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Product Review

SPL Auditor Headphone Amp
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$899.00
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$999.00
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SPL Auditor Headphone Amp Product Reviews

The SPL Auditor headphone amp core topology is based on the SPL Phonitor internals but without the pro audio bells & whistles of its much more expensive brother. The Auditor has the same stringent dedication to perfect headphone amplification with performance levels far beyond conventional head-amps in massive dynamic range extension and THD specs nearly too low to measure. Even at very loud monitoring levels, the Auditor remains impeccably detailed and easy-sounding with no stridency or sense of etch or grain evident in the presentation. What remains is simply unaltered musical sound. XLR connectivity. Black finish.

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A great amp!

Posted by GTIShawn on 2013-05-03
Posted on SPL Auditor Headphone Amp

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Extremely transparent, accurate, and easy to listen to
Cons: Very sensitive to system changes

This is a great amplifier that can drive a pretty wide range of headphones. I've tried it with AKG Q701's, Beyerdynamic T1's, and Sennheiser HD800's and liked it with all of them. In the end I subjectively preferred the T1's for a variety of reasons. Generally speaking, the Auditor and T1 have more "magic" and synergy together. The HD800's really are a difficult pairing because of their technical accuracy. Not only did I find that different pairs of HD800 had different sound (another topic altogether), but I also found that getting synergy between the HD800 and Auditor was like trying to balance a marble on the tip of a pencil. For me the Auditor made the HD800 more finicky and almost ridiculously revealing, especially of system changes. Wires, power strips, DAC's, the sound signature of each and every one is clearly heard through the HD800/Auditor pairing. The Auditor is like the HD800 in some ways, it's somewhat unforgiving, so if you do get one, give it some respect and time if it's not an instant love affair, it may be showing you a flaw somewhere in your system. In my system that flaw that I ended up tracking down was the AC. I highly suggest upgrading the AC cord on the Auditor and getting a good power conditioner. I got the RSA Elgar conditioner and I like it.

Once you have the AC sorted it's much, much easier to start listening to the Auditor and adjusting your system components.

The Auditor is basically neutral in presentation, but it has a little extra bass, and slightly warm treble. That being said, it will not sugar coat bad treble. But careful attention to details of your system can eventually reveal that the Auditor has a very liquid, clean, and *slightly* dark sound on most recordings.

Detail in the Auditor is very well integrated, it helps define the whole of the sound rather than standing out too much, this naturalness is one of the defining aspects of the Auditor, it just has an easy and natural way about it.

Another thing I like about the Auditor is the sense of rhythm. Probably as a result of it's natural ease with details it doesn't seem to matter what speed the music is moving at, the Auditor is always right there keeping pace effortlessly.

Once you've done a lot of listening with the Auditor you will realize that it's more than just an amp, it's a tool. It was designed to be a tool of the recording trade and you will definitely hear that the higher quality the recording/source, the more user satisfaction you will have.








15 out of 16 people found this review helpful. Did you?

A Transformative Experience

Posted by Listener from Indianapolis, IN on 2012-01-11
Posted on SPL Auditor Headphone Amp

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Sound
Cons: So far none

I can provide some comments about the SPL Auditor 2910 now that I’ve had a chance to listen to it off and on for about a week. My listening system is simple: Sennheiser HD800 + SPL Auditor 2910 + Oppo BDP-95; balanced interconnects and PS Audio power cables.

The key notable characteristic of what I hear involves extraordinary focus, and hence resolution, and dynamic range. The noise floor seems to be unhearably low. On the other hand, there is clearly an enormous dynamic range available. In fact, for the first time I can say that orchestral music sounds nearly the same as listening from the front of the first balcony to live music. I never thought I would be able to say this about ANY music reproduction system. Singing voices are clear, highly localized, and very stable. Percussive transients, triangles for instance, are remarkably ‘present’. The orchestra’s low end sounds exactly as it does ‘live’. The soundstage is large, wide and deep—in other words ‘real’.

As usual, I’ve found that my clutch of ‘best’ CDs has been changed by this amplifier. Now my SACD collection sounds really much better. With the Auditor, I finally find real value in my past SACD collecting.

I have actually been surprised by the sound of the Auditor. I didn’t expect such a transformation. Anything I hear that makes me uncomfortable, such as incoherence in massed high strings on some CDs, make me suspect other aspects of my listening system. I can’t say that I can hear anything wrong in the Auditor.

I hope this is helpful as you consider changes to your system.




65 out of 69 people found this review helpful. Did you?


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