I've had some really good monitors in my twenty or so years of owning my studio - Genelec 1031As and others, several models of Bowers &Wilkins, KRKs, Mackies, etc. I've had some crummy ones, too... But I have a soft spot for any monitor that will get the balances my clients will hear on their systems and in their cars. Often, my studio monitors just get this wrong, and I think the reason is that they can reproduce things that make the average speaker sound like mud. Too often I've put together a mix that absolutely kills on Genelec 1031As, only to find out there are problems at the client's place. Enter what I call the "secondary reference" monitor. Lots of people reference mixes on speakers like NS-10s for this purpose, even if they use something else as the primary monitor. I've found a secondary reference I like better - the M-Audio BX8a. Oh yeah, they're cheap and cheerful! I read that one of my favorite film composers, Mark Isham, uses them. And I like their weighted action 88 note keyboard controller quite a lot. My son uses their interface with his computer. I figured I'd check them out at GC. Well, they didn't sound very good there, but I figured I'd check them out in my studio and see. When I plugged them in at first, they were the worst monitors I have ever heard. All pinched high end, no mids, flabby bass. I let the music play for awhile while I went to lunch. I was really thinking these would have to go back to the store. They sounded worse than NS-10s. When I came back, they sounded a lot better - almost good! I figured maybe they need a break-in period to sound halfway decent. So I played a bunch of tracks on them to get a feel for them, and then let them play most of the evening, just as background. The next day, they sounded quite nice. Not "3D" and not "pinpoint placement" of course...as you would expect for the money. There is limited power handling. But - here's the important thing - they reproduce music with the kind of characteristics of typical systems, that is, they sound like speakers sound in the real world. I wrote a music theme for a radio ad campaign, and decided to reference to these speakers. When I met with the client, the mix sounded just like it sounded on the BX8as at my studio when the client put it on his small hi fi system. There were no surprises, and no excuses. It just sounded really good. It sounded good in my car. In fact, the mix sounded good in my wife's car, at my client's office, on my den hi fi, and on a boombox! These are speakers with built in amps that cost $500 for a pair. Yeah, peek inside them through the rear port with a flashlight, and you can see why. They're cheaply made. But they make an excellent secondary reference. Also, they are easy on the ears for long periods.