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Sound Performance Lab Phonitor

MSRP $2149.00 Limited Time Only $1939.00 - Model 2730

Phonitor

MSRP $2149.00 Black Audiophile Version $1939.00 - Model 2730B

Phonitor

Phonitor Headphone Monitoring Amplifier

The Phonitor design is our high-end interpretation for what a complete headphone amplifier should be. A well chosen system of Phonitor and headphones can by and large replace loudspeakers and offers all that is required for a successful session long listening periods without ear fatigue.

We therefore refer to the Phonitor as a headphone monitoring amplifier system.

The basis for this high-end development is our proven 120 volts reference technology based on handmade operation amplifiers. 120 volts corresponds to approximately four times the performance of standard analogue audio semiconductor technologies and twice that of the most powerful designs. Through such 120 volts circuitry and processing we reach performance levels far beyond conventional designs in dynamic range and distortion levels, and the main technical specifications in music reproduction exceeds all known analogue or digital standards.

Set up your own monitor sound and take it everywhere.

In addition to its standard monitoring functions the Phonitor offers new controls such as “Crossfeed“, “Speaker Angle“ and “Center Level“. These are the essential parameters that create the width, balance and overall space within a listening field and how we recognize them coming from the loudspeaker. Crossfeed simulates the frequency dependent interaural level differences from both channels. Speaker Angle determines the stereo width caused by frequency dependent interaural time differences. Center Level regulates the balance between phantom centre and L/R stereo signals.

Applications

Aside from its outstanding abilities as a loudspeaker substitute, the Phonitor offers well equipped studios a fully functional monitoring alternative. In addition one can take along the Phonitor into an unfamiliar studio or production environment that always provides the engineers or producers own monitor sound. Furthermore, with the Phonitor one can simply enjoy music as it was originally mixed, namely for playback over loudspeakers.

Why Headphones?

There is more than meets the eye in working with headphones. For example the modern audio production is often a decentralized process, maybe recording and track laying in one studio and mixing in another and as a result a production often take place in acoustically questionable rooms. In such circumstances, a mix might occur in an acoustically deficient ambiance (for example, in an extremely modal room), and employing headphones then begins to make sense when a successful mix would otherwise turn out to be impossible.

But another fact is that many musicians or producers might wish to – or be able to – mix at home (to say nothing of having to). Then the headphone becomes a clear must, enabling an evening or late night session that can only take place thanks to its being unhindered by the local acoustic environment.

Phonitor

All Advantages For Headphones

As many already know, there are clear advantages to monitoring and mixing with headphones, but there are also a couple of disadvantages. The main one being that it is very difficult (if not impossible) to accurately judge room ambience.

Therefore, several years ago SPL began planning the development of a compact, professional headphone amplifier design based on its 120 volt technology. The inspiration came from project manager Hermann Gier‘s desire to eliminate major disadvantages in working with headphones. It therefore meant transferring the essential ambient parameters of loudspeaker monitoring to headphone monitoring.

After several years of development and painstaking optimization, SPL have now introduced the Phonitor, whose name is a derivative of “Headphone“ and “Monitor“.

With and Without Magnifiers

The Phonitor encompasses the advantages of both kinds of monitoring methods: On one hand the analytical headphone monitoring is like working with an acoustic magnifier but without external room influences; on the other hand, as with loudspeaker monitoring, forgoing the microscopic effect, but with room ambiance. Working with the magnifier effect on headphones has the advantage of safely hearing clicks or similar defects and helps in fine tuning crossfades or to judge tonal problems in individual tracks.

On loudspeakers such analysis is much more difficult, as such problems just are not as apparent as when working without being able to “zoom in” aurally. Conversely, loudspeakers provide monitoring with the advantage of spatial balance in a (definable through placement) stereo width, which in turn provides the illusion of an acoustic stage.

Traditional headphone reproduction produces 180-degree stereo width in the middle of the head, and it is exactly this which creates the very problematic-to-impossible headphone mixing environment. An essential reason for such unnatural ambiance is the complete separation of the channels, which does not exist either in natural hearing or in stereo loudspeaker reproduction. This makes it nearly impossible to judge tonal balance, a stereo image and the phantom centre level. Panorama adjustments as well as related EQ settings that one attempts with headphones, typically just do not function on loudspeakers.

Moreover, what is often called the “super stereo effect” with headphones usually creates a great deal of ear fatigue in the long run. Over loudspeakers the sound stage is felt in front, while in contrast, when monitoring through headphones, the stage is present on the left and on the right – but frontal and rear information is lost.

The End Of Ear Fatigue

Aside from the unnatural headphone ambiance there are further disadvantages with fatigue when mixing or listening with headphones. First, some headphones can be very uncomfortable to wear...

Conventional headphone amplifiers can also be a contributing factor to premature ear fatigue. Almost without exception, present-day headphone amplifiers employ comparatively undemanding IC’s. In the best cases they might work with symmetrical voltages of +/-15V to +/-18V, and in less favorable cases, with only a simple supply of 9 or 12V from cheaper external “wall-wart“ power supplies. But the voltage level acts in circuitry much like the cubic inch capacity to the productive power of a combustion engine: Cubic inch capacity is replaceable with nothing but more cubic inch capacity – and in the productive power of electronics, voltage level functions similarly.

For some years, now, SPL has addressed this issue in with its mastering series of products through its own specifically developed 120 volt technology. Consoles and signal processors of the SPL Mastering Series appear as central elements in installations of today’s most renowned mastering houses (z. B. Bob Ludwig’s Gateway Mastering & DVD in the USA, Simon Heyworth’s Super Audio Mastering in Great Britain or the Galaxy Studios in Belgium). This 120 volt technology is based on discrete operation amplifiers from SPL’s own production, developed and perfected over many years by SPL’s co-founder and chief developer, Wolfgang Neumann. These SUPRA OPs work with high-performance semiconductors in Class A technology at a symmetrical voltage of +/-60V. In the Phonitor nine SUPRA OPs are employed. The SUPRA OPs have a Signal To Noise Ratio of 116dB and offer a nearly 34dB headroom – that yields an unequalled 150dB dynamic range.

The musical result cannot be mistaken: Regardless of the monitoring means, regardless of how loud you monitor – the Phonitor always remains a distant, impartial factor unaffected when used to capacity and beyond being overloaded.

The phase stability is always perfect and its THD is next to immeasurable. The Phonitor’s SUPRA OPs cannot be stressed even in the most stressful circumstances, and for precisely this reason its musical sound is always relaxed and spacious. All frequencies are reproduced in balance, basses are stable and tight, mids are clear and differentiated and highs remain transparent and soft.

Such supreme and heretofore unreachable neutrality in audio reproduction is the direct consequence of our technical approach and basis in 120 volt technology: Possible disturbances from such as noise or distortion are so slight that we even arrive at the boundaries of the best measuring equipment, and what remains is quite simply unaltered musical sound.

Phonitor

Phonitor         Phonitor         Phonitor  

Specifications Model 2730

Audio
Frequency Response: ‹10Hz to ›200kHz (-3dB)
CMR:-80dBu (@1kHz, 0dBu input level and unity gain)
Crosstalk: -67dB (@1kHz)
THD: 0,005% (@ 1kHz, 0dBu input level and unity gain)
Noise: -97dBu (A-weighted)
Dynamic Range: 129,5dB (@ 600 Ohms Impedance)

Inputs
(XLR connections, electronically balanced)
Impedance: ca. 20 Ohms balanced/ca. 10 Ohms unbalanced
Maximum Input Level: +24dBu

Outputs
XLR Connections: Input thru, electronically balanced
Headphone Output: 6,3 mm stereo TRS connection
Pin Wiring Tip = left, Ring = right, Shaft = GND, Impedance: 9 Ohms

Power Amplifier
Max. Output Performance:
1,7W (+32,2dBm) @ 1 kHz and 600 Ohms connection
360mW (+25,6dBm) @ 1 kHz and 30 Ohms connection

Display Elements
VU Meter: Input levels from -20dB to +5dB
Signal LED: Input signals from -22dBu
Overload LED: Displays input overload from +21dBu

Power Supply
Voltages: 230V AC, 50Hz/120V AC, 60Hz
Power Consumption: max 23,7VA
Fuses (slow blow): 200-240V AC: 500mA/100-120V AC: 1A

Dimensions & Weight
H x W x D (mm): 106 x 216 x 393 (H w/o Feet 88mm/2U)
Weight: 4,05kg

 

Phonitor      Phonitor      Phonitor

Sound Performance Lab Auditor

 MSRP $999.00 Limited Time Only $899.00 - Model 2910

Auditor

 MSRP $999.00 Black Version $899.00 - Model 2910B

Auditor

Auditor Headphone Monitoring Amplifier

The Auditor is our interpretation of a high-end headphone amplifier. We strictly followed a purist approach to achieve the highest sound quality.

The basis for such high-end developments is our proved 120 volts reference technology. Core elements are the handmade SPL SUPRA op-amps running on 120 volts – it corresponds to approximately twice that of most modern analog audio semiconductor technologies. Through such 120 volts circuitry and processing we reach performance levels far beyond conventional designs in dynamic range and distortion levels, and such technical specifications exceed all known analog or digital standards. In other words: simply sounds.

Why Headphones?

There is more than meets the eye in working with headphones. For example the modern audio production is often a decentralized process, maybe recording and track laying in one studio and mixing in another and as a result a production often take place in acoustically questionable rooms. In such circumstances, a mix might occur in an acoustically deficient ambiance (for example, in an extremely modal room), and employing headphones then begins to make sense when a successful mix would otherwise turn out to be impossible. Another fact is that many musicians or producers might wish to – or be able to – mix at home (to say nothing of having to). Then the headphone becomes a clear must, enabling an evening or late night session that can only take place thanks to its being unhindered by the local acoustic environment.

Acoustic Magnifier

But also when working with full range monitors in the studio, headphone monitoring is an extremely important alternative to loudspeaker monitoring: analytical monitoring via headphones offers a very high precision to observe details. Headphone monitoring is like working with an acoustic magnifier, excluding external room influences. Working with the magnifier effect of headphones has the advantage of safely hearing clicks or similar defects and helps in fine tuning crossfades or to judge tonal problems in individual tracks.

The End of Ear Fatigue

With headphones, ear fatigue can begin relatively soon, and there are several causes. First, some cans themselves may not be that comfortable to wear...

Moreover, a standard headphone amplifier is often an additional important reason for premature ear fatigue. Almost without exception, present-day headphone amplifiers employ comparatively undemanding IC’s. In the best cases they might work with symmetrical voltages of +/-15 V to +/-18 V, and in less favorable cases, with only a simple supply of 9 or 12 V from cheaper external “wall-wart“ power supplies. But the voltage level acts in circuitry much like the cubic inch capacity to the productive power of a combustion engine: Cubic inch capacity is replaceable with nothing but more cubic inch capacity – and in the productive power of electronics, voltage level functions similarly.

For some years, now, SPL has addressed this issue in all of its mastering product series through its own specifically developed 120 volt technology. Consoles and signal processors of the SPL Mastering Series appear as central elements in installations of today’s most renowned mastering houses (e. g. Bob Ludwig’s Gateway Mastering & DVD in the USA, Simon Heyworth’s Super Audio Mastering in Great Britain or the Galaxy Studios in Belgium). This 120 volt technology is based on discrete operation amplifiers from SPL’s own production, developed and perfected over many years by SPL’s co-founder and chief developer, Wolfgang Neumann. The SUPRA OPs have a signal to noise ratio of 116 dB and offer a 34 dB headroom – that yields an unequalled 150 dB dynamic range.

The musical result is not to be mistaken: Regardless of the monitoring means, regardless of how loud you monitor – the Auditor always remains a distant, impartial factor unaffected when used to capacity and beyond being overloaded. The phase stability is always perfect, its THD next to immeasurable. The SUPRA OPs cannot be stressed in the most stressful circumstances, and for precisely this reason its musical sound is always relaxed and spacious. All frequencies are reproduced in balance, basses are stable and tight, mids are clear and differentiated and highs remain transparent and soft.

Such supreme and heretofore unreachable neutrality in audio reproduction is the direct consequence of our technical approach and basis in 120 volt technology: Possible disturbances from such as noise or distortion are so slight that we even arrive at the boundaries of the best measuring equipment, and what remains is quite simply unaltered musical sound.

Auditor

Auditor

Auditor

Specifications Model 2910

Audio
Frequency Response: ‹5 Hz to ›200 kHz (-3 dB)
CMR:-80 dBu (@1 kHz, 0 dBu input level and unity gain)
Crosstalk: -84 dB (@1kHz)
THD: 0,001 % (@ 1kHz, 0 dBu input level and unity gain)
Noise: -97 dBu (A-weighted)
Dynamic Range: 129 dB (@ 600 Ohms Impedance)

Inputs
(XLR connections, electronically balanced)
Impedance: ca. 20 Ohms balanced/ca. 10 Ohms unbalanced
Maximum Input Level: +24dBu

Outputs
XLR Connections: Input thru, electronically balanced
Headphone Output: 6,3 mm stereo TRS connection
Pin Wiring Tip = left, Ring = right, Shaft = GND, Impedance: 9 Ohms

Power Amplifier
Max. Output Performance:
1,7W (+32,2dBm) @ 1 kHz and 600 Ohms connection
360mW (+25,6dBm) @ 1 kHz and 30 Ohms connection

Power Supply
Voltages: 230V AC, 50Hz/120V AC, 60Hz
Power Consumption:max. 5,6 W/7,9 VA/0,03 A
Fuses (slow blow): 200-240 V AC: 200 mA/100-120 V AC: 400 mA

Dimensions & Weight
Height x width x depth: 95 x 210 x 315 mm
Height with lifted feet: 127 mm
Depth with volume knob: 335 mm
Weight: 2.65 kg

 

Auditor      Auditor      Auditor

Sound Performance Lab 2Control

 $699.00 - Model 2860

2Control

2Control Speaker & Headphone Monitoring Controller

The 2Control combines loudspeaker and headphone monitoring in a compact, user-friendly and high quality control device. Any studio based on a digital audio workstation (DAW) can benefit from its important and essential monitoring functions.

The 2Control with its unique Crossfeed control allows to judge a stereo panorama on headphones just like with loudspeakers. The unit's concept is consequently based upon duality: Two channels, two sources, two loudspeaker sets, two headphones—2Control.

The Speakers and Headphones Monitoring Center

The 2Control combines loudspeaker and headphone monitoring in a compact, user-friendly and high quality control device. Control near-field monitors, full-range speakers and headphone monitoring for two listeners from one central unit!

Analog Volume Control for Your DAW

A majority of D/A converters and sound cards provide nothing in the way of analog level monitoring control, and this means the necessity of varying signal levels at the converter outputs. The result is a lowered bit rate in the monitoring signal, which can lead to commensurate loss of audio quality. 

Two Excellent Headphone Amplifiers

Friends, colleagues, customers: in the end there’s always someone else who wants to listen in, too. With the 2Control you also have the second headphone under control – and can rely on first-class quality.

Crossfeed Control

With it's innovative crossfeed control, the 2Control allows to adjust the stereo width on headphones. Now headphone monitoring can be compared to speaker monitoring, making it possible to also mix on headphones.

Extend the Range of Headphone Applications

Some exemplary benefits of the crossfeed control: at home, nocturnal engineers now have an alternative to full range monitors for judging stereo imaging in their mixes. Furthermore, the headphone monitoring is not restricted for analytical listening only, but can serve as full stereo monitoring alternative. And the compact housing makes it easy to transport the 2Control to have familiar monitoring conditions at foreign places.

High-Grade Balancing Stages

We use custom made balancing stages to drive long distances reliably and for first class common mode rejection values. Note that only balanced connections exclude hum and interferences. We recommend to establish balanced connections wherever possible – especially connections over long distances (e. g. to speakers).

Unbalanced Connections (e. g. RCA, TS Jack)

You can establish unbalanced connections easily and without adaptors – for example from CD-Players with RCA outputs or to (HiFi) power amplifiers with RCA inputs. It is important to pay attention to the correct polarity of the three XLR wires.
Connections to RCA and TS Jack inputs or outputs are always unbalanced. Connections to TRS inputs or outputs may be balanced or unbalanced. In any case we recommend to use readily configured cables from XLR to the respective RCA or TS/TRS connector to dispense with adaptors. Ask your dealer for configured cables. With the XLR pin configuration diagram in our manuals any audio expert can ensure to select or configure appropriate cables.

Separate Mono Speaker Output

In addition to two stereo speaker sets you can also connect a mono speaker or a subwoofer. Tip for working with headphones: Listen with subwoofer to enjoy the physical impact of the low end.

Who Needs Analog Level Control?

The advantages of an analog monitoring controller becomes especially apparent in combination with modern audio and video production tools such as ProTools™, Nuendo™, Cubase™, Logic™, Deck™, etc. Monitor levels and source management can be handled independently of the software and with virtually no loss in quality. You no longer need to set up additional aux sends for monitoring. In addition, you won’t have to worry about over- or underdriving the converters when changing monitor levels.

2 Times ... Everything

The concept of the 2Control is based on a dual-channel operation that allows for connection of two sources, two stereo speaker sets and two headphones. Each of the three speaker outputs (2 stereo sets, 1 x mono speaker) is driven by its own balancing stage to exclude signal degrading mutual influences. Each headphone output is supplied by a separate amplifier to allow for completely independent operation of two headphones without any interaction from the other output.  

Activity

The high-quality 2Control speaker volume potentiometer and active circuits correspond with the high demands in professional audio applications regarding sound quality and usability. In contrast to passive circuits, the 2Control’s active designs do not influence impedances when levels change. Altering impedances would again have effects on the frequency response, so the 2Control’s active design guarantees linearity.
Additionally there is often the need to “zoom” into audio material when listening to quiet passages or checking for artifacts etc. – and only active designs offer signal amplification.

Crossfeed

There is more than meets the eye in working with headphones. One reason for this is that modern audio production often necessitates decentralized processes. In turn, many musicians or producers might wish to – or be able to – mix at home (to say nothing of having to). Then the headphone becomes a clear must, enabling an evening or late night session that can only take place thanks to its being unhindered by the local acoustic environment. Now each and every careful headphone user should know about the analytical advantages of headphone monitoring, but also about the main disadvantage: the difficulty (if note impossibility) in properly judging room ambience.

A new feature of the 2Control is the Crossfeed control for both headphone outputs, which was derived from the high-end headphone amplifier Phonitor. From their principle, headphones have the disadvantage of producing a 180 degree stereo panorama – the Crossfeed control can be used to adjust a stereo panorama that corresponds to a stereo speaker image. Based upon the imaging of a speaker set positioned on angle of 30 degrees towards the listener, the crosstalk of both channels can be regulated to meet individual demands. Whenever speaker monitoring may not be possible or if an monitoring alternative to speakers is required, the 2Control allows for judging mixes also on headphones.

Input Sensitivity (Input 2)

Inputs IN 1 and IN 2 are gauged to analog line level signals at +4 dBu. The second input IN 2 can alternatively be set to another input sensitivity of -10dBV nominal level. A nominal level of +4 dBu represents the international standard of professional studio equipment, -10dBV corresponds to the standard in consumer electronics, hence the ideal setting for connecting comsumer CD/DVD-Players.

Switches

Source and speaker output switches as well as mono and dim switches provide the main monitoring functions for a complete controller – without overloading user interface and electronics.

2Control

2Control

Specifications Model 2860

Audio
Frequency range: 10Hz to 100kHz (-3dB)
CMRR: ›60dB (@1kHz, 0dBu input level, unity gain)
THD&N: 0,002% (@1kHz, 0dBu input level, unity gain)
Signal to noise ratio: -96dB/Headphones: -85dB (A-weighted)
Crosstalk L/R: ›70dB (@1kHz)
Dynamic range: 116dB
Power consumption: ca. 25W

Inputs & Outputs
Electronically balanced instrumentation amplifiers
Input sockets: XLR
Output sockets: XLR, Stereo TRS
Nominal input level: IN 1: +4dBu, IN 2: +4dBu/-10dBV
Input impedance: 22kOhm
Output impedance: 75Ohm/Headphones: 22Ohm
Max. input level: 21,3dBu
Max. output level: 21,3dBu
Volume control range: -80dB to +6,6dB
Headphones: -65dB to +14,9dB

Power Supply
Features: Toroidal transformer with voltage selector
Fuses (slow blow): 230V/50Hz: 315mA, 120V/60Hz: 630mA

Dimensions & Weight
Housing (BxHxT): 215x80x220mm
Depth w. controls & sockets: 245mm
Height with feet: 95mm
Front height w. opened feet: 126mm
Weight: 2,1kg

 

Sound Performance Lab - Germany

Sound Performance Lab      Sound Performance Lab      Sound Performance Lab