Review: SPL Performer m1000 @ HIFISTATEMENT

“The times I was wary with digital elements are long gone: today, I am even able to hear if a LAN switch with Clock sounds better. With power amplifiers, it’s a little bit different with this digital open-mindedness: In this case there has to be a big transformer and plenty of sieve capacity. The Performer amps are definitely not lacking these two features.” Dirk Sommer

“The amp is designed as a classic bi-polar power amplifier. Its power supply is even higher as of the Voltair technology.
This is the only way to achieve the desired performance: one Performer delivers up to 1000 W into 2 ohms and 420 W into 8 ohms speaker. This energy is provided by an a 1375 VA toroidal transformer, which rests on eight rubber feet on a steel plate of two millimeters, so that no mechanical noises can be transferred to the housing. While tech-talking with developer Bastian Neu, he says that in an earlier version, eight capacitors with 6800 microfarad for sieving were used. Though in the course of the development, he discovered potential for improvement of the sound at this point: Now each Performer can rely on 2 boards with each 50 electrolytic capacitors with 1000 microfarad.”

“To prevent the tendency to vibrate under very complex loads, the Performer m1000 is equipped with a custom 3,8µH coil made by German high-end specialist Mundorf”

“A thermal overload of the power amplifier is also impossible: at about 50°C at the heat sink, the amplifier will engage the processor-controlled fan cooling. It is not about raising a storm at the heat sink. Bastian Neu explains that more cooling fans mean low rotation speed. Even at shows and events the cooling fans operated at a normal duration. Still, besides the processor controlled cooling, there is a further protective circuit: In the unlikely event that the temperature of the heat sink increases to 85°C, the power amplifier automatically switches off, indicated by the “Temp” LED. As soon as the temperature falls below 55°C the Performer amps switch back on automatically. Another thing worth mentioning is that the power amplifier only provides one balanced input, which is passively routed to the output connector. Next to this is a “Trim” switch, which does not changes the input sensitivity, but to lower the gain factor in twelve 0.5 dB steps. An attenuation of the incoming signal is not reasonable, because it would impair the signal-to-noise ratio, explains Bastian Neu. Well, it seems there is no detail, which he hasn’t thought about.”

Sound:

“The m1000 plays as smooth and fluent as a Class-A power amplifier with decent output power.
When listening to Jonas Hellborg’s Silent Life record, I was getting a first impression of the Performer’s power: I have never heard Helborg’s powerful acoustic bass playing this precise and controlled but at the same time still vivid and emotionally appealing. The low-frequency chassis of the Epoque Aeon Fine are firmly under control of the m1000 amps.”

“The wide, imaginary spatiality indicate how sensitive the SPL amps treat even the finest signals. They make this solo bass record an absolute listening pleasure!”

“The biggest surprise for me was that the Performer amps, in spite of their power rating of 1 kilowatt, are not these kind of bolides that are unable to move because of their bulkiness. Quite the contrary: they operate tremendously light-footed, let the music flow softly, but are also able to immediately release a huge amount of energy, if necessary.”

Conclusion:

“With the m1000, SPL provides mono power amplifiers which effortlessly get the best out of even difficult loudspeakers. Surprisingly, these power packs also drive small speakers smooth and fluently. The Performer amps offer excellent processing and an incredibly huge amount of euphony for that money.”

Find the copmplete review (in German) online at HIFISTATEMENT NETMAGAZINE.