file Anybody using PS Audio M1200 monoblocks?

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charliehatch Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago
#29757
Sad to report that one of my Bel Canto REF600M monoblocks has died. So, for the moment, I'm listening with headphones. But I got to wondering...I've been following the PS Audio M1200 amps (tube front end, Class D output stage), and I'm thinking about trying them.

The Stereophile review of the M1200 is a bit confusing. I'm paraphrasing here, but Fremer talks about hearing sounds die out more quickly than with his extremely expensive reference amps. Reading between the lines, that suggests to me a higher noise floor. John Atkinson measured a relatively high noise floor, but that may just be ultrasonic noise from the Class D leaking through the low-pass filter (although the Class D Bel Cantos did NOT have a high noise floor when Atkinson measured them in another review). The high gain of the M1200 (over 30 dB), combined with the high sensitivity of my TRefs, makes me worry about a bit about noise being a problem.

A lot of people are very positive about the M1200, but I'm wondering if anybody on the forum tried driving Tritons with these amps.

Any comments will be appreciated.

Charlie
PS Audio P20 feeds all components of 2.0 System: Auralic Aries G2> USB > DSPeaker Anti-Mode X4 DAC/Pre > Core Power Diamond XLR interconnects > PS Audio M1200 monoblocks > Core Power Diamond banana speaker cables > Triton References on IsoAcoustics Gaia II isolators
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anthem Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago
#29760
Charlie:

Sad to hear your Bel Canto has died. You probably wish you had a barn full of gear like me. When an amp gives up the ghost, just go to the barn and grab a new one.

In regards to the PS Audio M1200's...they sound like great amps, but they are just to pricey.

For what it's worth, have a look at D Sonic. I've had the D Sonic M3a-600M mono's for 16 months and can honestly say these are some really sweet amps. Rock solid bass, sweet highs, and endless power. Gain is 32 with literally no noise. At $2250.00 a pair you could save about 4k versus the M1200's.

hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/amplifier/po...no-amplifier-review/
D-Sonic m3a-600m Mono > Decware Zen Torii mk4 > McIntosh MC152 > Emotiva xpa1 Mono's > Anthem Statement P2 > Primaluna ProLogue Premium Preamp > Morrow Audio > Oppo 205 > Decware ZLC > Triton Reference > Isoacoustics Gaia 2

Every great performance deserves an Audience!
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charliehatch Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago
#29761
Thanks, anthem!

Yes, this is the second failure for me...the same unit! First time, the power module failed, this time it looks like the power supply side.

I do have a backup, but it's a lower powered stereo amp, and it would be a pain to put it back in service because of the geometry of my system. I don't have a barn full of gear, unfortunately, but if I keep this up I probably will eventually. :)

Thanks for the lead on the D Sonic. I have read the review you linked, but there is only limited information available on the D Sonic site and in other reviews. A lot of people are raving about these, but it's not clear what they're comparing them to. No one mentioned Bel Cantos for comparison, which would be nice. But I am checking them out.

In the review you linked, there is a list of specifications (which I can't find on the D Sonic site!), and, being a number kind of guy, I really like what I see. They spec very nicely indeed. There is one thing I'm confused about. This statement in the review about gains:

26dB SE mode, 32dB BTL mode

You mentioned 32 dB, and my Bel Cantos are 27 dB with an internal switch selectable for 33 dB. I run them at 27. Do you know what "SE mode" and "BTL mode" stand for? I can't find an explanation.

I'm intrigued by the M1200s, and yes, they are relatively expensive, but by no means in the realm of most Stereophile Class A amplifiers ($100k+, really?). And, I may be able to save some bucks at PS Audio by trading in my old stereo amp. I have always, always, ALWAYS been a solid state guy, but I'm intrigued by the hybrid design with the tube front end. I wonder how they sound. There are many positive reviews for this amp.

If you are curious, this is the most interesting review on the M1200 I've found:
positive-feedback.com/reviews/hardware-r...200-power-amplifier/

In there is a very interesting discussion about the effects of global feedback on soundstage depth. It makes perfect sense when I think about it.

Thanks for the pointer to D Sonic. Like Jack Benny, "I'm thinking! I'm thinking!"

Charlie
PS Audio P20 feeds all components of 2.0 System: Auralic Aries G2> USB > DSPeaker Anti-Mode X4 DAC/Pre > Core Power Diamond XLR interconnects > PS Audio M1200 monoblocks > Core Power Diamond banana speaker cables > Triton References on IsoAcoustics Gaia II isolators
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rjohn79395 Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago
Last edit: 2 months 2 weeks ago by rjohn79395. info_outline
#29762
Great discussion guys!

Haven't heard the D Sonics or the M1200's, but have read the reviews of both.

Anthem has the most experience with various amps, tubed or otherwise. I'd venture the D Sonics should be in the running.

As an aside Charlie, what headphones and feed setup are you using in the interim?


RIck
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anthem Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago
#29763
6moons.com/audioreviews/dsonic/1.html

Here's a review of the D Sonic M3A-1500M their top Monoblock (1500 watts 8 ohms) for $2850 pair.
D-Sonic m3a-600m Mono > Decware Zen Torii mk4 > McIntosh MC152 > Emotiva xpa1 Mono's > Anthem Statement P2 > Primaluna ProLogue Premium Preamp > Morrow Audio > Oppo 205 > Decware ZLC > Triton Reference > Isoacoustics Gaia 2

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charliehatch Posted 2 months 1 week ago
#29764
Rick,

My DSPeaker DAC/Pre has a headphone amp built in, so I'm just tapping into that. (That is an amazing box.)

I started off with an old pair of Sony headphones, but, after the TRefs, I couldn't stand the sound. So I bought a pair of Focus Stellia phones and a Pangea extension cord. The sound of the Stellias is very very good. They go down as low as the TRefs; the only thing I'm missing is feeling my chest vibrate. They had a slight hump in the response in the upper bass, so I dialed in a mild DSP notch filter in my DSPeaker, and that took care of it.

It's an interesting experience to listen with the headphones. They totally subtract the room, and I can hear immense detail that was masked by multiple room reflections. The downside is the imaging and soundstage, which just isn't in the same class as the TRefs. I wish we could have a combination of both. I guess I need to build an anechoic chamber listening room. :)

Charlie
PS Audio P20 feeds all components of 2.0 System: Auralic Aries G2> USB > DSPeaker Anti-Mode X4 DAC/Pre > Core Power Diamond XLR interconnects > PS Audio M1200 monoblocks > Core Power Diamond banana speaker cables > Triton References on IsoAcoustics Gaia II isolators
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