|KRK Rokit 5 Generation 1|
|KRK Rokit G5 Generation 2|
It has been almost 4 years since I purchased my pair of KRK Rokit 5 G1 reference monitors. Back then I was totally hyped just to buy a decent pair of monitors, it didn't matter if they were super expensive or more affordable, but it was more important to stop trying to do my mixing on my desktop speakers...lol.
Surprisingly, the songs I mixed on my desktop speakers turned out decent, considering they were a Harman Kardon set with a sub, so I could at least hear what was happening in the low end.
It was time though to work seriously, and this, my friends, is where all my money started flying out the window! =o) Let me just say though, that these monitors really outperformed themselves from my very first mixes until the ones I am currently doing now. So much that when it my studio at work needed a pair of reference monitors, they were my first choice and also because they were within budget.
So that day I went out to Long & Mcquade and bought a second pair of Rokit 5's. I was expecting to buy the 2nd generation (G2) which have a slightly different look and design. And I have been comparing both the G1 and G2's for the last 16 Months, doing A/B tests with the same Material and working in the same room to mix in and here's what I have to say, and later I will actually compare specs as per KRK:
It seems to me that the G2 of KRK monitors have a slightly more colored sound, but not the kind of color that would take away from the original sound of the source material, but the speakers exhibit a sort of clarity in the mid range that the G1 do not. The low-end also seems to sound slightly different in both generations (I don't want to necessarily get into the frequency response curves to compare the two, but rather let my ear tell the story for now) as the G2 of KRK 5's sound more refined and the response feels more accurate in the low end, something I feel is a direct result of the redesign of the cabinet shape. The square shaped cabinets of the G1 of KRK 5 seem to have a slight roll off in the lower end, and that is considering that these monitors reach down to 53hz.
I've always enjoyed the clarity of tweeters on both G1 and G2 and don't have many issues with their response, but the look is slightly different on the G2 as the enclosure around the tweeter is simply shaped differently.
Now: Here's what I learned from comparing G1 vs G2 Specs:
Signal to Noise (HF/LF)
G1 & G2: 82dB/90dB
G1 & G2: .05%/.02%
G1: 16 lbs
KRK Key Technologies for the G2:
- Radically curved front plate design virtually eliminates diffraction distortion
- Waveguide design provides amazing detail and imaging
- Front-firing port provides low freq extension without boundary coupling
- New speaker voicing for even more accurate frequency response
SO, my ear has told me a few things on this lesson. First is that the imaging is definatly something that has been improved on the KRK G2 and this proves to be a result of their design as the curved sides eliminates diffraction distortion and this is especially true when you are monitoring on a wider plane. (If your speakers are further apart). New speaker voicing, and although the Freq. response is only 1 Hz lower in the G2, has proven to give the overall sound a better result. The front-firing ports are also really handy when mixing close to a wall, which most of us do, where lower frequency's get coupled and bass traps are needed, these ports help that issue. Cross over frequency was something I thought might have been different between the two, and therefore proving the mid range to be more present, but this would seem to be false as the cross over freq. is the same in both G1 & G2. The "mid range" improvement I am hearing is more a result of the waveguide design on the G2 which helps the speaker voicing and delivers better imaging.
At my home studio, I am still using the G1, because I like them and have gotten used to mixing on them, especially because I've been working on a project, and I wouldn't want to suddenly swap out my ref. monitors. I am definitely loving the G2 though and would recommend anyone upgrade if you are interested. For me, it comes down to what you are used to, what you can hear out of your monitor, and how to act on what you are hearing. So if you like what you are using, and are getting great mixes, then still with it. I really like KRK reference monitors though, and I havn't looked back. Most of my mixes end up being very true when I bring it to another sound system, or in a car.
What I would recommend however, is buy the KRK Powered Subwoofer. It will tell you exactly what is going on in the 20-50Hz range which is something that you and I had to learn by countless trial and error and learning how to read the monitors without a sub. You can get used to them without a sub, which I have, but it would make life a lot easier for you.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed!