Big Bear vs. the Samson Rubicon 6a — more impressions

Tonight I used the Rubicon 6a’s to mix the mighty Big Bear live on Pipeline!

Some background: these are brand new active monitors from Samson, featuring ribbon tweeters–and they retail for around $450 a pair. We’re reviewing them for Tape Op, and we have more than a month with them to figure them out. I personally am keenly interested: I’ve been a fan of speakers w/ ribbon elements for quite some time, and I reviewed the ADAM Audio P11A’s (which I loved!) for Tape Op a couple years ago.

Here’s what Bryan thought of them after he used them last week. And here are my impressions:

–As expected, they’re very detailed in the midrange, with really good imaging. Was either of these things stunning? Well, no. But they were damn good.

–They were very bright, which wasn’t too surprising, and they were certainly a bit harsh at times. In fact my ears were a bit fatigued after the live set, which ran only about 2 hours start to finish. Would I be able to work 6 or 8 hours with these monitors? I don’t know.

–There was a boost/cut knob for the tweeter– you can set it for -2dB, 0, +2, or +4. At a nominal mixing volume, the “0” setting was too bright, while the -2 db cut was too much. How ’bout a -1 dB cut as well?

–I listened to some CD’s through the monitors before mixing on them, and thought the low end sounded predictable, if not solid. The heat of battle proved somewhat differently: the low’s weren’t very defined or strong, resulting in a need to monitor at higher volumes (which surely contributed to fatigue–see above).

In addition, while the mids and highs translated quite well to other systems, the mix seemed just a bit bass-heavy. It sounds like there may be holes in the bass response: i’ll bring a signal generator down soon and see if that reveals anything.

More soon.

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