:: what desktop monitors buy ::

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by resonant, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. resonant

    resonant Guest

    hello ;] ...i have been thinking about what desktop monitor buy. i looked on several pages but since i am no expert in field of monitors i wanted to ask people that have some experience.
    curently i am using some normal desktop speakers from UMAX and as you probably guess they dont sound too good. what i am looking for are nearfield desktop monitors that you would recommend for start. i am not doing music on proffesional basis so some "amateur" monitors would suffice... ones that have good prize & quality.

    btw anyone suggest some site where is the tech of monitors explained?

  2. fontane

    fontane Guest

    to get you started, these should suffice... they are not the best, but if you learn how they sound, you should mix pretty well...

    M-Audio Studiophile BX5
    Active 38W Bi-amped Nearfield Monitors with 5.25" Woofer (pr)

  3. resonant

    resonant Guest

    thanks for advice fontane. i was recently browsing net and found some old monitors disscusions where one guy recommends also that BX5 and Event TR8 [ http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TR8N/ ]. they both cost same prize ...is there any significant diference between those two or nothing that matters?
  4. rhydian

    rhydian Active Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Southwell, Nottingham, UK

    Alesis do some ok entry level monitors too:

    I've used Alesis MkII actives. Low end goes down to 40Hz which is excellent for the price(about £250 I think)
  5. resonant

    resonant Guest

    thanks rhydian ;] .i checked those... they look pretty good and also few other people were recommending them as very good speakers when you are on limited budget.
    besides M-Audio DX5 and Alesis MkII i checked Samson Resolv 80A which were reciving also good feedbacks.

    Now its just which ones buy ;]
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Aug02/articles/alesism1.asp?session=adb8431eab53606edc45b683f1527264 + http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/M1ActiveMkII/
    [ M Audio BX5 ]
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Aug02/articles/alesism1.asp?session=adb8431eab53606edc45b683f1527264 + http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BX5/
    [ Samson Resolv 80A ] http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct03/articles/samsonresolv.htm?session=adb8431eab53606edc45b683f1527264 + http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Resolv80A/

    As i read most of the positive feedbacks on MkII i would go probably for them but they are also most expensive [$599.00] amongst the three. Second will prolly come DX5 [$399.95]...
    But there is mentioned "SAVE $249.03 (42%) WHEN YOU BUY TODAY!" on the MkII and also on other products. Is that just some merchandising trick or you can actually save those 42%? if yes they would be certainly the choice... save almost half of prize :]
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    MKII's down to 40Hz???? :shock: I don't think so. Maybe down as much as 15 - 20 dB. My Dynaudio BM15s barely get down to 40 Hz without much of a dip.

    Ultimately, any budget monitor is a compromise. For that matter, many non-budget monitors are compromises too. You have the job of deciding which compromise to accept.

    No $500 monitor is going to give realistic bass. So, you have the option of adding a subwoofer (and properly calibrating it) or living without bass and guessing at the stuff that's missing.

    Personally, out of the ones you've brought up, I think the Event's are probably the least compromised of the bunch - clean highs, very little crossover distortion and they don't try to fake the low end.

    Just some thoughts.

  7. resonant

    resonant Guest

    oh and anyone using Auralex MoPADs [ http://www.icm-consult.com/auralex/sites/produkte/isoseries/MoPad.htm ]? ...dunno if i have to buy them. would be there any significant improvement in sound when i put my monitors on those? curently i want to use my hand made pads [as material i will prolly use wood... before that it was pile of books :] to rise speakers to ear level...
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    They're useful if you don't expect too much out of them. They won't "tighten up the bass and make the treble smoother" as some ads tend to suggest. What they will do and do well is position the monitors correctly without the use of resonant materials.

    BTW... wood - very resonant material. If you use this below your speakers, the platforms will sing with your monitors.

  9. fontane

    fontane Guest

    if you can go with the events, that would be my choice... i really enjoyed their 20/20s and as long as you get use to the sound of either of these speakers your mixes will come out better than you think... hey, look at those crappy ns10s...lol

    mix on a poor speaker, and most likely you will have minor tweaks on the larger ones...

    if you have the extra money to go with the events, then i would do it... if not, maudio is going to be a cheaper way to go for a temporary solution that you will reinvest in anyways...
  10. resonant

    resonant Guest

    what exactly means "getting down to 40Hz" and "as much as 15-20 dB" ...so far i am not much orientating in these tech specifications :]

    i read few comments from people that have bought Auralex MoPADs and every one of them was saying that sound get much more clearer and so on... but i guess here plays role also the position of speakers and room acoustics that have impact on sound quality.

    hm... so is problem when most of stuff in my bedroom is made from wood?
  11. resonant

    resonant Guest

    i checked sweetwater and they sell Event TR8 for $249.97 and M-Audio DX5 for $299.97 .so DX5 are more expensive ...or you meant Event 20/20bas v.2? ;]
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Down to 40 Hz means the depth of the bass that the speaker/monitor is capable of producing. 40Hz is one octave above the theoretical limit of human hearing. In otherwords, it's pretty darn low. The Alesis is most definitely not capable of producing these tones unless the volume (amplitude) of them is dramatically lower than the rest of the frequency.

    The only way wooden furniture is a problem is:
    1. Your monitors are directly on top of it.
    2. There is LOTS of wood. As in 30% of the cubic feet of the room are taken up with wood.

    So, just having wood furniture isn't enough to overwhelm the music.

  13. tringlesceo

    tringlesceo Guest

    1. mopads are swell.
    2. krk anyone?
    v4ii- $249/ea
    rokit 8- $249/ea
  14. resonant

    resonant Guest

    Cucco. So that means more expensive monitors are able to produce wider frequency spectrum so you are able hear what you havent heard before...? and with cheaper you have to guess whats going on under that for example 50Hz [one guy told me that this is as far as his Alesis MkII can get...] ?
    ...and does this concern only bass frequency or also mids and highs?

    my room is 4,25m*2,85m^2,65m .all my furnitutre is from wood but i dont think it much as 30% cubic feet. i guess its something about 15-25% of the room ...tho i have floating wooden floor, dunno if that matters.

    btw what means if monitor is "flat sounding" ...is that good or bad?

    i am a curious one ;]
  15. resonant

    resonant Guest

    hm... is it important that i place monitors at least 50cm from wall or its not that neccesary?
  16. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA

    I hate to lump things into categories based on price. So I wouldn't just generally say that only more expensive monitors can go low, but unfortunately, that does seem to be the overwhelming case. A couple notable exceptions - Behringer Truths (though I hate these monitors) M-Audio BM8 (I think that's the model - not a fan of these either.) This doesn't mean you'll hear your music better if they go lower - just the lower parts of your music.

    One of my favorite loudspeakers of all times is the NHT Super Zero. It has only a 4 inch woofer and a beautiful 1" silk dome tweeter. These speakers are no good below 90Hz. (Which isn't all that low.) But the music that does come out of them is simply breathtaking. Pair these with a sub that will do well from 90 down to 25-30 Hz or so, and you've got a great system. Oh, and they cost a cool $250 for the pair!!

    Flat sounding monitor - good or bad given the context. If a monitor has a flat response, that is generally considered a positive attribute. This means that there aren't any significant peaks or dips at certain frequencies. In other words, they are more accurate.

    If a speaker were "flat sounding," I would take that as being "lifeless or dull." These aren't positive attributes. Most often, this type of sound would come from a significant dip in the 400-800 Hz region which is the region controlling the "warmth" or "depth" of the sound. Bear in mind, this whole previous statement is VERY subjective, but you'll find many who agree with this.

    As for the dimensions - your room and furniture is fine. Don't concern yourself with that. Wood is good, just don't rest your speakers on a wooden box. Aim for something as inert as possible - rigid stone, specially made speaker stands, acoustic foam (MoPads).

    As for the depth from the walls - this is again VERY subjective. For the most part, monitors should be a little bit away from the rear wall. However, placing a monitor near the rear wall can have a huge impact on the low frequencies. Especially if the speaker is rear ported. In any case, play around with the placement of your speakers in all dimensions. Try them close to the wall, far from the wall close to side walls, far from side walls. You will likely find a very common sense position for them. Be careful though, the excess bass from placing a speaker to close to a hard surface can be intoxicating but can also be quite inaccurate. Make sure, if you're getting bass enhancement due to placement that it sounds natural and translates well onto other mixes.

    Just a side note - as for acoustical treatments within the studio - you will want to minimize early reflections as much as possible. This simply means that the majority of the acoustic (absorption) foam that you will want to use should go on the front half of the room - ie behind and beside your speakers. This will help keep your high frequencies in check too.

    Good luck!!

  17. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004

    Yamaha MSP 3
    M Audio BX 5
    Fostex PMO.5
    Event TR5
    Samson Resolv 65a
  18. Bassman2003

    Bassman2003 Guest


    What about the Warfedale 8.2's?

    I purchased a pair a month ago for $320 and am very happy with my purchase.
  19. JBsound

    JBsound Guest

    I am a big fan of the M-audio BX series as well as the KRK's. My only experience with KRK though has been with the V8's (my main monitors in my studio now), but if the other models are similar then I think you would be happy with them. It's hard to beat what M-audio provides you at that price though.
  20. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    North Carolina, USA
    event tr5

    I got a pair of TR5's a few months ago...my first monitors! $300 for the pair, plenty of power, front ported so proximity to wall is not as much an issue. 3 different inputs (RCA, 1/4", and XLR). They do lack a lot of bass, so there was a learning curve involved in mixing with these, but I was able to "tweak" the sound of these with a graphic eq software that came with my soundcard. Works pretty well for me!
    Mixes I did on these are here...
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