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-   -   What monitors do you use? (http://www.five12.net/showthread.php?t=2393)

TwoToneshuzz 01-14-2013 06:06 AM

What monitors do you use?
 
I've been using headphones for the last three years and it's time for a change. So I'm going shopping for monitors and expect to buy in May.

I'm interested in the ADAM A77x threeway near/midfield monitors.

Pricewise it lies comfortably at the bottom of my range. I would go up to 2x that price if there was some really convincing reasons for it. But after listening to them in the shop I feel that they easily fit the bill.

An additional benefit of getting these monitors is that they are also good for midfield use, which would be a boon in any demostration or teaching situation, or for a small groups of listeners. Read house concerts/cafe. Also the bass frequency goes down to 35 hz, so I would not need to get a sub, saves money and space..

So that's my thinking. Anyone else want to share their thoughts as to how to solve monitoring situation/needs?

nil 01-14-2013 06:57 AM

I'm about to upgrade my monitors too : mine are old, unreliable, cheap... but I know how they sound so I get good sounding mixes and production.

So I'm considering 2 options :

- PSI Audio A17M : from what I've read (unfortunately I haven't heard them yet), they're exactly what I'm looking for : accurate, brutally honest and translate fantastically. They're expensive but it would be a wise buy for me nevertheless.

- DIY or passive monitors with DIY amp based on Hypex NCore 400 amps. I've read nothing but fantastic reviews, and they're unanimously praised for their "true to the source" quality. Then I won't go the cheap route, all I want is high quality monitoring. The only downside is there is a myriad of possible driver/tweeter/combos if going DIY, and that there aren't that many passive speakers available in the 1000/1500 /pair price range.

So any suggestions is welcome too !

Per Boysen 01-14-2013 09:15 AM

I've been using GENELEC 8030A for years and think they are super! They deliver a flat frequency response curve and don't think they color the sound. I actually have four, since a company I made DVD surround mixes for gave me two as part of a deal. Sometimes I bring one or two of them for stage monitoring if I do a concert with a band. I've even been flying with two of them in my bag but that was not wise as they are a bit heavy (that's where the good sound comes from, I'd guess... built like small tanks) and always get "taken in for extra security control" as they look suspicious on the x-scan. Bass go down to 55 Hz and I like double-check my mixes with an extra sub added just because quite often "out there" music gets played back on systems with over dimensioned bass response and as a producer you have to make sure your stuff does still works ok in such environments.

33tetragammon 01-14-2013 01:48 PM

Let's not forget about acoustic treatment also. The best studio monitors sound like crap in a bad room, and it won't translate well at all to others environments.

Check out GIK Acoustics, they have all the usual stuff (absorbers, diffusors etc) but it looks great too, and can be customised to your liking (provided you have the wallet for it. You can also get personal Acoustic Room advice :

http://gikacoustics.com/acoustic-advice/

Regarding those A77X's: I'll be buying them sometime next year when moving to a new house that has yet to be built (if they're not too big for the room that i don't even know the dimension of yet, otherwise i'll take some of their smaller monitors), together with all the acoustic treatment from GIK that i need.
Right now i'm also working on headphones, because of this 'transit period to a new location' that has yet to begin. Haedphones tire my ears though....

I once had the A8X's (fabulous monitors btw), and Mackie HR824's before those, but had to sell them early 2011 because of a financial dip. Not to worry though, i sold them to my best friend and soulmate Apollonius, and we're living (and making music) together in the same house in the same room(and will be living in that new place together also). So i can still access them for brutal honest representation of crappy mixes/masters and whatnot. Acoustics are ok and does it's job for now. Next house will have a dedicated place that we can call a studio at last......can't wait!

I listened to many studio monitors, from very cheap to very expensive, but stuck with ADAM because they sounded the most detailed and realistic imo. Reverb tails, transient handling, high end 'air', clicks and other glitches in audio are all very apparent when listening. They're amazing to work with, and since they're so brutally honest it doesn't take long to make anything sound right in a room with proper acoustics.

Genelecs are good also, but a bit too 'forward' sounding and i heard this strange distortion somewhere in the upper mids just like with Event Opals which bugged the hell out of me. What told the truth here, the professionally mastered music or these monitors? Or was it some strange crossover behaviour in these monitors?
Can't really tell....
PMC's also sound drop dead gorgeous (although they can get very expensive). It's like the music sounds alive on them and you're really there, although i miss the detail that ADAM's tweeters are known and loved for.
Biased towards ADAM's i am, but always keeping an open ear on the other hand for anything that i haven't heard yet.

nil 01-14-2013 02:55 PM

IsoAcoustics monitor stands have significantly improved the accuracy of my monitors too. They do wonders to any monitors, cheap or expensive. You should have a look at them too !

TwoToneshuzz 01-14-2013 05:52 PM

Thanks for all your useful and detailed replies. I've used Genelec's at the Conservatory for 3 1/2 years, and because of the material I was editeding my ears got really tired/ragged, so I doubt that I'd go the route now, but it's mostly a pyschological thing as I sure they are the cats meow!

No I'll likely just go with the a77x even though I have a small room, I will just do major acoustic treatment on it, after I've borrowed a B+K linear responce measure microphone to find out whats wrong.. Then get the research books out. I'll probably do a combo of acoustic curtains, bass absorbing membrane boxes and diffusion surfaces..

Just because speakers are bigger doesn't mean you can't listen at lower volume, and in the not to distant future I may just move to a larger studio space..

If I need to do a portable recording setup then I'd likely spring for the smaller Genelec or borrow a pair from another sound man that doesn't use his at all..

transmetropolitan 01-23-2013 07:53 AM

Moreso than most things, monitoring is a very personal thing. Remember that it's about what they make you do to your mixes, and how those mixes then sound and translate, rather than just about how they sound. Look at the success of the NS10 - unflattering and not by any means a pleasant speaker to listen to but a useful tool for a lot of people (not me though).

I currently have Focal CMS65s which I think are excellent and definitely worth checking out in your kind of price range. But for some people they are too smooth and forgiving.

The best advice is to listen to as many speakers as possible, if possible in your own room, and if possible for at least a couple of mixes. That way you'll have a proper feel for what they are like to work with and what works for you. Buy from somewhere with a good returns policy.

After that it's a case of learning them as you work with them over time.

And the stuff about acoustic treatment is very true - although a whole different topic.

TwoToneshuzz 01-23-2013 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by transmetropolitan (Post 10579)
Moreso than most things, monitoring is a very personal thing. Remember that it's about what they make you do to your mixes, and how those mixes then sound and translate, rather than just about how they sound. Look at the success of the NS10 - unflattering and not by any means a pleasant speaker to listen to but a useful tool for a lot of people (not me though).

I currently have Focal CMS65s which I think are excellent and definitely worth checking out in your kind of price range. But for some people they are too smooth and forgiving.

The best advice is to listen to as many speakers as possible, if possible in your own room, and if possible for at least a couple of mixes. That way you'll have a proper feel for what they are like to work with and what works for you. Buy from somewhere with a good returns policy.

After that it's a case of learning them as you work with them over time.

And the stuff about acoustic treatment is very true - although a whole different topic.



Right now I'm pretty interested in the ADAM's as the range where I'm interested in getting a handle on the mid high's is so beautifully exposed, by the xArt tweeter.

My latest research after getting helpful points both here and on KVR points me in the direction of getting a smaller 2way monitor with 6" woofer and the xArt tweeter and then combining these with a Sub.

This would have the added benefit of working smoothly for setting up a surround setup, For example a three way monitor for the center and four smaller monitors for the surrounds. The classic 5.1

I have found a reasonable price for the SX1 from a dealer in Berlin, and the sub 8 isn't that expensive so I'd just buy it here in Denmark.

Again this is what I'm thinking now, but I have to wait until June to actually do the shopping. I can start working out room treatment now though..Drop ceiling, Bass trap, absorbtion and diffusion. Maybe some acoustic isoloation curtains for the windows. I will also check out the Focals as well in the meantime. The thing that gives me pause is the breaking in time with these monitors, how can you judge something that needs 100 hours of playing time before it is optimised?

Thanks for the input!

transmetropolitan 01-23-2013 12:07 PM

Couple of other quick things...

It's well worth having other speakers besides your mains to cross-check and reference on. So something like Auratones/Avantones would be a good addition to consider at some point.

Also, I'd mention conversion. I don't know what your current converters are, but if your goal is to improve the overall fidelity of your monitoring you might find you get more bang for your buck setting aside some of your speaker money to step things up there (of course this depends heavily on what you are using now!).

If you're in a small room, I personally would doubt you'd need a sub. Given the typical bass response of a small room, I would be wary of using one.

Good luck in your search! :)

transmetropolitan 01-23-2013 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TwoToneshuzz (Post 10580)
The thing that gives me pause is the breaking in time with these monitors, how can you judge something that needs 100 hours of playing time before it is optimised?

I guess this is why I'd always say you ideally need to use them in your own room, and ideally for at least a couple of mixes.

As with any tool, the demonstration videos, store tests and reviews etc will perhaps help guide you to some extent, but your own practical experience of what a tool is like to work with will always be different. You're buying monitors to mix on, not listen to music on. So you need to mix with them to judge them.

You aren't going to hear the speakers at their best pre burn in. You likewise won't get to know a speaker to anything like full extent in the space of a couple of mixes. But you should have enough info to instinctively know what's best for you.

This is also why I say buy from somewhere with a good returns policy. Some places will let you send something back after say a month and just pay for the shipping. That way you are covered if you have a change of heart as you get to know the speakers more intimately.


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