The US speaker manufacturer Pure Groove Systems' forthcoming PG 08s are custom built, two-way passive studio monitors. Featuring one-inch dome tweeters and eight-inch drivers, they're targeted at dance producers, employing new technologies and eco-friendly materials such as bamboo to deliver playback perfect for electronic music. The design is clever, and the speakers offer top-of-the-range audio reproducction. In this competitive market, will the monitors shine? House and techno DJ/producers John digweed and Nick Muir give them a test run...
What is it about the new monitors that you like?
John Digweed: “I like their very honest approach to sound. It’s not hyped or sweetened, just right, with a good bit of detail and depth. They reveal parts of my mix that I wasn’t getting from other manufacturers’ monitors.”
Most importantly, how do they sound?
Nick Muir: “The placement of all elements seems accurate and well represented. The stereo field seems wider than on other two-way near-fields I’m used to using. Reverb and delay tails, stereo positioning and panning, all are very clear.”
When they are being used at high volume levels, does the sound stay true or is there break-up and deterioration?
NM: “They can go very loud yes, when checking the overall frequency spectrum of a mix they can get loud (above 95 SPL!), but most of the time I mix around normal speech levels.”
How are they for long studio sessions, is there any listening fatigue?
NM: “No, not really. I work on them for hours without really feeling fatigued, but I also take breaks to give my ears a rest as standard.”
What about the build of the speaker, how does that shape up?
JD: “These are custom made from bamboo wood, which is very strong and is better for the environment. From what I can tell, the baboo wood also sounds great, and it comes across in the sound of these monitors."
Would you say that the PR 08s give good, accurate and balanced audio playback and that they are good for dance music production?
JD: “Absolutely. I can’t emphasise enough the depth and clarity that the PG 08s are capable of. It’s as if you are completely surrounded by the sound, the stereo imaging is truly amazing. When people come into our studio, they can’t believe we’re not running a sub. The sound field is wonderful, a true sonic landscape. It makes mixing the true pleasure that it ought to be. Also, they look fantastic, are a real talking-point and are one of the centrepieces of our studio set-up. That’s why I recommend them.”
Being able to trust the sound that comes from the monitors is important — do the PRM 08s give you this confidence?
NM: “Yes, they are very accurate. They will show you imperfections in a mix (which, as a producer, I want to know about early on in the mixing process). You’ll know when the mix is sounding great or when something needs attention.”
Would you be happy to replace your old system with the PR 08s?
NM: “I thought I was very happy with my old monitor set-up, until I heard the PRMs. The speakers are so spectacularly clear and powerful, they make my previous system sound like a home demo studio compared with the professional results I am now achieving. The old monitors were good but represented what was happening a few years ago. The PRMs have redefined the standard for near-field project studio monitoring.”
Pure Groove is new to the studio monitor game. Do you think that the speakers will be well- received in the production community?
NM: “These speakers are bound to shake things up within the music production community and will definitely turn the heads of anyone who is in the process of restructuring their music creation environment. Sonic excellence is the name of the game, so it makes sense not to make any compromises in that regard. I would say that the PR 08s should be at the top of the shopping list for anyone who is serious about the sound of their productions. You need to hear an accurate representation of the sound sources you are combining and the PR 08s are brilliant at that, while at the same time being fantastic to listen to with the minimum of fatigue.”
Will you be recommending these monitors to other friends and producers?
NM: “As soon as anyone hears them, the PR 08s recommend themselves! What I say to fellow audio professionals is to just go and give them a thorough checking out. A/B them against other speakers and then tell me whether or not you are blown away.”
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.