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PSI A215-M or Focal SM9
Old 9th August 2015
  #1
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

PSI A215-M or Focal SM9

I usually hate these kinds of threads because everything is so subjective, but I think I've narrowed down my next monitor upgrade options to just these two:

PSI A215-M
Focal SM9

I've done a lot of research and found mostly good reviews of both. I'm just curious if anybody has any bad reviews of either. I currently have a pair of Focal Twins and Sub6 so I'm familiar and accustomed to the Focal sound you could say. I bought them when I was still doing some production and mixing work, but now I am strictly mastering and ready for a monitor upgrade. I'm not in a position to get into the 5 figure price range at this point.

My goal is to have a system that goes down into the 30 Hz range without the need for a subwoofer. Just two powered speakers, that's it. I have an Avocet II to feed them.

One comment I've seen more than once is that the PSI A215-M need a bigger room to really develop the low frequencies, and they don't work as well in smaller rooms.

I'd be curious to know what is considered a small room, or a room too small for the PSI A215-M specifically. My current room is about 12ft x 20ft but that could be changing soon to something larger.

Your replies are appreciated.
Old 9th August 2015
  #2
As you're Familiar with Focal, then the SM9 would make sense...Can't say enough good things about them. I should add that the extention on the low end is quite "jaw dropping" when you first listened to them. The room beeing a very important factor, I guess you should try them directly to see if it works. I adopted them instantly as they worked right away in my configuration.
Old 9th August 2015
  #3
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

Thanks. Demoing the Focal SM9 in my room would not be hard thanks to a few friendly dealers, but demoing the PSI A-215M doesn't seem to be an option without driving to the nearest dealer (8 hours) and listening in an unfamiliar room, or buying them and taking a loss selling them if I don't like them.

I generally have a good feeling about the PSI A-215M, I just wanted to get a few more opinions from real-world users before making a decision. I have no doubt that the SM9 sounds great too. I'm just trying to make sure I pick the most appropriate monitors for me at this time.
Old 9th August 2015
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jperkinski View Post
Thanks. Demoing the Focal SM9 in my room would not be hard thanks to a few friendly dealers, but demoing the PSI A-215M doesn't seem to be an option without driving to the nearest dealer (8 hours) and listening in an unfamiliar room, or buying them and taking a loss selling them if I don't like them.

I generally have a good feeling about the PSI A-215M, I just wanted to get a few more opinions from real-world users before making a decision. I have no doubt that the SM9 sounds great too. I'm just trying to make sure I pick the most appropriate monitors for me at this time.
Old 9th August 2015
  #5
I own a pair of 215 and I love them.
To me, they don't need that much of a big room, it is really true for the PSI A25 but not for the 215.
Old 9th August 2015
  #6
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teebaum's Avatar
the focal is more 'beautiful' with a bit a softer lowend, the psi more analytical and a bit 'unemotional'.
both are good speakers.
you have to listen them either to know wich one work better for you.
Old 9th August 2015
  #7
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Chris Bauer's Avatar
I have the PSI A215-M and my room is 6m x 4m, so a fairly similar size to yours. I would say your room is certainly big enough.

Given you are spending a sizeable amount of money, you should try to audition a few speakers in your room. Auditioning speakers in an unfamiliar environment is a waste of time. I contacted the PSI distributor in Germany and they sent me a pair to demo for a week.

Last edited by Chris Bauer; 9th August 2015 at 08:54 PM..
Old 9th August 2015
  #8
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

Thanks for the info Chris, I respect your opinions and input.

I'm glad you hear that you have had good results with the A215-M in a room that is a similar size to mine.

I also agree that hearing them in my listening room would be the ideal situation. I've been in touch with the only US distributor I know of, and also the Canadian distributor which is actually much closer to me distance-wise. Both seem nice but neither offered a demo period to me....yet. Maybe I'll ask them or reach out to PSI directly.
Old 9th August 2015
  #9
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

Also, a question for Chris if you don't mind. Do you have your A215-M on a platform/stand or is that their natural height compared to your desk in your photos?

I know they're designed for having a sweet spot whether you're sitting or standing but this could also depend on how tall you are, posture, and how far away you are sitting/standing.

I have yet to find a measurement of the distance between the floor and the bottom of the lowest speaker on the A215-M.
Old 10th August 2015
  #10
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karumba's Avatar
your room is definitely not too small for both speakers. i had the psi 215 before and they are going down to ~35hz if i remember correctly. of course lower is nicer, but it was sufficient for me during that time & my work translated well. they are good speakers.
Old 10th August 2015
  #11
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Chris Bauer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jperkinski View Post
Also, a question for Chris if you don't mind. Do you have your A215-M on a platform/stand or is that their natural height compared to your desk in your photos?
Hi Justin, I have the speakers standing on 3" concrete slabs, as I wanted them a little higher. Best regards, Chris
Old 10th August 2015
  #12
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

Thanks for all the info and input guys. I'm heavily leaning towards the A215-M, working out logistics with a distributor.

I also think I might want to put them on a shorter platform but I'll have to play around and find out what works best in my room.
Old 27th August 2015
  #13
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Ben.S Mastering's Avatar
 

I am very happy with my psi A 215-m, i a small room with not much accoustic treatment. This speakers are very great for that as well, bass pretty tight and not exiting the room as much as some other speakers.
Totaly analytic, but pleasent to listen.
Old 27th August 2015
  #14
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

The PSI A215-M pair just arrived today. I have to properly place them and fine tune things but they do sound great.

The seem very "true" even with the rough placement I have them in now.

Thanks to everybody that provided feedback here.

Last edited by Justin P.; 27th August 2015 at 04:50 AM..
Old 19th May 2019
  #15
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rrraaalllfff's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin P. View Post
The PSI A215-M pair just arrived today. I have to properly place them and fine tune things but they do sound great.

The seem very "true" even with the rough placement I have them in now.

Thanks to everybody that provided feedback here.
Hi there Justin. I was wondering if you had any further impressions of these speakers after some years with them (in case you're still with them). How are they serving and translating?
Old 19th May 2019
  #16
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrraaalllfff View Post
Hi there Justin. I was wondering if you had any further impressions of these speakers after some years with them (in case you're still with them). How are they serving and translating?
I still enjoy them very much. I moved my studio from my home to a dedicated space over a year ago and the room was just big enough to justify adding a pair of the A-125M subs to gain a bit more loudness headroom and deeper bass.

They seem to suit my room very well and especially since dialing in my new room, I noticed an increase in masters being approved on version 1 which means they must be translating quite well.

With speakers, you never really know until you try them in your room but these are definitely worth trying and hearing.
Old 19th May 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin P. View Post

One comment I've seen more than once is that the PSI A215-M need a bigger room to really develop the low frequencie
1)the relation room size and speaker is a myth.


2)Why do you need a BIG Studio Monitors even in the small Control Rooms?


3)Frequency Range: 36Hz – 23kHz at -6db
SPL Max: 106dB
Typical listening distance: from 1.5 m

The 215 is a little speaker by the size called by PSI a "Compact Mastering Monitor"


4) the SM9 reaches 30 HZ at -3db and 116 db


Anyway, the A215 is a high end speaker
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