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should I buy monitors?

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by ferchis, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    I read many posts last night about monitors, prices, placement, quality, etc etc

    the thing is... I'm still wondering whether I should buy a pair of monitors, since some people say that it's not worth spending a few hundred dollars in cheap ones, and that you should rather get something on the high-end area, otherwise rather than spending you're wasting money.

    I've got a Juli@ interface, which gives me the option of having either trs balanced or rca unbalanced outputs, and was thinking of buying monitors for recording AND mixing (if possible). would you recommend a good pair of monitors for it that wouldn't be prohibitevely expensive and would still do the job?? should I connect them to the trs balanced outputs of the interface or can I make do with the rca? (my guess is go balanced...)

    I've been looking around for what I can get around here in Buenos Aires, and found, for the budget I'm considering (maybe 250 u$s)

    M Audio Studiopro 3
    Samson M3A
    Alesis M1 Active 320

    but I still have to go to the music shops (my research was on the internet shops, sth the likes of e-bay) and browse then and there...

    OR... should I just stick to my old-friend hifi stereo and record and mix with it and see what happens? I'm interested in recording primarily synths, guitars and basses, not so sure about vocals

    well... any help will be highly appreciated!!!
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I'm sure you can make mixes that sound good on your hifi. The question is, how do those mixes sound when someone else plays them on their system? If you're recording solely for your own amusement, you may not need monitors. If you have hopes of selling or distributing the music, you need to be reasonably certain that you have a mix that will translate well on any sound system or radio station.

    Home stereo (hifi) speakers may have good frequency response on paper, but unless you have an extremely expensive audiophile level system - stereo speakers tend to exaggerate the bass, or some other frequencies to give the illusion of power and clarity.

    So if after that you feel like monitors would be a good idea for you, I'd suggest you save up your money as long as you can, and then find a place you might be able to hear them in-person. Take recordings you are VERY familiar with and let your ears be the final judge. A good studio monitor will be extremely accurate, and not necessarily sound flattering to the music.

    This is like seeing a girl who looks pretty good across a dimly lit room through a haze of smoke - then at the end of the night someone turns on the fluorescent lights and you see what she REALLY looks like. (usually VERY disappointing)
  3. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    thanks dvdhawk!!! btw, which ones would you recommend, at least for an aspiring home studio? the aim is to record my own music but to distribute it as much as possible and (hopefully) sound as nearly professional as can be...

    the budget: well... maybe u$s 250 or a little bit more, but here in Argentina things are more expensive than in the States! anyway, I'd really appreciate any pointers so as to know what I should look for. what do you think about the ones I mentioned? are they worth looking for?

  4. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Is that $250 for each monitor or $250 for a pair?
  5. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    unfortunately... a pair.

    I'll be shopping aroung tomorrow and see what I can find that fits my budget and let you all know so you can give me further help. I'll also try to listen to as many as I can

    maybe I could stretch to u$s 300, but, again, here in Argentina things are not that easy... that's why I'm trying to get sth affordable that would relatively help me get the job done
  6. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I would look for KRK's, they are around $300/pair and I really like the Mackie MR5's for around the same price.
    Of course I don't know what you have available there in Argentina!!
    I have KRK Rokit5's and my friend has the Mackie MR5's (which I recommended he buy at the time..) and it turned out I liked the Mackie's better than my KRK's and wish I had gotten those instead....I think the Mackie's have a better bass response than my KRK's....
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    For US$300 you should forget it and do what the original advice was.....save that money and keep adding to it. Why do you think it is better to waste your money now than save it for a future purchase? Spray a fire extinguisher on your wallet and go take a cold shower. Really. Get to US$500 and we can at least start talking about NHTPro M-00.
  8. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    djmukilteo, I see you recommended the mackie mr5s. what if I get a good deal on them? I might possibly get them for approx the same price as in the states. should I go for them and consider myself lucky? can I consider them "keepers" for the long run?

    on the other hand, I promised a list of what I could get from the music shops here in Buenos Aires that were within my budget, so... here it is, my last strike...:

    Tascam VL A4
    Samson M3A
    Samson Media one 4A
    Samson M5A (starting to look expensive...)
    KRK Rockit 5 (I know many here in the forum own them, though maybe out of league at the moment...)

    well... that's about it. of course there were several other smaller monitors (I'm not sure whether to really consider them monitors because they looked more like multimedia pc speakers for games, etc etc), but this is more or less what I could gather from some of the shops.

    any opinions?
  9. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    How much for the MR5's?....are they new or used?
    I have KRK Rokit5's and I don't like them as much as my friends MR5's
    But that just me...if I was buying that same size and had my choice between the KRK and Mackie I would pick the Mackie.
    I think whatever you get if you take good care of them will last a long time.
    I still have a pair of JBL Control5 monitors that I bought many years ago and I still listen to them and they are in great shape!
  10. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    brand new, approx 375 u$s, and that's for the pair so they say...
  11. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Amazon.com here has them for $360 pair.
    So sounds like that might be a pretty fair deal for you in Argentina!
  12. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    It is! But it's so damn strange: all the other music shops sell them for about u$s 750 and these guys are just giving them away for u$s 350?? the pair?? I wrote to them to ask about payment methods, etc, they haven't replied yet...
  13. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    If that is for MR5's that would be waaaaay too much and they are ripping you off!
    MR8's are about $500 a pair here and those are the 8" version....which would be even better!
    But not for that price!! That seems way off base!
    Maybe the $350 they quoted you was the price for one!....not a pair!
    You should check prices in US like Amazon.com first and make sure you are talking about the same items. Do you have access to any online internet companies in the US that can ship to Argentina?
    I suppose there are shipping charges, taxes and import duty....Maybe you have found a good business to get into in Argentina?!! LOL
  14. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    not at all, the price they offer is FOR THE PAIR, but again dj you're forgetting that this is South America, and specially here in Argentina things are ALWAYS far more expensive than in the US, so if you think about it, they could be u$s 360 in the States, it "makes sense" to find them here for that price. though I can tell you that the price I mentioned was one I found at a ridiculously expensive shop here, I've just seen them in a more "reasonable" place at u$s 634...

    that's the way it is, my friend... unfortunately we have to pay a LOT more for what in 1st-world countries is affordable

    still, I'm phoning the place where I found them at u$s 370 tomorrow and see what they tell me
  15. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I understand,....makes no sense of course, or maybe it does....but I guess that's what happens with US made things.
    It's too bad you don't have locally made equipment that you can buy for a good price and take pride in "made in Argentina"...
  16. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    yeah! that would be nice! but, hey!! laugh at this... Placas de Audio, Placas de Sonido y Midi Profesionales PC MIDI CENTER

    those, as far as I know, are from an ARGENTINIAN company (so I've been told), made in China, and sold for u$s 440!!!!!! hahahahahaha unbelievable, right?
    you would think that being local they would be considerably cheaper than any US-made product, but logic seems to fail again here...
  17. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    We get a lot of Chinese made equipment too, it seems all of the companies nowadays are building their products there!
    Looks like Argentina is no different....
    I couldn't read the specs on those but how do they compare to the other US, UK, Japanese or European made models?
  18. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    mmm... I'm no expert, I couldn't tell... but the funny fact remains that they are made by an Argentininan brand and are still more expensive than US-made products... I find it baffling (pun intended haha)
  19. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Can you go to shops there and listen to different brand monitors?
    That's the best thing to do if you can....speakers are like that....your ears are the best test and would really help you decide...
  20. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    yes, I know, but what if I COULD after all get those mackie at an incredible price? should I just let them pass by like that? wouldn't it be sensible to get them after hearing a barrage of positive reviews saying they're great value for the money and absolutely reliable in home studio and professional studio environment?

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