Monitor switch box/New amplifier

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by Labs, Mar 22, 2004.

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  1. Labs

    Labs Guest

    Hey all.
    I tried asking this somwhere else, but Im not getting an answer, so Ill try here.

    I just noticed the sticky post about monitors on the top, and no, i didn't spend 40% on my monitoring chain. i spent 30% and borrowed a pair og extras from a cinema located in my same building. (In the borrowed forever kinda way. If they break a pair theyll use the ones i have with me as backups, but still buy a new pair)...
    My speakers are
    1.a pair of custom dynaudio and with 2 12" 2 and something along the lines of BM-6 in each tower. (dont remember sizes of units)
    2.a set of MK 150-s
    (Does anyone know these MKs ? Supposedly they should be used on movie post stuff. Im not liking them much. could just be the amp tough)

    I have a crap amp. And my room isn´t 100%, but its getting there.

    NOW for the actual question.
    1. What kinda amps should i be looking into ? Im currently looking at rotel and NAD. I can borrow amps from a local store to try out, but I just wanna narrow in my choices so I dont have to drag 20 amps down.

    2. How does a speakers switch affect the signal if i try to run something like this ?

    3. Ive been thinking about living with my bad amp for the dynaudios for another year, and buy a pair of powered NF and put the borrowed MKs back in storage.
    I heard very good things about ADAM speakers,,anything good in my price tag ?

    I can spend around 1000-1500$

  2. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Carver, Hot House, Bryston, Crown, QSC, even Mackie are all decent amps. You definitely should have a good amp. The problem with a bad amp will show up when you're trying to drive any kind of serious level, such as a playback at 85dB SPL. A crappy amp will be fine just loafing along, but when you start to call on it, it'll be pretty unhappy. You want to have more power than the speaker calls for. I actually like to at least double their RMS power handling value. Rule of thumb is that too little power blows tweeters and is very easy to drive into clipping, which'll make accurate monitoring difficult as you'll be well into distortion. Too much power will rattle the woofers against the extremes of their travel, but that's far more desireable than not having enough power. It allows you to trust more what you're hearing from the monitors while having adequate power to handle the dynamic range that today's gear is capable of. The fact that nobody is currently exploiting the huge dynamic range of digital gear is another discussion for another day...
  3. Labs

    Labs Guest

    Thanks for the answer. Ill check up on the brands your mentioning.

    Its still really like an answer on the switch thing.

    and also my idea of getting the M K replaced with some other NF (like ADAM ? ) and then worrying about an amp for the dynaudios later. Im thinking my NF is my most important monitor.


    :idea: :?:
  4. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    That depends on how the box works. If it just switches back and forth between two different pairs of speakers, only running one pair at a time, then it's probably a passive device that'll have no effect on the sound. If it allows you to combine the two pairs that could change your sound. What happens if you passively combine the speaker pairs is they may react with eachother and they'll definitely change the impedance that the amp has to drive. This can be real bad for the amp. It'll distort faster and you could actually damage it by driving a load that's too close to a dead short. 2 4 ohm woofers wired together will end up with an RMS impedance of 2 ohms. That's RMS impedance, on a large low frequency excursion, the drivers will actually present an impedance of closer to 0 ohms to the amplifier. Bad. Overheats the outputs, causes lots of distortion at the least.
  5. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    I agree with Mapprotulz.

    From the look of the box, it does allow you to have both pairs driven at the same time. So impedance load becomes an issue. A better amp is still going to be stable at lower impedances than a cheaper one. A guy in my band was trying to convince me that his $350 Behringer amp was going to drive our subs as well as my QSC MX2000a. As indicated in an earlier post, a cheap amp will probably do ok up to a point but once you start driving it hard ..... you'll need to keep the local speaker repair service on your speed dial.

    I don't know what the efficiency of the speakers you're talking about either. My guess is that they're relatively inefficient as opposed to JBLs or something like that. You might be able to get away with an older Luxman amp, at least something that even if it doesn't have tons of watts, is higher current.

    In general I agree with an earlier post as well that stated that you're much better off driving speakers with Y wattage ratings with an amp that is 2Y in power than the other way around. Kind of like having an oversized engine on a pickup truck : it's not going to have to work as hard when you start carrying bigger loads. I have a pair of KEF 104ab which are rated at only 50W. But because they're very inefficient I use a Bryston 4B to really get them to rock.
  6. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    A Bryston is a great amp. Bob Carver also came out with an amp about 10 years ago that was super powerful in a small package. They use it in the Sunfire subwoofer and Sunfire also makes amps. You've got to be careful with home hi-fi stuff because they're not after the same idea of accuracy that we often desire in our studio monitor chain. To Hi-Fi folks, it's more about a pleasant sound than it is about absolute accuracy.

    If you can pick up a used amp in good nick, you'll be fine. Yes, better amps are more stable below 2 ohms. A lot of the car stereo guys want amps that are 1-ohm stable. You need a lot of cooling to do this as well as a good design. There are more than likely other concessions made in the circuit design to get things stable at that type of load, however. LISTEN to any prospective purchase. Get something with a lot of power and you won't ever have any problems. I can't really offer any useful guidance on actual speakers because they're going to sound different in your room than anywhere else, and you know what you're looking for better than I do. My advice would be to go and listen to many pairs with a CD that you bring along and know very well. Don't let the high-SPL trick fool you, run them at low volume to try and "de-couple" them from the room as much as possible. That'll help you get a more accurate idea of how they're going to sound. Nothing can beat actually trying a set of monitors out in your actual space, though.

    I prefer to use nearfields as "mid-fields". I don't like them up on the meter bridge 4 feet away from me. The imaging isn't as good and the low end is very poor. I've always ended up with mixes that have way too much bottom when the monitors are up on the meter bridge. First of all, there's a reflection off whatever desk/console surface that causes comb filtering, and you're not far enough from the drivers for a LF wave to actually develop.

    I prefer my monitors on stands about 6-8 feet away. I also walk about the mix room as I play my mix back to get an idea of things I may have missed at the mix position because of standing waves, room nodes, lobing, whatever. It's extremely difficult to give you anything more than general advice on a speaker system from a distance.

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