Avantone Pro Brings 'Back' Nearfield Studio Monitoring Mainstay

June 22 2018, 04:00
While many in the audio industry work to establish the ideal target frequency response for audio reproduction on studio monitors, speakers and headphones, others are providing "familiar" listening references that, with all their imperfections, are already familiar to working professionals. That's exactly what affordable high-quality audio products producer Avantone Pro now announced with the introduction of the CLA-10 Nearfield Monitors - which many will instantly recognize.

Avantone Pro's new CLA-10 classic studio reference monitor — manufactured as a full-range - not only will sound familiar but they look familiar. The two-way passive pair was designed for fixed or remote locations while also accurately recreating an iconic studio monitoring mainstay, much "loved" in the music industry among pop and rock recording engineers to this day as a valuable mixing tool with which to reveal shortcomings in recordings.

"Times change, as does technology. That being said, today’s newly developing age of high-definition audio does not necessarily negate recording shortcomings. Studios still primarily use two- or three-way large monitors designed to represent a wide range reference viewpoint at higher listening levels and there is still a need to hear what a mix will sound like when played back over small systems, such as car stereos, clock radios, computer speakers, and televisions. Indeed, it is important to make mixing judgements based on listening to reference monitors that will not impart tonal anomalies caused by crossovers or inferior full-range drivers. Paying particular attention to the critical midrange vocal/guitar/keyboard areas is always advised," explains the company on the announcement.

Following over a year of R&D (Research & Development), comparative listening, and tweaking the voicing, Avantone Pro is now releasing the new and familiar CLA-10 monitors. For the development, Avantone Pro worked in close collaboration with five-time GRAMMY Award-winning mix engineer Chris Lord-Alge — hence having his signature grace the finished, familiar-looking cabinet. "The result is a very accurate recreation of an iconic studio monitoring mainstay, much loved in the music industry among pop and rock recording engineers to this day (despite discontinuation of the original product in question back in 2001)," they add.
Chris Lord-Alge with the monitors he helped design
and which carry his signature (CLA, get it?).
According also to the company, listening tests in studios have shows that recording engineers accept the CLA-10 as a transparent replacement — as Chris Lord-Alge himself confirms: “I put my mixing reputation on these great speakers… I am mixing on them as I write this.”

The CLA-10 intends to meet its engineering and performance objectives, attributed, in part, to a 10.4-litre sealed design cabinet constructed of non-layered, high-rigidity MDF (Medium-Density Fibreboard) — chosen for its natural low-resonance characteristics — finished with an outer layer of real wood veneer. Visually and tonally fusing the past with the present, Avantone Pro utilized the latest in FEA (Fine Element Analysis) modeling to achieve its custom-designed 180mm AV10-MLF low-frequency driver based on paper cone construction with ‘old-school’ speaker design artistry, thanks to the finest pulp material that performs as closely as possible to the original by being press formed rather than die cut for tonal consistency.

Cloth surround material is made in Japan for added authenticity and has unique damping characteristics, enabling a predictable compliance over the lifespan of the driver. Avantone Pro’s custom-tooled frame supports the driver/cone combo to minimize mechanical transfers while the 35mm AV10-MHF high frequency silk dome-based tweeter is as close a match to the original as can be made, making for both a frequency (60Hz - 20kHz) and voicing match to the classic sound. The AV10-MLF and V10-MHF drivers have also been extensively field-tested in top LA and NY studios to universal acclaim as drop-in replacements for the iconic studio monitoring mainstay it recreates so accurately.

"Anyone seeking a transparent replacement for their much-loved nearfield studio monitoring mainstay as a valuable mixing tool with which to reveal shortcomings in recordings should seriously consider investing in Avantone Pro’s CLA-10. Clearly its sound should be as familiar as the distinctive looks it also accurately recreates," Avantone Pro states.

Even the CLA-10's cabinet dimensions (381.5mm x 215mm x 197.5mm) and weight (6.3kg) will make transitioning to the carefully crafted Avantone Pro iteration when waving goodbye to the ‘dearly departed’ originals made in Japan - most of which have endured years of working in studios where heavy-smoking was still a thing - not the best for paper cones. 

The CLA-10 arrives at Avantone Pro’s US Dealers in August 2018, priced at $699.00 USD per pair.
Worldwide Distributors are listed by country here.
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