Picture Sunday: MyST 1704 and PortAMP II

The stars of this week’s Picture Sunday MyST’s 1704 DAC and PortAMP II. Check out other recent Picture Posts Here, and Here.

Relevant links:

Review: MyST Nail 3 & Nail 2×2 – New Garage Days
Review: MyST OrtoPhones – Uplifting
Review: Mycroft IzoPhones-30 and 30S – Kaizen
IzoPhones-60 – The New T34
TENTO Porta DAC 1866 – All Your Bases

It’s crazy to me how low a profile MyST’s excellent products keep. Without exception, their headphones sound exceptional – and are exceptionally uncomfortable. And despite obvious garage-days aesthetics, they are pricey. Their DACs are designed with purpose for the NOS crowd. As such, many perform to the expectations of the atavistic connoisseur. The 1704 is one of those, though with digital connections (including HDMI) out the wazzoo. It keeps power noise low thanks to internal batteries.

And then there is PortAMP II, a powerhouse both on absolute volume-minded, and current-minded scales.

I’ve clocked it hitting signal-to-noise ratios of over 116dB, territory beyond which few outside the Vorzüge PUREII/+ world tread. It powers both MyST’s own OrtoPhones and Beyerdynammic’s 600Ω DT880 to levels I’ve not heard in a battery-powered amp. Which brings us to my first – marketing – contention. PortAMP II isn’t portable by any typical definition. It has a battery. Hauling it around is pretty easy. But it fits neither into any pocket on the planet, nor does it fit tool belts. It comes with feet pre-installed. And, it easily powers today’s most voltage-hungry headphones whilst spitting only a modicum of hiss.

It’s a brilliant desktop-class amp with a battery that can be slid under your IKEA furniture. How’s that for marketing?

5/5 - (4 votes)

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.


  • Reply December 11, 2016


    The PortAmp is that good?

    • Reply December 12, 2016

      ohm image

      Unfortunately it is. It is returning to Europe (for the next leg of its review tour) this week, so I am spending some very sappy good bye time with it and am thinking hard of purchasing it or the 1704 DAC (as I love NOS stuff). But in terms of raw performance and power, the PortAMP II is about as good as it gets.

      • Reply December 16, 2016

        Barun C

        Looks great. What is up Nathan? No articles these days. Also, BTW Day 11 is missing at Geek@OI ?

        • Reply December 21, 2016


          I think he’s hibernating.

        • Reply December 21, 2016

          ohm image

          Barun, my entire family has been sick. Bad bad bad sick. Day 11 is out and so are every day until now because of it. Noro virus.

          • Reply December 23, 2016

            Barun C

            I hope you all recover at the earliest. Health is more important than anything. Take good care of yourself as well. Hope your family has a healthier and better 2017.

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