Jason Stanfield Posted September 20, 2013 Share Posted September 20, 2013 Last weekend I was able to borrow a Yamaha DXR8 powered monitor to use at a couple of gigs, and I was impressed with it. My experience with powered monitors is limited, but here are my impressions. (First off, my rig consists of a Roland RD-700NX and a Roland VR-700 combo organ. The RD-700NX goes through a Speakeasy dual-channel tube preamp, and the VR-700 through a Speakeasy AMA. I roll off almost all of the low end using the preamps so I can avoid having a boomy, muddy bass tone.) Friday night's gig was with my Grateful Dead tribute band at a small venue where we run our own sound. My 'boards went through the preamps into our StudioLive mixer, and I sent a single monitor feed to the DXR8, along with some guitar and vocals. I had the preamp rack sitting on a Z stand to my right, and the monitor on top facing me and as a side fill for the rest of the band. Obviously, I had no problem hearing it, but the band also heard me without them having to put me into their own monitors. Saturday night's gig was with my other band - blues, southern rock, jam band stuff - and it was at a larger venue with a sound system. I ran the 'boards through the preamps and into 2 separate channels on the DXR8, which was positioned at the same height, but to my left, then used the XLR output to go to FOH. Overall, I was very impressed with the DXR8's sound. It was crisp, clear, and I had plenty of headroom to play with - I never brought the input volume over 12:00 at either gig, and even brought my 'boards' output down during softer songs - and everyone could hear me fine. The DXR8 is small (about the size of a large studio monitor), not too heavy, and built well. Having used a QSC K12 a few times (and loved it), I felt this was a little better for me. The 8" speaker was nice, as I avoid a boomy low end and didn't need to turn my bass EQ down to zero, or keep the 8' drawbar on my organ under 6. There was a tiny bit of "hiss," but no more than the K12 that I used previously, and it was completely unnoticed after the first song we played. My only gripes about it are: 1. Input 1 is mono XLR, input 2 is L&R 1/4", and input 3 is RCA. For some reason, you can only use the Left or both 1/4" inputs from a single source, but you can't run two keyboards into each input separately. This isn't a huge deal, but it was a little annoying having to dig out a different cable and squeeze in behind my preamp rack. 2. The DXR8's body does have a slight angle on the sides (when upright), but it lays flat on its side, so it's not useful as a floor wedge. I had to put a spare volume pedal under it so I could tilt it up 30 degrees or so (to keep it from blasting straight into my ear), and I had to reposition it a few times to keep it from sliding off the top of my rack case. 3. The only handle is on the top. Otherwise, I enjoyed using the Yamaha DXR8 a great deal. I wonder if the DXR10 would be even better, since it could double as an all around stage monitor and provide some more volume, but the DXR8's 600 watts seemed just fine for me. I won't call it a K10/K12 killer, but for $549, it's a more affordable compromise that gave me almost studio-monitor clarity, big sound, and was easy to tote and set up. Jason Stanfield Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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