If you’re new to recording guitars, we’re sure you’ve discovered that there’s a lot for you to take in. From gear to techniques, from software to room setup, you’re probably navigating a minefield of new information that can seem pretty overwhelming at first.
Here at KGR, we like to try and keep things simple – so if there’s one thing we could recommend you do right away when setting up your recording rig, it’s get your hands on a decent pair of studio monitors. Using proper studio monitors rather than standard PC speakers will get you the proper flat response you need in order to properly mix and master guitar music.
Studio monitors can cost as little as $50, and at the top end, the sky is the limit – and unless you’re kitting out a high end commercial studio, there’s a good chance you’ve got a reasonable budget you need to stick to. Having said that, buying dirt cheap speakers will get you muddy results – and in this case you might as well stick with the PC speakers.
So, what’s the solution? We’d suggest you start by looking at something like the Kali Audio LP-6 V2 6.5-inch Powered Studio Monitor. Sweetwater were kind enough to send us a pair of these fantastic monitors to try. As always, they asked for no input, and all thoughts and opinions are our own.
The Kali Audio LP-6 V2 6.5-inch Powered Studio Monitor is the upgrade to the incredibly popular original LP-6. Thanks to its enhanced performance and amazing feature set, it has become a common sight on the desks of professional and amateur recording engineers alike.
So, if you’re thinking about investing in some new studio monitors, you’ll want to keep on reading.
Who Are These Studio Monitors For
Studio monitors like the Kali Audio LP-6 V2 are really aimed at the prosumer market. That is, they’re intended for players who might be upgrading from headphones or a recording package, and are looking for great quality and performance but who might not be in the market for something super high-end. At around $400 for the pair, these speakers are attainably priced but still offer the kind of performance needed for quality recording results.
Controls / Features
The LP-6 V2s had the typical XLR and TRS inputs, as well as RCA for a wide range of connectivity options, ensuring seamless compatibility with pretty much any setup. There were also low-frequency and high-frequency trims that allowed us to perform fine-tuning on the speaker response.
The single coolest feature, though, was the boundary EQ. On the back panel, there was a diagram that gave explicit instructions on how to select the right presets on the dip switches to get the perfect sound depending on where in the room you place the speakers based on 8 of the most common positioning scenarios.
Sound / Performance
The LP-6 V2 studio monitor speakers were a classic-looking set. There wasn’t really anything visually flashy about them, but we think the build quality was definitely above average for the price.
They were made with a 6.5” woofer for the lows and mids and a 1” soft dome tweeter that took care of the top end. They served up an impressive frequency response and incredible clarity from the bottom of the bass range to the top of the trebles.
A design feature that we appreciated, and we’re sure you will, too, was the front-ported design. The majority of us, particularly in home studio setups, tend to place our speakers close to a wall, which with a rear-ported design can have a negative effect on bass response, but with a front port (like the LP-6 V2), proximity to the wall is no longer an issue.
When we first set up the speakers, we hadn’t quite finished treating the room; most notably, we hadn’t yet done anything at the first reflection points. Regardless, we still found that we got tons of detail – something that we wouldn’t typically experience with the majority of monitors at this price point.
By the time we’d set up the studio with the treatment panels and bass traps, and everything was properly adjusted and set up, we got a tight and well-composed low end, with phenomenal detail across the mids and trebles – without the kind of harshness often associated with cheaper speakers.
We found that they had a nice, wide, well-defined stereo field that gave us an almost three-dimensional listening experience and made it easy to get incredibly precise results when panning tracks. This allowed us to really enhance the overall depth of the mix.
Final Thoughts on the Kali Audio LP-6 V2 6.5-inch Powered Studio Monitors
As pointed out in the intro, these speakers aren’t exactly budget models, but they are still attainable for most players, so when you consider the Kali Audio LP-6 V2’s performance and feature set, you can see just how much value for money they provide. They offer fantastic build quality and some of the best distortion resistance in their price range.
We were particularly impressed with their accurate sound reproduction, level frequency response, and exceptional clarity. They were extremely user-friendly, and thanks to the boundary EQ, getting the perfect response was easier than with any other studio monitors we’ve used before.
It’s this combination of performance, price, and ease of use that, in our opinion, really makes the Kali Audio LP-6 V2 one of the best studio monitor speakers on the market in its price range – and perhaps beyond. If they sound good to you (pun intended), you should check them out at Sweetwater, where they’re available as either single speakers or as a pair.