M-Audio had their new active nearfield monitors, the Studiophile DSM1 and Studiophile DSM2, which have been developed in collaboration with fellow Avid Group company, Digidesign, on display at the AES show in San Francisco.
Both monitors feature bi-amped designs, which use 100W and 80W lightweight Class ‘D’ amplifiers for the low- and high-frequency drivers respectively. They carry on-board Digital Signal Processing (DSP) circuitry to manage the built-in crossover, equaliser and ‘acoustic space’ functions, leading to what M-Audio call “pristine imaging”, customisable to the monitoring environment.
The main difference between the two DSM monitors is the size of their low-frequency drivers, and therefore, the frequency range within which they work. The DSM1 has a 6.5-inch woofer and can handle frequencies as low as 49Hz, while the DSM2 has an eight-inch LF driver and can go down to 42Hz. Both monitors are, according to the manufacturers, accurate up to 27kHz.
The DSM1 and the DSM2 can accept balanced and unbalanced line-level signals on XLR and quarter-inch jack respectively, as well as AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital inputs on XLR and coaxial RCA. A ‘digital channel assign’ switch, located on the rear panel, enables the user to instruct the speaker which channel of the digital data stream it should derive its signal from. There’s also a useful ‘mono’ setting, which sums both the left and the right signals.
Also on the rear panel are a number of controls. A knob marked ‘volume trim’ enables the user to boost the input level by up to 10dB, or attenuate by 22dB, while a series of 12 dip switches (grouped into six banks of two) can be set to different values to allow for a number of EQ cuts and boosts to be made.
Usefully, there’s a chart to display what the switches do, so the user doesn’t have to refer to the manual every time they want to set-up their speakers. Both the DSM1 and DSM2 have high-density, rear-ported cabinets with radiused corners to minimise diffraction, and feature an LED on the baffle, to notify the user that they are powered up.
In the USA, the DSM1 will cost $649 each, while the DSM2s will be $749 each.