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Alesis M1 MkII active

Alesis M1Active MKII

3.65 3.65 out of 5, based on 6 Reviews

Low-priced, tight-sounding monitors worth considering.


16th December 2011

Alesis M1Active MKII by staikov

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Alesis M1 MkII active

Decent monitors for the price, especially if you can find second hand in good condition - I got my pair for 150 Euro
I use them at home, at work we have M-audio BX8 and Alesis Monitor One. Alesis M1 are more detailed in the low mids compared to M-audio, but are a little low on high mids. Got something in common with the Alesis Monitor One.
I would prefer to see some controls on the back, having on mind this product is focused on small project and home studios, where the room characteristics are not very good or plain bad. In my home the monitors are very close to the wall, and I have a huge bass problems. However, I was able to correct it using EQ and damping one of the bass reflectors (this technique is mentioned in the manual).
I would recommend this monitors if you are on a budget. I think my mixes sound OK now when I know the monitors better. Which is normal with ANY monitors, IMO.

3rd January 2012

Alesis M1Active MKII by MikeMcD

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 2 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.5
Alesis M1 MkII active

These are the first pair of monitors I've owned and I've been using them for about 5 years now. I bought them used on eBay for about $200 US. For an entry-level set of monitors these things haven't let me down. The bass is strong and clearly defined, much better than other powered monitors I've heard in the same price range. I used to have a lot of problems getting my bass levels to translate on other sound sources, and I thought it was the monitors at first, but after I put up some acoustic treatments in my mixing area I'm hearing things while mixing that I didn't catch before. I would highly recommend these monitors as a solution for the home-recordist on a budget, but acoustic treatment in your rooms is a must to keep those bass frequencies honest. I prefer these over the competing KRK monitors, but I might be the in the minority on that subject.
The only negative thing I would say is that after listening on them for hours at a time, I do get pretty bad ear fatigue and have to take a break for a while. It's for that reason that I'm looking to upgrade them as soon as I can afford something better.

29th January 2012

Alesis M1Active MKII by connorh

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 2 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Alesis M1 MkII active

Studio monitors are an essential piece of equipment in any engineer or composer's arsenal. We rely heavily on them to inform us how our mix is going to sound to our listeners and we use this feedback to determine our mix balance, along with our use of signal processing and stereo imaging. For many engineers/composers the prospect of choosing a set of studio monitors can be overwhelming – a quick search will bring up hundreds of results with products ranging from a hundred to several thousand pounds. For those early in their career, working on a tight budget, having spent a great deal of money on a computers, microphones, etc., the ability to invest thousands of pounds in a well renowned pair of Genelecs or the new SE Munro Eggs is nothing more than a great aspiration. However in the few hundred pound category there are a few monitors that stand out for being great value for money.

The Alesis M1 Active Mk2 monitors are priced at the £250-300 mark and they are great value for money. I have been using these monitors for a year and a half and in that time they have been used whilst composing and mixing music for television, film and album. I have had the pleasure of demoing some of my mixes on a pair of Genelec 1038s (£8000 worth of monitor) and the ability of the mix to hold up on these speakers is incredible. This is particularly evident in the lower frequencies, the usual place where cheap studio monitors fail. I have read reviews suggesting that the Alesis M1s hype the bass frequencies, however this has not been my experience when demoing my mixes across a wide range of speakers. I have found instruments in the bass frequencies, such as kick drums, double bass and cello sections, to transfer very accurately onto larger speaker systems. I often recommend these monitors to beginner engineers for that very reason.

Mixing on monitors is far superior to mixing on headphones. I have known beginner engineers to spend £250+ on headphones only to miss the benefits of a pair of studio monitors, mainly the stereo imagine and more accurate bass response. For this price the Alesis are favorable to any comparatively priced set of headphones. Many beginners also make the mistake of mixing on a pair of computer speakers, those that are usually two speaker stands with a subwoofer and can themselves cost a few hundred pounds. These are a mixer’s nightmare as the sticks tend to boost the mid frequencies and the woofer inaccurately represents the bass frequencies, especially when the subwoofer control has been turned up. The must may sound good on that system but it is unlikely to translate well onto your listener’s systems. In my experience the Alesis M1s translate very well onto CD players, TV systems, HiFi’s and car stereos. No studio monitor is perfect but for less than £300 these monitors are far superior to the use of headphones or computer speakers.

Ideally we would all like to own a pair of Genelecs or Eggs, but for those who are not currently at that stage the Alesis M1s are an excellent starting point. They translate well onto larger Genelec systems and onto the kind of systems your listener is likely to use. They are far superior to headphones or computer speakers and any aspiring engineer should aim to invest in a decent set of monitors such as these, as they are just as vital as the microphones, preamps and computers which you use to record and mix.

15th April 2012

Alesis M1Active MKII by louparte

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Alesis M1 MkII active

Pros:
1. These cost me around $400 for both.

2. I trust them for monitoring my Korg M3m.

3. Properly positioned, they give a tight response,
with some faux bass in my opinion.

4. The silk tweeters have a smooth response. I prefer silk to metal tweeters.

5. I like very much how the string pad on my Kawai K1 spreads out on these monitors. I trust these speakers for both the Korg M3m and my Kawai K1 string pad.

6. The instruction manual is quite good. But it leaves some of my questions unanswered.

Cons:

1. They may tend to exaggerate bass.

2. there were no port plugs included in my box. I don't know if there are such things. Are users supposed to stuff socks, toilet paper or the wife's old panties into these ports?

3. In my studio, they sounded awful standing upright. So I laid them flat (per instructions - tweeters in, ports down). After laying them horizontally, the sound was much tighter & more useful.

4. I am not really overjoyed with the sound. They deceive on the low end - but only 5% or so.

5. The power supplies get pretty hot.

6. The inputs are XLR only. That inconvenienced me. I had to buy new cables & I had to use the only XLR out from my mixer.

7. I mentioned that the manual was quite good. But it left one question unanswered for me. If the monitors are standing vertically, the proximity of walls must be taken into consideration according to the manual. But isn't laying the speaker horizontally the equivalent of placing it against a wall? That question is not answered.

Spec's

6.5 inch driver with a 1.5 inch voice coil.
1 inch silk dome tweeter.
Internal amp delivers 75 watts to driver & 25 to tweeter.
No front screen.
Flat at 50hz-20khz....Response 40hz - 23khz
Each unit has its own power supply.
Only XLR inputs are accepted.
Volume control on back. Alesis recommends 75%.
Size: 15 x 8.5 x 10 inches.


Bottom Line here: I will still continue to mix with headphones. I will use these monitors as a reference to my headphone mixes. For the money - if you must have monitors - they are worth considering.

4th May 2015

Alesis M1Active MKII by kodebode

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 3
Alesis M1 MkII active

I've owned a pair for at least 12 years, though they were unused for the 1st 7 years sitting in the original packaging.

This says a lot about their reliability. I must add though that I do not listen to them at any where near unhealthy volume levels.

Their simplicity, and lack of equalisation contouring I think is an advantage, as this reduces the number of factors in your decision making and reduces the opportunity for your own attempts at eqing the speaker from colouring your judgement. It is a well known fact that eq also changes phase, so I usually prefer to avoid eq, where possible.

Positioning is really important. These monitors do not have a very wide sweet spot especially in the higher frequencies. This may lead to an initial impression that they are very bassy. When positioned at the right ear height, ideally with the tweeters at ear height (give or take one or two to 4 inches either way - up or down from the ears, it still sounds pretty good) they give a good account of themselves.

Please whatever you do, read the manual, they give really good tips on optimal placement which you can refine to suit your environment to obtain the best possible sound.

My suspicion is that most people who use these monitors do not read the manual. Especially for vertical placement, I found (even before I read the guidance in the manual) that the best sweet spot positions varied quite significantly from expectations, e.g. 7 feet minimum distance in front of your monitors is unusual, but true, round about at least 4-to 5 feet is the coincident point beyond which it appears the sound from the tweeters and woofer - blend to form a single sound source. Any nearer and you are listening to two disparate non coincident speakers.

Bass: The very lowest bass frequencies are somewhat absent (below 45 Hz), and this makes the mid-bass (between 50 hz and 100 hz) fairly present, the mid bass emphasis is probably also emphasized by some slightly dip in the upper bass (between 100 hz and 200hz).

Highs: Natural presentation. The truth is it takes really expensive speakers to reproduce all frequencies as accurately as possible, i.e. a lifelike presentation. Nevertheless, the Alesis give a really good presentation.

When I compare their default sound to a reasonably accurate pair of headphones - AKG 702's, The Alesis are definitely, not as bright in the highest frequencies. This definitely makes the Alesis non fatiguing IMHO. But it could be masking from the lower frequencies on the Alesis that gives this impression.

I find they sound best in open space with at least 1 or 2 feet away from walls, and placed in a larger room, but you need to be seated in the sweet spot, no more than 1 meter from the speakers, to hear the most accurate sound.

I have heard a number of other speakers in stores of a similar price range, from such as the KRK, and Presonus (Eris), and I think what the Alesis has going for it is it does not try to overcome the realities of physics, like other speakers which attempt to compensate for physical anomalies (e.g in other designs you have smaller speakers trying to emulate the sound of a larger speakers, and it just does not sound right.)

Unless you have invested a lot of money in high end tricks of the trade like Barefoot, and Genelec higher end monitors which are relatively small in size but are renowned to sound huge, physics is physics. I consider that the Alesis is a decent size and its more accurate physics (larger speaker baffle) projects a more accurate image of the sound, for the price.

In conclusion, every speaker has its own sound, and over time you learn the "sound" of your speaker and as long as you do a lot of referencing with familiar tracks from various genres, its easy to know how your music sounds.

Excellent value for money, anything significantly better is likely to cost at least 10 times its current price.

The fact that this speaker has been in production, probably without any changes to its circuitry, for at least 12 years and is still easily available for sale says a lot. There is no other mainstream nearfield monitor that I am aware of with a similar pedigree. Guess you do not change a winning formula.

EDIT: Extensive listening, and comparing with the AKG Headphones, led me to discover (also buttressed by opinions of highly respected reviewers on music magazines such as Hugh Robjohns on Sound on Sound, with respect to ported speakers and I also see similar issues from the waterfall plots of ported speakers) that the port introduces some smearing - interpret my comment on smearing to mean - distortion, as well as a delay of the sound especially in the lower frequencies. I.e. it does not sound as tight, some people call this an overshoot, overhang.. where the end of a sound lingers on, when it should have stopped. This somewhat flattering representation of the music (like an early but short reverb) is quite enjoyable if not completely accurate.

Plugging one or both of the ports seemed to very noticeably reduce this overhang, and tighten the end of notes, and bring them quite close to the more accurate representation of what I hear on my headphones (I must say the AKG 702's are the gem of the audio world, such quality for a great price). Yes the port closure seems to emphasize frequencies above 3 kHz slightly, but this improvement in audio "tightness" is worth this trade off.

Furthermore the Alesis do not sound good at low volumes, as this attenuates the bass. Listening to the Alesis at a decent volume resolves this loss of bass.

Plugging one hole, and listening at a non low volume cures most of the anomalies with this speaker, and turns them into really good speakers.

I would expect that acoustic treatment and the use of speaker isolation pads or similar mounts, would yield further improvements.

EDIT: October 2015.

I've paired these to an EMU 0404 USB, and after extensive listening, in my environment I plugged both of the ports, with the monitors about 6 inches from a wall, have given me a really true reference, that allows me to hear what's on the recording, if its what I hear, that's what's on the recording. Things like reverb, compression, eq, relative volumes of different instruments, panning, etc - at the right volume, and this is really important, you hear everything, with a fantastic sense of the space around the instrument, if the recording had an intention in this direction - e.g listening to Celine Dion's music where a healthy dose of reverb, but daresay, on these monitors I discovered just how absolutely high quality these reverbs on Celine Dion's voice are - Check out the her Falling Into You album.

On a well mixed album, the entire track, instruments, production comes alive in front of you like you are listening in a cinema hall, or on a live stage. Awesome - all the usual cliches, stereo imaging etc. all there.

Every new track you listen to is a revelation, like , I did not know that was part of the track. These definitely beat listening on headphones, no matter how good the headphones are.

With the caveats to ensure you tune the bass properly with the right amount of plugging of the bass ports, it's such a complete flat frequency experience, extremely natural, when you are listening to music that was well produced.

In spite of the port plugging, on the right music, the bass - e.g bass guitars sound oh so sublime.

These monitors have really separated the boys from the men, the good from the great. I consider them outstanding value reference monitors.

On some tracks, you feel a lack of engagement, as if the monitors are not very exciting, cold. But just listen to something that was properly produced - and all the coldness is gone, you are shaking your head along to the music, from the 1st bar...

If the music is good these monitors will let you know, if you hear something funny or feel something missing, however much you respect the artist or how many millions of tracks they sold, these monitors do not lie, that's exactly how the track sounds - not as good as you thought. I consider them very very transparent, - once tweaked.

With the tweak I've approximate the ideal monitor - non ported and enjoy a lovely transition of frequencies especially in the low end, gone is the hump from porting.

Running them at 50% volume on the adjustment at the back, and 50% on my monitor outs on the E-MU 0404 USB's and a further adjustment digitally of between 80% and 100% from the audio volume on my laptop - allows me to adjust volume without leaving the laptop, siting at about 1.2 meters from the monitors, it's such a wonderful experience listening to music.

Which means there is a lot more volume on this than a typical home studio will need, a lot more. I am impressed - simulates a high end studio monitor signature, like listening on mains in a high end studio, but with less of the ear shaking bass and earth quakes.

I like the bass now, not over blown, tight, accurate. If I daresay, because I can hear so clearly, I can now almost "taste" the flavour of each music track, and production, the transparency of the monitors allows me to get a good sense of the production intention,uncoloured, unveiled.

I must stress here that while some other monitors are very forgiving of placement, positioning, room, acoustics, these are not, but once all these are resolved, it's like being in the studio but listening at a volume that does not infuriate your neighbors.

This is awesome, being able to listen at slightly above the usual volume one would listen to a TV, well could be a bit more than slightly, and enjoy a cinematic 3D audio experience.

I now appreciate that they do not flatter, if its recorded clearly - you hear it as intended, if its not clear, its the recording!!! not these monitors.

I guess having understood them, it will push the user to - a very high standard in their work, which is the objective. If it's fatiguing it's not the monitors, it's the music that was recorded that way.

Note - the port blocking may cause the amplifier to heat up. Looks like the ports are also used to cool down the amps. Be careful.

19th March 2016

Alesis M1Active MKII by kodebode

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 3
Alesis M1 MkII active

After extensive listening - I'd like to update my observations as I am unable to edit my previous review.

Its mid March 2016.

I think the Alesis, in spite of all my best efforts with room acoustic tuning, have the following faults.

1. Slightly bloated in the bass.

2. Slightly sharp in the upper frequencies - I'd say between 3 K and 10K.

3. The mid range is a bit lacking, making voices sound a bit recessed, and scratchy.

Almost like a slight smiley.

Definitely the mid range is a bit recessed.

It's taken me a while to come to this conclusion, but rather than stick to my preconceived opinions, glad to come back and correct my impressions now that I know better.

It definitely has a "signature" that it places on all audio that is passed through it.

I would guess that most monitors and probably all, have their own signature which you will need to learn, when you play your own tracks or mix on them.

On a positive note, this could help you over emphasize your mid range in your mixes, making them pop out on other speakers.

I do hope its not other factors such as my audio interface that are adding this color. But theoretically, interfaces should have far less contribution to frequency anomalies.

Sad conclusion. Whenever I can afford to - I will need to invest in a much better set of monitors - that are definitely flatter. Ouch....

On reflection, considering the cost, one should not expect too much from these....

Sad that it took me such a long time to "hear" what many others have already commented on as the shortcoming of these monitors.

I think this review highlights another key issue - and the value of top end engineers and mastering gurus. It takes time to develop a really good sense of hearing.... Years and Years..!

Sad that you really get what you pay for - at the low end. Either smiley like the Yamaha HS and the Alesis shares some of this signature, or boomy like the M-Audio BX's. Time to start saving.....up for something much better !!!!. Maybe I'll try the slight film of tissue paper over the tweeters trick, like I hear many apply to the Yamaha NS10's, to tame the harsh high end.

All attempts to adjust placement have not eliminated the impression of a hollowness in the mid range. However slight, its there. But further efforts with placement, angles, tilting the monitors have improved the end result.. somewhat....

Further listening makes me consider that, maybe these monitors are simply accurate, letting me hear what's really on the recording. Acoustic Jazz recordings - Norah Jones sounds ok, yes the high end is slightly prominent, but I think these monitors reveal the excessive high end in a number of modern recordings, i.e. saying it the way it is. with a slight dip in the mid range.

EDIT: I think probably far more important than monitors is your listening environment. In mine, I have custom acoustic treatment which reduces the reflected sound from the walls, and this gives me a more direct sound from the monitors, similar to listening on headphones. With the "treatment" in place, the aforementioned observations apply, but when I remove the treatment, while on the one hand I get an improvement in the mid-range, but the clarity and sharpness is lost. It's eventually about preferences, I prefer the more distinct direct pin sharp sound, free of interference from reflections - far more accurate, which reduces the excessive sense of reverb from the reflections. Huge lesson. Treatment is king, no matter how good your monitors. I think I just have to accept that the monitors are telling me most of the truth. Positioning the monitors so that the tweeters a bit higher so Happy - will not bother changing them....The truth is revealing - The smiley curve eq impression, is a lot more prominent on some pop recordings - e.g Amy Winehouse Back to Black. and less so on more conservatively mixed recordings like Imagine - Herbie and co. Kisses on the bottom - Paul McCartney. - I hear every sibilance even on this. - Properly configured - vocals and words that I thought were veiled on other listening environments are revealed in their stark naked exposure, - no hiding. Especially good and poor vocal diction/pronunciation, and every lipsmack. The front back perspective is startling. Awesome. Note the sweet spot is at least 4.5 feet away from the monitors. Any closer and the audio does not sound coherent. At the sweet spot = It all comes together - Amazing . Very revealing! Now - George Bensons tribute to Nat King Cole album - now sounds perfect in context, - and not recessed in the high/mids as I thought for a long while. Natalie Cole - Still Unforgettable - Walking my baby back home - Awesome vintage Such glorious sound - no sibilance in the vocals... These monitors are telling me the truth...

  • 1
2 weeks ago

Alesis M1Active MKII by aaronsmith

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Alesis M1 MkII active

First of all I agree with a lot of what kodebode has said about the speakers,
I agree that the mid vocal area is recessed, and the bass can be too deep, I would say, flabby even, I've never been too unhappy about the high end.
I know these speakers very well, as I have had many years of daily use with them, since 2003, I've had the blue light flicker issue after a power cut and repaired them, I have a popular video on youtube showing my brother I and fixing them, (well more him than me), poor quilty video, but the instructions are in the comments and on a page somewhere here on GS.

Now for the first 5 years, I was unhappy and always trying to improve them, I've tried everything stuffing the ports ect,

Today I'm very happy with them, in fact, I would say I'll never get rid of them, I know them too well, and these days, you just can't get this kind of quality cheaply. The lower end speakers today hiss and are physically to small, and they hype them, which makes them sound boxy, KRK JBL, HS7.
The Mk2 is totally silent, no hiss whatsoever, they don't shut off and go to sleep like modern speakers (focals) when you stop using them for a few moments, there is no internal limiter like modern speakers that distort when you push them, (KALI Alesis-MK3) I've pushed these now again with 808s and sub bass music, they are very loud, these things sound massive loud, and never feel like they are getting weak, or though I chicken out as I don't wont to blow them.

How i have them set up..
After many years in different settings to me they sound best in my small room, upright, and the reverse of what the manual says, so the ports are in the middle not on the outside, I feel this give a larger sweet spot and a wider sound stage.
Volume on back set to middle.
I have a long portable bed/mattress with thick dense form that folds from a chair into a single thin bed, I have this flat against the wall behind my speakers resting on a desk. The wall which is about 5-6" from the speakers. This really changed the sound of my room for the better and I also feel the speaker need to be unported, they sound stuffed and choked otherwise and you don't get the low end, with some room tweaking behind the speakers and in the corners you can naturally EQ them, you can get those more focused. I made some stands that get them to head hight, ears between cone and tweeter and the speakers are in a V configuration less than 1 meter from my head. I listen very quietly, 60 70dbl

I'm used to what is what with them now, but I have a flat EQ when I need and I've posted the setting below, bare in mind this is for my setup, but as it does shave some low-end and boost the mids and take some 5-8khz. It might be useful to others. I find it tightens the flabbiness of the low end and pushed the vocal a bit closer. These speakers are not very forward which is why you don't get ear fatigue. I use headphones a lot HD590 and ATH-M50 which are always too forward so I can balance very well between them.
I really trust these speakers and if you have them, keep them and learn them. If you have seen them 2nd hand, grab them quickly. if broken, its easy to fix, I regret not picking them up when they were £5 on eBay when the first started to die around 2005.
So Overall, these are a soft mid warmer low end, very bassy ok high end. Not overly bright like KRK or Adams, not dull, they do sparkly stuff too. They are not hard sounding like HS7 or NS10 they are more like NS10 with a sub-bin.
Because i know these so well, It would take some serious speaker to steal me away, Genelec Dynaudio,

EDIT, I can confirm that kodebode's simple setting of -2db HP at 800khz tightens the low end and brings the mids forward, an image posted below, So the mids are not recessed, just the bass masks them.

The above image is a good starting point, bringing the frequency back to down 700khz will just soften and push back the mids again and lowing to around -1.0 dB gives a little more depth to the bass. I'm adding a high shelf for some air at 4k with 0,2 db boost, almost nothing, Note that it's a 6db slope, so that keeps the mid presence smooth and not harsh. So I think this is my final settings but start with the above image first.

1 week ago

Alesis M1Active MKII by kodebode

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 3
Alesis M1 MkII active

Must thank aaronsmith for his recent review which led me to revisit these speakers, which I've reviewed here 2ce already. Being unable to edit previous reviews (not sure what the forum rules are which disable any further edits - presumably after a period - which I do not know).., my only option is to add what I've learned about these speakers here.

Ignore the scores I gave given, as these are based on my current opinion of the speakers - from default.

Out of the box, these are not the easiest speakers to deal or mix with, as I and others have stated in previous reviews - there is a lot of bass.

Some like me are able to tame some of this bass boost, by blocking the ports, others do not use this method. I had success with blocking both ports. One day I'll unblock them and see but the whole hassle of using a pair of socks per monitor, to achieve this is not the slickest,or the most visually appealing.!

Apart from placement, and a bit of acoustic treatment, two things have really improved my use of these speakers.

1. Measuring them using a frequency analysis tool, such as Sonarworks... (albeit I do not use Sonarworks for the correction) and a measurement microphone - Sonarworks also has a decent measurement mic which you can buy on its own, without having to invest in the software. You can use the demo version of Sonarworks Reference 4 to measure and also try out Sonarworks.

2. Determining a suitable correction EQ curve to improve the results. There are so many approaches, and opinions, so I'd rather not go into details about this here. Lots of info on gearslutz and the web, albeit a lot of it is conflicting, experience, trial and error and thinking through the logic will be your best teacher. After some false starts, occasionally you will have a breakthrough, and sometimes it may take months of testing and comparing, to figure out what works best.

3. Further to applying an EQ curve, while I was thinking through this today, (further to reading aaronsmith's review)I tried two more things, cos I had an experience where listening to either the left or right speaker as my only speaker (not in mono - just left or right) for about a few recent months, I was impressed with the aforementioned tweaks, but once I had two speakers together, the bottom end seemed to collapse. Measurement software, in my case measures one speaker at a time, in isolation, so I figured that the issue may be something about the interaction of two speakers relatively close to walls and each other.

The next thing I considered was the Alesis has absolutely no EQ shaping controls, so to the correction curves in 2 above, I added 2 more, attempting to simulate some of the EQ controls found on other studio speakers.

It was all just a bright idea at 1st, try it out just in case.

a) A low cut filter (high pass) with corner @ about 40Hz.. this will still have an impact all the way up to about 120hz, in increasingly smaller amounts.

b) A low shelf to cut -2dB cut(try a range of values from as low as -0.5 all the way to about -2.5dB cut and see how far you need to go to tidy up the low end), @ 900hz down. (this was the real clincher that was like the icing on the cake or straw that broke the camels back). Never tried anything like this before (the idea came from the controls on other speakers thinking - there must be a reason why these controls are on other speakers - typically to deal with speakers placed anywhere near or not far away from walls, which most of us cannot avoid.).

I repeat when listening to one speaker at a time, these tweaks are not so apparent, but once you have both speakers working - left and right, they combine to boost the low end and these tweaks clean up the low end, as I would never have expected.

Waking up to the fact that the speakers have a relationship between each other combining at the low end, in a way I never anticipated is a bit of a shock, never heard of this phenomenon.

Of course you are welcome to vary the settings for these final tweaks, in your own setup.

End result, the low end really tightened up, and clarity went up far more than I had anticipated. Much better now.

With these adjustments the Alesis turns out to be a keeper. But its taken way too long to learn these tweaks.

Lessons learned every little improvement compounds every other tweak, and the many incremental positives, which on their own seem insignificant add up, to a huge change, when put together.

Like aaronsmith also observed the Alesis are not fatiguing in the high frequencies (I will add - once appropriate EQ is applied, though by default, they are actually a bit treble shy in the very high end - also confirmed by the measurement).

Sadly this speaker is no longer in production.

Really happy now, much thanks to aaronsmith's review which egged me on to see what else I could do with the speakers.

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