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Monitor audition impressions and mini review.


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  • Monitor audition impressions and mini review.

    Last night I spent about 3 hours auditioning various monitors in a well set up listening environment similar to my home setup.

    I listened to:

    Event TR-8, 20-20
    KRK V6, V8
    Mackie hr624
    M-audio BX8
    Alesis M1mk2

    I had heard some of these before, but never in a situation where I could A-B them against each other. Because monitor selection seems to be one of the most subjective areas of gear selection, I will give a very brief synopsis of my findings.

    1. KRK monitors really sound GREAT. The V8's in particular. These probably would have been my first choice if my budget had allowed it.

    2. The Alesis had an alright sound, but to my ears seemed less transparent. Rather than projecting a 3d sound field in the listening area, the sound seemed to come in a very directional manner from the monitors. Fatiguing highs in the upper vocal range.

    3. Event tr8's...This is the monitor that I originally intended to purchase... It's hard to describe my impressions here. The best word I can think of is "foggy". All the sounds had a softened, light quality that lacked "bite". The lack of any sort of adjustment (besides volume) was another strike against these. Despite Events (and the salespersons) claims there is a noticable increase in quality when going up to the 20-20's, but in that price range ($700) I felt there were still better options.

    4. Mackie hr624....When I first saw these I thought I had found my winner. These offered a good selection of adjustment and were very clear. After about 40 minutes of "adjusting" these I had to admit that the low end was lacking. Mackie claims +/- 1.5 db freq response down to 52hz. My ears were not convinced. Also, these monitors were always the first to choke at high volumes, with audible distortion coming sooner than any of the others I tried (well, maybe tied with the Alesis).

    5. M-Audio BX8s....This is a monitor I had auditioned previously and I almost skipped trying them again because my initial impressions were not great. Just to level the playing field, I had them brought into the quiet room so I could hear them again back to back with the others I mentioned. Using the adjustments present to adjust the speakers to the room resulted in a very non-directional, clear, defined (but not harsh) soundfield that was like I had removed cotton wads from my ears as compared to the TR-8's. The Bass was not as boomy as the Events, but I felt it was tighter and more controlled sounding. The speaker gave a more accurate idea of what was going on in the mix to my ears.
    The highs seem slightly emphasized, but not in an unpleasant or tiring way and frequency responce seemed balanced at all volume levels.

    Unfortunately, I had no opportunity to listen to any Tannoy products as my shop doesn't carry them.

    Having to 3 full Cd's of material that I am very familiar with and A-b-ing the above options in a sound controlled environment, I finally selected the BX8's even though I was certain I didn't like them when I walked into the shop. (I owe Maudio an apology for posting my initial bad impressions)

    Having gotten them home and set up in my room, the speakers have done nothing but impress me. One nice touch is that M-audio includes an individual frequecy responce test sheet with each speaker so you can see the (very)slight variances between the two speakers in the pair. Looking at this test data confirms what my ears told me. We lose about 1.5 db at the crossover freq (1.8khz ) with about a 2db increase occuring from 4khz all the way through to 18khz or so. This is easily compensated for with the numerous adjustments on the speaker.

    Of course I have yet to do any mixes on them, so take this for what its worth. Hopfully these are the tools I was looking for. Certainly they will be better to mix on than the Altec Lansing
    gaming oriented computer speakers I was using.

    Thanks for reading!
    A technology distinguishable from magic is not sufficiently advanced.

  • #2
    glad you were able to take some time and make a good purchase.
    I was SO close to buying the bx8's, but after direct comparison to the krk v6's, I decided to wait another month or so to buy them. But the way you can work the Bx8's is great. You can really tailor them to the room. Every where i did try them, I did need to cut the highs, but because you can they can really work out great.

    let us hear some mixes later.


    Life is short play a great amp.


    • #3
      Does this type post serve any use here?
      A technology distinguishable from magic is not sufficiently advanced.


      • #4
        Yes, thanks! I find your post to be very usefull. Of coarse it is (as everything out there) subjective, but at least you bothered to make a direct comparison in right conditions. And your impressions confirm some my apprehensions about Event monitors. I wondered why TR8s, which are supposed to sound almost exactly like PS8s which in their turn are supposed to sound like 2020bas, cost only half of what 2020bas cost. I also intended to buy TR8s without prelistening, but (lucky me?) there was no Event dealer in my country, so I ordered BX8. Your post is another confirmation that I made a right choice.

        But I somewhat curious about those separate testsheets of BX8s you mentioned. You said speakers do differ one from the other slightly, can you be more specific about these differences? What frequencies and what the amplitude (in dB) of these differences?



        • #5
          When I got my SP-8B's (BX8's parents ), there were those freq. plots provided... I questioned them, since it seemed like a standard letter you receive when contacting a company. But when I had the BX8's AND the Sp-8B's at home, the honesty of those plots was more evident.

          Sinner6 is right, around 4k-5k the slope rises with 2-3dB, making the BX8's quite bright monitors by themselves. Not harsh, just bright. Not really ear-fatiguing bright (like the Behringers or older Alesis ones), but more of a "With these monitors I have a lot of high-end clarity and shimmer and listening to my 70's Panasonic home-stereo, those seem almost dull" kinda bright.
          Ofcourse, those 70's speakers were from an era where you'd have a mid-bump instead of a smiley-EQ (usually found today in consumer home-audio).

          I haven't heard the TR-8's yet, but I don't think they're really bad, since I did like the PS6-s and PS8's.
          MovingNeedles Recording Studio

          Looking for:
          -MXR Envelope Filter & Blue Box ( both block logo's, +boxes and manuals)

          For sale:
          -Boss SG-1 Slow Gear Manual; VGC, 1979 print. Make me an offer!


          • #6
            Thanks, us hunt and peck typers feel like we did something after typing a few paragraphs


            Regarding the plot traces that came with the bx8s, the differences are very very slight and you have to really look at the plots to see any differences. I would say +- .1-2 db at the most in the 4-8 khz range was the most variance I saw. The differences were just enough to confirm that you were getting speaker specific data and not a marketing photocopy. The high end bump that disturbed me initially is a blessing in disguise, IMO. The speakers offer enough adjustability to get them set up right.

            The tr8's sounded pretty good, but lacked the definition(and flexability) of the bx8's.

            Who knows? Speaker selection is a subjective thing, but I was a little surprised to find a relative lack of reviews for studio monitors out there. Excepting the the one that Speeddemon wrote, I didnt really find any for the Bx8.
            A technology distinguishable from magic is not sufficiently advanced.


            • #7
              Sinner, do you also think that the Acoustic blabla-switch of the BX8's is actually a <500Hz low-end boost?

              I have the 'presence' switch to flat, the high-end switch to -2dB and the low-roll off to 47Hz (a tad more defined than at 37Hz).
              MovingNeedles Recording Studio

              Looking for:
              -MXR Envelope Filter & Blue Box ( both block logo's, +boxes and manuals)

              For sale:
              -Boss SG-1 Slow Gear Manual; VGC, 1979 print. Make me an offer!


              • #8
                The manual claims the Acoustic Prescence switch is a "complimentary correction filter" that lowers the all frequncies above 500hz by -2db or -4db. I have the switches adjusted as per the manuals reccomendation in the -2 position.

                Are you asking if I belive this a boost to frequencies below 500hz? If so then no, I belive the switch works in the manner described by the manual, because the attenuated settings are indeed quieter at the frequncies indicated. The "midrange" switch is supposed to give a gentle bump in the 2khz range with a wide Q producing an upsidedown smile response. This seems to do just what it says as well.

                What is "flattest" or most accurate I am not sure yet as I have not completed any mixes on these yet so its hard to say how these will translate. I have spent the past few days just playing old familiar tunes through them so I know them better. I do belive the factory reccomended settings for my configuration sounds the best, in fact I was highly impressed with the documentation that accompanied my speakers.

                One thing I noticed was that the speakers seemed to get a bit warmer after a couple days of use. Whether this was my ears getting used to them or the speakers breaking in I do not know.

                Is this different from your experience?
                A technology distinguishable from magic is not sufficiently advanced.


                • #9
                  I haven't really paid any attention to their temperature.
                  I don't use the presence switch, as I feel it's a little too much emphasize on the 2k thing.

                  But about the acoustic space switch, I remember seeing some plot with a downward line from 500Hz to 900Hz (something with a 3 or 6dB slope), so that would mean that in the "open field" setting, the freqs below 500Hz are boosted relatively to the >900Hz freqs.
                  MovingNeedles Recording Studio

                  Looking for:
                  -MXR Envelope Filter & Blue Box ( both block logo's, +boxes and manuals)

                  For sale:
                  -Boss SG-1 Slow Gear Manual; VGC, 1979 print. Make me an offer!


                  • #10

                    I should have said "less bright" instead of warmer!

                    A technology distinguishable from magic is not sufficiently advanced.


                    • #11
                      hey good post Sinner - thanks!

                      I got more culture than yoghurt

                      I've been Catholic and I've been Zen, I've been a Bhuddist since Christ knows when - Fred Smith

                      Congrats to the Mouse that Roared... - Thumper


                      • #12
                        I got the V4 is there a large difference between the V6's and V4's?