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Monitoring advice... opinions needed!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by tucker, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. tucker

    tucker Guest

    I'm just starting out in the recording game and I need some advice regarding monitors.

    I record on a PC and my setup is as follows:
    Delta 66 S/PDIF out > Kenwood Reciever (forget the model - lower end though, 80 watts a side, 2-3 years old) > M70 Mission Bookshelf speakers (not newest model but almost exactly the same.

    My dad has offered to buy the reciever, the speakers, surround sound speakers and my DVD player off of me as a pachage deal. What I'm thinking is if I should do this...how much would I have to spend to get a decent monitoring environment. (decent means workable, not pro.)

    I've looked through a bunch of threads here and elsewhere but no one product is sticking out at me. I was thinking about getting a pair of Yamaha NS10's because they are the standard but from what I have a few problems...they are outdated and only really useful for mids and having a stable listening environment in all studios. From what I hear they are not great to listen to.

    So, any recomendations? I'm thinking active, but more and more it seems like it would be cheaper not to. Will I take a bit of a hit performance wise?

    Maybe the Behringer B2031 Truth's for actives? They are about all that I can afford! Them or the MAudio BX5's are about it...(please, prove me wrong!)

    I was thinking of the Tannoy Reveals (ebay for aprox $250) as a possibility, even though they are passive. Would a cheaper amp be alright to run these or would the signal not be flat enough?

    Anyways, advice would be great...I really want to get this sorted out soon. The specs for my mission speakers as well as some pertainent links are below.

    Mission M70:
    Enclosure Type 2-way Reflex Loaded
    Frequency Response 3db 68Hz to 20kHz
    Sensitivity SPL/m/2.83V 87dB
    Cross-Over Frequency 2.8kHz
    Effective Volume 4.5 litres
    Nominal Impedance 8 Ohm (min 4.2Ohms)
    Amplifier power 15 - 75W/Ch
    Dimensions (HxWxD) 245 x 150 x 230(mm)

    Mission M70

    Prorec.com 10 powered monitors

    Monitors for below $500
    (Dead Link Removed)

    Yamaha NS10’s
    (Dead Link Removed)

    (Dead Link Removed)

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  2. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    At this point, you have researched this well.

    What is the total budget?

    Powered speakers (darn near all of them in the 700 less class) have a "dynamic sweet spot"

    They work well at 33% power (5dB down from limit) but have shortcomings due to active EQ built into their amplifiers.

    Look at a pair of Boston Acoustics Cr85's and a nice Alesis RA300

    I have plenty of folks that post on mine and Azures forum that have done mixes with that amp and are most pleased. It is a good one, hands down. You can take my word to the bank. Others have, everyone is happy.

    The speakers though, they need to be used differently that you would use them in a home environment.

    They should be placed on their sides with the tweeters on the inside of the cabenets. All drivers are phase coherent and linear that way. They are one of the few louspeakers that wopk best in that configuration. They have bass and balls, they can handle the amp.

    I will go so far to say, you cannot do better under 1500?US for studio work.

    You will spend about 750 , more or less, depending on source.

    I would consider this a professional quality setup if you bite the big one and spend some dough on some good Kimber Kable speaker wire to round it out (about 200)

    The 8TC I use cost a lot more, but see what you can get the 4TC for, terminated in custom length of 7 feet each (or what you need)

    This will help you avoid a lot of problems, put you damn close between a near filed and a mid field and provide upwards of 110 dB if needed.

    You will have a solid 45 to 20K
  3. tucker

    tucker Guest

    Thank you for all of the great information and advice Bill! I'm really enjoying this forum and site...

    The Boston cr85's do look like a great deal...however, what do you think of Tannoy 6.5's? I may be able to get a pair of these for $175, it seems like a great buy!

    I'll keep looking into amplifiers...I actually was offered a Yahmaha reciever last night for cheap. I don't have the model number but by the wieght and construction I could tell that it was a higher end unit from about the mid 90's. I'm going to look into the Alesis RA300 like you said...

  4. NutekK

    NutekK Guest

    hey man i have a pair of 6.5's and i love them to death.
    to me they are remenicant of 10m's but a bit
    different at the same time.
    i have an alesis ra100 amp which is great
    albet the 300 would serve me better though.

    at 175 they are worth it even as a second or third set.
  5. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Here are my personal problems with the 6.5's.

    First of all Nutekk has learned to work with his, has a proper room and vast experience. He found the learning curve. I mastered one of his works, he was pleased. I heard the dynamic situation in his mix...that is what I will describe below. I had no problem compensating for it since I could hear it.


    An engineer can learn to work with ANY loudspeaker , given the time and experience to learn the translation properly.

    Now, here are the drawbacks as experienced.

    I used them in the Big studio in New Orleans simply because they were the producers choice.

    We has NS10's , unhooked, laying under the desk. We also had the Westlake BBSM10's hanging mid field. Powerful bastards they were.

    The Genre of music we did was everything from brass bands, Kurzweil productions to the PCM3348 Sony 1/2 48 track DASH of jazzy (Bob James, Special EFX, Joe Sample, George Duke style music. We did V/O's, video production and all kinds of stuff, and RAP.

    The 6.5's tweeter is a vifa DT19. It crosses over rather high and has a shiny quality to it. It cannot handle the range of the human voice, only the top harmonics. It excells at letting you hear the SHHHHHHHSSSSS sounds but frankly, it only cost me 8 bucks to buy one of them and is a cheap tweeter. It is a 3/4 inch dome. (19mm) The dividing network at 12/dB/Octave they use has an impedance rise at 4K that makes the overall sound "mute" the impact of instuments like the snare drum and other 1000 to 2000 hZ frequencies. Their is an enormous amount of deviation at the top range of the woofer as it should not be used above 1600hZ and the tweeter is not fully on until you are at 5500hZ. This hole is pleasing to the ear but dynamically inaccurate.

    I freaked the producer out big time (this was 8 years ago) when I knew he would be late to the studio. I took a weekend and played around, actually went down 25 stories to street level, grabbed some street musicians (and a few really good looking Women) and we had a blast during the weekend, I had the NS10's on the meter bridge. I took about 20 hrs of fun and time that weekend and when everyone left..(I still have many DATS of that weekend) I started working on the producers tunes with the NS10's and I wanted to prove to him that the NS10 is Not a nasty sounding speaker, that it sounded ugly to him , meant that the mix was not right when he used them. He came in that Monday about 1PM and when he heard his work on the NS10's, he was sold.

    I remember the words. "You got them sounding better than the westlakes ever sounded, what did you do?"

    I then told him, "I mixed it properly finally"

    The NS10's (Like the bostons) have a very powerful tweeter. The boston tweeter cost over 50 bucks and the NS10 tweeter does as well. Both of them have full output at 2KHZ and you need that in order to have a proper dynamic transistion between a 6" woofer and a dome tweeter. It is simple. The mass of a 6" cone is too heavy to move in phase with frequencies above 2KHZ and this is where dynamic problems lie.

    Oh well, Sorry for the story..but I have a lot of experience (over 1/4 century) in loudspeaker design and I do know what works best, faster, less guessing.

    If it were not for the speed of the woofer in the midrange and the shiny sounding DT19 Vifa tweeter (made to be a tweeter only in a 3 way system actually) then the Tannoy 6.5's could do really well.

    They are a good listening speaker but for mixing, they lack the true accuracy of the BIG TONE that you need for super fat mixes.
  6. Divo

    Divo Guest

    Hope this helps a bit.
    I just went through the same nightmare and came to the conclusion that any budget monitoring system was not going to cut it. For around $1500 Australian dollars the best value powered monitors I could find were the Emes Pink series. They are small, but they are relatively accurate. If you don't want to do a lot of techno stuff. Dynaudio's were my next alternative but I decided to take the plunge, save some extra cash and get the real deal.....
    KRK V88's. These babies are almost a mid field monitor but worth every cent I paid. $3800 for a pair, after a bit of arm twisting. My advice to you, is to save up for a decent rig. If you buy something that is not up to spec, you will only have to go out and spend more money later to compensate. Give yourself a little room to grow...... Good Luck......

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