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'The boulder' 3 way monitor Studio Monitors
Old 23rd March 2010
  #1
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'The boulder' 3 way monitor

UNITY AUDIO-THE BOULDER

3 way active monitor with dual 180mm woofer & coaxial midrange-tweeter.



Unity Audio is showing a preview of their forthcoming 'The Boulder' 3 way active professional studio monitor at this years Music Messe 2010 show. Following on from the company's first monitor,The Rock, the new Boulder shares some of the same interesting material and designs such as a Baltic Birch plywood cabinet but this time 18mm instead of 12mm as used in The Rock. A Corian front baffle is used again like The Rock and bonded to an internal wooden baffle, but the Boulder uses a hugh 36mm slab of Corian instead of The Rocks 12mm and with large radius edges to reduce reflection. Like The Rock, this new model will boost true fidelity, fast, accurate detailed sound but with extended bass response, even more detailed mid range and higher SPL's for larger rooms.

Two 180mm woofer's are used, the same woofer model as in The Rock, this will increase low frequency extension and achieve higher SPL's. Each woofer has a 0.2mm aluminum foil chemically bonded to a rigid pulp fiber cone. This reduces harmonic anomalies and permits +/- 15mm of woofer travel producing accurate low bass frequencies. The use of Aluminum bound to a pulp fiber cone insures that the woofer cone will remain symmetrical at all frequencies, producing a long life for the woofer element and full accuracy of the driver through it's life. Something few other materials can claim.

A new dual coaxial Midrange - Tweeter is employed, another unique feature of The Boulder. This new unit is a unique combination of a flat aluminium honeycomb midrange ring radiator and a concentrically arranged folded ribbon tweeter. This design realizes the vision of an acoustic point source! This facilitates an optimized acoustic power response and results in a homogeneous and very wide sound dispersion angle which provides for a new kind of relaxed but very precise reproduction.

The ultra lightweight honeycomb diaphragm provides a reduced stray magnetic field combined with a strong neodymium drive. The system is driven by a 78 mm moving coil. High efficiency is achieved using coppered aluminium flat wire, edgewise-wound, on a ventilated capton bobbin. The resulting unit will deal with frequencies from 450Hz to 50kHz.

The amplifier, like The Rock, is a bespoke design by Tim de Paravicini whose company Esoteric Audio Research is regarded as one of the worlds best amplifier designers. A true discrete bi-polar low feedback amplifier with custom wound transformers and dedicated LF, Mid, HF sections with overload/clip protection, will results in very fast and clean, and astoundingly accurate reproduction.

UNITY AUDIO LTD
[email protected]
Unity Audio News
tel: UK+ 1440 785843
Attached Thumbnails
'The boulder' 3 way monitor-unity-audio-boulder-fro.jpg  
Old 23rd March 2010
  #2
RTR
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looks like the M-audio's!
Old 23rd March 2010
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR View Post
looks like the M-audio's!
They sure won't sound like them
Old 23rd March 2010
  #4
c'mon, how's about the big question? estimated street price. Oh, and just how big is this thing? LxWxH? I'm guessing with all the thicker materials used it lives up to it's name weight wise.
Old 27th April 2010
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Please let the price be nice.

pretty please!

These look good and I'm interested.
Thanks

Scott
Old 27th April 2010
  #6
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Availability?
Old 27th April 2010
  #7
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you can estimate a price based upon the Rock model....
Old 28th April 2010
  #8
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Unless something changes, I believe US price for them will be $3995 for the pair.

dB
Old 29th May 2010
  #9
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Any idea when these might be available in the US?
Old 26th June 2010
  #10
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I just got a email from Kevin at Unity Audio. He thinks they will be available around this coming Christmas or January. I bet these will be awesome! Here is a video:

YouTube - Unity Audio Boulder - Musikmesse 2010

Bugs
Old 27th June 2010
  #11
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Are these truly a 3way or a 2.5 way?
Old 27th June 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapfreak View Post
Are these truly a 3way or a 2.5 way?
IIRC, they're three way.

If they'd operate on the same principle as the original S3As or the Focal Twins (one full range woofer, one "sub" woofer), they'd be 3.5 way, not 2.5 way...the Boulders already have a dedicated midrange driver.

dB
Old 28th June 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
IIRC, they're three way.

If they'd operate on the same principle as the original S3As or the Focal Twins (one full range woofer, one "sub" woofer), they'd be 3.5 way, not 2.5 way...the Boulders already have a dedicated midrange driver.

dB


Looks like you're right; I missed the coaxial mid/high driver.
Old 4th November 2010
  #14
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The boulder at aes sf 2010

Just a quick post to let you all know that we have a working pre-production Boulder at the AES SF show. The Unity Audio booth is 516. Hope some of you get to make it to the show and have a listen.
Old 9th November 2010
  #15
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So, has anyone heard these Boulder monitors at AES? What did you think?

Bugs
Old 10th November 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugstone View Post
I just got a email from Kevin at Unity Audio. He thinks they will be available around this coming Christmas or January. I bet these will be awesome! Here is a video:

YouTube - Unity Audio Boulder - Musikmesse 2010

Bugs
I think January is a realistic date now.
Old 19th February 2011
  #17
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I just emailed Unity for an eta on these. Does anyone else have any more info?

They look like a potential alternative to the S3X-H and the price point is nice.

-Jeff
Old 23rd February 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meckanik View Post
I just emailed Unity for an eta on these. Does anyone else have any more info?

They look like a potential alternative to the S3X-H and the price point is nice.

-Jeff
We're close to releasing The Boulder!

We've been doing a lot of testing with a pre-production pair including many UK engineers and artists trying it out and everyone has been very impressed and it seems from their comments that we're on the money with the design, crossover specs etc etc.

We have everything done and ready except the input/crossover board which is being done now , so I anticipate having this ready to ship in about 2 months. The expected price will be £4300.00 a pair ex VAT.

We have a new dedicated web site now for all the Unity Audio releated products which has details on the Boulder too.

Unity Audio | Hi-fi speakers, studio monitors
Old 2nd March 2011
  #19
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Just had these bad boys on loan for a 5.1 Mix on a film I am Scoring.. I already have a pair of Rocks which I used as the Rear Pair.. and I must say the Boulders sound massive and more than twice the size of the Rock.. the same open sound as the Rock.. and a bit more.. the bottom end is unreal for a speaker of this size.. and like the Rock really wide...

Great work Kev...
Old 4th May 2011
  #20
Gear Nut
 

It does not seem as though Sweetwater will be carrying these as they did "The Rock" speakers. "The Boulder" are on the Unity website. Is anyone using these?

Thanks,
Bugs
Old 13th May 2011
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugstone View Post
It does not seem as though Sweetwater will be carrying these as they did "The Rock" speakers. "The Boulder" are on the Unity website. Is anyone using these?

Thanks,
Bugs

Some news for you all.
Mercenary Audio will be carrying the Unity Audio Rocks and Boulders monitors. Rocks will be in stock there in the next few weeks.
The Boulders are still in production but will be released very soon now.
Old 14th May 2011
  #22
mrc
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does the coax driver have some components from adam inside?
Old 14th May 2011
  #23
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Loving the detailed first post!
Old 14th May 2011
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrc View Post
does the coax driver have some components from adam inside?
No it doesn't. All our drive units come from German manufacturer ELAC, who were one of the first company's designing and producing their own folded ribbon tweeters. Adam aren't the only company producing folded ribbon tweeters!

The ELAC coax driver is a unique unit, and we're privileged to be able to use it in the Boulder, it's one of ELAC's most special drivers that they produce. It sounds amazing, so smooth and detailed and being point source there's no phase issues between the 5" mid range and the folded ribbon HF. Check out 'the science' on the Boulder section of our web site;
Unity Audio | Hi-fi speakers, studio monitors to see comparisons between the coax unit and a conventional separate mid/HF arrangement.
Old 31st May 2011
  #25
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They are listed at Mercenary Audio at $7,500.
Old 10th August 2011
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Here's my mini-review having heard them today (thanks Kevin):

The Boulders came over this morning, and first impressions are that they're extremely good: nice driver integration to my ears and tight but deep LF, it's a sealed cabinet design and does more than its paper spec. would suggest in the bass. Strong on the vocal region and natural top end without hype. You could add a sub (they're testing one at the moment I believe) but I don't think I'd need one, not in this room anyway.

A winner I would say - I could do proper mastering with them and they look good, to me at any rate. At £4300 excluding VAT I think there will quite a lot of interest.
Old 16th March 2012
  #27
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Here is a letter I just emailed unity about the Unity Boulders, thought I would share

Product:Unity Boulder Monitors

Firstly I would like to say that your product within just the first 8 hours of use has ended a three and a half year long battle of fighting mixes , Its not just an investment in a studio monitor , it is an investment in any engineers health, it reduces mixing fatigue and may also help reduce other symptoms common with fatigue such as stress, erratic work hours, lack of social or family quality time , erratic sleep patterns, moods and the long list of other related symptoms inflicted from fatigue due to long studio sessions

Description:
I own a small commercial recording studio in Melbourne, Australia.
My studio is currently producing on average a quantity of two four to five song EP's per week, we track,mix and master,*
All of our clients have been happy with the results of what we can achieve In such a small amount of time, however what they don't realize is when they leave the studio at lets say around 10 or 11 pm the real work begins, I stay up all night and tweak for another 6-8 hours just to get It sounding professional enough to want my name to be associated with it.*

The problem seemed to be that when playing my mixes on other music devices *they sounded nothing like the mix did in the control room, after many years of working harder to get better mixes , I had run out of enthusiasm and energy, I was tired of burning CDs checking mixes going back to the control room tweaking and then repeating the process, in fact i have been through 1000 test Cds in 12 months on mix checking,*

I took some of my finished mixes and incomplete projects into the Pro Audio store and asked *to have a listen to what I had been working on, I pulled the mixes up on the same monitors i was mixing the project on and it sounded great, I then switched to a different pair of professional monitors worth over 10K and it also sounded great , Then I listened to it on a few other monitors and again it sounded great,*
The sales assistant then said to me "want to hear what your real mix sounds like" then he flicked to your "Unity boulder" monitors and the mix sounded extremely lumpy , the bottom end was distorting, the mids were missing and the top end was exaggerated. Very similar to what my mixes were sounding like on other music devices that were not professional monitors, I then played a track of my favorite band that I have been listening to for nearly 20 years, Within the first 60 secs I could hear the vocal vibrato, the husk in the singers voice, the reverbs, the space, the air and everything sounded wider, non of these things I thought existed within the band,*

So I decided to do a little self testing, I was not looking to buy a new set of monitors but here is what happens


THE TEST :
I took the Boulder Monitors back to my studio and pulled up a mix I had been working on for the last 2 months, I have paid this mix a lot of special attention as it is my own bands recording, I have been tweaking it and had it sitting exactly were it should be, the singer on the Album "Steve Romig is one of Australia's most respected souls singers and my mixing reputation is on the line,*
I opened the session and saved it to a new name, i pulled all of the faders down to zero, i flattened the EQs and disabled the dynamics,*

This is the frightening part !!!!
I spend no more than 1 hour of quickly building a mix , I was Face-booking *at the same time, emailing, talking to staff members and taking phone calls, *Paying no more than 50% attention to my mixing, I then exported the file and put it into the same folder as the last exported mix I had done on my old monitors, "keep in mind this is a 1 hour mix versus a 2 month mix", I did not listen to it on any other devices because I thought there is no way it will sound any good

So here is what I did
I emailed 10 people the two version ( including the salesman to make sure he wasn't pulling the salesman angle on me)
Version 1: The 2 month mix on monitor A*
Version 2: The 1 hour mix on monitor B's the Unity Boulders
I also burnt some CD's and gave them out to factory workers I'm my area that had no experience in sound, I asked them to choose a version they thought was the best sounding

All 20 People chose Version:B The 1 hour mix i had done on the Unity Boulders
I then decided to pay some serious attention to your product and how it was effecting my mixes, small changes were very noticeable , you move the fader up half a DB and the sound gets louder in your monitors, I realize this may sound strange but trust me usually sometimes you have to move a fader a lot more than that before you start to hear the volume change in a mix, my mixing volume seemed to be 50% lower in volume than normal . I then decided to do one more test, I had a client in the studio today who asked me to export him some rough mixes just to take home with him to work out some backing *vocal parts , I spent no longer than 30 minutes tweaking it.

The client and myself both agree that my 30min tweak on the Unity Boulders is a better mix than the last few tracks that i mixed for him that took *2 days and cost him $2000

Your monitors are world class, there is nothing close to the flatness and exact representation of a true mix that your monitors can provide on the market that I have ever heard, their is also nothing better in a near field monitor range *in our country Australia*

I now own them!

If any Australia potential customers want to test them , in fully endorse your product and I offer my control room as a place they can pull up their reference tracks on your monitors before choosing any other brand. *Part of me wishes you would take them of the market and let my mixes become better than everyone else's.

Today is the first time in 3 years I have finished a session before midnight, so I'm taking my hairdresser out for a celebration drink, wish me luck.

Thank you team Unity*

Regards Mark

Last edited by cavern sound; 16th March 2012 at 10:29 PM.. Reason: Spelling error
Old 9th May 2012
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Post recycler!

Thought this mini review I posted on the other boulder thread was relevant...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimshot View Post
From the thread The Boulder 3 way monitor on 23rd May 2011

Just wanted to chime in with some quick comments on the Boulders which I've been using for the last two months.

I'm not going to try and describe how they sound - to me that's pointless - it's completely subjective. What I will do is describe how they've affected my work process and efficiency...

I should mention that Kevin van Green the designer of the Boulders is a friend and he also designed my new studio. This aside, nothing (and I mean nothing) would persuade me to compromise my choice of monitors.

For me, monitors and the listening environment are the most important part of the studio.

The Boulders replaced my Adam S3-A which I'd had for about 6 years.

The main features that made me want to demo the Boulders were:
1. closed cabinet
2. coaxial mid range driver and HF ribbon tweeter
3. Tim de P amps

The first thing I noticed was how tight the bass is...Previous to the boulders, I've been used to checking mixes in other environments (car/bombox etc) and tweaking things - sometimes more than I'd like. It can be time consuming and frustrating...

I work on a lot of roots music with double bass and acoustic guitar - there's a lot of low end stuff going on and it's crucial to be able to judge how things sound going down to tape.

When trying out the Boulders I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't try to second guess what I was hearing...I wanted to be really honest with myself about whether I could work with them effortlessly - otherwise I'm simply wasting money changing monitors.

I used the Boulders over a week long tracking session - the line up was vocals, piano, double bass, 2 electric guitars, drums and hammond, all recorded live...trial by fire!

During the setup for the session I found that I was making more adjustments than usual to mic positions and the sounds we were getting out in the room...stuff that I simply wasn't as used to hearing and being as aware of with the Adams. I start to get a bit worried as I was having to work harder than usual and things were seemingly taking a bit more time to get to the stage where I was happy to press record.

The week goes on...business as usual. I didn't really think about the Boulders - they sounded good, did their job and didn't tire my ears out...great!

I leave the tracks for a couple of weeks and work on other things...mostly overdubs and editing for other projects. During this period, I wasn't involved in mixing anything so I didn't have a reference for taking things out of the studio.

Anyway, when it comes time to mix the songs we tracked using the Boulders I put the reels on, press play and get to it.

The sounds are great, things are going quickly and the tracks are gelling well. I'm not really making any eq changes to correct things - the occasional small cut or boost but nothing surgical - the eq choices I'm making are down to choices of where the instruments sit in the track...not corrective but artistic.

I put this down to being able to make adjustments at the tracking stage because I could hear properly. That extra effort repaid itself!

So far so good...things are moving quickly.

I start to check things out in the car and on my other stereos...The bottom end is coming back the same way I've been hearing it in the control room. Of course it sounds different - it's a different speaker and listening environment but the fat and solid low end that I really pushed is all there and what's more - it's really as tight as I heard in the control room.

I'm serious when I say I felt a weight lifting off my shoulders - finally I can work without second guessing what I'm hearing...this is a huge deal to me! It's gonna save me and my clients time and money.

Trying to keep myself honest, I mix some more tracks, each time resisting the urge to check on different speakers until I've printed the mix. Each time, what I heard was what I expected to hear - no surprises!

Putting it all together I think the reason is pretty clear... During tracking I was able to properly hear what I needed to do to get good sounds to tape. This meant when I mixed I could use less eq and just focus on balances. In turn, not second guessing myself when printing the mixes meant I could push things as far as I wanted and know that what I was hearing was honest!

Just as importantly, mixing on the Boulders is FUN! I can take chances with things and know that if it works in the room...it works!

So there you go...thats my take on the Boulders - I brought a pair and they're now at work in my control room.

Cheers,

Mike
Rimshot Studio - boutique recording and mixing

Record Production studio feature
Rimshot Studios - New recording Studios - Video feature with engineer Mike Thorne



Old 9th May 2012
  #29
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Nice review, Mike.

The studio's a thing of beauty, will look forward to visiting soon.
Old 11th May 2012
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowland View Post
Nice review, Mike.

The studio's a thing of beauty, will look forward to visiting soon.
Thanks Nigel, you're always welcome! Look forward to visiting you with some mastering projects soon!

Cheers,

Mike
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