Roman Beilharz, sound engineer and long-time customer, purchased our Performer s800 and was pretty impressed by the power amplifier, which inspired him to write a very nice experience report, which we definitely recommend reading.
„For two years i thought the current class-d-technology was the measure of all things: Combined with my Sky Audio Verdade monitor speakers, the digital amplifier which came with the loudspeakers, delivered signals which were tight, fast in the faithful reproduction of impulse peaks and especially incredibly transparent in the mid-range frequencies. Especially when it came to mixing rock music, there was no problem to find the optimal place in the spectrum for snare drums, guitars and vocals. Goodbye headphones! I was pretty sure, that for the next decade, I didn’t have to think about my monitoring situation anymore. But because of the technical problems which occured with the class-d, I was soon forced to face that topic again. A new class-d which would be identical in construction as a replacement was out of the question – as a professional, I need technology which I can rely on longer than two years and the trust in this technology was gone.
Encouraged by the press, I tested an middle class analog power amplifier, which had a round and compact bass range but was lacking in transparency and the fast and faithful reproduction of impulse peaks in the mid-range frequencies – like a padded blanket covering the speaker. Definitely not an alternative. Other high-end power amplifiers which I borrowed to test, delivered more punch, but didn’t provide the beloved fast and ultra-direct sound in the mid- and high range frequencies.
Frustrating. A colleague told me that SPL also offers a power amplifier. 10 minutes after unboxing the SPL Performer s800, it was clear to me that this power amplifier combines the best out of everything I knew and that it will never leave my studio again:
Bang! There it was again, the fresh transparency and hyper-dynamic, the fast and faithful reproduction of impulse peaks! Furthermore, better bass sounds in comparison to the class-d, without being blurry at all. After mixing and listening for a while, it came clear to me that the desired transparency doesnt’t lead to ear fatique with the Performer s800.
The mid- and high-range frequencies provide a direct but also very smooth sound, as if there were lesser high-frequency clink-noises. As a result, my ears remain ‘fresh’ way longer during mixing and mastering.
Speaking of ears: While testing and comparing the unit to others, I was reminded that the functionality of my right ear is affected by an injury during my childhood. No problem for the SPL power amplifier: Because both inputs can be lowered via trim rotary switch, I could adjust the phantom center by -0,5 dB on the left side ‘hard-wired’ with the power amplifier.
Of course my experiences cannot be generalised, because power amplifier, loudspeakers and studio form a unit, which barely can reasonably be regarded separated in practice.
But what I can definitely state is that with the Performer s800, SPL raised the bar for power amplifiers below the five figure range (I can’t say something about devices over this range).This is why I highly recommend this power amplifier to everybody who runs passive loudspeakers.
Considering the level of reliability, I rely on my experiences with my SPL ‘frontend-zoo’: Some of the units fulfil their duties for more than 15 years – without any kind of problem.“
There is nothing left to be added. Thanks Roman!