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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:33 pm 
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That`s the low end hifi effect though.
Mid range is more important.
You can`t compare them to the detail of new generation dual concentric stuff.
Technology moves on....

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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:15 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
I'm getting some Polk LSiM 703s at the end of the year. I want to get away from actives.


Hey Void, you seem to have a pretty good understanding of the monitor options out there, so I figured i'd ask you a quick question on this. I have a pretty outdated setup and have come to the realization that an upgrade is in my near future. I currently have a super old and cheap set of Tannoy Reaveals. They are passive 6" monitors and have them amp'd with an old 300w per ch JBL club amp (MPX300). After listening to a few mid-range active monitors, i also felt like none of them had a big enough amp pushing them. While my amp is probably too big for my monitors (i've got them too hot and almost blown them a few times over the years), i felt like most of the active's under $1k left me wanting more punch, more volume, more bass... My little Tannoy's sound really loud with a big amp behind them. I would like to find a new setup and keep it under $1k. Question is, do I scrap the amp and go with one of the other recommendations for active monitors? or do i keep the amp and buy a better set of passive speakers? Buying a new amp and passives will probably put me over budget. Is using my existing amp in some way negatively affecting my sound? I always worried that not having a "matching" amp would sacrifice clarity and detail and lead to shit productions. I've learned to deal with my existing setup but would love something a bit more accurate. What's your thought on the matter? For reference, i use my monitors for techno production but also like to occasionally turn them up and jam with my buddies, dj, etc. I realize that we mostly produce a low volume, but all techno needs to be played loud once in a while!! :) Thanks for all the valuable feedback you provide in this forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:15 pm 
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That`s a pretty brutal amp to be using for nearfield speakers, I wouldn`t say it`s the best thing to use as the dynamics are going to be lacking subtlety.

You could sell the amp and get a niced used amp for up to a 100 bucks and it will still blow away most of the amps you get in mid prices actives. A Cyrus or something.

I`m pretty sure if you shop clever you could get some wonderful passives and used amp for 1K

Obviously going mid ranged active is a bit easier. I could never go back to active nearfields now, not unless I spent a silly amount of money, but........ I am very very particular now.
There is nothing saying you can`t do great great work on mid range actives, lots and lots of people do.

Bang for buck though, you will probably get more performance for your money going passive with amp. But it`s more tricky to navigate that arena.

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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:42 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
Bang for buck though, you will probably get more performance for your money going passive with amp. But it`s more tricky to navigate that arena.


Yeah that's kinda what i'm thinking. Any nice passives come to mind? Most of the market hype seems to be in the midrange actives. Don't really hear to much about nice passives. Did you demo those Polk speakers? They look like nice 3-ways. I know a Polk dealer here so may be able to get decent deal if they're worth it. Anyway, thx for the info


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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:35 pm 
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I saved up for the Neumann KH120 and they are just incredible. I had a mate coming over once, a mixing engineer, first thing he did: looking under my desk to see if there is a subwoofer. Another mate coming over, advanced producer I'd say, first thing he did: looking under my desk... My room? My living room... I only spent hours in setting up the right angles for the sweet spot and tried to go as far away from the wall and corners I possibly could. They have loads of low end and they are so fucking clear. Sometimes I just listen to some tunes on them for the first time and I get carried away on spotify for hours. I wanted to go for the Adam A7X first - which are really, really good in my opinion, but for me, it was worth saving up another month and go for the Neumann. Cheers.

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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:09 pm 
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-GeO- wrote:
Lost to the Void wrote:
Bang for buck though, you will probably get more performance for your money going passive with amp. But it`s more tricky to navigate that arena.


Yeah that's kinda what i'm thinking. Any nice passives come to mind? Most of the market hype seems to be in the midrange actives. Don't really hear to much about nice passives. Did you demo those Polk speakers? They look like nice 3-ways. I know a Polk dealer here so may be able to get decent deal if they're worth it. Anyway, thx for the info


Oh those Polk are wonderful. I actually didn`t end up getting them as they were over my spend. I kinda regret that, I still might next year when the price comes down.

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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:37 pm 
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A little OT but still relates to the topic at hand. Very big Thanks to VOID for his recommendation for my studio monitors. I ended up getting PSB's X2T the 1st versions and a Cambridge Audio amp both basically brand new for $450 EUR package deal. And let me tell you they sound amazing and better than any Powered Studio monitor Ive owned in the past. And there isn't any lack of bass for my studio size. I just wanted to say thanks again. They're great and relatively flat and great for producing. My room is treated with Bass Traps and Acoustic Panels so that does help. Anybody looking for monitors might want to check out the used HIFI market or at least research it before taking the plunge. I find new powered monitors to be quite expensive compared to what you might be able to find if you dig deep enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:08 pm 
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Wow 450 for the whole package?
That's kinda nuts, you got yourself a great pair of speakers for a silly price. Nice one.

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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:49 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
Wow 450 for the whole package?
That's kinda nuts, you got yourself a great pair of speakers for a silly price. Nice one.


As I was researching on the used HIFI market. I noticed speakers in general were selling sometimes 1/3 of what their retail value was. When you search the used market for used powered studio monitors the prices arent nearly as good. Its almost as tho the guys selling the studio monitors know that another producer will buy it where as the HIFI market stuff is usually people who are selling off there HIFI or home Theatre setups to upgrade and that used market is flooded as there arent very many buyers so its basically this untapped market place with tons and tons of stuff for sale. Thats my 2c on it but thats how I see it. I keep on thinking of upgrading speakers but I dont see any reason why? Plus these are 3 ways and have so much more detail and bass than my older more expensive Adam A7X's.... Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:09 am 
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There's just a lot more competition and a much larger market for hifi.
It keeps price down, and importantly, development cycles come much faster.
But yeah it is crazy, you can get top of the line 15 grand speakers, used, 2 years old and they'll be like, 3 grand in mint condition.

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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:43 pm 
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What do you think about PSI guys?

I'm looking to buy A17-M models, I'm actually working on Focal monitors but I find them a bit harsh, not really the best monitors for long sessions. (at least to my taste)


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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:24 pm 
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Hmm never heard any, they certainly seem to have addressed a lot of the problems that come with active monitors.
But at that price I would rather go 3 way high end hifi, something closer to full range.
Still I've not heard them, but common sense tells me with that money I want my mid range to have a dedicated driver.

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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:18 pm 
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Aubriac wrote:
What do you think about PSI guys?

I'm looking to buy A17-M models, I'm actually working on Focal monitors but I find them a bit harsh, not really the best monitors for long sessions. (at least to my taste)


That is an insane speaker. Im going for the A25 next year unless something other is coming up (Dutch & Dutch or Kii Three). I preferred it over B&W 802 & Amphion & Barefoot.

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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:43 pm 
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They do have 3 way monitors, but the price is pretty terrific. I've heard about this brand because they were subcontracting monitors for Studer (A5 model) a few ago, and a lot of audio related professionals choosed to work with PSI monitors, like Ircam or Radio France (who manage every public radios in France). Or Flux : https://www.facebook.com/pg/psiaudio/photos/?tab=album&album_id=510706395621724

They also been chosen because of their small size (I'm talking about A-14M and A-17M), and their ability to translate pretty well in small environment. Here's the frequency response of an A-17 model : https://img15.hostingpics.net/pics/997914P1010696.jpg

On the second-hand market I can find them for 2400-2900 euros.

Of course they lack a bit of sub, but more and more I find that I prefer to be able to trust the mids, than to have lot of sub and no control at all. I've heard about the KH120 but I don't like them, they sound really "processed" it's weird.

I agree that a dedicated midrange driver would be a great choice.
On three ways that could be on my budget (in second hand), I've heard about Barefoot MicroMain35, Klein & Hummel KH O300D. I must say that I've never tested them yet.

I don't really know what to look at in high end hifi. Do you know some interesting models?


Mattias wrote:
Aubriac wrote:
What do you think about PSI guys?

I'm looking to buy A17-M models, I'm actually working on Focal monitors but I find them a bit harsh, not really the best monitors for long sessions. (at least to my taste)


That is an insane speaker. Im going for the A25 next year unless something other is coming up (Dutch & Dutch or Kii Three). I preferred it over B&W 802 & Amphion & Barefoot.


Lucky man, maybe one day I'll be able to check these A25 too!


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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:52 am 
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Aubriac wrote:
They do have 3 way monitors, but the price is pretty terrific. I've heard about this brand because they were subcontracting monitors for Studer (A5 model) a few ago, and a lot of audio related professionals choosed to work with PSI monitors, like Ircam or Radio France (who manage every public radios in France). Or Flux : https://www.facebook.com/pg/psiaudio/photos/?tab=album&album_id=510706395621724

They also been chosen because of their small size (I'm talking about A-14M and A-17M), and their ability to translate pretty well in small environment. Here's the frequency response of an A-17 model : https://img15.hostingpics.net/pics/997914P1010696.jpg

On the second-hand market I can find them for 2400-2900 euros.

Of course they lack a bit of sub, but more and more I find that I prefer to be able to trust the mids, than to have lot of sub and no control at all. I've heard about the KH120 but I don't like them, they sound really "processed" it's weird.

I agree that a dedicated midrange driver would be a great choice.
On three ways that could be on my budget (in second hand), I've heard about Barefoot MicroMain35, Klein & Hummel KH O300D. I must say that I've never tested them yet.

I don't really know what to look at in high end hifi. Do you know some interesting models?





Yeah I was aware of the 3 ways, didn't know they did a 2way. I mean they still suffer the typical active problem of being under powered (for mastering at least) as the low end only has a puddle of 170w. Not really enough headroom there for good fast accurate low end transient. Fine as a nearfield or midfield for double referencing in a mixing room.
The barefoots win here with a nice 250w in the subs, then 180 each of the other drivers.
Plenty there to really have the juice for proper transient whack.

Do you have a properly treated room?

Worth also checking the JBL lsr 6332 3 ways. You need an amp for em.

Yeah the KH120 I don't like so much either.
KHs are Neumann now. Still a good monitor, better than the 0300d actually, they made some improvements, and gave them more power, so now they do actually perform more accurately innthe lows than they did as the 0300d
I've heard them in a proper room and they are very neutral, really low distortion as well considering the size

If your decision is between these two I'd go the extra dollar for the micromains.
They are pretty stunning, they will handle the most dynamic music with total ease and you'll get no distortion or transient bending unless you push them to levels where room problems would become more present than speaker problems.
Such a good monitor, when I was shopping for mastering monitors, both the mm27 and 35s made it to my final selection and I got a pair of the mm35s to trial. Very nearly pulled the trigger on them. When dealing with microtransients and small dynamic changes they tell you what's what without no guesswork.
But you really need a good room for these things.

Hi end hifi recommends at that price level... Leaving money for amps.

Kef reference 205\2 (used)
Tannoy Def dc10ti
Wilson Watt puppies.
801 nautilus.

Used all sit around the 3500 mark leaving a grand or 2 for amps
That's a mastering grade setup right there.

Amazing stuff comes up all the time.

I saw some TAD Pioneer reference speakers recently for 4500 quid used in mint condition. Which is just an insane price for truly stunning speakers.

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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:28 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
Do you have a properly treated room?


I'm moving in 2 months, so I'll try to build a good studio. Otherwise, the Barefoot (or similar) wouldn't be optimized to their full potential. That's why I was firstly looking for something smaller like A17, to handle the acoustic treatment a bit more easily.

Lost to the Void wrote:
If your decision is between these two I'd go the extra dollar for the micromains.
They are pretty stunning, they will handle the most dynamic music with total ease and you'll get no distortion or transient bending unless you push them to levels where room problems would become more present than speaker problems.
Such a good monitor, when I was shopping for mastering monitors, both the mm27 and 35s made it to my final selection and I got a pair of the mm35s to trial. Very nearly pulled the trigger on them. When dealing with microtransients and small dynamic changes they tell you what's what without no guesswork.
But you really need a good room for these things.


Now I want them, lol. That mean I will really need to work on my room to make them work great.
I will give myself some time to think about that.

Lost to the Void wrote:
Hi end hifi recommends at that price level... Leaving money for amps.

Kef reference 205\2 (used)
Tannoy Def dc10ti
Wilson Watt puppies.
801 nautilus.

I saw some TAD Pioneer reference speakers recently for 4500 quid used in mint condition. Which is just an insane price for truly stunning speakers.


Thanks for the recommendations, I'll look at them.
I must say I'm more into production and mixing than mastering, but why not giving them a try.

Did you tried to mix on speakers like that? Or it's only used for mastering tasks?
There is an amphi not too far from where I live. I'll try to find similar models.


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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:24 pm 
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Really it's not worth getting anything over mid level £1000 monitors unless your room is treated to at least a bare minimum with some corner trapping and reflection points covered, so focus on that rather than get gear lust for speakers that you won't get any benefit from.

Honestly for mixing purposes the mm37s are way over the top. Unless you are using a large room and mix at main monitor levels you would be throwing a shit load of money at monitors to make a bit of techno.

I mean I don't know your situation but it doesn't sound like you run a commercial room or do this full time, so I really wouldn't throw money at those kind of boxes.

I mix my own music on hi end (passive) hifi bookshelf speakers instead of nearfields now.

But when I do mix jobs for clients I do do them in the mastering room. It's just an all round better experience and I get better accuracy and translation from the mastering speakers. Plus I can crank em when necessary. For my own music I prefer to only work on it in the mastering room once it is mixed down to a stereo premaster. That way I get a bit more objectivity when (sometimes I have to) mastering my own music, by changing rooms and speakers.

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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:36 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
I mix my own music on hi end (passive) hifi bookshelf speakers instead of nearfields now.


Well I almost wish you never said that lol. Seems to muddy the waters quite a bit. It's hard enough trying to pick out a decent pair of reference monitors from the sea of "studio monitor" offerings. If we now open this up to "high-end HiFi bookshelves", the possibilities seem limitless and exponentially more difficult to pick the good from the bad.

I've looked at the Polks you mentioned earlier, as well as the JBL LSR series (which i felt were pretty decent as well). Now we can include B&W, Klipsch, Tannoy, Pioneer and many many more in the consumer range. It was my understanding early on that "studio monitors" are supposed to produce a fairly flat frequency response when provided full range white noise signal. That is what makes them "studio monitors". HiFi speakers are supposed to provide the most pleasing sound which could potentially be tuned or slightly colored. That may make them sound "better" but are perhaps less accurate. Does this old thinking still apply to the speakers of today? With so many offerings, how does one even begin to navigate the HiFi market? Are specs and frequency response curve charts worth a salt? I'm starting to like the idea of trying a decent pair of 3-way HiFi bookshevles after your prior comments and realizing the bs and marketing strategies that inflate the cost of studio monitors to musician hobbyists. Is anyone out there familiar with consumer offerings that are suitable for studio use? Would love some suggestions for a good pair under $1k....


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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:30 pm 
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Cheap hifi was coloured or "enhanced" to get over shortcomings of cheap drivers or boxes etc.
But hi-end\audiophile stuff has always been about transparency, translation, transient response etc.
I mean there is just as much bullshit hype at the low end (and in general) of "pro" monitoring. Now more than ever in fact. The difference is that you generally get charged more for pro audio bullshit, because.... Pro audio.

Now the problem is that there is a lot more hifi shit out there, so it is harder to navigate.
You have to do your research.
Specs (wether hifi or pro audio) don't always mean anything useful.

I've dived in to this murkey world because speakers are a bit of an obsession for me.
Most people here are obsessed with synths. My obsession is speakers, ever since my involvement in soundsystems, engineering them, installing them, even building them.
Instruments are just tools to me, but the speakers are the voice of all those tools.

I'm not sure I fully recommend anyone without much speaker\studio experience to go audiophile, as pro audio is "safer" but if you are willing to spend the time you can get great great performance at a better price point, and in some cases superior performance by price, in audiophile land.

My main reason for going hifi in the production room (mastering is obvious, audiophile hifi is far more common to mastering rooms than pro audio), is that the trend for nearfield monitoring is active. And for me, active monitors just don't have good enough amplification. For a number of reasons. The 2 main ones being pure amp quality, most nearfields have crappy class D amps, and the 2nd is power. For cost bracket reasons, most nearfields are specced for just enough power to size. They are rarely overpowered, there is little in reserve, and so less there to really drive big transients transparently, without distortion.
It's hard to find good passive nearfields. So I really had no option but to fish around in audiophile land.
The problem then, is that you have one more thing to worry about. Which amp to choose.
Or even which amps. Bi_amp? Bi-wire? Tri-wire? Tri_amp?
(I'm currently bi_wiring my speakers, but if I upgrade my nearfields next year I'm considering bi amping)

So... I recommend it but also I don't. Haha.

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 Post subject: Re: Another mid budget monitor thread
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:05 am 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
Really it's not worth getting anything over mid level £1000 monitors unless your room is treated to at least a bare minimum with some corner trapping and reflection points covered, so focus on that rather than get gear lust for speakers that you won't get any benefit from.


My room is treated, I already have corner bass traps, and broadbands. As I'm planing to move, I'm trying to find something with greater dimensions, and this room will be fully treated.


Lost to the Void wrote:
I mix my own music on hi end (passive) hifi bookshelf speakers instead of nearfields now.



What's the difference between hifi bookshelf vs nearfields speakers?

In passive hifi bookshelf/nearfield, do you know some good models that could beat "pro audio" speakers in their price range?

Maybe I should give Hi-Fi passive a try, I'm not afraid of that 8-) .


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