Just yesterday we had a long time customer of ours call and ask about buying another set of KRK Rokit RP8G2 studio monitors. He also wanted to know if it might be worth the couple hundred extra to upgrade to the VXT line like a VXT-6 or VXT-8. Given we hadn’t don an a/b test between the two before, we used it as an opportunity to test them out!
Our test/shootout was done spur of the moment & unofficial, so we didn’t do any real exacting calibration between the monitors (other than making sure their back panel settings were zero’d out) or plot out their responses using Smaart Live, etc. And since we didn’t have any VXT-8 monitors on hand, we put the RP8G2’s up against the VXT-6 monitors instead. The differences between the VXT6 and VXT8 are that the 6 uses a 6″ woofer and has 90w of power, and the 8 has an 8″ woofer and 180w of power. None the less, the comparison still seemed totally valid considering that the VXT-6 is much closer to the price range of the RP8 than the VXT-8 is. Since we only had one pair of speaker stands and one set of outputs from our Benchmark D to A available at that time, we just played some music on one pair, then swapped them out for the other, played the same music again, and listened for the differences.
I must say the differences were not real subtle and they rather reviled themselves quickly. First off, despite being a 6″ driver and rated with a freq. response down to 49Hz, the VXT-6 actually seemed to have just as robust bass response as the RP8 despite the RP8’s larger driver and rating down to 45Hz. The VXT had a tighter and more defined low end than the RP8. I suppose the RP8 may have showed that extra 4Hz depth in frequency response, but it was barely noticeable between them.
Where the two speakers really showed their differences was in the high frequency spectrum. The VXT monitors had a much more open & clear sound to them. When switching back and forth between the monitors it almost felt like there was a sheet thrown over the RP8’s in comparison. They just didn’t have the high freq. extension or “air” that the VXT-6’s had. In addition, the VXT monitors seemed less fatiguing. We weren’t listening for a long enough period of time to really have a good say on it, but it really seemed like RP8s were harsh sounding in comparison to the VXT6 monitors and would be fatiguing on the ear over long sessions. The last area that showed itself was in the imaging difference between the two. The VXTs had a nice 3D image and precise panning locations. reverbs & delays seemed lush and had nice depth. The RP8’s in comparison were again not quite there. The image was definitely more blurred and less defined, or more “collapsed in” sounding.
Given that we can get you into a pair of VXT-6’s for about $250 more than what you can find the RP8’s for, I’d definitely say the jump is worth the money (imo). I think you’re getting a better bang-for-the-buck out of them and that they’ll be able to sustain your growth as an engineer (or musician) much longer than the RP8G2 monitors would. I guess we’ll have to bring in the KRK Expose E8B studio monitors next. At $2500 street price each E8B, I’m curious how the VXT series will hold up against it!