I have done 3 days with the Prime Vibe on the LM 400. This has become an incredible mandolin. It was really good to begin with and has improved substantially. To be honest, part of that improvement is due to the Prime Vibe and part of it to being played and played hard for a week. The two together have helped it substantially.
The improvement from the PV has been noticeable and the volume and tone has increased over the test period. The increase was always more balanced than the TR from day one, though at first I did not think it would achieve the power difference I had seen with the TR. It has. It is not more than the other, but certainly equal to it. I hear the greatest increase in the A strings but it has become a bit more balanced after day 3 and with a few days hard playing.
I am going to discontinue the LM 400 and put it on another instrument. Mostly because I play the LM400 and need it available all the time and cannot dedicate it to the test any longer. It has been used enough on this instrument to see the difference from before and after. I will chose another instrument today and then run the test for a week if possible. That will be a complete test and allow me to give a better evaluation as compared to the TR. I am also doing another instrument with the TR so I can do a side by side comparison of the two systems.
Either system will do what they say they will from my initial observations of the PV. The end result seems to be very equal and they achieve the same goal with a bit different method. The TR costs more initially, but it is ready to go right out of the box. Nothing to hook up or wire or plug except the AC plug into the wall. The PV you do have to put it together. This is not hard or difficult though so that is not really an issue. You do have to provide a sound source for the PV, which you do NOT have to do with the TR. The PV is not ready to go right out of the box. By the time I factor in my expense for purchasing an MP3 player the cost is very comparable. This can be mitigated if you already have an MP3 player you can dedicate to this. I did not. I did not factor in the time and inconvenience of shopping for one and the gas to get it, etc. Again, not a big deal but the cost would not be that much more for a cheap MP3 player in the box so you have to go nowhere to get one to use with it. Another option would be to sell it with an MP3 for those who may need it, and without one for those who do not.
The only other inconvenience in my mind is that it has to lay on its back. First, that takes space that is not always avialable, and the second, I think anything would work better if the back were not dampened by laying on it. The back vibrating more freely would, in my mind, be better if it could hang.
I will post more as the test goes on. Tomorrow I will post what I am using it on next. Again, it seems to be a good product and between the two brands, very equal so far in its outcome. The things I find inconvenient may not be an issue with anyone else, but it is important for the consumer to know this out front. Thank you.