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what determines a studio monitors as "ported" or "unported"?

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  • what determines a studio monitors as "ported" or "unported"?

    I was reading a book about mixing and it mentioned to avoid the use of ported monitors. Not sure what determines a "ported" monitor as my monitors didn't say if it is or isn't. I own a Tapco S5 and an Alesis M1 Active 320. Would the manuals say it is ported?


  • #2

     Dont believe everything you read. Many nearfield monitors have rear ports. It not only tunes the speakers for a flat response but it helps cool the active amplifiers inside from overheating.

    The reason for a port is mainly for the woofer. A woofer has a frequency range and a resonant peak where it puts out maximum power. The speaker is designed to fit within a certain amount of enclosed air mass to produce a flat bass responce. It may be a closed cab and the air acts like a shock absorber. You've likely driven in a car that has shock absorbers that are worn out or too stiff for the weight of the vehicle. You can have the same issues with the woofer. it can bottom out if theres too little compression or fail to produce bass responce in a small highly compressed cab.

    One trick to getting more bass response from a small speaker and cab is to use a port. This makes the speaker think the cabs bigger and produce more bass. Where the port is placed is often the key item. If its placed in fromt, it usually has some kind of maze for the air to travel through so the bass coming out the front is delayed long enough to be in plase with the bass coming directly from the woofer. A rear port will likely be out of phase with the front but it really doesnt matter so long as the wall in back of the speaker is the proper distance away so the reflected wave off the wall is in phase with the front of the speaker.

    You can google up "infinate baffel" for rear port designs. I have two sets of near fields and two sets of HiFi speakers with rear ports and they do provide a wide flat response.

    What you read, likely deals with larger passive monitors. Bass reflex ports like PA cabs or Vocal Monitors often have a large front opening. They are designed to be loud and produce frequencies in the vocal ranges best. they also project the sound long distance and the front port helps produce the best bass response. they are not good choices for mixing because they do not produce a flat frequency response and cannot be used close up. in a large room you'd be dealing with all the acoustic reflection so a large ported design like that would be bad.

    As far as your monitors being ported, look on the back and see if theres a small round hole of some type on the front between the speakers or on the back. If it does have them in the back then its there to flatten the speaker response. If it doesnt then the cab is designed to de sealed. The only difference is a rear port can make for bigger bass responce and less boxiness when balanced with the tweeter. Other than that let your ears decide.

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