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Monitors in the ever so competitive $3500 (PR) range

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by ChrisH, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Hey all,

    Which pair of monitors in this price range is the winner for you?
    I've had to opportunity to use a couple of the speakers I've listed below, but I haven't lived with em.
    There's no access where I live to try out any of these speakers back to back so I've gotta go on your experience.

    (I may have overlooked a pair so please add to the list)
    In this price range we've got..

    1. Focal Twin6 Be

    2. KH 310 a

    3. Event Opals

    4. Sonodyne SM300

    5. Trident SG3's

    6. Genelec 8050's

    These will be paired up with my ever so trusty "mixcubes".
    My control rooms frequency response is as flat as a 14ft x 20ft room with 9ft ceilings can get.
  2. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Active Member

    Add Quested to the list. Many models to chose from.
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    My vote goes to the Neumanns but anything out of that list would be killer.
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    meyer hd1's.
  5. Todzilla

    Todzilla Active Member

    I auditioned the Focals before I settled on DynAudio BM15As. The Focals sounded incredible, but only with the sub woofer and without they were still a lot more expensive than the BM15As.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The Genelecs are bit more than 3500 a pair. worth every penny.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Event Opals are amazing.
  8. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Which Neumanns? KH 310's? I hadn't seen those, the design makes allot sense to me.

    What have you compared these to?

    I'm worried about those not being able to show the 30hz-45hz range.

    I have heard lots of good about those.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm sure the majority here are pretty sweet too, I'd love to have the new Neumann's that Hue mentioned but I think they are around $5000 for the pair? I own Neumann KH120, Dynaudio BM6A mosfets, Tannoy 800 but the Events are incredible. I highly recommend them. After I configured them ( with their included measurement software), my room looks like this now:

    R4.jpg room3.jpg
  10. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member


    I mainly do rock, country, blues, and jazz.
    Would you still recommend the Opals?
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Totally. They are awesome for everything. You will not regret. They are very focused monitors with wonderful smooth clarity at all levels. I can mix on them for hours and hours with pleasure. You hear everything with these in a welcoming way. Its easy to mix on them and you can crank these when you want to have fun!

    My room is treated though so this is something I highly recommend. Hope that helps.
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Don't sell those cubes btw, but if you ever decide, I want them!
  13. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Sounds good! Have you tried the Focal Twins?

    Sell my cubes? Never! Thats probably the best gear investment I've made.
    With those I really just need something to check the lows and highs, they give me straight mid "Meat & Potatoes", and I can hear problematic frequencies
    on those that I don't ever notice on my Adam A77's.
    The Opals would replace the Adams, I didn't end up liking the Adams because of the exaggerated highs and cloudy lows below 200Hz.
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Never tried the Twins, heard good and negative about them. Something tiring about the top end on those but its hear-say. I think they are probably pretty nice as well but I have never heard them. I was thinking about Focal's for a long time and then lost total interest in the product for a few reasons. One in particular was Vovox and Focal are tight and imho, Vovox cable is a bunch of over rated nonsense so it made me wonder about Focal hype and the distribution. Yes, I have strange methods I research...
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    A very valuable area noticed over the years, specifically using higher quality gear now, is how monitors severely effect people opinions and bias feedback opinions on everything. I mean, spending time on mixing contests this last year has been a real eye/ear opener!

    engineers will suggest thoughtful but very bias opinions to another engineer, suggesting they add more top end, bottom end, comments like the toms are missing, HH ar too low or a mix that sounds like complete mud is wonderful to them. etc... And people listen and trust these opinions without even considering individual monitoring system everyone is using. I spend more time grouping people together so i have a common circle of trust these days.

    But, if you follow the mix of the opinions, to see what their mix sounds like compared to yours, it tells a pretty solid truth about what they are hearing, missing or appreciating. I think many of us have great sounding mixes in "our own studio" but that doesn't translate so well in the real world and why this business of mixing is so difficult up until you get that all sorted..

    Also, some of us have hearing loss, some are addicted to bass, some are mixing in rooms with no treatment, mixing on laptops, headphone etc and everyone is giving their opinions.. Some of these opinions are from kids that are very well spoken but clueless. Some are dance beat freaks and some are into traditional rock with the flabby kick sound as their benchmark flavour of choice . Its one big guessing game indeed.

    This is a huge problem that hasn't been recognized on the web and is rampant over at GS. Gear, microphones, speakers.. so many products that are being misrepresented through the ears of very bad monitoring. Thank goodness we have mastering engineers to try and balance it all out in the end but that is diminishing too. All this confusion sure is messing up main stream audio.

    Monitors are the one thing we need to buy for our specific studio environment and then be aware of our deficiencies and attributes and then get good at "trying" to get it right lol. I don't think I will ever be satisfied. ..

    Sorry to go off topic but I felt it was an interesting one. back to you :) all!
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    quested s7r, yamaha hsm 8's, bose computer speakers, sony boombox, makcie hr8, (and hr8mk2's),ns-10's. compared by mixing/tweaking multitracks, and just listening to music i'm familiar w/. FWIW (same two rooms)

    i'm very interested in how focal compares. they're a much newer breed, which could be good or not.

    i'm interested because alot of ME's are specific about power amplification, and distribution. which really isoltes the relationships/interaction between the components between 'stereo bus-> ears'

    (edit- interested 'very' in focal for good reputation and as replacement for personal home studio mackie 8's)
  17. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Do the opals have a neutral sounding tweeter?
    Part of what bothers me with the adams is the over-bright high end, makes me mix highs too low, and I'm never sure
    if the oh's are really cutting or they just sound like they are.
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean.

    My room is treated well and is a nice size so they fit the room well for me, but I also have a Sub. Assuming because I have some foam treatment as well as trapping, upper mids are welcome for me. The Opals sound accurate to what I expect and I can mix for hours and hours without tiring. Listening to colleague mixes, whom I really respect, their mixes sound like I would mix and that paints a pretty confident picture for me about these. My mixes translate great on other systems including our TV's and my iphone but didn't on my other monitors.

    That being said, Opal's aren't dull by any means though. My other monitors sound like the tweeters are at half volume compared to these. I strain to mix on the other ones and have to think objectively where these, I am enjoying them and trust exactly what I am hearing. Make sense?
    I would say they are "clear and even", I don't hear hot spots or dips. The tweeters don't sound like they roll off like most Near Fields do. I think they would be a perfect match with the Cubes.

    What I really love about these is how enjoyable they are to work under extremely low volume but kick ass when you want it and its the same expected sound, just louder. Cranking can be very addicting so I am always controlling myself.

    I doubt there are many monitors this suitable for me at this price but they might not be right for you. We need to buy monitors for our room and personal hearing. So hard to say beyond trying now. I love these for sure. They suit my room and hearing pallet.

    I am a firm believer that most of us hear a mix in our head close to how the majority thinks in our own environment but the hard part is when we send our mix away and people say you need to change this or that and we scratch our head wondering if its me or them, right? Don't we all agree? And 95% of us all never get our mixes mainstream so we go through our entire life thinking we are doing a pretty decent job at it.
    I'm personally trying to move into that last 5% and get it right. Its been a life mission, obsession pursuing that common mix that translates to the majority. I'm getting closer, I think lol, but not without the help of a monitor control system too.

    Monitors and our room acoustics are everything in my book. And, the monitor set-up like the Dangerous Monitor ST has been the greatest asset to my studio and education hands down. My world changed once I got that hooked up to everything. But I have an elaborate system but I would still want that or something similar to it even if I was working 100% ITB. I have spent literally a half million on gear over the years and the Dangerous ST has been the single and most important piece to date. Its taught me how to monitor a mix and what to and to do or buy $$.
    The guys that master world class music designed this so what does that tell you!
    Before the ST, I had the SPL MTC 2381 and that was awesome too. Either of these two work great. The ST is just more pro. These kinds of controllers are essential part of monitoring around a DAW system.

    You could give me a mix of something and we could compare notes for fun. PM me if you want me to hear a mix that you feel sounds good. I should be able to tell you if you are in the same sonic pallet as me or if you need a monitor that is darker, brighter etc. Thats is if I am accurate too!

    Hope that helps.
  19. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    I've had allot of employees that work at the best audio shops in America tell me I need to up my budget to $7000 to get a truly professional monitor that's flat.
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I agree. More like $10,000 but who's counting at the point. Less crap is more once you have the best of everything. But I do think we have an amazing ability to addapt and do a pretty decent job if we know what the deficiencies are. The hard part is learning what those are without hearing what you are missing.

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