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Prodipe Pro 8 Ribbon

Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8

4.7 4.7 out of 5, based on 4 Reviews

Frequency Response: 45Hz -30kHz High Frequency Driver: 1” x 2" Ribbon tweeter Low Frequency Driver: 8” (220 mm) Glass Aramid Composite


4th December 2011

Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8 by icecubeman

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Prodipe Pro 8 Ribbon

Professional active monitors from Prodipe brand is not disscussed a lot, because for now, this brand is not so well-known. When I was searching for new monitors, I need 8'' woofer for better bass response, I want also ribbon tweeter, because I am making music styles with great dynamic range response. I also need to working for hours in studio, so my ears must not benn attacked with mass of high frequencies heh . So after a lot of searching, I discover Prodipe Pro 8 Ribbon monitors. I can't believe they have Kevlar woofer and ribbon tweeter at this price range. I give them chance and this is by far best decision I made in several years. Monitors translate very accurately in high frequencies and tweeters behave exactly like I think they will. Bass response is also great. Now I can mix on very quiet louddness and hear everything down to 45 Hz. I realized that mid frequencies around 2kHz are little bit louder, so it need to be mixed at lower levels, but this is great as long as you like NS10 style of mixing. The options of tweaking sound directly on monitors are simple {maybe too much simple}. Only volume and HF level knobs are present. Despite this, monitors reacting very good and you dont need tweaking in most situations. My mixes translate in excelent way and immediately after first mixing session. Now my mixes have tight and accurate bass response and great detail in midrange. I also can more easily separate instruments and identify their dominant frequency ranges. This monitors are just that good. I think if you want to buy something similar, you can easily spend four times more to find equivalnet, but pssss... don't tell to anyone

28th January 2012

Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8 by mikedboh

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Prodipe Pro 8 Ribbon

I'm not going to write this review based on "best in it's price range" because it hands down doesn't compare to anything in or near it's price range. If you're in a hurry, just buy them. You will not regret it. Now on to the good stuff.


Initial Visual Impression
Simple but professional look. Most pictures online do not do it justice. The woofer is a beautiful gold/tan color(not a weird brown tint that some pics give it). Ribbon tweeter has a thin dust cover in front of it. Blue LED for power on light just below the ribbon tweeter. I was concerned these would look like cheap speakers but they definitely hold their own. The cabs are deep and solid.

Sound
I was coming from a bass heavy setup so I was concerned about 2 things. How long would it take me to adjust before I could mix confidently on these? And secondly would I need to add a subwoofer to get the kind of bass response I was used to?

I'm going to start with the bass question. Once I got these hooked up I spent 5 hours listening to a mix of commercial mixes and a few projects I personally have done. I immediately noticed both an increased clarity and depth to the music, but also apparent was an extremely tight sounding bass response. The extra low frequency response of these speakers really gives them a true balanced sound. The kick drum and bass guitar thump and really come to life. If I had to pick the 2 best words to describe the low end I would say tight and full.

The ribbon tweeter exemplifies amazing clarity and lets me hear much farther in to the mix than I'm used to. For example, listening to Dave Matthews Band "Two Step" I could hear instruments and effects in the mix that I have never heard before(in over 10 years of listening to it!). I have experimented with using the -1db cut on the tweeter but have gone back and forth a bit - you can experiment with this if your room is untreated(mine is about 50% covered). It seems if you are sitting extremely close to these(ie. less than 2 feet) you will have a slight increase in the midrange and hi end. Pulling back to 3 feet is a great sweet spot that sounds great all the way back to 8ft(most I could test at).

Part of me wishes they had also included a low frequency cut/boost but honestly I don't think it is necessary. Maybe in an untreated/bad room - but no problems here at all with the low end.

Mix Translation
Now to the second question - will my mixes translate? After 1 day of listening and a short vocal tracking session I was ready to do my first mix down on these bad boys. I'll get straight to the point - when something is wrong in your mix, these speakers literally make it jump out at you. My first mix down on these was a local ska band and I tested it on 3 setups - a hifi stereo system, a pair of akg 240s headphones through an ipod, and a car stereo with factory installed subwoofer/6 speaker system. It sounded beautiful on all 3 setups. The instrument levels were all as I had hoped, and nothing in the mix stood out as brittle or muffled. I have owned these for 6 days now and I can honestly and quite easily say these are the best mixes I have put out. Like I said, when something isn't right these speakers make it JUMP out at you. Very similar to the Adam a7x in that regard(but $1000 cheaper, and with much better bass response!)

They also retain their sound quality at extremely high volumes. I tested much higher than I would ever use for mixing purposes and they still sounded true and clear.

Another thing worth mentioning is ear fatigue. Working on lesser quality speakers can give you a 'headache in your ears' after long high volume sessions. After 5 hours of medium/high level listening my ears do not feel fatigued whatsoever. This is a night and day difference compared to my old setup.

I also wanted to point out that I live in the US and did not have to switch out the fuse like the other poster mentioned. Mine arrived configured for US use, not UK

In closing the Prodipe Ribbon 8's are a no brainer if you are in the sub $1000 monitor market and even deserve a hefty consideration if you are looking at a more expensive monitor setup. Build quality is top notch. Amazing depth, clarity, and bass response.

23rd March 2012

Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8 by squirreltrench

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Prodipe Pro 8 Ribbon

YES! YES! YES! YES!

These babies just arrived today. I unpacked them, swapped the fuses out (easy) and switched the power-slider over from European 230 to US 115 on the back.

Then I threw them on top of my current hi-fi speakers to get 'em at the right height (I know, having them on top of other speakers sucks compared to dedicated stands, but I haven't had a chance to build them yet.... I will be using PVC as found elsewhere here on GS.

I also carefully moved the clickable volume knob on the back from the lowest setting of -30db up twenty clicks to 0db on each speaker to make sure I have my imaging centered. Discrete-step knobs.... so important, and these have 'em!

Plugged 'em into my Focusrite Saffire 24 Pro, and then played some tracks, both commercial and my own stuff as a previous reviewer did. My first impression.... YES, this is exactly what I was hoping for. MUCH more clarity in the Left-to-Right soundstage, much more detail in the mids. More 'present' and in my face in a good way.

Bear in mind I am comparing them to Athena AS-F1 hifi speakers I picked up from Best Buy a few years ago and that I've been using for monitoring for the past year or so. These also use 8" woofers, so bass response is pretty similar to the Ribbon 8s in terms of how deep they go.

Listening to music I know well on these Ribbon 8s... WOW, the detail is FANTASTIC compared to the Athena's, where I kind of knew I wasn't getting a sharp picture in the upper-mids into the high end. This truly seems like a veil of haze has been lifted off the music. I can hear details MUCH more clearly, like the amount of compression applied or verb tails. Attacks are sharper in general as well; snares sound clearer and crisper. I can hear the snare strings on the bottom of the head.

After turning off the music to write this review, I noticed a slight amount of hiss coming off the ribbons, so I backed off the volume knob on each side six clicks from 0db down to -6db. At this setting, it's still plenty loud, and now the hiss "at rest" is inaudible at normal listening distance.

I have no basis for comparison with KRKs, Yammies, Equators, or any of the other studio ref monitor standards, but I am quite happy with my purchase of the Prodipe Ribbon 8s at first listen. If they are going to get better with more burn in (and mounted on actual speaker stands), I am double excited.

Update: I am still thrilled with the clarity of these monitors a couple of weeks after getting them. I also wanted to note that the slight hiss coming off the tweeters was due to my connection to them being unbalanced. I switched the unbalanced connection to pair of TRS 1/4" cables, and that has eliminated the slight hiss. Now with the monitors at 0db, there is no audible hiss from 3 feet away.

25th March 2012

Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8 by Bater

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Prodipe Pro 8 Ribbon

Just unboxed them and got them set up. The first impression I got as I removed them from the box and pulled the plastic bags off is that they are big. Next thing I noticed upon visual inspection is that the appearance is rather underwhelming. Simple lines and simple colors. In the box was a both an american and a european power cord and a users manual. Wrapped around the american power cord was a bright pink label instructing you to switch the power to 115v and replace the fuses with the supplied fuses. From that point it was a matter of setting them up just like any other monitor. In my case I had to pull my desk away from the wall a few inches as these are a bit wider than my last set of monitors.

Now onto the important stuff: How do they sound. These are my intital impressions upon listening to commercially produced music and playing with some half mixed projects. First impression was that they have great stereo definition. Much better than the Korg DRS or the HS50m's. They also have nice 3D definition. The voices, instruments, and drums all have good definition from eachother in the mix. Further listening revealed something that I have not had a chance to exprerience in a monitor before, nice bass response! Haha Up to this point I have mixed on nice hifi's, hs50m's, and the Korg DRS monitors. The hifi's had bass, but it was floppy, not nearly accurate enough to mix on. The hs50m's and the Korg's both lacked much bass response at all. These monitors have a good bass response without being hyped. As far as I can tell they are superior to anything that I have used up to this point.

The only thing that I have found that I dont necessarily like is that they can be a little harsh on loud rock with screamy vocals. Listening to commercial mixes I found myself reaching to turn the volume down a few times.

There is the distinct possibilty that I am suffering from new gear wanttolovititis. We are all susceptible. Only time will tell.

EDIT: I have had these monitors for a while now and I am still loving them. I just wanted to say that I have remedied the harsh high end by turning the HF filter down one notch on the back of the monitors. I am loving the way these things sound!

18th July 2012

Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8 by squirreltrench

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Prodipe Pro 8 Ribbon

Okay, I've had a chance to do some A/B/C comparison testing with a friend of mine who has terrific ears and decades of experience mixing and mastering. Here's what we found. I brought my Prodipe Ribbon 8s over to his place where he has DynAudio BM6a (Mk1)s and was also testing out a set of Emotiva Pro Airmotiv 6s.

So we set them all up right next to each other. Here are the construction differences and similarities between these three speakers: Both the DynAudios and Emotivas have 6" woofers while the Prodipes have 8". Also: The DynAudios have dome tweeters, while the Prodipes and Emotivas have ribbon tweeters. Both the DynAudios and Emotiva are rear-ported while the Prodipe is front-ported. The room we were in was pretty long back-to-front (30' maybe?), so bass response was being affected little from room node build up or nulls. We also tested the speakers moving them away from the front wall at first, and then moving them to practically touching the front wall.

We listened to a variety of songs in different styles (rock, hard rock, electronic stuff, etc) over the course of a couple of hours, just listening subjectively and making comparisons about what we were hearing by switching back and forth periodically amongst the speakers. In my friend's set up, he's got a nice little subwoofer with a power switch, so we listened to just about everything both with the subwoofer in and out. That very bottom section of the audio spectrum was enhanced (just a touch) with the sub. The sub was set at it's very lowest setting, i.e. it was only reproducing tones at 50hz and lower, leaving everything else for the mains to handle. We didn't touch the sub's settings, simply turned it on or off.

The results? The DynAudio BM6a (Mk 1)s are clearly the winner. No surprise since they are currently going for around $1400/pair on eBay. In second place: The Prodipes at $300/pair, and in last place, the Emotivas which are about $650/pair. Here's the differences we were hearing:

The DynAudios are stunning little beasts in that they produce a fabulous full range of audio, top to bottom, and of these three, had the best bass response. Which is all the more amazing considering they are 6" bastards while the Prodipe's have an 8" woofer. Not only do the DynAudios reach deeper down the audio spectrum, there is a fullness in the bass regions not present on either of the other two speakers we were listening to. As far as how far down it goes, I'm guessing that it is representing freqs nicely down to the 40-50 hz range whereas the Prodipes and Emotivas start rolling off in the 60-70 range. (You can actually see it in this graph on Prodipe's site.)

The DynAudios are just really, really clear throughout the entire audio spectrum. Very nice and natural, clear and open mids and highs. And, as previously mentioned, they totally nail it in the bass regions of the spectrum. These things thump as well as have great clarity. They sound especially great with rock, with the 'natural' instrumentation and dynamics. On more modern stuff, electronic, etc., the Prodipes were even closer to being on par with the DynAudios. The Emotivas had a fairly similar sound to the Prodipes, yet the stereo imaging was not as good. They were a little bit less detailed in the mids than the Prodipes, so after a while we took them out of the testing and just focussed on listening to the DynAudios and Prodipes... which speaks incredibly highly of the Prodipes.

So here's the bottom line for Prodipe owners or those thinking about Prodipes, since that is what I own, and I do not have the budget for the amazing DynAudios. After all, this topic is all about the Prodipes, not the DynAudios. It's really good to know how the Prodipes stack up to what are some fantastic monitors.... we are all looking for a nice flat response through the whole spectrum, and most of us want to know if the bass freqs (especially) will translate to other systems well, i.e., not too much and not too little. What I had been discovering is that mixes I was creating on the Prodipes was coming out with a bit too much bass on other systems... telling me the Prodipes themselves are just a little bit bass-light, because I was trying to pull out even more bass than what I was hearing... .only the Prodipes weren't telling me "stop already, there's enough bass here now". This is confirmed by listening to them side by side with the DynAudios.

My friend, the mixer and mastering engineer with far more experience than I, put a touch of EQ to try to bring the Prodipe's response more in line with DynAudios. He rolled off the top end of the Prodipes as far as they would go on the back of the cabinet, which is -2 db (he has his DynAudios rolled off -3db on the highs, which is the max on those). Then, via the iTunes eq, which is what we were playing sources through, he took off another 1db in the 16k band, and then added about 1 or 2 db to both the 64 hz band and the 125 hz band. Besides that, it was flat throughout the rest of the spectrum, and that brought it closer to the DynAudio response.

So if you are working on electronic, dance, rock, pop, or anything else that needs bass, and want your mixes to have a deep, rich, clear, solid bass as much as I do, but at the same time don't want to overload bass into your mixes, it is important to know that the Prodipes do start rolling off, just a little bit, in the 60-70 hz range, and even have a "subsonic" filter on them somewhere between 35 and 39 hz. It's not like they are completely lacking in bass though. I want to be clear: the Prodipes have excellent bass response. It's there, it's just down a few db compared to flat. Because if you try to get that deep and low "thump" in the bass while listening to Prodipes, you're going to whack other systems when you bring it elsewhere.

The good news? The Prodipes have EXCELLENT and fantastic stereo imaging. The stereo imaging was on par with the DynAudios. They represent the entire spectrum very well, and are only slightly bass-light. In addition, the Prodipes pair AWESOMELY with a subwoofer! If you add a sub to your Prodipe set up, you are going to have everything you need, and I am currently researching to find the least expensive sub I can get that is going to be quality and have controls for HP rolloff etc.

The other thing I've done, based on this side-by-side comparison, is to put my Prodipes closer to the front wall. I had them freestanding about 1.5' away from the front wall in my bedroom studio. Now I've moved them back to only about 6" from that wall, and it has added just a bit more of the low end to what I am hearing. It still needs a sub, but putting them much closer to the wall is giving them a bass reinforcement that should help me avoid the tendency to put too much of the 40-80 range into the kick and/or bass in a mix.

Hope this addendum to my earlier comments/review are helpful to Prodipe owners and those considering them!

~Morriss

*Correction: The DynAudios have a 7" driver and the Airmotivs have a 6.5" driver.

 

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