- Written by Piero Gabucci
- Published on 10 May 2012
The PSB Imagine mini-Monitors In Use
Piano recordings offer an excellent reference in the mid-range. Sa Chen's PentaTone Classic SACD recording of Rachmaninov's 6 Etudes Tableaux piano concertos is simply wonderful. The Mini's handle Sa Chen's graceful playing with delicacy and finesse. Although studio recorded, the image from the Mini's created a believable depth and dynamic all the while maintaining an excellent tonal balance.
I had just received a new 45 rpm recording of Johnny Hartman's 1963 recorded "I Just Dropped by to Say Hello". It's hard to get a deeper baritone voice than JH. The Mini exuded a wrmth in his chesty voice. Accompanied by a tenor sax, piano, bass, and Kenny Burrell's guitar, the ensemble was controlled, natural and balanced. Could I argue for slightly deeper bass, perhaps.
On an entirely different direction, the new release on SACD of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" also arrived. There is a freshness to the original recording and the tracks have never sounded better. The dialogue between the saxophone and Gilmour's guitar in Shine on You Crazy Diamond is rich with character. The guitar sound is actually sweet and floats above the range of the saxophone in timbered harmony. This placement of sound makes the Mini outstanding!
The crackly old megaphone sound in the opening of Wish you Were Here transitions to the clarity of the acoustic guitar unveiled in clean and elegant definition. The Mini is revealing as it is clean.
Track after track convinced me I was listening to a very accomplished speaker, capable of any genre. I pulled out the well recorded Alison Krauss + Union Station Live on vinyl. Crystal clear guitars and Alison's fiddle along with her vocals are so well balanced and the Mini's present the overlapping instruments with convincing live realism.