Monitor-level performance from an established compact design
The ProAc Studio 100 is consistently selected by top
recording engineers for near-field monitoring in major studios - ample
testimony to its overall sound quality and neutrality at monitor reference
Few compact loudspeakers offer such a clean uncolored
performance and remarkable transparency. With virtually flat frequency response
and negligible distortion, the Studio 100 is one of the most accomplished
compact performers on the market today.
The bass unit is unique. Manufactured exclusively for ProAc,
it has a particularly linear motor assembly, superb magnet and chassis
construction and a special center pole plug. When precisely tuned in the
cabinet, this driver gives an incredibly natural bass quality and definition,
combined with generous power handling.
The tweeter is a featherlight one-inch soft dome unit, once
again specially manufactured for ProAc. Made from a new impregnated fabric, the
dome itself is exceptionally light in construction giving the Studio 100 a
distinctively uncolored and transparent high frequency.
The high quality crossover network marries the two drive
units seamlessly giving a spacious sound stage with almost tangible imagery.
Only the finest components are used and the speaker is wired throughout with
our own high-quality multi-strand wire. The cabinet itself is made from a
composite material with walls of differing thicknesses and a new and more
efficient heavy damping material ensures that the cabinets are practically
Although the Studio 100 can be shelf-mounted, high mass
stands with good rigidity are preferable for optimum results. The full
potential of these thoroughbred designs will only be realised through the use
of the highest quality partnering equipment.
- Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
- Recommended Amplifiers: 30 to 150 watts
- Frequency Response: 35hz to 30Khz
- Sensitivity: 88db linear for 1 watt at 1 meter
- Bass/Midrange Driver: 6 1/2" treated cone with special
center pole plug.
- Tweeter: 1" (25mm) soft fabric dome with ferrofluid and
rear loading. Mirror image offset.
- Crossover: Finest components on dedicated circuit board.
Multi-strand oxygen-free copper cable throughout. Split for optional bi-wiring
- Dimensions: 16" (406mm) high x 8" (203mm) wide x
10" (254mm) deep
- Weight: 24 lbs (11kg) /cabinet
- Mode: Stand-mounted
- Grille: Acoustically transparent crimplene
- Finish: Available in the following real wood veneers: Black
ProAc Studio 100 Users:
- Film Avatar
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Bose Automotive Group
- Jack White
- Rich Costey
- John O'Mahony
- Brendan Benson
- Michael Marquart
- Peter Frampton
- University of Michigan
- Michael A Sapone
- Bob Ludwig (Gateway Mastering)
- Greg Calbi (Sterling Sound)
- Tony Maserati
- Rick Rubin
- Joe Gastwirt
- Neil Diamond
- John Scofield
- Bill Frisell
- David Sanborn
- Genesis/The Farm
- Jean Marie Horvat
- Kevin Killen
- Michael Brauer
- Ron Saint Germain
- Husky Huskolds
- Troy Germano Studios
- Ryan Hewitt
- Craig Street
- Bob Ezrin
- Mike Campbell
- EastWest Studios
- Blackbird Studios
- Ryan Freeland
- Richard Dodd
- Ben Fowler
- Neil Dorfsman
- Right Track
- Looking Glass
- Bear Tracks
- Hit Factory Miami
- Chung King
- Village Recorder
"I can work on these for hours before listening fatigue kicks in." - John O'Mahony
John O’Mahony is a Grammy Nominated mixer and producer known for his indie-rock sensibilities, having worked with such acclaimed artists as Coldplay, Metric, Alberta Cross, Kaiser Chiefs and The Cribs. Find out more about John and his favorite gear in our Producers Corner.
"I worked on the original "Yamamaha" NS-10's for a decade and was desperately seeking near field replacements because I was always "in pain from the midrange" (regardless of the brand of tissues used!) from those cardboard sounding nothing above 10Khz, nothing below 100Hz, 4K ice picks that were the "studio standard" for years. Joe Ferla turned me on to the ProAc Studio 100's and I haven't changed near fields again in over a dozen years. Their well balanced response throughout the ENTIRE frequency range coupled with the most accurate imaging I have ever experienced in any near field speaker is truly remarkable. With a magnet twice the size of the NS-10's the resulting cone excursion reproduces a tight and accurate sound field devoid of any deceptive or weighted coloration. What is really impressive is how the balance does not change significantly at ANY monitoring level from 65 to 105db! I also find that mixes translate to ANY other speaker system better than anything I have ever used, so much so, in fact, that I am completely confident in the final mix even if I do not have the luxury of playing back on multiple speaker systems. What I really appreciate most though, is the complete lack of pain or ear fatigue after long hours in the studio. Whoever said you have to mix through "garbage speakers" because that is what "the people" listen to is like telling your brain surgeon to operate with a steak knife because that's what you cut your beef with!
I subsequently turned Mastering legends Bob Ludwig and Joe Gastwirt (and numerous studios, other producer/mixers and Artists as well) on to the Studio 100's and they all continue to work with them, so all I can say is ProAc has done it RIGHT with this design!" - Ron Saint Germain
In Ron's 34+ years in the business he has mixed and/or produced and mixed on 18 Grammy nominated projects with 12 winners. He has worked with such artists as 311, Muse, Bad Brains, Tool, Sound Garden, U2, DMC, Mos Def, Breed 77, Sonic Youth, Alien Ant Farm, Living Color, Jimi Hendrix, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cure, Killing Joke, Creed, Kraftwerk, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Ashford & Simpson, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Dexter Gordon and The Last Poets to mention a few.
Read more about Ron's and other industry professionals favorite gear in Vintage King's "Producer's Corner".
"A new addition to my studio, I dont know how I ever got along without these. In conjunction with NS-10's and my Mackie HR 824-s, I feel very comfortable mixing for days. But if I had to go with one speaker, it would be the Pro Ac 100's." - Chris Manning
Chris Manning is a former original member of the early '90s pop band Jellyfish and is a highly talented Bay Area producer / writer and multi-instrumentalist. Credits include: Santana (Supernatural), Metallica (Garage Inc.), Huey Lewis and The News (Live DVD), Third Eye Blind (Blue) and Jellyfish (Bellybutton), just to name a few.
Read more about Chris's and other industry professionals favorite gear in Vintage King's "Producer's Corner".
"These are such musical speakers which are pleasant to work on without steering you in the wrong direction." - Ryan Freeland
Ryan Freeland is a Grammy winning engineer whose credits include Ray LaMontagne, Aimee Mann, Joe Henry, Grant-Lee Phillips, Ingrid Michaelson, Amy Correia, Brett Dennen, Son Volt, Chuck Prophet, Ian Axel, The Weepies, Jim White, Loudon Wainwright III, Alana Davis, Jonatha Brooke, & Christina Aguilera.
The Pro-Ac Studio 100s are passive two-way monitors sporting a 6 ½” cone and a 1” soft fabric dome tweeter housed in a traditional looking ported cabinet. The crossover allows for typical single input use, bi-wiring and bi-amping. All wiring and components are very high-grade stuff, including oxygen-free copper cabling throughout. Since 1990, the Studio 100 has been a big seller in the audiophile market, and this model caught on as a studio monitor sometime in the middle of that decade. They aren’t exactly ubiquitous, but they’ve earned a place in the pantheon of classic studio monitors and continue to weather the ever-changing fads of speaker-design.
The Studio 100s present a smooth, full-range sonic image that emphasizes deep bass and airy highs, and they have the overall sonic character of a very transparent yet flattering hi-fi speaker. However, don’t fall for the idea that “flattering” means inaccurate or colored. To the contrary, this is a speaker that you will enjoy listening to all day every day because it is offering up a full-range, uncolored experience without any notable harshness or ringing. I have used them extensively in conjunction with Yamaha NS-10Ms, and I’d say that they are almost exact opposites of each other sonically. The NS-10s are all about the midrange and can be very harsh while the Pro-Acs are all about the deep lows and airy highs and are as smooth as can be. Switching between these two speakers is like looking at negative images of each other. Each delivers its own kind of information, and both are very helpful during a mix.
Using the Studio 100s at very quiet levels is an excellent way to get a rendering of the complete sonic image. Employing very high shelf eqs (say at 20khz on a vocal or drum overheads) at low volumes is very revealing in a way that the NS-10s never seem to deliver. Similarly, the woofers are exceptionally responsive to deep bass at lower volumes (Tony Levin’s low B string was well represented, for example). Taking this quiet approach with the Studio 100s had me making decisions about the extended frequencies I’d often have left for mastering.
Turn them up and you’ll get way more low-end than you’d expect from such a small box with a 6 ½” driver. Part of this low end must be due to the fact that the woofer can really travel. This is an idiosyncrasy that turns out to be a huge advantage, as you can use the woofer as a visual gauge of your low-end. If that cone starts to travel indiscriminately far, start fishing for the build-up, give it a fix and you’ll notice improved clarity not just in the low-end but in the whole mix. Those who use these speakers seem to know this about them: get the cones to behave and your low-end wont over-tax real-world consumer speakers.
Overall, working on the Studio 100s is a full-range experience with no noticeable dips or peaks across the spectrum. One advantage with passive monitors is that they tend to have fewer issues around the crossover point than their powered cousins, and the Studio 100s are a great example of this phenomenon. They’re very flat. Of course, pairing passive monitors with amps adds to both the complexity and freedom of developing your monitoring situation. As Pro-Ac elegantly puts it: “The full potential of these thoroughbred designs will only be realized through the use of the highest quality partnering equipment.” Translation: “Use a great amp for best results.”
If you’re still searching for your dream monitors, and the current self-powered offerings aren’t floating your boat (and many complain of the crossover issues with many of today’s monitors), I’d highly recommend looking into these speakers as a different approach from that of the current trends. They aren’t going to blow clients against the rear wall, but if you want a very refined, non-fatiguing listening experience with almost no sonic anomalies, the Studio 100s are up there with the best of the passive monitors. They’ve remained popular for nearly twenty years for very good reasons. - Allen Farmelo, TapeOp January/February 2009