file Anybody using PS Audio M1200 monoblocks?

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charliehatch Posted 4 months 6 days ago
#29789
Rick and anthem,

The M1200s arrived yesterday. Before putting them in my system, I verified that the tubes were still seated properly (I read somewhere where one had shifted due to rough handling). They were fine.

I also read that PS Audio is breaking in the amps somewhat before shipping them to help the process.

The amps are resting on a set of IsoAcoustics OREA Bronze isolators.

The obvious and immediately noticable difference is improved bass slam. In fact, that slam extends to higher frequencies and produces greater articulation and detail. They are still bright at the upper end, but that's to be expected at this stage. Imaging and soundstage depth are also improved.

On slam....I'm trading in my old CI Audio E-200S stereo amp, and to make sure it's ok before shipping it to PS Audio, I unboxed it and gave it a quick listen. That amp is 200 W into 8 ohms. The reduction in bass slam was obvious. The bass sounded relatively mushy compared to my 300 W Bel Cantos. So there is a clear progression in bass authority from 200 W to 300 W to 600 W. It is not subtle. The M1200s have tremendous grip. (It is a mystery to me how this effect can be so clear when the TRef's 1800 W sub amp is mediating this whole process, but clear it is.)

Here's an interesting bass experiment for you. Listen to Beyonce's Partition (it's on Qobuz). There is a magnificent bass synth swoop down that seems to go all the way to zero. It is a real test of the bass response of a system (and the room). When I heard this on the M1200s, I heard more detail than I'd heard before.

I'll report back after some more break in. At this point I'm not running them continuously, so it will take a while.

Charlie
Digital source > multiple boxes and cables that are always changing > Triton Reference speakers
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charliehatch Posted 4 months 6 days ago
#29790


Hey Charlie, a couple more thoughts on 16/44.1 vs. hi res. I think a lot of the hi res we can stream from Qobuz etc. is older 16/44 CD recordings later remastered/upsampled to say 24/96. The hi res versions may have more data points, but they basically have the same audio info, but upsampled. I believe the best hi res in terms of hearing a difference is the newer stuff actually recorded in hi res so there is actually more audio data.

I have heard lots of 16/44.1 music that is outstanding, and lots of upmixed/remastered 24/96 that may or may not be any better than the original 16/44 version it was remastered from. So I'll take well recorded 16/44.1 over attempts to remaster so-so SQ 16/44.1 to hi res anytime. And music originally recorded well in hi res is great when it's done right. I hope we'll see more music originally recorded in hi res to stream over time.

But I'll play and enjoy any music that is well done without worrying too much about whether it's 16/44 or 24/96. I suspect the expertise of the recording engineers, and gear used is more critical than choice of bit depth etc. Good is good regardless of bit depth/sample rate.

Rick


I agree, and it's equipment in the chain and all the way to the mastering engineer. I bought two versions of a recording from Reference Recordings, one is 44/24 (after conversion from HDCD), and one is 176/24. I did this a couple of years ago, and at that time I couldn't hear a firm difference. I'm pretty sure this was recorded at 176, but I could be wrong. I'll try this again soon.

Per your suggestion, I've been listening to Norah Jones' Cold, Cold Heart on Qobuz. Qobuz actually has a 44.1 version along with the hi res version, so I can listen to one, then the other. On my Stellias, I seemed to notice a difference between the two, but the jury is still out. I need to do more listening to see if I'm just imagining the difference.

Charlie
Digital source > multiple boxes and cables that are always changing > Triton Reference speakers
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rjohn79395 Posted 4 months 6 days ago
Last edit: 4 months 6 days ago by rjohn79395. info_outline
#29791
Thanks for the great report, Charlie!

Your observations are similar to lots of reviews I've read on the M1200's. Virtually all say the bass slam is top notch and so clean and detailed, that the amps keep a tight grip on the speakers, and maybe it's the best bass of any amp they've tested, including driving not so easy to drive Wilson's. So they definitely play with the big boy amps. All also say they need burn in time to mellow out.

I too get puzzled by the T Ref's love for wattage/power, given their high efficiency ratings and built in 1,800 watt amps driving the power hungry bass section. I can say that when watching action movies with lots of bass like Greenland, Midway, Dunkirk, the T Ref's with sub out, non powered feeds via LFE, raise the bass game many more notches. They can produce rafter shaking sound, so the 1,800 watt built in amps must have lots of available reserve.

Enjoy the ride, and keep us posted!

Rick
5.4.4 HT speakers: T Ref fronts/LFE 1, SuperCenter Ref, T1 surrounds/LFE 2, HTR 7000 top fronts, Invisa 525 top rears
Zone 2 speakers; 2 Invisa 525's
AVR: Marantz SR 7010
Amps: AT525NC 5 channel, Parasound 275 v.2 stereo
Cable/TiVo, OPPO BDP 105D, Bluesound Node 2i
48" SONY 4K OLED TV
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rjohn79395 Posted 4 months 2 days ago
Last edit: 4 months 2 days ago by rjohn79395. info_outline
#29803
Hey Charlie

I found a Qobuz playlist, The London Double Bass Sound, don't know if it's your cup of tea music wise, but your new M1200's would just eat this up I think. And get some good break in exercise.....

Rick
5.4.4 HT speakers: T Ref fronts/LFE 1, SuperCenter Ref, T1 surrounds/LFE 2, HTR 7000 top fronts, Invisa 525 top rears
Zone 2 speakers; 2 Invisa 525's
AVR: Marantz SR 7010
Amps: AT525NC 5 channel, Parasound 275 v.2 stereo
Cable/TiVo, OPPO BDP 105D, Bluesound Node 2i
48" SONY 4K OLED TV
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charliehatch Posted 4 months 2 days ago
#29804
Thanks Rick,

I did find them. It just shows that bass players shouldn't be let out without a keeper. :) Pretty amusing renditions, but I could only take a little of that at any one time. That stuff is also a good test of your room control, since much of their playing is right in the region of those low room modes. My DSPeaker X4 handles them very well.

The amps are breaking in nicely, with around 30 hours or so on them now. I think that improved "bass slam" extends well up into the treble; they have high resolution across the audio band. There is still a bit of very high harshness, but that is disappearing. The result of that resolution is better imaging and soundstage depth and more fine detail; more of a sense of being present with the musicians.

They are quite something and show that the TRefs can reveal just about anything...

Charlie
Digital source > multiple boxes and cables that are always changing > Triton Reference speakers
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rjohn79395 Posted 4 months 1 day ago
#29805
Hey Charlie

If you haven't played Prayer on the the London Double Bass Sound playlist, give it a try, and Ol' Man River right after. That's room shaking bass, your T Ref's and M1200's should have a ball with it. And yes I agree, the playlist needs to be in small doses. Can't sit through the whole thing either. But the bass can be glorious.

Gotta' admit I'm a tad jealous of your M1200 amps. Keep thinking someday I'd like mono blocks like those for the fronts, and re purpose the ATi 5 channel amp now powering fronts, center and surrounds to handle center, surrounds and one of the height pairs. Got a space issue with the current entertainment console set up that has WAF issues re changing it.

Keep sending reviews, I may get motivated enough to take the plunge!

Rick
5.4.4 HT speakers: T Ref fronts/LFE 1, SuperCenter Ref, T1 surrounds/LFE 2, HTR 7000 top fronts, Invisa 525 top rears
Zone 2 speakers; 2 Invisa 525's
AVR: Marantz SR 7010
Amps: AT525NC 5 channel, Parasound 275 v.2 stereo
Cable/TiVo, OPPO BDP 105D, Bluesound Node 2i
48" SONY 4K OLED TV

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