IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
First Impressions about the Truth B2030A, Entry-Level Near/Midfield Studio Monitors with giant sweet spot
Lyx
post Sep 4 2008, 00:52
Post #1





Group: Members
Posts: 3353
Joined: 6-July 03
From: Sachsen (DE)
Member No.: 7609



So, i decided to go ahead and purchase the Behringer Truth B2030A.

Since i do not own measurement hardware, my descriptions will not be "hard facts" though careful and honest observations.

Some stats first:
- Price: 250-320 EUR (got mine for 260 EUR)
- Autonomous powered speakers (each speaker has its own amp and inputs - so there is no "left speaker" and "right speaker" - both speakers are identical and autonomous on their own).
- Impressive off-axis performance (response is okay up to 40 degrees!)
- Mostly flat frequency response
- impressive low end considering their compact size
- more than enough power reserves for mid-field usage.
- robust build quality
- 6,3mm mono TRS input or XLR input per speaker
- no preamp, no volume knob
- can be adapted to be used together with a sub as well as to different room acoustics (three switches for controling low-end rolloff, woofer and tweeter power)
- clipping protection
- matched pairs and individual measurement certificates, partially with handwritten data

For an example picture, check this:
http://www.robertraiken.com/pictures/pcdesk.JPG


First some general background info. Quite a few consider these very similiar to the (150 EUR more expensive) small powered mackie monitors - which in turn are quite legendary. So, are they right? I'd say, almost. With the B2030A's, you get mackies at 40% lower price, with a few minor downsides.

The very first thing i noticed during removing them from the packaging was their weight. For their size, they are quite massively and robustly built. Each of them weights in at aprox. 13kg. Remember: Those are no larger than a 15" widescreen TFT panel in terms of width and height! Upon further inspection, that first impression stayed - everything about them, including as "trivial" stuff as the switches on the back feel robust and well built. You instantly notice that at least in terms of material quality, you've got a winner here (and according to various reports about the B2030P, that holds also true for whats inside them).

Also, they are autonomous. There is no "left" or "right" speaker. Each has its own power and signal input. Its basically two identical speakers. With the right cabling and signal-sources, you could run any number of speaker channels by simply buying more speakers.

Next up: Frequency response. I was quite shocked about their low end - at least in my flat, i actually had to tame the low end to not disturb my neighbours. Dont understand me wrong: The low end isn't exaggerated.... but its not weak either. Those go down to about 60hz without a significant drop in loudness - and a little bit further at reduced response. At this point, i guess its important to remind about two things:

1. Those are speakers at the size of just a 15" widescreen TFT.
2. Claimed frequency ranges are meaningless on their own, unless the response-window is also given. Most speaker manufacturers do not tell you the latter. But without the latter, the given freq-ranges are meaningless, because there is no reference anymore then. I could say, that my B2030A's go down to 30hz.............. at -10db compared to the higher freqs. Get it? The mentioned 60hz of the B2030A's is at similiar level as all the other freqs - they can go lower, just like any other speaker - but response will quickly "rolloff".

And those "true 60hz" are honestly too much for my flat at regular listening volume. As for the tweeters - multiple people reportet in reviews, that they consider them too powerful and that one should run them with the -2dB setting (there's a switch for them on the rear). I wouldn't completely agree with that. The tweeters are very linear and well behaved, except of in the 9-12khz range, where there seems to be a bump of +2dB (which affects me more than others, because i'm oversensitive at that range - so i went for EQing that range to -4dB).

Besides of that EQing in the 9-12khz range, i found no adjustments necessary to get a linear freq response. They basically come flat out of the box, except of that one bump.

Next up: Coverage and raw power.
With studio monitors, you typically get "Spot-Speakers"... stuff which sounds great at one single spot in the room, and ugly elsewhere - similiar to home-threater speakers. Not with the B2030A's. Those sound acceptable at up to 40 degrees away from the center! This means: if you put them at edges of squarisch room, you can actually turn the entire room into one giant "sweet spot"! And they do have the raw power to make that possible even in medium sized rooms. Those can go quite loud.... in 4x4m room in which i have placed them right now, i can only use at max about 40% of their power - and those 40% certainly aren't healthy as regular listening volume.

By the way: being studio monitors, they do not have what you normally expect from powered consumer speakers - namely a volume knob as well as 3,5mm TRS connectors do not exist. Also - and this is something which i do actually miss - no speaker grilles.

That should do for starters - if you have any other questions, just ask.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ASmith
post Sep 4 2008, 05:34
Post #2





Group: Members
Posts: 59
Joined: 23-November 02
Member No.: 3855



studio monitors are the best speakers you can get for your computer.. add a pro audio dac and you'll be in audio heaven smile.gif
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
PHOYO
post Sep 4 2008, 05:41
Post #3





Group: Members
Posts: 128
Joined: 20-May 04
Member No.: 14212



I love my Berhinger B2030A. They were very inexpensive compared to Genelec and the sound is better than average IMO.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
napalmdeth
post Sep 4 2008, 08:31
Post #4





Group: Members
Posts: 24
Joined: 27-July 02
Member No.: 2819



Nice review. Good things have been said about the 2030P's before, and the A's seem to be just as fine. Now if only someone could share their experience with the 2031P and 2031A's.. smile.gif
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
WmAx
post Sep 5 2008, 06:35
Post #5





Group: Members
Posts: 541
Joined: 22-May 04
Member No.: 14243



Is the B2030A silent? I mean the amplifiers of course. Any audible hiss and/or hum at all?

As for the 2kHz peak you claim exists. No such peak exists on the passive version. One of the biggest gripes I do have with the passive version, as opposed to the active version, is that they obviously used a very stiff surround on the passive one to raise the speaker's Fs substantially, thus resulting in a high F3 for the speaker. The active version apparently uses a soft surround, allowing a far lower Fs, and far lower effective cabinet tuning. Perhaps something that was done to act as an incentive to purchase the active version over the passive one?

-Chris
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
ASmith
post Sep 5 2008, 07:51
Post #6





Group: Members
Posts: 59
Joined: 23-November 02
Member No.: 3855



what source are you using and what kind of connection ?
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lyx
post Sep 5 2008, 11:09
Post #7





Group: Members
Posts: 3353
Joined: 6-July 03
From: Sachsen (DE)
Member No.: 7609



QUOTE (WmAx @ Sep 5 2008, 07:35) *
Is the B2030A silent? I mean the amplifiers of course. Any audible hiss and/or hum at all?

No noticable hiss or hum in the middle of the night with no other gear in the flat switched on which could audibly raise the noisefloor. And thats with a connection to an onboard soundcard to a laptop (see further down for the "why"). By the way: the speaker's power-connection is properly grounded, as opposed to typical consumer powered speakers.

QUOTE
As for the 2kHz peak you claim exists. No such peak exists on the passive version. One of the biggest gripes I do have with the passive version, as opposed to the active version, is that they obviously used a very stiff surround on the passive one to raise the speaker's Fs substantially, thus resulting in a high F3 for the speaker. The active version apparently uses a soft surround, allowing a far lower Fs, and far lower effective cabinet tuning. Perhaps something that was done to act as an incentive to purchase the active version over the passive one?

No peak at 2KHz, but one at 9 - 12KHz - the stuff which makes the "SSSssss" of hihats sound more sharp and aggressive than they should be. I could imagine that it wouldn't bother many people and that just i instantly noticed it, because i'm sensitive at that range (after all, with the early vorbis encoders which created a similiar flaw, almost no one else noticed it as well for half a year - only later a low amount of people started to notice it too and the issue was taken seriously). I also wouldn't exclude the possibility that it may be intentionally by design (after all, it does make them seem slightly more "accurate" than natural). In any case, if one does have an EQ ready dedicated only for output, its a non-issue because it doesn't require much adjustment).

I cannot comment about the other points which you made, because honestly i do not understand them (i lack indepth knowledge about speaker-internals). Or do you mean the crossover between woofer and tweeter? That one is at 2KHz in the active version.

QUOTE
what source are you using and what kind of connection ?

Right now, i'm still waiting for an external soundcard to appear on the market which fits my needs. Until that happens, i'm on an onboard laptop soundcard, which coincidentally does not have the typical flaws associated with laptop soundcards (no audible hiss, no strong signal degration). Since that means that i do not have balanced signal sources available, i didn't bother with doing an XLR connection and just used a properly shielded 2 metres Y-Cable from 3,5mm TRS stereo to 2x 6,3mm TRS mono.

- Lyx

This post has been edited by Lyx: Sep 5 2008, 11:09
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
PaJaRo
post Sep 5 2008, 12:29
Post #8





Group: Members
Posts: 101
Joined: 12-June 08
Member No.: 54275



QUOTE (Lyx @ Sep 4 2008, 01:52) *
Also, they are autonomous. There is no "left" or "right" speaker. Each has its own power and signal input. Its basically two identical speakers. With the right cabling and signal-sources, you could run any number of speaker channels by simply buying more speakers.


If you want to connect more than 2 speakers will be good that those speakers has got an output connector moreover the input one, so you can make a chain. Genelec 8020A has got this option and are my choice as active near field monitors (they have got only 4" bass but it's enough for me)

QUOTE (Lyx @ Sep 5 2008, 12:09) *
Right now, i'm still waiting for an external soundcard to appear on the market which fits my needs. Until that happens, i'm on an onboard laptop soundcard, which coincidentally does not have the typical flaws associated with laptop soundcards (no audible hiss, no strong signal degration). Since that means that i do not have balanced signal sources available, i didn't bother with doing an XLR connection and just used a properly shielded 2 metres Y-Cable from 3,5mm TRS stereo to 2x 6,3mm TRS mono.


The problem here is not the balanced output (in my point of view), a bigger problem is that you are using the phone output, aren't you? Phone output its an amplified output, so you are amplifiying 2 times the same signal, first one with a very poor amp sad.gif and sending this "degradated" signal to your active speakers.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lyx
post Sep 5 2008, 12:33
Post #9





Group: Members
Posts: 3353
Joined: 6-July 03
From: Sachsen (DE)
Member No.: 7609



BTW: Possibly useful hint for people who want to use studio monitors for normal music listening, and who - in the flatness of such speakers - miss a subtle sense of "depth".... get a stereofield expander and set it to somewhere around 10% (1.10). There you go: linear sound which still gives you a sense of space and depth.

I'm starting to appreciate the benefits of balanced speakers... you can accurately adapt them to the circumstances however you like.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lyx
post Sep 5 2008, 13:07
Post #10





Group: Members
Posts: 3353
Joined: 6-July 03
From: Sachsen (DE)
Member No.: 7609



QUOTE (PaJaRo @ Sep 5 2008, 13:29) *
The problem here is not the balanced output (in my point of view), a bigger problem is that you are using the phone output, aren't you? Phone output its an amplified output, so you are amplifiying 2 times the same signal, first one with a very poor amp :( and sending this "degradated" signal to your active speakers.

Good point. Didn't think about that aspect.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Mr. Pacman
post Sep 5 2008, 16:56
Post #11





Group: Members
Posts: 159
Joined: 30-March 07
Member No.: 42045



I have the B2031 active, the first that were produced back in 2002 (if i remember well) and i use them for audio production. I have to say that they are very revealing and at their price they have the best features. They are very underrated and everybody in "PRO communities" thinks that they are a "bubble" but i think that anyone who knows about "what he hears" can use them with very good results!
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 27th December 2014 - 06:58