desktop speaker decision - laughable




I know you all will be laughing at this!
I listen to my hard disk recordings
through a Sony CFD-Z550 boombox.
I use a cd-to-tape adapter from the stereo
out of these cheap generic thailand computer
speakers that came with the computer.

1. Can the cd-to-tape adapter alter or mess
with the sound signal?

2. Recommended desktop speakers around $100...?
(I know I should not skimp in this department
but I don't have much choice right now)

3. Or should I just wait for large funds
to get something really good for monitors?

It seems that I could get something better
in the mean time.

Would something like the Edoril MA-5A or MA-10A
or Roland MA-8 be an improvement worth getting
in the mean time?


Tim :)


Well-Known Member
May 12, 2003
Tim: Yes, the cd to tape adapter can and will distort your signal.

If your have to spend $100 on speakers, buy a good set of headphones instead and save up for "proper studio monitors" when you can afford them. Akg has a few great sounding pairs, as well as sennheiser. Also, I'm not sure if it's still available but KOSS had a very nice sounding pair sold at radio shack for about $70 canadian. I bought them because they had a neat folding feature, and would suit well for live sound. After listening to them I found that I could mix succesfully with them too.

If you can squeeze out a couple hundred bucks more you can get a decent pair of bookshelfs from mission, model m72, or from paradigm, either the titan, or the mini monitor. The mission is the best choice, and for a little more yet you could get the tannoy reveal. It's a good value.

I would save as much as possible and get good monitors, but you will alo need an amp. The best ampspeaker combo is well matched. This has to do with how well said amp and speaker combo work together to produce sound energy, and dampen the movement of the speaker. If you are willing to save, alesis makes a poweered version of the monitor one. Alesis monitor ones are the speakers I use, and I've had excellent results with them. I would take the alesis over some of the other speakers you mentioned for a couple of reasons.
First and most obviously I have been happy with them.
Secondly, a colleague of mine who is a very successful producer, has a pair of the powered ones and likes them very much.
Lastly, of the speakers you mentioned, i have auditioned only the roland, and was unimpressed with it, I can't offer an opinion on the others.

Good luck!


Sir Dingo

Get a pre-loved pair of Yammy NS10s. Cheap on ebay, and although there are certainly better sounding speakers avaiable, you definitely won't go wrong mixing with NS10s.

Dingo :)


Thanks all.
Tim: Yes, the cd to tape adapter can and will distort your signal.
Now I now for sure about that mysterious
distortion in the mix,




I might get egged for this, but if your budget is really that tight, and you can't handle mixing on the boom box much longer, try this...

Altec Lansing makes multi-media speakers for computers, and some of them are pretty decent sounding. They DO NOT COMPARE to most 'real' studio monitors, but they'll be a lot better than your boom box. $100 will get you a speaker setup with an integrated woofer (they call it a subwoofer, but you know better) that has a lot more clarity than your current system.

The headphones idea is good too, but you need to be very cautious of your stereo imaging when you mix with headphones. As they say, instruments in the center of the field sound like they're coming from your pituitary gland. And headphones can sometimes seem TOO clear, making it tough for your mixes to translate. Best thing to do there is to mix them as best you can on the phones and then double check your mix EVERYWHERE... The advantage is that good headphones will still serve you in other purposes once you save up for better monitors. The multimedia speakers will be good for video games afterwards (the ones I got make the floor shake), but that's about all.

Spend some time thinking about it. Good luck!