REVIEW: Monkey Banana Gibbon 8 Studio Monitors
The Monkey Banana Gibbon 8 Studio Monitors are one of three sets of two-way loudspeakers in their Gibbon range; the others are the Gibbon Air Bluetooth and the Gibbon5. There is also a Gibbon 10 subwoofer.
The Gibbon 8 loudspeakers, as the name suggests sport 8 inch woofers. The cone is made from Polypropylene Ceramic material and it has a 1 inch silk dome tweeter.
The claimed frequency response is 45Hz-22kHz and the built in amplifier crosses over at 3kHz.
Connectivity is offered in the form of balanced XLR and TRS inputs as well as unbalanced RCA.
There are 3 additional controls on the rear of each speaker. These include a volume attenuator, an LF attenuator and an HF attenuator.
Both the low and high frequency controls allow up to a 6dB cut or boost either to the tweeter or to the woofer.
The woofer kicks out a meaty 80 watts and the tweeter 30 watts.
The speaker cabinets are made from a composite material and are available in red or black.
My son has a pair of Gibbon 5 monitors in his bedroom which he has used mainly as DJ monitors up to now. He is just starting to use them for project mixing too.
I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve heard. If you want more bass the LF boost at the back really does make those little 5 inch cones work and the balance between top and bottom frequencies is good.
The Gibbon 8, whilst naturally sporting some similar traits to the smaller 5s, is a bit of a different beast. Both have the same 1 inch tweeters so it’s really down to how well Monkey Banana has balanced this with the larger 8 inch cone and cabinet.
My first impression was ‘wow that’s a lot of bass.’
Unless your studio space is massive I really don’t think a sub woofer is needed with the Gibbon 8. In fact I found myself reducing the LF by -3dB to get a sound I felt was flat for my room size. Increasing the HF did not work for me. I felt that this made the tops a little too brittle and sizzly and I could see ear fatigue kicking in if this was boosted.
Too much bass is not a bad thing as long as one can reduce this, so be warned not to get too attached to the wholesome bottom end as this could affect your mixdown. Once I’d settled on this, the overall stereo projection is pretty decent and the dispersion of sound seemed stable and consistent. Frequency separation is also good.
What is impressive is that the low end certainly sounds like it gets down to the claimed 45Hz.
I’ve been impressed with the Gibbon 5s for so long that I expected a lot from the Gibbon 8 speakers. You can read our review we did a long time ago on the 5s here.
If you work in a confined space such as a square bedroom I’d definitely settle on the 5s. But if you have a large studio space or perhaps use something like your garage as a studio then the Gibbon 8 certainly has the power and the bottom end to deliver, probably without a sub.
Comparing these to an old pair of KRK Rokit 8 loudspeakers it’s easy to tell the advancement in technology on offer with the Gibbon 8 so if this price range is your budget, I’d definitely give them a listen. They’re as good and in some cases better than many others in this price bracket.
Expect to pay: R 11,000 / pair
- No lack of bass
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Big bang for your buck
- Highs a bit brittle when pushed
Monkey Banana is distributed via Viva Afrika in South Africa.