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PSI Audio A21M twice as Good as Opals? Studio Monitors
Old 8th November 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 

PSI Audio A21M twice as Good as Opals?

Ok so the thread title is a bit of an over exaggeration, but at twice the price are the A21m's really that much better than the Event Opals and Unity Audio Rock II?
Old 8th November 2012
  #2
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Don't know about twice or how you'd quantify that, but to me a lot better than both, yes. A LOT better. Try them out if you dare. If you keep them for at least 24hrs and do some tweaking on them all will become clear. In every sense. And you will want to keep them. Badly.
Old 8th November 2012
  #3
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The funny thing is that after a certain level it all depends on an individual taste. I have ATC SCM 25, but really prefer mixing on Opals - they make me produce better mixes quicker as the sound is more what I want to hear so I only occasionally switch to ATCs. I ve tried Opals against PSI and preferred the sound and vige of Opals. You may feel it differently and prefer PSIs. I really like the power in Opals in a way that they sound massive. Bass really has a significant punch, but is very tight. Try both and decide for yourself.
Old 8th November 2012
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex View Post
The funny thing is that after a certain level it all depends on an individual taste. I have ATC SCM 25, but really prefer mixing on Opals - they make me produce better mixes quicker as the sound is more what I want to hear so I only occasionally switch to ATCs. I ve tried Opals against PSI and preferred the sound and vige of Opals. You may feel it differently and prefer PSIs. I really like the power in Opals in a way that they sound massive. Bass really has a significant punch, but is very tight. Try both and decide for yourself.
All true, and the reason I don't like Opals, as they ADD the punch and width. And metal top end. The PSI sound dry as and only give you what's there in their particular, dry, understated, swiss presentation.

But in the end it is right to say YOU need to come to a conclusion based on trying them, as clearly different people come to different conclusions. Unfortunately I came to the conclusion I need the PSI. Would rather have saved the money, but to me they are much better (than Opals and Rocks).
Old 8th November 2012
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maschined View Post
Ok so the thread title is a bit of an over exaggeration, but at twice the price are the A21m's really that much better than the Event Opals and Unity Audio Rock II?
They're all very good monitors IMO, it will really come down to your tastes and room. Try them and see which flavour you work best with.
Here are my findings, the PSI are very flat and classy sounding, they're the more relaxed ones while the Opals are a tad more scooped and have more weight, their highs are more metallic, the Rocks are really sharp and have a more aggressive sound and that ribbon "resolution" in the highs but slightly less mid details than the other 2.
Hope it helps,
A.
Old 8th November 2012
  #6
Gear Head
 

Thank you all very much for your input. The PSI monitors will push my budget to the limit but I have only heard great things about them. There is a large thread about the Opals and a worrying number of issues with them, but I'll still give them a shot.

Karloff70 I think I remember reading a post you wrote in which you though the Rocks were awesome. Have you since heard the PSI's and in comparison decided they are the ones to aim for?

One thing I didn't mention, I produce house and techno so not sure if this will most likely suit one set of monitors over another.
Old 8th November 2012
  #7
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maschined View Post
Thank you all very much for your input. The PSI monitors will push my budget to the limit but I have only heard great things about them. There is a large thread about the Opals and a worrying number of issues with them, but I'll still give them a shot.

Karloff70 I think I remember reading a post you wrote in which you though the Rocks were awesome. Have you since heard the PSI's and in comparison decided they are the ones to aim for?

One thing I didn't mention, I produce house and techno so not sure if this will most likely suit one set of monitors over another.
Been on a listening binge of late to find my ideal monitors....

I did like the Rocks a lot and was amazed at their detail. And also the bass end was amazing and made pulling kick and bass apart very easy. Had them for a good week. But in the end the way they push the top end into your eyeball just didn't work for me. It's like neon light audio. Bright as feck and no warmth. And no, I am not looking for a speaker to 'add warmth', but neither do I want it to add 'electricity shrillness' up top. Just not my ideal presentation in the end.

The PSI sound like a piece of paper. Straight up and down. But then I have always been a soft dome tweeter kind of guy. And at first very unassuming (especially after the Rocks). Makes you doubt it's all there. And then you do some work and it goes WTF! Just NO aggravating sonics at all (other than the ones off what you're playing!) and the detail is stunning. At any playback level. Tweak a bass at low playback and get it right first time.

Bla bla bla.....basically I have found MY monitors (now working out how to buy them without selling my mother....lol), but you need to try these things yourself. Get all three in for a demo at yours! Only way to find out. You may well prefer one of the other two pairs for whatever reason. And what they do in your room. The Rocks go lower, with their 12dB slope, but I found the PSI go low enough without a sub and sound tighter in my space. Get testing!!!!
Old 8th November 2012
  #8
Gear Head
 

Yep time to get some in and give them a whirl. I'm in London also, where are you getting the demo units from if you don't mind me asking?
Old 8th November 2012
  #9
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So anyone tried the littlest PSI?
Old 8th November 2012
  #10
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Talk to KMR for demos. They were very helpful indeed.

I also gave the A17's a little try, but not the tiny ones. The A17's are also superb in the same way as their bigger brothers, just the soundstage and bottom are smaller than the A21's.
Old 8th November 2012
  #11
Gear Head
 

I'll definitely need the bottom end so ill give them a buzz and see if they have some 21's to demo. Thank you for your help, i'll let you know how I get on :-)
Old 8th November 2012
  #12
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maschined View Post
I'll definitely need the bottom end so ill give them a buzz and see if they have some 21's to demo. Thank you for your help, i'll let you know how I get on :-)
Pukker up your wallet mate........lol.....those things are very hard to give back once you've 'clicked'!
Old 8th November 2012
  #13
Gear Head
 

You are starting to scare me.........
Old 8th November 2012
  #14
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maschined View Post
You are starting to scare me.........
Hey, maybe you'll prefer the Rocks or Opals. Or O310's when they're out......
Old 8th November 2012
  #15
Gear Head
 

The 310's aren't out until Feb unfortunately and I want to get cracking now!!
Old 13th November 2012
  #16
Gear Head
 

KMR have thrown the Focal SM9's into the mix for me to consider as well now so the shoot out has become even more involved :-)
Old 13th November 2012
  #17
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maschined View Post
KMR have thrown the Focal SM9's into the mix for me to consider as well now so the shoot out has become even more involved :-)
Make sure you get a pair that is well worn in. Not worn in Focals sound rank. My money's still on the PSI.
Old 13th November 2012
  #18
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Well, make sure any monitor you try is broken in.
Old 13th November 2012
  #19
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Well, make sure any monitor you try is broken in.
Indeed. But the A21's he will hear are broken in, as they are the exact pair I had at mine on trial......
Old 15th November 2012
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Hello, I am also very interested in the PSI's Audio M-21 & m-17... But just read news about the new PMC TwoTwo series. Comparing prices, they have to sound similar to those PSI; but not really sure about it :o) would be very keen to test listen PSI vs new PMC !!! Anyone experience with the new PMC TwoTwo series?
Old 16th November 2012
  #21
Gear Head
 

Ok reporting back as promised.

I went to kmr audio today and listened to a bunch of monitors.

A21m : amazing stereo imaging, clarity and overall detail. Low end was tight but felt a little lacking in power. I am wondering if the lower low end energy helps to keep the mids sounding precise.

Sm9 : again very good imaging although lacking in clarity when compared to the a21m, this smearing was mainly noticeable in the low mids. Interestingly I just read in another thread that this impoves massively if the monitors are well run in using the focus mode. The lows extended very well on these monitors.

Unity audio boulder : I originally wanted to hear the rocks but their pair had developed a fault shortly before I arrived. The boulder is a fantastic speaker combining the best of both the a21m and sm9 ie clarity and low end. however after only a short listening time I felt that the ribbon tweeter would possibly be to fatiguing for my tastes. The boulders are also just outside of my budget.

These of course are my opinions, nothing more or less! I heard more monitors but these were my favourites.

End result, sm9 and a21m are being delivered to the studio next week for a serious hammering. Will update again
Old 16th November 2012
  #22
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

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!!"
Old 16th November 2012
  #23
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Saxon-of-a-son's Avatar
 

Karloff: where did you get your A21M's? Definitely not stocked by my favorite sellers. (Please PM me if you don't want to say publicly.)
Old 16th November 2012
  #24
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxon-of-a-son View Post
Karloff: where did you get your A21M's? Definitely not stocked by my favorite sellers. (Please PM me if you don't want to say publicly.)
From eMerging (UK distributor) through KMR.
Old 16th November 2012
  #25
Gear Head
 

After a nagging feeling this morning that the Boulders deserve more time they are also on their way :-) I feel confident that these are the best 3 monitors in my price range for my tastes.
Old 16th November 2012
  #26
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

The PSI 21 seem very expensive for a 2 way that does not seem all that powerful amp wise
I would rather plumb the extra cash and go the PSI 25

I find the SM9 match my DT880 headphones sound very closely in terms of balance, tone, transient responce and imaging, but go even lower

Opals sound more lively and dynamic, but coloured, and more 3D, multi-layered depth
Old 16th November 2012
  #27
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolColJ View Post
The PSI 21 seem very expensive for a 2 way that does not seem all that powerful amp wise
Exactly what I thought. And then I tried them out. Sounds like you haven't.

Thing is, the fact they happen to be two way at that price is likely to be part of why lots of people have missed them/written them off without trying. I almost did. I'm glad I didn't, as you have never heard a two way that does what these do.
Old 17th November 2012
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Exactly what I thought. And then I tried them out. Sounds like you haven't.

Thing is, the fact they happen to be two way at that price is likely to be part of why lots of people have missed them/written them off without trying. I almost did. I'm glad I didn't, as you have never heard a two way that does what these do.
I agree, they are superb monitors. They may be somewhat overpriced but until I have spent some serious time with them it would be unfair to judge. At this stage they are still strong contenders against the SM9's so that does say something!!
Old 17th November 2012
  #29
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

The Opals compare well to the SM9 as well, and they are way cheaper
Old 17th November 2012
  #30
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolColJ View Post
The Opals compare well to the SM9 as well, and they are way cheaper
They do in ways, but I don't like their 'stereo spreadyness' where everything sounds wide nor their metal top end. Also the bottom feels a bit falsely bumped up. Can't stand metal top end, hence always hated Genelecs too. The soft domes in the PSI are my personal 'paper sound heaven'.
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