RCF Active Near Field studio monitors – the Ayra series
RCF have been around for some time, almost 70 years to be exact. Named after the initials of the first three shareholders (but also formerly known as Radio Cine Forniture?), the company invested in the manufacture of ribbon microphones. With concerts becoming more electronically amplified RCF soon turned their art to the manufacture of transducers and the release of OEM devices for loudspeaker manufacturers in the USA and Europe.
When one does feel the urge to find out more about this company and their products the internet is strangely quiet. My first experience was actually in trying to get my hands on a pair of Yamaha or Behringer Truth monitors but the sales person motivated the sale of the Ayra 8s. Pressed for time and knowing nothing about RCF except their use in large stage arrays I only did research after I laid out the cash. Look, in all honesty the audio industry is amok with clueless critics tearing apart well known brands without thinking of the consequences (forum trolls, trap bait and undeserved criticism) – but I hardly see RCF comment.
Coming into town on an ox-wagon and buying the first set of speakers on the showroom floor is not my idea of intelligent buying but if all the showroom had was RCF and no other brands or at least recognised brands with as good a build quality then so be it. Coming in with four bi-amped models, 4″, 5″, 6″ and 8″, respective frequency responses of 60-20k, 50-20k, 50-20k and 45-20k and powers of 35+20W, 35+20W, 50+25W and 80+30W they are pretty much similar. The 4″-6″ may require a sub to fill in the lower frequencies, the 8″ not necessarily, very much dependent on user requirement.
The missing link, the fifth model, an active sub
As active nearfields and connected to a high definition audio source the quality of reproduction is impressive, the sound stage for such small speakers exceptional. Some comment about the Yamahas having a flatter response is not necessarily true. Being front firing and with the speakers about 5 foot apart and 12″ away from a rear wall there was absolutely nothing I could complain about. There is absolutely no audible noise at full volume with input weighted. What you see is what you get, a classy act.
As I do have the 8″ Ayras it must be said that they punch way above their weight and I mean punch in more than one way. Using a home brewed sub I thought it did not do the Ayras much justice for music reproduction. I have not tested them on an Ayra Ten, a 250W 35-130Hz sub chiefly because of the lower spectrum that these 8″ inch speakers can handle. A sub definitely enhances the movie experience.
The Ayras tick all three boxes, build quality, reproduction and power output.
It was rather unusual to see that many professional audio people were using the smaller 6″ units but in a recent conversation it appears that they all use them with either the Ten or studio subs.
So if you are wondering, the Ayra won’t displease and will never be a grudge purchase. RCF went out to make a quality active near field monitor and they did a damned good job!
P.S. if you have money to spare, they make excellent PC speakers.