Purchased a pair of M700s about a month ago, really love them to the point I want to get rid of them for a pair of M1200s.
But looking at the inside of the M1200s and M700, I don’t see the usual huge transformers that I expect from PS audio products, 3k for M700 is fair, 6k for M1200 is a fair price too probably for a lot of people.
But compare to a 7.5k BHK 250, about 3.5k used, the practical side of me would feel I’m almost paying for an empty box for a pair of M1200s for 6K.
What am I really paying for other than the tube stage of the M1200s? Is it worth 3K extra compares to M700s? Curious what people think here.
What’s so special about “huge transformers”? Isn’t sound quality important"
I went from the M700 to the M1200. No regrets. There are a couple of M1200 units on US Audiomart for a little more than a used BHK 250. The BHK 250 disappears fast once listed and no doubt a fantastic amplifier. Are the M1200’s worth the extra cost over the M700’s? IMO, Yes! It also depends on how revealing the rest of your system is. If you have revealing speakers and a BHK Preamp or better than yes M1200 or BHK 250. If you are running mid fi speakers and using a entry level preamp I don’t know if I’d justify the extra cost. Again just my opinion. Good luck and enjoy the music!
That’s because the M700 and M1200 utilize an Icepower Amplifier module which has its own power supply circuit. Looking at both the M700 and M1200, the mains comes right to the module itself. The module then powers the rest of the chassis. Both chassis contain 2 circuit boards plus the front panel. One circuit board is the Ice module itself and the other is PSAudio’s with the tube input stage on the 1200 or the Analog Cell on the 700.
These are some of the finest reviewed Icepower implementations you can find. I’ve not heard them myself. I wouldn’t worry about the lack of a massive transformer in an amplifier topology like this. PSAudio seems to know what they are doing when it comes to utilizing these modules.
This is a funny statement, and completely true at the same time, at least for me. I listened to music driven by Conrad Johnson tube pre and power amps for many years. So while the BHK Pre & M700 is a very, very musical combo, I needed a little more smoothness that only tubes can provide. For me, the BHK Pre to M1200 provides that magic.
If you look at the ICEpower website, they explain that the ICEpower amplifier module is effectively a cheap and efficient building block for a bespoke design, typically by adding an improved power supply.
You can buy a pair of the building block ICEpower 1200 AS1 amplifiers and all parts in a kit for $600.
The nCore and iPurifi amplifiers are much more popular as you can buy separate power supplies and install them with little or no modification. Many manufacturers do. The are a lot more expensive, I think each nCore 1200 amplifier unit is about $250 and he power supply the same again.
In the UK a pair of mono boxes with the nCore amp and power supply installed cost exactly half the price of the M1200.
So I wouldn’t worry about the fact that the ICEpower boxes are mainly fresh air and and the basic boards are very cheap. What you are paying for is PS Audio’s valve input stage and a nice box.
Had PS Audio just put nCore components in a box, it would have been just like any num her of other nCore amplifier, as they are rarely modified.
The M1200 has been well received in the UK press and also the S300 had a good review. One day I would like to hear the M1200, not for the power, but for Darren’s valve twist to the Class D approach.
There is no huge transformer in either amplifier because they have an efficient SMPTS power supply - kind of a class D power supply - that’s 92% efficient and doesn’t need to be a big transformer. The modules are significantly larger in the 1200 than the 700 and much more costly.
And much more magical to this guy’s ears! The M700’s are great but the M1200 builds on the greatness of the M700 and takes it to a much higher level IMO.
I haven’t seen even one person comment on these forums that they went from m700s to m1200s and didn’t feel it was worth it. In fact just the opposite. That should tell you what you need to know
Thanks Paul, and thank you for all the videos. Your videos and your product transformed my system from meh to something I really enjoy.