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SPL PHONITOR 2 NEW HEADPHONE AMP - Page 4

post #46 of 209

Today I saw the new data on the site SPL:

Maximum Output Power: 3.640 mW (30,16 Veff/250 Ohms)

...
There are some contradictions :blink:
post #47 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyom86 View Post
 

Today I saw the new data on the site SPL:

Maximum Output Power: 3.640 mW (30,16 Veff/250 Ohms)

...
There are some contradictions :blink:


 Also comparing the new Phonitor with the original Phonitor, there are quite some differences.

 

 

Phonitor 1:

Max. Output Performance:
1,7W (+32,2dBm) @ 1 kHz and 600 Ohms connection
360mW (+25,6dBm) @ 1 kHz and 30 Ohms connection
 

Phonitor 2:

Max. Output Power:
65m W (+20 dBm) at 1 kHz and 600 Ω connected impedance
560 mW (+20 dBm) at 1 kHz and 40 Ω connected impedance

 

And as pointed out by tyom86, (described under "In short" on the SPL website):

Maximum Output Power: 3.640 mW (30,16 Veff/250 Ohms)

 

 

Comparing the original with the new Phonitor: 1700 mW versus 65mW (at 600 ohms) is quite a difference!

I wonder how that affects the sound of the amp for the higher ohm headphones (beyer,sennheiser)....

post #48 of 209
post #49 of 209

The manual does inform me that there is an additional +12db gain to be added to the headphone amplification, but it doesn't specify anything about how the Phonitor 2 compares to the old one when using higher impedance cans.

post #50 of 209

Phonitor "1" doesn't have the +12 option as Phonitor 2 does, I wonder if that's how they solve the disparity.


Edited by ChardonnayLogic - 1/17/14 at 4:21pm
post #51 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChardonnayLogic View Post
 

"Comparing the original with the new Phonitor: 1700 mW versus 65mW (at 600 ohms) is quite a difference!

I wonder how that affects the sound of the amp for the higher ohm headphones (beyer,sennheiser)...."

 

I see the source of your confusion. It's the use of a comma in "1,7W". Apparently germans use a comma instead of a period (or point). 1700 mW would actually be 1.7 watts. That is, a thousand milliwatts equals 1 watt.

 

I understand that. I actually intentionally changed 1.7W into 1700 mW, making the comparison with the newer model more easy. The output of the newer model is just 65(!)mW at 600 ohm. Surely, such a big difference can't be correct? Or if it is indeed correct; this surely should have an effect on the sound for higher ohmed headphones, right?


Edited by martijn84 - 1/17/14 at 4:23pm
post #52 of 209

First Magazine test of the new Phonitor 2 by the German Magazine "Stereoplay"

 

Here my draft translation from the German part of the SPL website:

The following were tested: Auralic Taurus MK2 ( 1,800 euros ) , pathos Aurium ( 1,200 euros ) and the Phonitor2 ( 1,650 euros ). The Bryston BHA -1worked as a reference.

"First, the Phonitor2 had to put its skills as a pre-amp to the test .... In comparison to the Bryston BHA -1  the Phonitor 2 played freeer, more radiant, "faster?" (
anspringender), with more dynamic Esprit, more distinct, more plastic and more radient sound-colours .... In Headset mode the difference was more modest, but even here the Bryston at the highest altitudes played a little covered and not as lively as the SPL."

The conclusion of the author Jürgen Schröder : " I-want -all- listeners and sound engineers will pick up the SPL Phonitor 2 - it impresses with extremely fine, "punch-free?" (
schlackefreier) playback and realistic space. With all it's options it is also first-choice in the studio for sound assessment via headphones.

Stereoplay Test result:

Sound: absolute top class

price/performance: outstanding

overall rating : outstanding

The entire test read in the current stereoplay edition 02/ 2014.
http://www.stereoplay.de/abo/einzelhefte/

post #53 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by jespersen View Post

First Magazine test of the new Phonitor 2 by the German Magazine "Stereoplay"

Here my draft translation from the German part of the SPL website:
The following were tested: Auralic Taurus MK2 ( 1,800 euros ) , pathos Aurium ( 1,200 euros ) and the Phonitor2 ( 1,650 euros ). The Bryston BHA -1worked as a reference.

"First, the Phonitor2 had to put its skills as a pre-amp to the test .... In comparison to the Bryston BHA -1  the Phonitor 2 played freeer, more radiant, "faster?" (anspringender), with more dynamic Esprit, more distinct, more plastic and more radient sound-colours .... In Headset mode the difference was more modest, but even here the Bryston at the highest altitudes played a little covered and not as lively as the SPL."

The conclusion of the author Jürgen Schröder : " I-want -all- listeners and sound engineers will pick up the SPL Phonitor 2 - it impresses with extremely fine, "punch-free?" (schlackefreier) playback and realistic space. With all it's options it is also first-choice in the studio for sound assessment via headphones.

Stereoplay Test result:
Sound: absolute top class
price/performance: outstanding
overall rating : outstanding

The entire test read in the current stereoplay edition 02/ 2014. http://www.stereoplay.de/abo/einzelhefte/

Thanks for the good find! I wish it went into more detail (headphones tested, bass, soundstage, etc.) but this should hold some of us over until someone gets their hands on one and do a full review.
post #54 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by martijn84 View Post
 


 Also comparing the new Phonitor with the original Phonitor, there are quite some differences.

 

 

Phonitor 1:

Max. Output Performance:
1,7W (+32,2dBm) @ 1 kHz and 600 Ohms connection
360mW (+25,6dBm) @ 1 kHz and 30 Ohms connection
 

Phonitor 2:

Max. Output Power:
65m W (+20 dBm) at 1 kHz and 600 Ω connected impedance
560 mW (+20 dBm) at 1 kHz and 40 Ω connected impedance

 

And as pointed out by tyom86, (described under "In short" on the SPL website):

Maximum Output Power: 3.640 mW (30,16 Veff/250 Ohms)

 

 

Comparing the original with the new Phonitor: 1700 mW versus 65mW (at 600 ohms) is quite a difference!

I wonder how that affects the sound of the amp for the higher ohm headphones (beyer,sennheiser)....


I was informed today that some of the info on the website was incorrect:

The maximum output power is not 3640 mW (30,16 Veff/250 Ohms), but 560 mW (1kHz/40 Ohm). This has also been corrected on their website.

 

Still wondering how the Phonitor 2 compares soundwise to the original Phonitor when using high-impedance headphones.

If someone happens to own both, please share your experiences!


Edited by martijn84 - 1/20/14 at 7:46am
post #55 of 209

I love that back panel; made by engineers, for engineers. :smile:

 

I think that just became the next thing on my gear acquisition list.

post #56 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by saitoh View Post

I love that back panel; made by engineers, for engineers. smile.gif

I think that just became the next thing on my gear acquisition list.

I'm getting the same vibe. Though the specs have me worried about the HP out. Only time will tell.
post #57 of 209

Dear colleagues,

The SPL Phonitor 2 Head Phone amp was reviewed recently in a German HIFI Magazine and got favourable comments. So I took the opportunity, thanks to the courtesy of the long established audio retailer “Aug & Ohr (“Eye and ear”) in Zürich, Switzerland, www.augundohr.com to have a listen to this new device.

 

My write-up below would however NOT really give a full review or even a clear answer such as “the SPL sounds better or worse”, but I tend to concentrate on the intent and purpose - for the private head phone connoisseur! - of crossfeed circuit, or XFeed and other sound processing devices.

 

Some explanatory comments ahead: I’ve been using headphones virtually all my “HIFI”-Life, meaning over 45 years, and had lots of different phones on my head. So as an old “HP hand” (or would this be an old HP-HEAD..??) , I actually never complained or was bothered by what’s called the “In head-localisation”; on the contrary I always enjoyed the full virtually 180 degree panorama soundstage the phone usually offered.

 

Nevertheless, some years ago I got one of JAN MEIER’S HP amps, which included his own cross field compensation system. On recommendation of Mr Meier, I up-graded to Grace Design, which included this very design in their products M902 and M903.

 

Part of my current setup is, a Sony MDR R-10 (+ Grace M903), and the STAX SR-007 and -009, both driven by the STAX energizer 007t-2. My assessment so far was that the difference with XFeed was rather marginal – depending on the music used – but was never a disadvantage. I normally have it switched on when using the R-10; there is no such XFeed with the STAX, of course.

 

The reason for the audition was to compare the SPL to the Grace M903, especially with the view of the new specially designed XFeed compensation including new processor circuits to simulate speakers including  the new feature, which allows the XLR output with the processed signal to connect to e.g the STAX Drivers.

 

Here I need to add: SPL clearly states, that such speaker simulation is primarily intended for the professional recording / mastering engineer, to allow use of phones and adapt them to the monitoring via speakers in the studio.

The SPL Phonitor 2 is a top professionally built unit, with state-of-the-art handling and performance. Connections, fine-tuning & switching and other features are clearly aimed at the audio professional, with us High-Enders possibly also benefiting from such qualities.

 

There is a manual here:  http://spl.info/fileadmin/user_upload/anleitungen/english/Phonitor2_BA_E.pdf

 

The unit sells in Switzerland for 1700. - to 1850.- CHF/ Swiss francs or approx. 1350 to 1500 Euros. (The M903 is listed for 2300 to 2500 CHF, or approx. 1850 to 2000 Euros) so,  yes there is a price difference – the M903 sports an excellent DAC system, while the SPL is reportedly purely analogue

 

For the short test I took along my usual selection of “critical” CD’s, my Grace Design M903 amp & Sony MDR R-10. Comparing the two amps in neutral (without any processor) I tend to give the M903 a notch up, due to the slightly clearer sound in general , and notably better defined bass.

 

Please Note: this assessment may well be different with different phones and even listener preference ! (My explanation below may be slightly confusing, as to my incomplete use of the correct technical terms & language skills – I hope you still follow me !)

 

When engaging the respective processor options on the SPL I was more than puzzled: My expectation was a somewhat “narrower” but tighter soundstage (or head-stage ?? ) with a fuller sound in the centre, meaning the “panorama” shrinks from say 180 degree to 120 or so.

The "stage or panorama" did indeed shrink somewhat, but what I mainly perceived was : there was LESS sound in the middle of the “stage” and most baffled was the loss of deep bass. It sounded like all spatiality and the musical foundation has disappeared. i tried different set-uo Options, but the Overall effect was similar.

 

This was rather a disappointment, so I didn’t bother to carry on with the test.

 

This rather strange effect was common on all tracks; I tried this with different music:

Ray Brown, double bass and Laurindo Almeida on guitar with their amazing interpretation of Beethoven’s moonlight Sonatas

Cecilia Bartoli – various arias

Italian concerto on Cembalo (harpsichord )

Cantata Domino (Soprano, choir and Organ)

 

As mentioned: with the Grace, / Jan Meier Xfeed, I never heard any change in sound Quality,  onyl this slight stage adjustment.

 

Maybe, just maybe: I tried to cure a problem, which I don’t have (aversion to in-head-localisation) with a therapy that I don’t need – (i.e. XFeed & head phone sound processing)

 

Conclusion of the story: Needless to say, that I’ll stick to my current set-up !

(…..until the next “up-grade bug” will bite me…!! There are many other excellent amps around , I know. So I may be tempted to try the MALVALVE headamp 3 one of these days…)

 

Regards

Urs


Edited by urs - 1/26/14 at 1:52am
post #58 of 209

I have Phonitor 1 fed from Cambridge Dacmagic and my second rig is a valve amp fed from Meier Corda Stagedac with crossfeed. Bass on the latter rig descends so much lower, even more so with crossfeed on on both. I would say even on my portable amp lower bass is more accentuated than on Phonitor. Phonitor gives plenty of bass but it's not low.   

post #59 of 209

I'm not really surprised by the above two sets of comments; when I take a mix into the studio that I've tinkered with on headphones (cause the monitors were in use for tracking or whatever) I can replicate some of those, specifically the sub-bass comments. If you take some records and flip them to mono (or pan them to near mono), you'll hear the bass drop out under the kick, especially if it uses effects that are phase based without a time delay adjustment. I've also heard that the Meier does some coloration on the bottom end and that may contribute to it's character there. If you want an approximation, there are some HRTF plugins that when set into near-field mode will give you an idea of what its like.

 

Actually, the preference for the Meier implementation was the most interesting. I've heard it's just a summing algo with special frequency cross-overs while the Phonitor lineup uses an optional mid-side-like method of adjusting how much to suck out of the bloated center after doing it's summing. It may be related to that, or it could just be how the amp sounds, dunno. Either way, I appreciate the comments. I've heard Grace's equipment before, but not the 902 (and nothing from either Meier or Phonitor lineups), so I'm working on other experience there.

post #60 of 209

Heads up to anyone that is SoCal based, SPL will be attending the upcoming March 22 SoCal Head-Fi meet and showing the Phonitor 2. I had a chance to listen to the Phonitor 2 with LCD-XC's and it was impressive. Details on the meet are in my sig.

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