I had an interesting one this weekend. The Caterthuns (and I) were invited to a speaker shoot-out at a well known producers’ newly re-furb’d studio here in Brighton (hi Steve). Spent 5 or 6 hours (in very engaging company) listening to a range of pro-grade powered near-field monitors, pushing upwards of £6K5, then a pair on NS10s for reference (which did really well on a £3000 sound card + 100W amp). I was then invited to connect the Caterthuns I’d brought to the party (my personal pair, in black). So, perched precariously atop the mixing desk, we swapped the wires over from the NS10s to my black Cats.
The effects were immediate.
Suddenly, all the boxy-ness of the NS10 mid-range disapearead to be replaced with clear, open space.
Suddenly, the bass kicked-in, and they performed with SPL’s that took one’s breath away, on a quarter of the power of the Adams, with clearer mids than the Focals and with that missing bass from the NS10s.
That’s when the room exploded with expletives and back-slaps.
I couldn’t look at the Adam/Focal rep. Comments like “the best we’ve heard today” and “wow, zero-point speakers” and “how’d ya get the mids so clear in a two-way” came flying at me from all directions. They had all the depth, warmth and richness as the best (£6K5) of the Adams without the port-noise which, honestly, was a pain after a while… as was the ribbon tweeter. Really, the Adam rep had to knock 2dB off their built-in EQs. Add to that that every set was missing something in the mids, which was present in the Cats; some crispness or pace or realism, I’m not sure what the word is because I’m not sure anyone has ever heard that effect before, so there’s no frame-of-reference. All I know is that, at the end, I was told that they were PERFECT near-field monitors.
There were other developments, all good, but let the ink dry first…