BLOG: Because it’s 2016 – Nathan’s Selection

AMPs

  • Phatlab Audio PHAntasy: Review: Phatlab Audio PHAntasy – Uniquely PhantasticThe best volume attenuator knob I’ve used, bar none, is the smooth, grippy thing cleverly hidden in PHAntasy’s deep protective well. Then, there is the brilliant, ring and reverb which brightens, clarifies, and beautifies all high-impedance headphones. Its only downside is that it is next to worthless with low-Ω headphones and earphones.
  • Vorzüge DUO II: VorzAMP duo II™I’ve got one in office. I’ve measured it and been listening to it for a couple weeks. I’ve got a review waiting in the wings. Its new EQ boasts two modes: bass and high-mids boost, and bass boost, and Vorzüge’s great gain system. It measures almost as well as the PURE II and PURE II Plus, so it’s about as good as it gets. Keep an eye out for this one.

    myst-portamp-ii-dac-1704-4
  • Winner: MyST PortAMP II: MyST PortAMP II: Review: MyST PortAMP II & PortaDAC 1704 – contrast Powerful as hell, tough as nails, and almost completely load agnostic, this is the most impressive battery-powered amp I’ve ever used. It may be the most impressive amp of any power source I’ve ever tried.

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

7 Comments

  • Reply January 1, 2017

    Barun C

    Yeah, the hits and misses are pretty much in line with what you wrote through out year Nathan. But I am surprised in once instance, you didn’t include PHATLAB AUDIO PHANTASY in the best of the year list.

    Anyway, happy new year to you, your family and all the people at HeadFonia. Watch the skies, look at the trees, stay away from any screen or digital devices and see how good it feels.

    • Reply January 2, 2017

      ohm image

      Barun, check page 5. Because damn, I would not forget PHAntasy. No way.

      • Reply January 3, 2017

        Barun C

        Oh. I missed that one. I thought to my self, after so much high praise you didn’t include that product. How can that be. Anyway, one thing, which I felt was a big change in 2016 is inclusion of two AK products in the best list, that was quiet a surprise.

        • Reply January 3, 2017

          ohm image

          It’s a hard tale: PHAntansy is the most beautiful amp I’ve ever used. It also makes a wonderful sound. But it is only really suited to high-Ω headphones. This is both audible and measurable.

          If it were stably able to drive headphones of less than 80Ω, I would have considered it for first spot. But the provisos attached to it are a bit heavy. Again, it is the most perfectly haptically engineered amp I’ve used, and when paired with the right headphone, superb.

          And yes, the AK thing is a bit surprise for me, too. I think their ducks are finally in a row.

  • Reply January 2, 2017

    L.Kramer

    Hi,
    I was wondering if anyone had a recommendation for a desktop amplifier that cost less or up to 250 USD that beats my current FiiO E12a in terms of detail and soundstage. It would be driving the beyerdynamic Dt990 (250 Ohm).
    Cheers and thanks in advance for any replies !

    • Reply January 3, 2017

      ohm image

      I’m afraid that I’ve got not experience with that FiiO.

    • Reply January 10, 2017

      Rikk

      I see Audio-GD NFB 11 for the same price and very popular on head-fi.

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