Gear reviews

review: PSI Audio A25-M

I had the pleasure to visit the PSI factory some weeks ago… :
http://blog.georgenecola.com/visit-the-factory-psi-audio-highend-studio-monitors-made-in-switzerland/

Technicalities:
The monitors are heavy (29 kg/piece). PSI has a special stand (made by Towersonic in the UK) which has a custom made headplate for the 25’s.

The speaker is made out of MDF (glued together with a special glue from a chemical company espacially made for PSI). The finish is a metallic bordeaux red. Depending on how the lights are in your room, they can look darker or brighter. They still look like an understatement in real life.

The figures are impressive:
continues max: SPL 110 dB
program peak: SPL 121dB
I can admit, that I turned them all the way up and never run out of headroom. I haven’t even touched the limiter (red light on the front starts to light up).

On the back it’s pretty simple: bass roll-off and gain + Power/XLR connectors. That’s it.

There is no digital crossover or something else which could disturb the signal flow in the curcuit. They use different technlogies to compensate for physical stresses. The following stuff is in there (all implemented in the analog realm):
AOI: adaptive output impedance. The speaker compensates for the transducer movement. The result is a much better impulse-response.
CPR: compensated phase response. CPR uses filters to compensate for group delays.
ALG: The ALG (Acoustic Load Guide) concept enables to optimize the directivity of the tweeter in order to maximize the SPL, extend the bandwidth and improve the reliability of the product.

 

Sound:
I am not impressed.

The sound is very detailed, a lot of transients, very detailed in the highend, imaging is very accurate. You can hear compression artefacts crystal clear…

The bass-area works like charm in room, maybe due to their analog correction implementation in the PSI 25 curcuit. I can hear distortion on kickdrums (used as a style element in hiphop), I can hear the bass and the kickdrum at the same time + the envelope of the kickdrum, which is something new in my environment. Eqing the low-end is easy. Compressing the lowend is easy on these speakers.

The midrange is a bit on the harsh-side, maybe due to the fact, that I am sitting 2 meters away from the speakers. The 2khz region is very dominant. I tested the speakers in a different environement and they sounded less harsh in the 2khz region. My personal conclusion is, that I should work on positioning them properly in my room and also on my listening distance. I would call them Mid-range heavy but not in a NS-10 style. It’s more sort of revealing-hear-trough-the-mix thing.

They reveal cutting-mistakes on your favourite records. The PSI 25 are able to discover “mixing-decisions” from your favourite records, such as the song “black hole sun”, where the drums seem to lack attack and decay. You can hear “what’s wrong”. Wrong means in this case, that the mixer have chosen to make an extermly fast attack ratio and decay ratio on the drums to make the voice cut trough the mix.

Also the old Metallica-hear-the-shaker-on-the-black-album-test was passed with an A+. I think I could find out the shaker-model used with a bit more experience in the shaker-product world.

I mixed 2 records so far on the PSI 25’s and the results are stunning. I didn’t even switch between my NS-10s/Sonodynes and the PSI 25. I wanted to know how the result translates outside my studio. Damage done: I never had such well balanced mixes on the first mixdown.

I recorded a female singer trought the PSI and yes.. it’s there. Easy to mix afterwards, because you know what’s going on compression/midrange wise.

They are dead quiet. My room somethimes suffers from bad “electric”-habbits (it seems that the HAVAC of the building next to mine introduces interferences on the powerstrips) and I usually have small problems, that I hear a high-pitched noise or something similar on my NS-10/sonodynes. They are dead quiet. Also if you unplug an XLR-cable during playing music on them, they don’t burst or squeel or shoot a big ploooop in your direction. They behave quiet. Also if you switch them off, they don’t plopp. A big plus to me!

 

Conclusion:
No, I am not impressed, I got converted. After shooting out Barefoots MM27, KRK exposé, Focal Twin 6 and working for years on ADAM S3a (the old revision with the analog amps) I can truly say, that I found my pair of speakers. I am a fanboy now. So everything I say, take it with a grain of “converted fanboy-salt”. The holy grail of speakers have arrived at my location. The altar (Studer 903) is open and your divinity is waiting for your arrival. So everyone who wants to have a listen, please show by and take an earful. We make human sacrifice from time to time, where people get chained to the altar and have to listen to the Bo Katzman choir on the PSI 25 for one hour.

Another plus: Handmade in Switzerland, high-quality components, the people behind PSI are nice (means, they paid me a lunch, I was able to demo the speakers in my room and they don’t eat small children as far as I know… thanx Marc & Fabrice) and the price is fair.

I put them on Towersonic stands and yes.. the combination is rockin. Get a quote from PSI for Towersonic stands.

 

addition 1:
the speakers keep the tonal information at low volumes. you can mix at very low volumes and still get an even frequency balance.

8 Responses to “review: PSI Audio A25-M”

  1. Ulf says:

    Nice review, I will have to try these monitors.

  2. Paranoiak says:

    I have a pair of A21-M, wonderful monitors too, highly recommended ! :)

  3. Pierre BOREL says:

    Good afternoon,

    Thanks for the report about PSI Audio A25-M. I would like to add some more information about these very nice product.

    On my side I use a pair of A21 in the control room of the studio since around 4 years now. This model is so to say the “little sister” of the A25. I switched to the A21 from a pair of HR-824 (Mackie product). The result was amazing and quite impressive because this monitor sounds very flat, no particular sound’s coloration on the whole audio spectrum. At first it can be a bit strange to hear so “crystal clear” sounds coming out of the box but it really reveals all details of the audio content, qualities of the original sounds as well as weaknesses of course.

    So to make a good balanced mix it is a great gear. Of course it’s necessary to spend some time getting the right position of the pair in the room for the best balanced result.

    Furthermore, I have to say that the studio collaborates with another one for mastering purpose. This studio is equipped with an A25 pair. A very nice and good complement to mixes coming out of A21 type !

    Conclusion :

    A21 is very precise and “sound’s coloration free”. This model is very reliable (no problem at all after more than 4 years of intensive use). In our case the A21 pair is mainly used for studio mixes. A25 model is a nice complement when used for mastering. Both models have their own character but are very complementary.

    Again, thank you to PSI Audio for this high quality and reliable gear !

    Best regards,
    Craving4Sound Recording Studio, Switzerland,
    Pierre BOREL

  4. PSI Audio says:

    Well, thank you so much George. I promise we don’t eat cat nor children at PSI Audio :).

    Happy customers is the best opium to motive us to work even harder in that holly quest for pure sound reproduction.

  5. Thank you for the beautiful review, this expresses exactly what I feel about these PSI A25M. These are a trustful fellows who bring our work at a higher level. There is now “whoah” factor while listening for the first time, the “whoaah” comes when we have finished our mix and master, it’s better and obvious than ever.
    I can had also that one can use with a good installation these speakers for audiophile listening. The installation is very important. With a Forssell DA or a Dangerous Source DA+ Grimm TPM cable and hifi power cord, we can have an incredible beautiful listening!

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