Good for what they are, "my first studio monitor"

A Review On: M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Speakers

M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Speakers

Rated # 16 in Computer Speakers
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Design
Quality
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $120.00
Arve
Posted · 4211 Views · 5 Comments

Pros: Overall balance, quality.

Cons: If you are a basshead, look elsewhere

My review is much too long to paste here, so the full-length-review can be found here.

 

I will however summarize my review quickly, and expand a bit on it:

 

  • These are a good choice if you are a producer on an extremely tight budget - as a "my first studio monitor" speaker
  • Sound stage and imaging capabilities are much better than you would expect for a $130 speaker
  • The amplifiers give off a slight hiss
  • Tonal balance is somewhat dependent on volume setting: From a bit dark on low volumes to bright on high volumes
  • They don't have what qualifies as sub bass, but again: They don't pretend to, and do a good job in the rest of the frequency range

 

Also, please note that this speaker has gone through two revisions. The first revision had a bass boost control on the back of the speaker that is gone in the Mk II version.  Many of the quality concerns people have mentioned about the first edition do not seem to be present in Mk II.

 

Note that they will easily beat out any computer-oriented brand in the same price tag, and when Tom's Hardware reviewed them, they beat out the $500 Bowers and Wilkins MM-1.

 

Conclusion: If you don't have more to spend, these are a good choice, but if you can afford it, and have enough space, the BX5 D2 from M-Audio offers better sound and better value for money.

5 Comments:

I found you, Arve!
Hi. Not too difficult when I keep similar user names all over, is it :-)
Oh well - back to writing about the similarities between the NAD M2 and your electric oven in my new series of "Explain it like I'm five" articles about audiophilia.
I have these too. I'm now looking for a subwoofer that can go with it though. Any thoughts about which one I should buy and how to hook them up?
@zeitfliesst
To use these with a sub, there are two things you need:
1. A subwoofer with low-level inputs and outputs.
2. Something that can act as a volume control - when a sub is connected
The reason for the second requirement is because you can no longer use the volume control on the AV 40's - it would only control the volume of the AV40's, and not that of the sub. The cheapest option for this is probably a cheap mixer, like the Behringer 302 (about $50). You'd then wire from the outputs of the behringer to the sub's line in, and from the line out on the sub to the AV40's
With that being said, I don't like subwoofers much - it's hard to find a sub that integrates well into an existing setup, and it's hard to set one up properly, and to deal with room modes, you should rather have two than 1, and 4 rather than two, at which stage your subwoofer rig is ten times the price of your AV40's.
If I were to make a proposal, it would be that you instead got higher-quality monitors that have bass response in to the sub-bass region, like the Emotiva AirMotiv 5 ($450) - for near-field use, they have enough bass response to deal with most of what you can throw at them. If you like M-Audio, I can also recommend the BX5 D2 (but that one essentially requires that you have a mixer or other volume control, as the speakers themselves have none, apart from a gain setting at the back of each speaker)
Arve, thanks for all that information. It sure helped out a lot. I guess I'll try and hold it out without any subwoofers for a while until I upgrade to something else in the future.