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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Reviews, Reports and Interviews
Event ASP 8 - Active Studio Monitors
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 10:15 am    Post subject: Event ASP 8 - Active Studio Monitors Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The best known product from Event Electronics has for years been the 20/20bas, now updated to 20/20basV2. Event has also a series of less expensive monitors, both passive and active. The new top of the line Studio Precision series is aimed at the upper end of project studios and small to midsized "real" studios. It can be argued that pro studio monitors start at approx $3000 US onwards to like $30,000 US or more. In that respect this is still budget gear like the Mackie 824s and similar Genelec monitors. Musician´s Friend is selling these for approx. $1300 US

The enclosure seems to be well made and the weight is approx. 32.5 lbs. The cabinet is made of MDF and the finish is black ash. The front baffle has rounded edges and a stunning piano finish on the front. It is pretty much the same finish you will find on a black Petrof .

A note in the box told of the baffle having a special protective plastic cover thingie that you have to remove after unpacking. This was not the case here. Luckily the baffles were unscratched.

The ASP8 measures 12.5 x 16 x 11.9-inch. Event is calling this a direct field monitor. This is either some sort of new-speak for near/mid field monitor or simply that Event is recommending that people actually sit in the same room as the monitors ( Shocked Cool ). That said, if you turn up the volume you just might want to leave both the room and the building. The amps in each monitor are rated to a total of 280 watts. I can ensure you all that these can play LOUD. The power rating is what Event Electronics is claiming in the specs; I have not actually measured the actual performance. These monitors are biamplified; the 280 Watts consist of 200 W for the LF driver and 80 W for the HF driver. Wink The bottom line is anyways that these will play loud. Do not try to impress friends with a heart condition.

Event has included various sorts of speaker/amp protection. There is output current limiting and sensors for overheating of the amps. Supposedly there is some sort of transient sensitive circuit in here too. Additionally, the cabinets have magnetic shielding.

As the case is with pretty much all modern monitors, these are bass reflex designs. The enclosure has not one but two ports. One slightly unusual feature is that the port tubes are very long because they are curved inside the cabinet. (This is not unusual for many high end DIY HIFI speakers.) It is very understandable that ported speaker designs is the hot thing right now. Good closed chamber designs need far larger cabinets in order to provide the same depth and level of bass; very few vendors are making these right now.

Bass reflex speakers used to have "deep" but very undetailed bass. The internal damping used in the past was quite bad, and many of the budget products had very troublesome ringing. This is not the case anymore. By the late 80s most serious HIFI loudspeaker companies had learned how to make great ported loudspeakers. It is important, though, to understand that many of today's budget hifi speakers still have that boomy warm low end. If you feed such speakers a very complex and LOUD bassy signal most will go pretty berserk. The rule these days is to keep the bass clean. Most popular music will actually not have much real bass at all, certainly no weird and complex bass components below 80-50 Hz.

According to the leaflet in the box, the amps have some sort circuitry that will prevent "thumping" when you turn the power on. Haha! Shocked Very Happy However, they have put something in there in order to dampen the "thud", so this is not really much of a problem.

The bass driver is a mineral damped polypropylene design with a neodymium magnet. The cone suspension seems to be a pretty standard rubber component. The active crossover filter is a fourth order design. The crossover frequency is at 2.5 khz. The tweeter is a one inch soft dome with ferro fluid cooling and a neodymium magnet. I am not anal about neodymium vs. standard ferrite magnets and I can see why they went for neodymium. As far as I can see these drivers aren´t rocket science, but rather sensible modern designs that can play loud and clean.
The tweeter is slightly recessed into a waveguide, and this waveguide actually seems to work quite well. I will get back to that later.

Initially my focus when evaluating these speakers went for the crossover filter; how good is it? I did some test recordings in order to explore possible problems in the range from 1KHz to 5 KHz. I simply found none. Well, not quite, but what I managed to expose is pretty esoteric stuff that you wouldn´t really find objectionable unless the gear costs at least $20,000 US. 2 weeks earlier I tested the Mackie 824s in the same way and really found some serious weirdness. because of this I had not expected to see the ASP8 deliver this kind of consistent performance.

So, how did I do the tests? I simply recorded a heavy deep bass line first. Then created a blanket of noise in the range from 8OO Hz to 5 KHz slightly modulated by the bass line. Then I recorded a multitude of singular synth voices (square waves) in the range 800 Hz through 6 KHz and panned these out. I did the recording and mixing using my Beyer Dynamic 770 Pro headphones. I am completely aware that headphone mixes does not translate to speakers, however this test was about exploring inconsistencies in the stereo imagery in the regions around the crossover frequencies. What I found was amazing. First of all the headphone mixes proved consistent with the ASP8s. Then there were no obvious imagery problems around the crossover frequency at all. On the other hand I did notice some small issues at approx 5-6 KHz that might as well be caused by the room rather than the speakers. ([ It must be said that the 770 Pro is a bit peaky in the mids and highs, but the stereoimagery is consistent. And I did use some Stax headphones for checking too... )

Frequency Response: Studio Precision 8 Active



This frequency response measurement is from the ASP8 marketing material. It is indeed pretty good. It does have some bumps and peaks but please notice the scale.

We can compare this to a chart from Yamaha for the MSP5A monitor.
Frequency response - Yamaha MSP5A


The scale is a bit different to say the least, but as you can see, the chart for the ASP 8 is far from bad by comparison. I should add that the MSP5 frequency response, as measured by Yamaha, is pretty similar to many small nearfield monitors. Do not trust vendors who are publishing flat frequency response charts. The scale will probably have been adjusted in order to make the graphics look nice. There is no such thing as a flat frequency response. The technology is simply not there at the moment. One must also consider the room the monitors are supposed to be used in. BTW: the MSP5A is a great monitor, and is probably one of the best buys in the low end right now.

My interest in how the crossover filter really sounds is of course primarily because stereo imaging is the most interesting issue. If the imaging is pretty consistent, in this case around 2.5 khz, then the filter is probably pretty good.

After doing this, and starting to fall in love with the monitors, I played some CDs. A good test is to play badly produced CDs and first out was Fatboy Slim "You´ve come a long way baby". It sounded just as bad as it should, and then some. Typical for many pop music CDs is that real bass is missing. Next up was a series of Verve reissues. First I played the famous Getz/Gilberto (Verve Catalog #3145214142) YES! Bass! And a really great mix! YES!

I pretty much played every Verve CD I have, then some of the Vigleik Storaas CDs ( he is a great jazz pianist ), some Lustmord and then Sequenox by Jim Cowgill.

Sequenox has great mix and is a very good example of music in the style of what the members here at electro-music.com is making. The quality of the production also shows how badly produced stuff like that Fatboy Slim CD really is. In this specific case it might of course be the mastering that has been badly done.

I then listened to some mid 90s Scandinavian jazz records. The Lexicon reverb washes were exactly as embarrassing as they should be. I was very pleased by the ASP8s ability to reproduce stuff like this in great detail. The ASP8 will make bad mixes truly sound bad and it makes it possible to hear what went wrong.

I find the ASP 8 monitors to be perceived as very flat frequency wise. It is non fatiguing, detailed and its bass reproduction is very interesting to say the least.

I tried to hit it with some weird bass signals in order to see how well the port tuning/internal damping etc. really is. I had expected to get similar results as when I did the same to a pair of KRK V8s. (I am not going tell what happened in detail, except that I am very pleased with being able to return the V8s to the shop without being questioned about why the LF driver suddenly died a horrible death).

OK.. what happened with the ASP8s? Nothing really, a slight tendency at losing control and some odd noises did show up... but the drivers pretty much coped very well. That said, the amp protection circuitry actually does work pretty well too. Very Happy

One of the interesting features of the ASP8 is the ability to let you listen into a mix. It is easy to isolate sounds and these monitors makes it easy to spot distortion, noise and stuff not supposed to be in a mix. The HF driver waveguide does gives probably contribute a lot to the wide stereo imagery, but a side effect is that the listening room must be treated acoustically if it is small. Reflections from walls, ceiling etc can mess up the sound a lot. This is of course always the case anyway, but the ASP8 makes it easy to spot acoustic problems in the listening room.

How good is it compared to other monitors? Personally I think it is far more analytical and wide than the Mackie products. The Mackie HR824s a have the ports mounted at the back, which makes placement very hard in small studios. Wrong placement actually very often contributes to a wild boomy bass that a lot of people actually will prefer. Compared to a wrongly placed 824, a well placed ASP8 will actually sound bassless. However, the ASP8 shines when it is given signals that are really low and loud. The ASP8 is also not "rockish" sounding in the same way KRK and Mackie monitors are. Another very interesting feature with the ASP8s is the fact that I found a slightly better consistency between loud and low volumes than say with Genelecs and KRK monitors. This might again be caused by the room, but frankly I found several of the Genelecs (models from $1000 US to $2500 US) to be very tiring and blairy when played really loud. I must add that none of the competitors were bad sounding as such, just different and I guess my love for classical music has made me more interested in a slightly different sound than what many of the other vendors are going for these day. Personally I think that monitors that can play classical music and acoustic jazz really well also can deliver great results with electronic music.


The back panel of the monitor provides a few adjustment pots for input level, and HF and LF trim. The inputs are xlr and jack. Both are balanced. There is no cooling fins on the outside and the metal panel gets a bit hot when the amps have been on for some time. This is probably not a problem, but I like cooling fins.

Compared to more expensive stuff like the Dynaudio BM15A monitors, the ASP 8 still sounds great. The bass in the Dynaudio BM15A can possibly be described as a bit more detailed. The BM15A also has a soft dome tweeter, and to a certain extent the two monitors sounds a bit the same in the high end, but the BM15A has possible a tad more edge to the upper highs. The stereo imaging of the ASP8 still sounds a bit better to me, but these two monitors will have to be placed slightly different and this will of course make direct comparisons a bit hard to do.

I found it far easier to judge compression artifacts and reverb adjustments with the ASP 8 compared with the Mackie 824 and the Yamaha MSP 10. I also had great fun trying out different settings in the Dreamverb plugin (a part of he UAD-1 plugin suite) and comparing Dreamverb with other VST reverb plugins.

Surely the ASP 8 is not the best monitor in the world, but I could not find any serious problems and it is in fact far better than I had expected. At the price it is a steal and it performs very well compared with other pro monitors at the same price and up to $2000 - $4000 US. I can recommend it both for tracking and mixing. There is nothing cheap about this product and it can be an excellent addition to both project studios and midsized pro studios. The sound of the ASP8 is a tad different than many of its competitors, and anyone looking into new monitors these days should have this one on their short list.

Event Electronics has a matching subwoofer. This one is not a must unless the listening room is large. The bass in the ASP8 will be more than enough for most purposes. Personally I am a bit sceptical about the whole sub fad, unless one is getting a full 5.1 rig for mixing in surround.

When I think of it, the only major problem monitors of this class will present is the need for MORE monitors in a project studio. You will need some consumer speakers that actually DO have that dreaded bass reflex boominess in order to judge what happens with your mix when played back on lesser gear. However, I found that the test mixes I did indeed translated pretty well to other speakers. Another issue is crossover frequency problems on passive speakers. It is important to be aware that on the ASP8 you will actually hear of what is going on, but most HIFI budget gear do have problems with their passive filters no matter what the product blurb is claiming.

I used a Mac, Cubase, the Clavia Nord Modular (M-1) with Motu 828 and M-Audio Firewire 410 audio interfaces for the testing. I am aware that there are better audio interfaces out there, but these are quality wise pretty decent and consistent with what most potential owners of studio monitors in this price range will have in their studios.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

excellent review Stein Very Happy it's well written and entertaining too Exclamation
Quote:
the 280 Watts consist of 200 W for the LF driver and 80 W for the HF driver

I wonder if you really need this kind of sonically devastating power Wink

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, yes... but I haven´t any schematics for the amps so I have no idea about what kind of design philosophy they have applied. I think I did mentione that the ASP8 is suitable even for midsized pro studios. A mid sized pro studio often has a control room of at least 25-40 square meters. The ASP8 will do just fine.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

yes, a good review

question..is that 280 watts RMS ?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nope.. not at all.

What they say is:
Quote:
Amplifier Power:
ASP8 (Active): Biamplified, 280 Watts; 200W LF driver/80W HF driver;
torroidal transformer


From my point of view this is completely irrelevant. These active monitors can played sickenly loud and pretty well too. I am interested in the sound quality, not product blurb "newspeak"

If you check out their site at http://www.event1.com/Products/studio_precision/studio_precision_gold.html
you will see that they are intensely evading real info on stuff like this apart from the decent frequency chart. This does not make the product bad. At best this actually shows that the guys and gals at Event Electronics aren´t quite willing to lie about their product. Instead they are vague and generous.. Very Happy

The product is in fact very good, so I see no reason why Event could be more truthful about specs.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sounds like these could be used as a PA in a small to mid sized room. No?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, yes.. they could, but then I would suggest using a pro sub in addition to these. Live sound is a completely different matter.

If the mix is good, and you have a sub or two then .. you could sure use this as a PA in a small room. What are you talking about here? Size?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Not thinking of anything specific. Just thinking...
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

These can work well for a jam in small studio, but for a PAish sound I would suggest adding a serious sub, and then I am not thinking about the matching one from Event Electronics.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am getting a lot of emails regarding this review. It seems that my mail addie is not that hard to find on the net.

So far it seems like I can sort these into the following categories:

1. The Mackie HR 824 is best/better/incredibly good/best ever
2. The Mackie HR 824 is rotten
3. The Genelecs are best
4. Real monitors cost a lot more.
5. Everything Event Electronics is bad because their customer service is rotten and they never pick up their phone.

When it comes to the 3 first categories I guess I should just ignore these comments... Anyway...
..The HR824 is OK, but I don´t like it that much compared with the ASP8. I am pretty sure Mackie can do much better, and they probably will. The HR824 is however far better than say the active Alesis Monitor 1 mrk 2 and the small KRK monitors. That said, the HR 824 is aiming at a slightly different market, and it makes no sense in buying a pair if the listening room has not been acoustically treated and is not big enough in order to allow for a decent placement of the monitor. Wrongly placed it will deliver a muddy bass.. but yes.. you might get a "punchy" bass too. This is also valid for the ASP8 too apart from it being slighly easier to place correctly in most reasonably sized rooms. My personal opinion is that the HR 824 is not a great monitor, but it can deliver decent results and it is well constructed, even though the bass is a bit.. well.. whatever.. It is indeed possible to achieve great mixes with it. I guess I will have to repeat myself, and say that a lot of modern pop music does not have much deep bass. However, pop music is married to the guy who makes brickwall limiterts.. This means that having a sub that goes boom in addition to an already muddy bass does not really improve matters when putting together a mix that is supposed to deliver max punch at around 80 hz. ..on shitty speakers in boom boxes and whatnot. Pros know all this and pros will know what to do in order to get it right. So.. of course pros can use the HR 824s. I have never argued that. We all know this already, don´t we?
Actually, I am more concerned with the mids and highs.. and the stereo imaging of the Mackies, and personally I find the ASP8 better. Most comments telling how bad the 824s really are, well.. I did mention in the review that the room and the placement of the monitors both are important issues? If you don´t have a suitable room, try borrowing a pair of Yamaha MSP5As and compare them with the HR824s. Remember, there is always eBay...

When it comes to the Genelecs, most comments go like: "Genelecs are best because they are an industry standard". Yeah, well.. tell that to the HR824 crowd. BTW: The Genelec monitors aren´t all the same. I see what people mean when they are talking about the "Genelec sound", but frankly, many of the Genelec monitors ( low budget and mid budget ) do not have that much in common really. They all sound slighty different.

Yes, "real" monitors cost a lot more.. That used to be true, but not any more. Setting up a studio is not that expensive any more either. You do not have to have a room full of Studers, Trident or SSL consoles and walls full of 1176s. However, the high end gear is still there.. possibly more costly now than it ever was.. and in some instances I guess going that road is called for. I cannot see why project studios, hobbyist studios and small pro studios MUST have all that famous gear. Calling people "stupid f..cks and untalented" because they DON`T have bags full of money is only silly.

I did say that the ASP8 is not the best monitor in the world. I know there is better stuff out there. However, in this price range people will get a lot of bang for the bucks and spending say 10 times more will not buy you a monitor that is 10 times better. At best it will buy you a monitor that is objectively better at some things. Even big studios keep smaller monitors around just for the sake of actually be able to scrutinize the stereo field in detail.
The ASP8 is really a great general purpose monitor at a great price. You can of course say the same about the bigger KRKs, Mackies and Genelecs but I really think the ASP8s should not be ignored.
The wonderful and weird stuff starts at around 3500 USD and there is no limit to what you can spend. If you really wanna go wild and you really need something special you can order custom made monitors.. and also order the listening room to go with them. There is still a market for stuff like that, and that market will not go away anytime soon.

It seems that some of the people who have sent me mail are really a bit confused about what the purpose of a studio monitor in this price range really is. . Some old esoteric BBC monitors are being hailed as the greatest ever, and even called "HIFI". Please do some googling and you will probably find documents explaning why these specific monitors were made to sound like.. crap. Yes, they do sound like crap, but they were also designed to focus on voice and the main purpose was to expose recording/microphone problems. Voice will sound... "great" on these.. in the sense that you will know if there is something seriously wrong with a recording.
Monitors like the ASP8 are supposed to do the same job, but with music rather than voice.. and the final product is meant for distribution on 16bit /44.1 khz digital audio CDs rather than AM radio.

I might be stupid, but I cannot see why all these comments should be about other brands rather the one product I actually reviewed. I don´t care much for brand loyality as such. Most companys are likely to issue some bad products and some good.. ..and some products wil be just plain decent and rather dull. It is up to you guys to decide where to spend the money.

Hmm, all this reminds me a bit of the confusion about "colour calibration" and "device profiling" in the graphics industry. God, what a mess.

Ahh.. right.. and I really want to mention that I am finding it a bit weird that most of the emails regarding Genelec monitors seems to come from the same ISP in the same city in the US. And those IP numbers.. Can you stop sending me those emails now? OK?

So.. are the people at Event Electronics answering their phones or not?? I have no idea. Why don´t you call them and ask?

Idea Rolling Eyes

..And why all these emails from the Genelec guy and the Mackie crowd? Where are all the other cults? It would have been more interesting to read emails telling me stuff about the ASP8s that I forgot to mention or didn´t know about.. or about some completely unknown product that is just as good.

I need a cup of espresso! Right now..

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:

1) I am getting a lot of emails regarding this review.
2) Where are all the other cults?
3) I need a cup of espresso! Right now..

1) Stein maybe it wasn't a good idea to write a review Crying or Very sad
2) If there is a MSP5 cult I am in Cool
3) You are in the wrong area of the world for a REAL espresso (not Gevalia stuff, if you know what I mean) Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:

3) You are in the wrong area of the world for a REAL espresso (not Gevalia stuff, if you know what I mean) Very Happy


Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmmm... This is a forum. Please folks, if you have comments about this or any other forum topic, post them on the forum not via private email to the authors.

If anyone would like to write a review about other monitors, please feel free, this is an open forum.

Elektro80, what's the difference between a monitor and a speaker?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Hmmm... This is a forum. Please folks, if you have comments about this or any other forum topic, post them on the forum not via private email to the authors.


Yes, please..

mosc wrote:
If anyone would like to write a review about other monitors, please feel free, this is an open forum.


Yes, please..

mosc wrote:
Elektro80, what's the difference between a monitor and a speaker?


It seems the term has been adopted by the HIFI audio industri from pro users years ago, so whatever a vendor calls a "monitor" is a monitor. However, musicians will know what monitoring on stage is about. This is way different than monitor a recording in the control in a studio. Obviously monitors can be designed for many different monitoring purposes. I guess I have already mentioned an obscure but interesting BBC monitor design for voice only. A studio monitor is just a loudspeaker design that supposed to be used in a studio. There are many different schools when it comes to studio monitoring. Right now it is pretty common to agree on a studio monitor being analytical, it should have a relatively flat frequency responset, it must be neutral and it should have a sensible extension in the highs and lows. In addition it is also common to want to it play loud without distorting the signal and it should not have much compression when playing loud.
There are many different ways to design such loudspeakers and in most cases we will see a lot of compromises. Passive crossover filters do have problems, but they can still sound very good. The current trend is that studio monitors should be active, but there are still many who will choose monitors with passive filtersinstead or in addition to active monitors.
At the moment I have chosen the ASP8 as the main monitors, but I am still keeing hifi loudspeakers from Thiel, Mission, IMF, Danacoustics and B6W for reference. The specific models I have chosen all represent different design philosophies. The Danacoustic has a leaky closed cabinet design, sillly drivers and resonant cabinet with lotsa ringing. The damping is a joke. The Thiels are.. well... Thiels.. an attempt at a decent ported construction, and well damped.. but with ringing. The IMFs are well made. This is a decent transmission line design. The Mission speakers are examples of typical small closed box design. I am using a late 70s big Marantz amp now.

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kirth



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 1:19 pm    Post subject: ASP8 vs KRK V8 Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is one of the most thorough and well executed reviews I have read on any speaker. Since you have had the oportunity to try out a variety of monitors, can I ask you (and anyone else who reads this) to compare/contrast the ASP8 with the KRK V8? I heard the TR8 a year or so ago, and thought they sounded a little lifeless. Recently, I listened to the entire KRK line, as well as the Alesis Prolinears, and the BX-8. I didn't really care for any of the KRK's except for the V8. Unfortunately, all of the monitors I auditioned suffered from the same flaw: they made the music sound too good. I specifically used a CD with original tracks that contained minor, but clearly identifiable, flaws in the mix. The BX-8 sounded great, but glossed over the imperfections. The Prolinears also had this problem, plus the whole DSP speaker-emulation thing seemed kind of weird. The KRK RP series (all sizes), while hiding problem areas, had the additional disadvantage of an overall somewhat unpleasant sound. Now, the V8, while being the only speakers able to recreate the lower bass frequencies, were no better than any of the others in accurately revealing the known trouble spots. For example, one track has consistently been shown on over 30 consumer systems to suffer from a slightly underpowered bass line. Another contains some upper-midrange work that is difficult to distinguish from the background. When listening to the V8, all parts sounded perfect.

The only conclusion I could reach was that monitors in this price range must all be somewhat hyped at the expense of ruthless accuracy. If that is true, then the answer would seem to lie in buying the most pleasant-sounding monitor, since one will not be able to trust their ability to translate.

I am interested in the Dynaudio's, but have no way to audition them. In any event (no pun intended), your review has me interested in the ASP8, at least as a short-term solution. I'm not looking for the "perfect" monitor, but I am willing to spend money to get what I need: a) as flat response as is reasonable to expect for under $2500 US, b) something that will be ruthless, but pleasant enough to listen to if the song is done correctly, c) has no known serious anomalies-such as picking up radio signals, etc. The monitors I purchase will be used exclusively for the production of electronic music.

So, aside from the fact that "It's all subjective, etc.", could you or anyone else please give me your subjective take on the ASP8 vs V8? I need to get something ASAP.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

THX. Well.. you are damned right about this being subjective.

A problem that very few give much attention is that fact that various bands .. like 50-120 HZ.. or 1.8khz-2.5 khz.. do we really know what that sounds like..? Do we really have a decent reference? In a living room we will listen to music on semi decent hifi speakers with passive crossovers. Most speakers are two way these days. theoretically this is "better" than 3 way speakers... but.. a studio monitor should at best deliver the 1.8-2.5 khz band ( this is a pretty common crossover frequency ) the way it actually sounds. And bass.. most hifi speakers with a ported design will not in any way sound reliable even though they might sound damned nice. Really good studio monitors tend to sound more defined but duller.
Near field monitors are often said to be easier to place. Not so. Too often you will see that the placemnt is far from ideal. Having them on top of a meter bridge looks nice.. but what about those reflections from the hard surface just below?


I have spent some time with the V8s. Those aren´t bad at all. My first impression is that they sound extremely nice for tracking. ..In the sense that they make the tracking fun. They have a slightly more forward and agressive sound compared to the ASP8s. The deep bass was perhaps slightly more muddy but firmer in a more boomy way at around 60-150. The bass was not out of control though.. and it sounds a bit more consistent and firm compared to the Mackie HRs. However, I was not completely convinced by the spatial consistency in the highs and the mids. This is completely irrelevant for rock and dance, but for jazz and classcial music this gets a tad too messy. Consider that rock usually is performed by smaller ensembles. You will perhaps want to be able to judge how your 12 mics used for the drums did their work.. but apart from that.. you will not need to be able to analyze how the 20 strings sound spatially compared to a brass section and whatnot. Here I think the ASP8s are able to deliver a decent performance. but.. again.. this IS irrelevant if you are not doing HUGE ensemble recordings. If I was to compare the V8s to something it would be to a pair of oldish huge JBL monitors.. ( I always forget that model name ).. and the V8s are better.
You can do a Beck album on the V8s.. but you wouldn´t want to do a Carl Orff album.
..But you really should compare the V8s and the ASP8s.. using different types of music.. at home..?! At one point you are also training your ears and brain to make sense of what you hear. This mean that choosing monitors is also about finding a pair of monitors that kinda makes sense to your ears and brain.. and this does not always mean the "best" monitors will do the best job. A problem is of course that we also need to have monitors that will help us to evaluate recordings and microphones setups and whatnot. "Is this good enough?" "Can I do better?" "Do I hear distortion?"

As for headphones.. I have this reference list..

A) ipod - Apple bundled earplugs
B) Koss PortaPro
C) BeyerDynamic 770 Pro

If your mix still sound relatively consistent on these.. you have done a great job. I wouldn´t mix on these headphones though. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes.. the TR series is slightly more ..dull.. But they aren´t bad at all. Dull usually means that they are less aggressive and let you listen into a mix. However, Event Electronics aren´t really telling us how powerful the amps in the TR8 really are. My take on this is that they will do in small rooms.. but I really don´t think those amps are strong enough. Too little power.. daft... I wouldn´t call the TR8s bad though.. but I guess you know what I mean. They all brag about "POWER" but most of the products in the same price range have too little available juice anyway.

An interesting "feature" is that speakers with less distortion will not sound as loud as speakers with noticably more distortion at the same level. Keep that in mind. Shocked Very Happy You will be amazed..!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

....i have a pair of 20/20 bas monitors that i have been using for years (an older version than what you are reviewing)....i love them.

the thing that rings most "true" to me about your review is the ability to hear distortion easily....a few anacdotes:

1. soon after getting the speakers, i had a friend (who is a fairly well known hiphop producer) bring some material he was working on over. one of his samples (a prominent one in his mix) had some ugly distortion that made it sound _bad_ (not the good kind of distortion). he was working with hifi speakers at the time, and could not hear it at home. he was embarassed that it sounded so bad, and left to "fix it" as soon as he could. of course, he ended up with some events (the setup with the smaller satellites and the sub).

2. my band is just finishing up a cover of "the call up" by the clash (for a "sandanista" tribute album). we are usually an improv band, but did this with protools (i didn't put this one together). we were happy with the mix, so i went to do the mastering. after working with it for a while, i started to hear some hf "crackling" type distortion (of course it was more noticable after mastering). i went back to the original (thinking that my new mixing board might have some problems), and sure enough...the crackling was there as well (but not very noticeable).
went back to the rehersal space (where the protools setup is), and although i could _not_ hear the distortion (on the original) with the monitors, i could with headphones. i was able to isolate the problem to 2 specific tracks, and we arranged to rerecord them (turned out it was the gate on a budget "vocal" pedal that one of the theremin players was using). ....my point is if we could have heard this when we were recording, we would have saved _me_ a lot of time. btw, there are things called "monitors" that are biamped in the rehersal space, but they have no where near the clarity of the events.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Right.. yes... that is exactly the problem you will get into when using loudspeakers that mask that kind of distorton and detail. However, it is fun and inspiring to have rockish sounding loudspeakers when you do the tracking. ..but it will get you into problems..

I love the 20/20s too. Several of my friends have those and they are mainly recording classical music and jazz.

That gate.. was that a gain structure problem?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
That gate.. was that a gain structure problem?


...among other things. mostly, he was running his theremin through a vocal pedal without much thought to what he wanted to accomplish with it (he found a preset that he liked). there was a gate as part of the preset (designed for a microphone, not a theremin), and the "window" between the gate opening, and him overloading the dsp was small. fortunately, there was a "dsp clip" light that gave me the clue as to what was going on.

also, i have a pair of the mackie srm450's, which are a live sound speaker. despite the lack of a really low end, these things are good monitors to track on (and they can be played very loud).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The musicians should have fun while tracking.. but the recording dude should really have a bit more decent stuff for what he is supposed to do. On he other hand, we tend to use what we have. I have recorded Steve Orlovsky and Alan Ginsberg and I used an old Acoustic PA while tracking.. It kinda worked... some of the time.. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I had typed up a lengthy post, but my browser hiccupped and I lost it.

So, I will just say that the KRK V8 did seem to have more of a "rock" sound than I remember any Events possessing.

After reading your replies, and considering the situation, I am begininng to wonder about the relationship between "accuracy" and "translatability". After all, if consumer stereo devices are innacurate, then translation requires that studio monitors follow these imperfections in order to match the sonic picture. I would be tempted to suspect that the monitors I auditioned may have been accurate after all, except: a) this would mean that all consumer devices would have to be innaccurate in the same, consistent ways, and, b) listening to the material on, say, the V8's reminded me of how the material sounds on headphones (which are obviously skewed).

I remeber reading somewhere that the desire for a "flat" reference monitor was "the current trend". At the time, I thought, "How else would you want it?" But, if "flat" can be a hindrance to translation, then one is forced to double-check his mix on a variety of other speakers (not to mention amplifiers, as the popular studio minoitirs are self-powered).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kirth wrote:

I remeber reading somewhere that the desire for a "flat" reference monitor was "the current trend". At the time, I thought, "How else would you want it?" But, if "flat" can be a hindrance to translation, then one is forced to double-check his mix on a variety of other speakers (not to mention amplifiers, as the popular studio minoitirs are self-powered).


i agree with you..flat monitors are a problem for the 'real world'..because almost no one has flat monitors in the real world when they listen to music..
also, is there such a thing as a 'flat' monitor anyway..maybe on paper, but then you have the issues added by the room the sound is in...

i think it is best to have monitors that 'see into the sound' for checking hi-end distortion or sub-sonic junk, but then the mix must be chceked on something close to what the average joe uses to play back music, to make sure the mix is translatable

of course, accurate meters also help a lot

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kirth wrote:

So, I will just say that the KRK V8 did seem to have more of a "rock" sound than I remember any Events possessing.


So you did try a pair of the V8s? This is interesting. "Rockish" was the closest description I could think of when comparing the two. Too bad that your lenghty reply got lost. I would have loved to hear more about what you think about the V8s. remember that I found the V8s to be pretty good. Those are quite likeable and I can understand why some really love them.

I thnk there is a reason for the "flat reference monitor trend", but then the term reference monitor is often used in order to describe different things. Some use the term reference monitor simply to describe something used as a reference.. and then evil car speakers and boomboxes from hell can be all "references".

Why "flat"? Quite probably because it makes sense to actually hear what is in the mix. Most of the guys I know who have those Yamaha NS 10 are using those as a dirtbox reference and not for the real mixing. It makes sense to have various other types of speakers around too. I have some Misssion, IMF, B&W and Thiel speakers that all exhibit various forms of systemic nastiness. It can be quite sobering to hear the mix on those.

The term translatability is a bit difficult when I think about it.
I guess the best understanding of how to create the "perfect" mix is that you have have excellent gear in the studio which helps you to truly understand what is going on.. and then it is your responsibility to figure what to do in order to make it sound decent. A major part of what we put into the term translatability is also done during the mastering sessions. Some EQ, bass management and compression can turn a great mix that shines on high end HIFI gear into what one would expect of a commercial product. At times serious suffering can be involved in this process.

A lot of consumer speakers are inaccurate in consistent ways given that most have not so smart passive crossovers and a not so smart bass reproduction. Too low bass and the bass is simply lost on such speakers. Too much bass in the wrong band and they selfcombust. A lot of devices have that smiley curve built in by default and you get excessive treble no matter what you do even at low levels.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Event ASP 8 - Active Studio Monitors Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Compared to more expensive stuff like the Dynaudio BM15A monitors, the ASP 8 still sounds great. The bass in the Dynaudio BM15A can possibly be described as a bit more detailed. The BM15A also has a soft dome tweeter, and to a certain extent the two monitors sounds a bit the same in the high end, but the BM15A has possible a tad more edge to the upper highs. The stereo imaging of the ASP8 still sounds a bit better to me, but these two monitors will have to be placed slightly different and this will of course make direct comparisons a bit hard to do.


Hello Elektro,

First of all I'd like to commend you on a great review! I hope there were enough positive responses between the "Mackie and Genelec" emails to inspire future reviews. I look forward to reading them!

I'm currently looking for monitors for my own composition studio, and have narrowed my personal search down to the Event ASP8's and Dynaudio BM15A. Like you, my compositions of choice are good classical and jazz music, yet I do venture into progressive rock and electronic as well. I love hybrid music! Thus I found your review to be even more poignant as we both tend to look for "real bass" in our music, which seems to be overlooked creatively in todays music. But thats another post.

As you mentioned above, its hard to compare the two, but for someone looking for "professional quality at affordable prices," between the Event and Dynaudio, which do you feel is the better buy? You hinted that the Dynaudio monitors seem to do a little better in the bass (maybe its the 10 inch woofer) as well as a bit more clarity in the upper highs. In your opinion, do these differences warrant the differences in price?

I have yet to see either monitor get a bad review, so I'm guessing I'll be safe either way, but I would like some more feedback from others who have experienced both. Thanks in advance for your help, and please keep up the amazing work, both musically and literary!
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