Inexpensive...or is it just a CHEAP monitor solution at
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Old January 17th, 2006, 09:33 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, Virginia
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Inexpensive...or is it just a CHEAP monitor solution

Greetings all,

With regard to audio and audio monitors most would agree, them things ain't cheap! That being said, I've been looking for a way to leave the "music tuned" desktop speakers and my 7506s behind and move up to something with a flatter frequency response that would give me a better representation of what I'm mixing. I know... I know... you get what you pay for, but please... humor me for a moment.

Passive monitors are less expensive than active ones, so we'll start there. Okay... so I'll need to get an amp. While flipping through a rag, I can't remember which, I see an article for this new amazing -- or at least the writers thought so -- little amp that blew the testers away and sounded like an amp that costs ten times more. After a little more research, I found numerous reviews on Sonic Impact's T-amp. A number of "audiophiles" claiming that it was revolutionary that such sound could come from a device, a toy if you will, for the princely sum of $30 US. Now I'm always skeptical and this could be one huge marketing ploy, but for the money I was willing to take the chance.

Oh... almost forgot about the speakers. I've heard a few folks mention the JBL control 1 monitors for their flat response and low cost. A quick search and I found them for around $150. Now I'm set with a monitor solution for under $200. Give or take a few dollars.

So how does it sound? Pretty good for the price. For better bass response you'll definitely want a sub as the JBLs lack a tremendous amount of low range but overall I believe this set-up to be pretty good. Definitely better than some of the desktop speakers I've heard of comparable cost. Level response. Vocals are clear and sharp and none of the mud in the mid-range that I'm accustomed to hearing.

Anyone use the JBLs or the T-amp, and if so, what are your thoughts.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 09:43 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,976
There was an old saying in audio that "the cheapest amp has better response than the most expensive speakers", but of course there are exceptions to that logic from the past. Especially when you consider some of the gear on the market today. I'm not familiar with that amp, but I have had a couple of pairs of Control 1's and one pair of Control 1 Plus speakers for a number of years doing auxiliary duty. The Control 1's definitely lack bass response. I think you should really be careful in that regard. There are other passive speakers with much better total response available for $130 to $160 online. I think they may be a better solution than adding a sub-woofer to the Control 1 pair.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply

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