We heard in the news today that EMI was putting Abbey Road studios up for sale. Partly the result of loans taken out before the GFC and partly due to the explosion of inexpensive home/project-studio recording. EDIT: Abbey Road listed by English Heritage.
That got us thinking about their great facilities, the power of the Abbey Road brand being used to sell plugins and it also reminded us of something we often see in their control rooms, B&W consumer Hi-Fi speakers (insert collective gasp here)...
The role of the modern monitor speaker (the Wikipedia link left covers the topic quite well), seems to have shifted squarely to the 'flat frequency response' active (self amplified) design philosophy. Interestingly, when you check the advertising material for most nearfield monitors very few show frequency plots and shy away from making any claims they have actually have, or even strived for, a flat frequency response.
In light of the above, it's interesting to see the absolute vehemence with which Hi-Fi speakers are attacked in internet forums. Most forum members seem to have swallowed the marketing hype and assume their 'studio monitors' must be better than anything that is sold as a Hi-Fi speaker. What seems to be lacking in these arguments is, surprise surprise, evidence.
Any speaker, regardless of its origins, should be judged on its own merits. Those merits should ideally include some objective measure of the speakers performance. So what speakers are you using for monitoring and what does their frequency response plot look like? If you can find one :)
PS: If you live near Abbey Rd, perhaps there may be some cheap B&W 800D's for sale soon, keep your eye out