I’ve already posted this on a few other forums, but thought that I’d put it up here too.
After many months of design work, building and testing they are finally in place. The concept for these studio monitors began last year as an exercise to see what could be done to improve upon our current monitoring situation at http://www.phatplanetstudios.com At the time, we were running Quested mid fields.
See here: http://www.quested.com/vs3208.html
They were never resolving enough for critical work and ran out of steam very quickly at high levels. We needed something quite a bit more dynamic, but at the same time, detailed and very “hi-fi” sounding. In my experience, many studio main monitors are just loud, with harsh treble and no finess. My goal was to have huge dynamic capability along with the sound quality and tonality usually associated with the best home hi-fi gear.
I was pretty much settled on Lambda TD12M’s right from the outset, but the tweeter was a tough choice. We needed high sensitivity to mate up with dual TDs, ability to crossover low enough and be able to handle whatever abuse a recording engineer or intern might create. We tried the Fountek NeoPro 5 without sucess. Down anywhere below 2Khz is bad news for that guy. We tried a Beyma CP380 on a waveguide. This was better, but we were still not pleased. Finally, I up’ed the budget and went the TPL-150, also from Beyma. Now that was the ticket! Handles below 2 Khz with ease, high sensitivity of 99dB spl and is very robust mechanically.
What we ended up with is a 2.5 way design. The inner woofer in each pair is crossed over at appox. 250Hz while the outer one works up to around 1.8Khz. The box is sealed, so accordingly the response drops off below around 60Hz in room. This was the design goal, because coming up next is a dedicated pair of subs. The signal is processed using a BSS Omnidrive 366 with a Crown K2 for the lows and a Bryston 4B for the highs.
The enclosure is an inner layer of 3/4″ MDF covered on all sides by an outer layer of 18mm Plywood. Each monitor is 185lbs as finished. These babies are very inert even at levels upwards of 110 dB spl. For absorbtion inside, there is rigid fiberglass as well as Bonded Logic Ultratouch insulation which I highly recommend. http://www.bondedlogic.com/ultratouch.htm Works amazingly well and it’s friendly to your lungs AND the environment.
The end result has far exceeded my expectations! All of our engineers that work out of Phat Planet have been blown away with the clarity and detail that these things have and the dynamics are just shocking. No more guessing on compressor settings or kick drum micing. If it’s in the recording, you will hear it now…
Kudos to John and Nick of AE/Lambda for designing and crafting large woofers that allow one to still create a 2 way design.
Greg Begland – technician for Phat Planet Studios