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Microphone Month 4

Sonodyne SM 200AK Reviews

5.0 stars based on 2 customer reviews
  • from Franklin, TN February 21, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Great recommendation!

    While researching competing products my Sweetwater rep, Paul Allen, recommended the Sonodynes for my project studio. I am super happy about my decision to go with the 200's. These are one of the best nearfields I have ever heard. In mentioning this in a ProTools cert class Mark Hornsby, our instructor, echoed my feelings. I think we will see these showing up in many more US studios once word gets out. Thanks Paul!

  • from Portland, Oregon February 16, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Musician

    First Impressions

    I was in the market to upgrade my monitors for a long time. I had treated my room, upgraded my system to Pro Tools HD|2 Accel and added nice mics (Neumann and etc.) and Outboard gear (Universal Audio, Eventide, Lexicon, Focusrite..). The weak point in my chain was my KRK RP8 monitors. Th KRK's aren't bad 'for the price" but I have always had problems hearing what I was doing (or wasn't doing-which was often the case). Also, too be honest my reference CD's never sounded "right" on those speakers either.

    I did many many hours of research and had narrowed down my monitor choice to Adam A8x or Dynaudio BM6A. I have a pretty large control room (32'L x 18'W x 14'h) so I need something fairly substantial. I spent some time A/Bing the A7x (I couldn't find the 8x around) with the Bm6A. Both are nice monitors. The Adams have a smoother high end then the dynaudio, but the lows seems a bit lackluster--although accurate and tight. The Dynaudios have a really clear high end and a definite hump in the deep bass area..maybe a bit too much of a hump. Either way, both Adam and Dynaudio sounded good, but I wasn't blown away by either one.

    After reading some rave reviews on the Sonodynes, I decided to take the risk and order them from Sweetwater. With my large room, the 250W of the 200's seemed like the right choice. I received them quickly and opened the rather large and very heavy boxes. These things are built like tanks. You can see in the pictures, but the Monitors are very trapezoidal with a wide rear and thinner front. I am not sure of the exact weight, but they must be around 40 lbs each. Construction is top notch. All of the trim is either wood or metal (except the plastic knobs and switches of course). The design is understated, but is obviously a very nice piece of gear.

    Ok, so how does it sound: First impression-Serious B****!! and clear clear clear...These things are SO clear and transparent sounding. They sound like a VERY expensive Hi-Fi speaker...made me wonder if everything would just sound great through them? I threw a variety of music at them. An old Aretha Franklin album from the early 70's: I could hear details I never had heard before. Sweet and Warm with plenty of tape hiss..Very good. Next: A track from Nightwish's Dark Passion play: Hi-Fi Symphonic metal with a very dense mix of orchestral and metal. Absolutely impressive. I could hear each individual symphonic instrument even in the heaviest guitar forward parts...OK, enough of the pre-recorded mixes, how about my latest project.

    Well, this is when you know that these are studio monitors and not hi-fi stereo speakers. My mix sounded bad...within seconds I had to stop it and fix the bass. It was boomy and thick in the <100hz range. I never heard that before when mixing, but noticed the mix was muddy when I played it on different systems (car stereo and etc.). With the SM 200 it took me less than 15 seconds to realiz it wasn't the bass guitar (which I had assumed it was) it was some low sub from a synth part. Fixed it within seconds. I went on and remixed the entire song....So long story short. These monitors are stellar. I give them 5 stars because I can't think of anything wrong with them including the price point. They have HUGE power, clear smooth highs, tight low bass without any boominess, and most of all the midrange is like a microscope to view into your mixes. I actually prefer these to the Genelec 1031A's at the other studio I record in...Way more detail in the midrange here. The only downside I can think of, is that these would probably not work well in a small room. There is some audible hiss in the tweeters withthe gain cranked when you get up close, and they have a large rear firing bass port that would probably cause havoc if they are placed near a wall.

    So, if you are looking for a near-mid field monitor and have a large(er) room, definitely check these out before you buy anything else.

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