KRK Systems has revised its Rokit 8 powered studio monitor in its Generation 2 (G2) with improvements that include a new curved front baffle and reworked voicing of its electronics. The KRK10s is the complementary subwoofer with matching front baffle to the Rokit line. With this G2 version, KRK has given its entry-level speakers a shot in the arm.
The Rokit 8 G2 maintains many features of the original Rokit monitor line: a frontfiring bass port and KRK's highly recognizable yellow woofer made of a glassaramid (Kevlar-type) material. Also intact from the previous version are dual 140W of biamped power and active crossovers. Inputs include XLR, RCA and 1/4-inch TRS on both the Rokit 8 and KRK 10s. Frequency response is 45 Hz to 20 kHz with video shielding standard, and the sub extends that down to 35 Hz. The Rokit 8's back panel features a smoothly tapered volume pot, power switch and high-frequency level control; the 10s features a 150W RMS amplifier, crossover control (variable low-pass sweepable from 50-130 Hz), polarity reverse, ground lift switch, fixed 80 Hz hi-passed line out and a volume pot with a 10-inch woofer in a front-firing, front-ported design. Finally, the electronics of the Rokit Series have been re-voiced, and curved front baffles are new to all models.
Setup for the KRK system was straightforward. After placing the Rokits on stands, we had no trouble finding a suitable location for the sub. It should be noted I never center the sub between walls; in this case, 18 inches right of center worked well. After some break-in time, I tested the KRKs with several types of music and compared it to my standard but similarly sized monitor setup.
First try was without the sub in play; that resulted in less low-end response than I'm accustomed to. I quickly unlatched the bypass to the KRK 10s sub, and it filled out the bottom octave nicely. I listened to the system for extended periods while switching between my usual setup.
The KRK system had a pleasing EQ curve with a slightly forward midrange presence — useful for those vocal riding sessions — and slightly softened highs. While the Rokits gave up some stereo imaging with their somewhat rounding off of the transients, they made up for it by getting loud enough to drive me from my 15 x 22-foot control room.
I also liked the front-firing tuned port for its lack of coloration and added bass response, unlike so many rear-firing ports that are overly sensitive to the distance of the wall behind them. I'm sure this is why KRK left off any bass equalization options in its entry-level monitor; it didn't need any in my room using proper stands.
The Rokit 8 G2 and 10s subwoofer make for a great entry-level speaker system, and the 8 is a well-made match for the 10s. The 8's extreme high-end response may be too subtle for some styles of music or for those who listen quietly, but they are perfect for those who listen a little louder or are mixing somewhat more aggressive styles of music. Can you say, "Excellent rock monitor"? I thought you could.
Randy Poole is a Nashville-based engineer/mixer and owner of the Poole Room studio in Franklin, TN.www.thepooleroom.com