Studio (speakers) Monitors??

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by OMB, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    16,101
    Likes Received:
    7,506
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Floriduh
    Thanks for some of the suggestions. Very helpful. I mentioned up above that I would like to keep it under $500/pair. I am leaning towards an 8" speaker so I won't need a sub. The JBL's are of interest but I read something about hissing sound when at rest. I was also kind of interested in the Pioneer's.
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Bulit8--pioneer-dj-bulit8-8-inch-powered-studio-monitor

    1cb6026acf987c7495f8a176b43601ca.png
     
  2. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    8,135
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Lake St. Louis, MO
    What ever you get, if you are doing critical listening - save some money for Sonarworks Reverence 4 Studio w/ calibration mic. Worth every penny.

    182d396a895d9c862290fa4bdd8a9176.jpg
     
    OMB likes this.
  3. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,812
    Likes Received:
    10,958
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Western NY
    How big is the room? Any treatments? How close will you be to the speakers and how close will they be to the wall? If the room is smaller and the speakers will be close to the wall behind them, you may find you have too much bass with an 8” monitor. Conversely, larger room with more space between speakers and a listening position out from the wall, you may want more bass than 5-6” can provide.

    All powered monitors can have a low level hiss in environments with electrical/magnetic interference. You may also find a bad one here and there with internal noise, but none of the various JBL’s I have heard have had a problem. It isn’t an across the board issue.
     
    OMB likes this.

  4. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,812
    Likes Received:
    10,958
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Western NY
    I haven’t used their software, but REW (Room EQ Wizard) is free and excellent. A measurement mic that has been calibrated (calibration file included) is an inexpensive tool these days and I definitely recommend having one in the tool box if you are going to do any serious room setup. As I mentioned above, I wouldn’t even think about putting a sub into a monitor setup without REW, a measurement mic, an EQ like the Behringer Feedback Destroyer, and a lot of time running sweeps to get a smooth flat response and proper crossover. For a casual setup with no sub, you don’t need it and may not want to see how bad things really are!

    FWIW, one of the tricks we used for placing home theater subs was to put the sub at ear level in the listening position, play white noise and then move the mic around to find the spots with the most even response. Generally the reciprocal would work, put the sub in that location and you would get a smoother response at the listening position. Similar trick for placing room treatments and fine tuning speaker and seating positions, angles etc. Move things around and watch the response change. It isn’t difficult to do but it is time consuming to get it right, and invariably, the microphone will suggest a setup that is least acceptable to a wife. Enter this rabbit hole expecting major compromises, or with the dedication to make all necessary efforts to eliminate compromises. Anything in between becomes a slippery slope to a light wallet and angry spouse.
     
    OMB likes this.
  5. redman

    redman Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2019
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    547
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I think both @Chocol8 and @andrewsrea are posting some good things to consider. 1st I have no idea of your level of knowledge in home recording and any would be superior to mine but planning is critical what you are trying to accomplish with your rig then whats the total budget and go from there. For me it was simple something I could do my own backing tracks to play with for fun, record ideas for songs, or something to use as a hook in a song or whatever I also use it to work on things I'm collaborating with someone on. In other words another musical toy for me with a cap of $500 so for around $400 I was able to accomplish that. But I think you understand what I'm saying and good luck I know you're excited I know I was just putting my little rig together Oh yea when I added the dedicated laptop that set me back $259 poor planning.
     
    OMB and andrewsrea like this.
  6. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    8,135
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Lake St. Louis, MO
    If you are only experimenting and on a budget, just get an adequate set of monitors. Which is why i qualified my advice is if you were going to be critically listening to make a 'market-ready' production.
     
    OMB likes this.
  7. Beyer160

    Beyer160 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    3,806
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Don't think of it as "bland," think of it as "accurate" or "flat". All consumer stereos are built to hype certain frequencies (nearly always bass and upper midrange), so mixing on those won't tell you what you're actually doing. If you get a good mix on a neutral speaker, it'll translate better to hyped stereo systems. If you mix on a system that has a ton of bass already you won't know where your bottom end actually is, and you might compensate with too much or too little.
     
  8. msc_

    msc_ Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Messages:
    7,069
    Likes Received:
    7,100
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I was searching for a set of monitors last year and ended up with Adam Audio A7TVs. A close second were Yamaha HS7s. I don't have anything to compare the Adams to in regards to my home use since they are my first set, but I like them a lot and can't imagine anything being any better - at least for the price.
     
    OMB likes this.
  9. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    16,101
    Likes Received:
    7,506
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Floriduh
    No sound treatments other than some rug runners on the porcelain floor. Ceiling is 12-14' Room is 11 x 13'. Room has lots of natural reverb which may not be good but I will live with it at this point.

    The speakers will be out away from the wall.

    Thoughts on 2 way versus 3 way? I see Rokit has 3 way. Maybe I don't need 8"?
     
  10. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    10,389
    Likes Received:
    9,348
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    San Diego
    My question is if most speakers do that boost then don't i want to use typical speakers like everyone else uses so I can mix to how most people will hear it?
     
    OMB likes this.
  11. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,812
    Likes Received:
    10,958
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Western NY
    If you are going to be close to the monitors as intended, I would guess that you would not need 8” and if there is resonance, you may be better off with smaller monitors, set closer to you and further from the walls.
     
    OMB likes this.
  12. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,812
    Likes Received:
    10,958
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Western NY
    No, generally you mix for flat and then check the final version for how it sounds on various consumer gear.
     
    BatUtilityBelt, OMB and nomadh like this.
  13. dspellman

    dspellman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    6,310
    Likes Received:
    4,514
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I bought a set of KRK Rokit 8's (there are at least three generations, so if you're buying used be aware of which gen you're buying), Gen 2's, used.

    100W per speaker (split 75W LF, 25W HF). I could have done with the Rokit 5's, probably, but I also play keys and, at the time, didn't want to deal with a sub if the 5's were inadequate at the bottom end. They were never chosen for recording, but simply output for the Korg Kronos. Excellent for that, no boominess, etc. I don't think the three-ways with the 10" on the bottom are necessary.

    I eventually added a 12" subwoofer (also from KRK) that can be turned on and off easily so that you can hear the difference. It can also be dialed back for a bit more balance. Also purchased used.

    And (again, used) I bought a set of Ultimate Support MS80-36 stands. http://www.ultimatesupport.com/ms-90-36b.html
    Found these dirt cheap about 400 miles from me, and right next to a school that a friend of mine's son went to, so he picked them up for me and brought them home. You don't need these stands. A stack of cinder blocks will make a decent set of stands, but these looked cool and you can stuff cords down them in one section and have another section filled with sand to further dampen vibrations from the speakers into the floor.
     
    OMB likes this.
  14. Beyer160

    Beyer160 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    3,806
    Trophy Points:
    113
    If all consumer speakers sounded the same, sure. The issue is that they don't, so you're better off mixing to a flat baseline that'll translate to different systems. As always, it's a good idea to check your mixes in different systems to make sure it translates- the "car check" is a classic. Back before tape decks in cars, Motown actually had a low wattage radio transmitter so they could hear how things sounded in cars.
     
    OMB likes this.
  15. Beyer160

    Beyer160 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    3,806
    Trophy Points:
    113
    8" speakers will be putting out more bass than a room that size can handle. The JBL305s have solid bass in the "rock" spectrum, I was really surprised. You don't get the absolute lowest register of the kick and bass, but they're fine for pop/rock style music- they sound a lot better than the stuff I was mixing on in the '90s. I wouldn't try and mix hip hop on them, though.
     
    OMB likes this.
  16. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    16,101
    Likes Received:
    7,506
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Floriduh
    All Pop & Rock - No Hip Hop here. Some days I can barely walk never mind hop! 5 inch might do it from what you guys say. PLus I will probably keep my PC speakers. And yeah I know to check the recording out on various systems with auto being my first stop.
     
  17. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    16,101
    Likes Received:
    7,506
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Floriduh
    any more thoughts bump
     
  18. Narsh

    Narsh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    4,736
    Likes Received:
    5,957
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    I have had Rokit 5's, Rokit 8's and the same logitech system you posted.
    What I have found is that the Logitech sounds great for all around stuff like Music and movies. They sound great for jamming out but I wouldn't use them for mixing or mastering because they tend to color the sound quite a bit. The Rokit 5's needed a subwoofer and had a very pronounced midrange. I used them for only a month or so before selling them off. The Rokit 8's were great, the only complaint was that they were too scooped and colored the mix a bit.
    I've been using JBL 308's for about 3 years now and I love them. They are flat and have great bass response for making sure there isn't too much mud or rumble.
    The 8 inch speakers are perfect even if you sit relatively close, the main reason is bass response. Smaller Studio monitors will require a subwoofer for proper mixing in my opinion. If not you will end up doing a lot of trial and error.

    Here is a recent pic of my home studio, I'm not that far at all. I know the seating isn't optimal for mixing but its darn good, I can hear everything.

    studio.jpg

    As for checking the mix, I do the same, I have a pair of Bose headphones, my airpods and then there is always the car on the drive to work.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Spike likes this.
  19. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    16,101
    Likes Received:
    7,506
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Floriduh
    Narsh - thanks. This is really great info. I like (not love like I did the Logitech Z4's) my current Logitechs but can see that they would color the sound. I had heard that a sub might be needed with a 5" driver like the Rokits. So those are off the list. In fact I am back to the 8" drivers. Now if someone can comment about the Pioneers.
     
  20. BatUtilityBelt

    BatUtilityBelt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2017
    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    978
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Omaha
    There is a lot of good information above, and a lot to distill.
    For recording or mastering, the term critical listening is the key. What matters for the monitors is that they can:
    1. cleanly handle the volume you desire in the room you're using them
    2. flatly convey the recorded material with minimal coloration (flat across the frequency spectrum)
    3. cover enough of the lows and highs that you hear what is really going on in those frequencies

    There are very good monitors already suggested, and the differences between them may favor particular styles of music.
    What I am concerned about for you is not which monitors, but how the room is treated. Standing waves can make any good system sound bad, or at least keep you from using it well. So I would definitely not let a room keep whatever boomy character it has if I was going to record or mix there.
     
    Narsh likes this.

Share This Page