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32 l March 2012


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studiofeature


common thread has been an observation concerning the lack of coloration. “With The Egg, the internal sound pressure is much more controlled, so you don’t get a frequency-dependent reflection onto the back of the bass driver,” he says. “The result is far less coloration of the sound than might be expected with a box of this size. People tell us they can really hear what they are mixing, rather than the sound of the speaker itself.” Pleasingly, positive impressions


garnered at exhibitions and demo events have quickly translated into sales. James Ishmaev-Young, managing director of Sonic Distribution and, with business partner Phil Smith, 50% owner of sE Munro, comments: “We have sold more than 800 Egg 150 systems in the first two months, which is on target for our business plan. Sell-through is very good, especially in the UK, Germany, US, Sweden, Norway and Holland.” Meanwhile, work continues


apace on two new products that will bookend The Egg size-wise; a small nearfield developed with one eye on desktop applications is expected to go into production this summer, while a larger box will “probably” see daylight next year.


BOULDER TO BIRMINGHAM Another company taking a fresh approach to both design and materials is Unity Audio, whose follow-up to the hugely successful The Rock – a three- way active monitor called The Boulder – would historically “have been classed as a midfield when it was common for commercial studios to have large wall-mounted monitors”, says Unity’s Kevin Walker. “However, as rooms and


budgets get smaller, the need for large monitors has dwindled, [meaning that speakers] such as


AT A GLANCE


The Boulder are quite often considered and would be used as a main monitor in conjunction perhaps with a two-way nearfield. As The Boulder is a very revealing monitor it will be used in not only recording studios (commercial and private), but also for mastering or other critical listening applications.” This versatility is founded on


a number of arresting details. A 30mm Corian front baffle mounted to the Baltic Birch plywood cabinet yields “mass, strength, rigidity and no resonant frequency”. Meanwhile, the Elac coaxial 5” mid and folded ribbon tweeter delivers “an acoustic point source and eliminates any phase/timing issues between the mid and tweeter, resulting in an


and accurate monitoring system ever made,” says Focal Professional’s Nicolas Debard of the SM9, adding with perfect timing: “So quite a significant undertaking...!” Due to be made available


shortly after this year’s Prolight + Sound, the SM9’s greatest single USP is its inclusion of two separate monitors in one cabinet: a three-way (Beryllium tweeter + 6.5” ‘W’ woofer + 8” “W” subwoofer + 11” passive radiator) that offers a frequency response from 30Hz to 40Hz, facilitating “extremely precise” work; and a two-way (Beryllium tweeter + 6.5” ‘W’ woofer) with a 90Hz to 20kHz response, geared towards checking mix transfer quality on systems with


“A lot of people wanted the same kind of dispersion and vocal tonality [as might be found in a larger monitor], but without the power of a bigger box” Lars-Olof Janflod, Genelec


homogenous and wide sound dispersion angle which provides for a new kind of relaxed, but very precise reproduction”. Next up for Unity is an active


subwoofer, which again will be a sealed cabinet and employ two Boulder LF amplifier modules. As for the overall drift of studio monitor design, Walker envisages “an element of gradual evolution... DSP has been used in some models for a while now. I don’t think it’s been completely adopted by users yet as there’s still a level of scepticism surrounding it.”


TWO SYSTEMS, ONE CABINET “We started from one simple objective: to develop the most dynamic, sonically transparent


limited response in the bass frequencies, such as computers and personal music players. This striking configuration is complemented by several exclusive acoustic technologies, including a high-output Beryllium dome tweeter, a composite sandwich ‘W’ (Glass/Foam/Glass) cone, ‘W’ passive radiator, and low distortion AB power stages for low (400W), mid (100W) and high frequency (100W) channels. Collectively, the SM9 “will


give users a tremendous amount of freedom and control when it comes to fine-tuning a mix”, says Debard. In particular, he expects the SM9 to resonate with those who are re-versioning audio material for different outlets – for example, a concert


The Boulder from Unity is a three-way active monitor designed for


mastering and other critical listening applications as well as for use in


recording studios


Focal’s aim is to “develop the most dynamic, sonically transparent and accurate monitoring system ever made”


Features of RCF’s Mythos include Impedance Control Coil technology, woofers with a 51mm voice coil and a high-definition metal dome tweeter


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