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Equator D5 - Is there anything better?
Old 9th April 2012
  #1
Equator D5 - Is there anything better?

So for a price/utility ratio, is there anything better than the D5? I'm working on a large (but budget, don't really want to go too far over $1000) upgrade for my system. They're $300, and I've heard nothing bad about them. Right now I'm working with just ATH M50's, but I should be moving into a treated space is the next couple months, so I think it's time to get a pair of monitors. I've been drooling over VXT6's for a while, and while I could afford them, that money is needed elsewhere. I feel like for the price, if they're the functional equivalent of a VXT 6, HS80m or used NS10's then I would get them instead of something like a Makie MR5 mkII. I know there are a lot of posts on monitoring, but it's also a huge subject and an important one with a lot of intricacies. So if anyone has had problems with the D5's or a better suggestion for the $300-400 price range, I'm all ears.
Old 10th April 2012
  #2
Check out the prodipe pro ribbon 8's...better than the HS50M's by quite a bit
Old 10th April 2012
  #3
I've heard that ribbon tweeters can be deceptively pleasant (aka, poor translation)? That's not substantiated by personal experience, just something I've heard. Also, not that it's a big deal, but I read as many threads on monitors in this range as I could, and I never heard a Prodipe anything recommended before? Can you at least qualify "better... by quite a bit?" I really don't want the HS series, aside from aesthetics, I've heard terrible things about build quality and RF interference. Once again, total heresay, but there's no way for me to test a D5 in person, so I'm looking to GS to say yay or nay? Anybody have good or bad experiences with the D5, or have substantiated reasons to pick on monitor in the $ range over another? Any monitors that I definately should not buy? Anybody?
Old 10th April 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockstarWizkidd View Post
I've heard that ribbon tweeters can be deceptively pleasant (aka, poor translation)? That's not substantiated by personal experience, just something I've heard. Also, not that it's a big deal, but I read as many threads on monitors in this range as I could, and I never heard a Prodipe anything recommended before? Can you at least qualify "better... by quite a bit?" I really don't want the HS series, aside from aesthetics, I've heard terrible things about build quality and RF interference. Once again, total heresay, but there's no way for me to test a D5 in person, so I'm looking to GS to say yay or nay? Anybody have good or bad experiences with the D5, or have substantiated reasons to pick on monitor in the $ range over another? Any monitors that I definately should not buy? Anybody?
I think you will have a hard time finding another pair of monitors for $300 that are as balanced. If you have a $1000, you should consider several others... look at the DynAudios... fantastic monitors and if you`re room is balanced, they are good enough for MEs so...

Whatever the case, the D5s deserve a listen as well. For $300, they`re a steal.
Old 10th April 2012
  #5
I have seen the D5's, but never heard them in action so I cant comment. As for info on the prodipe monitors there is a large thread here and a couple of review in the review section. I have a review written in thr thread and then copied to the review section.


Prodipe Pro 8 Ribbon

Prodipe Pro 8 Studio Monitors? any owners?
Old 10th April 2012
  #6
Quote:
I think you will have a hard time finding another pair of monitors for $300 that are as balanced. If you have a $1000, you should consider several others... look at the DynAudios... fantastic monitors and if you`re room is balanced, they are good enough for MEs so...

Whatever the case, the D5s deserve a listen as well. For $300, they`re a steal
I'm going to actually have $2500, to put this in perspective. For the first time in years, I'm actually going to have some time to play with audio equipment, and I'm moving in with my drummer (and a mutual friend who's a remarkably good sport he says "no drumming after 3:00 am", lol) I decided it's time to sack up and invest in music a bit.
So actually replacing my broken interface(new one is a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40), and currently working on mics (two SDC's, and the DMK 57-52 pack) all that comes roughly a grand. That's also my budget. So whatever I spend on this is technically over budget. I've never not mixed on headphones and it's been a while since I've mixed more than 2-3 tracks. I need a good baseline set of monitors. The D5's marketing plan of cutting out the middle man is a good sales pitch and probably does improve the available quality vs price. However, even for $50 more the Prodipes might be more what I'm looking for? They certainly scored higher on GS reviews. (96% mean score as opposed to 92% mean score. More telling is the mode, 98% on the prodipes, and 88% on the D5's) Since both of these are less popular and less hyped products, I'm having trouble finding a ton of literature. Anyone tried both? The prodipes appear the winner without a personal shootout of them.
Old 10th April 2012
  #7
Quote:
I think you will have a hard time finding another pair of monitors for $300 that are as balanced. If you have a $1000, you should consider several others... look at the DynAudios... fantastic monitors and if you`re room is balanced, they are good enough for MEs so...

Whatever the case, the D5s deserve a listen as well. For $300, they`re a steal
I'm going to actually have $2500, to put this in perspective. For the first time in years, I'm actually going to have some time to play with audio equipment, and I'm moving in with my drummer (and a mutual friend who's a remarkably good sport he says "no drumming after 3:00 am", lol) I decided it's time to sack up and invest in music a bit.
So actually replacing my broken interface(new one is a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40), and currently working on mics (two SDC's, and the DMK 57-52 pack) all that comes roughly a grand. That's also my budget. So whatever I spend on this is technically over budget. I've never not mixed on headphones and it's been a while since I've mixed more than 2-3 tracks. I need a good baseline set of monitors. The D5's marketing plan of cutting out the middle man is a good sales pitch and probably does improve the available quality vs price. However, even for $50 more the Prodipes might be more what I'm looking for? They certainly scored higher on GS reviews. (96% mean score as opposed to 92% mean score. More telling is the mode, 98% on the prodipes, and 88% on the D5's) I also just noticed Bater recommended them over his own gear. What a truly wonderful person! Sometimes people insist that they have the best equipment regardless of what it is. (... like insisting that a $10 mic sounds as good as my KEL HM7U... so then... I just really enjoy spending money?? lol) Since both of these are less popular and less hyped products, I'm having trouble finding a ton of literature. Anyone tried both? The prodipes appear the winner without a personal shootout of them. Thanks GS.
Old 12th April 2012
  #8
Is there anything better that the D5?

Of course.

Is there anything better for anything close to the price?

No. Not even. In fact I'm getting better results with my D5s than I am with my Q8s, which is a bit disconcerting.
Old 12th April 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Is there anything better that the D5?

Of course.

Is there anything better for anything close to the price?

No. Not even. In fact I'm getting better results with my D5s than I am with my Q8s, which is a bit disconcerting.
Haha! The Q8 are worth like 10x more, that's kind of funny. You think that might be due to your room or something?

Anyways, the reviews I've read like the one in Mix magazine really got my attention. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get a set of those.

Cheers.
Old 12th April 2012
  #10
Well, I guess right now it's a tossup between Prodipe and D5. The prodipe is 8 inches, so it probably has better bass? And I don't know if it's just vogue right now, but people seem to be into the ribbon tweeter? Nothing but good things about the D5, huh? Lol, not wishing for them to be bad, I just think that it's more telling to ask people about problems they've had than if they think the gear they own is awesome. We all like our own gear, lol.
Old 12th April 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockstarWizkidd View Post
Well, I guess right now it's a tossup between Prodipe and D5. The prodipe is 8 inches, so it probably has better bass? And I don't know if it's just vogue right now, but people seem to be into the ribbon tweeter? Nothing but good things about the D5, huh? Lol, not wishing for them to be bad, I just think that it's more telling to ask people about problems they've had than if they think the gear they own is awesome. We all like our own gear, lol.
I agree, most people love the gear they own. I purchased the D5s back in mid December and after two weeks I had no interest in returning them back to Equator. Is there anything wrong with them? Nothing that I am aware of. They were very bright when I first got them but they settled after 3-4 days. I do not mix loudly so their lack of volume does not bother me. I can tell you this as well, I`m coming from working with Mackie HR824s since 1998 and I never put them back on after the D5s were plugged in. The Mackies are sitting in the corner, being prepped for eBay.

Comparing the two, the Mackies were a lot louder and as much as I was always impressed with the low end on the 824s, I never felt the bottom end of my mixes ever sounded the way I wanted it to, I always had to use headphones and do several tweaks. With the D5s, I`m nailing the bass the first time. Its really nice to trust a pair of monitors. The stereo imaging is also clearer and transients are heard a lot clearer as well. For some reason, the 824s almost sound muddy to me now.

My advice with any gear purchase is the same, try several pieces and see what works for you. Don`t let price or other peoples opinions sway your first impressions. And when it comes to monitors, they all deserve several days to settle.
Old 12th April 2012
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
dfahb44's Avatar
 

D5 user here. Doesn't even compare to any other monitors for the sub 500$ price. I've read stuff about guys preffering them over their Adam A7's and Yamaha HS80's. They've upped their warranty policy too.



GET THEM.


I can only imagine how much more amazing they will be after I do some room treatment.
Old 12th April 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
foldback's Avatar
The D5 are just incredible, I would get them before they go up in price.

The total lack of phase smear is a treat. Yes they do not go as low as my Meyer HD-1 but the transparent sound of the D5 is just not available anywhere else for less than $3k IMHO.

Just get them. Add a sub if you want more bottom. I just ordered a second pair. Get them before they raise the price, they're easily worth two to three times the price.

Good music to you!
Old 26th September 2012
  #14
Gear Nut
I generally like dome tweeters. I have not heard a ribbon tweeter having the power dynamic range of a good dome but it has been a while. I have not heard the current ribbon tweeters in monitors. My question about ribbon tweeters is how long do they last?. I heard some full range floor ribbon speakers that the ribbon may need to be replaced after a few years. Maybe someone will chime in on how is the longevity of the ribbon tweeters in monitors.
Old 26th September 2012
  #15
Gear Nut
The Bag End M6 might be better but at 3x the price.
Old 26th September 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 

I just bought the Equator D5's and I am loving them. The clarity is comparable to the M50's clarity. I own the Audio Technicas as they translate great to other speakers and the D5's do the same. The translation is great, the coaxial makes phasing no issue. The stereo imaging actually scared me in the beginning. I set them up and listened to them and it felt like the music was coming from the dead center, not from either speaker unless I got closer.

I have them on 12" stands for my desk with resistor pads and they compare to ~$700 monitors. The only downside I have to say is that there's this annoying blue light in the front that I plan on just taping over. Amazing speakers though, the clarity is better than my A7xs. They're also designed so that you can adjust the speakers to your room position and can sound great even if it's close to a wall.
Old 26th September 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
RE D5's I bought mine at Christmas and then started packing up the house to move. We did, but not til May and I am just getting use to my D5's. I came from HR824's, JBL 4311's and Yorkville YSM-1 (passive)(also had Minimus7's). At that price I decided I could have 2 pair of monitors. I still have the Yorkvilles, too, though I am targetting JBL LSR2328p or perhaps the HR824 MKII. Mine will have to be close to the wall as it is a small room ( until I put up a barn for my wife and my studios). So, I've been considering Event ASP6's and the DynAudio BM5a MK2, but have not heard them. yet.
I went with the Mackie after being at a Sam Ash in Burbank Illinois where I got to hear a dozen plus similar sized( and kind of similarly priced) monitors. They sounded the most balanced and natural to me.
The Equator's were an intuitive experiment that I am pleased with.
Old 29th September 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 

After breaking them in a bit more, the bass got much better and the highs stopped being harsh (not that they were too harsh but overly crisp).

These are seriously some of the most amazing monitors I've heard. The clarity is something you wouldn't even find in some +$1k monitors.
Old 29th September 2012
  #19
Lives for gear
They are awesome according to Tape Op. But I wish they made a 6 inch driver version for better low end.
Old 29th September 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Tubthumper's Avatar
 

I had a pair delivered about a month ago, and I'd say they're pretty much burned in. *Very* happy with these monitors. Surprising amount of bottom end from such a small enclosure. Great detail and clarity, plenty loud enough for me.

Old 29th September 2012
  #21
Gear Addict
 
machoboy's Avatar
 

I'm close to buying a pair of D5s just to see what the big deal is. I have a strange mismatched collection of old monitors but I mix mostly on my K 702 headphones lately. Tempting...
Old 29th September 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Tubthumper's Avatar
 

I think Equator offer a money back guarantee.
Old 29th September 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
Yup, you can return them after trying them out. There are the D5's and then it's the Q series in 8"($1000pr), 10", 12" and 15". I have read reviews that state you can hear DSP noise on them (the Q series), but have not heard them. Mine are quiet (D5's).
I called Equator Audio to order during the Christmas break and had a good time talking with Ted Keffalo the owner, who answered the phone and when my order got scrambled Marty the sales dept. head also called and emailed me to get it straightened out quickly. I liked how enthused they both were about their products and customers. I have no links to them, if you wonder about that, just this one. LOL
Equator Audio Studio Monitors
Monitors are probably the most debated subject in recording! I seem to remember someone -a mentor type engineer, telling me to spend a third of my budget on monitors, when I was putting an 8 track (Tascam 80-8) studio together in the 80's. These D5's seem a bargain to me, and if you don't like them you get to return 'em! I would love to buy a set of Opals or Barefoots and will move these over to make room, when I do!
Old 7th November 2012
  #24
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
The D5 are just incredible, I would get them before they go up in price.

The total lack of phase smear is a treat. Yes they do not go as low as my Meyer HD-1 but the transparent sound of the D5 is just not available anywhere else for less than $3k IMHO.

Just get them. Add a sub if you want more bottom. I just ordered a second pair. Get them before they raise the price, they're easily worth two to three times the price.

Good music to you!
Thats it, my MSP5's are going to hit the road I'm getting this baby
Old 8th November 2012
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

I switch to Q8 over my MSP7. I need that bottom end. Orelse I don't mind D5.
Old 19th December 2012
  #26
Here for the gear
I have compared the D5s to my Mackie HR624Mkiis and Mackie MR5s. I use the 624s in the living room as hifi speakers and midfield mixing and the MR5s in my little studio as monitors. I replaced each pair of Mackies with the D5s and listened to some of my mixes. Here are my impressions-

In the living room setup, compared to the 624s, the D5s have a slight midrange coloration, less dynamic range, less treble detail, and less bass. The 624s have a bigger "soundstage" but the D5s are slightly more solid at the center image.

In the nearfield environment, compared to the MR5s, the D5s are slightly smoother top to bottom and have a slightly smaller but clearer stereo image.

So, I'd recommend the Mackies HR624mkiis for mid-field or hifi over the D5s (I got the 624s on ebay for 550 bucks) and the D5s over the MR5s for nearfields.

What was interesting was how similar the overall balance of all the speakers was - this goes to show how accurate today's monitors are in all the price ranges.
Old 21st January 2013
  #27
Here for the gear
 

I got mine today. Haven't burned them in yet... but...

THEY RULE.

I did a test mix with them and they translate very well!

I use them at home in not optimal conditions and they work perfectly.

For that price. There is nothing else.

If you are looking for a budget monitors to your homestudio or basement, give the D5 a try. You can send them back if you don't like them.

No "white noise" or "farting" problems with my pair.
Old 21st January 2013
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Absolutely loving my D5s over here. No one in Melbourne had a pair I could listen to so I took a punt and ordered them. They only took 8 business days to arrive and they arrived safely. All the engineers at the theatre I work at fell in love with them and were very surprised at the price.
I'm about 5 days in with the D5s and am quite impressed with them. The amount of low end these little boxes can put out is very impressive, stereo image is great, more than enough volume and thankfully I have not encountered the noise issues some have had earlier.

Thank you again Equator!
Old 21st January 2013
  #29
Gear Head
 
Cloudwalker's Avatar
 

Yup, loving my D5s.
I've used krks in the past, and ended up selling them after getting the Equators.

Very analytic and unforgiving on bad mixes.

I've gone back and listened to some of my all-time favorite albums on them and realized they are actually pretty poorly mixed.
Old 25th January 2013
  #30
Yes, I like them very much. For the price it's a no-brainer.
Got a carrying bag as well :-) very portable when In need of familiar reference monitors when on location.
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