It is not uncommon for someone with access to limited resources to use home stereo speakers for monitoring. I found it interesting, though, when I learned how many recording studios with other monitors also use these now-discontinued, but still common, Radio Shack speakers. In considering speakers as monitors, it's easy to describe their sound, but harder to explain why they'd be good or bad as monitors. For small, inexpensive speakers, Minimus 7's generally sound good. They get fairly good bass response given their small woofers; it is clean if not as deep as speakers with larger woofers. Their midrange and treble behavior is smooth. They can be slightly bright in all but the deadest of rooms, and somewhat resemble Yamaha monitors in this regard. Their two prominent drawbacks are slow transient response and lack of truly deep bass. Some might argue that these qualities give a good idea of what a mix will sound like on an "ordinary" stereo. On what stereos you expect a mix to sound good or bad, and how you want your monitors to reflect that is definitely a subjective question. The Minimus 7's give some reflection of common limitations of inexpensive speakers, but still sound good when powered by a good amp. They can be found for fairly cheap-I paid $50 including shipping for mine, which are in great shape.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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