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Focal SM9 / Adam S3X-H / Barefoot MM27 / Quested V3110 - THOUGHTS ????

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by Roulette Records, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. Roulette Records

    Roulette Records Active Member

    Sorry to have yet another one of "these" threads, but this is not a vs-vs/whats better question. I'd like to know what people's experience is and feelings are towards these monitors that have used/heard all with enough adequate time/usage with each one to be fair to each one. I did a search and didn't find no thread helpful enough, so started this one.

    I'm looking to replace my ever so loved Genelec 1031a's and 1092a sub. As much as I loved them and all, it is time for more power/volume along with the newer design of a 3 way. That said due to size restraints in my studio and price (really don't wanna pay 15k+ for some monitoring) desires I have narrowed it down to either getting:

    Focal SM9
    Adam S3X-H
    Barefoot MM27 Gen 2
    Quested V3110

    All with a 12" sub that gets to 22hz

    All fit in all my physical restraints and budget desires. But I wanna know what people feel about each ones ? I've heard all at AES before. But it was a long time ago, and no real A/B type stuff. Most of my music ranges from almost everything except Country and Classical - Pop/Commercial, Alt Rock, Hip Hop/Rap, Soul R&B, Electronic, Synth Pop, Dance, Acoustical, etc..

    Thanks !
  2. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    I cannot address every monitor mentioned, but I will say I have found I love the what Focal does.
    Great products and great service, so they get may support.
  3. Roulette Records

    Roulette Records Active Member

    Thanks pan60 for chiming in with some input. It definitely helps.

    I expected more responses with feedback and info. Kinda disappointed with the traffic on this forum I guess :confused: Is it usually this barren here ? Feel like some tumbleweeds will start blowin by at any moment - lol
  4. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    No not always so spares, I am thinking the trade show might have something to do with it?
    It can get slow but generally there is always someone to offer some input.
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    i've heard adams in a studio before before i think the 5" model, and they are very forward in the mid range, wouldn't be my first choice. i've used quested 8" speakers a few times (forget the model off the top of my head) and found they had an exhaggerated low end, and put vocals in a weird spot. this very much has to do w/ the room i'm sure, but compared to the other set yamaha hs8's that's how they sounded. i personally don't mind hyped bass cuz i think it's fun when mixes 'bang', but it could make some people mix bass lite. focal gets some really good reviews, definitely worth a try.
  6. Notable.com

    Notable.com Active Member

  7. Notable.com

    Notable.com Active Member

    At this price try the Atc scm 25 as well. Also the Genelec 8250 and 8260.

    I'm doing lots of research and looking hard as well. I haven't pulled the trigger yet but I've used or auditioned and measured in my control room the following monitors;
    Dynaudio Bm6a, Adams A7, genelec 8250, tannoy dmt12, focal twin be, jbl lsr6328, jbl4328, Atc scm 25, Barefoots.

    The connect to your room and the way any speaker behaves in the acoustic space where you will deploy is way under valued. Many studios use EQ, phase management and measurement to finesse the deployment of their monitors when installed by serious acousticians or by famous room tweakers. Are you auditioning these at your studio? If not, you are shooting in the dark. Also when I get two pairs of speakers in the room to try out. I find the location in the control room is more important than the brand. I have one sweet spot that makes all the speakers happier by such a major amount that AB ing is not helpful. Yes a foot or two makes a huge difference.

    Of course many of these speakers have qualitative and presentation differences. They also have functional differences.
    If you spent massive money on the physics in your control room....many feet of bass trapping, non-parallel walls, reflection free zones, diffusion, what I like to call "No boundry left behind" then your speaker choice widens to a much more intuitive choice. But, If you are in the majority who are too lazy or cheap to take all that seriously...... then your room is likely to screw with the physics of playback in such a profoundly distorted way that picking speakers is almost missing the point. Sorry to veer off your question. Back to it....

    Here's my impression. IMHO....
    I haven't heard the barefoots in a room that made me love them. I've heard them in 4 rooms.
    The Atcs are amazing. Well built and articulate. Powerful solid. worth 6k more than the Dyn's? Not sure. $ matters.
    I have not heard the Quested.
    I liked the Focal but only heard the twins which were weird in my room. A great engineer (lots of records and access to speakers) buddy of mine said he loves the sm9s way more and I should try them.
    The Dynaudio Bm6a are very solid but are less bright than the Focals and Atc and Tannoy. In my case that makes me work harder. On the bad side they stress out earlier at loud volumes. The Dyn's with my jbl subs are the current front runner in my room. (measured and impression) if I don't spend 6k to grab something like the ATC's they will stay.
    Adams A7 were lovely on the top but missing too much at 100 for my use or for my room with out major subs to couple with them. My JBL lsr subs didn't match up with them phase or crossover wise and I wasn't going to get new subs to correct the problem. (I was told and I infact teach the fact that lower frequencies are less directional so one sub is fine in a speaker system....In my room ....Once I went to stereo subs everything got better both from an enjoyment side and a measurable flatness.)
    Genelecs....I auditioned the 8250 w the GLM measurement system. These are well made serious tools. The speakers are consistent and built well and indestructible. (the components are protected and the cabinet is molded metal). In contrast to the Focals components which are exposed and the tweeters are somewhat toxic and fragile ( plus the twins look like Wall-e so kids want to touch them) Their measurement system is pretty well thought out and comes with a calibrated mic. (four subractive peak filters and some additional shelves) If you are moving a lot or traveling or using less treated rooms this system is fantastic. I actually wanted more flexibility (many more bands and additive peaks) but I'm a tweaker....I'm checking a number of dsp and eq possibilities and comparing measurement systems (REW, Fuzzmeasure, Spectrafoo and Smaart). If measurement and learning about impulse responses, phase response and transfer functions is too much work for you, but having a flatter response in your room is important then the Genelec active speakers is a great option. (Also Paul and Will at Genelec are knowledgable and great people to work with..). The Gens are on the bright side but their ability to self measure and adapt is remarkable. down side...I never found a sweet spot ( but only tried a few spots partially because they are so big and heavy) for their huge sub and the subs are really expensive. So twin subs would double my speaker budget. Ouch. I been told by other experienced engineers the 8260 are a major step up (coax tweeter and mid) but I havent tried them.
    The Tannoy DMT 12s are really clear and powerful with suprisingly less low end for their size and weight. The coax design is its own bag, very articulate but very specific in it's placement. these are very big and heavy and are harder to locate just right in my room. They are more clinical and less sweet sounding. Very focused but harder on the ears. Also you need an amp worthy of them...I've used revox, Bryston and Ashly. All have worked.

    let us know what you find.... I welcome any thoughts...
    I hope you find your perfect playback speakers.

  8. Roulette Records

    Roulette Records Active Member

    Omg, I got a reply ! lol I had forgot I posted this here, took me forever to remember my password.

    Dan, I want to thank you for your well written post and input. Ok, so, the ATC's are out for me, as the only ones that will fit in my studio are the ones you mentioned, and quite frankly, they are not powerful enough.

    I've been working with my Genelec 1031a's and Matching sub for over 10 years now, and they have the same wattage as the ATC 25's and one of my reasons to upgrade is I need more power. I like to have about double the wattage I would ever use cause I like the headroom. All monitors sound best at about half potential imo. Plus, sometimes I like to blow-dry my hair with the volume for a while just to see how my mix will sound in the club. These Genelecs just aren't giving me that.

    Second, I want to upgrade to 3way. The ATC's that have the juice I want are simply too big of a cabinet for my room, imo. So I am counting them out. As far as new generation Genelec.... no go for me, don't like them. And if you knew me, you'd think I was insane, cause for the last 10-15 years all I've done is rave about Genelec, but it is mainly cause of the old series stuff. Once they changed their design, man, I don't like 'em. I'm cool with the spaceship speaker design. Totally ugly to me, and now that I've learnt, imo Genelec is also under powered for their speaker size.

    This is why I have narrowed it down to the ones I mentioned. Oh, and FYI, I now have also narrowed it down to the Quested, or the Focal's. Barefoot had some compression at super loud volumes that I didn't like. Also, they just sound too much like a really good Hi Fi speaker and not for monitoring IMPO.

    Adams, I notice have too small of a sweet spot, and frankly I don't like their hi's. Don't know if I am a fan of their tweeters imo.

    I have a room built from the ground up for the control room and also separate one for the mic room. All soon to be professionally treated and shot by Bob Hodas, so no budget for me, just going total industry standard. But they are relatively small as they are all inside my home.

    So 2 issues, I can not test in my room, as my room is not done. Bob will want the speakers I choose to set them up. So I am going to my friend Michael Romanowski's professional mastering studio here locally to have the final listening test between the 2 monitors. His room was also done by Bob, so I am hoping it will give me the closest and best I can do with my limitations here.

    I do agree, best to be able to choose in your studio where they will be going, but I just can't in this situation. So thats all the answers for what you addressed. For me now, its really between Quested V3110's or Focal SM9's, and I'd love to hear owners of these or people that used them a lot to let me know their thoughts on how the 2 differ from each other and the pros and cons of each one. I already am leaning towards the Quested, due to how others have described them and their difference from the Focal's. They also have a CRAP load of more power ! :) And have a way better Sub option. I am also impressed with the professionals in the industry that use them ad stand behind them. Like Serban Ghenea, possibly the best pop engineer of all time, check his creds...


    Anyway, he SWEARS by Quested V3110's and has mixed almost all them songs listed in his creds on them.

    Top that with Abbey Roads Studios having four Quested systems installed, including the main speakers in Studio 2 and 3.

    The Neptunes have a massive custom Quested system in their control room.

    And Hans Zimmer ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Zimmer ) is a huge Quested believer, having tons of different Quested systems in all of his production suites and a massive system in his own music lair. All of the films soundtracks he composed for were mixed on Quested systems.

    Thanks again Dan !
  9. Aisle 6

    Aisle 6 Active Member

    I use ATC's myself, but as I am waiting on having a driver repaired at the moment, I have purchased the Quested VH2108 as a stop gap until my ATC's are back up and running. From my experience with this monitor, I would not hesitate in recommending the upper end Quested's to anyone wanting a great monitor at a reasonable price. In fact I may even keep the Quested's after my ATC's come back.

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