The PS•1 Phono Stage, Retail price $399.00
offers superb sound quality & versatility at an affordable price. The internal design is completely dual-mono, with a creative design to keep signal path components to a minimum. Rear panel DIP switches are used to select settings for resistive load, capacitance, gain and subsonic filter. This flexibility allows for use with almost any line stage and MM/MC phono cartridge.
The HC-1B Power Supply. retail price $279
The HC•1b Dual Mono Supply is a high-performance upgrade for use with the PA•1
Two 1.5A transformers (one per channel) are used to improve dynamics, bass control and imaging. Features include detachable Input/Output AC cables and internally switchable input voltage (115~230 volts).
AC Input Voltage: 115~230 Volts / 50~60 hz
AC Output Voltage: 2 x 16 Volts @ 1.5A
Size: 8.5" x 6" x 2.5"
Weight: 8 lbs
The choices you have with the Monolithic are:
- Loading Resistance (4 options): 47K, 10K, 1K and 100 ohms
- Capacitance (3 options): 100 pf, 270 pf and 370 pf
- Gain (4 options): 26 dB, 35 dB, 44 dB and 53 dB
- Subsonic Filter (2 options): ON/OFF
The idea is here to obtain a line level electrical signal that is as closely resembles the source as possible, and the source is the contact point between the cartridge and the record surface.
There are a variety of factors that can affect this ultimate line level signal. Among them are: the four conditions from above, the electricity coming out from the wall outlet, the power cord connecting the wall outlet to the power supply (HC-1b), the interconnect that connects the HC-1b to the PS1, and ultimately the interconnect that connects the line level signal to your line level pre-amp.
An interesting point here is that most power supplies are expensive, yet the HC-1b is priced lower than the PS1 and the HC-1b weight twice as much as the PS 1. Thus, if you have the PS 1 there is no reason for you not to get the HC-1b to go with it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s well worth it.
Most users with this setup will probably not optimizing what this combo had to offer. First, you need to correctly setup the dipswitches from above. Most users understand this, except the Gain options. A misconception here is the lower the gain, the better the quality of the sound. Although this statement is correct per se, it is not correct with regards to the whole setup chain. There is a trade off here: at lower gain levels, you will get a quieter sound but at the expense of losing some details at the cartridge output. At higher gain settings, you will get slightly better details at the cartridge output, but at the expense of Ã¢â‚¬Å“dirtierÃ¢â‚¬Â electrical contamination. This is why it is paramount that you buy the HC-1b power supply if you own the PS 1. Why is the higher gain gives you more details? I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know but I guess it helps to amplify the cartridge signal first hand before letting this signal hits the rest of the chain. It also appears that a tiny improvement you can make to the setup will increase the quality of the line level signal a lot. For example, when I use the stock power cord that comes with the HC-1b to connect the unit to the wall outlet, I noticed higher distortion at 53-db level. When I replaced the stock power cord with the PS audio Xtreme Plus, I get the best of both world, quieter sound and with the unit set at maximum gain without distortion.
What my final impression of the monolithic is, if everything is setup right, you should get a line level source that is natural and smooth, with very deep, tuneful bass extension that is un-matched at this price point. Soundstage is wide and deep, overall you will enjoy a relaxing listening experience with the Monolithic combo.
Thank you for purchasing the Monolithic PS-1
Phono Stage. Please read the following before making any connections to your audio
The PS-1 is a versatile
phono stage, compatible with most moving-magnet and moving-coil
phono cartridges. Rear panel
switches allow selection of four gain settings, four impedance settings, three capacitance settings and a switchable subsonic filter.
The PS-1 comes preset to
low gain, 47k impedance, no capacitance and subsonic filter “on”. Refer to the paperwork supplied by your
phono cartridge manufacturer before making selections. Once the load impedance has been set, connect the signal cables from your
turntable to the L/R input jacks of the PS-1. If your turntable has a ground wire, secure it to the ground lug located next to the input
jacks. Next, insert a pair of cables between the output jacks of the PS-1 and the desired input of your preamplifier/receiver. Last,
connect the AC power supply. Once these connections have been made, it’s time to give it a listen. If the volume level is too low, you
may increase the gain by referring to the examples below.
1. Subsonic Filter: up = “on”, down = “off”
2-4. Load Impedance: all up = 47k, 2 down = 10k, 3 down = 1k, 4 down = 100 ohms
5, 6. Capacitance: 5 down = 100pf, 6 down = 270pf, 5 & 6 down = 370pf
( switches 7, 8 )
Low Med. Med./
on Subsonic = off Subsonic = on Subsonic = off
Gain 10k, 100pf, Med. Gain 1k, 270pf, Med./Hi Gain 100 ohms, 370pf, Hi Gain