New Audio Monitors Are Self-Powered, Take Up Less Space

This year’s crop of small broadcast monitors shows that increased performance can come in smaller — and less expensive — packages. Self-powered has virtually become the norm, which is a welcome point for truck designers, who can always used the extra space that rack-mounted maps used to take up. Here’s a sampling of the latest offerings.

ADAM Audio
The SX-Series Monitor System features the company’s proprietary X-ART transducer technology. an ultra-low-distortion broadband A/B amplifier, and new Hexacone woofers with more linear excursion to optimize efficiency and accuracy. Models include the S4X-V/H three-way system with X-Art tweeter, 6-in. midrange driver, and one 12-in. (V) or two 9-in. (H) woofers ($4,500 with the single/$5,500 with the pair of woofers); S3X-V/H three-way near-midfield system –– the more space-efficient/performance choice –– with a 4-in. midrange driver and 9-in. ($2,750) and a pair of 7-in. woofers $3,750); S2X two-way nearfield system with 7-in. woofer ($2,250); and S1X two-way nearfield system with 5-in. woofer ($1,400).

The cost-effective AX Series Monitor System, also featuring the company’s X-Art tweeters driven with A/B amplifiers and carbon/Rohacell woofers driven with Pulse Width Modulation amplifiers, is suitable for mobile and remote broadcast use. It includes the A8X with 50-W amp for the X-Art tweeter and 150-W amp for 8.5-in. mid-woofer ($999); the A7X with X-ART tweeter driven by a 50-W amp, a 7-in, mid-woofer driven by a 100-W amp ($699); the A5X with X-ART tweeter (25 W) and 5.5-in. mid-woofer (50 W) ($499); and the compact A3X measuring only 9.9 in. high by 5.9 in. wide x 7.2 in. deep and weighing 10 lbs. ($329).

New ADAM ARTist Multimedia Series speakers also share X-ART technology for high-quality audio reproduction in professional computer-based applications. The ARTist Series 5 ($1,500 a pair) include a carbon/Rohacell woofer, electronic crossover, and amplifiers for each driver with expanded connection features, including a special USB connector for computers that allow the user to send digital signal directly to the ARTist speakers.

Blue Sky
Sky System One 5.1 ($6,765.00) is the original manifestation of Blue Sky’s approach to accurate, full-range 5.1 monitoring. Each 100-W bi-amplified SAT 6.5 MK III satellite speaker uses a 6.5-in. hemispherical driver and a 1-in. ferrite tweeter with a dual concentric diaphragm and integral wave-guide. The integral 12-in. subwoofer features a single long-excursion 12-in. woofer and a 200-W, low-distortion amplifier. Bass management is provided by Blue Sky’s Bass Management Controller (BMC MK IIl), which provides calibration, level control, and other features.

In professional applications such as postproduction, the Blue Sky ProDesk ($5,465) is a full-range 5.1 monitoring system specifically designed for critical mixing and monitoring on the desktop. The SAT 5 MK IIl satellite speaker features a proprietary 5.25-inch hemispherical driver with a Danish tweeter, and is powered by dual 60-W power amplifiers with adjustable gain control and a BOO optimized crossover. The SUB 8 MKlll features an 8-inch woofer driven by a 100-W power amplifier. The BMC MKIIl makes this a high-performance compact 5.1 monitoring solution.

Blue Sky’s entry-level new MediaDesk MKll 5.1 system ($1,999) is optimized for computer-driven desktop audio recording, production, and “professional” home-theater applications. It features the SAT 4 MK II satellite speaker with a removable grill, and a 65-W power amplifier, a new 65-W SUB 8, as well as a remote controller.

Dynaudio Acoustics
Air-6 monitors ($3,790/pair) have onboard DSP offering EQ to tune the speakers and user-selectable dispersion patterns to overcome anomalies faced in truck environments. The tweeter is an Esotec 1.1-in. soft dome, rear chamber, magnetic fluid, 4-mm diecast aluminum front, pure aluminum-wire voice coil. The woofer is a 6.5-in., one-piece molded polypropylene cone, 3-in. pure-aluminum voice coil, magnetically shielded.

The 6.7-in. x 10.2-in. x 9.3-in. Dynaudio BM5A Compact ($1,250/pair) achieves a frequency response of 55 Hz-21 kHz, bi-amplified with 50 W for the 5.7-in., one-piece molded polypropylene cone woofer and 50 W for the Esotec 28-mm/1.1-in. soft-dome tweeter. The speakers are crossed over at 1,500 Hz with a 6 dB/slope. The newer BM5A MkII, for the same price, takes frequency response from 45 Hz to 21 kHz with a 7-in, molded-aluminum-frame woofer, one-piece thermo-formed MSP cone, 75-mm pure-aluminum-wire voice coil, and 28-mm soft-dome, rear-chamber, magnetic-fluid, 4-mm aluminum tweeter.

The 8000 Series’ enclosure delivers a wide frequency response with superb imaging qualities. From the compact 8020B (bi-amp, 4-in. woofer) at $575 through the self-calibrating DSP 8260A (tri-amp, three-way at $5,850), all models feature an entirely aluminum minimum-diffraction–enclosure (MDE) design with integrated advanced directivity-controlled waveguide (DCW). All models have large internal volumes, curved edges, and high mechanical strength. All 8000 systems are magnetically shielded for use in environments where video monitors are in close proximity.

The LSR2300 Series Studio Monitor System addresses the demand for cost-effective, high-performance monitoring systems driven by the proliferation of affordable, computer-based production and mixing systems. The LSR2300 Series comprises the LSR2328P ($439.00) bi-amplified 203-mm (8-in.) studio monitor with 165 W of amplification; the LSR2325P ($249.00) bi-amplified 133-mm (5-in.) studio monitor with 90 W of amplification; and the LSR2310SP ($499.00) powered 254-mm (10-in.) studio subwoofer with an integrated 180-W power amplifier.

Reveal 501a ($229) and 601a ($249) monitoring solutions have a matched 60-W integrated amplifier with a 5-in. LF/MF driver and 1-in, soft-dome tweeter, The 601a uses a 6.5-in. low-/mid-frequency driver and 1-in. soft-dome tweeter, with a total power output of 90 W. Both monitors feature front-firing reflex bass port to negate boundary-coupling, a bass unit developed to minimize offsets and linearize the suspension components, wideband tweeter design extending the amplitude response beyond 20 kHz audibility to 30 kHz to improve the phase response from within the audible band, and sculpted and rigid front-baffle design to minimize diffraction.

The MSP7 has a 6.5-in. cone woofer driven by an 80-W power amplifier. The tweeter has its own 50-W power amplifier for low-mid- and high-frequency ranges. Low-reflection diecast magnesium baskets maximize mechanical precision while minimizing unwanted coloration. The 1-in. tweeters feature titanium domes and precise reproduction up to 40 kHz. Waveguide achieves uniform high-frequency dispersion of 120 degrees. Other features include balanced XLR-type connectors for input.

The Yamaha MSP5 features a 5-in. cone woofer driven by a 40-W amplifier and 1-in. dome tweeter driven by 27-W amplifier. Waveguide horn achieves broad, uniform high-frequency dispersion over 120 degrees. Other features include advanced driver and enclosure design, uniform dispersion across the system’s full reproduction range, flat frequency response out to 40 kHz, balanced XLR-type input for direct compatibility, and unbalanced ¼-in. phone-jack connector.

The HS reference monitor uses separate power amplifiers to drive low-mid- and high-frequency speaker units. Extra-large magnets provide tightly controlled flux field for smooth response and dynamic capability over a wider frequency range. Extra room-matching and speaker-placement versatility with room control, mid EQ, and high-trim-response control switches are specifically designed to compensate for common acoustic deficiencies and monitoring needs.

The Yamaha SW10 powered subwoofer for use with MSP7 or MSP5 speakers features comprehensive selection of inputs and outputs as well as a phase switch and continuous high-cut and level controls. The amplifier inputs feature steep 30-dB/octave roll-off curves in both the low- and high-pass filters. Overall frequency response is 25 Hz-150 Hz (-10 dB). Other features include 111-dB maximum output level, 1 m on axis; three XLR-3-31 input connectors  (balanced), 10 kΩ; and three XLR-3-32 output connectors (balanced). Frequency response is 30 Hz-180 Hz.

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