Perhaps one of the hardest choices for anyone to make for their studio is the choice of monitoring speakers, especially if you are running a home studio. There are more and more stores appearing that offer rooms specially set up for comparing monitors, but in reality the only real way to audition monitors in in situ in the room you are going to listen to them in. The job is made even harder by the very fact that we get used to the sound of the monitors we already own and so introducing new monitors into the equation can be coloured by our existing preferences.
Monitors are also about taste and although many manufacturers will swear blind about their monitor having a flat response when you compare several pairs then you realise that either all of them are wrong, or most of them are wrong in that assertion.
My own opinion, as someone who grew up around Yamaha NS10s and Auratone 5cs, is that how flat the frequency response of a monitor is has very little to do with their suitability for their job. Thousands of hit records have been mixed on them and you would hardly call an NS10 a flat response. There’s an interesting paper on this here. Most of us simply get used to the sound of monitors and then trust a mastering engineer to make any corrections in the mastering process.
For me trying out monitors is like trying out new shoes, all of them feel weird at first, for the reasons outlined above, so you need a little time to get used to them before coming to any conclusions about them.
The Eve SC205 2-Way 5” Monitor
Rather than reinvent the wheel I’ll let Eve explain the monitor specification.
The SC205 uses our 5” SilverCone woofer for an extended bass response. This very stiff diaphragm is honeycomb structured and glass fibre coated. Like in other models, such as the smaller SC204, the SC205 is driven by a sophisticated magnet system that uses a 1” voice coil responsible for delivering a greater linear excursion. All in all, this produces a bigger dynamic range than you would naturally assume from a speaker of these proportions. The result is an unsurpassed audio transparency that, when coupled with our proprietary AMT tweeter and PWM amplifier, will surprise you with a very powerful and precise low end.
Our AMT (Air Motion Transformer) tweeter is our own proprietary technology that follows the rule of not using “off-the-shelf” components when looking for the best possible results. The preciseness and detail in the high frequency, along with the general tightness of the bass and mid-range frequencies, will make the SC205 equally adequate for use on the road or in studio.
With every EVE Audio speaker, you also get high resolution DSP electronics. One push knob operation and you will have access to accurate volume control and several different filter settings that will help you tailor your monitors to the way you work.And if you always avoid digital processing, we’ve got you covered. The DSP engine is supported with a high quality A/D converter (24bit/192kHz) from Burr-Brown, which delivers a pristine signal to the DSP section. And since the PWM amplifiers are directly connected to the DSP, no additional conversion is necessary. Please visit our DSP page to learn more about our DSP philosophy.
Getting the Eve SC205s set up is pretty simple. There’s a choice of XLR and Phono connections on the back along with a set of dip switches for locking settings or allowing them to be variable. On the front there’s a single multi-purpose knob that allows the user to turn the monitors on and off - although they have a stand-by mode which saves having to reach around the back to turn them on and off each time you need to use them. The control also takes care of volume, hi and low filters and a desk filter that works around the 180Hz band and allows the user to compensate for the effects of the reflection off consoles which can sometimes colour this frequency.
Eve explain that the monitors were designed to work vertically but can be used in a horizontal fashion if required as long as the tweeters are placed to the outside of the mixer.
There’s a helpful user manual that explains all the technical stuff in detail but also offers some handy advice about positioning, room acoustics and how to get them set up for optimal use.
Once set up I spent time listening to some reference tracks from my music collection and then also spent some time mixing some old Pro Tools sessions to see how they sounded on the SC205.
The Eve SC205 have garnered a lot of praise from reviewers and owners alike - it’s not hard to understand why. The Eve SC205 offers a nice transparent and open top end and a tight low end. I am a bit of a mid freak and want to know it’s not missing in a mix. One concern I had with the SC205s would be that the mid was going to be lost by their openness, my fears were unfounded and after some time of working with them I found my mixes were coming out with more detail and a better bass in them.
As I said earlier, mastering engineers are worth their weight in gold in compensating for the different flavours of studio monitor and room idiosyncrasies, however I think mixing on the SC205s gets the mix closer than I’ve ever had it before.
I’ve had them for about 6 weeks and last week their UK distributor Nova Distribution asked for them back. I gave them my credit card details instead. I think you would call that Editors Choice.
See if you can find a dealer who will let you try a pair out in your own studio - it will be worth them doing it as I doubt you will hand them back. Check them out.
Thanks to Phil from Nova Distribution for the loan - more here