[linux-audio-user] good studio monitors

Chris Pickett chris.pickett at mail.mcgill.ca
Thu Jul 22 19:37:53 EDT 2004

Florin Andrei wrote:
> I'm quite familiar with a wide range of high-end studio headphones, but
> i'm much less familiar with studio monitors.
> So, what do you guys own or use? What do you recommend?
> I own a pair of near-field Alesis M1 Active MkII. It seems like they're
> "value" monitors, which means they're mediocre-sounding (in the studio
> monitors league) but they didn't punch a hole in my wallet.
> http://alesis.com/products/m1active/
> They're bi-amplified and, yes, that you can tell: the transition between
> the bass cone and the treble bullet is smooth and there are no
> out-of-phase artifacts. There's no smearing like with passive filters on
> the output high-current lines.
> They're a bit bass-heavy and i actually think they're intentionally made
> like that. Alesis has a weird recommendation in the manual, saying that
> you should plug one of the holes with a cloth if bass is too fat, or
> even both holes if bass is waaay too big. I kinda feel that they
> intended them to typically have one hole plugged at all times. That's
> something for a bass-control knob to adjust, i know, but for the price
> ($400) i guess i have no right to complain.
> It's actually very weird how such a small bass cone can deliver so well
> at such low frequencies. Even if i turn up the volume, they're still
> crisp and controlled. I never turned it up into the distortion zone, my
> neighbours are not exactly fans of electronic music. :-)
> Treble is good, but definitely not as transparent as, say, high-end
> Beyerdynamic or Sennheiser phones. They're a bit harsh and lack sparkle
> (although certain narrow bands in the mid-high i'm pretty sure are
> actually over-emphasized), but not too much.
> I didn't see a frequency response graph yet, but i'm pretty sure there's
> a "noodle" with all kinds of curls in the treble zone. Nothing
> impossible to live with, it's just that it feels like it's there.
> Midrange is ok, but not remarquable in any way. It's not too quiet or
> anything, it's just that it's kinda tasteless.
> I keep them in my bedroom (no laughs please) and actually they're close
> to a corner (ok, now you're allowed to laugh).
> No, the fat bass is not because of that, they're fat anyway (but the
> corner may make the situation worse - i'll have to fix that one day).

I sadly keep mine on a bookshelf, two feet apart, and have a wad of 
paper towel in each of the four holes to reduce the bass.  I think 
they're an extremely good deal and I've heard many people say they are 
the closest thing to Mackies in that price range.

As for loudness, the same observation.  I think there's a frequency 
graph that comes with them and they look pretty flat.  If anything, the 
sound on mine is just restrained, if that's the right word.


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