A range of integrated monitoring systems intended for near-field studio monitoring applications. All available in calibrated 2.1 and 5.1 configurations, Blue Sky systems range from compact configurations suitable for desktop audio mixing and mastering to larger systems with bi-amplified satellite monitor speakers and THX pm3 approval, useful for video/film post-production work.
MediaDesk MkII 2.1, MediaDesk MkII 5.1
Blue Sky’s entry-level system is intended for desktop, computer-driven audio recording, mixing and mastering work. It comprises of one sub-bass unit, housing the system’s I/O connections, along with a three-channel integrated amplifier which drives both the Sub 8 MkII sub-bass driver itself as well as the two two-way Sat 4.0 MkIII satellite speakers. Rated at 60W, each Sat 4.0 MkIII satellite has a 100mm, neodymium, LF driver and a 25mm, neodymium, HF driver, flush-mounted in the lacquer-finished baffle. They can be mounted either on the manufacturer’s stand (with the Universal Adaptor Kit - see Floor Stand below), on a microphone stand by the 5/8-inch threaded insert (standard 3/8-inch stands require an appropriate adaptor), or wall-mounting is possible with various third-party brackets. In addition, all drivers in the system are electromagnetically shielded and so may be used near CRT monitors without image distortion.
On the rear of the Sub 8 MkII sub-bass unit there are balanced 3-pin XLR connectors, switchable between 14dBu and 24dBu input level, and unbalanced RCA (phono) audio inputs, intended for -10dBV sources. A gain trim control is included for the whole system which is then tracked by a gain control for the sub-bass level relative to the overall system output. Speaker outputs are gold-plated binding posts, as are the inputs on the rear of the speakers. Also on the rear is the IEC power inlet and master power switch. Usable response from the whole system is from 20Hz to 20kHz. Power source: 115/230V AC 50/60Hz, switchable. Dimensions: 159 x 241 x 162mm, satellites; 356 x 356 x 400mm sub unit. Weight: 2.3kg per satellite, 20.4kg, sub unit.
In the 5.1 surround configuration, the system includes five satellites rather than two, and the MediaDesk 5.1 Remote; this provides a remote control for overall system level but also +/-6dB of level adjustment for each of the 5.1 output channels by means of flush-mounted trim pots.
Included accessories: Handbook, AC power cordset with plug, sub unit isolation feet, satellite angle adjustment feet, 3m length of copper cable for each speaker
Optional accessories: Floor stands, see below, adapter kit required.
Larger than the Mediadesk, with a higher power output and the same spectral performance as the Sky System One, the ProDesk system is suited for more demanding applications including video post-production. As with MediaDesk, the sub-bass unit has an integrated amplifier and houses the system’s I/O connections. However, the ProDesk features the Sub 8 MkII, a larger, 200mm, high-excursion LF unit and bi-amplified Sat 5 MkIII satellite speakers with power supplies and amplifiers integrated into each speaker unit, each with a 130mm LF driver and an integrated 20mm HF unit with integral wave guide for improved off-axis response. The 2.1 system has two 3-pin female XLR audio inputs each with a maximum input level of +24dBu. The output signals from the sub unit connect to each satellite speaker, on the rear of which are mounted a 3-pin balanced XLR input, a 12dB input attenuator switch, IEC power inlet and a power indicator LED. Usable response from the whole system is from 20Hz to 20kHz. Power source: 115/230V AC 50/60Hz (switchable). Dimensions: 203 x 311 x 302mm (satellites), 406 x 330 x 400mm (sub unit). Weight: 10.9kg (per satellite), 22kg (sub unit).
The 5.1 configuration of the ProDesk system includes three extra bi-amplified satellite speakers and also the Bass Management Controller, consisting of a remote control which connects with the included 25metre, 6-way, RJ-11 cable, to the 1U, 19-inch, rack-mounted processing unit, allowing control of bass management, system calibration and volume control of the whole system and of individual channels. In this configuration, the five audio inputs for the system (plus optional LFE input channel) are found in the rear of the rack-mounted unit in the form of 3-pin XLR sockets, each with a maximum input level of 24dBu. Outputs are also 3-pin XLR sockets, delivering signals to each satellite speaker input and then the sum total of both the optional LFE signal and the bass-managed sub signal to the sub unit, by means of the included cables.
Included accessories: Handbook, AC power cordset with plug, sub unit isolation feet, satellite angle adjustment feet. Note that XLR connecting cables for use between the sub unit and satellites are not included.
Optional accessories: Connecting cables, see Index Cables, XLR3 to XLR3, HST, floor stands, see below. The Sat 5 MkIII satellites have threaded inserts in the base compatible with Omnimount type 30 brackets. See Index: Omnimount Universal Mounting Systems.
The Sky System One shares many design features with the ProDesk and the same spectral performance but is larger in size and delivers a greater output. Each of the two (or five) Sat 6.5 MkII satellite speakers employs a 165mm high-excursion LF driver and an integrated Vifa XT-25 HF, 25mm driver, with integral wave guide and ferrite motor structure, and is powered by two integrated 100W amplifiers with electronic crossover. In the 2.1 configuration, as is the case with the ProDesk system, the sub unit contains the bass management system, but in Sky System One, the included Sub 12 unit has a 300mm forward-firing driver with 50mm voice coil, powered by an integrated 200W amplifier. Rear-panel controls on both satellites and sub-bass are the same as the ProDesk system. Power source: 115/230V AC 50/60Hz (switchable). Dimensions: 203 x 311 x 302mm (satellites), 406 x 457 x 560mm (sub unit). Weight: 12.2kg (per satellite), 28.1kg (sub unit).
In the 5.1 configuration, signal distribution and bass management is handled with the Bass Management Controller in the same manner as the ProDesk (see above). However, a feature unique in this range to the Sky System One, in either the 2.1 or 5.1 configuration, is that of THX pm3 certification, allowing it to be used in THX pm3 Certified Studios. Blue Sky state: “Sky System One has been chosen by film professionals such as Skywalker Sound, a Lucas film Ltd., company, because of the system’s full range audio and exceptionally smooth frequency response”.
Included accessories: Handbook, AC power cordset with plug, sub-unit isolation feet, satellite angle adjustment feet.
Optional accessories: Floor stands, see below. The Sat 6.5 MkII satellites have threaded inserts in the base compatible with Omnimount type 60 brackets. See Index: Omnimount Universal Mounting Systems.
Adjustable stands are available, compatible as standard with the manufacturer’s Sat 6.5 MkII and Sat 5 MkIII monitor speakers (which are part of the Sky System One and ProDesk systems). The speaker is attached to a mounting plate with included screws matching the thread in the bottom of the speaker cabinet and can be directed in the vertical plane by up to +/- 20 degrees. In addition, the mounting bracket allows complete horizontal rotation of the mounted speaker. The height of the stand (from the mounting plate to the ground) can be adjusted without tools from 851mm to 1156mm in 19mm increments. The stand weighs 11.3kg, its support consisting of a flat, cast iron base of four legs with a diameter of 762mm.
Whilst the stand has a mounting pattern compatible with the manufacturer’s monitor speakers included in the ProDesk and Sky System One systems, the optional Universal Accessory Kit is offered, consisting of an adaptor for the mounting plate and a security strap, enabling the stand to be used with the manufacturer’s own MediaDesk satellite speakers and, in addition, virtually all nearfield monitors of other manufacturers, with a maximum load bearing of 36kg.
Included accessories: Screws for mounting satellite speakers from either the ProDesk or Sky System One systems.
Optional accessories: Universal adapter kit containing mounting plate adaptor and security wire.