MunroSonic has added a new smaller monitor to its range. Mike Hillier cracks open the Egg100 Monitoring System…
The MunroSonic Egg100 Monitoring System is the new smaller sibling to the distinctive Egg150 Monitoring System. Like its bigger brother, the Egg100 is a complete system, comprising dedicated left and right speakers, coupled with a control unit and amplifier. The speaker design uses the same curved, infinite baffle design as the Egg150’s in the distinctive egg shape, but with a smaller enclosure housing a four-inch driver.
Setting up the Egg100 in our studio was a fairly simple process; the speakers come with two-metre Speakon cables to connect to the control unit, and unlike the larger Egg150 system there are no Aux inputs, just a pair of XLR inputs. Also gone is the Mid EQ, leaving the front panel much simplified, with only a volume pot, power switch and headphone port.
On the side of the unit are recessed HF and LF filters, enabling close room equalisation of the speakers, with precision potentiometers giving up to 10dB attenuation on each channel. Our studio has been treated, and we have a fair amount of space between the speaker stands and the nearest wall, so we opted to simply roll a small amount of high frequency from the top end, while leaving the bottom end flat. In smaller spaces, however, it may be useful to also dial out a little bit of the low-end.
The Egg100 system comes with a newly designed vibration damping stand, which has been named the Egg Nest, although given its shape it should perhaps have been called the Egg Cup. The Nest enables you to tilt the speakers to correctly align the system to your workspace, without blocking the port. Correct alignment of the system isn’t quite as easy as it was with the Egg150 system, however, as the clever little blue LED, which made aligning the larger Egg speakers so simple, is absent.
The first thing we noticed when comparing the Egg100 with our own Egg150 system in the studio was how similar the overall sound was. The larger system sounded bigger, having more low-end, but the soundstage was remarkably similar, and the system sounded similarly detailed and open, with plenty of fast transients. Anyone used to working on one set of these speakers will be able to transfer to the other quickly.
We spent a while getting used to the system with favourite mixes of our own, and a few from our reference tracks selection, before setting off on a mix to see how it would translate from the Egg100s to bigger systems.
We began with a piano-led folky piece, with a fairly big arrangement taking in a string quartet, acoustic and electric guitars, full drum kit and electric bass. The biggest issue was the midrange, which was incredibly busy, with so many instruments vying for space. The midrange on the Egg100 system is very focused, however, and with plenty of spatial detail, finding a space for each element was quite simple.
The next issue was the kick drum, which was sounding muddy and seemingly occupying the same space as the bass guitar. The kick has plenty of energy, so we opted to scoop out some low-mids, making room for the bass guitar in the process, and then used a multiband compressor on the low-end of the bass to ensure it kept a solid consistency at the bottom. The end result sounded great on these speakers.
Switching first to our larger rig, and then to headphones, it was obvious that our mix was translating well. The midrange elements all maintained their own space. The piano, which we had worked hard to sit in the stereo field with enough width to sound like a full grand piano, but not so much as to steal all the bandwidth in both speakers, was still holding the track together, gluing the string arrangement to the guitars.
Switching to mono, the track folded up a little, and some of the string elements started to sit on top of each other, but the vocal was still evident above the instrumental bed, and the kick, snare and bass guitar were still driving the song forward. Most noticeably, the bottom end seemed to be just right, with the bass guitar sat above the sub-frequencies of the kick, and no noticeable thinness from our scooping of the kick. Nothing we would be embarrassed handing over to a mastering engineer.
The Egg100 comes in red, white or black with a dedicated control unit and amplifier
Genelec 8010s make for a more portable system than the Egg100, as the amp is built into the speaker itself. However, this has other compromises in sound quality, which MunroSonic has been able to avoid by keeping the two separate. Both would make excellent small monitors, and will sound far superior to a larger system in a small room.
For anyone working in a small room, the Egg100 system is a great option, and MunroSonic tells us it’s working on a sub-woofer to be paired with the system, should anyone want to add that low-end back in. In an ideal world, we’d be working in bigger rooms on more full-range systems; but with more and more of our time spent in small spaces, systems such as the Egg100 are a necessity, so it’s a good idea to invest in a great system such as this.
● Stereo active control unit with two 30W RMS power amplifiers
● Bass reflex speakers
● Two-way passive crossover
● 25mm HF unit
● 100mm LF unit
● Two-year warranty