I have an opportunity to get a pair of one of the following lightly used:
M-Audio BX5a Deluxe
M-Audio BX8 D2
One of the BX8's already died. It was replaced with a brand new one 6 months ago and has worked fine since. So the pair I'd be getting would be fine, but I'm not entirely sold on the quality/reliability after that experience.
This would be for mixing primarily post-production and some music. Which is the most accurate? Which sounds the best? Best low-end?
This is going to be my "until I can afford better" pair, so please don't recommend anything else unless it's under $150.
I had the BX5as, but none of the others. The Bx5as were ok, but always had, to my ears, a blurry and indistinct bass, kind of hyped. I replaced them with a pair of equator D5s, which are several orders of magnitude better. They were significantly less precise and has a LOT less midrange detail. But they were inexpensive and served me reasonably well as long as I had some headphones to compare them too
I just did a side-by-side listening test to all three, and here are my impressions.
BX8 D2 - this is the best 'sounding' speaker. It has the best low-frequency response of the three, and the low-end even seems pretty tight. That said, it doesn't seem like a flat response. The high-mids seem pushed pretty hard. That's the most noticeable thing about this pair - the really hot high-mids. This, coupled with its low response gives the impression of being a crisp, loud speaker. It seems to be missing a little mid. This probably explains the low-end punch. The high-end is probably pretty accurate if you can get past those crunchy high-mids. I really had fun listening to this speaker cranked, but probably won't do much work on it.
MR5mk2 - despite the small size of the cone, it has a miraculously punchy low frequency response. Aaaalmost as good low-end as the BX8, but without a cone of that size, it can't quite get there. Overall, it also seems to be a much flatter, more accurate response. The sound is somehow 'smoother' than the DX8, too. I liked this speaker the best for my purposes, and will probably go with this one.
BX5a Deluxe - definitely the worst in a side-by-side comparison. It seems to suffer from the same high-mid and low boost as the BX8, but it also is missing low-end response, making it just sound empty and weird.