PS Audio Does It Again M1200 Amp Review In Stereophile

The January issue of Stereophile has a glowing review of the M1200’s.


Are you an editor at Stereophile? Lol.

I can’t find the review.

January Issue it arrived today and I’m in Canada. The distributor is quick here.

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It’s amazing how far behind the digital sub is compared to the print. Folks were posting images of the phono pre article 10 days before I was able to download the december issue

I think it’s by design. Possibly to spur print sales.


I have both Stereophile print and digital and the digital always seems several days behind the print. I’m sure I’m not alone but I’ve been waiting a while to read some professional reviews no disrespect to owner reviews! I love reading those also!

Monthly print magazines have traditionally been sent to subscribers a month early, ahead of newsstands, etc. This tradition continues.

I just signed up for a digital subscription and downloaded the iOS app. I followed the activation instructions to a tee, but still don’t have access to any Stereophile issues. Is there some sort of voodoo magic that I need to do to read a digital magazine?!

Some iOS apps have issues. I am having one with MIT SMR app at the moment. I would contact Stereophile, try accessing the subscription using Safari as a temp arrangement.

Welcome, ahsu7!

Very quick!

Congrats to all of you at PS!


I have to go through Zinio, here’s the link I have to use:

Edit to note the iPhone Stereophile App gets me in as well

Do they compare the m1200 against other amps in the review, and if so how does that go?

Dang, I’m late again getting my review to press.

I haven’t read Stereophile’s take on it, but as I have stated in another thread here- Any M1200 reviews due, the M1200’s are so good that I’m keeping them long term in my review system. Let me steal a little bit of Stereophile’s thunder on behalf of the crew. These amps are without a doubt reference quality. It’s pretty amazing for an amplifier to have this much power on tap and still exhibit the delicacy and nuance of the very finest low-powered amps I’ve ever heard. It’s the perfect reviewer’s tool amp - you can use any speakers known to man, presenting the most ridiculous of loads, and this amp will just go “Ha,” smile, and make those bad boys sing.

If Stereophile doesn’t make the M1200’s a fixture in their “A” Class of recommended components, then I’ll be a monkey’s uncle, or rather, they’ll be.



I received my issue with the review! Positive indeed! I noticed it was reviewed by Michael Fremer who also reviewed the BHK 300’s for Stereophile. I would of liked to of read how he would compare the sound of the M1200’s to the BHK 300’s.

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Does anone have a link to this review? Apparently my sub. to ‘Stereophile’ has lapsed.

He only compares them to his reference darTZeel NHB-468’s which are better at something like 8 times the price but he says it was like “stepping out of a Mercedes-Maybach into a Porsche Carrera S” when going from the 468’s to the M1200’s

Thanks, yeah I was able to only skim the review in a local bookstore but couldn’t stay bc had kid with and wasn’t cooperating. The Dartzeel comparison wasn’t too helpful but the letter grades for each of many amp categories at end was kinda cool. Mostly A’s, maybe 2-3 B’s and C’s as I recall (don’t quote me on that). Still, too bad he couldn’t have compared to other $5-7k amps directly like most mags do and Stereophile often does (comparable priced stuff to whatever on review).

Posted elsewhere by error - can someone explain to me the meaning of “a pleasing touch of mid-bottom emphasis”? You can get arrested for that.

Let’s get real about this. Fremer is Paul’s personal friend of 40 years so there is a major conflict of interest. I also find Fremer’s writing style atrocious. Moreover, he only references amplifiers from Boulder and darTZeel that anyone vaguely interested in M1200 has probably never heard and certainly could not afford. More Independent reviewers, for example Andrew Everard, often compare and contrast with competing products and of similar price and specification.

Next, he uses his Wilson Alex and XVX speakers that, besides costing the price of a house, are very easy to drive. They are rated at 91db and the last pair of Wilson speakers I heard in a megabucks system were being driven effortlessly by a 40w hybrid valve amplifier in pure valve class A mode (that can produce 200w, but more power was not needed). So for amplifiers that are all about power, he was using the most inappropriate speakers.

In the penultimate column he asks rhetorically if there is anything similar for the price. There may not be in the USA, but there are in The UK and Europe, from the likes of Rogue, Apollon and Nord, and they are a lot cheaper as the are sold direct and made to order (around $3k to £4K).

The long and the short of the review is that if you have difficult speakers or like to feel the walls vibrate, these are the amplifiers for you. Just buy them. NOW

More critically, they measure OK, but not great. Two other integrated amplifiers in the same issue seem to measure better, one of which I was looking at this weekend for my office and costs $1300. Most class D amps measure pretty well and fine for practical purposes.

Fremer has in the past been critical of class D because of its failings in top end transients and microdynamics. In his own words, this is what makes music sound real and class D has let him down, for example in this rather negative review in 2012.
I found this an issue in my 2007 Linn Class D amp, and I was not hugely impressed with Devialet until the Expert upgrade, which I then bought in 2016. When Fremer rates the M1200 amp, he gives it A+ for slam, but only a C for microdynamic delicacy.

My ownership and demo experience is that those lifelike dynamics require a superb power supply. That comes at a price, witness Mola Mola, Devialet, Linn, etc. Perhaps that is why other manufacturers prefer nCore for their superb SMPS. Fremer appears to make only one passing reference to the power supply, so I am none the wiser.

I should credit Fremer for being able to write more than two columns about a class D amp based on a standard module. For all the nonsense he spouts, the purpose of these amplifiers is clear - SLAM.