Skip to main content

Help me to Decide

Member for

21 years 2 months
Gentlemen, I'm about to begin production in a Mac home studio and I wish to get some active nearfield monitors. The least expensive/most affordable (In Canada)have come down to the Yamaha MSP5 and the Roland DS50A ... I took a CD in and listended to both of them . it appears that the 'bottom' frequencies are better on the Roland,and it also is 'biamplified', but that bottom sound may be because the cabinet is bigger . the speakers are equal in size.
Oh, and the Rolan has digital ins.

What would you do? Is there something I should know about Roland? Yamaha?

Unfortunately I'm hindered by how much I can afford.

Thanks in Advance


Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 06/11/2001 - 08:54
I tend to stear clear of Roland gear whenever I see it. It is cheaply made and usually sounds crappy. As far as the digital in goes, you have to think how much they spent on the d/a converter on such a low cost speaker. Stand alone d/a's cost hundreds for even ok sounding ones.
Even tho the Rolands may sound like they have more bass, that is not always a good thing. It might be emphasized at weird frequncies. You may have trouble getting mixes to translate to other systems. Basically you won't be hearing what is going to tape. If you have to choose between the two, go for the Yamahas, but I'd say you need to look around some more. Cheap gear is only less expensive the first time you buy it. And if you buy the Rolands you definitely will be buying another set of monitors very soon.
I have Tannoy Reveal Actives. You can find them at Sweetwater for $699. They have no bass (specs say nothing

Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Mon, 06/11/2001 - 17:29
Well Icouri, you've gotten 4 answers, and all have different replies. As this thread goes on, chances are really rather good that you'll see almost as many brands of monitors mentioned as there are responses to the thread.

Monitors are a very personal decision, one that you'll have to base upon what works for you, your working style, and your music.

Over the years, I've found that if I have it in the speakers, I don't have it in my final mix. So, if a set of monitors have a ton of bass coming from them, I find my mixes tend to be bass light when they get to mastering. If the speakers are very bright, I find my mixes to sound dull when they get to mastering.

During the 5+ year process it took me to decide which monitors moved my work in the direction I wanted it to go, I probably went through 20 different pairs, some worked better than others, some worse. Some could handle getting loud, others had built in limiters. Some sounded great no matter what I put into them, which made me seriously lazy about working my ass off to get a clear, distinct picture from my audio.

The pair I'm using now...I wouldn't let them into my house. They have an accentuated lower midrange [which makes me work harder to get the lower mids clear], they bark like a dog around 2-4kHz, which forces me to make sure my 'presence frequencies' work and play well together. They don't have a whole lot of top so my cymbals and upper ranges of the percussion and vocals come out clear and airy, and they have a fairly solid bass...because frankly, I really like too much bass and can get that out of my monitors in a way that will usually translate fairly well to the outside world.

I wouldn't recommend these monitors to anyone unless they were looking for speakers that pointed them in the directions I felt I needed to be pushed, just as I wouldn't recommend to you which car to drive, woman to date, nor what to order for dinner.

This is unfortunately a fairly expensive 'trial and error' process. You're going to have to work with each set of monitors for a while, like a full project or two before you can really get a handle on how the speakers will affect your work.

I would strongly recommend that you not listen to "monitors" as you would listen to 'HiFi/living room speakers'. They're entirely different animals, for entirely different purposes.

[I didn't mention which brand of monitors I use intentionally. First of all the company is out of business so it wouldn't do you any good...second, I didn't want you to go in that direction unless you happened to find it on your own.]

Best of luck with your quest!!!