Galaxy Audio GPS-8 Mini review and tear-down.

** I have no affiliation with Galaxy audio in any way and this review is strictly impartial.

So I’ve started doing sound for techno raves with a friend’s production company, and I needed a good monitor speaker so the DJ’s can hear what’s going out to the floor.

I noticed the typical DJ monitoring choice seems to be a single 10″ or 12″ powered monitor, like a QSC K12.2. But that’s a $1000 speaker! I mean, I guess if you have one lying around, but it seems overkill to me. Such speakers are designed primarily as main speakers; They put out insane SPL and have extended bass response. A monitor speaker for a DJ doesn’t need much bass at all, it just needs to be loud and clear. There’s bass everywhere already. So I started looking at compact speakers meant specifically for monitoring. Galaxy Audio is known for their cute and clever “hot spot” monitor speakers, which are designed to fit on a mic stand, close to the performer. I’ve always liked these, and it makes sense to put a small monitor near the performer, rather than a large one further away.

It would be cool if this kind of small, unobtrusive monitor would work for DJ’s, but it’s not going to be loud enough! But hey, Galaxy has an 8″ 2-way monitor… interesting.

I found one used for $100, which is a bargain. Naturally, I couldn’t resist the urge to take it apart.

I’m impressed! The build quality is quite good, the drivers seem sturdy. Nice big magnets, good machining…

Driver compliment is an 8″ woofer and a 1″ compression horn.

Like, it’s NICE! Amazing quality for a list price of $230.

Case is a lightweight but sturdy plastic shell that fits together nicely.

XLR combo-jack input, level control, bass boost, and it even has mic input! The mic input switch is—very smartly—recessed and you need a sharp object to engage it.

Unfortunately—not so smartly—if you lay the speaker on its side, as a floor or table monitor, it rests on the XLR jack!

I added these rubber feet so the speaker wouldn’t rest on the plug. This is an obvious mechanical engineering whoopsie, and they’ll probably fix it in the next version.

The metal grilled rattled a little, so I added some extra speaker gasket foam, all the way around the frame.

The amp section is pretty nice! There’s a separate amp for the woofer and tweeter. The tweeter is powered by this TDA-7293, class AB chip amplifier.

And the woofer is powered by this IRS2092 class-D amplifier with external output mosfets. The output mosfets are on the heatsink there, and the amp chip itself is on that little card plugged in near the output inductor. The IRS2092 has a built-in current limiting feature and I expect this is how the limiter for the speaker works.

Overall I’d say it’s a decent quality amplifier. It’s got some cheap capacitors as one would expect, even from the likes of Mackie and QSC, and I’d say the build quality is in that ballpark. It’s noisy, but also that’s typical of a PA speaker; a combination of an efficient speaker and a somewhat hissy amplifier.

Most of the signal processing is in this black box. I didn’t open it, as that would require disassembling the amplifier further and I didn’t want to do that. Inside will be the usual XLR line/mic input, a bunch of op-amps doing the crossover, mic preamp, bass boost, etc.

Here’s another detail that could use refinement. The top two screws that hold the grill in place don’t have any kind of material stop behind them. You just gotta stop tightening before the screw pulls through the grille. It looks like an oversight in the deign of the plastic moulding… The kind of thing that would be corrected in the next version. It works OK though.

They sound pretty great! AND LOUD!! Surprisingly loud. Punchy. Not harsh but very clear. Not much bass, which is actually what I want. It just needs to cut through the din.

We’ll see if they survive a rave. I think they will.

Leave a Reply