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Kali Audio SM-5-C 3-Way Passive Studio Monitor (Black, Single)

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MSRP: $999.00
Your price: $999.00
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  • Audio professionals in need of an accurate studio monitor with ultra-lifelike imaging should look no further than the Kali Audio SM-5-C, a 3-way studio monitor that's designed for accuracy, translation, and ease of use and is ready for the most demanding mixing and mastering applications.

    The SM-5-C features a high-performance 3-way coincident design that time aligns the 1" tweeter and 4" midrange coaxial drivers, delivering phase accurate signals from any angle. Particular care has been given to the seamless transition from the midrange to the baffle, resulting in an engrossing stereo image where details are lifelike and crisp.

    1" Aluminum-Dome Tweeter


    • The SM-Series’ aluminum-dome tweeter delivers excellent dynamics, resulting in clear high-frequency response without distortion. The tweeter uses a unique geometry to reduce high-Q ultrasonic resonances, eliminating harshness that can make metal tweeters fatiguing over time.

    4" Profile-Optimized Midrange

    • The SM-5-C’s midrange is optimized not only for its own frequency band, but also for its role as the tweeter’s waveguide. The shape is precision engineered for ideal directivity, and peak-to-peak excursion is limited to under 1mm to prevent intermodulation distortion.

    Flux-Stabilized Woofer

    • The SM-5-C’s woofer incorporates features that reduce magnetic flux modulation, bringing distortion down dramatically.
    • Paper is used for both the woofer and midrange cone material. Kali’s testing has shown that, despite its humble nature, paper is ideal in terms of stiffness, weight, and natural damping characteristics.
    Crossover Network
    • A top-tier speaker deserves top-tier internals, and the crossover network on passive Santa Monica speakers is as fine as they come.
    • Since the SM-5-C uses amplifier tuning to handle frequency response optimization, the crossover network can be purely optimized for its use in directivity transition. This level of optimization allows for premium components to be used, including ultralow-dissipation polypropylene capacitors, air-core inductors, and ultralow inductance resistors.
    • The crossover network is fully optimized for bi-wire (LF+MR/HF) use, but care has also been taken to allow for single-wire use.
    Speaker Cabinet
    Low-diffraction baffle


    • The baffle around the midrange follows the shape of that driver, blending seamlessly from the edge of the driver and into the rest of the speaker cabinet. This eliminates on-axis diffraction artifacts in the frequency response and helps reinforce the SM-Series’ excellent imaging characteristics.

    Low-noise port tube

    • Like all of Kali’s speakers, the SM-5-C uses a fluid dynamics derived port tube for high performance and low noise.
    • On most port tubes, air leaves at different speeds from different points of the opening, creating noisy turbulence. This turbulence can be heard as “chuffing,” or an audible air sound coming from the system. This sound will add to the noise floor and obscure the details of the low end.
    • The port tube on the SM-5-C was designed to ensure that all of the air leaves the port tube at the same velocity. This helps add to the low-end response of the subwoofer, while keeping the bass clean, tight, and devoid of extra noise.
    LEA amplifiers


    • For full output with minimum distortion, Kali recommends biamplifying the speakers using a LEA amplifier with at least 100W per channel. Therefore, the minimum choice for a pair of SM-5-Cs would be an LEA Connect 164.
    • Nearly full output and acceptable distortion may also be attained using the single wire tuning and one of LEA’s 80W amplifiers. This means that it is possible to amplify up to four speakers using LEA Connect 84 or up to 8 using an LEA Connect 88. Max SPL will be 1 dB lower and distortion will be slightly higher at full output.

    Single wire vs. bi-amped

    • While Kali recommends biamplifying the speakers, single wire use is more convenient and economical. Single wire mode adds a small amount of distortion on from the lower frequency cutoff of the system through 700 Hz vs. Bi-Amped at comparable playback levels. The single wire tuning also introduces a frequency response anomaly at the high end of the loudspeaker’s response, although this may be corrected with full-range room calibration.

    Other amplifiers

    • If you’d like to use a different amplifier, you’ll need to make sure that it can deliver 20VRMS into a 3-ohm load. Most amplifiers rated for 100W at 4 ohms should be sufficient, but you’ll need to verify that the amplifier you select is capable of handling a 3-ohm load. The amplifier, or some other component after the amplifier in your signal chain, will need to include a peak limiter. Using the SM-5-C without a peak limiter will void your warranty.
    The SM-5-C features mounting holes on both the top and bottom of the loudspeaker. Kali recommends using a speaker-specific U-bracket from Triad-Orbit, but any speaker mount with a 4.25 x 2" bolt pattern that is capable of holding the SM-5-C's 21 lb weight will also work.
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