Near-Field Reference Monitors | Innovation and Accuracy

Feb 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By George Petersen



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Designed for its LSR2300 Series monitors (but operable with virtually all other monitors, as well) is the MSC1 Monitor System Controller from JBL, a desktop “monitor section” that’s ideal for use with DAW-based studios. The MSC1 was originally offered with Control Center Software for XP and Vista PCs, but JBL has recently released a new version of the app for the Mac.

A company founded by speaker designer Keith Klawitter, KK Labs announces the DS-8, a powered studio monitor that includes DSP/Ethernet control with either analog or 24-bit/48kHz AES/EBU digital audio input connections. The two-way design features an 8-inch LF driver and a 1-inch inverted-dome titanium tweeter. The DS-8’s Acoustic Cabinet Control™ (ACC) design aligns and tunes the low frequencies for a linear sound with quick transient response. Its new DS-6 is a two-way powered speaker system with a 6-inch woofer and titanium-composite tweeter housed in an ACC enclosure. All DS Series monitors feature onboard 350W and 200W bi-amplification and four tuned DSP presets that allow the units to function in almost any listening environment.

Unveiled at NAMM and shipping next month are Mackie’s MRmk2 Reference Series studio monitors. Both the 5.25-inch woofer MR5mk2 ($199 pair) and 8-inch MR8mk2 ($329 pair) are powered two-way designs with a 1-inch soft-dome neodymium tweeter on a custom, wide-dispersion waveguide. Inside the rear-ported cabinets is a Class-A/B amplifier section with XLR, TRS and RCA analog inputs, and user-adjustable controls for acoustical correction.

Neumann KH 120

Neumann KH 120

Neumann has rebranded the Klein & Hummel speaker line and offers its first studio monitor. The Neumann KH 120 features a Mathematically Modeled Dispersion waveguide, flexible acoustical controls (three four-position switches for bass, low-midrange and treble bands) and analog/digital inputs. Two 50W Class-A/B amps power the 5.25-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter, providing a 52 to 21k Hz (±3dB) response. It’s offered in either a standard model (with analog and digital inputs) and as the KH 120D, a version with digital inputs only. A KH-810 subwoofer is optional and takes LF down to 18 Hz.

Pelonis Sound and Acoustics Model 42

Pelonis Sound and Acoustics Model 42

The Model 42 from Pelonis Sound and Acoustics is the newest release in the Pelonis Signature Series. The system puts 4-inch, two-way dual-concentric coaxial drivers into compact, rhomboid-shaped enclosures fed from a companion rackmount DSP controller/crossover/200W bi-amplification unit. The angled front baffles point the speakers slightly upward in a desktop setup, downward when used on a high meter bridge or inward toward the user when at ear level. PMC’s AML2 powered monitors supersede the AML1 model with an upgraded power supply and an enhanced cabinet structure. The AML2 combines a flat-piston, 6-inch, carbon-fiber/Nomex woofer capable of extreme 33mm excursion and a 1.5-inch soft-dome tweeter, both driven by Bryston-designed Class-A/B (100W/80W) amps. Response is stated as 33 to 25k Hz.

The V2108 reference monitoring system from Quested Limited is intended for near-field applications. It applies an 8-inch woofer and 1-inch dome tweeter to designer Roger Quested’s well-known driver layout, along with the company’s new current-driven, floating drive stage Class-A/B amplification with two channels of 200W to each of the drivers. The compact cabinet delivers LF response down to 40 Hz.

New from RCF USA are the Mytho 6 and Mytho 8 active two-way, near-field reference monitors. These combine an aluminium/magnesium alloy (with high-excursion soft-polymer surround) dome tweeter and either a 6- or 8-inch neodymium woofer in a front-ported, all-aluminum enclosure. Power is via 200- and 100W Class-A/B bi-amplification to the LF and HF drivers with onboard DSP crossover and equalization.

Tannoy Reveal 601a

Tannoy Reveal 601a

New from Tannoy are the Reveal 501a ($249) and 601a ($349) active and 601p ($179) passive studio monitors. All feature a front-ported design with a wideband tweeter that extends response to 30 kHz. The 501a has an integrated 60W amplifier driving its 5-inch LF/MF driver and 1-inch soft-dome tweeter, and a stated 64 to 30k Hz response. The 601a has a 6.5-inch LF/MF driver and 1-inch soft-dome tweeter for a 60 to 30k Hz bandwidth. The 601 is also offered in a passive, nonpowered version, the 601p.

Trident Audio Developments HG3

Trident Audio Developments HG3

Legendary speaker designer Harvey Gerst worked with noted amp designer Russ Allee to create the new HG3 powered close-field monitors for Trident Audio Developments. The HG3 speakers combine a midrange and HF driver in a separate swiveling enclosure set into a ported subwoofer cabinet, with the swiveling action greatly reducing diffraction distortion while letting users adjust directionality for improved imaging. Three sets of inputs allow for balanced (XLR and TRS) and unbalanced (TS and RCA) connections.

Mix executive editor George Petersen also runs a small record label .

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