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Thread: Soundstream Picasso Nano Review & Pics

  1. #1
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    Soundstream Picasso Nano Review & Pics

    I apologize if this review is not "techy" enough, but I lack the necessary tools to fully evaluate an amplifier.

    The vehicle is an 04 Honda Element, which is currently back under the knife.
    The front speakers are PG Xenon 6.5's, running on passive Xovers, with woofer in OEM door location & the tweeter in the OEM A pillar location.
    The rear speakers are PG Xenon 6.5" midbasses only (no tweeters).

    The previous amp used was a Rockford Fosgate PBR300.4 and had been running for about a year.
    Not a bad amp, but it did leave me wanting more. The sound was crisp & clear up top, but suffered as the freq came down and just sounded hollow and dull across most of the midrange.
    I replaced the RF amp because my main concern was heat, this amp gets HOT & very quickly, second was because it just didnt make me happy.

    So I replaced it with the Soundstream Picasso Nano 4.520D, and bought a matching 600w mono amp too. Being a long time Soundstream nut from the late 90's, I was happy to see them try to come back and is the biggest reason why I thought Id try them out. There is also little about these in the form of reviews and nothing for pics of the insides.... until now. :p


    The Soundstream is rated for 100w RMS x4@4ohm, 130w RMS x4@2ohm, & 260w RMS x2@4ohm. Not too bad for only being 5"x9"x1.5" in size, and ~$150 shipped.
    They are full range class D, and have all the basic options you would expect from an average amplifier. (Xovers & Hi-level input options)

    Opening the box I was surprised to see there was actually screw terminals for speakers & power connections. The online images from most retailers show only a Batt/Gnd/Rmt terminal and the speakers are connected via a detachable harness. I was on the fence between the Soundstream & the PPI ION because the PPI variant had terminals where SS did not, but I went with SS anyway & was happy to find this little surprise.

    The fuse ratings have also come down, where the images of the early gen Picasso Nanos had two 30A fuses (& without speaker terminals) they now only have a single 40a fuse.

    The mounting feet are pretty small, and while making the amp tiny was probably their goal, the reality is there still needs to be room for RCAs & wire so they could have brought them out a little farther. They still work fine, but I am picky.

    So how do they sound? Well, the RF needed a good amount of EQ in the mid range and a little less EQ in the upper end. As of now I have the EQ zero'd across the board and the speakers Highpassed at 50hz, and all I can say is DAMN I am impressed. The sound is very warm compared to the RF PBR and much more balanced across the entire sound spectrum. Of the only review I could find on these amps, the reviewer claimed these to lack in detail up high, but I have to say I disagree. There is also a very noticeable difference in headroom compared to the PBR, which I think is a combination of higher power (25% increase in power) & the Fosgates "Boosted Rail" tech not really being all that great. I only have a couple hours of listening time in on this new amp, and havent even played with it much, but I am already very happy with the results and natural sound these amps have. After about 20 minutes of continuous very loud playing the amp was warm to the touch, but cool enough that I could have left my hand on it without discomfort. The PBR could fry an egg within minutes of playing at any volume level. lol

    The last song I listened to was the acoustic version of "Ignorance" by Paramore Paramore - Ignorance (Acoustic) - YouTube and am just floored at how accurate her voice & guitars sound, and the EQ is flat still. I have a family full of musicians and have been around many acoustic guitars, and with my eyes closed I can actually picture the artists sitting in front of me, from the buzz of the struck strings and finger repositioning, to the full harmonics of each chord.


    My opinion, this is one hell of a great compact amp for only $150 and can really hold its own.


    Size difference between the RF & the SS









    And for the GUTS!



    I have not seen any of the other tiny class D amps with boards quite like this, but am sure the Power Acoustic Razor, Soundstream Picasso Nano, & PPI Ion are the same boards.

    I will update the review with the 600w mono block Picasso Nano after I get it installed & have played with it, & thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Controller AL9000's Avatar
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    Nice write-up! I've got the D-Tower amps, but I'm always looking to switch things up.


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    How do ya like the D towers? I have enjoyed the Stealth series amps in a few builds Ive done & they sounded great, but just didnt have the power I wanted. This Nano certainly delivers & will fit almost anywhere, and the price is just icing on the cake. I am building a new center console again and will house 3 of these amps (two 4ch & a Mono), an Alpine H650, PG Basscube, and some more fun goodies.

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    Super Moderator ca90ss's Avatar
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    Not surprised about the RF, they intentionally don't have a flat frequency response.
    http://www.rockfordfosgate.com/docum...0-2_review.pdf

  5. #5
    Controller AL9000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audiophyle View Post
    How do ya like the D towers? I have enjoyed the Stealth series amps in a few builds Ive done & they sounded great, but just didnt have the power I wanted. This Nano certainly delivers & will fit almost anywhere, and the price is just icing on the cake. I am building a new center console again and will house 3 of these amps (two 4ch & a Mono), an Alpine H650, PG Basscube, and some more fun goodies.
    Honestly, I've been satisfied...but not overly impressed. This is why I'm keeping my options open for a possible change.


  6. #6
    these look pretty nice for people that don't have a lot of room to give up

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    I installed the PN1.650D today, which replaced a PG zx600.2ti, which is powering a JBL GT5-10.

    The PG was a bit overkill, as is the SS since the sub is only rated for 275w rms & I have it in a large vented enclosure tuned nice & low. The Picasso Nano is really pushing this sub, and it has MORE than enough bass to keep up with my mids & highs. The amp is only rated for 400w rms @ 4ohm (650w rms @ 2ohm), and is currently operating at 4 ohms on my SVC sub. There is no audible difference I can tell between the PG & the Picasso Nano, its pretty great. The only difference of course is the gain settings on the amps, lol. The PG was barely turned up, and the Nano is at about 60% or so.


    I have to say I am very satisfied with the purchase of these amps. Neither get hot at all, they are tiny and offer a boat-load of power, they sip on power, and they sound exactly like Id expect from a quality amp.
    Unless either suffers from a mechanical failure, I would highly recommend these for an awesome budget amp.

    & mounted in my Element




    3" bolt with a 2" spacer & these tiny amps are very easily stackable.
    Last edited by Audiophyle; 05-29-2013 at 11:58 PM.

  8. #8
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    Decent power, small size, bandpass crossover. What's not to like? They look like a nice little option.
    Just because you don't understand the data doesn't mean it's not relevant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MiniVanMan View Post
    Decent power, small size, bandpass crossover. What's not to like? They look like a nice little option.
    You are thinking of the Tarantula Nano's (& PPI Phantoms) which have a Xover up to 5khz, those amps are actually larger than these ones.
    This 4ch has a fixed 80hz Xover that is either HP, LP, or Fullrange. The sub amp has adjustable lowpass & an adjustable subsonic, so kinda bandpass. lol

  10. #10
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    Time for an update:

    4ch still sounds awesome...... sub amp took a shit.
    When the amps turn on the protection lights come on then turn off as the power light comes on. The PN1.650D protection light now comes on & just stays on. :tear:
    Sub is fine, RCAs are fine, Fuses are all fine. Even completely unhooked from everything but power the amp still stays in protection. I have emailed the seller (MobileSoundWorks through Amazon) and we will see what happens from there. I am glad I waited before opening it up, I played the 4ch for a few days before opening & was planning to open the mono this week...... and still might depending on how the return request is handled. lol

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