yes! another soul claimed for the Alesis!
i got em, and whilst cant say i love them, they're the best my-first-monitors.! wouldnt consider buying anything else at this point.
if you're used to hifi speakers, expect very low bass, and more clear mids. make sure you cross reference all your tunes on other speakers too, as the Alesis seem to have a slightly appreciating sound, which wont translate well on hi fi or car systems.
pretty much, yes. Even monitors costing almost 3 times as the Alesis wont go as low as some big hi fi speakers. Of course the more expensive one's will be more accurate than yours (and mine!), but as i mentioned, it just takes a bit of time and practice to get to know them. Make sure to listen loads of tunes you know well through them. Compare what you hear from your hi fi to the alesis, and soon you'll begin to realise what their sonic character is.
The only "cheap" monitors i know off that will not make tunes sound better are the yamaha NS 10. horrible sounding speakers, but most major studios will have a pair, since the philosophy behind them is "if it sounds decent on the NS, it'll sound amazing on anything else."
unfortunately, because of their notoriety, they can go for quite a lot of money now.
As far as the 24 bit, in a nutshell, no, it wont make anything sound better. What changes the sound dramatically is the sample rate. from the standard 44.1 Hz to the pro 96 KHz is night and day, like someone pulled the cotton of your ears!
but of course, that requires good converters/interface, and more resources off your PC, plus there's inherent problems when you need to convert the whole project back to 44.1 kHz for burning on CD, so generally is best to stick with that for now.
What the 24 bit does is give you more headroom, meaning that you can have your sounds louder before they clip the reds. So any processing you do with plug ins will be improved, as you can push it harder.
wow, thats went on for longer than i thought it would ! i'll stop now, go and make some music damn it!
i got the mk2's but mine are passive, pretty decent speakers, probably the best you'll find without a larger budget, well thats what my tutor told me anyway. ive only had them for a month, but no regrets so far