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SPL Phonitor Roll Call & Appreciation Thread - Page 5

post #61 of 679
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo_b2 View Post
I don't own either the Auditor or the Phonitor.

But I did get a chance to try both from a shop. It wasn't really burned in yet my estimate it was just used 20+ hours that time. I had my RS1 that time as well as Cal's ED8 and PS1000.

IMO both have a different presentation even when all the special crossfeed and angle features are off. The Auditor sounded warmer with a lusher body than the Phonitor. The Phonitor even with the settings all turned off was more into details and soundstage.

If I sum it up on my personal findings the auditor has a more musical presentation. I can describe it as having a thinge of the tube like sound and the presentation is on a more personal feel. It was also more forgiving than its brother the Phonitor. The Phonitor on the other hand has an insane soundstage. The details were fantastic. You can easily separate voices and instruments even when using the RS1. But the phonitor sounded colder than the Auditor and will surely put a bad recording in its place.
jojo_b2, thanks. Your mini-review of the two SPL amps really clears the air! I thought they'd be more similar than different so I'm glad for the clarification. This really underscores the fact that the Phonitor is a serious studio tool that appeals to audiophiles who want accuracy as well as increased control.

Quote:
On a personal note I would have also bought a phonitor myself. Because it was a real upgrade to my Yamamoto in terms of that big soundstage and scary details. the Auditor was just a sidestep or even a halfstep better than my Yama when I tried it out. But I have a long standing craving to get my self a RSA amp or else I would have bought a Phonitor myself.
I like your description: "that big soundstage and scary details"! Definitely scary when you hear how bad some of your favorite recordings really are. After hearing the Phonitor's soundstage, everything else suddenly feels a bit darker, smaller.

So you're into tubes? Is the B-52 what you're aiming at? With a price tag over $5K, it's definitely out of my league. Going balanced would also mean a lot of additional 'phone costs, too.

Which Yama do you have? They're all so beautiful. They look like works of art that also happen to be amps.

I notice head-fiers either love tubes or SS, and nearly everyone falls on one side or the other. I'm definitely SS. Tubes just seem too organic, fragile, complex. I like things cut and dried. Simple.

Quote:
I think Kidult should chime in as he actually bought a Auditor and actually had the set exchanged for a Phonitor. =)
I didn't know that about Kidult. I hope he'll let us know about the differences he hears.

Quote:
As for the impressions with the three new BIG cans. I believe Kchew summed it up for us. I was also present at the mini-meet at Cal's place. =)
Kchew's mini-review is excellent! Cal sure has some heavy hitters: I don't think many own both the HD800 and PS1000. (And that's just 2 of the many other cans and equipment!) As he says, he has all his bases covered.

Be sure to devote one of your meets to the Phonitor! And follow up with reviews in Head-Fi!!!
post #62 of 679
Thanks for the kind words. I have the Yamamoto HA-02 headphone amp. it is really beautiful aesthetically the red dye wood finish will always give you a sense of royalty. It sounds good too on most low impendance cans. But i have just sold mine off so as cal and Kidult. Lol! =)

The B52 is also too expensive for my Blood. If I bought that I would literally not EAT anything for a span of one-two months. Lol! I have been inlove with RSA amps since I got my predator a while back. So I have been contemplating on an APACHE. Which I hope arrives in the next few weeks. =)

I believe we will have a larger (not so big crowd though) mee when everyone settles in with their rigs. in the span of two months. Most of our rigs have change a lot. Lol! Cal and Kidult should have a lot of things to share by that time. =)
post #63 of 679
feifan:

I appreciate a lot of your kind report of Phonitor with SQ control off. My favorite cans are still DT880 and K702 with my current setup and thanks to your comparison between K701 & HD650.

And jojo_b2's report came just in time (otherwise, an Auditor probably already on its way. ). It is certain a heads-up for me since most of report claims that they are almost identical (except additional SQ control circuit). I guess that there is free (or cheaper) meal in the end.

It would be interesting if someone can confirm the comparison between Auditor and Phonitor.

jojo_b2:

Please do update us when you got Apache, especially compare with your brief experience with Phonitor or Auditor. I am also interested in HR-2 and hopefully same trait will run through the family (even with huge price difference...).
post #64 of 679
I had Yamamoto HA-02, Auditor & later changed to Phonitor..
I too try out this two amps in shop and have the same initial impression as jojo_b2.
Auditor being musical and warmer, Phonitor colder, wider soundstage and details.

I only had the Auditor for 3days (got it from another friend).
Yama was much musical & involving, Auditor was better dynamics and better micro details than Yama.
It just changed of sound signature from tube to ss and a halfstep better than Yama.

When we have the meet at ical’s place to try out his Phonitor and 3 flagship cans as well as my ED9.
I changed my impression on Phonitor. Next day, I brought down the Auditor to shop and bought the Phonitor home.
post #65 of 679
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo_b2 View Post
If I sum it up on my personal findings the auditor has a more musical presentation. I can describe it as having a thinge of the tube like sound and the presentation is on a more personal feel. It was also more forgiving than its brother the Phonitor. The Phonitor on the other hand has an insane soundstage. The details were fantastic. You can easily separate voices and instruments even when using the RS1. But the phonitor sounded colder than the Auditor and will surely put a bad recording in its place.
Most of us actually have the same impression as Jojo after comparing them again. Auditor is an excellent amp thought it sound too warm to my liking. It may not be as tubey as a tube amp. but it'll good for those looking looking in between tube and solidstate. As Jojo mentioned, it more forgiving, which make it very easy to match.

I prefer a amp that is transparent without coloration that compliment my source. Like a amp with gain and nothing else. That's when the Phonitor came into the picture.
post #66 of 679
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo_b2 View Post
Thanks for the kind words. I have the Yamamoto HA-02 headphone amp. it is really beautiful aesthetically the red dye wood finish will always give you a sense of royalty. It sounds good too on most low impendance cans. But i have just sold mine off so as cal and Kidult. Lol! =)

The B52 is also too expensive for my Blood. If I bought that I would literally not EAT anything for a span of one-two months. Lol! I have been inlove with RSA amps since I got my predator a while back. So I have been contemplating on an APACHE. Which I hope arrives in the next few weeks. =)

I believe we will have a larger (not so big crowd though) mee when everyone settles in with their rigs. in the span of two months. Most of our rigs have change a lot. Lol! Cal and Kidult should have a lot of things to share by that time. =)
Of all the Yamas, I like the HA-02 best. The design, overall look and feel are classic.

LOL! Once you get into this hobby, food becomes secondary! Doesn't matter what we eat as long as we have great gear!

The Apache at $3K is still a healthy hunk of change, but it's gorgeous! I like the sleek looks. Are you going for the black or silver? Fully balanced. We gotta see your review on how it plays out with the balanced HD800. How it compares to the Phonitor. Definitely a different kind of amp so I don't see them competing.
post #67 of 679
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dukja View Post
feifan:

I appreciate a lot of your kind report of Phonitor with SQ control off. My favorite cans are still DT880 and K702 with my current setup and thanks to your comparison between K701 & HD650.
You're welcome, dukja.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dukja View Post
jojo_b2:

Please do update us when you got Apache, especially compare with your brief experience with Phonitor or Auditor. I am also interested in HR-2 and hopefully same trait will run through the family (even with huge price difference...).
x2!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidult View Post
I had Yamamoto HA-02, Auditor & later changed to Phonitor. I too try out this two amps in shop and have the same initial impression as jojo_b2. Auditor being musical and warmer, Phonitor colder, wider soundstage and details.

I only had the Auditor for 3days (got it from another friend). Yama was much musical & involving, Auditor was better dynamics and better micro details than Yama. It just changed of sound signature from tube to ss and a halfstep better than Yama.

When we have the meet at ical’s place to try out his Phonitor and 3 flagship cans as well as my ED9. I changed my impression on Phonitor. Next day, I brought down the Auditor to shop and bought the Phonitor home.
Kidult, thanks for this mini-review. Sorry, I forgot that you mentioned some of these points in earlier posts. The only tube amp I've heard (and own) is the LDII++. I really like its warmth, and it creates great SQ right out of the 1/8" speaker out on my computer soundcard, but the heat is too intense. It's clearly not in the same league as the HA-02, but I'm wondering if the Yama is just as hot. Are all tubes "too hot to handle"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ical View Post
Most of us actually have the same impression as Jojo after comparing them again. Auditor is an excellent amp thought it sound too warm to my liking. It may not be as tubey as a tube amp. but it'll good for those looking looking in between tube and solidstate. As Jojo mentioned, it more forgiving, which make it very easy to match.

I prefer a amp that is transparent without coloration that compliment my source. Like a amp with gain and nothing else. That's when the Phonitor came into the picture.
Yeah, it's strange that amps that are so similar spec-wise are so different in SQ. Now I'm curious to hear the Auditor for myself. But I'm like you -- I prefer clarity, transparency.

Thanks for the clarification, Cal.
post #68 of 679
Huh? Are you guys sure you listened to the same Auditor i did? If anything it has a slightly wider soundstage as the phonitor (no wonder since it measures a hefty 20dB better in crosstalk), instrument seperation was also a tad better compared to the phonitor. Besides that it has exactly the same feats as the phonitor, its just as transparent so any "warm" coloration would have been introduced by the source.

Are you sure you had the phonitor and auditor on the same source when comparing? If you've looked inside both it does feature the same parts, same psu, same circuit and this is also what SPL says. Doesnt make any sense that the auditor sounds warmer (it doesnt to my ears).
post #69 of 679
This is interesting report!! (and what I would like to hear )

Anyhow, would those who have heard Audio and Phonitor be kind enough to detail a little bit the comparing scenario (source, headphone, are they the same? for how long?)

It is also interesting to read the spec of both (certainly spec often has little thing to do with SQ). I can understand difference due to reduction of the additional parts for soundstage control and that should translate to some difference in sound. However, such reduction seems to be contributing to better "base" of SQ. This may be just my wishful thinking, but not unreasonable...


Quote:
Originally Posted by bizkid View Post
Huh? Are you guys sure you listened to the same Auditor i did? If anything it has a slightly wider soundstage as the phonitor (no wonder since it measures a hefty 20dB better in crosstalk), instrument seperation was also a tad better compared to the phonitor. Besides that it has exactly the same feats as the phonitor, its just as transparent so any "warm" coloration would have been introduced by the source.

Are you sure you had the phonitor and auditor on the same source when comparing? If you've looked inside both it does feature the same parts, same psu, same circuit and this is also what SPL says. Doesnt make any sense that the auditor sounds warmer (it doesnt to my ears).
post #70 of 679
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizkid View Post
Huh? Are you guys sure you listened to the same Auditor i did? If anything it has a slightly wider soundstage as the phonitor (no wonder since it measures a hefty 20dB better in crosstalk), instrument seperation was also a tad better compared to the phonitor. Besides that it has exactly the same feats as the phonitor, its just as transparent so any "warm" coloration would have been introduced by the source.

Are you sure you had the phonitor and auditor on the same source when comparing? If you've looked inside both it does feature the same parts, same psu, same circuit and this is also what SPL says. Doesnt make any sense that the auditor sounds warmer (it doesnt to my ears).
I've only heard the phonitor for a 10 minute audition, but I own an auditor. I personally do not think the Auditor adds any coloration to my DA10 - the output of the headphone jack on the auditor and the DA10 sound similar to me with the HD800. So unless the phonitor is a cooler amp, I don't see how the auditor is warm either.
post #71 of 679
Quote:
Originally Posted by EugeneK View Post
I've only heard the phonitor for a 10 minute audition, but I own an auditor. I personally do not think the Auditor adds any coloration to my DA10 - the output of the headphone jack on the auditor and the DA10 sound similar to me with the HD800. So unless the phonitor is a cooler amp, I don't see how the auditor is warm either.
I am a bit confused. I hope that I understood this right, You compared the DA10 and the Auditor? I haven't personally tried a DA10 to compare it with either SPL amps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dukja View Post
This is interesting report!! (and what I would like to hear )

Anyhow, would those who have heard Audio and Phonitor be kind enough to detail a little bit the comparing scenario (source, headphone, are they the same? for how long?)

It is also interesting to read the spec of both (certainly spec often has little thing to do with SQ). I can understand difference due to reduction of the additional parts for soundstage control and that should translate to some difference in sound. However, such reduction seems to be contributing to better "base" of SQ. This may be just my wishful thinking, but not unreasonable...
Source was a CEC CD all Interconnects (mapleshade) and power cords (van den hul) the same. I usually audition 3 tracks from two CDS which I listen to most often. I was using my RS1.

I just like to thank Aaron, the owner of Stereo Electronics which retail the SPL headphone amps here in SG for letting us crash his place. =)

I should have taken a picture a while ago. I was listening to the new WADIA 381 CDP that Stereo Electronics (a headphone shop in SG) is now using for DEMO connected to the Phonitor using a Grado PS1 from the shop. I still have the same personal findings.

Please read original post I did state both were burned in on the 20 hour mark and it was based on my personal findings after our weekly gathering. I also stated I don't own either one but I have access to try again when I like.
post #72 of 679
We usually gather at Stereo Electronics once a week to catch up and have dinner. I've lost count how many times we have audition them ever since it arrived. No one, but about seven of us all have the same impression including Kidult who spent the longest time with both at his comfort of his home. My impression still remain the same every time I listen to them. We're also very surprised to hear the difference. Previously, I did thought of getting the Auditor which save me about 50% since SPL stated that parts use is almost the same. However, they turned out so different. Hearing Phonitor do make me believe that SPL has price it double of Auditor for a reason other than the tuning and fancy faceplate.
post #73 of 679
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo_b2 View Post
I am a bit confused. I hope that I understood this right, You compared the DA10 and the Auditor? I haven't personally tried a DA10 to compare it with either SPL amps.
Nope. you got it wrong.

I'm using a Lavry DA10 as a source. It's got its own headphone jack which a super annoying digital volume control.

I'm saying my source's headphone output actually sounds similar to the auditor's headphone output.

So {Lavry DA10 > Auditor > HD800} sounds exactly like {Lavry DA10 > HD800}

i.e. I think the Auditor is as transparent and neutral as it gets.
post #74 of 679
I honestly doubt that DA10 out alone will sound like Auditor. Auditor is a power amp that will enhance and improve your source further. In this case, either the DA10 is very good that doesn't require a amp or Auditor is bad which I don't think it the case. I'll see if I can loan a DA10/11 to compare.

Thought both belong to neutral characteristic, it might be because Phonitor is more transparent which makes Auditor sound slightly warmer. For soundstage, Phonitor is for sure way bigger even at default.

Audio can never be based on spec only. For me, it more of a reference. No equipment can measure the quality of sound. Some components can look very bad on paper, yet sound great. Audio is still a black art, just take cables as an example. I always let my ears be the judge since sound is subjective. And compare it with my friends that have the same preference for another view. That's also the fun part about this hobby to share and exchange.
post #75 of 679
Quote:
Originally Posted by EugeneK View Post
So {Lavry DA10 > Auditor > HD800} sounds exactly like {Lavry DA10 > HD800}
i.e. I think the Auditor is as transparent and neutral as it gets.
Hi EugeneK, that's very interesting. May I know what kind of music did you use for the comparison?

And by "exactly like", do you mean the warm/cool characteristic, or that DA10 is already driving HD800 so well such that an extra amplifier is not really necessary?

Personally I find DA10 to be very sensitive to the quality of AC power. And with a clean balanced power supply like ps audio power plant, the result is quite impressive.
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