That Rega Apollo is a great player, and combined with the Portal you should indeed be happy. Congraulations- and Enjoy!
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So have you upgraded the power cord yet?
I've had my Panache for only a couple of weeks and concur with your observations as far as I can. Living in an apartment doesn't allow for full volume listening so my experience is primarily at low level. That being the case let me add my observations to your comments.
The Portal is fantastic at low levels. I do alot of listening this way and this amp maintains its tonal balance all the way down. For me that means bass. Most amps will keep their balance with the exception of the lower frequencies, not so the Portal.
We'll be moving into our house soon and I'll have the opportunity to put the amp through its paces. Looking forward to it.
I am the one that posted the thread about the Power cord upgrade. I ended up buying the MIT for 60 bucks and think it is a wonderful cable. It seems to have brought out a big difference in the speed and attack of drum kicks.
But anyhow, I do still have a very very slight buzz through both speakers. I was at my local dealer today and wanted to see if they had any noise coming through their speakers. The speakers were Sonus Faber Cremona, B&W 801 and 802. Equipment was Audio research pre and two of the new Classe mono blocks. All cables were richard gray.
They all have a very slight noise that comes through when no music is being played. Almost exactly like what I have. I guess this is just how things are.
I must put my ear up about 1-2 inches away from tweeter to hear it.
Excellent review. You've got me all worked up about whether to try a Panache! The biggest drawback for me would be the lack of remote volume control. That's a must for me. I simply am adjusting the volume all the time. I'd be up and out of my seat more than I'd be in it!
It would be very interesting to compare the Panache against the PS Audio PCA-2/PS Audio HCA-2 setup I'm running now. Anyone have insight into that?
I also can vouch for the wonderful sonic attributes of the Apollo cdp - I'm an Apollo owner. Yes, with wonderful amp/pre/integrated and an Apollo, you're getting a boatfull of good sound.
I know you're also running Chapman speakers, as I am. Our sound must be pretty close. If you're hearing anything like I am, then I can TOTALLY understand why you're so gleeful! Keep rockin'!
Hi guys. I'm glad to have gotten some responses to my post. I'm sure I sounded like a giddy school girl, but I am totally stoked with the way the Portal Panache is working out in my system. Joe Abrams of Portal Audio also saw my post yesterday and sent me an email regarding my comments. All of us audio nuts are spread all over the world, but Audiogon makes that world a whole lot smaller that's for sure.
Now, a few follow up comments. Timrhu, my PS Audio power cords will be here tomorrow so I can't comment yet on their performance. From what I have read about them they should work out very well. The cords I'm using now are pretty good cords in their own right so I'm very anxious to hear what affect the new cords have.
Rtilbury, I cannot hear any buzz whatsoever coming through my speakers from this amp. Not sure if it's because of the Moster Power stabilizing and conditioning gear I have all of my electronics hooked up to or not. I put my ear right next to the speaker and I just don't hear anything...which is good! It is my understanding however, that if you do have the buzz it in no way effects your listening experience.
And to my friend Doug Schroeder, you know exactly what I'm hearing sound wise. The Chapman speakers that we both have really put us both on the same page even though we have different electronics. If you find yourself coming to visit our neck of the woods, feel free to pack your amps for the trip and bring them to my place. We'll spend a couple days doing a/b testing...in the name of reaserch of course!...and fun! As far as the Portal not having a remote, that is not an issue for me although I realize it is for a lot of guys. I like louder listening levels so for the most part I just turn it up and leave it until I change cds at which point I need to get up anyway.
I find that the Portal Panache sounds very good at any listening level. It throws a rich and full soundstage and gives no indication of lacking anything at lower levels. At higher listening levels, this amp just gets up and runs without even breaking a sweat. I'm totally amazed with the performance I'm getting out of this amp. I really feel like I have spent my money wisely with the purchase of this unit.
Thanks for the responses everybody. Audiogon is certainly part of my audio habit and it's fun to hear what others have to say.
Happy listening and have fun everybody!
I can honestly agree with all the remarks about the Portal Panache. I just love it more and more everytime I listen to it. And you are right about the Buzz, IT effects the sound in now way, and cannot be heard when you are not putting your ear right next to it. I have heard that higher effenciancy speakers may allow you to hear more noise then a lower one. The tannoy are very efficiant and I suspect this may be a cause.
I would love to hear your comments on the new power cables you will be recieving soon. I too am looking to buy that power cord, and either moving the MIT z-II to my cd player or putting the PS Audio on the player.
Oh and I just wanted to comment on the remote thing. I was a remote man myself, constantly changing the volume from my chair. I thought I would never be able to live without it. But now that I am, I can honestly say I do not miss the remote. Not being able to change the volume just makes me set it to a nice setting and forget about it while I am listening. I rarely ever switch inputs and if I need to, I have no problem getting up for that.
I think you may find that living without a remote is a slight loss compared to what you gain with the Panache.
A remote for my CD player is another story though...
I have found that the Black Sand Violet Z1, which is fairly inexpesive compared to the PS Audio cable was a real improvement over the stock cord as well.I agree with the comments on the Potal Panache.I can not beleve that a amp in this price range sounds very close to the real expensive stuff like Lavardin,Plinius & YBA Passion.Admittedly ,these expensive amps are a little better across the board however they are much more expensive & the differences are fairly slight in most areas.