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Electro-Voice PXM-12mp Coaxial monitor


George Reiswig:
(NOTE: I originally published this to a forum for a guitar modeler. I'm hoping that some of this will be helpful to this community as well.)

Based on the evidence I see online, FRFR monitors are probably about as subjective a preference as real guitar cabinets. That's pretty counterintuitive to me, given that by definition you'd think that the qualities of being both full-range and flat response should mean that all speakers with that characteristic should sound the same. Clearly that isn't the case.

Where my AxeFX sounds best to me playing at full volume is through my DB Technologies IG4T speakers. Since I try to control the low cutoff anyway, subwoofers aren't entering into the sound and the IG4T's can handle anything above about 90Hz, more than low enough.

I’ve also had two different Atomic CLR’s, the Neo and the original. I seem to be one of the few people here who never could get along with that speaker. The mids, in particular, never matched what I was hearing from my different pairs of studio monitors, and always felt harsh. As I think we’ve all experienced, different “flat” speakers seem to hit us differently. I’m sure there are some good reasons for it with speakers, just as different "pretty much flat" microphones match different voices.

I recently tried a pair of Electro-Voice PXM-12mp. Part of my interest was the coaxial design, but also the user-setable DSP. I believe these are the sister version of the Dynacord AXM12A (same parent company), but there may be some differences. It does say "powered by Dynacord" right on the outside, though.

They are almost completely silent at idle, in contrast to the CLRs. Hiss is barely audible at all. The cooling is passive, so no fan. And so far, they don't seem to mind that at all; very little heat buildup, even when running pretty strong for awhile.

There are four starting points for the DSP: one full-space and three half-space. One of the half-space settings is "guitar cab" setting available, which from what I can hear is likely just cutting the feed to the tweeter and cutting some lows. Not something I find useful myself, but maybe it's great for some.

The other three preset DSP starting points are pretty useful, and they are all able to be tweaked for bass (130Hz) and treble (6kHz) shelf levels, mid level and variable frequency center but not Q, and a feedback “notch” that actually sounds pretty wide...not like a notch. But that width seems to work pretty well for helping with room modes, or at least in the two rooms I've played them in.

The EQ and other DSP settings can then be stored in one of five nameable slots. Between this and the PEQ on the output of the AxeFX, I think you're pretty well covered, and you could store settings for five different venues within the speaker itself, tweaking them for different temp, humidity, beer-stain thicknesses and so forth with the AxeFX PEQ as needed.

The setting I've found most useful in the spaces I've tried it at begins with the "Tripod mode," which does not compensate the bass for the floor monitor positions. Even on the floor with the cabinet aimed horizontally, that sounds better to me. From there, I put the lows down -2dB or -3dB, the bypassable feedback notch set somewhere between 220-250Hz, the mids set to around 3.7kHz and down -4dB or more, and the trebles level or only down -1dB or -2dB. With these settings in either my practice room or my living room (adjusting that feedback notch to the room mode), I get a very satisfying, very loud representation of what I hear on my studio monitors. Nice!

They are plenty loud, pretty light, and flexible in terms of how you can position them. BUT....

There is one issue, which I've let Electro-Voice know about. At the tail end of a note or chord, there's a bit of what sounds like IM distortion or something. The effect is there even at low volumes where it is more obvious because the signal to noise ratio is lower. At full volume and in a band situation, it would likely be hard to detect, but it's there. In contrast, my Yamaha DXR10s, IG4T's, monitors and other speakers definitely do not have this effect, so there is something happening inside these speakers. Electro-Voice is supposedly exploring whether they can recreate it. I had thought it might be a defect in one speaker when I first chanced it, but I ordered a second one anyway. The second speaker exhibits the same issue, so it must be either a design flaw or an issue with the DSP. The effect is there no matter which DSP mode is used.

Anyway, overall I am pretty pleased with these speakers. When (!) we get to go out and gig again, I feel like I have a really good backline for the first time, a better floor monitor for guitar than my Yamahas, and hopefully EV/Dynacord will come up with a fix for the noise I can hear as notes fade....the one real wart that I've found so far.


Electro-Voice reached out to me 12/9/20. Their engineers were able to reproduce the small issue I raised with them with one of their units, and they are working on finding out what is causing it and fixing it. They've promised to fix mine once they figure it out. Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy them!

I'd like to emphasize two things:

* This is, in my opinion, a relatively minor issue. The sound is only noticeable on critical listening, and in a gig situation or normal rehearsal, nobody would notice it. But that doesn't mean it should be there.
* EV has been nothing but responsive and helpful about it all, and they intend to do something about it. That's honestly what we should expect from companies, but I've come to expect that most companies will just tell you "we can't reproduce it" even if they likely can, or will never follow up with you. This level of support isn't the norm anymore. I think we should reward companies who respect the win-win of a good support relationship with their customers. So Electro-Voice is one step closer to earning a long-term customer because of this.


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