KRK V6 + V12 Sub [$1,997,]

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been fortunate enough to use a pair of KRK V6s and the V12 sub in my control room, along with my normal array of studio monitors. I have grown very fond of them for their clarity and sense of power — so much so that I choose them over seven other sets of much more expensive studio monitors as my main monitoring source for last week’s mix. The biggest advantage that I’ve heard from these speakers is the transference rate — meaning my mixes sounded very similar on my crappy car CD player as in the control room. As a mixing engineer, this is my goal in life. I don’t want any surprises.

The 120-watt, bi-amped V6s have a 1" tweeter, and a 6" Kevlar woofer. KRK is also manufacturing the V4 (4" woofer) and the V8 (8" woofer). One huge difference that I noticed, compared to my personal standards, was that the stereo image was huge. I didn’t expect this out of such a physically small, much cheaper speaker. According to KRK, these speakers have “radiused edges for improved imaging.” I’ve spent around a half an hour trying to figure out what the word “radiused” means. I still have no idea how to define it, however I can attest that it does definitely work. While switching between a pair of Mackie HR 824s and the KRKs, there was a huge difference in the stereo image.

One other point to mention is that KRK has made a great move by making all of their cones yellow. I’m constantly checking the cone to visually see how my mix is working. You can physically see the polarity of your kick drum and bass guitar working together or against each other on any speaker. This may seem very simple; however, even after staring at a computer screen for hours on end, it’s easy to quickly look up and focus your eyes on the yellow cone to see if it’s pushing out or pulling in. It’s the little things that count.

The V6s by themselves sound very crisp and clear in the mids and highs, however the frequency response is 55Hz–20kHz. The low end is just not as present. So we hooked up the 70-pound V12 sub. Talk about power. This sub definitely added the low, punchy bottom end we needed.

Now here’s where you can get into trouble: This goes for every sub. So when we turned on the sub, our sense of reference went right out the window. The 250-watt V12 sub has a fixed high-pass filter at 80Hz, and a selectable low-pass filter, as well as a volume and phase switch. This offers you a lot of options to mess with, but you must shoot your room with an RTA to set the sub volume and have an accurate representation. Fortunately, we had a Behringer DEQ2496 Ultra Curve Pro in the tech room. I’m not a huge Behringer fan, but this RTA is very simple, cheap, fast and perfect. We pumped white noise in the room and adjusted the sub volume to make the visual frequency spectrum as flat as possible on the RTA.

Our control room is set very close to flat for a pair of ATC SCM20s and the Mackie HR 824s. I noticed that after adjusting the volume of the V12 sub to about 40 percent, the graphical display of the EQ was very similar to that of our current settings. There was a 3dB gain notch around 200Hz, as well as a 2dB notch down around 15Hz. If I had not used an RTA to shoot the room, I wouldn’t have known where to set the volume of the sub.

With the sub thumping the floor and the crisp clean sound from the V6s, I kept getting the urge to turn the volume up. When I’m mixing, I try to check a dB meter at least every half an hour and keep it around 90 decibels. I caught myself at 101 near the end of my mix. These monitors do have a selectable limiter circuit and indicator light built in to help determine the optimum level without distortion and to save the life of your drivers. The level of ear fatigue from the KRKs is comparable to most other high-end studio monitors. No better, no worse.

These speakers have already gained a great reputation within the industry. I’m just glad to be able to join the chorus.