REC M15 monitor testing by the editorial staff of

The testing of monitor REC M15 

When the company “Aris” has provided stage monitors M15 of Ukrainian manufacturing company “REC” for testing we departed from a rule in the Concert Hall of the Gnesins Academy to work with our own equipment. Zhytomir’s company “REC” creates its history from the Soviet times. The quality of products differed with its quality incomparable with the achievements of the state enterprises. These Monitors we decided to put in the Concert of Polish jazz. The real work on the stage and together with the Polish jazz musicians who are known as the best musicians in the world is exactly the best test. Moreover, it is much easier to work with the foreigners. They take up all things more adequately. Our people need screw off and look what is inside before switching on any equipment. As a result we did it by removing the top cover of the attached amplifier. It was not so easy because some screws were fixed in at angle and we had to relax the sidemount hardware. We saw a powerful "torus"-transformer inside of the traditional power supply, on the both sides there are tunnels of radiators of the output transistors that are equipped with a pair of fans, batteries of high capacity. In one word, it is a good-quality analog machine.

Internal wiring is made extensively, clean and completely in "Western style". On the back panel there is the full set of required connectors. Output: Speakon and terminals for bare wires (such ones should be only used in a steady-state installing conditions). Input: universal XLR; parallels: Jack and XLR-M. There are switches modes - Stereo, Mono and Bridge, switches of the built in limiters and also a ground lift that is necessary in such equipment. It is even drawn a prompt message how to unsolder input and output connectors. The front panel is not look like very special, and it contains a minimal "gentleman's set": power switch, level controls, and three LEDs on each channel - Signal, Clip and an indicator of protection operation.

We had got a power amplifier of series CS3400 that is issuing to 1700 W per channel into 4 Ohm. When we were turning on one monitor for each channel, we were surprised by the strong howling of cooling fans, although the signal wasn’t supplied yet, and the power amplifier was standing in idle mode. We were waited for a time hoping that the fans will calm down but that’s not going to happen and we had to carry the power amplifier far behind the scenes for not howling in our acoustic Academic Hall...


The monitors of company “REC” were almost clones of our existing monitors Kling& Freitag Scena (German firm) in size and appearance. It is logical to compare them. There matched a dip angle, the shape of the grating (although it is difficult to create something new) and even the shape and setout of handles for carrying around... However, the set out of connecting jacks is another and I suspect that it is more convenient. It does not allow switching on monitors in biamp mode. It is not a weakness but many modern 15'' monitors have this opportunity. On the other side it is a plus, since there are no switches modes, therefore a human error is excluded. Judging by the description the construction is coaxial and we decided not to open it. 


We didn’t have the laboratory equipment for the full testing on a physical level so everything was checking on the feelings level. But music is more than feeling, isn’t it? As Kling & Freitag equipment run through the processor and “REC” equipment directly, any comparison does not seem correct. Moreover, the processor Kling & Freitag is with a feedback. It means the best playback of low sounds and low middle sounds and the best impulse response. However, we will look to the equipment’s behavior in the real musical field conditions.

At the beginning we evaluated the sounding on phonograms. Monitors “REC” seem noticeably brighter, the upper middle sounds and upper sounds are increased what the musicians paid attention on. But low sounds and low middle sounds were disguised that was also noticeable. Maximum power acceleration was not very correct in a technical point of view because the power amplifiers are of different power. The processor Kling & Freitag is equipped with comparator that is tracking the behavior of the dynamic at different loads which equipment “REC” doesn’t have. However, after reaching a level close to the clip of an amplifier (about -5-3 dB) the behavior of monitors changes. Audible distortions are appearing in the monitors “REC” while “Scena” holds up to the real clip.


Let's talk into the microphone now. Amplifying of the microphone channel is 5 dB, the master AUX is 0 dB according to the console’s indicators on both outputs (each monitor with its own amplifier was connected to a separate AUX-output). The microphone is fixed to the rack on the side of "the musician", and the least sensitive back side - to the monitor. Monitor “REC” seems much brighter and more sensitive here, but only as long as the first signs whistled acoustic feedback. Unfortunately, our testing monitor whistled much earlier than Kling & Freitag. It was hold over for approximately 6-7 dB - that's a lot. In the "microphone to monitor" position when the artist puts his hand down together with a microphone and it "looks" right to monitor both testing monitors were hold over identically. Perhaps, “REC” gives up on 1-2 decibels earlier, but it cannot be proved without accurate measurements.

Generally, this given set up made a good impression. The device is quite working. It is assembled very strong and of high quality, design was also well thought. Musicians as we have said, the stars of the European class, working with the best equipment, were satisfied by sound on the stage.

We have only one wish to the manufacturer: to reduce the noise generated by amplifier’s fans amplifier. In fact, there is not always the opportunity to hide a noisy amplifier as far as we were able to do.


Author: Dmitry Sukhin
Monitors “REC” were
provided for testing
by the distribution company “ARIS PRO”