Friday, November 9, 2012

I want to audition the PSI A21-M Studio Monitors

I've been hearing a lot of good things about the A21-M Studio Monitors from Swiss company PSI Audio. I hope to get a demo pair from their US dealer SimpliFi Audio so I can audition them for a week or two. I've been warned that once I hear the A21-Ms I'll probably want to keep them. They're not cheap ($2895 each) but are said to be worth every penny.

Here's an excerpt from Hugh Robjohns review in Sound On Sound:
"....these speakers provide real detail and superb resolution across the bandwidth, and do so without any sense of fatigue even after hours of critical listening. The top end is gloriously smooth and natural, yet wonderfully revealing and precise. The mid range enjoys negligible levels of the harmonic distortion that so often masks the mid‑range clarity in inferior designs. Indeed, the mids come across as totally uncoloured, and both monitors passed my very critical spoken‑voice tests with ease, delivering complete naturalness and accurate spectral balances without any hint of boominess, boxiness or sibilance. Moving down to the bottom end, the bass control — the ability to stop and start bass notes and separate bass guitars from kick drums — was remarkable, delivering a performance more associated with sealed‑cabinet designs rather than ported construction. Bass extension was also impressive...."

Here's some more info on the A21-M taken from PSI Audio's website:
"The A21-M high power near / mid-field precision monitor covers a broad frequency spectrum, allowing the user to be in full control of their audio production. Its unique and highly optimised assets make it perfect for near, mid-field and surround sound applications where ultimate precision is required.The powerful bi-amplified output stages features the unique “AOI” output stages and has a protection circuit, which can be monitored via the red LED on the front panel.
The active crossover, with integrated “CPR”, gives the A21-M unprecedented impulse behavior – with excellent stereo imaging. The crossover is also optimized for maximum phase coherence, projecting a wide horizontal and vertical ideal listening area."
The A21-M features and specs are listed below:


  • Very high SPL in a compact cabinet.
  • Flat frequency response.
  • Optimised directivity by phase coherency.
  • Compatible with industry standard mouting systems.
  • Amplifier unit acoustically uncoupled from speaker cabinet.
  • Protection circuits with overload indicator.
  • Real balanced input.
  • Designed for stereo and multichannel monitoring.
  • Magnetically shielded for use close to video monitors.
  • AOI Technology.
  • ALG Technology.
  • CPR Technology.
  • PSC Technology.


Power RMS: 
120 + 50W
Program Power: 
Input Impedance: 
Sym, 10k Ohms
Sensivity for 100 dB @ 1m: 
0.775 V
Signal to Noise Ratio: 
-96 dBA
Continuous Max SPL@1m: 
108 dB (single)
Input Overload: 
24 Vpp
Program Max SPL@1m: 
119 dB (pair)
Response at -6dB: 
38 - 23000 Hz
±2 dB (44Hz - 20kHz)
Distortion THD: 
< 1.4% (90Hz-12kHz)
Phase tolerances: 
±45° (190Hz - 20kHz)
Dispersion (P.N. 4 - 16 kHz) at -6 dB: 
90° x 90° (H x V)
2 Way(s)
Crossover frequency: 
2.4 kHz
Woofer's dim. Ext. / Diaphragm: 
Ø217 mm / Ø170 mm
Tweeter's dim. Ext. / Diaphragm: 
Ø100 mm / Ø25 mm
1 x XLR F / 3P
Signal input: 
1=GND, 2=(+), 3=(-)
Dimensions W x H x D mm: 
250 x 400 x 300
Gross / Net Weight: 
14.8 / 13.4 kg
115/230V (50-60Hz)
Consumption Standby-Quiescent-Max: 
1.2 - 5 - 150 W
Mean / Max Humidity: 
< 75% / < 90%
External Temperature: 
5 - 40°C