1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

the Best choice under $500 studio Monitor ?

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by Learn2fly, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Learn2fly

    Learn2fly Active Member

    Hi all,

    do you have any suggestion which the best monitor under $500? mostly I am working with acoustic guitar, contra bass. cello, flute and vocal.

  2. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    For that price I've seen Yamaha HS80M's on sale new a couple of times and you can definitely buy them used.
  3. bicasaur

    bicasaur Active Member

    I agree. It's hard to go very wrong with Yamahas.
  4. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    One more yamaha vote here.Hard to beat in the $500 range.
    I had msp5's for years, bought em used and sold em for almost as much as i paid for them. They're built like tanks and hold their value.They tranlated well to other mediums too.IMO
  5. Learn2fly

    Learn2fly Active Member

    How about adam A3X or A5X guys?
  6. Surkin

    Surkin Active Member

    Krk are a good choice. Rockit series
  7. DanTheMan

    DanTheMan Active Member

    Personally I would avoid the Rockit and Yammies. I'd look for JBL LSR or (gasp) Behringers with the JBL being the top of the pile in the price range. I've measured several of these and the little JBL are great performers. Look at these polar response graphs between 1 kHz and 5 kHz to make you pick:

    ****DanTheMan's blog****: Review of Polar graphs

    If you want evidence for why the Yammies are bad, just ask,

  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Again, graphs are a starting point and rarely tell even part of a story. Use your ears.
  9. DanTheMan

    DanTheMan Active Member

    Jack, with all do respect, you are incorrect. If it was possible to not know the brand, size, color, etc... of what you were listening to--think DBT--you'd be correct. Of course then you'd pick performance anyway. Unfortunately we are filled with biases whether or not we know it or admit it. Those are the facts. There was once submitted to the AES a test that showed yellow grill clothed speakers are picked to sound the best regardless of speaker performance lol. Your best bet is to know the performance of the device in question. The sad truth is that pro audio still doesn't know this in general. It seems odd. Compare us to any other profession--no one else is guessing, but we are. To do a number of DBTs is difficult and time consuming--knowing the graphs is much quicker and any competent manufacturer should be doing this in the design phase. JBL, Mackie, Behringer, Genelec, Neumann and I'm sure others are manufacturing speaker that are designed to be accurate--that also means preferred under blind conditions.

    Here's the iceberg's tip:
    Audio Musings by Sean Olive: Part 3 - Relationship between Loudspeaker Measurements and Listener Preferences

    Check out how powerful of an influence sight can have:
    YouTube - The McGurk Effect - Horizon Is Seeing Believing?

    Hopefully this is helpful and not hindering or inflammatory.

  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Not inflammatory at all. Manufacturers fudge their data all the time and this is just as proven as the McGurk tests of which I am familiar. Resolution of charts and graphs of course being a primary point of masking. Additionally, any graphs or tests not done in a treated room are not going to be as valid either. EQ corrective software at this point in time generates quite a lot of advertising but I don't know many folks that think these softwares sufficient for mixing or mastering audio. Speaker and microphone manufacturers have complete ability to perform the tests but marketing departments take over from there. Behr**** products for instance are often designed/copied/stolen/whatever from quite good originals but then the parts used are often substandard and the quality control is less than average. MXL is in that same boat.

    For what it's worth, I too believe that folks get blinded by names or biases. I'll go with actual hands on experience in real life situations though before I get too worked up over a marketing chart.
  11. DanTheMan

    DanTheMan Active Member

    Actually, you just need space and know how, not a treated room to make a graph. My graphs are not from manufacturers. To my knowledge, none of those manufacturers print those details or even anything close to that. I think only Genelec and Neumann do on just their better models.

    I understand completely about Behringer and MXL, but some less affluent people need equipment as well to get them through in a pinch. I don't like what they are accused of, but when I was in college I would have no other choice. The cheapest possible was the only possible. They certainly don't measure as well as the JBL or Mackie anyway and those JBL are fairly cheap. If everyone posted reliable date we wouldn't need to listen. Right now it's our only choice as measurements are scarce. I just tried to chip in as best I could.


    ACIDMAN Active Member

    It all boils down to each listeners comparative hearing. Give one person a track to mix down and then get another person, sit them in the same chair with the same track and equipment and.........low and behold....it sounds different !!!

    Which one is right ?

    In fact, give the original person the same task on another day (same seat, same track and same gear) and it will sound different again !
    I may be blown away with an amazing tech spec but I may not actually like the sound of the speakers when I listen to them.
  13. DanTheMan

    DanTheMan Active Member

    Acid, your post runs contrary to all available evidence--and there is over 30 yrs worth--close to 40. Actually certain specs have been correlated to listener preference with remarkable accuracy.

    As far as day to day, hour to hour variations in listening tell you that listening to loudspeakers is not a very productive way to choose unless you are going to do it blind, everyday for months and keeping score and then do a statistical analysis on it.

    Dr. Olive of NRC Canada/JBL fame and Wolfgang Klippel found mathematical weighting schemes that could predict listener preference based on: flat/smooth response on axis, off axis response smoothness and bass extension--traits that speakers continually had that were winning DBTs. they found a flat/smooth, extended on axis, and resonant free power response are essentially where it's at.

    Nice that speakers that measure well are preferred--that's not really strange at all however, but many seem to think so. IOW, of the speakers tested on my blog, you want 1) the Mackie HR624 mk2 (ignore the top octave just like your ears do and don't try and sick Oohashi on me haha), 2) the JBL LSR2325 and then 3) either the B2031P(with cotton) or 1030A and the KRK bringing up the rear with the cotton free B2031P. Interesting as this correlates perfectly with what I like and what sounds right. The 1030A is probably the most revealing however in the MR/treble. I heard things on recordings that made me think it was broke--and there are good reasons for that.

    Here's my primers on psychoacoustics:
    ****DanTheMan's blog****: Psychoacoustics

    You can follow the links for more info.

  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If you are purchasing monitors for mixing and mastering, arguably the truth of the sound is more important than the subjective "liking" of the sound. Cruelly honest is a phrase I like.

    ACIDMAN Active Member

    Hi Jack, Hi Dan, my apollogies for being a little pedantic and contrary ! Since my start in the business 20 years ago I've seen a lot of changes and none more than monitoring gear. I've a couple of friends in particular who couldn't disagree more with each other. One swears by his KRK's the other won't listen to anything other than his GENELEC's (no matter how much technical proof). Another guy is saving for some ADAM S3X's( apparently nothing else will do). So as much as these are all good monitors why do people still not agree on scientific evidence ?

    As it happens I must admit I do agree with you both although personal taste,in my humble opinion, still has some bearing otherwise we'd all use the same monitors.
  16. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Hey Acidman, don't worry about me. I've been chasing kids off the lawn for a while now. Now that I live in Montana, we get to do it with shotguns ^_^
  17. strings1

    strings1 Active Member

    This has been an interesting thread. I really appreciate the information. Jack as always quick witted and sharp. Would that be single or double barrel shot gun with rock salt?? Lol
  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mossberg 590 USMC edition.......and why waste time with rock salt ;-)
  19. DanTheMan

    DanTheMan Active Member

    No worries Acid--hopefully you take no offense to my position/posting either. As far as people not agreeing with science--nothing new there. Placebo is powerful and skepticism is healthy, but denial is not. I've often seen 3 things around the web: 1) people don't know about the evidence and therefor are not in denial. They are just ignorant of the facts. 2) people have purchased other things based on their 'listening' experience or what they read on XX-dot-com and learn that the purchased item is not a great performer. They have an intense desire to defend their belief/purchase as they have stated them many times with a lot of strength/conviction and don't want to lose their web cred. 3) They are a manufacturer and they manufacture objectively inferior products and want to ascribe good sound to some sort of magic concocted by a mysterious genius sorcerer that will never divulge their strange brew to the mere mortal. They will sell it to you at a premium however.

  20. strings1

    strings1 Active Member

    Hey Dan,

    So what would be a greatd pair of monitors overall, with price not being a factor. And then within the $1000.00 to $2000.00. If there are some that are great below $1000.00 I would be interested in hearing about them as well.

Share This Page