EQUATOR D8 STUDIO MONITOR PRODUCTION SET

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Late June Delivery Planned

[caption id="attachment_45933" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="New D8 8" Coaxial Reference Monitor with internal DSP"][/caption]

San Diego, California, United States, June 2013… Equator Audio Research recognized globally as a leading manufacturer of highly accurate studio reference monitors for mission critical recording applications has announced the development of the new D8 direct filed reference monitor. The D8, like its smaller sibling the D5, features a coaxial design with internal DSP.

D5 sales have been on an extended upward trajectory and continue to make their way into acclaimed hands for mission critical work. As the acceptance of the D5 as a standard in direct field monitoring has grown so to have the requests for a speaker that has the same sound characteristics and mid-range accuracy but plays louder and better delivers the low frequencies.

The Equator D8 online direct list price is $777 per pair. ETA is June 28th. Pre-orders are being accepted.

The new D8 studio monitors are geared for the recording professional in need of an affordable, accurate, well-voiced, full range reference studio monitor solution with extensive mid-range clarity and accurate low end extension. It features an 8” woofer and center mounted 1” silk tweeter in an all wood cabinet with an appropriately tuned 2 ½” port. The smart digital amplifier boasts extremely low distortion specs and delivers 60w to the woofer and 40w to the tweeter. SPL is rated at 106 dB combined @ 1m. Frequency response is 44Hz–20 kHz.

To achieve extensive mid-range detail the D8 shares much of the acclaimed Equator Q Series technology. Like all Equator 2-way active monitoring systems, the D8 employs a Zero-Point Reference™ coaxial design with internal DSP handling numerous tasks, including matching the Digitally-Controlled Transducer’s™ output and the ability to apply pin-point accurate voicing.

[caption id="attachment_45933" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="New D8 8" Coaxial Reference Monitor with internal DSP"][/caption]

A note from the President about the voicing:
In early January, Steve, our major code guy and all around brilliant engineer, and I journeyed from San Diego to Hollywood to spend a day sitting with members of the Equator Technical Advisory Committee. Along with a pair of D8 prototypes we brought a software based development system that Steve had originally put together for the D5 development. The system continues to evolve. It provides direct access to the internal DSP, allowing us to make ever more intricate voicing adjustments without introducing phase anomalies. The goal here was to get the pros to once again lend their expertise in fine tuning the voicing of the speakers. Honestly, we like to think of ourselves as the pros but these folks make critical real world listening decisions all day every day and have hits and awards to prove the veracity of their reputations. Flat is great but these folks know what works in their world and what doesn't. Flat isn't always the best solution. I find it extremely valuable to get professional confirmation.

We spent hours of listening and adjusting separately with Gerhard Joost and Francis Buckley. At one point Gerhard absolutely cranked the volume to extreme levels for an extended period. We were happily surprised at how well the D8 handled it. Funny how united the pro recording community actually is … all of our award winning Technical Advisory Committee members are friends and over the years have worked on various projects together. And they all seem to master at Grundman.

So, toward the end of the day we all converged for an evening session at Grundman Mastering with Chris Bellman. Interestingly, the first mastered track Chris pulled up was Jennifer Warnes “Rock You Gently” from the re-mastered Hunter CD. I didn’t realize that Chris had mastered that CD, but as fate would have it, that tune was one of the tunes we had been using to pre-voice the D8 just days before. We were now listening to the master in the room it was mastered in by the person that mastered it. Gerhard and Francis listened from the back of the room as Chris had his turn in the voicing spotlight. At each of our stops that day we started the voicing process with the same pre-voiced curve.

Chris’ adjustments were many but subtle. He proceeded to make very minor (at times 1/10th of a dB) adjustments - monitoring back and forth from his Grundman (no one knows for sure what’s behind that curtain but Bernie) Voodoo speakers and the D8s. Being a Grammy™ producing world class mastering engineer, Chris paid focused attention to the mid-range and high frequency detail. After many adjustments throughout the frequency range he eventually focused on the upper low end. He applied a series of extremely slight adjustments in the 150Hz range. After one such minor adjustment, the midrange opened up substantially. It was like a blanket was lifted off of the speakers. The detail was amazing. I had thought the D8s were sounding good before this adjustment but this slight adjustment made a dramatic difference. I looked back at Steve, Gerhard and Francis and they all smiled … they heard it too. It seemed that Chris had hit the sweet spot. “Don’t touch a thing, we’re done!”

It was a long eventful day worthy of a Sushi celebration. FYI: Just down the block from Grundman, at Hollywood and Gower, is a great little Sushi place that Chris has turned us on to: Sushi Ike’s. So, we went to Sushi Ike's for Sushi and Saki (I’ll pay this price for their expertise anytime) …. after lots of both I had to ask “did the D8s really sound that good?” We walked back to Grundman for another late night listen. Chris fired up the Hunter master tracks and we all quietly listened to the entire collection. When the last track faded, Chris turned around from his mastering seat and said “These things sound good!” That is a rare statement from Chris. We all agreed. We knew we had something special. Of interest: all 3 experts applied dips in the lower frequency range to allow those over tones crowding the mid-range to get out of the way.

Unfortunately on that day in January our 4th technical advisor, Elton Ahi, was out of town. So, some time later I scheduled a voicing session with Elton. We converged on Rusk (Elton’s studio). Elton is very pragmatic; he tweaked both the mid-high frequencies and the low frequencies. When he finally hit his spot he got very excited. He was pleased with what he heard. His adjustments were instantly applied internally to Boundary Position 2 of the D8s. The speakers were then left with Elton for an extended stay so he could do a complete mix. His response: “I guess now I have to change all my monitors out!” Of significant note: After using the D8s for a week or so Elton let me know that he had a real appreciation for boundary position 3. Position 2, appropriate for overall balance and position 3 for realizing the details.

The result of Elton’s tweaks resulted in a very flat response. My sense is that Elton naturally gravitates toward a flatter response. Of course that somewhat changed after he experienced position 3.

So we elected to make the boundary switch choices as follows:

Boundary position 3: the free standing position (the original Jan. voicing with extensive mid-range detail) a dip at 150-200Hz and a rise at 6500Hz.

Boundary position 2: a flattening out of the 150Hz-200Hz dip and a flattening out of the 6500Hz rise. Boundary position 2 sweeps very flat.

Boundary position 1: an additional 2.5 dB roll off (from position 2) from 1k down to 44Hz. (Appropriate for a wall position placement of the speaker).

With the arrival of the D8 the Q8 is officially discontinued.

Ted Keffalo
President
Equator Audio Research

About Equator Audio Research
Equator Audio Research is committed to delivering studio reference monitor solutions that overcome the myriad of challenges faced in today’s production environment. From our phase and time accurate coaxial designs to our matched transducer manufacturing to our sophisticated Q Series Room Analysis and compensation software; our products meticulously provide solutions to existing sonic obstacles. Equator products are used daily in mission-critical applications at many of the world’s finest recording studios. For additional information on all Equator Audio products, visit the company online at www.equatoraudio.com.