We take a closer look at the radically designed sE Munro Egg monitoring system…
SE MUNRO EGG 150 - OUT OF THEIR SHELLS
Thanks to its range of expertly hand-built microphones, sE Electronics have gained a reputation for quality and affordability over the past few years. Now sE have teamed up with Andy Munro, one of the world's leading studio designers (responsible for installations at Abbey Road, AIR Studios and the BBC to name but a few) to create a completely new brand of ultra-high performance studio monitors: sE Munro. We've been itching to get our hands on these beauties for ages and, as we just found out, beauty is not just skin deep… the sE Munro Egg 150 system is fast becoming the most critically acclaimed monitoring system ever produced.
SE MUNRO EGG 150 - THE TECHIE BIT
Speaker cabinets have a huge effect beyond simply being a practical housing for drivers and nice packaging. Internal resonances (think of the reflection problems you get in a small room) and diffraction from the cabinet edges are the two biggies. Between them they have the combined effect of information loss, smearing of frequencies and generally being bad for the performance of the speaker. So why are the vast majority of speakers still housed in a basic box? Well, affordability and ease of manufacture for starters!
sE Munro wanted to do something very different to address these fundamental problems. The Egg is a radical new approach to speaker design. The combination of an almost zero-resonant shell structure with near-perfect internally randomised geometry produces virtually zero sound distortion compared with that of conventional ‘box’ designs. The Egg is the acoustic equivalent of the near-perfect Formula 1 car… as different to common box design cabinets as a McLaren F1 racing car is to a Model 'T' Ford!
SE MUNRO EGG 150 - ANYONE FOR PORT?
Ported cabinets enhance low-frequency output, increasing efficiency by using openings in the cabinet to transform and transmit low-frequency energy. This enclosure type is very common but the trouble is, ported speakers can often make the bass sound boomy and woolly. On the Eggs, however, the port is cleverly incoporated into the front geometry of the speaker and the bass sounds much louder and tighter (something to do with phase coherent low energy, the sE Munro boffins tell us) than other speakers in this price range.
The Egg is a true analogue speaker system. In the recording industry there’s a strongly held belief that only analogue monitoring can truly capture the full subtlety of the original sound, from microphone to ear, before it’s committed to the digital domain. That is what monitors are for, although this often gets overlooked in the quest for unnecessary gadgetry. A loudspeaker is an analogue transducer and it behaves as such. DSP (Digital Signal Processing) has its place, but the Eggs are firmly footed in the analogue world, and are honest and true to the sound.
The sE Munro guys tell us that they considered it crucial to provide an active system… in other words, a system of powered monitors in which the amp is perfectly matched and custom-built for the speaker. However, it's clear that putting the amp in the speaker itself would undo all the good work in designing the 'perfect' speaker enclosure, so what to do?
SE MUNRO EGG 150 - TAKING AIMS
The Egg is the world’s first Active Integrated Monitoring System (AIMS), combining state-of-the-art modelling technology to produce the perfect speaker chassis with a fully integrated, custom-built amplification system unique to the Egg speakers. Neither component may be matched to other speakers or amps as they are designed specifically to work in perfect balance.
So, along with the speakers you get a beautifully built, expensive-looking amp unit with a built-in monitor control system and a whole heap of features you’d never normally see with a set of powered monitors, all for the same price as the big brand competition. It really is an incredible package not only in performance, but also in sheer value for money. To get all these features and this sound quality would normally cost well over £3,000!
The Egg system is fully bi-amped for maximum headroom and driver control. Those two large volume control knobs, which feel as expensive as they look, allow for AB comparison of source material. The aux inputs mean you can plug an iPod or CD player directly into the amp without having to route audio through your mixing desk too.
Finetuning of EQ from the amp means you don’t have to climb behind the monitors to make changes, so you can stay in the ‘sweet spot’ and listen to changes in levels as you make them. The power button on the front of the amp also dispenses with the need to clamber behind the desk to turn off after a session!
Also unique to the Egg system is its Mid-Band Emulation EQ. The Mid EQ switch enables the engineer to listen to a ruler-flat reference, a deliberately contoured ‘NS10’ type balance or a slightly more forgiving ‘smiley face’ response for hi-fi emulation.
SE MUNRO EGG 150 - TREAT FOR THE EARS
The system is currently set up in our in-store studio and we can honestly say it’s one of the best active monitor systems we’ve heard. At only £1,649 for the first three months (RRP £2,061) it’s considerably cheaper than most of the speakers it’s competing with.
Bear in mind you get an external amp with built-in monitor control functionality, high-quality Speakon cables to hang it all together and sE Munro’s three-year free ‘Zero Downtime’ repair warranty, and the Egg 150 monitor system has to be as close to perfect as a speaker system gets!
Come to our showroom to hear them for yourselves, or organise a free demo in your own studio (call and ask for our ‘Free Loan Service’). But be prepared to change the way you listen to music for ever!
SE MUNRO EGG 150 - TECHIE STUFF
• LF amplifier: 50W RMS
• LF driver: 165mm polypropylene cone
• LF driver power rating: 50W RMS, 100W music
• Sensitivity: 89dB 1W/1m
• HF amplifier: 50W RMS
• HF driver: 25mm silk dome, neodymium magnet
• HF driver power rating: 40W RMS, 80W music
• Sensitivity: 95dB 1W/1m
• Amplifier crossover frequency: 2.1kHz
• Box tuning frequency: 51Hz
For more information on the sE Munro Egg 150 monitors, or to buy a pair, click the link below: