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Another Budget Monitor Thread....

Discussion in 'Recording' started by moisiss, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. moisiss

    moisiss Active Member

    I'm in the market for my first pair of studio monitors and I have been reading some previous threads/doing a bit of research and have decided to post my experience so far/discuss some of what I'm thinking about.

    I am looking to buy some decent monitors for ~$500/pair for recording some acoustic/rock/electronic music that I record in my bedroom "studio". Right now I am using a Firepod as my inputs/converters/soundcard and mainly use Cubase LE/Reason 3 as my recording and midi software. I have been mixing mostly on a pair of Sony MDR-7502 headphones and also cross-reference with a pair of old Fisher stereo speakers running through an old Onkyo Amplifier. I am planning on building bass traps and treating my room with OC 703 panels.

    So the monitors I have been looking at are:
    Samson Rubicon 6a
    Samson Rubicon R8a
    Yamaha HS50M
    Yamaha HS80M
    Yamaha NS-10M (used)
    Mackie MR8
    M-Audio BX8
    Event TR6
    Event TR8
    NHT M-00

    So I went to listen to a few of these on the list today and sort of have mixed feelings...

    First, I listened to the Samson Rubicon 6a's vs. 8a's. I have been looking at these a lot online because of some of the stuff that Davedog has said in other threads about their quality for the price. So I A/B'd the 6a's and the 8a's and I have to say that I was REALLY disappointed in the 6a's.... compared to the 8a's, they sounded like they were wrapped in a thick wool sock. The 8a's were much more "airy" and "open" in comparison.

    So next I listened to the Yamaha HS50M vs. HS80M. This one really surprised me.... I thought the 50m's sounded noticeable tighter than the 80m's... especially in high end clarity. Not that the 80m's sounded bad but the HS50M's honestly sounded the tightest and most detailed of ALL the monitors I listened to today.

    I then went back and forth listening to the Yamaha's vs. Samson's, blah, blah , blah....

    I guess the point is.... are my ears just whacked that I think the HS50Ms sounded the best? The sound of the Samson 8a's and HS80M may have sounded a little more "flat" to my ears, but I liked the sound of the 50M's better. Should I get something that sounds "better" to me that may not be giving me an accurate read or should I look for something "flat" even if I don't like the way it sounds as much?

    Honestly, I don't trust my ears right now because I know that I am lacking in the all important experience factor that others (like davedog) have. And it's hard to make a choice because I don't want to spend my money on something that I will hate in a year when I know more.

    I am going to go to listen to some more monitors on the list in the near future... but in the meantime, any advise would be appreciated.
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well it definitely comes down to personal preference, so you're definitely on the right track.

    My only comments regarding the M-00 would be this -
    If they're going to be your only/main pair of monitors, you'll definitely want the sub to go with it.


    It's a little over the $500 mark, but you've probably already heard my thoughts on them - I think they're well worth it - even at the previous $999 price, not to mention $300 cheaper.
  3. moisiss

    moisiss Active Member

    Yeah, they will be my main pair... although I'm sure I will listen to stuff on my Fisher's and headphones as a reference.

    Do you know if there is anyone in the NYC area that carry the M-00's... Not questioning your "authoritiii" Cucco, you definitely know more about it than me, but I would really like to listen to them before I commit to buying them.

    What other monitors would you suggest getting a sub with? I'm assuming if I get some 8's I won't need a sub.... but what about 6's or 5's? I mean, I realize that it's really subjective..... but any guidelines you follow?

    One more thing... Is there anything I should be listening FOR when I'm A/Bing monitors?... or do you just go with your gut on what sounds good to you?
  4. Crankitup

    Crankitup Guest

    Check out the genelec product lines. i've heard they blow away the yamaha's

  5. moisiss

    moisiss Active Member

    I've heard great things about Genelec's too.... but they are a lot more expensive... well outside of my $500/pr budget. :cry:

    I actually just ran across a good deal on some used Makie HR824's... what do you guys think about used monitors? Better to buy new? OK to buy used? I read in another thread, from Cucco I think, that monitors take some amount of "breaking in" until they sound their best?... or at least that's how I understood it.
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I'm using a pair of KRK RP5. Honestly they don't have a lot of low end at lower volumes but the louder you put them the better the bottom gets. To a point of course. A sub would be nice.

    They do have nice detail though and sound reasonably flat to me. They don't sound good necessarily but they sound flat(in the good way). The clarity in detail is nice though and that's what I was looking for.

    At $300 for the pair, they suited me fine. I'm not a pro so, I'm not overly concerned that they're not "the best". I figure, "knowing" the monitors is more important to me than having "the best" ones. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. :lol:
  7. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    I agree, I have MAudio BX5a's and I would have to say that since I got them I have noticed a difference in my mixes (I think better) because they are flatter then my old desktop speakers or my headphones. They seem to translate to different stereos better then before. I would have to try my mix out here and there and everywhere and every time I would have problems with something on each different stereo I tried.

    IDK my 2 cents, which is only worth $.005 (noob factor and the American dollar)
  8. KHilbert

    KHilbert Guest

    I love my KRK RP6s. RP8s are cool but they were right outside my price range. Just call sweetwater and get them to throw in a pair of isolation pads and ask for a discount. They sound pretty good for what I'm using.
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    You'd be crazy if you didn't listen to them before buying.

    I don't personally know of anyone or dealers in the NYC area, however, I'm certain that if you either contact Listen Up or NHT, they'll know of a user or a studio in the area that you can contact and go and listen.

    If I'm in Jersey in the near future (I travel there all the time), I'll let you know and I'll drag mine along with me.
  10. moisiss

    moisiss Active Member


    So I went around and listened to some more monitors.... I listened to the Event TR8's, the M-audio's (BX8 and BX5), the Mackies (MR5, MR8, and HR824mkII), KRK RP6, Genelec (I think 8030A), Adam A7, and the Yamaha's again(HS50M and HS80M).

    I liked the Genelecs, Adam, Mackie HR824's.... but they are WAY out my price range. But it was nice to hear how some mid/higher end monitors compare to the more "entry level" sets. I couldn't begin to describe the difference sonically except to say the sound was "fuller" and had more "detail".

    I thought the KRK RP6 sounded pretty good but I felt like the upper-mids and/or highs were a little harsh. The Mackie MR8 sounded good also, but sounded a little scooped in the mid-range to me. The Events sounded good... but for some reason I was kinda "meh" about them. The pair that I liked the best (in my price-range of course) that day were the Mackie MR5's. When I A/B'd them against the Yamaha HS50M's (the pair I liked the best on my last listening excursion) I thought the MR5's sounded a little smoother. The price also played a role... I decided to go a little under budget because, honestly for me right now, the difference in sound between $300-$400 pair of monitors and a $500-$600 pair isn't big enough to justify spending the extra money. I figure I can learn on these (they are definitely better than my headphones or stereo speakers) and when I'm ready to move up, I will just jump over the whole $500-$1000 price range and get some that will last me for a while. Also, spending less on monitors lets me put a little more into treating my room.

  11. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't try to sway you and this is in no way an attempt to. Just a point. The KRKs have a HF adjusment in the back. I leave mine at zero. You could adjust them down to -2 or up to +1dB(amplitude I assume). I don't know why anyone would make use of this feature but it's there.
  12. moisiss

    moisiss Active Member

    Yeah, I didn't really look at how they were set up in the back and they didn't sound bad... but the difference was really subtle and I was trying to be picky.

    The Mackie MR5's also have adjustments in the back on the tweeter and sub... but I have mine on zero right now. It sounds great to me! I was listening through some stuff I did in Reason a while back and the difference (between the MR5's and my old stereo speakers/headphones) in clarity was noticeable.
  13. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    That's not hard to believe. lol. Anyhow, congrats on your purchase. Looking forward to some great mixes in the near future. :cool:

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