Review: Event Opal Studio Monitors

Apr 6, 2009 6:28 PM, By George Petersen

Gems From Down Under


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

photo of Event Opal monitor

The HF unit can be rotated for horizontal use.

Event plans to offer an optional software/calibration mic package for simplifying room/speaker setup, but it wasn’t shipping in time for this review. Yet thanks to the front controls, I could make tweaks without moving far from the sweet spot and, once set, the cover hides the knobs from unauthorized twiddlers. During setup, I detected no port noise (wheezing or chuffing), which can be a problem with some front-ported systems, although with nearly 750 watts of amps in each box, up close you can discern a bit of amplifier hiss when no signal is fed into the Opals.

Each speaker includes a thick rubber plinth, a multifunction slab that keeps the speakers from moving, prevents vibrational transmission to stands/other surfaces and provides a stable base for the curved cabinets in horizontal use. Event recommends taking the monitors to a service center to rotate the HF section, yet it’s a straightforward process most users could easily handle. On their sides with the (rotated) tweeters facing inward, Opals’ imaging and response was consistent with the speakers in a horizontal orientation, which is not the case with most speakers.

In Session
Tracking drums on a large analog board, the Opals shined. They had no problem handling extreme dynamic range. The reproduction of extremely fast transients on snare and cymbals was impressive, like I was standing in front of the kit, rather than seated in the control room. Thanks to the 600-watt LF amps and the driver design, the level and acceleration speed to the woofers is incredible. Opals seem to have an inexhaustible amount of headroom and there was no distortion at all. The net effect was like listening to a large three-way system, with chest thumping bass that was full, yet never out of control.

Traditionally the Achilles’ heel in most two-way designs, Opals’ excellent midrange definition and detail made a huge difference when working with vocals, letting me clearly hear nuances in mic/preamp selections when tracking or making subtle signal processing decisions in the mix. And piano/flute/violin session playbacks showcased the invisibility of the crossover point, which was totally seamless. The balance between lows, mids and upper-end was spot-on—at any level—so mixing on Opals was an absolute pleasure. Thanks to the low-distortion performance, there was almost no hearing fatigue, even over long listening periods. You can mix on these for days on end.

Designed to match that of the woofer, the HF waveguide’s horizontal splay provides wide, even coverage with smooth response, with no off-axis smearing and a well-defined left/right soundstage over a fairly wide listening area.

Working on a video score spotlighted Opal’s LF performance. This project had drums, bass, synth and various sound effects, including a bubbling scuba tank that was pitch-shifted down an octave, creating huge amounts of sub bass that lesser systems may not have reproduced. This LF capacity was also handy on another video project—a live concert combining stage mics with distant mics at the center and rear of the room. Here, phase adjustments were critical, and mixes made on the Opals translated precisely to larger systems as well as small TV speakers.

Setting Standards
With the Opals, Event has created a world-class system that may become the new standard. Combining absolute accuracy and large three-way performance from a relatively compact two-way system, serious studio pros will definitely want to give these a listen.

For more information, visit

George Petersen is Mix’s executive editor and operates a small record label at

Event Opal product summary box

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95



Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.