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Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65 Speakers Review

Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65 Speakers Video

Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65 Speakers Video


  • Product Name: StudioMonitor 65 Speakers
  • Manufacturer: Definitive Technology
  • Review Date: July 30, 2012 07:10
  • MSRP: $449/ea
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Dimensions | Metric :16-1/2" H x 7-7/8 " W x 15-1/8" D | 41.2cm H x 20cm W x 38.4cm D
  • Driver Complement :Two 5-1/4" BDSS cast basket drivers pressure coupled to one 6"x12" low bass radiator, one 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter
  • Frequency Response :30Hz - 30kHz
  • Nominal Impedance :8 Ohms
  • Sensitivity :92dB
  • Recommended Associated Amplifier :20 - 300 Watts
  • Inputs :Bi-amp/bi-wire 5 way binding post terminals
  • Enclosure :Braced MDF
  • Finish :Wood grain matte black enclosure with high gloss black baffle and trim
  • Packaging :One per carton
  • Weight | Metric :22 lb. | 9.9kg
  • Warranty :5 years

I like to ease into my reviews. Talk about build quality, what sets them apart, how they're made... And then move onto listening tests. These speakers make me want to jump right into telling you about the listening tests. No, actually, THESE speakers make me want to build a room onto my house just to listen to them. Obviously, I'm excited about these new speakers from Def Tech. They're billed as, and really developed to be, studio monitors, hence the name - StudioMonitor 65's. That means that at least one of the design goals was to create a speaker with enough dynamic range, fidelity, and finesse to be usable by recording studio professionals as a reference speaker for mixing and mastering music. 

So that's what they're supposed to be - and they ARE. They sound incredibly accurate. I cranked them up for some serious listening and the detail... The detail these speakers put out is incredible. Highs that express every minutiae of detail in even complex tracks.... Midrange that made vocal tracks sound like they were being performed live right in front of you... Imaging that was wide and boundless... When we queued up tracks like "What is Hip" by Tower of Power, even the full, powerful mix of brass, percussion and thick vocals didn't get jumbled or confused. Rather, everything just fit in its place, like a well-mic'ed live recording. Even when we turned it up to excessive volume levels the mix didn't distort or collapse, it just got better and more "live" sounding. If anything, the imaging seemed to get bigger and wider the more we cranked it up.

We put up an oldie but goodie ,"The Song Remembers When" by Trisha Yearwood, and the reverberant piano and vocals just seemed to float within the soundstage. As the backgrounds filled in during the chorus and Trisha's vocals grew strong, it was amazing how the room literally filled up with the track. Closing my eyes, it was like I was in a small concert hall listening to my own private event. I thought this level of intimacy was only possible from headphones. Not true.

mid-wooferIf you look at the speakers, you'll note they're really deep. A little over 15", making them nearly as deep as they are tall. There's a reason they're that big, too. The whole top of the speaker is a passive bass radiator, measuring 6x12. I think this design is partially to credit for the clarity of the speaker, even when the content gets thicker and you have tracks with more instrumentation that would normally just come out sounding muddled. The tweeter is a second-generation aluminum dome model with two 5-1/4" drivers that use aluminum cast baskets and a uniquely styled phase plug. The front drivers and tweeter are arranged in a true D'Appolito array and flush-mounted to the cabinet, but Definitive then placed a curved plastic cover overtop to reduce diffraction. And all of this is housed in an enclosure that, when you knock on it, sounds pretty solid.

passive radiator

We opened up the Def Tech StudioMonitor 65's, 'cause that's what we do, and we're impressed by the amount of cross and corner bracing. It's no wonder the cabinet sounds so inert. There's also a minimal amount of batting and the 2nd order crossover looked to be made from quality components, including metal film caps and oversized inductors. When we were checking out the woofers we noticed they used a bucking magnet for focusing magnetic energy into the pole piece. The rear of the speakers feature a pair of high quality biampable and 5-way binding posts.

binding posts

These may be the best bookshelf speakers I've ever heard for under $1500. The best part is, a pair of these only cost $900. And these studio monitors have more bass than several towers I've listened to in the last few months. All this and without sacrificing delicate highs and balanced, realistic midrange. If it were the 1600's Def Tech would be in danger of getting burned at the stake... Because its like... Magic... This week's question has to do with your preference of speaker. Do you prefer full-range towers or bookshelf speakers and a subwoofer? Let us know in the comments and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can be the first to see our videos when they come out. Also like us on Facebook.com/audioholics and follow us on Twitter - @AudioholicsLive.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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