SPL Phonitor x at fairaudio

Wow! Benjamin Baum of fairaudio created a very extensive and detailed review about our headphone amplifier & preamplifier Phonitor x. Definitely worthwhile reading!

“One of the fist manufacturer, that successfully adapted the application of Crossfeed for home use, was the Sound Performance Lab located in the placid small town Niederkrüchten … SPL’s Phonitor amplifier in its latest home user freindly version is called Phonitor x … and is supposed to bring in some recording studio ambience to my living room.”

“Two large and prominent illuminated VU meters as well as all knobs and switches on the front, do remind of an aircraft’s cockpit, making no secret what this heavyweight is made of. In this case: aluminium, optionally in black, silver or red. Its heavy fighting weight of about four kilo is mainly caused by its integrated linear power supply, the generously sized toroidal transformer.”

“Also details like the massive, but smoothly running control knobs or the surprisingly high-quality decoupling support feet, mounted at the bottom of the unit leave no doubt this is quality ‘Made in Germany’.”

SPL Matrix

“Let’s get to the actual unique feature of the Phonitor x: its unprecedentedly elaborate implemented louspeaker simulation, elsewhere simply called Crossfeed, whereas at SPL it is called (appropriately complex) ‘SPL Matrix’.”

“But while all other mentioned Crossfeed circuits only can be varied in increase … the ‘SPL Matrix’ allows the listener the simulation of a large number of various real loudspeaker-like listening situations.”

“With the SPL Matrix it is not only possible to simulate real loudspeakers on headphones, you can also virtually place the speakers in a room …”

“There are two things the SPL Phonitor x offers, that other headphone amplifiers could not even come close to provide. First of all the sound stability in the room, secondly the neutrality soundwise.”

“On the credit side of the SPL Phonitor x … drastically enhanced spatial depth, almost comlete elimination of the Super-Stereo effect, pleasant reduction of the in-head localization …”

“… the SPL is and remains a dynamic and true impulse fidelity amplifier, no matter which setting you choose.”

“Well, the Phonitor is extremely loud, extremely linear and free of any noise or distortion.”

“It is save to say that currently money can’t buy a better Crossfeed than the ‘SPL Matrix’.”

Conclusion

“With the Phonitor x, SPL demonstrates how to translate pro-audio technology into living room suitable high fidelity, without denying their studio genes. Small but excellent adjustments like the the possibility to control the volume with any remote, an extremely fine balance control and the optional integration of a D/A converter should bring the SPL Matrix (appreciated by sound engineers for years as a state-of-the-art crossfeed) into the living rooms of high fidelity fans.”

“With adequate headphones and a good player as well as a solid recording, the Phonitor x with its abilities represents the pinnacle of the possible when it comes to headphone sounds without spending millions.”

You will find the complete review (in German) at fairaudio.