Elite Acoustics Designs’ Sunburst Gear M3BR8 could be the most useful multipurpose monitoring tool I’ve ever used. Is it a studio monitor, instrument monitor, sound reinforcement speaker, Bluetooth-ready portable DJ/KJ rig, remote-location battery powered portable PA, or a three-channel mixer with limited EQ? Actually, it’s all of those and more.
Designed, built and tested in the US, the M3BR8 is notably well-built and ideal for mobile artists/recordists, such as those who frequently find themselves performing and producing on the go. Matter of fact, PSN Software Contributor Rich Tozzoli is evaluating the M3BR8 during his annual St. John Recording Retreat; be sure to read the May 2015 issue of PSN for his experiences in some ideal applications.
The magnetically shielded, front-ported M3BR8 features a 5 1/4-inch woofer and one-inch tweeter; three input channels featuring XLR and TRS inputs plus eighth-inch auxiliary jack with volume knob; three-band master EQ; long-lasting 15-plus hour rechargeable battery; AC/DC operation; Bluetooth playback-ready; separate USB input and charge ports; and 35 mm bottom pole mount with a very sturdy overall build quality and road-ready design. Dimensions are 9 x 9 x 14.5 inches (L x W x H); per cabinet weight is 23 lbs.
The M3BR8 surprised me with its studio monitor-level performance, as it’s built to handle small sound reinforcement tasks, too. Trust me, this is no typical portable PA; I’d feel comfortable mixing on MM Series speakers as well as listening for enjoyment because they sound great and are relatively accurate. Providing comprehensive I/O for its channel count, the M3BR8 allowed me to employ the system as singer/songwriter sound reinforcement (just add microphone), a city sidewalk busking PA, a superb sounding keyboard monitor, and—my personal favorite—no nonsense studio monitors.
There’s much to brag about the M3BR8 in build quality and style, too. Solid as a brick, everything about the speaker feels very high quality—from its knurled aluminum pots, carbon fiber-look covering over thick wood cabinetry to its minimalistic, sleek steel handle. The look is a toss-up between modern-day design and lab coat-era recording products. As such, Sunburst Gear’s MM Series is effortlessly hip, perhaps without trying to be.
Based on overall quality and flexibility alone, I predict a growing buzz around the Sunburst Gear brand in 2015 based on the MM Series in particular. A 6-input MM Series speaker, the M6BR8, is due later this year with a few extra features. Don’t pass up the chance to audition a pair.