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Budget Home Studio Monitors

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by Guitarfreak, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Looking for a pair of monitors for around $2-300 American. All I've been using is this and my mixes don't come out that great.
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I use KRK RP5's. They need a subwoofer but they are pretty decent.
  3. JPstudios

    JPstudios Guest

    Go on ebay and get a pair of auratones if you can find them, around 300 or if you want the standard spend a little bit more for Yamaha NS10, 400-500. If you don't have one, you'll need a power amp but those are not too expensive, 100 used. The same priced powered monitors have never seemed to work for mixing, for me anyway - except as a reference point - they can be useful that way. I have a pair of Events that are good in the overall scheme of mixing.
  4. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    +1 on the RP5s. I think they are the best I auditioned at that price point. I checked out Fostex and M-Audio at that same price.

    I would just make sure you check your mixes with other speakers. There is a weird mid range plateau at like 3.5hz for me, but its my room I believe.
  5. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    ahh good somebody mentioned, I was trying to incorporate one other question in here. Passive monitors are obviously better than active right? but to use them you need a power amp? How exactly does that work?
  6. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Go listen to some Mackie MR5's....they are around $180 each....they have nice tight low end....very clean in the mid's and top end, they are "active" (55W LF & 30W HF) powered, they have balanced inputs....my buddy bought some and they were very nice for the price....
    I think the KRK Rokit, RP5's, Yamaha were all in the same ballpark....but you should go down to your local music retailer (like Gitar Ctr....ahhhhh..sorry) and see if you can get someone there to help you (good luck with that BTW) hookup a few sets of monitors to the same music with lots of range that you like...maybe your own stuff on a Cd or memstick..spend some time demoing in the sound room....have some fun with it...do the ole A/B test and see which one sounds the best to you....it's really the best way to buy speakers...very subjective....take a bud along too for objective input....they are all very close...but some are bright with less low end (will need a subwoofer which is not a bad thing)...but some sound very clean all around....which is what you're looking for anyway..and passive is fine too but then you need to get a decent amp like a Crown....mo money!
    hey and don't forget to check your mixes with a good pair of headphones....or even those little earpod types......everybody's wearin em these days so pretend your an itune commercial and have a listen ...
  7. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    No, they are not obviously better. They are two different types of speakers. There are a lot of differences in price, size, and amount of space you have. There is also a lot of differences involving the crossover, which someone who is far more knowledgeable than I am might explain.
  8. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I'd like to have someone who knows better chime in as well.

    I have (1) a pair of passive monitors (8" woofer) w/ a 15" sub, and (2) a pair of active monitors (5"woofer).
    Oddly enough, I seem to get a better sense of the bottom (balance-wise) w/ the smaller, active monitors than the passive 2.1 setup. Better translation, too.
    Could be the room? Or a variety of other things?

    That's why I also always have w/ me a pair of quality, trustworthy headphones. They serve as my reality check whether I am in the control room or listening on my laptop or desktop.
    Expect to spend upwards of $200 for such a pair.

    Isn't recording/mixing fun? What bank account?
  9. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I really like my Klipsch THX system or my JBL's for a listen too...
    It's all good with a variety of speakers or headphones....so don't get rid of your Altec's...they can still be of value
    Sony MDR-7506 are a good headphone choice and I really like my ATH-M50's which you can listen to without fatigue and they seem to have much better low end than the Sony's....
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    There you go again with those statements about something being obvious which you know nothing about. Didnt you learn the first time?

    I have a pair of powered monitors. I also have a pair of passive monitors. I have a really good power amp for the passives. Why? you ask....Because music is a complex signal with all sorts of transient and rapid rises in frequencies for short periods of time, and a great power amp must be able to handle these in order to give you a good look at what you're hearing in order to accurately mix.

    You will NOT get this in a $100 power amp, unless it is used and a real bargain. I suppose you could find a really used up Crown of some kind for $100......Good luck on it lasting very long....at that price it probably would have seen better days or is a low powered one at best.

    Am I going to fast?

    Powered monitors , especially really good ones, like mine, have power amps, crossovers and drivers specifically designed for the cabinet, the cabinet material, and the projected usage of the monitors.

    While they may not have as much wattage on the label and spec sheets, chances are really good that they are very efficient and the power ratings do not reflect the amount of volume you can get from such a box.

    Or the accuracy of the reproduced signal.

    Monitors in a studio setting arent meant to be speakers that give you enhanced listening pleasure, they are tools to help you accurately reproduce your art so it can be heard clearly on speakers designed for pleasurable listening.

    Earlier, JPStudios mentioned a couple of monitors that I must take exception here to. Especially in this case. Auratones and NS-10's, while being studio standards, are used for reference more than mixing, and they are an aquired taste for ears that have been trained to hear what they have to offer. These are NOT monitors for beginners.

    So in the overall scheme of things, a pair of powered monitors of a decent quality and sound will be cheaper in the long run than passives. They will be easier to hook-up, and will more than likely sound the way you need them to while you are learning about this business.

    And stop saying how ^#$%ing obvious things are when you have no clue. K?
  11. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "Am I going to fast?"

    I dunno.
    Ramadan isn't for a while, though?
  12. JPstudios

    JPstudios Guest

    Some strong opinions here. Truth be known, I use a combination of high quality head phones and passive NS10s for the mixing part, auratones are good for translation and the powered stuff for translation in different settings. I have several sets, including cheap set of different types of monitors (7). My mixes have to pass the test on all of these sets and somehow it works. Passive can be more expensive than powered but you can get some good used stuff on ebay for under 100 if you know what you are looking for, e.g., a used altec lansing. And yes, you might have to take it in for a $50 parts replacement when it stops working. I certainly don't have any stomach issues if you go with a good set of powered for mixing and high detail- meaning mixing head phones. There are deals on all over the place right now. Good luck.
  13. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    thanks for the good advice. And Davedog, you never cease to amaze me. Your information is really good and I trust you because you obviously know what you are talking about, but I was just posing a question.

    It seems there are a few people who use KRK RP5, are they really only $150? wow in that case. Somebody mentioned that it needs a subwoofer, can you explain a little more? Is it NEEDED and/or required? or does the product just lack in the bass department?
  14. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    Amazing for the price.
    Gives you something to start with and build from. Not what you will be using a couple years from now, but great entry level.

  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Some systems are a bit bass lite. This is the reason we use reference speakers to check this sort of thing with. Your car stereo is a great place to find out if your mixes are translating. Not particularly convient.

    Getting a sub right away doesnt mean you'll make better mixes.

    Learning your monitors is the ONLY way you'll ever get really good with them no matter WHAT system you use. This involves repeated playbacks and mixes and reference checking them on other sytems.

    Better monitors dont necessarily mean you'll be a better mixer, it means you'll have a tool that will operate at a higher standard than others (subjective) and may make it EASIER to learn how to HEAR a mix and all of its nuances than a system that may have some flaws in its reproduction capabilites.

    I like those Rubicons as a beginners monitor. They have very very good highs due to the ribbon tweeter. The low-end isnt what it can be, but they're 5" speakers in a small case. This doesnt mean you cant get good low-end, it just means you'll have to learn how these particular speakers reproduce low-end and what they're lacking towards this.

    I recommend them because of the high-end being so good and for a beginner this helps in establishing a wider stereo field and helps in separation of the instruments. Low-end in a small working area is pretty much omnipresent and with a sub even more so to the middle of things in a small room.

    I also recommend the lower end Mackie stuff. Its branded Tapco and their small bookshelf monitors are pretty good.

    For all you young'uns, Mackie came from being Tapco in its early years. They were the first company to build a small footprint 6 channel mixer with a LOT of output. The old dogs on here know exactly what I'm talking about. We have all, most likely, owned or used one in the past.

    The KRK's are another brand well worth checking into. Their larger items are very good so they are used to building quality equipment.

    Just an aside to you MrGuitarfreak, when posing a QUESTION its always best to word it AS a question rather than a statement of fact with the idea of gathering information through disagreement. Capice?
  16. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I've taken a look at some of the things mentioned here, and the options look really good. Thanks a lot guys!

    link removed Seems decent, but is it only one speaker? Throughout the document it seems like it is referring to only one speaker and not a speaker set. I don't think I would like that.

    link removed It seems very good and I might end up getting it. But how does it compare to the link removed Is it worth the extra money?

    The Yamaha NS-10's seem absolutely amazing but might be a bit pricey for me right now. I can't find them retail, do they not make them anymore?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Samson-R5A-Rubicon-Pair-Active-Ribbon-Studio-Monitors_W0QQitemZ350162322221QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116 They also seem really good, but about the ribbon tweeter. If ribbon tweeter is anything like a ribbon mic, then it means its fragile. And I like to crank things up. I am forseeing problems in the future if this is the case.
  17. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    You wouldn't be using any of these as front of the house PA speakers, so I don't get where you would crank things up.
  18. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Generally the price is per monitor unless stated otherwise. The MR5 is definitely $179 per side.

    NS10s are not "amazing" though some find them handy. I sat in a studio for months that had a pair of those. I only used them for comparison. Other than that, I like mixing on the Ureis.

    The larger "Woofer" on the KRKs will give you better bottom end. So imho, yes they are worth the extra money.
  19. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Wow, real eye opener there. I thought it was $150 for a pair. Do they each come with an interface? and/or how do they interact with my iMac? Will I have to buy a separate interface just to use them?
  20. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member


    Next question.


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