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New Pair of Main Monitors in the $700 Price Range

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by ChrisH, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Hi everyone, needs some help choosing my next pair of studio monitors, these will be my main monitors.

    The Room is 19X15, bass traps in every corner from floor to ceiling, wood floors, the entire ceiling has floating fire-bat clouds and absorption on the walls.
    Needless to say, the room is very quiet and doesn't exaggerate any low end or high end frequencies.

    The speakers will be shooting down the length of the room.
    Just for kicks I have been using M-Audio BX5's for 6 years, and plan to keep them as another reference even with the newer larger speakers.

    So far I've been looking at the Yamaha HS80M's and the JBL LSR2328P's.
    I've been leaning towards the JBL's because i've heard great things, I can get them for cheaper, I'd eventually get the matching sub and monitor control as well.

    What are your opinions for the best speakers in the $700 price range?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Yamaha has been popular with many. I don't have any problems with most of their speakers except for the old NS 10's. I am a longtime diehard JBL user. It WAS the definitive rock 'n roll monitor speaker back in the day and still is. Though I also like the KR K-series which has gone through a few ownership changes since I got my original V6's and Rock-It's. I find the KR K. to be slightly more alike the sound of my preferred JBL's. I don't find Yamaha like that. Some Japanese speakers sound like, well, Japanese speakers. And I always liked my direct coupled Crown DC 300 A type II, over the autoformer outputs of the Macintosh 2100. One was quite tighter than the other sounding. And some of that comes from a very low damping factor of the amplifier. So now what do you think? $350 per powered monitor should at least provide for you a truly good professional monitor. You absolutely have to listen to some of these before you purchase any of these. Otherwise I'll tell you you should vote Democratic this coming November and I'm not kidding. We can't just have wealthy people who only care about other wealthy people running the country. We need someone who cares about all of the people in this country and not just some of the people. So you need a pair of monitor speakers that make certain whatever politician you are listening to makes sense.

    Speaker Libertarian
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Really enjoyed that post, informal, and I hear what you're saying
  4. aj113

    aj113 Active Member

    I can only speak from my limited experience - I have a pair of HS80's and I think they are excellent, although bceause they are ported, you have to be careful with the bottom end, what sounds good on the HS80's doesn't always sound so good in the car - and vice-versa.
  5. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Hey Remy, what is your recipe for monitor placement? For 5 inch two ways
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    There are so many to choose from. My personal preference lies toward the KRK line of powered monitors for good sounding affordable monitors. I like this particular brand as it seems to relate better to my 30+ years of using strictly JBL's. I find they have a similar tonality whereas other monitors such as Mackie's also sounded nice, I don't find that they relate truthfully in the same way as my old JBL's with Crown amplifiers. Where the KRK's do. But that's personal preference like underwear. And I have a couple of pair of KRK's both passive & active monitors 5 inch, 6 inch, 8 inch and then the 12 inch JBL's that range in age from 1968 to 1998 of which I have more than five pairs of and not all with Crown amplifiers. Though I prefer direct coupled output amplifiers over Auto-former types such as Macintosh amplifiers which has nothing to do with the computer operating system. You only have to be concerned with that when dealing with passive speakers and separate amplifiers. Most self powered monitors are of the direct coupled electronic variety as they would be too heavy to put in a auto-former since those are mostly made out of large blocks of iron and coiled wires. So the actual amplifier does play a large role in the sound coming from your speakers. Different amplifiers connected to the same speaker can sound hugely different from each other. And vice versa we're different speakers on the same amplifier can sound hugely different from each other also. The best way to evaluate what kind of speaker you think you should get would be to take your favorite CDs of the most notable type, by the most notable engineers and use that as a reference before you purchase. Always use the same CDs as your reference. I have certain CDs by particular engineers and producers whom I know, have worked with and would also perhaps like to emulate some of their style. George Massenburg Bob Clearmountain Bruce Swedien, etc. by Linda Ronstadt, Toto, Michael Jackson, Steely Dan, Tears for Fears, Simple Minds, Earth Wind & Fire, etc.. At least with those, you know you are listening to actual musicians and actual engineering and not a bunch of software or plug-ins. And that's where it's at for me. But that's just for me. So I always start with playing back a reference before I ever start mixing anything for anybody. Part of that is also because, I've gone to other studios to do this and you use whatever the monitors are. So to get acclimated to whatever the monitors are, I need to hear my references. BTW those references also include some of my own recordings throughout my 40+ years of doing this. I'm one of my favorite engineers.

    It's good to love yourself.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    I went to the local shop and ab'd the JBL LSR2328P, KRK Rockit 8, and Yamaha HS80M's and the JBL's sounded the best to me, they sounded balanced, more dynamic, and you could hear the lows better.
    The Yamahas sounded super bright and mid scooped in comparison to the other two pairs, and the KRK's sounded "coney" and somewhere in between the JBL's and KRK's.

    Now Im wondering how the Event 20/20's would compare to the JBL's??
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I've heard the Event 20/20's and wasn't real impressed by them. It might be interesting to note, the guys at Event came from JBL. So why the heck didn't they make them sound like JBL's, I thought, when I heard them? Yup, JBL's are still my favorite. They are punchy sons son of a gun's. One of those official and definitive rock 'n roll speakers.

    Whatever happened to electrostatic speakers? We all love condenser microphones. We should be listening to condenser microphones on electrostatic speakers. Don't you think?

    Electrostatically charged
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  9. JeremyCox

    JeremyCox Active Member

    I believe you can get a pair of genelec 1030s in this price range or a pair of BM5A's. Both are fantastic buy you may need to invest in a sub.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I still love JBL's.

    Mx. Remy Ann David
  11. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    What Jbls would you go with if you had to get new ones tomorrow?
    What do you think of the Adam Audio monitors?
    Been looking at the Adam A7x's..
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I would bet bucks for donuts on this; Every one of those monitors will sound different in your studio. Speakers never sound the same in the studio as they do on the showroom floor.

    I have heard monitors that I loved in one room, sound like doo-doo in another.

    "Gee Judge, I didn't know the shotgun was loaded."
  13. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    I agree with you on that, its true, happens with everything, guitar amps, drums ect..

    I've decide to go with the Adam Audio X series monitors.
    Now I can't decide if I should go with the A7x's that have a 42 Hz - 50 kHz Frequency Response or the A8x's that have a 38 Hz - 50 kHz Frequency Response.
    My control room is 500 sqft with proper acoustic treatment (bass traps, diffusion, absorption)
    Is it necessary to hear the extra 4 Hz lower?
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    can you hear that low in your room? probably not.

    do you have any other monitors? twos better than one.

    something big, something small. three sets (mid fields?) can be good or bad depending on how you are firing.

    some times less is more. that sounds like a nice room. is that the sq footage or the volume?
  15. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    I have some M-Audio BX5a's but plan to add some Avantone Mixcubes as well, so with the Adam's I'd have three sets
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    we as humans are very deficient in 'hearing' stuff even as high as 80hz? its feel below there. w/ nearfield, i'd say go w/ the speakers that have smaller drivers, even tho your CR can is a good size. your 3ft(ish) away from them. I mean w/ out testing the room i'd er on the side of smaller speakers. Most people aren't listening to music on anything larger than a typical 4" driver in a car, or some ear buds. It's eisier to compensate for smaller speakers in a bigger room, than vice versa.
  17. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Yeah but for a main pair of monitors, I personally wouldn't go for anything less than low-frequency drivers of at least 8 inches. There's something magic able about 8 inch drivers. They have the low-end that can compete with larger ones, and much more than the next size smaller. Part of this is the internal dimensions of the box, I think, more than anything else? I mean have you ever stuck a small speaker in a large box? They don't quite sound small, then. And larger speakers in wimpy, smaller boxes, just never seem to satisfy.

    Indicating a frequency response at these lower frequencies can be somewhat misleading. These measurements were done in anechoic chambers. As soon as you stick it in a room, all bets are off. Because we don't live in anechoic chambers. Small rooms with high resonant frequencies to them will pummel your low-end. And so you still want to be able to move some air. I find that 8 inch drivers can move just the right amount of air to sound big. In fact my main monitor pair. When I first started up the truck were JBL 4408's, which I simply loved. And actually moving to the larger ones, and three way units at that, I've never quite liked as much. I also simply love my KRK V6's, which, albeit they are six-inch drivers and a very tight sounding, lack of low-end is all too obvious. So I think the 8 inch size is a breakaway point, for a main monitor pair.

    Step-by-step. Inch by inch.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  18. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Alright everyone, I've narrowed it down to the KRK VXT8's, Adam A7X's, and Genelec 8040a's.
    Now if there was only a store that had all three...
  19. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    FWIW my personal pair of monitors are 8". I really get a sense of the low-low (sub) end more than when i use 6's. But it took me like 4 months to figure out that sense and decipher it. Easy enough, turn lows where i like then, then turn then down a couple. then they sound like they should everywhere else.

    Guess i'm contradicting myself, but your right remy, under the condition of having one set. all the main nearfields i use are 8's. Even in my car system i installed an 80's kicker w/ dual 8's instead of the other dual 15's. It just represented the music better, less mushy, more defined.

    Wish i could help more chris, but i have no experience w/ any of your contenders. All i can say is buy all three and try them in your place. take advantage of the 30day return policy, and credit card companies willingness to give money out. Buy them, take two weeks, return the failures, even if its all of them. Let the salesmen know your intent. Maybe he'll give ya a demo pair of each. This is not illegal as far as i know, and is actually profitable for your credit card company, who chomps at the bit for transactions. Unless your room is exactly the way the store's room is, it's could easily be night and day. Also, in your room, set up a basic home stereo, or boom box, get a feel for what the new monitors are reducing/enhancing.
  20. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I'm partial to the KRK's. Though I wouldn't turn my nose up at a pair of Adam's. Those GEN-LAX have never really done much for me. They sound good, at times, but I've never wanted to mix on them.

    I know, George Massenburg was recording and mixing on JBL L-100's (the consumer version of 4311's, much nicer looking) at his own studio, which he loved. Though I once saw an advertisement for GEN-LAX indicating he was using those. I've not asked him about what he's using, today?

    I find my KRK's relate to me similarly, to my plethora of JBL's. Those Adam's are a whole lot different, with that ribbon tweeter. Almost too nice. And that ribbon tweeter goes out to 50 kHz. I have found them quite impressive sounding. I have actually been considering getting a pair, but there is not enough cash on hand right now for that. I've also liked some of those smaller Westlake's. Though I find those more aggressive yet. So I am talking in a rock 'n roll application here for the most part.

    You should also make sure that whatever you purchase has some kind of viable return policy. I have returned some monitors and turned down, others. Matthew POLK brought apiary into our studio, some years ago. I almost vomited. Then when my partner turn them up to his mixing levels, they immediately all blew out. When fed from a Mackintosh 2100 transistor amplifier. LMAO. Matthew was not happy about that. I had to leave the control room, and that happened, because I really didn't want to laugh out loud. Philip had no problem laughing at Matthew when he did that. LOL.

    Fizzle, fizzle, fitz went the POLK's.
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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