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Are monitors worth investing in?

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by AaronP, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. AaronP

    AaronP Active Member

    I want to know from some experienced people here if I should really save and invest in monitors. I mean, I have a very budget setup that I am happy with so far. But my gear and my budget are very limited. I think that it sounds unwise to spend all that I have on monitors right now, but then again, I don't want something I will have to replace in the near future. My current setup is:

    Guitars and amp:
    Gibson Les Paul Studio
    Carlo Robelli one-of-a-kind jazz hollow-body
    Giannini Classical
    Fender De Ville 2x12

    Recording gear:
    1 sm57
    Phonic mu1705 mixer
    E-MU 1212 card
    PC 2x2.66Ghz, 1Gb ram
    Sonar 7 producer+assorted plugs (got this from my rich friend for free, he was upgrading to nuendo)

    Now, I might be able to have a budget of close to $300 for my next piece of gear or two. I can get a pair of krk V8's (series one) for this much. A steal, I know. BUT, that's all of my cash! I could get a pair of samson rubicon 6's for around $150 if I sniffed around long enough with my reallygoodatfindingrealcheapstuffandfurthurparticipatingingeneralpennypinching-nose. Wouldn't this be better, for me at least, because with the other money I could get an at4033 or an at3060:

    Link to Audio-Technica

    I'd also look for maybe an ADk Vienna or Hamburg, or like a Shure ksm27...
    The possibilities are endless.
    So, Are REALLY good monitors REALLY necessary? Are the Rubicons good enough? I mean, I don't have a problem with running around to the car stereo, boom box, stereo in the living room, etc, to test out my mixes.

    What's your input?[/url]
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Not really but they do help.

    If you've got OK monitors and you know how they sound and know how to mix with them so that your recordings translate well to other systems then you don't really need REALLY good monitors.

    But bad monitors can contribute to bad recordings. Let's say that you are using a set of monitors that have a really bad low frequency response...but you don't know that. When you are recording or mixing, you would probably increase the low frequencies in the recorded material so that it sounded right. On those speakers it might sound great. But if you take that mix and play it on another system that has speakers that don't have a low frequency deficiency, the mix will sound very bass heavy.

    The general preference is have speakers with a "flat" frequency response. This way you aren't compensating for deficiencies in monitor performace in your recordings.

    Good monitors are most definitely worth investing in...but if you've got other needs and are able to get good recordings with cheaper monitors then they may not be a necessity. Better monitors don't ensure better recordings. They just make it easier.
  3. AaronP

    AaronP Active Member

    Thanks. This kindof confirms the way I was thinking.
    My next question would be, how good are the rubicons? I can't find anywhere to try them out, as my guitar center doesn't carry them...
    I already got some info off of here on these, but anyone with hands on experience, please voice your opinion.
    Also, any comparable speakers that would be good for my situation?
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Monitors are subjective. This has been noted. I will say, no matter what you get, switching to different sets in short periods of time will throw off your learning curve on anything you buy.

    The way you learn about what your monitors do to the sound in your room, is to hear your mixes on many many different systems. Trial and error. After a while, you understand what limitations your monitors provide you and you mix accordingly.

    I'm not a big supporter of cheapassed monitors. I trained my ear with very good systems, so hearing things on the 'budget' speakers kinda shows things to me instantly.

    I have heard the 'Rokits' KRK's....Only okay...but good enough to learn on. I cant stress this last part enough. Some speakers shouldnt be used for anything except playing games on the computer....certainly not mixing music.

    I have heard the Rubicons. My local High-End Professional Recording Gear Dealer sells them as their low-end boxes. So I have heard them next to Genelecs, Mackies, Blue Sky, Audix(sleeper...the passives...no longer made...KILLER), JBL's, a few others that happened to be on the shelf.

    The Rubicons are the BEST sounding Bang for the Buck speakers made. Period.

    I would NOT base my next studio around them, but for home and project rooms without a lot of sound sculpting and control, they are very very good.

    One reason is the ribbon tweeter. The highs are really really good and thus, the soundscape is more realistic. The small details are very clear and , even though its only my opinion, this is where you find your separation for everything.

    Some would say the bass 'lacks'....Okay. I'd rather mix on a bass-lite system than a bass heavy one anyday.

    So............you figger it out.
  5. AaronP

    AaronP Active Member

    Well, that's certainly enough to get me interested. I'll look more thoroughly into them, but I don't think I'll be able to try them out. I will look for any local stores that carry them, but... doubt it.
    And I'd be very tentative to buy something I've never heard.
  6. AaronP

    AaronP Active Member

    Another thing-
    I found a guy who is selling a pair of NHT M-00 monitors for $400. They've been for sale for a while, so I'm confident I could get them for $350. This is expensive for me but I could sell some stuff...
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dont make me delete that.

    Do it youself. This IS NOT A YARD SALE!!!

    The NHT's are killer.
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    The NHT M-00s have been lowered in price to $399. I believe this is the actual price now, so I don't think you are going to get much of a better deal on that.

    I've got 85dB of pink noise going through a pair in the other room right now thanks to that price drop.

    They are killer!
    But they need some break in or they'll kill your ears.
  9. AaronP

    AaronP Active Member

    $400 for the pair? New?
  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member


    Google 'Listen Up'

    They have them there for $399.
  11. AaronP

    AaronP Active Member

    That's nasty. Maybe I can get some for around $200!
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    What's nasty?

    The company's name is "Listen Up." They're based in Colorado.
  13. AaronP

    AaronP Active Member

    As in, like, "Righteous" "Boss" or "Hot"
    Or any other odd idiom for good.

    We young folk got some different speak now, old timer.
  14. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member


    Bear in mind, the NHT M-00s require a good 100 hours of break in. I'm on day 2 of 85dB of pink noise on mine and they still have a couple more days to go.
  15. AaronP

    AaronP Active Member

    Well, I'm getting mine used, so I don't think I'll have to bother with that much, unless they weren't used much at all by the last owner. And, what's pink noise?
  16. mwacoustic

    mwacoustic Guest

  17. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Here ya go...

    It helps break in the speakers by loosening up the stiff cone materials through repetetive motion.

    All speakers benefit from such a break in. Some require more time, some less. I've found that NHTs in general require a good 100-400 hours.

    The Dynaudios required only about 50 hours and the Adams were about the same.
  18. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

  19. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Note: Some of you are going to wonder where all the haranging went.

    The fact that I'm here and NOT talking about the subject of this thread should be evidence enough of the demise of the haranging.

    This is not the place nor the forum to discuss socio-political subjects.

    Aaron will go back through his posts and edit the comment. Wont you?!!

    IIR will refrain from EVER posting private conversations with anyone in the general forums. Wont You?!!!

    You may discuss this further amoungst yourselves to your hearts content. Perhaps a dialog will be established that allows both to see both sides of the issue.

    Now, shut up and talk about frikkin monitors. This is much to much work for an old guy to be doin.......
  20. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    My on-topic comment got deleted along with the rest, so I will paraphrase: your monitors are the most important studio purchase you will make as they will colour all your mixing desicions. Spend as much as you can afford, and choose carefully.

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