Gear reviews

Visit the factory: PSI Audio Highend studio monitors made in Switzerland

So I had the pleasure to visit the headquarter and factory of PSI audio (Relec SA). They are located 2.5 hours drive from where I live. I went down there with another gearslutz guy (Manolo) and met James Drake, a studio technician/recording and mixing engineer from the UK, who works in Switzerland for 2 years now.

Thank you very much Marc, Fabrice, Alain & Crew for hosting us and feed us with sandwiches, wine and dessert. Appreciated :)

We had interesting talks about the state of the industry, speakers and everything.
I am impressed with the quality manufacturing and high standards they come up with. Every speaker is hand-wired, hand built, hand-soldered, hand-tested, even the boss is making his hands dirty for final QS testing.
They have a built in R&D as well, which I forgot to take pictures of. It’s not that “interesting” as it’s mainly some computers, probe PCBs and the development engineers.

 

First impression about the speakers:
Very accurate, detailed, great depth staging, transient response is very good! The front ported design is compensated with their AOI technology (which is described in detail on their website). The bass was tight. Very tight and they went down very low.

 

I asked for a pair of A25-M to try at my location and they gave me a pair right away. Expect a review soon.

 

I enjoyed it! Thanx guys.

 

Time for a factory tour!

 

the factory in Yverdon

 

machining workshop

 

Marc (left) explaining the details, Manu (middle) and James Drake (right)

 

magnets and transformers (wich back planes)

 

PCB parts come alive, drilling, and winding

 

PCB parts come alive, drilling and winding

 

They make their own coils because they need high precision winding-tolerances.

 

winding machine

 

high precision dismantling. They get rid of the cable mantling while keeping the form factor of the wire, means higher contact surface when mounting a connector to them.

 

clamping machine (5 bar) to connect the connector to the cable

 

They cut off hands and fingers at PSI.. sometimes cables

 

PCB and component mounting. No SDM components used (means less distortion and less overheating of components). Every PCB is solderd by hand!

 

First testing stage

 

Maybe the most efficient tweeter on the market. It uses 2 opposite working magnets, a very thin groove. They machine every tweeter in the PSI factory.

 

tweeter + dome. Sophisticated manufacturing process. They use 7 manual machining steps to upgrade the tweeters after they arrive at the factory.

 

The A25-M, sealed cabinet, ready for backplane/electronics mounting.

 

Ready for action. Manolo in the back phoning his bankster if he can get a loan for this nice 6.0 A25-M system for home use.

 

A25-M front with woofer and tweeter

 

A25-M ready for testing

 

Want some?

 

the smaller cabinets have no sealed wooden back because you would loose too much volume inside. All cabinets are made in Switzerland.

 

Woofer armada. They come at night to scare you..

 

Alain Roux (founder of Relec SA => PSI audio) is doing the final measure and adjustments. Audioprecision : check, Bruehl microphone : check.

 

testing space. Right hand: electronics, left hand: acoustics

 

Final tweaks are applied to the speaker by tweaking the trimmers on the right side.

 

anechoic chamber measurements

 

electroinics tested again (grounding, isolation)

 

ok. every speakers has to be within a very “thin” range to a reference. The reference is a “master speaker”. All the produced speakers have to be as close as possible to the “master” speaker.

That’s why they don’t sell matched pairs. All of them are matched.

 

every speaker is measured and adjusted. After this the speaker serial number is noted, date of test and the name of the tester. Studer quality control anyone?

 

Measurement exibit. If the signature says R…something, your speaker has been tested by the boss.

 

cleaning

 

packing

 

warehousing

 

Marc and Fabrice (works for PSI, Avid-installations, studio consulting and Flux distributor for Switzerland).

The demo-room has a 50cm thick rockwool insulation on the ceiling, the walls are thin. The damned office space sounded pretty good. The russian bear-diffusor on the wall behind the speakers is interesting tough.

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