Recording - September 2014 - 50

R E V I E W S B Y M I K E M E T L AY

M-Audio BX5 Carbon and M3-8 Powered Monitors
Two very different approaches to studio speaker design
The waveguide and fascia surrounding the 1" silk dome tweeter
and 5" woven Kevlar woofer have been tweaked for a wider sweet
spot, and are colored a handsome contrasting silver-grey. One interesting note about the front panel: the blue power-on LED has been
recessed behind a pinhole between the tweeter and woofer, so it
shines most brightly in a narrow beam directly in front of the speaker. This is a handy visual indicator for the novice who's never set up
monitors before: if the LED is at its brightest when you look at the BX5
Carbon from your listening position, then it's optimally aligned.
The rear panel sports XLR and 1/4" TRS balanced inputs, an
Acoustic Space switch to compensate for tight placement near walls
or in corners (0/-2/-4 dB cut, no corner frequency or slope specified), a Volume knob, IEC power jack and power switch, and a large
rear-facing port. The monitor is quoted as having a 56 Hz-22 kHz
frequency response, again with no tolerances specified, and sports
40W of power for the woofer and 30W for the tweeter with a 2.8
kHz crossover frequency. The speakers weigh about 11 pounds
each, thanks to reasonably dense and rigid MDF cabinets.

It's been a while since we've featured
M-Audio monitors in our pages, and
2014 has seen some intriguing new
designs introduced. We auditioned the
BX5 Carbon, smallest of the three new
BX Carbon speakers (the BX6 Carbon
and BX8 Carbon sport larger woofers
and increased power, as you might
expect). In addition, we received a pair
of M3-8 monitors; this is a 3-way studio
monitor with an unusual speaker layout
and a fair bit of user tweakability.
The BX5 Carbon-on paper
The BX5 Carbon is a small biamplified
2-way monitor intended for desktop use in
smaller rooms. It sits nicely in the near field
and is designed to provide a wide and forgiving sweet spot for musicians whose listening spaces are less than ideal.
50

RECORDING September 2014

The BX5 Carbon-in the studio
I set up the BX5 Carbon speakers in my usual "unforgiving" setup,
with tight positioning against a back wall. They did receive the benefit of IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R200 isolation stands; I didn't use the selfadhesive foam bases included in the box.
I wasn't a big fan of M-Audio's old Studiophile BX monitors; they had
a very "smiley" EQ curve and it was hard to trust their mids. It was a relief
to hear that the response of the BX5 Carbon is much smoother and more
believable above the lows. There was fairly little inconsistency at or
around the crossover frequency, and mixes were presented with a good
balance between the mids, which were present without being tubby, and
the highs, which were clear and present without being brittle.
The lows were present and clear but lacking in oomph, as one
would expect from a speaker with a woofer of this size; they rolled
off politely and the overall impression was simply
that what you could hear was accurate. Although I
didn't get to test them in a satellite/subwoofer configuration, I get the feeling that these would be
dandy speakers to pair with a sub.
The overall impression was of a speaker that works
hard to give an entry-level user a believable and
usable stereo image of his or her work in progress, as
long as placement is reasonably close and one
remembers to check mixes on larger speakers for
bass balance. You could do a lot worse than the BX5
Carbon when choosing a small monitor for a small
room, even spending a fair bit more money.
The M3-8-on paper
The M3-8 features what M-Audio calls a Twin-Line
design. Two of the three drivers are coaxial: the 1" silk
dome tweeter is embedded in a plastic waveguide that
is itself embedded in the center of the 5" woven Kevlar
midrange driver, with the 8" woven Kevlar woofer



Recording - September 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - September 2014

Contents
Recording - September 2014 - Cover1
Recording - September 2014 - Cover2
Recording - September 2014 - 1
Recording - September 2014 - 2
Recording - September 2014 - 3
Recording - September 2014 - 4
Recording - September 2014 - 5
Recording - September 2014 - Contents
Recording - September 2014 - 7
Recording - September 2014 - 8
Recording - September 2014 - 9
Recording - September 2014 - 10
Recording - September 2014 - 11
Recording - September 2014 - 12
Recording - September 2014 - 13
Recording - September 2014 - 14
Recording - September 2014 - 15
Recording - September 2014 - 16
Recording - September 2014 - 17
Recording - September 2014 - 18
Recording - September 2014 - 19
Recording - September 2014 - 20
Recording - September 2014 - 21
Recording - September 2014 - 22
Recording - September 2014 - 23
Recording - September 2014 - 24
Recording - September 2014 - 25
Recording - September 2014 - 26
Recording - September 2014 - 27
Recording - September 2014 - 28
Recording - September 2014 - 29
Recording - September 2014 - 30
Recording - September 2014 - 31
Recording - September 2014 - 32
Recording - September 2014 - 33
Recording - September 2014 - 34
Recording - September 2014 - 35
Recording - September 2014 - 36
Recording - September 2014 - 37
Recording - September 2014 - 38
Recording - September 2014 - 39
Recording - September 2014 - 40
Recording - September 2014 - 41
Recording - September 2014 - 42
Recording - September 2014 - 43
Recording - September 2014 - 44
Recording - September 2014 - 45
Recording - September 2014 - 46
Recording - September 2014 - 47
Recording - September 2014 - 48
Recording - September 2014 - 49
Recording - September 2014 - 50
Recording - September 2014 - 51
Recording - September 2014 - 52
Recording - September 2014 - 53
Recording - September 2014 - 54
Recording - September 2014 - 55
Recording - September 2014 - 56
Recording - September 2014 - 57
Recording - September 2014 - 58
Recording - September 2014 - 59
Recording - September 2014 - 60
Recording - September 2014 - 61
Recording - September 2014 - 62
Recording - September 2014 - 63
Recording - September 2014 - 64
Recording - September 2014 - 65
Recording - September 2014 - 66
Recording - September 2014 - 67
Recording - September 2014 - 68
Recording - September 2014 - 69
Recording - September 2014 - 70
Recording - September 2014 - 71
Recording - September 2014 - 72
Recording - September 2014 - Cover3
Recording - September 2014 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording-august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_20205
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/musicmaker/musicmaker/recording_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_201001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_200912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_200911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/recording_200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/musicmaker/nxtd
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com