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PSI Audio A21M twice as Good as Opals? Studio Monitors
Old 17th November 2012
  #31
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolColJ View Post
The Opals compare well to the SM9 as well, and they are way cheaper
Out of interest why did you move from the Opals to the SM9's as it's quite a price hike if the monitors compare well.
Old 17th November 2012
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maschined View Post
Out of interest why did you move from the Opals to the SM9's as it's quite a price hike if the monitors compare well.
Wanted more accuracy, detail, and less colouration
Old 18th November 2012
  #33
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

Also don't forget listening distances

Opals sound much better at midfield distances. More balanced and just lush sounding here. The tone smooths out and the colour is very nice.

SM9 work better at nearfield distances
Old 12th December 2012
  #34
Gear Head
 

ok posting findings/ our own opinions as promised.

I was fortunate enough to spend some good time with 3 sets of high quality monitors. The Unity Audio Boulders, PSI Audio A21-M and Focal SM9.

The Boulders are superb monitors, delivering tight bass, excellent stereo image and clear and fast transients across the board. They also convey a real sense of power and control. The downside to these was the super low end on some of the techno tracks we make and listen to. Even at sensible levels some tracks, kick samples, bass hits etc push the Boulders to the point of the woofers flapping. For this reason we had to strike them off the list, but we are talking serious sub bass here.

The A21-M's are very, very precise monitors. All of the detail is there and we could hear even the tiniest of adjustments. They are easy to work with for long periods of time and go very loud, without distortion - very impressive for a small cabinet. There isn't much of a downside to these monitors but to me they felt like they are holding back on the low end. It is there and it is controlled but without the sense of real power. In comparison to two larger 3 ways this wasn't really a surprise.

The SM9's took a little while to get the best from. They go down super low and have an abundance of power and due to these factors we had to tweak the position that much more and use the built in EQ to add a slight roll off on the bottom end (more a product of our listening space I'm sure). At lower levels (normal mixing/ producing levels) or in focus mode all of the detail is there, the stereo image is top notch and it is easy to make mixing decisions. When you turn them up, bang - they really kick hard and in a controlled manner. This is ideal when make music for the dance floor.

In the end the choice came down to the set of monitors that we most enjoyed working on and felt fit our style of music. I would urge anyone to audition all three sets if you are in the market for some new monitors.

So, at the end of all that waffle, I am happy to say that we have a set of SM9's on order and should have them in the studio within days. We did get a certain vibe from them when producing tracks that made the process all the more enjoyable. Some might argue this is a bad thing in a monitor and maybe so if they are for mixing only but I am convinced they are very strong contenders in both areas.

I also want to mention KMR Audio in London for their excellent service, Garry from SVC, Kevin from Unity Audio and Paul from Emerging who have all been fantastic in letting us spend time with the monitors whilst covering any questions/ offering their time. No pushy behaviour only justified confidence in their own great products.

Anyone looking for answers in this post really won't find any, just a solid recommendation to try all 3 of these monitors before making any decisions!! :-)
Old 12th December 2012
  #35
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Lupez's Avatar
do you feel the PSI21s with their sub would outperform the SM9s?
Old 12th December 2012
  #36
Gear Head
 

I really don't know, it would be worth checking out. But it's personal taste and there is something that just grabbed us about the SM9's.

Don't forget the PSI 25's and unity are bringing out a new sub that could be your answer with their Rock or Boulder monitors :-)
Old 12th December 2012
  #37
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Ok, so you still haven't listened to the Opals then?
Old 13th December 2012
  #38
Gear Head
Is a month that i got the SM9 in studio. The 3 way Passive quested are getting dust on their stands. Is amazing what you can achieve with them. I'm actually reopen nearly every mix i've done to understand where was the mistakes...I don't think i can live without anymore, my job is understand the details in music and i feel they are the best tool to help me out in doing that....
Old 20th May 2014
  #39
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AntonMcmillan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Sounds like you've got similar taste to mine.

I suspect if your room is quite small you might fall in love even with the PSI's bottom end, which was perfect in my room. And translated VERY well. Rolls of fast and arguably 10Hz too high, but still gave me all that I practically need, plus the bass works so well at lower levels too.

And that clarity without aggression in that organic way overall. Totally addictive.

When I heard the SM9's I thought, yep, very nice. But it didn't feel like "Yes, please, take my 4 grand now!!"
Hey there, Karlhoff,

I was just wondering.. HOw are you still doing with your PSI's? I am in a process of buying monitors and the ammount of information and decision making between what is worth spending the cash and whats not is simply overwhelming.. The more reviews i read, the more forums and opinions there is the more difficult it seems..

Anyway, i had read much about your experiences with the PSI's and ive read SOS review, some other stuff and the overall feedback is nothing like most of the other monitors..

I was really thinking about Genelec 8250A's before ive done some more research on the PSI A21-M's and it seems i am changing my mind.. Same like the SOS review and you and some other people i feel like a good monitor has to sound flat.. With simple basic stereo imaging, no hyped and coloured sounds.. I found that Genelecs do have that enhanced top end which i feel might be a problem.. Especially if youre into long sessions and boomy or otherwise percussion heavy electronic music.

I wanted to know what studio are you using the monitors in? How well treated it is to give that exeptional detail you mentioned?

I am in a process of moving and upgrading my studio from one position to an apartment i rent in the city.. For that same reason i decided to switch to high quality monitors and for some reason it seems the PSI's are very likely my type of sound (did not have the ability to test them out yet). Im just having strong doubts if i need the larger speakers for a small room im going to be in.. Its about 13,77x9.51x9,84 in feet (4,2x3x2,9 in meters) with no treatment yet. Im planning to buy the monitors first, set up the custom made studio table and then start measuring and testing the room as to what treatment it needs.

But enough about my plans. If its not too much, maybe you could provide the information ive asked? Thanks a lot.

M
Old 20th May 2014
  #40
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AntonMcmillan View Post
Hey there, Karlhoff,

I was just wondering.. HOw are you still doing with your PSI's? I am in a process of buying monitors and the ammount of information and decision making between what is worth spending the cash and whats not is simply overwhelming.. The more reviews i read, the more forums and opinions there is the more difficult it seems..

Anyway, i had read much about your experiences with the PSI's and ive read SOS review, some other stuff and the overall feedback is nothing like most of the other monitors..

I was really thinking about Genelec 8250A's before ive done some more research on the PSI A21-M's and it seems i am changing my mind.. Same like the SOS review and you and some other people i feel like a good monitor has to sound flat.. With simple basic stereo imaging, no hyped and coloured sounds.. I found that Genelecs do have that enhanced top end which i feel might be a problem.. Especially if youre into long sessions and boomy or otherwise percussion heavy electronic music.

I wanted to know what studio are you using the monitors in? How well treated it is to give that exeptional detail you mentioned?

I am in a process of moving and upgrading my studio from one position to an apartment i rent in the city.. For that same reason i decided to switch to high quality monitors and for some reason it seems the PSI's are very likely my type of sound (did not have the ability to test them out yet). Im just having strong doubts if i need the larger speakers for a small room im going to be in.. Its about 13,77x9.51x9,84 in feet (4,2x3x2,9 in meters) with no treatment yet. Im planning to buy the monitors first, set up the custom made studio table and then start measuring and testing the room as to what treatment it needs.

But enough about my plans. If its not too much, maybe you could provide the information ive asked? Thanks a lot.

M
I have actually let my A21's go now, due to changing my mind on the bass in my room issue and also finding they really come into their own when you're about 1.5m or so from them, and I don't have the space for this.

I am in a small (4x3m) room and a lot of gear inside, so limited options for placement. It is treated in the sense that it has the corners, back wall and first reflections trapped and a cloud, but not fully gone to town measuring.

I think you need to try them out, they are amazing speakers, but also try the A17's, which I now feel I probably should have bought instead.
Old 20th May 2014
  #41
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AntonMcmillan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I have actually let my A21's go now, due to changing my mind on the bass in my room issue and also finding they really come into their own when you're about 1.5m or so from them, and I don't have the space for this.
How far from the wall or window are your speakers? You have them on a stand or table or internal wall mounting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I am in a small (4x3m) room and a lot of gear inside, so limited options for placement.
Hey, thats pretty much the space i have! Maybe you have some pics of your studio? Would be great to see that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I think you need to try them out, they are amazing speakers, but also try the A17's, which I now feel I probably should have bought instead.
The biggest problems none if the local dealers have the PSI's.. I live in Lithuania and only way to test them is to straight up ordering a set.. Would you say the A17's are enough for a room like mine or is it worth investing the extra dollar with the perspective to someday upgrading to a bigger room where larger monitors would work better?
Old 20th May 2014
  #42
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AntonMcmillan View Post
How far from the wall or window are your speakers? You have them on a stand or table or internal wall mounting?



Hey, thats pretty much the space i have! Maybe you have some pics of your studio? Would be great to see that.



The biggest problems none if the local dealers have the PSI's.. I live in Lithuania and only way to test them is to straight up ordering a set.. Would you say the A17's are enough for a room like mine or is it worth investing the extra dollar with the perspective to someday upgrading to a bigger room where larger monitors would work better?
I can't tell you how much bass extension you need to work. But I can say the 17's are the safer bet in a room that size for sure as the 21's will excite it properly round the bottom, so you will have to treat it a lot and or point them at a window to shoot the bass out.

My space is layed out awkwardly and not to optimal acoustics. I shoot across the room, which is part of the problem. If you shoot long ways and out the window plus some treatment 21's could be sweet.
Old 20th May 2014
  #43
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AntonMcmillan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
My space is layed out awkwardly and not to optimal acoustics. I shoot across the room, which is part of the problem. If you shoot long ways and out the window plus some treatment 21's could be sweet.
Unfortunately i have a door right in the corner of the room.. THus only letting me place the monitors away from the window, which is simetrically placed in the middle of the room wall. And yes, the system will go longways to the room.
Old 21st May 2014
  #44
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AntonMcmillan View Post
place the monitors away from the window, which is simetrically placed in the middle of the room wall.
Hi Anton,
I just gave you a brief on the A17-M on your other thread.
Agree with Karloff, they're a safe bet.
Regarding the window: does that mean your monitors will face it? And if so, do you have direct sunlight shining through that window?
'Coz if so, you'll need shades. Nothing is as deadly to speaker cones, particularly to the suspensions, but in the long run also to the membranes, as UV.
Old 21st May 2014
  #45
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AntonMcmillan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by a.e.neumann View Post
Hi Anton,
I just gave you a brief on the A17-M on your other thread.
Agree with Karloff, they're a safe bet.
Regarding the window: does that mean your monitors will face it? And if so, do you have direct sunlight shining through that window?
'Coz if so, you'll need shades. Nothing is as deadly to speaker cones, particularly to the suspensions, but in the long run also to the membranes, as UV.
Thanks for that reply, friend! Was really informative!

As to this comment: no, the monitors will be facing away from the window. Meaning the back sides of them will be in the sunlight. But i already have shades, so sunlight should not be a big problem Also, the large window in the middle of the room doesnt go all the way from one side to another, theres like a 30 cm (1ft) distance from the window sides to the corners of the room. Im thinking of putting the monitors somewhere near tose corners, but im not sure yet. It depends on how my custom made table willgo into the room.

I was also wondering.. SHould i put the monitors on original stands etc or extend the custom made table to maybe make some sort of speaker mounting panels in it? Im trying to really do all my best at planning first and only executing when im like 100% sure everythings going to be for the best..
Old 22nd May 2014
  #46
Gear Nut
 

da proof of da pudding etc. etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AntonMcmillan View Post
I was also wondering.. SHould i put the monitors on original stands etc or extend the custom made table to maybe make some sort of speaker mounting panels in it? Im trying to really do all my best at planning first and only executing when im like 100% sure everythings going to be for the best..
This precisely the kind of decision you cannot make a priori without experimenting. Try various set-ups and see which works best for you.
I had speaker stands custom-made from massive oak for the A17-M, but found that they work reasonably well on shelves, if deep enough. (You can use the bass roll-off trimmer if they stand too close to a wall.)

Recently PSI have made braces optionally available for the A17-M (like the A14-M, only larger). With them, you can mount the monitors onto telescopic column adjustable stage stands (K&M or similar) and minutely adjust height and inclination angle. I found this solution surprisingly stable and versatile.
Also very useful for determining the ideal height for fixed stands or shelves.
Old 22nd May 2014
  #47
I have the A21's in a small room. I decided I would rather deal with acoustics than go with the smaller A17's. They replaced a pair of Genelecs. The bass response is different, but I prefer the mixes already. Some people here dislike Genelecs. Maybe I've just mixed on them for so long that I get along with them. There is something special about PSI. If possible, I would try them both before deciding.

Also, I use these with my A21's:

Sound Anchors
Old 22nd May 2014
  #48
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Just to throw in a shout for IsoAcoustics stands. They are really effective and not that expensive. Well worth it!
Old 22nd May 2014
  #49
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Arksun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Just to throw in a shout for IsoAcoustics stands. They are really effective and not that expensive. Well worth it!
Did you ever have a chance to compare them to the Primacoustic Recoils? I've got my PSI sitting on the Recoils and was wondering if there would be any kind of difference. Not that I'm unhappy with the Recoils by any means they do a good job of stopping my large desk surface from vibrating.
Old 22nd May 2014
  #50
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arksun View Post
Did you ever have a chance to compare them to the Primacoustic Recoils? I've got my PSI sitting on the Recoils and was wondering if there would be any kind of difference. Not that I'm unhappy with the Recoils by any means they do a good job of stopping my large desk surface from vibrating.
Nope, sorry, never tried Recoils.
Old 11th August 2014
  #51
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Sofa King's Avatar
 

Hi,
are there any PSI A21-M users in NYC?

thanks!
Sean
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