FEATURES5.0EASE OFUSE5.0AUDIOQUALITY5.0VALUE5.0RATING PRODUCTS FROM 1 TO5
Event Electronics' new Studio Precision 8 Active monitor is part ofthe Studio Precision line, which consists of two powered and twopassive models with 8-inch or 6.5-inch drivers. Event has always madegood monitors, and the Studio Precision 8 Active, or ASP8, is as goodas any close-field monitor on the market at any price.
Studio Precision 8 Active
active close-field monitor
$1,499 per pair
PROS:Compares favorably with the best close-field monitors on the market.Flat frequency response with extended low end and smooth top end. Goodimaging and wide sweet spot. HF and LF trims allow adjustments to room.80 Hz highpass for use with subwoofer.
The face of the Studio Precision 8's cabinet sports a high-glossblack finish and attractive gold lettering. The monitor looks gorgeous,and the quality of its sound is even better. I knew after a few minutesof listening that it was a great speaker.
The active ASP8 includes controls for contouring the monitor to yourroom. High- and low-frequency trims allow you to adjust the response by±3 dB above 2.6 kHz and below 100 Hz. An 80 Hz highpass filter canbe used when a subwoofer is added to the system. I initially set theinput trim to maximum (it is variable down to -20 dB), set thefrequency-response trims to flat, and disengaged the filter. I didn'tneed to touch these settings again other than to verify that they didwhat they claimed. I was quite pleased with the ASP8's response in itsneutral configuration.
Listening to some favorite CDs, I was surprised at details I heardfor the first time in recordings I thought I knew inside out. It wasespecially fun to listen to old standards that aren't overlycompressed, like Steely Dan's Aja and Fleetwood Mac'sRumours, and hear all of their depth, dynamics, and dimension. Icould even discern a few questionable punches and overprocessed momentsI hadn't noticed before. Modern titles by Juanes, Josh Groban, Maroon5, and Liz Phair all sounded great within the context of theirrespective production styles. (And yes, the excessive compression oftoday's pop music was apparent.)
These monitors sounded pleasantly flat and even. The low end wassmooth and extended without any noticeable rippling. The ASP8's 80 Hzhighpass filter is specifically designed for use with a subwoofer, andEvent's 20/20 S250 sub is designed to be a perfect match, especially ifyou're setting up a surround system of Studio Precision monitors.However, for normal stereo music mixing a subwoofer isn't necessary.The ASP8's low-end response is so good I wouldn't hesitate to mix awhole record on these speakers alone.
The midrange and high end were equally impressive. The mids wereneither strident nor scooped but simply neutral. I had no particularawareness of any anomalies at the crossover point, which can be obviousin other speaker designs. I suspect that that has partly to do with thetweeter (or radiator, as Event calls it), which has a concavehousing similar to the one used in Mackie's HR824. The result is asmooth top end with a wide sweet spot that sounds very accurate ratherthan hyped and scooped, a sound popular in other monitors.
The transient response is very good, which gives the ASP8s a stablestereo image with a lot of front-to-back dimension. The active modelsare well powered with 200W amplification for the low-frequency driverand 80W for the tweeter.
To my ears, there is always a trade-off in warmth between monitorswith faster and slower transient response. Those with a faster responsehave good imaging but can sound unnaturally hard and tight. Slowerresponses can mean a monitor that sounds warmer but has a smearedimage. The ASP8 possesses a balance that ultimately sounds verynatural.
IN THE MIX
Having grown tired of most of my monitors and of how hard I wasworking to get good mixes, I was just days away from dropping about$3,000 for a new set of large close-fields when the ASP8s arrived forreview. When I pulled up my first mix on the ASP8s I immediatelynoticed compression artifacts, EQ flaws, and ambience level problemsthat had not been apparent on my older monitors. I quickly grew totrust what I was hearing on the ASP8s.
At one point, the proprietary amplifier for my NHT A-20 speakersdied. Those have long been my “small” close-fields ofchoice. Having only the ASP8s (and my little Apple speakers) asreferences, I trudged along without resorting to another pair ofspeakers from the storage closet. As it turned out, I didn't need anyother monitors, and I was as happy with the resulting mixes as I'vebeen with any I've done. Mixing is an elusive task, but it sure helpswhen you can trust what you're hearing, and with the ASP8s I didn'thave to work as hard as I usually do to get good results.
I wouldn't change anything in the design of the ASP8. Although Idon't believe a “perfect” monitor exists, I do believeEvent has hit a home run — no, a grand slam — with thesemonitors. I think their value is particularly great because I actuallyprefer these monitors to a very popular studio mainstay that costsdouble their price.
Above a certain level of high-end performance, choosing monitorsbecomes very subjective. However, there are a handful of specificmonitors that show up in a lot of control rooms around the world for agood reason: experienced professionals are familiar with them, trustthem, and can consistently work well with them. Without qualification,I believe the Studio Precision 8 should be in that select group ofspeakers that comprise the professional's short list. I also can'tthink of a better combination of monitors and subwoofer than Event'sASP8 and 20/20 S250 for a surround system that provides thiscombination of bang for the buck and critical monitoring quality.
Studio Precision 8 ActiveSpecifications
35 Hz-20 kHz (±3 dB)
trim control, continuously variable, ±3 dB above 2.6 kHz
trim control, continuously variable, ±3 dB below 100 Hz
80 Hz in/out, second-order slope
111 dB SPL
80W (HF amplifier); 200W (LF amplifier)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (HF amplifer)
104 dB (unweighted, 22 kHz bandwidth); 106 dBA
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (LF amplifer)
102 dB (unweighted, 22 kHz bandwidth); 105 dBA
40 kž (balanced)
Total Harmonic Distortion
<0.04% (HF amplifier); <0.03% (LF amplifier)
Power Consumption Speakers
10W (idle); 350W (full program)
1" soft-dome neodymium radiator
8" mineral-filled polypropylene cone
XLR, ¼" TRS
2.6 kHz, active fourth-order asymmetrical
0.75" vinyl-laminated MDF (internally insulated)
12.5" (W) × 16.0" (H) × 11.9" (D)