SPL PHONITOR X & E

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by gbeast, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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    Welp,
    Dangit!!!!!!
    There goes the Phonitor X. I got my HD800 in and I had been using the balanced jack of the Phonitor X . I plugged my 800s in the SE jack and heard all kinds of pops and the smell of copper burning....no sound. I set up the E and repeated the scenario and no issues at all.
     
  2. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    :( :eek: o_O

    How? Why? What? OhMyGod!
     
  3. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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    I have no clue. I tried the SE again on the E version and heard some clipping. The balanced Jack had no issues and sounded better. I am wondering if something is up with my cable but I tried it on other amps with no issues.
     
  4. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    This has been one of my aspirational products --- if only for the wonderful array of knobs and dials combined with a slight bias that pro products are preferable to consumer audiophile! Still interested despite having torn up my hifi/audio aspirations.

    Not very often one hears of such plug-in explosive failure. Looking forward to the rest of the story
     
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  5. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Yeah, despite reading mixed reviews of SPL's offerings over the years, I've always really liked their aesthetics.
     
  6. anetode

    anetode Moderator

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    Except with each passing generation they appear to have continued to simplify their controls:

    Phonitor_black_front.jpg
    p2_silber_front.jpg
    Phonitor_x_black_front.jpg

    Damnit, I want more knobs and toggle switches!


    and another couple of VU meters
     
  7. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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  8. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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    Thats what I want my endgame to look like but with tubes sticking out.

    I haven't seen any real bad reviews of the SPL stuff except for the mini though. The other stuff has decent to good reviews of it.

    I am eager to hear that HP-! next to it but I may miss it by the time I have to send this E out.
     
  9. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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  10. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Personally I'd probably get more use of the Shadow Hills Oculus as a monitor controller with remote...

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. loplop

    loplop Acquaintance

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    Are you referring to the iCAN Pro's 3D implementation?

    If so, color me very intrigued. I love the headstage provided by the 3D on the ifi products, but the increase in treble and slight hardening of the upper mids bugs me. Certainly the iDSD BL was exaggerated in those respects, yet on some recordings it works fine and sounds fantastic. I need more time with my iCAN Pro but I find similar problems (slightly tamed) yet the imaging and tonality seem to suffer similar to the iDSD BL. So if the SPL can do this without the tonal changes, I'd be very, very intrigued.

    Also very curious to hear if the E holds up to the X.

    Thanks for putting this one on my map!
     
  12. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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    The E sounds the same as the X so long as you do not boost the input signal on the E. The crossfeed on the E is without the tonal irritations that the Pro has but is more subtle and is not meant to stretch the sound stage super large but decrease fatigue from the ears. The X, depending on the selected setting does have some changes in tonality but they are not as irritating as on the ifi pro ican. I must say though that I was not able to exploit the potential of the X do to the aforementioned dilemma with it.

    It is also worth noting that the X does not have an input signal boost and does not need one. It is already powerful without it.

    phonitor E:
    If you boost the input signal [RCA input only (dip switch '2') ] and increase the output gain (dip switch '1'):
    • sound stage collapses
    • loses clarity
    • becomes more grainy
    • RCA input sounds better and louder
    phonitor X:
    If you boost the hp output signal (dip switch'1') and boost it more (dip switch '2')
    • no audible changes and the signal remains just as pure
    The good news for the E though is that if you are not trying to drive a t50 mod, HE6, or a really power hungry planar the input signal doesn't need the boost and you have equivocally the same sound quality as the X. Actually power wise it does fine with planars even the t50 mods but you have less headroom.

    Also the X allows you to balance channels so if you have a headphone where one channel is louder than the other than you can do that. Or even set it to mono (which I will never need)
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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  13. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Who said Red was a shitty color? Rednet FTW.
     
  14. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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    it did match my rednet close enough for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  15. loplop

    loplop Acquaintance

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    @gbeast thank you: that was extremely helpful in helping me understand the tradeoff associated with the E vs the X.

    I would really like to hear one of these. I'll have to ponder how to make that happen...
     
  16. orangefridge

    orangefridge Rando

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    I have some Senn HD800S newer models coming next week. Very tempted to try them with the X model when I'm editing on headphones.
    Wonder how it compares to the stock pairing of the HDVD800...
     
  17. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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  18. murphythecat

    murphythecat Friend

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    this is even more confusing!
    from what I read, the ifi pro ican is more versatile and likely better then the phonitor E, but the phonitor x sounds more real but its also 2500 usd vs the pro ican at 1600usd. any more thoughts between the phonitor x vs pro ican is welcome if you can.

    it seems the choice so far for me is between the Phonitor x, Pro Ican and the Wells audio Milo. VERY hard to decide between the 3.
     
  19. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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    Pro
    • The pro has just a little bit better bass quality
    • The pro is competitive in features because it has bass boost and vs the E unit its features are better overall just not vs the X because the X unit has better crossfeed, has mono, and laterality. The X barely wins in features and even though the dip switches suck they allow you to isolate the signal with the X as well
    • The Pro has a slightly blacker background
    • The pro has snappier transients so its a little more engaging.
    • The Pro has more power
    X and E
    • Now the X and E have better tonality hands down this is no contest
    • They are just as refined
    • They have better soundstage
    • Are not fully balanced
    I will edit the review to make that more clear.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
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  20. murphythecat

    murphythecat Friend

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    gbeast. thanks a lot for this. which would you pick, phonitor E or Ican Pro?

    Just one correction, the Pro Ican does have a line stage output (pre-amp).
     

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