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Old 20th March 2019
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by ilalin View Post
I respectfully disagree.
When talking about 'ports' I mean the so called 'bass reflex' system where vents are used to increase the perceived frequency response down to 50Hz so that small speakers sound beefier.
From what I learned, the problem is that this type of porting does help extend the frequency response down to 50Hz but beyond the response drops down steeply. So, a bass note that is moving around this spectrum will have an uneven perceived volume response. This makes it much harder to judge and obtain a solid and even bass line.
This would be a big 'NO' in electronic music employing sub-bass or certain instruments that go down to 20Hz like pianos and organs. In other words, a kick bass' energy in the 30Hz region might be 12dB lower than the 50Hz region, therefore making it a complete mess when the mix is listened in a different mixing environment.
Some other porting anomalies include, resonant frequency which a test signal will not show because it is different than music waveforms or percussive sound with fast transients, or ringing of the port that can cover a fundamental frequency. Furthermore, the port can resonate at various frequencies causing smearing and artifacts along the whole frequency spectrum not just low ones.
In my opinion, for serious mixing, it is better to have non-ported monitors coupled with the sub and a treated room not only with acoustic foam but bass traps also.
Now, this is expensive, but well worth the investment, if this is a business you're relying on.
A good example is the timeless popularity of Yamaha NS10's which are not ported. Of course, it is impossible to judge the bass just using these but the midrange comes in focus amazingly well due to less above mentioned artifacts. As Bob Katz would say after all: 'Midrange is the key'

Have to agree on some of this.

I have not used any high-end monitors, but for sure the Shape 65's give me a much better representation of the low end in a mix (and I mix mostly Hip Hop), than for instance a monitor that plays lower but has a bass port. The bass roll-off is less steep and the whole impression is much tighter, so I can clearly hear where the kick is punching and where the meat of the bass is and easily carve the two out. I've never been able to do that with a ported monitor. Also, the low-end response is faster, which again helps with positioning the level of the kick or a punchy bassline and setting compression for instance. It's to the point that I hardly need to turn on my sub or use my headphones to check what's going on these days.

Saying all that the highest end monitors I've experienced are the Focal Solo's. So maybe further up the chain, the difference is closer or matched. But my instincts say yeah closer but not matched.. thinking through the logic.