While trends in monitoring come and go, these speakers probably fall second to NS-10Ms as dinosaurs of the nearfield world. Any similarities between the two speakers ends there. The Matrix 805 reaches lower frequencies than its size would indicate, with very low distortion for its ported design. It provides extremely fast and accurate response through high treble frequencies, which reveals helpful detail and clarity that many speakers lack. Its de-emphasized midrange causes very little ear fatigue but lacks the impact that many listeners desire for rock music. The Matrix 805's subtlety in frequencies that are prominent in guitars and bass guitars can present a confusing view of a mix to an unaccustomed listener. Since B&W has introduced the Nautilus 805, the Matrix 805 has grown more common and somewhat more affordable used-a pair typically sells for about $700 now. Their detailed treble and unfatiguing midrange makes them extremely useful monitors for tracking. When coupled with NS-10Ms, they provide opposite and complimentary views into a mix.

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

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