I went to my local Guitar Center the other day with the intention of comparing the M-Audio BX8 D2s, Behringer Truth B3031As and Mackie MR8mk2s. I'm not a serious recording engineer or anything like that, I just wanted a nice set of monitors to listen to music and prefer the flatter sound, capability for high dynamics and the detail you can get at very low volumes so I tend to prefer low end studio monitors (my budget was $800 for a pair, but I wanted to try and spend closer to $500).
Long story short, when I was in the store listening to the MR8s and the BX8s, I noticed the Mackies sounded terrible (the Guitar Center sales guy even said something to the effect of "and there go the highs" when he switched to the Mackies, they almost sounded like they didn't even have tweeters! At the other end of the spectrum, the M-Audios had much more detail in their bass reproduction, the Mackies were just boomy and had that one-note type of bass you hear from really cheap subwoofers.
It's been a week or two since I got home with the BX8 D2s and I decided to do some research online and it seems like the Mackies should have been the better sounding monitors (and they also appear to be much higher quality) so I suspect that the MR8s were intentionally set up to sound worse than the M-Audios (do they make more profit on M-Audio?) Does this sound possible to you guys? I'm probably going to take the BX8s back and give the Mackies another listen (I'm going to check the rear panel to make sure they don't have the HF cut or something).
I think among those options it's a pretty subjective measure. I've heard better things about that particular model of Mackies, I didn't really like the Mackies I heard during my own comparisons (not that model).
I think it's important that you bring in your own music and take some time (an hour +) listening. Try to get the salesman out of the room and just decide what sounds best to you. Can't go wrong!
Note that used, for $800, you could get some pretty nice monitors.
No the mackie has the higher profit margin. I used to work at GC, we tried hard to turn people away from Mackies because they had an extremely high return rate and broke a lot. Never heard of someone going so far to stop a mackie sale though.
I went to my local guitar center to demo some monitors. When I asked the employee to demo them he started complaining that they weren't all hooked up right and tried to talk me out of listening to them just so he didn't have to work....
I eventually got that lazy ass to get up and hook up the monitors, but he only hooked up ONE channel and refused to connect the left.
The Yamaha HS80's and Tannoy 601's had damaged tweeters and sounded just awful.