$4,000~$1,000 near-field choices.

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Lunatique, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. Lunatique

    Lunatique Active Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    Sacramento, California
    Home Page:
    I've been looking at adding a good pair of monitors to my setup (a 16x10x8 room in an apartment, which also needs acoustic treatment), and I was ready to just get a higher-low-end pair like the Mackies, until I investigated further into the mid-end monitors. Lately I've done A/B tests at some of the pro audio stores around here, and the ones I'm currently considering are:

    Klein & Hummel O 300 - $4,000, or O 110 - $2,000
    Buttery smooth and accurate. Probably too rich for my blood though (the 300). The 110 might be doable, but I'm afraid I'd want to add a sub to it and that'll get expensive again.

    Focal Solo 6 + Sub 6 - $3,500
    Sounds very lush (especially on orchestral/vocals). I heard it without a sub, and it definitely needs one--at least when compared to the Dynaudio BM12A's.

    Digidesign RM2 - $3,500
    The ATL technology f-king works! At low levels the bass was still full bodied. Everything else about it really didn't stand out all that much from the JBL LSR4328P's I A/B'd against though. But the RM2's also weren't burned-in properly though (suggested time is 14 hours).

    PMC DB1S-A
    Have not heard, but am definitely interested. Should be similar to the RM2's since both are PMC technology.

    Dynaudio BM12A - $2,000
    Very nice, but when compared to the Focal's, they seemed a bit clinical in the orchestral/vocal area.

    JBL LSR4328P - $1,450
    Pretty amazing performer when pitted against more expensive monitors. Often it was hard to tell that the JBL's were "inferior" in any way--whether in soundstage, frequency response, reaction time...etc. In fact it sounded very close to the BM12A's and the RM2's when I A/B's with them. In some instances, the JBL's actually had slightly better soundstage and clarity than the RM2's (once again, the RM2's were not burned in properly though). The onboard DSP calibration system is also a big bonus. I can totally use it in conjunction with acoustic treatment to get the desired accurate sound.

    Mackie HR824 MKII - $1,200
    I could always save some money and get these. They aren't bad monitors--just not quite as good as the ones listed above (you get what you pay for). The rest of the money can all go to acoustic treatment.

    Anyway, I'm planning on spending about 5k total on new monitors and acoustic treatment. I'm basically one composer in a bedroom, who wants to have as pro-sounding monitor/room acoustics as I can afford for the time being. As my composing career develop more and my savings build up, I'll mostly likely be buying a house and try to treat a room in it with a larger budget. The monitors/acoustic treatments I buy now should be still usable in that next location too.

    Any advice from you guys would be much appreciated.
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    I have the Dynaudio BM15A Monitors.

    I previously had the HR824. I find the low end much more defined and clear on the BM15a's, so I traded up. I also tried the ADAM S2.5A for a few weeks. I found the detail in the upper mids very clear with the ADAM's but I also found myself turning down the upper mids in my mixes. So the ADAM's didn't really work for me. The Dynaudio's feel comfortable and yet detailed enough for me.

    As for acoustics, I am about to purchase some rigid fiberglass myself here is another page you might find useful.


    Best of luck!
  3. Costy

    Costy Guest

    Check out Cucco's post (at Acoustic Forum) on the JBLs. Might be
    interesting for you.
  4. Lunatique

    Lunatique Active Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    Sacramento, California
    Home Page:
    Thanks for the comments.

    I did like the BM12A's quite a bit, but not sure if it's worth that much more than the LSR4328P's though.

    That's interesting about the JBL's. I just got a comment from gearslutz that Bob Katz swears by the JBL LSR monitors.
  5. Fruition2k

    Fruition2k Active Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    South Florida
    Been using Dynaudio BM6A's for 7 years and love them, along those
    lines Dynaudio or PMCs get my vote. PMC AML1's are still on my list
    until I hear something better..

    The BM6A's work fine in my control room which is 17x14x8, no sub yet either.

    Hard decision and the most important one you'll make for your setup...
    Room, Mic, Pre, and Monitors are key, everything in between can and will change.

    Best of luck,
  6. Kent L T

    Kent L T Active Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Home Page:
    I have the focal solo 6 BE and really like the clarity of them. Nice clean bass not woofy at all nice and tight yet full. I do not have the sub but, so far I have not missed it. I am planning on getting it though.
  7. tifftunes

    tifftunes Active Member

    Jan 13, 2003
    I use Blue Sky's "Sky System One" 2.1 near - mid field monitors. I really appreciate their accurate sound, and very smooth crossover. And, I can mix @ 85 dB all day w/ little to no ear fatigue. Best monitor system I've heard for the money.
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    That's interesting - did Bob specifically mention this, or did someone state that Bob liked them. The last I heard was that he was still infatuated with his Lipinskis.

    In the recent past, I've owned or worked with:
    JBL LSR4326 (Had severe problems with multiple speakers, not just 2 including one of them whose magnet had come off of the basket during shipping!)

    Dynaudio BM15 (passives) - loved them. The depth of sound was VERY revealing on all things. Their smoothness and linearity are unrivaled in speakers costing any where NEAR their price. They MUST have a big(ger) room to work with and a powerful amp (or the built in ones on the powered versions)

    Adam A7s - initially bought specifically for the purpose of mixing on-location. However, they sound so amazing that I'm now mixing about 80-90% of my mixes on them. I did have to turn the tweeter control down a little for mixing in the near field, but it's well worth it. The only mental compensation that I have to make is to understand that, in my room, I need to make sure the region between 60-200Hz is a little dense. If not, it sounds a little lean on other systems.

    I've worked with PMCs extensively in the past and I generally like them, but I've always had a harder time translating low frequencies to other systems. They have amazing depth but lack the crisp attacks possible with larger driver systems. They also tend to be a little slower in the low end. Bear in mind, these quibbles are minor at best and the PMCs are great monitors still.

    As for Focals, I'm quite familiar with their home speakers and love them. I'm not even slightly familiar with their pro speakers (although I think Joe H did a review of them for Mix magazine, you might want to PM him and ask).

    Anyway...good luck. As I'm sure you know, it's all subjective and one person's treasure is another person's trash and vice versa.

    Cheers -


Share This Page