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Sound Performance Lab Phonitor 2

Amplifier for Headphones, Active Speakers and Power Amps


We are uber-happy to introduce the successor of our legendary Phonitor 2 headphone preamp. We have kept all proven features while incorporating some major improvements — as such, the new Phonitor can be used as the ultimate monitor controller and preamp for three different sources. Likewise, we revised the 120-Volt technology in order for it to perform better, which resulted in our measurement gear being outclassed. Even our creative team got even more creative and came up with a fascinating name: "Phonitor 2." There's only one thing that remained unchanged: the price.

Important Features
- Preamplifier/Monitor Controller functionality
- Suited for all headphones and impedances
- Volume remotely controllable
- 120 Volt headphone amp and preamp/monitor controller
- For all headphones with impedances >10 Ohms (>40 Ohms for balanced headphones)
- Volume adjustment with any remote control
- Maximum Output Power: 560 mW (1kHz/40 Ohm)
- Frequency response: 4Hz - 480kHz (-3dB)
- THD+N: HP 0.00091 %, Line output 0.00085%
- Dynamic range: HP 133.62dB/Line 134.37dB

When we brought out the first Phonitor — the first ever headphone amp with 120 Volt technology — back in 2008, the professional audio world seemed to have been eagerly awaiting it. The success of this unique headphone preamp was overwhelming. In hindsight, we also had to wonder how none of us had come to the idea of combining basic monitoring options, speaker simulation capabilities and a headphone preamp. Ever since we call this new species a „Headphone Monitoring Amp,“ which inspired the product name itself: Phonitor. Interestingly enough, the Phonitor not only became best friends with thousand of professional users, it also won a lot of fans in the Hi-Fi market segment.

The New Heart Of Music Playback: Phonitor 2
Many Phonitor users told us they wished they could also use the unmatched signal quality that the Phonitor provides to feed their speakers. And so began to take form the idea of making its successor a full-fledged stereo preamp that could become the heart of modern professional and home systems alike where headphones have a preeminent importance. Moreover, we have achieved enormous advances with our 120-volt circuits, making the technical specifications of the Phonitor 2 a new standard in all respects: 141dB dynamic range, 107dB signal-to-noise ratio (A-weighted in both cases), -112/-114 dB THD (headphone/speaker output with +30dBu output level). Mind you, the THD measurements define the limits of the measuring equipment but not those of the Phonitor 2.
Other improvements concern specially the operation of virtually all headphone types and impedances: the Phonitor 2 works seamlessly with low-impedance headphones with load impedances as low as 10 Ohm (40 Ohm with balanced headphones). 

The Two Sides Of The 120 Volt Amp
As always, the Phonitor 2 remains first and foremost a headphone preamp, which is easy to identify given the elaborate loudspeaker simulation for headphones. Considering that the 120-volt amp provides everything needed to preamplify, manage and control the volume of line level signals, the latter are now also available at the output on the rear panel.
Besides headphones, it is now possible to connect active loudspeakers and power amps directly at the output. If there is the need for more than one stereo speaker set, it is recommended to use a passive distribution module. It is important to know that all controls can be used for both outputs with headphones and loudspeakers. Obviously, loudspeaker simulation makes no sense when using real loudspeakers. However, owners of electrostatic headphones could connect their headphones to the output and use the simulation feature as well. Likewise, all monitoring options (phase reverse, solo, mono, mute) can be selected for both outputs, so that the Phonitor 2 can be used as Monitor Controller for up to three different sources.

Remote Control
The volume can be controlled remotely. Naturally, the audio signal is controlled via a high-quality motor potentiometer in that case. In comparison, electronic adjusting with or without AD/DA converter – very common these days – would have a significant influence on the signal quality. To control it you can use any IR remote control: the remote must not learn the Phonitor 2, but rather the Phonitor 2 learns to understand your remote’s signal.

Home Listening
Home users can enjoy a central control unit for modern music playback of stereo signals that supports all known formats – and that with an unheard-of price/performance ratio. As such, the Phonitor 2 does justice to its central position. It is comforting to know that there is no need to fear a sound bottleneck limiting your system in such a critical spot in the chain. The Phonitor 2 matches perfectly modern playback concepts: minimalist chains with active speakers and almost any pair of headphones can be centrally fed via three different paths, thanks to an integrated high-quality amplifying and signal-managing concept.

120 Volt Technology
The foundations of this high-end-development is our 120 Volt reference technology: specially developed and manufactured op-amps that run on an operating voltage of 120 volts, which corresponds to approximately twice that of most modern analog audio semiconductor technologies. Thanks to our 120-volt circuitry and processing we reach outstanding performance levels, especially in terms of dynamic range and headroom. As such, the technical specifications of the Phonitor 2 exceed all known analog and digital standards. 

Phonitoring: With And Without Magnifiers
Already for the headphone monitoring – or phonitoring – part alone, the Phonitor 2 encompasses advantages of both kinds of traditional monitoring methods: On one hand the analytical headphone monitoring is like working with an acoustic magnifier but without external room influences; on the other hand, loudspeaker simulation allows for monitoring which  forgoes the microscopic effect, but provides for room ambiance.
Working with the magnifier effect of headphones has the advantage of safely hearing clicks or similar defects and helps in fine tuning crossfades or to judge tonal problems in individual tracks. On loudspeakers such analyses are much more difficult, as such problems just are not as apparent when one is working without being able to “zoom in” aurally. Conversely, loudspeakers provide monitoring with the advantage of spatial balance in a (definable through placement) stereo width, which in turn provides the illusion of an acoustic stage.
Traditional headphone reproduction produces one 180-degree stereo width in the middle of the head, and it is exactly this which creates the very problematic-to-impossible headphone mixing environment. An essential reason for such unnatural ambiance is the complete separation of the channels, which does not exist either in natural hearing or in stereo loudspeaker reproduction. This makes it nearly impossible to judge tonal balance, a stereo image and the phantom center level. Panorama adjustments as well as related EQ settings that one attempts with headphones, typically just do not function on loudspeakers.
Moreover, what is often called the “super stereo effect” with headphones usually creates a great deal of ear fatigue in the long run. Over loudspeakers the sound stage is felt in front, while in contrast, when monitoring through headphones, the stage is present on the left and on the right – but frontal and rear information is lost. 

Special Features
- The Reference – the Phonitor 2 sets new technical and sound standards.
- For loudspeakers and headphones – two-channel 120 Volt amp for headphones and active loudspeakers or power amps
- For all types of headphones – dynamic, balanced, electrostatic
- Optimally suited for low-impedance headphones starting from 10 Ohm (40 Ohm for balanced headphones)
- Remote volume control with motor potentiometer
- High-resolution laterality correction compensates right/left volume differences.
- Switchable level adjustment (consumer to professional level, 1:1, +6dB, +12 dB)

- Stereo preamplification and headphone amplification for three sources
- High-quality music playback at home
- Central monitoring unit in professional environments with all classic features like phase reverse, solo, mono
- Re-Amping (for example, level boost after analog master processing)
- Headphone amplifier for all headphone systems and impedances
- Loudspeaker simulation with headphones
- Monitoring alternative in studios and mobile units
- Adjustment of headphone playback to match familiar monitor speakers
- Mobile reproduction of usual monitoring conditions

Unbalanced connections, e. g. to and from RCA or TS Jack
You can establish unbalanced connections easily and without adaptors – for example from CD-Players with RCA outputs or to (HiFi) power amplifiers with RCA inputs. In any case we recommend to use readily configured cables from XLR to the respective RCA or TS/TRS connector to dispense with adaptors. Ask your dealer for configured cables. It is important to pay attention to the correct polarity of the three XLR wires. With the XLR pin configuration diagram in our manuals any audio expert can ensure to select or configure appropriate cables.

- XLR connectors, electronically balanced
- Impedance:    bal. ca. 20 kΩ,  unbal. ca. 10 kΩ
- Max. Input Level: +32,5 dBu

- Monitor/Line Outputs: XLR connectors, electronically balanced
- Frequency Range: 4 Hz to 480 kHz ( -3 dB)
- CMR: -82 dBu (at 1 kHz, 0dBu input level and unity gain)
- Crosstalk at 1 kHz: -106 dB
- THD&N: 0,00085 % (at 0dBu input level and unity gain, 1kHz, 100 kOhm load)
- Noise: Unweighted -101,87 dB; A-weighted - 104,76 dB; CCIR: -96,1 dB
- Dynamic Range: 134,37 dB

Headphone Output
- 6,3-mm TRS connector
- Pin wiring: Tip = Left, Ring = Right, Sleeve = GND
- Impedance: 0,18 Ω
- Attenuation Factor: 180 @ 40Ohm
- Frequency Range: 10 Hz to ›480 kHz ( -3 dB)
- CMR: -106 dBu (at 1 kHz, 0dBu input level and unity gain)
- Crosstalk at 1 kHz: -106 dB
- THD&N: 0,00091 % (at 0dBu input level and unity gain, 1kHz, 100 kOhm load)
- At 0dBu input level and unity gain
- Noise: Unweighted -101,12 dBu; A-weighted - 103,98 dBu, CCIR -95,02 dBu
- Dynamic Range: 133,62 dB

Power Amplifier
- Max. Output Power:
- 65m W (+20 dBm) at 1 kHz and 600 Ω connected impedance
- 560 mW (+20 dBm) at 1 kHz and 40 Ω connected impedance

Power Supply
- Voltages: 230 V AC, 50 Hz / 120 V AC, 60 Hz
- Power Consumption: max 23,7 VA
- Fuses: 100-120 V AC: T 1 A/200-240 V AC: T 630 mA

Measurement & Weight
- Height x Width x Depth (mm): 99 x 277 x 305
- Weight: 4,3 kg

€ 1440.00