is absolutely a hassle. But in terms of a desktop unit, the only thing bettering it, is a Voyager. And well, that's a debatable point because the ability to gradually tailor your bass makes you sometimes prefer it over just a contour (not just bass mind you) switch. Great amp for reference use and listening to the quality of your recordings, as well as classical and jazz, but as a "great at all genre's", there's better options out there for cheaper. Think of it as the Sennheiser or HD650 of amps. It's REALLY GOOD, but it has a laid back and warm sound rather than aggressive and lively. One things for sure, it's not giving me the lasting impression the PRII did.

---------

The Porta corda is just such a strong contender...but damn it's ugly as hell, and its ergonomics suck, as well as it's labeling. But since the soundstage and sound coming from that ugly box is so great, it's definitly shooting past other amps. Oh, and lets not forget it's price....

---------

SR71...It would be ranked higher, but it sounds almost identical to the TH, is bigger, is more expensive, and battery life isn't as good. Again, I normally don't factor in battery life as most people only listen to thier amps in 4-5hour intervals...some more, but nowhere near the time it takes to completely drain the battery without an opportunity to recharge inbetween. So, when you sound the same (for the most part), are bigger and more expensive...I would have to say, the beautiful case is the one of the ONLY reasons it's above the Porta Corda...

---------

The Storm STB3 is cold and dry, but aggressive. And maybe even that is the wrong wording. Everything seems brought forward but it lacks any serious WEIGHT. This however is somewhat biased. I've been listening to a Lisa and GoVibe Petite for weeks, and switching to something else felt "wrong" and the characteristics were blatantly obvious, unlike before where the differences may have been subtle. This amp however synergizes VERY WELL with a dedicated DAC. Listening through my nano and iMod felt so so, but the sound improved in MAJOR amounts when I was listening through my PC and Keces unit.

Which leads me to believe this amp is just extremely sensitive to it's source so I can't completely discount it. Also, the amps SQ jumped significantly when under load or when volume was cranked, so this isn't an amp for low volume listeners. Everything tightened up when the volume was cranked up, like the amp/circuitry preferred to be under load. I can't base a review on just the positives, especially when as specific as this. Under these pretenses however, for $220 this amp IS worth the money. Perhaps with higher ohm headphones (the highest I have are 80ohm DT770's), or harder to drive headphones with the amp under load, this amp shines, but with low impedance cans and at low volumes it's good, just nothing special.

I SOMEWHAT disagree with Skylab on this review. I do agree that for $220 there are in fact better options out there, but it isn't a "bad" amp. Just nothing to write home about. It's wierd that the the amp needs to be either playing moderate-high volumes for it to shine. At $100-150, this amp would be a STEAL, but at $220, it is a little much to ask for...unless you're playing moderate-high volume, then it's a steal. I can now see why Skylab thought his was broken, cause that's a very odd characteristic...

---------

Go-Vibe6. This amp I feel should be higher up in the rankings but after the tally came up, I was shocked it ended up down there. This is a fantastic amp, and it's new case makes it that much nicer. My gripe about it, is the HUGE screw/knobs on the back to replace the battery. It overpowers everything else aesthetically. The ergos are great, the sound is awesome, but I think it just simply came down to it being over powered by the other rigs here. I don't want to say outclassed, cause that would be decieving as it can definitly hang, it just needs the right set of cans to synergize with....

---------

TTVJ Millet is where I'm gonna get a bunch of controversy. Especially after all the rave reviews. Don't get me wrong, it's nice, but definitly not what I was expecting. The microphonics, the line out jack in the back (I think that's so stupid), and the annoying volume travel it takes for both channels to equalize. The volume knob also, it a bit too loose. I can see you being somewhere, you bump it and accidently crank up the volume blowing SOMETHING... I was expecting a deeper bass extension from a tube amp...but it just didn't impress, and I think it was because I was expecting the type of sound coming from my home vinyl rig, or that Denon with a Singlepower tube amp accross the room. It was warm like a tube amp, but didn't have the signature of a tube amp, if that makes sense. And at it's pricepoint, I don't think it beats any of the amps listed. As a matter of fact, I don't think at any pricepoint above $300 will make me adore this amp. It just didn't sound analog to me. Sounded like a warm SS, AND THAT'S IT. All the minor fit and finish issues, was also another turn-off....I dunno, I just had such high hopes, and I was let down. But apparently this is a love or hate amp, as everybody that listened, either liked it or hated it.

--------------------

All in all I had a good time. I got to listen to some high end stuff and compare them to some of the portables and I must say, although there is a DEFINITE gap there, I was highly impressed with the way the portables stood up to them. You can look at the Tampa meet impressions thread to see what other gear was there.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f45/ta...thread-236880/

But this meet was EXACTLY what I needed (or anybody for that matter) if you're in the market to buy an amp. I just found that I'll be saving ALOT of money by hearing all them with my cans as well as some other ones, that there were some definitly some let downs and surprises to say the least. I never thought I'de be so impressed by that ugly Porta Corda, but damn it sounded good. If anybody has a chance to make it to a meet, even if it means killing yourself on the trip there, go....you won't be dissapointed...tired and beat when you get there and back, but worth it...nothing some asprin can't fix
tongue.gif
 
May 7, 2007 at 6:04 PM Post #2 of 162

jamato8

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Thanks for the review. I enjoyed reading your comments. Where is a good place to purchase the headphones and do they fold up?
 
May 7, 2007 at 6:18 PM Post #3 of 162

Orcin

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Nice writeup! It's great to hear someone's obviously unbiased opinions and you even surprised yourself with your conclusions at times. I also liked how you considered factors other than sound in your rankings.
 
May 7, 2007 at 6:21 PM Post #4 of 162

oicdn

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PM mrarroyo for the details on where to get those. I think those are the best kept secret as far as headphones go...more so than KSC75's.

They're closed, so people can't hear what you're listening to, but they don't seal incredibly great so you can still hear what's going on around unless you have the volume cranked. I guess it's a good middle ground, but they're definitly a buy me now can.

As far as folding, not completely, or atleast from what I saw. But you can completely flip around one can, not swivel, but fold up so the drivers face out and you can listen that way if you wanna listen to them if you DJ...

Although they don't have the bass QUANTITY the DT770's do, they have the impact (if not more) and have the midrange the 770 is lacking.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Orcin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Nice writeup! It's great to hear someone's obviously unbiased opinions and you even surprised yourself with your conclusions at times. I also liked how you considered factors other than sound in your rankings.


Well, I know I'm nowhere near well off yet, and for some people, price is a major, if not the MAIN factor when deciding. Yet, some people still want pretty looking. Like a good middle ground for those that want pretty AND good sound as well as taking price into account.
 
May 7, 2007 at 6:42 PM Post #5 of 162

rlanger

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Very nice impressions oicdn. I really enjoyed reading that.

Just a suggestion; you should change you're thread title. It is a bit confusing as it appears like you are doing a headphone review and not a headphone amp review.

Regards,

Rob
 
May 7, 2007 at 6:49 PM Post #6 of 162

oicdn

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fixed...dunno how I left out the word "amp"...since there were non-portable amps, I put portable up there instead of headphoine :p
 
May 7, 2007 at 7:20 PM Post #8 of 162

wgr73

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Nice reviews! Keep up the good work. Not to mention, I just ordered a tomahawk, so this is even better!
 
May 7, 2007 at 7:37 PM Post #10 of 162

oicdn

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The sound is actually very fast and articulate. When he told me they were a benjamin, and sealed, I immediatly thought it would be mediocre, but these are like a godsend for those that want ALOT OF PUNCH and impact on something that has detail like K501's or DT990's. The sounds was similar to K501's with a GOOD source that can push them well. It's a fast phone though, so it's not laid back at all, and they REALLY do well on jazz, but excell at pretty much everything I listened to.

The phones are VERY upfront sounding, and there's a GREAT soundstage, but it's very foreward sounding. They're airy too, not just for a closed phone, but airy period.

I was addicted to those cans, I didn't listen to them on the Singlepower or Marantz, but I can't imagine it sounding anything but amazing. I found myself listening to those more than anything there and there were some Orpheus', heavily modded. The $100-150 pricepoint absolutely blew me away. They could EASILY be $300 cans.
 
May 8, 2007 at 12:35 AM Post #11 of 162

mrarroyo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wgr73 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Nice reviews! Keep up the good work. Not to mention, I just ordered a tomahawk, so this is even better!


Most everyone here says to burn them in for 400 hours. Based on my experience I feel that 800 is significantly better. Both Vorlon1 and OICDN have "heard" the difference. Enjoy your new amp.
 
May 8, 2007 at 12:43 AM Post #12 of 162

mrarroyo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by oicdn /img/forum/go_quote.gif
...

1. Tomahawk
2. LaRocco
3. Porta Corda
4. SR71
5. Go-Vibe
6. TTVJ Millet

...



Hi Nate, nice write-up. I do agree there is a lot to like about the Porta Corda and as you said at $160 an steal. Having said that my ranking would have been a bit different, sound quality based only.

1. LaRocco
2. SR-71
3. Tomahawk
4. Port Corda
5. Go-Vibe

Notice I did not rank the TTVJ Millet, the verdict is still out on it. I will wait till my LaRocco is fully burnt in to finish my rankings. As of now I prefer it to the TTVJ Millet, and for that matter I prefer the SR-71 to it as well.
 
May 8, 2007 at 1:19 AM Post #13 of 162

oicdn

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My reviews would probably be similar to yours, based on SQ alone, but I dunno, I still didn't like the Millet much, so it'd still be in the spot it's in...I dunno if it was because I was so hyped up about a portable tube amp, or it was nothing but rave reviews, but I REALLY didn't like it. The lack of details aesthetically, and that jack on the back didn't help either.

Maybe the TH and SR71 switched spots if it was SQ alone, but they sound so alike, yet different at the same time....and I just for whatever reason liked the TH more. The RP21's did go well with the SR71 though...
 
May 8, 2007 at 6:32 AM Post #15 of 162

vorlon1

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No, it's my blue PRII. Larry made if for me just a shade or two lighter than yours.
 

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