A sophomore flagship effort from the Orlando-based outfit
Fri May. 22, 2015
You know the type. Them good ‘ol guilty pleasures. In the office you shake your head and tell your colleagues, ‘What in the world is this?’. But then suddenly you’re at a club, you have a few drinks, and now you’re dancing to the same Justin Bieber song as everyone else. I know, right? Good thing selfies don’t come with audio.
Okay, okay, so the CT-6E is not quite a J.B. (is anything?). But take Lady Gaga, throw in her eccentric fashion sense, and you’ve got a good feel for this new flagship from Clear Tune Monitors. She’s catchy. She’s fun. She knows how to grab your attention. She seems like she walked out of an Addams Family dressing room. You take one look at her, and you’re not sure what to do. Vivid memories of the day you first tried fried ice cream. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Here we go again…
‘What in the world is this?’
Form Factor: Acrylic Custom In-Ear Monitor
Damage: $1000 USD
Build Quality: Amazing
Fit: Pretty Good. Snug
Accessories: The usual Pelican hardcase, some CTM stickers, and what looks like a fairly run-of-the-mill stock cable
Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: An Interview with Clear Tune Monitors
Interviewee: Cesar Milano, Owner and President
What is your company’s history?
As a musician I was in the need for in-ear monitors but I found that they were quite expensive so I started doing my research looking for a way to make them more affordable. After a while and counting with the advice of fellow professional musicians, I set up my shop and started manufacturing custom in-ear and the key here was the “personal” experience. You can buy generic in-ears everywhere, but when you have to take somebody’s ear impression and manufacture his everyday tool to his needs, a personal connection is born, and that’s what we’re all about building an excellent product and making it personal.
Who are the people behind your company?
Mainly me and my wife backed up by an awesome group of artists/musicians in charge of the manufacturing chain. At CTM it’s a requisite to be a musician, that way we can guarantee that personal connection since your in-ear are being manufactured by someone who understands the musician’s needs.
Can you describe your philosophy for how products should sound, and how you tune or voice them?
Well, it’s a fact that everybody listens differently and everybody has a different budget. Our goal is to make the best possible product at any given price point with the tools at hand. If it’s a two-driver monitor, we choose the components and adjust the electronics until we’re sure it works, and the same process goes for the rest of the line. Some people buy out of budget, some out of listening experience, we just give them the most options we can.
What do you see as different or unique about your flagship?
We believe all our models are flagships, if we didn’t we just wouldn’t have many models but just one. We build the best monitor we can and then back it up with the best customer experience and it’s precisely that experience which makes us unique.
Where do you see the industry headed?
From my audio engineering background I’ve always seen in-ear monitoring as a blessing. Less noise on stage, better listening experience for the musicians and in consequence for the audience. You used to hear that in-ear would be the future, well now they’re the present and no doubt will continue being the future.
Where do you see the most potential for innovation when it comes to IEMs, and why?
As with guitars, for example, a Tele has its sound, a Strat has its sound, a Les Paul, etc.. Everybody chooses their guitar for its sound, so with in-ears the same applies. I believe innovation will come in the form of being able to cater to all those listening tastes, so we’re bound to do just that and, as always, keep it affordable.