We always recommend throwing a large proportion of your budget at your monitors. John Pickford checks out the Eve SC3010 monitors to find out why…
Price £4,999 (inc. VAT)
Contact Nova Distribution, 020 3589 2530
Accurate monitoring is one of the most important aspects of recording music. Get it wrong and when your tracks are played elsewhere, they can sound poorly balanced – either overly bright or dull as ditchwater. The key is – ensure that your monitors work well in your mixing or mastering room.
Designed and assembled in Germany – the Eve SC3010 is a large three-way main monitor that has been designed for use in professional studios or larger project studios. They need space to work properly, so if you work with a DAW setup in your box bedroom, these are probably not the monitors for you.
Given space, however, they offer full-range monitoring and an impressive range of user-adjustable parameters, for the sort of money you’d spend on quality mid-field designs.
Eve SC3010 Overview
Measuring 380x580x440mm (W/H/D) and weighing in at 37kg, the 3010s are the smaller of Eve’s two main monitoring systems, featuring a 250mm (10-inch) bass driver, 130mm (five-inch) midrange and Eve’s newly developed AMT RS6 tweeter, an Air Motion Transformer that utilises a large folded diaphragm capable of handling punishingly high SPLs.
Like most modern studio monitors, the 3010s are an active design, with Eve utilising three bespoke PWM amplifiers, one for each driver. With a maximum output level of 114dB, the amps deliver 250 watts to the tweeter and midrange driver and a whopping 800 watts to the bass driver.
Both the midrange and bass drivers’ diaphragms are made with layered glass fibre, while the midrange unit also incorporates ROHACELL (registered trade mark) structural foam in a sandwich arrangement.
Crossover frequency between bass and midrange is 240Hz, while the RS6 tweeter covers the range from 21kHz all the way down to 1,800Hz, an extremely wide band for a treble unit; bass extends downwards to a window-rattling 29Hz.The tweeter and midrange driver are housed in a silver module that can be rotated 90 degrees, so the monitor can be placed horizontally if desired.
Within this module is the rotary knob that controls the 3010’s DSP electronics, a range of EQ filters and volume and phase controls that allow the monitors’ response to be tailored to suit any acoustic environment.
A high-quality (24 bit/192kHz) A/D converter from Burr-Brown and Cirrus Logic delivers a pure, unsullied signal to the DSP section. The in-wall setting provides the correct filtering necessary for in-wall installations.
At the rear of the monitor is an unusual large, rectangular bass port, designed to eliminate compression and distortion and give deep, yet tight and clean bass reproduction. Foam port-bungs are provided to block off the ports in the case of in-wall installations. Input connectors are provided for both XLR and RCA (phono) cables.
We mounted the monitors vertically on the sturdy stands that usually support our ATC mid-fields, enabling us to hear how they slot in to our monitoring system comprising huge ATC SCM100A main monitors and the ubiquitous Yamaha NS-10M nearfields.
Playing some familiar music, starting with David Bowie’s Ashes To Ashes, we could hear immediately that the 3010s are beautifully balanced with a firm, weighty and taut bottom end and crystal-clear upper frequency with no sign of tizz or treble-spit. Switching to our main ATCs confirmed this initial impression, showing the 3010s to be a true full-range design.
Most impressive, though, is the performance of the broad midrange, the area that lets down many inferior designs. Showing no favour to any part of the audio spectrum, all the subtle elements of the Bowie track were presented clearly, enabling us to hear the precise timbre of the various instruments and multitracked vocals. What’s more, the monitors locked into the groove of the track, conveying the nuances of the myriad percussive elements and playing a proper bass tune with no boom or port-chuffing to slow down the bottom-end that underpins the track.
Moving to a solo acoustic performance, Nick Drake singing Pink Moon highlighted the natural and unforced nature of the monitor, giving one of the most convincing reproductions I’ve personally heard outside of electrostatic panel speakers. Shut your eyes and you could be fooled into thinking that Nick was there himself, performing in our control room.
Speaking of which, our control room is 42 square metres, providing enough space to allow the monitors to sing without obstruction, and although we experimented with the EQ filters, in
our room the flat, standard response setting worked best; a testament to the monitors’ exceptional tonal balance.
Over a period of several weeks, we monitored all sorts of audio through the Eves, never once feeling that they were providing less information than our big ATCs, which cost more than twice the price of the 3010s.
The sense of scale when playing full-range music with deep bass is incredible for a monitor with a 10-inch bass driver. Only when replaying electronica with serious sub-bass did we notice that the Eves couldn’t quite defy the laws of physics and reach down to subsonic territory; a sympathetic subwoofer such as Eve’s TS112 ThunderStorm may help here.
Imaging is another of the 3010’s strong points, with instruments located precisely within the stereo picture. Stereo images remain stable and solid over a wide area; you’re not confined to a single-seat sweet spot. Image depth is also good, if not quite the last word in soundstaging, and atmospherics are conveyed beautifully via the excellent RS6 treble unit.
Eve SC3010 Verdict
That the Eve SC3010 monitors get so much right in terms of tonal accuracy and rhythmic pace sets them apart from the many clinical, unforgiving designs that favour lightning-fast dynamics and trip-hammer transients above all else. The Ece 3010 monitors present their fine details with rich harmonics and atmosphere; they have a true musical heart.
Factor in the many clever DPS filtering options to accommodate speaker position and room acoustics, and you have a versatile and extremely capable full-scale monitoring system able to honestly present your work for lengthy periods of time without causing listener fatigue. At just shy of five grand, the Eve SC3010s offer outstanding value for money, giving you so much in terms of advanced technology, thoughtful design and, above all else, superb sound reproduction.
Eve SC3010 Key Features
● Three-way active design
● Frequency response 21Hz to 29kHz
● Separate PWM for each driver
● 114dB maximum SPL
● DSP electronics
● AMT RS6 tweeter