SMSL SP200 THX First Impressions

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As mentioned in the launch post, THL’s very own Deezel recently received the SMSL SP200 THX for review and has the following initial impressions:

SMSL’s SP200 is a well-balanced, neutral-sounding amp that deftly straddles between musicality and precision. It’s a clean, airy and no-frills-sounding amp that draws excellent engagement from its accurate imaging and its gorgeous dynamic range.

Its stage, while large, may not be the most out-of-head I’ve ever heard – slightly edged out by SMSL’s very own M500 in that regard. But, the precision, separation and layering within is truly outstanding. The amp’s background is clean and pitch-black, allowing more delicate details to pop without having to push the top-end.

Stereo spread is fantastic too, portraying hard-left and hard-right pans excellently. The tom rolls on the drum solo of Dirty Loops’ Work Sh*t Out are an absolute treat. And, its portrayal of depth is palpable as well. Listening to well-recorded cymbal work on Vision Ears’ ELYSIUM, you get a clear idea of how far away the crashes are away from you. And, they’re fast, airy and well-resolved as well.

The only caveat I’d mention is the slightly pulled-back midrange. The SP200 certainly isn’t the most intimate-sounding amp. But, otherwise, for $289.99, my early impressions are telling me that you’ll be getting a mighty impressive performer. Well-built, clean-sounding and gorgeously-balanced, fun times are definitely ahead with this amp.

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Having a life-long love of high-quality audio and gadgets, average_joe got back in touch with his audiophile side after a hiatus caused by life. His focus became headphones and related gear as the size and price fit his life better than home audio. He believes the entire audio chain is important, and likes to continue to think past the headphone and on into the head, as he believes understanding the details of how we hear will lead to a better audio experience.

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