Phonitor x launched

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Scubadude, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    Pricey at EUR 2089 (sans DAC) but looks delectable ... can only imagine how good this sounds!

    https://www.gearslutz.com/board/new...adphone-pre-amplifier-voltair-technology.html

     
  2. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Considering how utterly unimpressive the Phonitor performed for its price, I can only imagine how mediocre this would sound. For that kind of money you could get a brand new ZDS and some nice tubes.
     
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  3. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    Not taking the bait ... but sincerely wish for a dislike button.
     
  4. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    That is an understatement, my original phonitor got beat by the hp out of my benchmark dac 1.
     
  5. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    Not what I'm hearing ... but each to his own I suppose
     
  6. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    There is a dislike button. By all means go ahead, if you--as a Phonitor owner--find my impression of Phonitor unacceptable. Not sure exactly where/when/by who but I already lost my "dislike" virginity anyway.

    Either way my opinion stands. Phonitor was one of the most overpriced amps I've heard and I don't understand why it's sometimes mentioned as one of the best amps for HD800. I do agree that it seems to drive HD800 better than it does with other headphones, the Phonitor sounded so-so at best with HD800 but horrid with most other headphones I've tried it with. Maybe something to do with high output impedance.

    Of course, there is a chance that the new Phonitor X actually turns out great. We'll just have to see, although I don't really have much high expectations for it at the moment.
     
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  7. 2000impreza

    2000impreza Rando

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    This looks to be the successor to the Phonitor 2? I'm a bit surprised to see SPL releasing another revision of the Phonitor amp so quickly.

    I've heard the Phonitor, Auditor, Phonitor 2, and Phonitor mini. I thought the Phonitor 2 and Phonitor mini were okay. But I do agree what what others are saying. The value is not that good for what you get. At least this was the case based on my subjective sound preference. If I can get a Phonitor 2 for good deal, I would. The amp sure looks good. lol.
     
  8. wnmnkh

    wnmnkh Friend

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    For me, Phonitor 1 and 2 are decent.

    They are overpriced if you are not the type of a person who likes to fiddle with controls. Phonitor is unique in that way,
     
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  9. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    Phonitor is popular in Europe. SPL sells a shit-ton of gear to studios, schools, musicians etc over here. It's not really an amp that's made to compete with schiit and brands like that. It's more for audio professionals and music hobbyists. It's supposed to be dead neutral and used for mixing and stuff like that. If you happen to like it over some "audiophile" brands fine, but that's not really its intended market.
     
  10. hellwhynot

    hellwhynot Friend

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    Agreed- if you like the crossfeed feature (I have yet to come across one I like better), there is no substitute. It would be overpriced if someone were selling something with the same crossfeed for less.
     
  11. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    It'd be nice if the preamp outputs could be configured (perhaps with a defeatable switch) with all the crossfeed options.
     
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  12. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    I tried the crossfeed, didn't like it. So far I haven't been able to find a crossfeed application, be it amps from Meier or Phonitor or Fidelia software, that seem to get it quite right. On the other hand, while not strictly crossfeed per se, I do enjoy the 3D processing of OOYH.

    On a side note, one thing I dig about the Phonitor is how it looks. Very good build quality and exterior design IMO. If only it sounded half as good as its looks...

    @Scubadude, maybe there was a time when Phonitor was one of the better amps, but it's 2016 now. There have been a myriad of amps released after Phonitor that can beat the pants off it for a far less price. Amps like Black Widow and Torpedo 3 cost less than half yet performs on a whole new level above what the Phonitor could ever hope to reach. Heck, even the $349 Valhalla 2 sounds better.

    As much as you'd hate to admit it, Phonitor is an outdated amp IMO and I think you should do yourself a favor by listening to other newer amps. You might be pleasantly surprised. Of course, if you still feel that Phonitor is superior to most of them, then as you've said, each to his own I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  13. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I wonder if their balanced amp is a new design or just doubled up/bridged from their previous one.
     
  14. elwappo99

    elwappo99 Friend

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    I would agree with these in my experience with Phon 1 and 2. Decent sounding but for far overpriced.
     
  15. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    But perhaps in the European market the pricing is more competitive in comparison because other gear costs so much more to bring in for them.
     
  16. SunTanScanMan

    SunTanScanMan Rando

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    I'd been interested in the phonitor 2 and phonitor mini. However reviews are few and far between. Can members who didn't think much about the 'sound' of the amp elaborate on what their perceived failings of it are?

    The phonitor mini on amazon uk is £475, and has been lower than that quite recently. That doesn't strike me as too excessive. It's in the ballpark of the meier corda classic which I use currently.

    The phonitor 2 does seem to have quite a bit of functions in addition to the amp. Balanced output (at the back I believe?), preamp, motorised volume, crossfeed, angles and other hardware options. I guess one would place value on its looks too. If it's seen as a tool as a whole I guess the approx. £1000 they charge for it is not an anomaly at least... a lot of things in hifi seem to be priced at that point, inc headphones.

    The initial price of the phonitor x does seem steep for me, but I guess I'm not the price market they are aiming the product for. I would expect the price to drop.
     
  17. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    Interesting observations and some strong opinions here.

    Bought my Phonitor 1 for the South African equivalent of about $500 (so not nearly as pricey as the new model ... piss poor performance of our currency is good for something after all). It is one of several amps in my collection (which now also includes a 6EM7-based custom SET jobbie ... right on the other end of the sonic spectrum) but for critical listening (and headphone comparisons) it remains my weapon of choice. While I think the Phonitor X looks superb and offers some real functional advances over the original I must mention my intense dislike of the newness bias displayed in several of the responses above. New is not always better ... e.g. which new amp has bettered the 120V rail technology used by SPL? (I know, I know ... specs can be deceiving.) Not sure if it is the 120V technology or something else you'd be hard-pressed to find an amp, old or new, that shows off the HD800's transient ability and visceral impact in the same manner.

    *** Don flame-proof gear ***
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
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  18. error

    error Friend

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    I read few reviews stating Phonitor 2 is very good amplifier (but very transparent, without adding niceness -which is not for everyone). Also if I understand it correctly Phonitor X is just Phonitor 2 with new face (for audiophiles , with balanced connector in front, + few hundreds euro -because why not :)) but soundwise it should be same as Phonitor 2...Never heard one...

    here its one review (but in Polish...) http://hifiphilosophy.com/recenzja-spl-phonitor-2/
     
  19. SunTanScanMan

    SunTanScanMan Rando

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    I had the Phonitor MINI for a few days using my meier daccord. I couldn't get the volume pot above 8 o'clock for my K550/W5000, and not much further up for the HD 650 and DT880/600 before the volume was too loud. At low volumes, there was noticeable channel imbalance.
    I also found the sound too sharp to enjoy for any length of time. For that reason, I returned the amp. Going back to the meier classic was a relief both in sound, and volume control.

    I understand from reading that the MIni and the Phonitors share similar amp sections, and would expect them to sound similar.

    I remain curious in the larger Phonitors, but why am I not reading similar experiences with the sound discomfort (genuine query - is it my equipment or something else)?
     
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  20. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    STSM,

    Thanks for your comments. The amp sections of the MINI and the original Phonitor 2730 are identical I believe, both using Alps RK27 pots. While not the nth degree in high-end volume controls this should typically give better than 1dB channel imbalance. I have certainly never noticed this as a problem and the measurements I've seen would seem to support this. As for pot range, I feed my Phonitor a 4V output from the Wadia 121 and can listen between 11 and 1 o'clock without popping eardrums on all but the loudest recordings. The Phonitor has a "Dim" switch, which cuts output by 20dB ... quite useful but not available on the MINI.

    Unlike most here I find the Phonitor a very enjoyable listen. However it does have a lighter tonal balance than most with lower than typical bass relative to the rest of the spectrum (I happen to believe this is a more neutral rendition, but that's just me). So if you set volume on perceived bass slam you could end up frying your ears. The bass is all there in depth and definition, just not elevated or bloomy. With typical Beyer hot treble (I have DT990/600) the combination could be considered too shrill for long-term listening, but something like the HD650 works very well for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016

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