I have designed/built a lot of very nice speakers, I measure them and even sell them on occasion. I have excellent acoustic treatments in my studio - I know the frequency response of each wall. - so this is not a naive question (I hope . I just bought some Mackie 624's because its hard to build a speaker that flat yourself. They measure relatively flat in the room. BUT when I give them just a little gain I start hearing odd low mid coloration. Now, mackie's MO is fairly obvious - they use cheap components (The vifa driver in an 824 is like a 40 dollar driver), but compensate for the inevitable issues towards flatness because you can do a lot with active eq in the amplifier section with quality. They derive margins by substituting engineering for raw material, as it were. A cheap driver will still ring at various resonances once you give it a certain amount of power - so I'm guessing their claim to flat is only real with white noise (which is a lousy test for a lot of reasons), and with the drivers not working very hard. Can anyone validate this? The 624 (and I assume the 824 too) is only flat at low volume and suffers from ringing in the low mids due to using cheap components? If anyone tells me "yes" I guess I'll have to bite the bullet, return the 624's, and get something with real quality. (Suggestions under $2000 welcome). Thanks. ted.