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Roland and M-Audio

Discussion in 'Recording' started by lcswoosh05, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. lcswoosh05

    lcswoosh05 Active Member

    I currently own the M-Audio BX5a monitors but I was wondering if the Roland DS-30A is better since it has digital inputs. But I guess I would like to also know if the DS-30A sounds better too or do they sound the same or are my BX5a far much better monitors then the DS-30A even it doesn't have digital inputs.
  2. lcswoosh05

    lcswoosh05 Active Member

    Also I did notice that the BX5a doesn't have the tone controls to adjust the sound so that's another reason I thought the DS-30A monitors are better since they have those controls.

    But I would like to know which monitor out of the two is overall better.

    Thanks for your help guys.
  3. lcswoosh05

    lcswoosh05 Active Member

    Here is some details about the DS-30A monitors.


    Here are some details for the BX5a.


    I just wanted to know out of these two which is overall a better monitor. I know that there are alot of people who knows about monitors so I would like to know what they think about these two. If you goto the owners manual they have alot more details about the monitors.
  4. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    OK, I'll bite. I'll even look up the specs, and tell you what you should be asking yourself, and answering yourself...because, well...we don't know. :wink:

    Do you have a digital SPDIF output to run to the Rolands? Do you need that? If not, then you are wanting to pay for something you can't use. They'll run analog, but they need a 24-bit digital input to work their DA converters.
    Do you want to record and send everything at 24-bit, which it appears to require?
    Do you want only 30 wimpy watts of power--20 for the lows, 10 for the highs--that it delivers?
    Do you want an unimpressive 78Hz-20kHz frequency response, as opposed to 56Hz-22kHz of the M-Audios?
    If the Rolands are so good and matched and flat, why do they need high and low attenuators? (Not "tone controls", although I guess they could be viewed as such, since they basically cut the levels of the highs or lows). Those things will just add more confusion to your mix, and more circuitry that is unnecessary. I assume they put them there to "tune" the speakers to the space, but they are a bad substitute for good, flat speakers in a well-tuned room. Not that 30 watts is going to generate a whole lot of problems in the first place.
    Anytime you start futzing with levels at the crossover point, you run the risk of your mix getting over- or under-hyped in certain frequencies. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, and why. And then, you have to "learn" them, still. Those will add more headache then i suspect you are ready for, at this point.

    Also, monitors are a personal thing. You have to like them initially, and then learn their quirks to start getting anything out of them that will translate to other systems. There's probably not a lot of people in here who can answer your question with any real authority because it's unlikely that anyone has used these two particular sets side-by-side for comparison.
    This is a good place to find info, but there's a limit to what paople can supply. You may do searches in this forum, other forums, and Google in general, to see what people are saying about each.
    Look for key phrases, like "weak in the low-end", "poor imaging qualities", "brittle highs", etc.

    I don't know, but I suspect that given only those two choices, you will likely be happier with the M-Audios. But your ears ain't my ears. Roland certainly makes good-quality product, but I suspect those things are more
    fluff than substance, and they are charging for the extraneous gadgetry more than the intended purpose, which is to hear, unencumbered by extraneous circuitry, what is coming out of your mix. A good engineer may be able to dial them in quickly, and get glorious mixesThe M-Audios are pretty much straight-forward powered monitors. Like'em or hate'em, there's nothing else to there to confuse you. And just because a speaker has a D/A converter in it doesn't necessarily mean it will sound better. It also depends on if those converters are better than whatever might be being sent to your analog speakers.

    Just some stuff to chew on. Hope it helps.

  5. lcswoosh05

    lcswoosh05 Active Member

    I did exchange the BX5a with the DS-30A monitors this morning and I did notice the buzzing sound when I connect them to my PC. I thought it was the monitors were defective but I guess not since they were others that say the same thing. But I do like the sound of them better than BX5a is because the bass extends alot lower then the BX5a does. Since BX5a has subsonic filiter it cuts all of the bass under 56hz which is bad since I want to be able to her sounds lower then they and the DS-30a I can hear lower bass since it doesn't have that filter.
  6. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Well, if that's what you hear...OK, then. Surprising since the Roland's specs list the frequency at 78Hz for the low, and less than half the power, overall. Could be that they are generating more subharmonics or something. Going from a spec standpoint, they look worse, but specs can lie.

    Since you didn't say anything else about all the other stuff, nothing more I can say. Dunno if you have a laptop or desktop. Both can cause a buzz, but laptops are more susceptible because of their power supplies.

    Dunno if you are using it analog or digital. Dunno what your interface is.

    Dunno if you're changing the software EQ from one to the other, or if you EQ at all.

    Dunno what kind of music you're trying to do.

    Dunno if that lower bass you claim to hear from the Rolands will translate to other systems.

    These ar all things only you know. If you like them better, that's a start. Guess you'll find out if what you are hearing though those is what you really want to hear.

    Good luck, and have fun with it, whatever you do. :wink:

  7. lcswoosh05

    lcswoosh05 Active Member

    I forgot to ask this but if something goes wrong with the DS-30A monitors since it's a discontinued model will they still be able to support and fit them? Since I think I should get back the M-Audios since those are not discontinued monitors. Also I did notice that from listening to them for a while that the Rolands have not really low good clear bass as the M-Audios do so I think I should get the BX5a back. The DS-30A monitors have a bass that sounds like a normal stereos speakers but the mids and highs are good.

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