Studio Monitors made by Pioneer? I might have asked the same thing a year ago. But these speakers are game changers. A quote from respected magazine Sound on Sound's review describes 'of all the recent nearfield monitors I’ve tried it’s actually my favourite – not just because it works so well and fundamentally does the job, but because it seems to me to represent genuine, thoughtful ’old-school’ and skilful electroacoustic engineering of great integrity and quality. All the way from the bass through to mid to top, the rm-07 offers a coherence of character that sounds detailed and trustworthy.' What makes them unique is that they are point source thanks to its coaxial driver. The tweeter and woofer are combined in a single driver to give you one the most accurate reproductions of sound you will here from a professional monitor. Lets have look into why.
'A coaxial loudspeaker is a loudspeaker system in which the individual driver units radiate sound from the same point or axis. Two general types exist: one is a compact design using two or three speaker drivers, usually in car audio, and the other is a two-way high-power design for professional audio, also known as single-source or dual-concentric loudspeakers.' - Thanks wikipedia.
In this instance the Pioneer RM series uses a two-way powered design for studio use. It is such a unique design (only a few other Coaxial Studio monitors in existence) that Wikipedia has not yet added studio monitoring as a use for Coaxial speakers. The reason for this is because the design and manufacture of Coxial loud speakers is very difficult. It takes a company as big as Pioneer to properly fund a project like this. 'Coaxial loudspeakers allow sound from two drivers to come from one source. This characteristic allows a wider field of listening to a synchronized summation of speaker drivers than loudspeaker enclosures containing physically separated drivers. As well, the pattern of response is symmetric around the axis of the loudspeaker.' Thanks again Wikipedia. What effectively this means is where ever you point the speaker is exactly where the sound travels.This makes it easier to get an accurate representation of your sound to your studio sweet spot and makes the 'sweet spot' larger before you here inaccurate/unwanted frequency fluctuations.
In a monitoring situation a lot of people talk about looking for a flat a frequency response in a Studio monitor. Both the RM-07 and RM-05, as you can see below, certainly deliver pretty dam close with the only real difference being the extend low end response of the RM-07 (due to its large 6.5inch woofer). But for experienced producers having something that translates well is always more important. It is more important to mixdown on a speaker that translates well to the usual suspects: car audio, home stereos, phones and club systems. For example, maybe the most legendary studio monitor in history, the Yamaha NS10 has an EQ representation that looks more like the Atlantic Ocean in a hurricane than your Aunties pond on still summers day. So, as with the KRK's on the blog before, in the studio I pulled up some mixes I am familiar with as well as a new tune I have been working on to see how these monitors perform. On familiar mixes what impressed me the most was the clarity the low end it gave me. The front port defiantly gave me the extension I needed, it almost felt as though I had a sub in the room. I am use to mixing on Ribbon tweeter monitors where the frequency can reach up to 50khz and, although these are not ribbon tweeters, the aluminium domes sounded pretty similar if not a little less harsh. I quite like this as it was a less tiring on the ears. When Mixing down for long periods of time this can be so important. The mid range was clear and punchy. I even heard a few issues in the low mids of the mix I had not come across yet on other monitors. I proceeded to mix down the new project I had been working on, bounced it down, and then tested it in the usual places (car, nan’s old stereo, iphone, club system). The results were incredible, possibly one of my most transferable mixes to date. The low-mids were so much less muddy than on other mixers and this was probably as I had less acoustic issues in the sweet spot of the room that meant I did not have to rely on my headphones as much as I had on previous mix-downs.
Pioneer have pulled it of here. I would be surprised these did not pop up in professional studios across the industry. A combination exceptional clarity, trustworthy frequency response and point source acoustics have given us a studio monitor to compare with the best that realistic money can buy.
Get your Pioneer RM-05 pair here
Get your Pioneer RM-07 pair here
Specification of RM-07/RM-05
Type Bi-amp 2-way active speaker
Enclosure Bass reflex/Aluminium die-cast
Tweeter 1.5-inch hard dome aluminium HSDOM Tweeter
Woofer 6.5-inch aramid fibre woofer 5-inch aramid fibre woofer
Frequency Response（-10dB） 40 Hz～50 kHz 45 Hz～50 kHz
Maximum Sound Pressure Level 109 dB SPL (peak @ 1 m) 104 dB SPL (peak @ 1 m)
Amplifier output (rated output) Class A/B bi-amp 150 W
LF： 100 W / 4Ω
HF： 50 W / 4Ω Class A/B bi-amp 100 W
LF： 50 W / 4Ω
HF： 50 W / 4Ω
Input ports Balanced input XLR×1
Unbalanced input RCA×1
Input impedance 10 kΩ
Input Sensitivity -40 dB ～ +6 dB
High EQ -2 / -1 / 0 / +1 dB at 10 kHz
Mid EQ -4 / -2 / -1 / 0 dB at 140 Hz
Low EQ -4 / -2 / 0 / +2 dB at 50 Hz
Cross Over Frequency 1.6 kHz 1.7 kHz
Power consumption 195 W 142 W
Power consumption during standby mode 0.3 W or less
External dimensions（W×H×D） 244 x 337 x 260 mm 203 x 281 x 225 mm
Weight 12.3 kg 9.3 kg
Accessories included Power cord, Operating instructions, Rubber leg, Bottom cushion