Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8

Active Monitors

Published in SOS June 2009
Bookmark and Share

Reviews : Monitors

Ribbon tweeters can yield a smooth sound, while still capably reproducing transient detail — and the Pro Ribbon range promises to do so for an attractive price.

Paul White

Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8

We've already looked at some of the microphones from French manufacturer Prodipe, but now the company have expanded their range to include a new line of active monitor speakers using ribbon tweeters (flat ribbons, not to be confused with the folded‑ribbon type used by Adam).


Like Prodipe's mics, their monitors are built in China, which helps to keep the cost down. The Pro Ribbon 5 and the Pro Ribbon 8 are both active, two‑way, front-ported designs, and, as the names suggest, they have five‑inch and eight‑inch drivers respectively. They both employ the same rectangular ribbon tweeter, and thus benefit from the usual ribbon characteristic of low mass — which equates to a good ability to follow high‑frequency transients.

We had the larger Pro Ribbon 8 in for review, a model whose amplifier gives 140W of power to the two drivers via a 24dB/octave active crossover operating at 2.4kHz. A frequency response of 45Hz to 30kHz is specified, and a steep 35Hz low‑cut filter reduces subsonic content that would otherwise eat up headroom unnecessarily.

The general look of these speakers reminds me of the Samson Rubicons (another budget monitor with a visually similar ribbon HF unit), but I've no way of telling if these tweeters come from the same source. Physically, the cabinets are quite conventional. They measure 381 x 265 x 316mm, and the tweeter is recessed in a rectangular waveguide. The port takes the form of a slot beneath the bass driver, which has a distinctive dull-gold colouring to its glass/Aramid cone, and the power LED is of the now‑familiar bright‑blue variety. Cosmetically, the speakers look purposeful but not over‑ornate. Moulded baffles around the drivers and plain, satin‑black cabinetwork with rounded corners help to break up their otherwise utilitarian lines. The cabinet material is almost certainly MDF, and it seems very rigid, with no obvious resonances when tapped. Each speaker weighs 13kg, but there's no figure given for maximum SPL — not that this model seems in any way shy in that department.

As is now standard for such speakers, the rear panel plays host to all the necessary connectors, and also provides a mounting point for the active electronic circuitry within. The panel layout is fairly straightforward, with a range of analogue connection options, as well as the expected power switch and IEC mains inlet. A slide switch allows operation at 230V or 110V. Unbalanced inputs are catered for via an RCA phono socket, with balanced inputs on both a TRS jack and a conventionally wired XLR. Of course, either of these may also be used unbalanced, as long as the correct cable is used. A volume control offers a ‑30dB to +6dB range, and to allow the user to customise the high-frequency end to their own room and listening preferences, there's a rotary 'HF Level' control that can be used to cut or boost the output of the amplifier that feeds the tweeter. You can choose between settings of ‑2dB, ‑1dB, flat and +1dB. There are no low‑end tweaks to allow for varying speaker placement, as you find on some active speakers, and these may be missed by some users — but this also means that there's less for the inexperienced user to mess up.


The rear panel includes balanced and unbalanced analogue audio connections, switchable-voltage power inlet, and volume and HF controls.The rear panel includes balanced and unbalanced analogue audio connections, switchable-voltage power inlet, and volume and HF controls.

The Pro Ribbon 8s' current retail price should make them a very attractive proposition — providing, of course, that they deliver in the sound‑quality stakes. I tested the Pro Ribbon 8s on a recording and editing session, as well as using them to listen to some commercial material that I know very well, and was generally impressed, given the price bracket within which these speakers fall. They were mounted on the upper shelf of my mixing desk, sitting on Primacoustic speaker pads to decouple speaker vibrations from the desk itself.

The ribbon delivers a welcome degree of high‑end detail without sounding aggressive, while the eight‑inch woofer provides plenty of depth to the sound. The overall tonality has a warm and easy‑going character, and a solid low end, but with the all‑important transient details coming across clearly. There's more than enough level when working close to the speakers, as would normally be the case, and although a more costly monitor might sound a touch better focused in the mid‑range, I enjoyed working with these speakers and never felt that they were misleading me.

All speakers have their own tonal signature, and when I switched to my Mackie HR624 Mk2s or Adam A7s there was a noticeable difference, particularly in the mid‑range (which actually made my own speakers sound a touch hard), but they all get the job done and I felt that I could work all day on the Pro Ribbon 8s without fatigue. And the more I used them, the more I liked them!

Respectable Ribbons?

When I first unpacked these speakers, I didn't know what to expect, but after having worked with them for a few days, I have to say that I'm pretty happy with their sound and tonal balance. They work well for tracking and mixing, and they're especially impressive for speakers in this lower-mid price category. I particularly appreciate the fact that the sound isn't over‑hyped or aggressive, as so many monitors seem to be these days.

As always, you can buy better, but in this case you may find that you have to spend a fair bit more to do so. If you're in the market for new active monitors that can handle the full audio spectrum in a smooth and capable manner, but you can't afford — or don't want — to spend more than you have to, then the Pro Ribbon 8s should go on your 'must‑audition' list.  


At this price point, the obvious competitors are the Samson Rubicons, the Fostex PM series and the mid‑priced KRKs. The Alesis Monitor One Mk IIs are still in the running too, as are Mackie's MR8s.

Prodipe Ribbon Pro 8 £449$349
Good performance for a sensible price.
Well-balanced, non‑aggressive sound.
I have no complaints, bearing in mind the cost of these speakers.
The Pro Ribbon 8s make very effective project studio monitors at an attractive price and without skimping on bass response. They have a smooth, comfortable sound yet you can still hear the high-frequency detail.
Pro Ribbon 5 £359; Pro Ribbon 8 £449. Prices per pair including VAT.
Etcetera Distribution +44 (0)1706 285 650.

SOS Readers Ads


of Second-User Gear for sale now — don't miss out!

AVI Neutron Five

2.1 Monitor System

Thumbnail for article: AVI Neutron Five

This interesting monitor system uses the natural roll-off of the satellite speakers to provide the crossover with the subwoofer.

Tannoy Reveal 601A

Studio Nearfield Reference Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Tannoy Reveal 601A

Building to a price inevitably entails compromises. The art is in choosing the right ones...

Quested V3110

Three-way Active Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Quested V3110

Sometimes, a dose of old-fashioned good engineering delivers something well worth listening to...

Adam A7X

Active Two-way Studio Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Adam A7X

Their A7 nearfield monitors received many plaudits, not least in the pages of SOS, but manufacturer Adam thought there was room for improvement.


Active Nearfield Monitors

Thumbnail for article: PMC TB2S AII

PMC broke new ground a decade ago with their TB2 monitors, but the competition have been catching up. Does PMCs new activated design nudge them back to the front of the pack?

Avantone Active MixCube

Secondary Reference Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Avantone Active MixCube

Avantone have added on-board amplification to their contemporary take on the classic Horrortone secondary monitor, and the result is something quite special...

Sonodyne SM 50AK

Two-way Nearfield Active Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Sonodyne SM 50AK

India may be a growing force in most industries these days, but few Indian pro-audio companies have made it into Western markets. Can Sonodynes speakers change all that?

Unity Audio The Rock

Monitor Speakers

Thumbnail for article: Unity Audio The Rock

The time-domain response of monitors is often sacrificed for level, but this sealed-cabinet design tackles that issue head-on...

Infrasonic Blow 4D

Nearfield Monitor Speakers

Thumbnail for article: Infrasonic Blow 4D

With digital and analogue inputs, these small speakers from newcomers Infrasonic promise a lot for the money. Can they outperform their budget price tag?

Blue Sky Sat 8 & Sub 212

2.1 Monitoring System

Thumbnail for article: Blue Sky Sat 8 & Sub 212

If you demand brutal and revealing precision from your monitors, read on...

Barefoot Sound MicroMain 27

Active Three-way Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Barefoot Sound MicroMain 27

As well as a distinctive design, these huge nearfield monitors offer a frequency and time-domain performance that compares with the best.

Adam S3XV

Studio Reference Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Adam S3XV

Adam make the leap to a three-way speaker design that seems to pay dividends in clarity and separation.

JBL LSR 2300

Monitor Speakers

Thumbnail for article: JBL LSR 2300

JBL have a reputation for clinically precise monitors, but this time theyve come up with something a little smoother...

Equator Audio Q8

Active Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Equator Audio Q8

Coaxially-mounted speakers may seem a bit old-school, but theres nothing wrong with the theory — and a touch of DSP can make them very modern indeed!

M-Audio Studiophile DSM1

DSP Reference Monitors

Thumbnail for article: M-Audio Studiophile DSM1

Built-in DSP extends the flexibility and usefulness of these capable speakers.

Event Opal

Studio Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Event Opal

Events new owners make some extravagant claims for these new high-end monitors, whose design is said to put quality first. Do they live up to the hype?

Samson Resolv A6 & 120A

Studio Monitors & Subwoofer

Thumbnail for article: Samson Resolv A6 & 120A

Samsons new low-cost nearfields can produce a big sound, but do they measure up for serious mixing? We find out.

Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8

Active Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8

Ribbon tweeters can yield a smooth sound, while still capably reproducing transient detail — and the Pro Ribbon range promises to do so for an attractive price.

Focal CMS65

Active Nearfield Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Focal CMS65

Focal control everything from design to manufacture in their factory in France — and this approach appears to be paying off.

Klein+Hummel O410

Active Midfield Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Klein+Hummel O410

Getting the balance right between the benefits and disadvantages of ported and non-ported speaker designs is a tricky job, and K+H do it better than most with this ported model.

WIN Great Prizes in SOS Competitions!


Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Blog | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help


Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26


We accept the following payment methods in our web Shop:

Pay by PayPal - fast and secure  VISA  MasterCard  Solo  Electron  Maestro (used to be Switch)  

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2016. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents.
The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media