D8 Studio Monitors

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Equator 2-Way Coaxial Active Studio Monitors with Internal DSP (Sold as a Pair)

Our new D8 (Direct 8) coaxial studio monitors are the next step in the D Series line. Geared for the recording professional, the D8 delivers the crystal clear mid-range detail first presented by the D5s but with higher SPL and and much bigger bass response. Focused attention was paid to the development details to ensure that they deliver professional sonic performance. These studio monitors feature an expensive coaxially designed transducer with an 8" woofer and a 1" silk tweeter. The frequency response is 44hz to 20khz. The D8s cutting edge digital amplifier provides extremely low distortion with plenty of punch. The internal DSP allows for intricate pin-point accurate adjustments. The D8 was designed specifically to deliver a much bigger sound while maintaining the extreme level of detail that the D5 has been proven to provide.

The D8 studio monitors have pro features; balanced XLR and balanced/unbalanced TRS inputs; a calibrated stepped level sensitivity control; a 3 alternate voice boundary selection switch; an all wood cabinet, including a wood front baffle for optimum performance; a fully extended 2.5" perfectly tuned front port, providing superior and accurate extended low-end response. And because the port is on the front baffle, the D8's can be positioned close to a wall with no fear of the low-end being choked.

The coaxial transducer design of the system incorporates a steep 4th order crossover along with a newly applied DSP aided group delay filter in order to deliver a phase accurate detailed mid-range with unobstructed clarity in that complex 900Hz - 3 kHz range. Guitars, voices, strings, horns, & reverb trails are very clearly and accurately portrayed and any mid-range anomalies in the source material can be easily determined and addressed. Because of our matched transducer output, mid-range mix elements can be positioned in the stereo field without the fear of being misplaced. The D8 represents the next step forward in detailed clarity.

Like the Q Series, the D8 features our Zero-Point Reference™ custom designed coaxial Digitally-Controlled Transducers™ along with internal DSP to provide a matched output curve for every unit. This allows for accurate no-shift imaging. The DSP allowed pin-point accurate adjusting during the voicing process. The voicing was aided by our award-winning Technical Advisory Committee recording engineers that referenced their hit mixes for voicing considerations. The final D8 pre-set voicing curve is optimal for mid-range detail as well as accurate bass placement and low frequency reproduction. With high-quality components, internal DSP, 100w of power, and 106 dB of SPL, the D8s deliver a large trustwrothy crystal clear audio image.

A note about the voicing and the boundary selection choices from the President:

In early January, Steve, our major code guy and all around brilliant engineer, and I journeyed from San Diego to Hollywood to spend a day sitting with members of the Equator Technical Advisory Committee. Along with a pair of D8 prototypes we brought a software based development system that Steve had originally put together for the D5 development. The system continues to evolve. It provides direct access to the internal DSP. It allows us to make ever more intricate voicing adjustments without introducing phase anomalies. The goal here was to get the pros to once again lend their expertise in fine tuning the voicing of the speakers. Honestly, we like to think of ourselves as the pros but these folks make critical real world listening decisions all day every day and have hits and awards to prove the veracity of their reputations. Flat is great but these folks know what works in their world and what doesn't. Flat isn't always the best solution. I find it extremely valuable to get professional confirmation.

We spent hours of listening and adjusting separately with Gerhard Joost and Francis Buckley. At one point Gerhard absolutely cranked the volume to extreme levels for an extended period. We were happily surprised at how well the D8 handled it. Funny how united the pro recording community actually is ... all of our award winning Technical Advisory Committee members are friends and over the years have worked on various projects together. And they all seem to master at Grundman.

So, toward the end of the day we all converged for an evening session at Grundman Mastering with Chris Bellman. Interestingly, the first mastered track Chris pulled up was Jennifer Warnes "Rock You Gently" from the re-mastered Hunter CD. I didn't realize that Chris had mastered that CD, but as fate would have it, that tune was one of the tunes we had been using to pre-voice the D8 just days before. We were now listening to the master in the room it was mastered in by the person that mastered it. Gerhard and Francis listened from the back of the room as Chris had his turn in the voicing spotlight. At each of our stops that day we started the voicing process from scratch.

Chris' adjustments were many but subtle. He proceeded to make very minor (at times 1/10th of a dB) adjustments - monitoring back and forth from his Grundman (no one knows for sure what's behind that curtain but Bernie) Voodoo speakers and the D8s. Being a GrammyTM producing world class mastering engineer, Chris paid focused attention to the mid-range and high frequency detail. After many adjustments throughout the frequency range he eventually focused on the upper low end. After a series of extremely slight adjustments in the 150Hz range the midrange opened up substantially. It was like a blanket was lifted off of the speakers. I thought they were sounding very good before this adjustment but this change was dramatic. I looked back at Steve, Gerhard and Francis and they all smiled - they heard it too. It seemed that Chris had hit the sweet spot. "Don't touch a thing, we're done!" Basically what he had done was gradually pull down the lower fundamentals so that the harmonic overtones of those frequencies would get out of the way of the mid-range fundamentals. Serious voicing approach.

It was a long eventful day worthy of a Sushi celebration. FYI: Just down the block from Grundman, at Hollywood and Gower, is a great little Sushi place that Chris has turned us on to: Sushi Ike's. So, we went to Sushi Ikes' for Sushi and Saki (I'll pay this price for their expertise anytime) ... after lots of both I had to ask "did the D8s really sound that good?" We walked back to Grundman for another late night listen. Chris fired up the Hunter master tracks and we all quietly listened to the entire collection. When the last track faded, Chris turned around from his mastering seat and said "These things sound good!" That is a rare statement from Chris. We all agreed. We knew we had something special. Ultimately, I found it interesting that all 3 experts applied dips in the lower frequency range to allow those over tones crowding the mid-range to get out of the way.

Unfortunately on that day in January our 4th technical advisor, Elton Ahi, was out of town. So, some time later I scheduled a voicing session with Elton. We converged on Rusk (Elton's studio). Elton is very pragmatic; he tweaked both the mid-high frequencies and the low frequencies. When he finally hit his spot he got very excited. He was pleased with what he heard. After the adjustments were applied internally to the D8s, they were left with Elton for an extended stay so he could do a complete mix. His response: "I guess now I have to change all my monitors out!" Of significant note: After a week or so of use, Elton let me know that he really found boundary position 3 to deliver amazing mid-range clarity and found himself using both position 2 for overall balance but position 3 for clarity.

The result of Elton's tweaks resulted in a very flat response. My sense is that Elton naturally gravitated toward a flatter response. Of course that somewhat changed after he experienced position 3.

Boundary Selections:

So we elected to make the boundary switch choices as follows ( different approach than a standard boundary selector) :

Position 3: the normally free standing position (the original Jan. voicing with extensive midrange detail) has a bell type dip centered at 150Hz and a general rise starting at 6500Hz.

Position 2: a flattening out of the 150Hz dip and a flattening out of the 6500Hz rise. Boundary position 2 is flat with no bass roll off.

Position 1: Position 2 with a 2.5 dB roll off from 1k down to 44Hz. (Appropriate for a wall position placement of the speaker).

We're extremely excited about the D8. With its arrival the Q8 is officially discontinued.

Ted Keffalo

Technical Description

  • 14" x 10" x 12" @ 22 Pounds Each
  • Internal DSP for Matched Transducer Output and Meticulous Pre-Set Voicing
  • 100 Watts of Power (60w LF | 40w HF)
  • Pin-Point Accurate Pre-Set Voicing Aided by Award-Winning Recording Engineers
  • Boundry selection (3 Voicings)
  • 2.5" Tuned Front Port For Accurate Low-End Extension.
  • Steep 4th Order L&R Crossover with DSP Compensation for Reduced Mid-Range Distoriion
  • Coaxial Designed 8" Diameter Polypropylene Woofer
  • Coaxial Designed 1" Diameter Silk Tweeter
  • Electronically Time Corrected
  • 10-Biquads for Factory Applied DSP Driver Correction
  • 10-Biquads for Factory Applied Voicing Considerations
  • Frequency Response: 44Hz - 20kHz (+ or - 3dB)
  • Front Ported All Wood MDF Cabinet w/ Small Radius Edges
  • Limiter & Driver Protection
  • Driver Magnitude Correction
  • Power LED
  • Sensitivity adjustment (Volume Control)
  • Short Circuit Protection
  • Thermal Protection
  • IEC Power Inlet
  • Power on/off Switch
  • 1.8 meter EMI Power Cord (115v only)
  • Balanced XLR Input (female)
  • TRS ¼ Inch Input (female)
  • 106dB SPL
  • ****Specifications subject to change****
Read 11508 times Last modified on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 18:16

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