KRK Rokit RP10-3 Powered Speakers Review

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Mike Levine

THREE-WAY, MID-FIELD MONITORS AT A NEAR-FIELD PRICE

Polls


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The KRK RP10-3s offer four detented adjustments for LF and HF.

The KRK RP10-3s offer four detented adjustments for LF and HF.

MULTIDIMENSIONAL
I set the monitors up vertically, putting them on Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizers and sitting them on equal-height cabinets to either side of my mix position. I first tried listening to a variety of music on the RP10-3s to see how they’d handle different genres. I found their three-way sound to be clear, crisp and transparent, making it easy to hear musical elements in all frequency ranges.

Having the 10-inch driver really made a difference in the low-end response. As expected, I could hear low frequencies in the bass instruments that were not audible on my smaller monitors. The tightness of the bass was most impressive: Electric bass guitars sounded smooth and contained, not flabby; kick drums were tight-sounding, too. The acoustic bass on a live recording of Oscar Peterson’s “Night Train” felt like it was in the room with me (as did the rest of the instruments). I liked that the KRKs didn’t accentuate the bottom end, just reproduced it—no hype. I was also able to judge pretty clearly when I heard a mix that was overly bassy.

The midrange didn’t jump out like it does on some smaller two-way monitors, but it was certainly present. Thick rock-rhythm guitars, like on The Offspring’s “Nitro,” stayed nice and present, and fit nicely in the track, as they were intended.

The highs seemed a tad on the harsh side to my ears. Bearing in mind that my studio tends to be a little high-end heavy, I lowered the HF adjust to the -1dB setting, which smoothed it out nicely.

I listened first in a near-field configuration and then moved further back to a mid-field distance, and the sound was excellent in both situations. I felt like I could distinguish between the mix elements in a way that I couldn’t on my various smaller monitors. Then to really put them through their paces, I turned them up to close to 100 dB, and they stayed crisp and clean. I put on a track by dub-step artist Bassnectar that has a huge synth bass sound, and I felt the floor vibrating.

I also tried the KRKs in my own mixing situations for some rootsy acoustic music tracks featuring drums, acoustic bass and instruments like dobro, acoustic guitar and mandolin, and I really liked the way the speakers sounded. I found them very useful for judging all aspects of the mix.

ROKIT 'N' ROLL
For the money, there’s nothing that I know of on the market like the Rokit RP10-3. If you’ve ever wanted to add a pair of larger-format speakers to your studio, whether to add a three-way mix reference to your studio or just to impress your clients with loud, mid-field playback, the combination of price and performance you get from these monitors is irresistible.


Mike Levine is a New York–based guitarist, composer and music journalist.

Click on the Product Summary box above to view the KRK Rokit RP10-3 Powered Speakers product page.

Click on the Product Summary box above to view the KRK Rokit RP10-3 Powered Speakers product page.






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