Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

  1. #1
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Almeria, Spain
    Posts
    5,346
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    I had been meaning to do a brief report on these for a while. They do not look as nice as those Charlie built, however! Despite the utilitarian appearance, in the six months or so that I've had a pair on test, they have proved reliable and surprisingly excellent sounding for the very low price tag. You would not use these for a heavy metal act, or even a loud electrified country outfit, but for an acoustic duo, trio or smaller band they might be ideal. I have shown one here next to a QSC K8 for comparison. Not only is the K8 many, many times the price of the TX-8, it is also very much more sophisticated (in-built DSP and loads of input options). It also weighs a whole bunch more. The TX-8's are feather light in comparison: 5.53Kg/12.2lbs vs 12.12kg/27lbs - you can pick up a TX-8 in one hand to carry it. The TX-8's offer 140W RMS (280W peak), though it is a single Class-D amplifier vs a dual 500+500W RMS Class-D configuration in the K8.

    Obviously, the K8 is the better speaker. It also costs around $650 vs $140....

    So, how do the little TX-8's sound. I'd say they sound really, really good providing you do not push them too hard. They are not muddy, nicely directional, and seem to work very well indeed as a lightweight, low-cost 'wedge' (they have a nice slope facility built into the cabinet). The input is balanced XLR and is about as simple as it gets. No DSP. No EQ. Just a gain knob (normally you'd do all the EQ on the AUX outs from your console). It does offer quite a wide gain range, though, from dynamic mic up to line level and there is a built-in limiter. There is also a 'though' link XLR output.

    I really can't fault these at the price. Compact, super-light weight and they sound very acceptable. If you A/B them directly with a QSC or similar then yes - there is no doubt that the QSC sounds superior. You do get what you pay for there...but... for low cost speakers, you really can't complain, or at least I can't. They get a thumbs up from me.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TX8_1.jpg 
Views:	116 
Size:	165.1 KB 
ID:	155860

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TX8_2.jpg 
Views:	137 
Size:	155.5 KB 
ID:	155861

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TX8_3.jpg 
Views:	103 
Size:	157.6 KB 
ID:	155862

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TX8_4.jpg 
Views:	105 
Size:	121.6 KB 
ID:	155863
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  2. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to almeriastrings For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,274

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Played last night and two of the other band members played (voice and instrument) thru a fishman then lined it to the PA. I played thru the PA, but took out the large floor monitor and used another fishman for a monitor. These also work very well for an acoustic monitor. The smaller speaker is clean and if you set it on a chair to get it closer no one can trip over it and it can be herd quite well. They don't have the COOL factor of Charlie's tho.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  4. #3
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    15,502

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    This a EU only brand ? Is it perhaps selling under another name in the US?

    Or International , with currency input sensing switching* power-supplies ..

    220v 50htz, vs 110v 60htz.

    * Transformerless = way lighter..



    Last edited by mandroid; Apr-09-2017 at 11:37am.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  5. #4

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    These are really great speakers for the $$$. I used them as monitors for a while. I did upgrade to some QSC 8 speakers, but only cause I found them on Craigslist for a killer price. The Alto speakers are also wonderful speakers to hook up to your computer.

  6. #5
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Almeria, Spain
    Posts
    5,346
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  7. #6
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    15,502

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Transformerless Y/N? (new Carvin powered mixers are, & quite light as a result)
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  8. #7
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Almeria, Spain
    Posts
    5,346
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Yes. No transformers. All Class-D with switch-mode universal power supply.

    I found these first when a female singer songwriter was asking about a decent sounding, ultra-lightweight and compact pair of active speakers she could carry easily. I gave them a try myself and found I liked them as floor monitors - though she is quite happy with them as mains for small gigs.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  9. #8
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    15,502

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Wish I could have a transformerless power supply in my Roland AC 60, it's a brick.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  10. #9
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Madison, Ct
    Posts
    2,298

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Gotta love the price, and the "just plug it in" ease. Looks like they'll hold up, well. You can't step on mine... as demonstrated last night.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    I play in a 7 piece string band and we use this Altos as well, and they work great and you can get them for about $150-$175.

  12. #11
    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,182

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    I've been using a TX10 for a monitor when I'm drumming. Also have a pair of TS112s that are used as either mains or monitors depending on situation. Big fan of the Alto powered speakers.

  13. #12
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    15,502

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    What ever happened to the ones that clipped together face to face to simplify transport .


    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  14. #13
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Almeria, Spain
    Posts
    5,346
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    The Alto TX range is their super-lightweight, 'budget' range. Have to say they are the nicest built, best sounding low-cost powered speakers I have encountered to date. They got something right with these.

    The TS range (that Jefflester mentions above) are their more 'upscale', hi-spec models. They recently updated these (where it was say, a TS110 it is now a TS210 and so-on). Again, these really a very good indeed and for the price, hard to beat. They are not quite at the level of a QSC, EV or Yamaha - but amazingly close considering they cost (on average) about 1/3 of the $$$!

    I would say if you are looking at powered speakers on a budget, they are well worth putting on your list. I've played around with the new TS210 and TS212 and they were so impressive that I'd have no hesitation in using them myself (if I did not have a garage full of other stuff!).
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  15. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Although I've never used the Alto speakers before, I really do prefer monitors for acoustic instruments and vocals that incorporate the smaller 8" or 10" speakers. To my ears the sound is "tighter" than what you might hear through a 12" or 15" monitor speaker. Now electronic music is all different. The QSC K8s are awesome speakers. My worship team at church uses a set of passive American Audio speakers for their monitors and they have the 8" cones. Sounds great.
    Eastman MD515 with K&K pickup
    Lakewood acoustic guitar with K&K pickup

  16. #15
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Almeria, Spain
    Posts
    5,346
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Yep. That's my reason too for preferring 10" and under speakers. They are more 'dynamic', with a faster response, and hence sound 'tighter' and 'snappier' with acoustic instruments. They have more 'focus' on vocals also. Once you get into 12" and up that begins to change - 15" and 18" speakers are particularly sluggish. You also do not want excessive low frequency energy washing all over the stage from monitors as it really "muddies up" things when it leaks into mics or sets up sympathetic vibrations in instruments.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  17. #16

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Any thoughts as to how this speaker would work with JJB pickups and a Behringer ADI21 pedal as the preamp? I'm not sure if the Behringer's EQ affects it's XLR output.

  18. #17
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Almeria, Spain
    Posts
    5,346
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    It would work, as the TX8 does have sufficient gain to function from mic-level inputs (which is what appears on the Behringer XLR output). Yes, the EQ on that does affect the XLR. It would be a basic rig, and would function rather like an 'acoustic' amp. Add a small mixer, and you could also use a mic or two...
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  19. The following members say thank you to almeriastrings for this post:


  20. #18

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Amazon is selling Alto TX12 speakers for $127.00 each. They usually sell for $199.

  21. #19
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Almeria, Spain
    Posts
    5,346
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Very good price... for those on a tight budget these are very decent boxes.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

  22. #20

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    Yep. That's my reason too for preferring 10" and under speakers. They are more 'dynamic', with a faster response, and hence sound 'tighter' and 'snappier' with acoustic instruments. They have more 'focus' on vocals also. Once you get into 12" and up that begins to change - 15" and 18" speakers are particularly sluggish. You also do not want excessive low frequency energy washing all over the stage from monitors as it really "muddies up" things when it leaks into mics or sets up sympathetic vibrations in instruments.
    I just want to say something, I stumbled across these speakers myself a few weeks back and was highly intrigued, they've been on my mind! I came across this thread today and am very glad I did! #almeriastrings, this information I quoted from you is awesome! It confirms something I have subconciously known I think, but didn't fully realize what I was experiencing when we've had different monitors at gigs. Your wealth of knowledge of gear (which I have seen many examples of on this forum), especially pertaining to mandolin/acoustic has been invaluable to me! Just wanted to say thank you, in a long-winded sort of way

  23. The following members say thank you to rivervalleymando for this post:


  24. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,274

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    I have been using 8" monitors for many years, built my own from old projector speakers that snap together to make a square for travel. These are passive with an 8" speaker and soft dome tweeter. Sounds very good and natural. I usually turn them up so we can her everyone, but you can't necessarily tell the sound is coming from the monitors. Been in love with 8" speakers for a long time now for acoustic work.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  25. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,205

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Pops my first PA system consisted of a made it myself latch together speaker cabinets open back 8" speakers and tweeter with a Bogan commercial amp 2inputs that slid in the bottom of the cabinets. Just pick it up by the handles on top and go.

  26. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,274

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    Mandoplumb, I hear you, 30+ years ago when I was in a blues band we needed two more monitors. Being I didn't have a lot of cash, but an old pair of stereo speakers I rebuilt the stereo speakers into monitors. Put tilt back legs that I made like a Fender Twin, only mine had 4 settings. Everybody wanted the homemade speakers as they sounded better than the factory ones. 10" speaker, no horn. sold the factory monitors and kept the homemade ones. Still have them and they still sound good. Several years ago when doing sound for a festival Sims ask me if he could use his Bag End monitors as they were familiar with them and liked the sound. Told him as long as they could stay for the whole show it was fine. They had and afternoon set and didn't have time to get the Bag Ends out of the trailer and played thru the homemade speakers. After the set I asked him to get his speakers out of the trailer and I would change them for the concert. He said well..... these sound pretty good and mine are in the back of the trailer I think we'll just use yours. Gotta love it, they were 30 years old by then.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  27. #24
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    15,502

    Default Re: Good low cost stage monitors - Alto TX-8

    When i saw Evan Marshall playing at the TGG a few years back, he had what looked like a Roland Mobile AC,
    laying on the floor. as his stage monitor..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •