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Speaking of Les Paul, some monitors with his name on them arrived here today...


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I'm interested in your review of these monitors.

 

I'll definitely keep everyone posted. I've got them in the other room and am breaking them in now - running a bunch of Powerpop stuff through them via Spotify. I'll give them a couple of days of that to let them break in before I move them to the control room and start doing any serious listening. I'm definitely going to do some tracking with them, as well as try some mixing on them before the review gets written, so it's going to be a little while before that gets written and put up.

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My initial thoughts were not very complimentary during the first part of the burn-in period, but it turned out that was due to user error and not really the fault of the speakers... but I'll save the details for the review. The details are rather embarrassing, although kind of funny... :o

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My initial thoughts were not very complimentary during the first part of the burn-in period' date=' but it turned out that was due to user error and not really the fault of the speakers... but I'll save the details for the review. The details are rather embarrassing, although kind of funny... :o[/quote']

 

We live for details here Phil. A fail by one the most astute among us fulfills the craven need for schadenfreude for us lesser beings, Spill it man.

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I wonder if they have any similarities to something Les Paul historically used in a studio or whether its just branding scheme to get the monitors recognized above other manufacturers who earned their reputation the hard way, by actually making good products and standing in back of them?

 

There's nothing wrong with it of course If its a good product that can stand on its own. The question is, are the monitors Iconic like his guitars were? If they aren't, It would be a an awful thing to tarnish the man who no longer has anything to say about how his name is used.

 

Given the fact Les Paul Pioneered Multitrack recording, those moitors better be able to kick everyone else's products into the dirt. Anything less then highly a superior product wouldn't be worthy of a mans name on it in my book.

Edited by WRGKMC
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Excellent review Phil! Covered all the bases and those have to be the coolest looking monitors ever crafted! Pricey though!

And thanks for giving it up about the speaker covers...Good to know even the top drawer guys can make rookie mistakes!

Takes a real guy to own up...Great review!

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I wonder if they have any similarities to something Les Paul historically used in a studio or whether its just branding scheme to get the monitors recognized above other manufacturers who earned their reputation the hard way' date=' by actually making good products and standing in back of them?[/quote']

 

Neither, actually. 2015 would have been Les Paul's 100th birthday and Gibson USA did a "year of the Les Paul." Aside from a Firebird there are no Flying Vs or Explorers in the core lineup. However there was a general consensus that Les Paul's contributions to recording are often unappreciated because the guitar is so iconic. The idea was to create some really great monitors for the studio that would be to monitors as Les Pauls are to guitars.

 

When I first heard about them I was taken aback by the price, but Gibson just showed them at a hi-fi show in Chicago and the attitude there was "Wow, they're really great considering the low cost." I guess I just don't live in a world of $50,000 audiophile speakers.

 

I looked at Phil's review and I think he nailed it (not unusual for Phil, of course). I had the 8" model in my studio for a while but frankly, my setup is too small for them. You need to give them more than the 3' equilateral triangle treatment. So I went back to using my KRK VXT 6" monitors. But there was a happy ending. The Les Paul Monitors ended up in my living room, and they make for a kickass hi-fi system :)

 

I feel there's little difference between the 6" and 8" Les Paul Monitors, but a big difference between the 4" and the 6" models. I would use the 4" only if I needed something small and portable, or had really limited space. The 6" version is all most people need, but the 8" does have extra bass extension which as Phil points out, is very appropriate for certain styles of music.

 

I've also asked that they do a Black Beauty and Gold Top version...

 

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Excellent review Phil! Covered all the bases and those have to be the coolest looking monitors ever crafted! Pricey though!

And thanks for giving it up about the speaker covers...Good to know even the top drawer guys can make rookie mistakes!

Takes a real guy to own up...Great review!

 

Thanks for checking it out, and for your kind words! cool.gif:0

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I've also asked that they do a Black Beauty and Gold Top version...

 

As I said in the review, the response to the cosmetics seems to be rather divided - I suspect that for those who prefer a more traditional look, a Black Beauty version would be well-received.

 

It would be fun to put several sets of monitors (including the Les Pauls) behind an acoustically transparent veil that hid them from view and let people decide what they thought based strictly on listening. I suspect some might come away from the experience surprised by how much their eyes can influence what they hear. ;)

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Good review Phil. looks like you covered all the bases. Can you give us any more on how well the mixes translated to other playback systems. Most of us know you can have great sounding monitors, but your play that mix back in say an automobile for example may lack bass if you had too much of it coming from the monitors. I'm guessing the EQ knobs on the back could help negate that issue with fine tweaking. You also have to be familiar with your monitors to do your best work. Putting all that aside did you find they actually produced good mixes comparable to what you're used to getting or would you need to use them longer to get the best from them?

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Certainly the longer you use a pair of monitors, the better you'll get to know them, and the better the results you can expect to get... these speakers are no different in that respect, but I was able to spend enough time with them, and played / tracked / mixed tons of music through them (in both my control room, and my living room) to have the opportunity to get to know how they sound pretty darned well.

 

As far as mixes translating, today it really is hard to get them to do so in the exact same way on the wide range of available playback systems. You can't really expect a mix to sound exactly the same on a pair of monitors with the bass extension and headroom the Les Paul 8's have, and then on a pair of earbuds or a typical car stereo. What I can say is that when moved to those other environments, or when stuff I did with the LP8's was played back on the other speakers in my control room, it didn't lead to any nasty, unexpected surprises. In other words, the variances I heard on those other systems were about what I expected, given the variations in the acoustical environments, and the particular characteristics of those playback systems.

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I actually had to be careful with the Les Paul Monitors regarding translation. Most speakers in lower price ranges "smear" the sound somewhat. That's not a slam, it's just the reality of what happens if you don't have a lot of bucks to put into the speaker. The LPM's transient response and midrange clarity are sort of like an "anti-smear," and can fool you into the thinking the instruments will sound just as defined on consumer speakers.

 

I found the fix was to make sure that instruments specifically requiring definition weren't panned on top of each other. You could get away with it using the LPMs, but a little extra stereo field separation translated the mix better on other speakers.

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I've always felt that anything that was deliberately stacked in the same location in the stereo field should be strongly suspected of acting like a "mixed" or "combination" sound - because no matter how good the definition of your studio monitors is, and how well they allow you to differentiate between the parts, that's how it's going to come across on most playback systems - especially if they're playing similar parts or live in similar regions of the frequency spectrum. In the studio, we might be able to individually hear the guitar and synth playing the same line when they are panned to the same place in the stereo field, and be able to tell that it's two distinct instruments, but the average listener is going to hear it as one "guitarsynth" instrument; the two combine into one single composite sound.

 

And to me, at best, most playback systems only have three to five audible panning positions:

 

L / C / R

 

L / LC / C / CR / R

 

Try to get too much more nuanced than that - even if you can hear the difference on your studio monitors - and it's likely to get lost on the majority of your listeners.

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