My ancient (and frankly amazing) M-Audio BX8 speakers from 2005 are dying. I recapped them both a couple of years ago but I'm now starting to get some idle hiss and clipping, and the rubber cone surrounds are starting to perish. Sure I could spend some effort repairing them but they're also quite large and the cabinets have been scuffed from several moves when I first returned to London. I have decided I should retire them whilst they still have their dignity so that I can fondly and nostalgically remember them when I'm old and grey, and look for something newer and more convenient.
I think my criteria are:
- Must be a studio monitor. I'll plug these into a PC but I also have digital instruments that'll use them occasionally so I want a the neutral response you get from monitors
- I would like something more compact than my old 8" monitors; having heard the lower frequency response of a few other monitors I'm happy with the bass output from 4-5" drivers
- Having volume/power/headphone/aux input on the front is really handy. I would prefer this to a separate headphone amp which is my current setup
- At this size I have no real budget limitations but let's say that my enthusiasm drops sharply for anything over $600 pre-tax or £500 inc.VAT
Here's my shortlist - please feel free to ignore me, swamp me with anecdotes, recommend something better or just tell me to buy a set of passive monitors and a compact amp because all of these are junk:
Mackie CR4 or even CR4BT
M-Audio AV42 (too cheap? I really liked my old M-Audios though....)
Prosonus Eris E4.5
Oh, I should add that this is for a small space; these are near-field monitors for low volume listening in a quiet environment and I doubt I'd push even 10W/channel monitors to their limits. If I want party boombox performance I'll use my HTIB in the living room.