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From Gibson Brands comes KRK Systems, makers of fine studio monitors, like its popular Rokit series. After gaining plenty of traction in the DJ/producer segment of the market, the Nashville-based company has returned with the Classic 5.

The Basics: Let’s start with what’s different between the Classic 5 and KRK’s Rokit line. That, in turn, has to begin with the understanding that studio monitors — despite their job in helping producers and engineers create a solid mix — generally will add a little color to the sound. That’s not a problem in most cases, because an engineer will know his or her environment well, and experience informs what ultimately sounds right and delivers an optimal mix.

For the rest of us, however, I’d argue that the best starting point would be the most neutral one: flat. The KRK Classic 5 is designed to deliver a flatter response curve across the audible spectrum than its siblings, and in theory, that should enable you to more easily create a mix that works optimally across different listening environments that your fans will be using.

All that being said, one’s own studio listening environment has a lot to do with how any studio monitor performs and, regardless of the response curve, your studio’s configuration and furnishings are going to impact the result — often in profound ways. I’ll dig a little deeper into that in a moment.

While they may start flatter, the KRK Classic 5 can still be adjusted on-board to suit the room by providing both boost and cut for high and low frequencies. For the highs, you can boost 1 db, or cut 1 or 2 db. For the lows, you can boost 1 or 2 db, or cut 1 db. Both provide a “flat” setting as well, of course, and beyond these two knobs, there’s one that serves as an on-board gain control.

KRK didn’t make it too easy to find the specs for the Classic 5, but as it turns out, they are said to provide frequency response from 46 Hz on the low end, to 34.5 kHz on the high end. It’s delivered through two drivers: The 5-inch glass aramid main driver (in KRK’s beautiful trademark yellow), and 1-inch soft dome tweeter that on this model is in black. They deliver 50 watts of power through a compact cabinet that’s roughly 11-inches tall, 7.5-inches wide, and under 10-inches deep.

Input choices include what you’d expect: XLR, ¼-inch and RCA. And because these monitors are self-powered (as are most these days), there’s the usual power-cable plug on the back, and a power switch. The Classic 5, like other KRK monitors, provides an illuminated logo on the front to indicate that power is on, and they offer a power-saver mode that turns off the amps when a signal is not present for an extended period, and turns it back on again when you push audio to them once again.

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