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Studio monitors - what are you using
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Studio monitors - what are you using
Dogma
I don't know where this should be on this site so general gear sound bout right in this context...

I used to do a lot of mixing and had some very nice focal twins. I sold them as is changed direction entirely and they where no longer what I wanted so I sold them and picked up a very cheap pair of monitors to get me by

Now it's time to get a decent pair - as in about a $1000 maximum for the pair...
There are a pair of sonnodyne sm 100aks locally for an OK price but I'm wondering what you guys look for a monitor or cabinet or whatever you use.....

So I used to look for ruler flat monitors and had a Sexy treated room. I have none of that so it's purely for enjoyment

I'll be using it with synths and drum machines - euro set up and elektron boxes basically.
acidbob
I use Dynaudio BM6a MKII, the new models have switch mode PSU so I am keeping away from that.
DiscoDevil
JBL 4412s

auxren
KRK Rokit 8. Great for the price
a100user
Genelec 8030's, nice and compact with a good sound
UpAndDown
As your room's untreated, if you can get a dealer to agree to let you buy a single monitor, could do that and then mix in mono (checking stereo on a decent pair of headphones). Doesn't quite fulfill the 'purely for enjoyment' brief, though would mean you could get a twice-as-good sound for your budget smile
Infinity Curve
auxren wrote:
KRK Rokit 8. Great for the price


Same here
Monkey Mouse
Adam A7 - had them for 10 years now.
Phil999
Dynaudio BM5 MKII, which are in that $1000 price range (although, meanwhile, I've seen them even cheaper). They're not superb, but which monitors are? They're good enough for me. I even bought a second pair for quadro mixes.
xonetacular
Focal CMS65. I find them incredibly clear yet also very pleasant to listen to for long periods of just casual listening where you can hear great detail.
barto
Adam F7. the budget Adam's
nostalghia
Have been using Event 20/20 bas monitors for years now (bought a demo pair), I'm used to how they sound and get decent mixes, but they are really too large for my spare bedroom studio, and no doubt there are more accurate choices these days. May upgrade in near future. Also using M-Audio BX5a for small near fields to ensure bass translates OK.

With your $1000 (for a pair I assume), I'd look at the Focal Alpha 65 ($800 pr), Alpha 80 ($1100 pr) or CMS40 ($850 pr) if you are in a small room. If you can bump the budget up to $1400 (use Sweetwater no interest 36 or 48 mo payment plans?), check out the Neumann KH120. Have not heard them, but reviews are very impressive. Safe to say Neumann knows something about transducers.

Could always add a subwoofer later if you get the 4.5 or 6.5" monitors and are in a large room with proper treatment, and want to push more low end volume/reproduce lower frequencies for some types of music (or to impress clients on occasion if that applies).
js213
auxren wrote:
KRK Rokit 8. Great for the price

I don't have a lot of room, so I'm using the Rokit 5s

Though I also run through my 2-channel Hifi at times. B&W 684s
Ramases
You're probably going to get almost as many different answers as there are monitors!

I've had some Genelec 8030s for probably 12 years or so. I honestly bought them because they got good reviews and they suited my needs in terms of size and frequency response. I didn't need something that went down to 30hz or anything like that. I'm really used to them now so I doubt I'd ever replace them with something else if the need arose.

I use some Meridian active speakers in my hifi (they're old 1980s ones) to check stuff on.
The Goob
I got a used pair of Neumann kh120s for less than $1k. I'm in an untreated room (plan to fix that at some point). I really like them
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
Behringer B2031 (Truth). As a circuit designer, I want to hear exactly what my circuits are doing, without any flattering bottom end or whatever.
Tronman
JBL 4311's.

Thighpaulsandra
Focal Twins on my mixing desk, Genelec 1038s in the room.

Thighp
Picard
KSDigital C5 Coax
concentrical drivers -> large sweet spot
Made in Germany.
mmp
Barefoot 35 gen2s.
lamouette/rck
Eve audio sc407
pelican
Roland ds7- vastly underrated, tons of inputs, and used are really cheap now
spacessound
for a budget. The yamaha MSP series are rock solid, durable and quality. The 5 or 7's depending on your room size/desire to hear down low.

I'm not sure about a hi-fi pair for messing around on a modular, maybe you could easily damage them depending how careful you are.
biftek
I've got the tiny Focal CMS 40's. They seem to do fine in my untreated room with less than ideal positioning.

I just put on my trusty MDR-V6's when I want to analyze bass content.
Blairio
Hi Dogma,

You don't say what size of room you intend using your monitors in, whether you want an active or passive design, or how loud they might need to go. I use active Equator D5's in a smallish room for near to mid-field monitoring at low to moderate sound levels. They are neutral and (being dual-concentric) a point source. They are also electronically matched at the factory via their onboard DSP, so the stereo image is incredibly stable.

In the USA I think D5's sell for around $450 new. Add the cost of a decent pair of loudspeaker stands and decent interconnects from your mixer or interface to that, and perhaps you could put the rest of your $1000 back in your wallet.

I have a soft spot for dual concentric designs. The first studio I ever did recording in had a pair of Tannoy 12" dual concentric drivers build into the back wall, powered by a pair of beefy Crown Amcron amps, and they sounded marvellous.
h4ndcrafted
Old photo, but been using BM5a Mrk 2 and Equator D5s the past 3 years

Mavehelm
JBL the best cool
hairychris
KRK Rokit 5s, my "studio" being the corner of my living room.

They get a lot of stick but I also have a friend who's a professional recording engineer and he uses them in his control room. seriously, i just don't get it
Sinamsis
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Behringer B2031 (Truth). As a circuit designer, I want to hear exactly what my circuits are doing, without any flattering bottom end or whatever.


Ha this makes me feel better. I used to rock a pair of these for years (I've switched to Focal Twin6 Be). But the Behringer Truths weren't bad. And they certainly were not flattering haha. I think I had the 3030s though.
listentoaheartbeat
Klein & Hummel O300D (click for my post in the long studio monitors thread)
damase
Focal CMS50--- i like them
More important though ill add that they sounded soooo much better once i upgraded interfaces... It was shocking. Switching from apogee to antelope made everything much clear-er and much less boomy. So dont undervalue what the D to A will do to the sound
Tronman
Mavehelm wrote:
JBL the best cool


Yup, the industry standard.
nostalghia
Tronman wrote:
Mavehelm wrote:
JBL the best cool


Yup, the industry standard.


That may have been true in the 60s-early 80s when most studios were still using big passive monitors located near the front of the control room, and separate power amps. They also had a pair of Auratones or Yamaha NS-10s on top of the console to make sure mixes would translate on less full range speakers in a consumer's home and car.

These days, you are more likely to find high end active monitors from companies like ATC, Genelec, Focal and Barefoot in the control rooms of top recording studios (not that JBL doesn't still make a good product as well).

By the way, we may have all lost sight of the fact that the OP is now more interested in "fun to listen to" speaker recommendations than accurate or neutral monitors like he used in the past. Which actually makes it easier to stay under $1K for a pair.

"So I used to look for ruler flat monitors and had a Sexy treated room. I have none of that so it's purely for enjoyment "
TheColdUnknown
Got a pair of M-Audio BX8a. I haven't really used any other monitor as long as these, but they are pretty good for the price
DiscoDevil
nostalghia wrote:
Tronman wrote:
Mavehelm wrote:
JBL the best cool


Yup, the industry standard.


That may have been true in the 60s-early 80s when most studios were still using big passive monitors located near the front of the control room, and separate power amps. They also had a pair of Auratones or Yamaha NS-10s on top of the console to make sure mixes would translate on less full range speakers in a consumer's home and car.

These days, you are more likely to find high end active monitors from companies like ATC, Genelec, Focal and Barefoot in the control rooms of top recording studios (not that JBL doesn't still make a good product as well).

By the way, we may have all lost sight of the fact that the OP is now more interested in "fun to listen to" speaker recommendations than accurate or neutral monitors like he used in the past. Which actually makes it easier to stay under $1K for a pair.

"So I used to look for ruler flat monitors and had a Sexy treated room. I have none of that so it's purely for enjoyment "



A large pair of JBL are fun to listen to.
nostalghia
Indeed they are-no argument there.
I was just quibbling with the "industry standard" label as being a bit dated, not the "fun to listen to" part. And I'm guessing Dogma doesn't have budget or space for a pair of big JBLs. The LSR 6332 with 12" LF drivers are about $1500 ea. Could always check the used market of course.
DiscoDevil
nostalghia wrote:
Indeed they are-no argument there.
I was just quibbling with the "industry standard" label as being a bit dated, not the "fun to listen to" part. And I'm guessing Dogma doesn't have budget or space for a pair of big JBLs. The LSR 6332 with 12" LF drivers are about $1500 ea. Could always check the used market of course.


My 4412s can be picked up for less than $1000 a pair. Not much in that price range that can touch them, IMO.
minimalist
I have been using Blueroom Minipods for almost 20 years. They are a little bright but I like them. I will invest in larger speakers in the next few months once my house is renovated. Leaning towards Neumann KH310s but the little black passives are staying forever.

Also thinking about PSI and Geithains. I need to do some testing but not until the house is done.
franman69
JBL LSR305 is hard to beat for under $300 a pair.. Really smooth sounding full range speakers. I have a Yamaha Sub as well.
Standup
You probably know this, but go listen to a lot of monitors. They are all different. Some will appeal, some will not. When I did this many years ago, I picked JBL LSR28's as the best compromise of what I mostly wanted and what I mostly did not.

Listen to a bunch all together if possible. Or order a few pairs from a dealer with a liberal return poilcy, listen to them in your (hopefully treated) space, and return the one's that don't win.

Hope that helps, monitors are very personal, and other folks' recommendations are not necessarily going to work for you. Good luck, enjoy the search.
chvad
Using the same pair of Behringer Truth (B2031) monitors and matching sub for around 13 years now I think. Always get the job done.
Dogma
Thanks for all you recommendations all!

So Jbl huh? My ears are so used to the polite European sound that the JBL (while my very first speakers when I bought my first hi-fi) never really registered.


Yeah I'm not concerned about translation or any of that anymore - I'm looking for some nice speakers for my own ears to wiggle with
phase ghost
Samson Rubicon R8's.

I don't think they make them anymore. Every once in a while I consider replacing them, but my mixes transfer well enough, and they work. Sooo, I'll probably keep them until they stop working.

Personally, I need the 8" form factor for teh subz. Shit, sometimes I want to add a sub to these. So, I can't even imagine using something smaller. But, if I had a small room or volume considerations, I could probably manage.
induktor
I've had Focal SM9's for the past year and a half. Before that I had Alesis M1 Active MKII's for over 12 years. They were actually pretty decent for the money
listentoaheartbeat
minimalist wrote:
Leaning towards Neumann KH310s but the little black passives are staying forever.

Also thinking about PSI and Geithains. I need to do some testing but not until the house is done.


The O300D (now KH310) have been my monitor speaker of choice for over ten years now. It's interesting you mention Geithain. They have always tempted me, however the ones with proper bass response cost around double the price of the KH310 or more. They are absolutely incredible though, when I heard some of their larger models in a good room I was totally blown away by the sound stage and bass reproduction.

The KH310 reproduce everything down to C0 at 33 Hz, however they will start to compress at high listening levels. This is something to consider. I am working in our flat at 80-90 dBspl (pink noise), which they handle with ease even when playing bass-heavy program material. But in a studio, where you can and possibly want to listen louder from time to time, I'd miss some headroom. I tried a pair of subwoofers when I had a studio room, however I never managed to get the setup right. I prefer full range speakers.

If you like the KH310, you might also want to consider the ATC SCM25APro. Just like the Geithains, they are more expensive, however they do sound fantastic. They pretty much translate the O300D/KH310 to a ported concept, I even think they were a direct response to the success of the O300D, which popularized 3-way near field monitoring.
vingtdieux
Focals are very good !
vingtdieux
I'm very happy with Genelec 8040.
Dogma
Thanks - yeah I coming FROM focal twin be's..

I fixed my 2882 last night - I'm back in stereo....what a joke...anyways I've got some tiny little eris 4.5 which are ok but tiny in every way compated to the twins


Does anyone know the sonnodyne 100ak's?


Oh I can't stand the rokkits if that helps
minimalist
listentoaheartbeat wrote:


The O300D (now KH310) have been my monitor speaker of choice for over ten years now. It's interesting you mention Geithain. They have always tempted me, however the ones with proper bass response cost around double the price of the KH310 or more. They are absolutely incredible though, when I heard some of their larger models in a good room I was totally blown away by the sound stage and bass reproduction.

The KH310 reproduce everything down to C0 at 33 Hz, however they will start to compress at high listening levels. This is something to consider. I am working in our flat at 80-90 dBspl (pink noise), which they handle with ease even when playing bass-heavy program material. But in a studio, where you can and possibly want to listen louder from time to time, I'd miss some headroom. I tried a pair of subwoofers when I had a studio room, however I never managed to get the setup right. I prefer full range speakers.

If you like the KH310, you might also want to consider the ATC SCM25APro. Just like the Geithains, they are more expensive, however they do sound fantastic. They pretty much translate the O300D/KH310 to a ported concept, I even think they were a direct response to the success of the O300D, which popularized 3-way near field monitoring.


I tend to listen at lower volumes and only crank it up occasionally. I'm drawn to sealed cabinets as I've been led to believe they are tighter in the bottom end at lower levels. This may be nonsense but it is informing my short list along with other speakers I just want to hear.

Another I like the look of is the Unity Audio Pebble/BamBam combination. This 4 speaker setup is very appealing but I haven't heard much about them.

I'm sure the ATC 25s are great, but probably more than I want to spend. The Geithain I am looking at is ported on the top. I think it is the 906. The Carthoid (?) models are serious money.
prscrptn
KRK VXT4's + SUB; great for near field monitoring thumbs up
Don T
If you're going to go out monitor shopping, do not overlook Tannoy. The ones with the dual-concentric drivers are the ones to try. They have a horn-loaded tweeter playing through the voice coil of the woofer. I have never heard a bad Tannoy dual-concentric speaker! (unless it was damaged)
GrantB
Don T wrote:
If you're going to go out monitor shopping, do not overlook Tannoy. The ones with the dual-concentric drivers are the ones to try. They have a horn-loaded tweeter playing through the voice coil of the woofer. I have never heard a bad Tannoy dual-concentric speaker! (unless it was damaged)


I've been using my DMT-8s since the 90s. Never felt like they were a part of my studio that needed an upgrade. My Parasound amp crapped out this year and I considered building a chip amp, but rather than add to the backlog I just bought a Dayton: http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-dta-120-class-t-mini-amplifi er-60-wpc--300-3800?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pla

a steal for $78
m03
A set of HS80Ms for now. Adding a set of Avantones Mixcubes in the next few days in order to do what you'd expect of them, and plan to upgrade the main monitors to something better in a couple of months.
Dogma
Still unsure, genelecs?

budget $1000
dubonaire
Dogma wrote:
Still unsure, genelecs?

budget $1000


In posts like these everyone just recommends what they use themselves.

You've seen Neumann K+H mentioned a couple of times in this thread. They really are excellent monitors especially for their size, and the QC is such that any two speakers can be considered a matching pair. Neutral, as can be seen by the tests, but not in the least bit fatiguing. Surprisingly, I find that the bottom end on the KH120s is quite sufficient for monitoring, and I like bass. Another benefit is the tweeter waveguide gives a good size sweet spot which I find useful in a studio where you move around a lot tweaking things. The build quality is excellent. One day I will upgrade to the 310s.

The KH120s are USD 1400. I think they are better value than Genelecs.

I know it's over your 1k budget, but, and I think I've made this point before, amortise that additional 400 over the lifetime of the speakers and it's peanuts. It's the price of one module.
tron23
Tannoy System 600 over here plus Boss Micro Monitor MA-5 for a weird check Guinness ftw!
seditionary
There is nothing like a pair of NS10M's. I've only used the "studio" versions, which have upgraded tweeters, which aren't as harsh (no tissue paper required). When I get a mix sounding good on them, they translate everywhere! I run them with a subwoofer though... it is good to be able to know what is going on in the low frequencies too smile
veets
KRK Rokit 5.
kn4rt
Happy with my Neumann KH120s.
Ranxerox
I use a pair of Dynaudio BM6a mk.II. At the time I compared them with Focals, Genelecs, ADAMs, Neumann KH120s, and O300Ds. After an hour of continuous listening, the only ones which still sounded as revealing as the BM6a were the O300Ds, but they cost more than twice as much.

I would recommend if you are going to listen and compare a range of speakers, spend extra time on an extended listening session, to quantify the 'ear fatigue' factor in actual usage.
seditionary
Adam P22A's are incredible speakers too. You can mix on them without the need for a sub or external amp. They have two amps built in to each monitor to drive tweeter and sub.

For mastering, I work on a pair of Tyler D1's powered by hand-built NCORE400 amps.

I've gotten in mixes for mastering that were done on KRK Rokit5's and the mixes are often way off in certain frequencies... That is one reason, we have a pair in the mastering studio! To check on them. They are useful for hearing cloudiness in the low mids between 300-600 hz. The mixes I get in that was done on them are usually very, very off in the high mids between 2-5khz. (usually people seem to mix too bright in those frequencies with the KRK's). Albums mixed on the Adam P22A or Some Yamaha NS-10M's with a good amp, will not bring in material that is too bright!
Blairio
seditionary wrote:
There is nothing like a pair of NS10M's. I've only used the "studio" versions, which have upgraded tweeters, which aren't as harsh (no tissue paper required). When I get a mix sounding good on them, they translate everywhere! I run them with a subwoofer though... it is good to be able to know what is going on in the low frequencies too smile


I think the OP's brief was monitors for listening to music for pleasure. I used NS10's back in the day for mixing duties (no sub required for near or mid-field duties), but I know of only one acquaintance who bought NS10's for their hi-fi. They partnered the speakers with an Audiolab 8000A amplifier (a very good but slightly lean sounding amp) and the overall sound was hard work. Eventually my pal traded them for some more relaxed (but still incisive) Kef speakers and was a happy bunny.

The moral is that when discussing passive speakers, you need to think about what amplifier makes a suitable partner for them.

Blairio Edit: just read Seditionary's post (above) on the same point - NS10's need a sensible amplifier pairing.
gonner
Adam all around. A5x and Sub7
drxcm
Been very happy with my Genelec 8040's for a few years now. Previously had the 8030's and the 1029a's prior to that.

Would love some 8351's though .... hmmmmmmmm MY ASS IS BLEEDING
Minimoog56
krk vxt8 and adam 7's. buchla quad setup,
DJMaytag
Alesis Powered Monitor One's. Going strong on them for nearly 20 years now.
mt3
Great thread. Most important component.

Sonus Faber Concertinos
REL Storm III
Bryston 7B-ST
Sony 7506
milkshake
The ones I use.

Because they sounded the best of all in the shop and I spend lots of money on them. meh
peripatitis
These guys make brilliant speakers:
http://www.triangle-fr.com/en

Not monitors but a lot of fun.
calaveras
For just fun jamming out speakers I can't find fault with the KRK Rokit 8's.
They get loud enough and have a good bass thump to them.

OTOH if I was trying to dial in a mix I would run screaming in the other direction. I used to have KRK RP6 mkII in my studio, and Equator D5 at home. Track at the rehearsal space. Mix at home on the good speakers.

Too bad Equator went under!
hemeroscopium
I've had few setups. KHs too. APS Klasik stayed, imho in this price range they are hard to beat.
tehyar
Preordered me a pair of the new krk G4 10's. Can't wait!
thetwlo
tehyar wrote:
Preordered me a pair of the new krk G4 10's. Can't wait!


KRK is Gibson now, correct? Had a great pair of the V88s I grabbed on clearance when they were sold to ?? and then sold to Gibson, going through bankruptcy?
SnipeCatcher
I recently switched to Focal Shape Twins (over your stated budget), but I still have a pair of Alpha 80’s that I enjoyed for years. In a smallish room, Focal Alpha 65’s are quite nice and fit in your budget
dubonaire
I just want to point out this is a 2.5-year-old request from the OP.
thetwlo
dubonaire wrote:
I just want to point out this is a 2.5-year-old request from the OP.


true, but good monitors, stay "good" , it was a "request" when the OP posted it, it's since turned into a discussion.
FOCAL CMS 65 here! sold on them!
dubonaire
thetwlo wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
I just want to point out this is a 2.5-year-old request from the OP.


true, but good monitors, stay "good" , it was a "request" when the OP posted it, it's since turned into a discussion.
FOCAL CMS 65 here! sold on them!


OK, I'm down with that. I still think Neumann KH speakers are amazing. I'm totally blown away by how my KH120s sound and my room is not that small now. A big part of me wants to get the KH420s because my new studio is large enough.

What I'd like to understand is - flat speakers are accused of being clinical and not pleasurable but the KH speakers are a pleasure to listen to, and no one questions their flat frequency response. So what's happening there? Do response curves tell everything that is important?

Dutch & Dutch speakers are the hot new thing on Gearslutz, and I suspect they really are that good. Anyone here with first hand experience?
The Grump
For listening enjoyment and working on rough ideas, the Focusrite Eris-8's and 10" sub are a decent combo, and only $700 as a package from Sweetwater at the moment.
Panason
Quote:
Do response curves tell everything that is important?


As always, science does not have the full picture. [ducks for cover]
calaveras
This makes me think of a thread on talkbass the bass player forum. Some guy had it in his head that you should be able to mimic anything from an SVT all tube amp to a Gallien Krueger solid state, with a very very precise graphic eq.
He just couldn’t accept that timbre was anything more than an eq profile.
In college I learned a useful term, transfer function. Which describes not just equalization profile, but also compression, expansion and limiting applied in a sound reproduction system.
Often left out of this is that every speaker system introduces harmonic distortion and time domain errors. It’s really a matter of whether they use magic fairy dust to paper over these symptoms, for a pretty, euphoric sound or leave them bare.
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