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-   -   Event Opal vs Unity The Rock vs Pelonis 4288 (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/752948-event-opal-vs-unity-rock-vs-pelonis-4288-a.html)

LesC 9th August 2012 03:57 AM

Event Opal vs Unity The Rock vs Pelonis 4288
 
I'm hoping to buy a new pair of monitors before I'm back in school in September. This is my first thread, and I apologize for yet another speaker comparison, but I can't seem to find significant characterizations of the differences between these speakers. I've narrowed my decision down to these, and I was hoping I might get some responses by slutz that have actually compared at least two of these head-to-head.

You may well ask why I don't try out these monitors in my own studio. My room is small, 12 x 16 x 8 (H) small, and I'm willing to do whatever room treatment will be required. I'll be talking with GIK and RealTraps about that. Unfortunately, I can't listen to any of these monitors without traveling hundreds of miles, and they are in three different locations, with no chance of head-to-head comparisons. Plus shipping charges and 20% restocking fees are prohibitive.

I'm looking to improve my monitoring in a way that will help improve my mixing and mastering abilities, and I have a LOT of room for improvement! My preference is hard rock/heavy metal, I'm primarily a guitarist, but I've recorded classical, country, hip-hop, blues, you name it, with about 80 singer/songwriters.

After weeks of digesting reviews, largely from gearslutz, I have narrowed my choices down to four. The Event Opal, Unity The Rock, and Pelonis 4288 are identically priced in Canada, around $2800. I would also like to include the Pelonis 42/42lf combination ($2200), if anybody has compared this monitor/sub combo to the 4288 or any of the others.

Thank you all for this great forum, and I'm looking forward to your responses!

psycho_monkey 9th August 2012 04:22 AM

I can't offer any comparison opinions, but I felt the rocks were really accurate monitors - some of the best I've enjoyed using.

Your room will be the limiting factor I should think - small rooms simply can't fit enough bass trapping in!

George Necola 9th August 2012 04:43 AM

the rocks have been good to me. :)

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Enlightened Hand 9th August 2012 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LesC (Post 8147520)
...You may well ask why I don't try out these monitors in my own studio. My room is small, 12 x 16 x 8 (H) small, and I'm willing to do whatever room treatment will be required. I'll be talking with GIK and RealTraps about that...

That is the most important step.

Honestly, it doesn't matter which you pick. In a great room they'll all work just fine. It will come down to your personal preference. Asking someone else is like asking someone else to test drive a car that you're interested in. Ultimately their opinion doesn't matter. But your room does matter, more than which brand name is on the box of your speakers.

If you want honest opinions, and not mostly unqualified user anecdotes and the ubiquitous BS then the types of folks that most likely give those are those that review gear as an occupation. A professional user gets what they personally like/want and is very unlikely to seriously do "head to head" types of comparisons.

You might try checking over at SOS forums. Hugh Robjohns reviews stuff like this all the time and despite what people might conjecture about SOS, I have found, through my use of gear they happened to have reviewed, that they don't typically stray far from honest, real world experience based opinions about gear they've covered.

sergioelectro 9th August 2012 09:17 PM

The opals here seem to receive a lot of positive feedback an appear to be a very accurate monitor with the advantage of going very low in frequency ( no need for a sub!)

Sergio

LesC 10th August 2012 01:59 AM

Enlightened Hand, unfortunately I haven't found any professional reviews of the Rock Mark II or the 4288 or the 42/42lf combination. But even if there were, I certainly don't think they lie, but I would say the reviewers "accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative". Because of this, the few times I've had private discussions with professional reviewers, what they actually think about a product is very different from what they write. I realize they're just doing their jobs and their advertising would disappear if they started giving completely honest reviews and comparisons of products.

I like SOS, and I like reading the Hugh Robjohns reviews, but sometimes in the list of alternatives, it gets quite ridiculous. For example, in the Munro Eggs review, Hugh stated: "I’ve not come across any other egg-shaped speakers, although the current Genelec range does go quite some way in a similar direction. I can’t think of any other active monitors in this market sector that include a basic monitor controller either." I think most people would want a comparison of monitor performance, regardless of the shape. Maybe that's just me.

LesC 10th August 2012 02:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sergioelectro (Post 8149527)
The opals here seem to receive a lot of positive feedback an appear to be a very accurate monitor with the advantage of going very low in frequency ( no need for a sub!)

Sergio, I believe the Opals go down to 35Hz at -3db, the Rocks go down to 33Hz at -3db, so the Rocks shouldn't need a sub either.

In May, SOS had an "Active Nearfield Monitors Spotlight", where they summarized their highly rated models of the last few years. Included in the list of 10 monitors was the Rock, with no trace of the Opal. Reading between the lines, I might conclude that the Rocks are rated higher in their price range, though I'm not sure if that was the intent.

Andy_bt 10th August 2012 04:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psycho_monkey (Post 8147579)
I can't offer any comparison opinions, but I felt the rocks were really accurate monitors - some of the best I've enjoyed using.

Your room will be the limiting factor I should think - small rooms simply can't fit enough bass trapping in!

Hi, did you listen to Mk1 or Mk2?
I'd be interested on some feedback about the lows of the new version. Being a closed design reaching 35-40Hz seems quite a good perf.
A.

Fleaman 10th August 2012 04:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LesC (Post 8150313)
In May, SOS had an "Active Nearfield Monitors Spotlight", where they summarized their highly rated models of the last few years. Included in the list of 10 monitors was the Rock, with no trace of the Opal. Reading between the lines, I might conclude that the Rocks are rated higher in their price range, though I'm not sure if that was the intent.

SOS, Hugh Robjohns review of the PSI, he mentions 'Opals', but not 'the Rock' in his so called list of top monitors---and yes, Hugh Robjohns did review 'The Rock's' one year prior to this statement>

"Reviewing monitor loudspeakers is always a challenge. The technology involved in the vast majority of cases is very mature and with few significant variations. Consequently, the vast majority of monitors perform adequately and comparably to their peers at any given price level. Very few are unusably poor, but equally, very few stand out as exceptionally good. In fact, I can count those models I have reviewed that I would suggest fall into the ‘outstanding’ category on the fingers of one hand. My list would include PMC’s AML1 (September 2001), Earthworks’ Sigma 6.2 (April 2003), and K+H’s O300 (October 2004), with honourable mentions going to Acoustic Energy’s AE22 (May 2008) and, although I didn’t review it, Event’s Opal (August 2009).

However, the time has now come to introduce my second hand to the count, because I have to add a new contender for the honour: PSI Audio’s A21M monitor (and the A17M too). In short, these speakers are extraordinary and deliver a level of performance and accuracy that vanishingly few two?way designs can match, and which would shame a great many three?way offerings. There is no denying that they are expensive, but the cost is comparable to the few other monitors of similar performance and size. Auditioning is highly recommended for serious high?end monitoring applications. "
--Hugh Robjohns


What does that mean? Well, not much to me, but I'd thought to add the counter point for balance.

LesC 10th August 2012 04:57 AM

Yes, I found it interesting that Hugh puts Opals in his list of top monitors, though he didn't review them. I respect him, so I think he probably has listened to them, but it's possible he's just going on hearsay from other reviewers that he trusts.

The Rock Mark II has recently come out, so it has not been reviewed by SOS or Future Music or anybody else that I can find.

Having said that, the excellent reviews of the Opal and the original Rock, coupled with almost identical specs of the current monitors but one ported and one not, are the main reason I want to compare them. I'm just in the process of trying to do that, hopefully within the next week or two, in a studio owned by a store that carries one of them.

I have no doubts that the Opals and the Rocks are both great speakers, and I'm hoping that whichever one I like better in the studio will work in my small room. If not, then I'll just go with the Pelonis 42/42lf, which should be easier to place.

In the meantime, I was hoping that there might be some slutz that have already done this comparison, and I would value their opinion.

Fleaman 10th August 2012 07:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LesC (Post 8150640)
Yes, I found it interesting that Hugh puts Opals in his list of top monitors, though he didn't review them. I respect him, so I think he probably has listened to them, but it's possible he's just going on hearsay from other reviewers that he trusts.

I doubt very much that he would mention them to be in his top/honorable mention list w/o listening to them. Think he was just clarifying that he didn't review them for SOS.

But hey, could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time!

LesC 10th August 2012 09:08 AM

Fleaman, I think you're right, but I wish he would have clarified the statement, something like "I didn't review the Opals for SOS, but I've listened to them enough to place them among my top monitor recommendations."

psycho_monkey 10th August 2012 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy_bt (Post 8150545)
Hi, did you listen to Mk1 or Mk2?
I'd be interested on some feedback about the lows of the new version. Being a closed design reaching 35-40Hz seems quite a good perf.
A.

I'm guessing the mk1, they were in place fairly soon after they arrived in the uk.

warhead 10th August 2012 07:45 PM

The PSI Audio monitor range mentioned in the SOS review above is very much deserving of attention, we have both models mentioned here and without going into detail just yet I would suggest you all read their technology claims on their website and then know that we can confirm they all add up sonically to being what PSI claims as a result. They don't make claims via hype or marketing (they are such a good marketing company they've never had dealer presence in the USA until now...in other words these guys are all quality and technology driven, and do not think in terms of marketing!).

Very exciting stuff and we are blown away. Our friends in Europe have known something for a very long time we are just discovering about monitor possibilities.

More soon, but yes I would add them to a list of speakers that must be heard in this price range.

War yingyang

(on a side note, the Unity Rocks are here and while they are MK1 demo's we are waiting on the parts to arrive so we can upgrade them to MK2 before forming an opinion on that end result!)

Andy_bt 10th August 2012 08:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psycho_monkey (Post 8151303)
I'm guessing the mk1, they were in place fairly soon after they arrived in the uk.

Thanks

Quote:

Originally Posted by warhead (Post 8152253)
(on a side note, the Unity Rocks are here and while they are MK1 demo's we are waiting on the parts to arrive so we can upgrade them to MK2 before forming an opinion on that end result!)

Looking forward to it!
A.

LesC 10th August 2012 11:10 PM

Warren, I was hoping you'd give me your take on this, you sell almost every brand I'm interested in, and I know you only sell brands that you believe in.

Unfortunately, the only PSI model that's in this price range is the A17-M, and it only goes down to 50Hz at -2.5db. I'm assuming that I'd need a sub with it, so that puts it out of my current price range, though people I trust (including you) feel that they are wonderful monitors. Same thing with the Neumann KH120A and the Focal Solo6, the addition of a matching high-quality sub would be prohibitive.

As I've been thinking about this since starting this thread, I'm beginning to feel that psycho_monkey was right, the size of my room will be the limiting factor. I may not be able to do enough treatment (WAF is involved) to stop these speakers from overwhelming my room, though I've had fair success with subwoofers because of the placement flexibility. So I might have to go to something smaller, with a sub.

Warren, given the similar prices of the Pelonis 42/42lf and the Sonodyne SM100AK/SLF210v2, have you had a chance to compare them? You sell them both, would you be able to describe in which situations each would shine?

LesC 16th August 2012 05:04 AM

The Rock Mark II
 
An update, though there doesn't seem to be much interest in this thread.

I decided to try The Rocks Mark II, so I spent the day with them in my studio, the first ones in Canada. I did as much testing as I could. I'm in a small (12 x 16 x 8 foot) room, untreated as yet, so I was worried that the low end (-3db at 33Hz) might be overwhelmingly boomy. As it turned out, nothing to worry about, the sound was beautiful across the spectrum. I didn't get much below 40Hz, presumably because of my room, but I will be looking at optimizing monitor placement and room treatment over the next little while. I've just received my calibrated Galaxy CM-140 sound level meter for use with REW, and I have the 1K ARC version 2. But, I guess because it's a sealed cabinet, the Rocks sound great in my untreated room.

One of the highlights of the Rocks was directly contrary to the Sound On Sound findings, though they reviewed the original Rocks. The stereo imaging was spectacular, even with two sets of monitors between them. Once I optimize their placement, imaging should be even better. And I certainly didn't hear any unpleasant brightness that was mentioned in another thread. I just heard detail throughout all frequency ranges that should make mixing a pleasure, though I didn't have a chance to try that today.

Long story short, my Rocks will be arriving on Friday, the second set in Canada. Anybody want to buy a pair of Tannoy System 800's with a Hafler TransNova amp?

superwack 16th August 2012 06:30 AM

I'm actually super interested in this thread and these monitors so thanks for the update! Let us (me?) know how you are progressing with them as you get then set up with REW, etc.

LesC 8th September 2012 07:00 AM

This is from my post in another thread:

"I just wanted to write a bit of an update. I got my Rock Mk 2's a couple of weeks ago. The service from Upper Westside Sound was incredible! Ian Smith actually brought me a demo pair, all the way from Montreal, and let me do as much testing as I wanted. I liked them, so I ordered a pair. Two days later, he brought me a brand new pair, all the way from Montreal again. Wow, I can't overemphasize the high quality of service from Upper Westside, and what a pleasure it was to deal with Ian.

As for the monitors themselves, the difference compared to my previous main monitors is dramatic. My previous monitors, which I will probably sell, are Tannoy System 800's with a rack-mount Hafler TransNova amp. The Rock's simply sound more alive, more present, there is more bass. The stereo imaging is amazing to me.

The surprising thing to me was that even in my small untreated room, which I do plan to treat, the Rocks's bass extension presents no problems. Playing one of my bass guitars through it, I could hear the fundamental tone of the low E at an apparent volume which matched any higher tones from my guitars. I realize that's only around 40 Hz, so I ran some test tones down to about 30 Hz, and the apparent volume declined rapidly.

I'm going to use REW and a calibrated SPL meter to help determine what treatment I need to get the most out of the Rocks. Unfortunately, I haven't had much chance to play with them or try much mixing, because of preparations for the new school semester that just started. As I get more time, I'll report back with any additional findings.

Thank you to Unity Audio, Upper Westside Sound, and Ian Smith!"

LesC 8th September 2012 07:07 AM

As I mentioned, I've only compared the Rock Mk2's to my old Tannoy System 800's. I would still love to compare them to Opals, 4288's, 42/42lf, and other mid-to-high end monitors.

If any of you are in the Toronto area and would like to do a comparison, please pm me and hopefully we can figure out an arrangement that would suit both of us.

ToneRexx 18th September 2012 03:57 PM

I checked very well the PSI A17 GREAT monitors, just they lack bottom (well are small speakers) they deliver a huge sound amazing stereo image, the center is just there, the only concern I have is that they are a bit dark (and I am not a fan of very bright monitors).

The Pelonis 4288 have great Low end, no need for a sub, the center is poor , hard to difference clearly the center from the sides and they lack low mids...funny crossover nastiness regardless what some gear manufacturer in GS say.

So what is the difference between the Rock and the Rock MKII?

How clear the center is?

are very bright?

ChrisDaniels 18th September 2012 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lesc (Post 8150292)
enlightened hand, unfortunately i haven't found any professional reviews of the rock mark ii or the 4288 or the 42/42lf combination. But even if there were, i certainly don't think they lie, but i would say the reviewers "accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative". Because of this, the few times i've had private discussions with professional reviewers, what they actually think about a product is very different from what they write. I realize they're just doing their jobs and their advertising would disappear if they started giving completely honest reviews and comparisons of products.

amen my friend!!!

LesC 19th September 2012 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ToneRexx (Post 8273398)
I checked very well the PSI A17 GREAT monitors, just they lack bottom (well are small speakers) they deliver a huge sound amazing stereo image, the center is just there, the only concern I have is that they are a bit dark (and I am not a fan of very bright monitors).

The Pelonis 4288 have great Low end, no need for a sub, the center is poor hard to difference clearly the center from the sides and they lack low mids...funny crossover nastiness regardless what some gear manufacturer in GS say.

So what is the difference between the Rock and the Rock MKII?

How clear the center is?

are very bright?

ToneRexx, here is the info about the Rock MkII update: THE ROCK | Unity Audio |

In short, "The Rock now has a bass response of 33Hz at the -3dB point instead of 50Hz".

To my ears, the centre is clear, the imaging is excellent, and I don't find it very bright except when the source material calls for it.

I haven't been able to do as much with it as I'd hoped, because one of my UPS's decided to blow up (just before I got the Rocks), and took out my motherboard, PC power supply, and all disk drives (including my backups which happened to be attached at the time). So I'm just about finished getting back to where I was, though most of my music is gone forever.

ToneRexx 19th September 2012 04:42 AM

wow "The Rock" low end must be as good as the one in the Pelonis!

George Necola 8th October 2012 02:55 PM

the one thing that worries me the most with the rocks is, that the sound collapses at low volumes. I did some more testing and the lower mids are not acceptable. still the midrange is good, the imaging good. high distortion at high volumes like with ADAMs, but I like that.

I am on PSI25 now.. so everything I say, take it with a grain of "PSI"-salt.

cheers
George

Quote:

Originally Posted by LesC (Post 8274837)
ToneRexx, here is the info about the Rock MkII update: THE ROCK | Unity Audio |

In short, "The Rock now has a bass response of 33Hz at the -3dB point instead of 50Hz".

To my ears, the centre is clear, the imaging is excellent, and I don't find it very bright except when the source material calls for it.

I haven't been able to do as much with it as I'd hoped, because one of my UPS's decided to blow up (just before I got the Rocks), and took out my motherboard, PC power supply, and all disk drives (including my backups which happened to be attached at the time). So I'm just about finished getting back to where I was, though most of my music is gone forever.


Kevlar 10th October 2012 06:44 PM

Rock mk ii mod
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by George Necola (Post 8337120)
the one thing that worries me the most with the rocks is, that the sound collapses at low volumes. I did some more testing and the lower mids are not acceptable. still the midrange is good, the imaging good. high distortion at high volumes like with ADAMs, but I like that.

I am on PSI25 now.. so everything I say, take it with a grain of "PSI"-salt.

cheers
George


Hi George,
I'm really surprised that you're finding that with the lower mids at low volume. I honestly haven't heard anyone say this and I personally don't find this either and I often like working on them at super low levels. It's great that you like lots of the other Rock attributes though!

Just to mention there is a MK II Audio Media review up on the web site as some other GS readers were asking about MK II reviews, here's the link.

http://unityaudioproducts.co.uk/docs...audiomedia.pdf

Also the Future Music Mk II review is out this month and Hugh at SOS will be revisiting them very soon too.

George Necola 11th October 2012 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kevlar (Post 8343737)
Hi George,
I'm really surprised that you're finding that with the lower mids at low volume. I honestly haven't heard anyone say this and I personally don't find this either and I often like working on them at super low levels. It's great that you like lots of the other Rock attributes though!

Just to mention there is a MK II Audio Media review up on the web site as some other GS readers were asking about MK II reviews, here's the link.

http://unityaudioproducts.co.uk/docs...audiomedia.pdf

Also the Future Music Mk II review is out this month and Hugh at SOS will be revisiting them very soon too.

hi Kevin, as usual it can be the placement, to direct comparison to a speaker I know better or the source material.

cheers & hope you are doing well!

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Kevlar 22nd October 2012 08:09 PM

Unity audio-avalanche sub-woofer
 
News about the Unity Audio Avalanche sub-woofer at this location!!

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-p...ub-woofer.html

Joram 11th July 2013 07:59 PM

PSI 17M <> Unity Audio The Rock mkII
 
Testing a pair of Rocks mkII now. Last couple of years I worked on PSI 17M's in my home studio. As I wrote earlier on this form I think the PSI is a great monitor with a.o. an excellent phase behavior, good translation to other systems and you can work on it all day without fatigue. However, I found out that it is not easy for me to make explicit decisions for a mix on the PSI 17M's: they can be a little flattering.

First impression of the Rocks: NS10-like quality regarding balance - not flattering at all - chances in eq and compression easy to detect - closed system > uncolored bass response - quite sensitive for placing (at least in my room).

mmahan40 12th July 2013 06:26 PM

Got my Rock MKII last Friday and they are phenomenal monitors. First rough mix I did has translated great everywhere.

Definitely try to check them out, you probably won't send them back if you do :)