Discussion in 'Recording' started by End Time Omega, Oct 24, 2001.
Hi, I just ordered some Behringer Truth monitors. Has anyone heard them?
I got mine two days ago and set them up next to my pair of Genelec 1030a.
They sounded a little better, more defined bass and a bigger cab help, I think. Same quite harsh treble though.
The really great thing is that they cost less than half what the genelecs cost. I'm very happy with them, I've installed them in my home studio now and I'm confident I'll be able to mix on them with no major headaches.
I'd love to know what you think when you get them.
I started buying Behringer gear because it was cheap, then fell in love when I found that there gear sounds great, and does stuff that I can't emulate with other products. Now I endores them. Give the Truth Monitors a week so you can learn them. I noticed less ear fatigue than I usually get when I work off 1032's.
I don't like them...here's a review of them that I wrote for EQ that hasn't been published yet.
They've got price on their side, but there's other monitors in the range that are better, imho.
Behringer B2031 Truth Studio Monitors
By: Dan Roth
Manufacturer: Behringer International GmbH, Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Str. 36-38, D-47877 Willich-Munchheide II, Tel: +49-(0)-21-54/92-06-0. http://www.behringer.de
Summary: Good value for the money, great for setting up an entry-level 5.1 setup on a budget
Strengths: Adjustability, self amplified, video shielding, good translation to broadcast
Weaknesses: Two-dimensional sound, lack of low bass extension
Price: $699/pr (list)
Many studios, professional and amateur are using self-amplified monitor systems. These offer several advantages such as a smaller footprint, a good price to value tradeoff and some of these active nearfields have incredible sound to boot. Behringer is tossing it's hat into the ring with it's B2031 Truth 2 way active studio monitors.
These monitors are bi-amplified with maximum output of 75 watts for the tweeter and 150 watts for the woofer. The "maximum" designation leads one to believe that they're quoting peak figures. Frequency response according to the manufacturer is flat from 50Hz to 21kHz , though they seemed slightly down at 50Hz. Perhaps that impression is the by-product of a steep rolloff in woofer output below 50Hz. The B2031's come as a matched pair with nifty "calibration certificates" for each speaker. The
graph on each certificate shows a response curve but without any legend, these charts aren't too informative.
Behringer includes lots of features for your money with these monitors. They come with flexible adjustments for bass and treble response so that you can tailor the sound to your room and placement. The "Low Frequency" adjustment tweaks where the low end rolloff for the woofer begins at three different frequencies, 100, 80, and 65 Hz, as well as providing a ìtypicalî position at 50Hz. This control is there to make the 2031's emulate smaller speaker systems or to adjust for an additional subwoofer. Even at the flat position, these puppies are pretty light on bass. For stereo work they could really use a subwoofer to get some low end definition.
There is also a "Room Compensation" control which rolls the low frequencies off in steps of -
2 dB up to -6 dB of cut. This is a very useful feature, as many project studios and multimedia rooms don't
have an optimal layout and are forced to compromise on speaker position. The ability to cut the low
frequencies allows you to keep some semblance of accurate response even with the monitor up against a
wall, which tends to over-exaggerate the bass and cause nasty standing wave problems.
The last frequency response adjustment on the back panel is the "High Frequency" switch. This cuts the tweeter response by -2 or -4 dB. There's also a +2dB and a flat position. The tweeter in
these monitors must have inherited some NS-10 DNA, however, as it's very sharp and even in a very
damped room there's probably no need to actually boost the high frequency response. I found that -4 sounded the most accurate in my small (10í x 10í) mix room. Hi-Hats and crash cymbals sounded the least cheesy on -4.
Other back-panel features are an input trim pot with +/- 6dB of range and two switches for
disabling the woofer and tweeter, respectively. These are marked "Mute Low" and "Mute High" and are
there for servicing and maintenance, Behringer says. Nevertheless, they were interesting to play around
with to see where each driverís response was. Also on the back are the connection for the IEC power cord and a power switch under the amplifiers, which took a couple minutes of fumbling around to find.
The Truths accept balanced or unbalanced inputs from either a 1/4" plug or an XLR connector. They're the size of typical hi-fi bookshelf speakers, but they do weigh a bit. It is recommended that they be set up on stands if possible and aimed at the mix position, rather than straight ahead. The monitors can be set up vertically or horizontally. For my evaluation, I used them vertically. Video shielding is a big plus, as you can put these speakers up close to video monitors if real estate in your mix room is at a premium.
These speakers have built-in overload protection in the form of clipping, and if you continue to drive the beejeezus out of them, thereís thermal overload protection that shuts down the amps. Behringer says that itís okay to blink the ìLimitî LEDs now and then, but not to have them on steady. You can hear clipping set in long before thermal overload occurs. With a mix cranked up enough to light the ìLimitî lights, thereís a bit of port noise on bassy material.
Behringer has done a respectable job of making initial setup a breeze. All the back panel controls except for the input trim pot have ìtypicalî settings marked. You could discard the manual, set everything to "typical" and get a baseline setting that's mostly trustworthy. Off-axis response is pretty smooth. Walking around the room with audio playing didn't reveal any nasty surprises. The Truths are very tolerant of poor placement and sound very much the same no matter the angle, although you definitely know when you're in the sweet spot.
I found these monitors to be harsh in the high frequencies, as well as having a pre-compressed
quality that caused me to be more gentle than usual with mix levels and overall compression. Low bass
extension was quite limited, while there's a lot of upper midrange and high definition. I ended up
boosting lows more than usual and cutting the highs back. It was very hard to balance the levels of a dense mix. Effects like flanges tend to sound unnaturally tinny, while also being artificially back in the mix. There is a distinct lack of detail and depth on the tails of reverbs, which made me work harder and longer at getting the sweet spot between dry and wet in the mix that sounded right everywhere. Delayed
electric guitars sounded very sharp unless I rolled off everything above 8kHz, while bass and drums
needed the requisite lowpass to keep harsh cymbals and slappy strings at bay. When listening to
playback of a rock mix I did on the Behringers elsewhere, the effects were more hyped than the monitors
let on during the mix. The sound of these monitors isn't as deep or creamy as other similar systems. After learning the characteristics of these monitors, it is indeed possible to do a mix with subtlety, rather than setting everything to ìstun.î
Like I said, these monitors remind me of NS-10's, and just like the 10's, it is possible to get some
smokin' mixes out of these boxes. You'll work hard for a deep, open sound on these speakers and face the
potential of not having your lush mix come across that way anywhere else. Video and multimedia
facilities will appreciate the video shielding as well as offering an affordable way to set up for 5.1 with
matched voicing. For broadcast spot work, these monitors translated well. I ended up boosting the bass enough to be audible even on 2-inch TV speakers, while also being cautious to leave enough space around elements in the mix so that the important elements came across no matter where I played the mix back. Voiceovers came out especially fine. The characteristics of the Behringers mean you'll end up with the perfect boom in announcers voices, and your mixes will survive ridiculous broadcast chain compression well. For music work, you'll end up with very radio-friendly mixes from these speakers. If you're
looking to do lots of dense layering and delicate level balancing, these may not be the monitors for you.
Behringer has imbued the 2031's with decent performance, especially in light of the low price. I was left
wanting for a subwoofer and less high end sensitivity. The Truthís will make you work a little more than itís peers so if youíre in the market for studio monitors shop around and listen.
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