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Good studio monitors for under $500?
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Faceofdanger
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#1
1st June 2011
Old 1st June 2011
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Good studio monitors for under $500?

Hi Guys,

I have had a pair of Alesis active MK2 for 6 years and I keep finding there super bassy. I constantly have to reduce the bass, then bouce and then listen on cheap speakers to get a more accurate level of my bass. I understand that for $500 you are not going to get anything special but there has to be something at least ballpark cause this is driving me nuts!.
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1st June 2011
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For under $500 for a PAIR?

Isn't that pretty much the price of the Alesis?

A lot of people around here seem to like the Yamaha HS's - you can get a pair of HS50's for around 400 - if you could sell your Alesis and combine the money you could probably get a pair of HS80's

I can't think of much more that sounds decent in that price range ...
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1st June 2011
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KRK RP5 or RP6? Features in the top 10 monitor list in either MusicTech or FutureMusic magazine in the UK, can't remember which ......



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1st June 2011
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i cant understand why all people buy th hs monitors ( because of the design ?
the MSP monitors from yamaha are much better...
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1st June 2011
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Go vintage.

It's amazing what you can find second hand. Get a good vintage poweramp (yamaha, bgw, etc.) and some vintage Rogers, KEF, Electro Voice, JBL speakers with flat(ish) frequency response. If you choose wisely, you'll get a sound far better than any sub 1500$ new chinese made pair. I use a pair of vintage KEF 103.2 reference series and a Yamaha PC2002 amp, both from the early 80s, both intended for studio use. Sound is formidable.
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Sorry to sound like a broken record but there really isn't a simple answer when it comes to monitoring.

At your price range it would be silly to start talking about the merits of good monitoring. There are only a few to think about and they have been mentioned above. The real test is in the pudding. You need to go and listen to them and make up your own mind.

Trust me there is no BEST for budget 'X'.
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1st June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24track View Post
i cant understand why all people buy th hs monitors ( because of the design ?
the MSP monitors from yamaha are much better...
Most don't know that the HS is the economy line.
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1st June 2011
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The Yamaha HS series sounds terrible. Not much better than the Alesis you have. The Mackie MR8
Mk2 is $500 a pair, and they were recently upgraded. The Alesis didn't sound bassy to me (I'd had
them once) they are just really scooped, lacking midrange details. You may have a bassy room for
mixing. The MR8 Mk2 have controls for the highs and lows to work better with the acoustic space.
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1st June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark D. View Post
The Yamaha HS series sounds terrible. Not much better than the Alesis you have. The Mackie MR8
Mk2 is $500 a pair, and they were recently upgraded. The Alesis didn't sound bassy to me (I'd had
them once) they are just really scooped, lacking midrange details. You may have a bassy room for
mixing. The MR8 Mk2 have controls for the highs and lows to work better with the acoustic space.
Monitors aren't supposed to sound good, they're supposed to translate and reveal what's in the mix.

I am not a fan of the Yamaha "sound" either...but I own MSP7's because they do as their intended purpose, and I can live with them. I really like the sound of KRK's, but I couldn't get the mids and upper bass to translate on them.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
Monitors aren't supposed to sound good, they're supposed to translate and reveal what's in the mix.

I am not a fan of the Yamaha "sound" either...but I own MSP7's because they do as their intended purpose, and I can live with them. I really like the sound of KRK's, but I couldn't get the mids and upper bass to translate on them.
I've said it once and i'll say it again! Save up and get some decent monitors. Best and most important investment. I know it's well out of budget but i highly suggest listening to Focals which sound both great and FLAT. They translate very well. Generally i dont mix but for basic balancing and rough mixes they are awsome! I have the solo 6's but you could listen to the cm range - also great!
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Room is more important to me.
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I have HS80ms in my main room and find them quite reliable for bass (after a good amount of room treatment including corner traps behind each).

My favorite ones to mix hip-hop on in that price range are the old KRK RP5G1s (the squarish ones). I haven't spent any meaningful time with the G2s but I assume they are pretty much the same. You can get used pairs of them cheeaaap as well, and I've had mine since I first started using pro tools ~7 years ago, so they last for a long time when well taken care of. You just have to be careful about over saturating the mid range because they are super forgiving.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
Monitors aren't supposed to sound good, they're supposed to translate & reveal what's in a mix
That's the response I'd expected, especially regarding the Yamaha's that carry the tradition of 'make
it sound good on bad speakers and you're all set'. I agree about translation. What I am talking about
is using CD references of some great mixes (Steely Dan, Kevin Gilbert, Michael Jackson) to test them
and those sound terrible. If a monitor tells you a bad mix is bad that's okay. But it should still have a
great mix sounding great. If everything you put into them sounds bad, then they're not very honest.
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I have the HS50's at home, I worked in a music store for a long time and got to A/B them against the Mackies (I've always hated Mackie monitors for mixing...) the other Yamaha's and the Dynaudio BM5 (?) I chose the HS50. The higher End Yammy's weren't 2x better. At all. I didnt like the lack of midrange clarity on the Dynaudios, and Mackies always sound cool for listening but not accurate for mixing at all (M-Audios too).

I've gotten excellent results out of the HS series...although my room isn't treated. My biggest problem is low end...I've noticed that I've let some poorly tuned bass slip past me here that I didn't notice until I got to the studio...but now that I'm cognizant of it I catch it with my "bigs" (headphones lol)

I have a pair of Alesis MK1's basically in storage that I use from time to time...they're like Mackies to me, cool to listen on, but not great for mixing. I feel like the bass is a little too loud on em, but maybe its the room...

I've used the old KRK KRocks (the trapezoid shaped ones) don't love em, never used the newer yellow coned KRK's but I'm considering getting a pair of the 8" models for "bigs" for the house...

Hope this helps...
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Talking

Room treat #1
Monitors #2.

Rinse and Repeat.

The Yamaha HS50s are ok but they give me ear fatigue even with the highs turned down.

I acutally like the Alesis Passives because you can mix without a subwoofer.

Make sure you've got proper treatment.

It would help to hear what you think is TOO bassy.

The Alesis passives I have go down to around 50hz (maybe a bit less) but you get quite a bit of subsonics.

I would never fault speakers that display a good amount of low end if you can help it. More so my beef is hyped high end and wacky midrange.

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2nd June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceofdanger View Post
Hi Guys,

I have had a pair of Alesis active MK2 for 6 years and I keep finding there super bassy. I constantly have to reduce the bass, then bouce and then listen on cheap speakers to get a more accurate level of my bass. I understand that for $500 you are not going to get anything special but there has to be something at least ballpark cause this is driving me nuts!.
Have you tried plugging the ports by any chance?
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Anybody who says HS80m sound superharsh should play with the dip-switches on the back. Many people including me run them with +2 Mid Eq and -2 on HighEq - they sound flatter with this setting and have a 1,5 kHz presence (but the higher mids and highs become more linear). And, they are playing 40 Hz deep easily.
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5th June 2011
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I use the MR8's and i love them so. There exactly 500 bucks now.
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26th June 2011
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Wow thanks so many vaild points I dont know where to start!.

1. How would I got about treating the room I make beats in to better help my mixing?.

2. Alot of members really liked the KRK would there be a massive difference to my Alesis active MK2 ?.

3. Is there any good DVD's out there for the basics of mixing for Hiphop?.

Thanks Guys!
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11th November 2013
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Jbl lsr305

I've read the thread on the JBL LSR305 and the feedback there seems pretty positive. Anyone here have experience with them? I'm interested in these mainly for cutting vocals at home, and given the reviews on the clarity in that range, I'm close to pulling the trigger... Thoughts?
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I would recommend getting the KRK's very good for mixing and best quality out there in the market for an affordable price. I get what you mean to, you will find the right one I believe though.
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12th November 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DzzDisarster View Post
I would recommend getting the KRK's very good for mixing and best quality out there in the market for an affordable price. I get what you mean to, you will find the right one I believe though.
People might think the KRK's are ok but that's usually people who haven't heard anything else. They are one of the worst monitors you could get, even in that price range. They might be ok for listening but I'd never mix with them.
Yamahas will be much better for mixing and Equator's will beat the shit outta the Yamahas.
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12th November 2013
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Wow it amazes me how u can ask a simple question on gear slutz like whats the best monitors for around 500? And people start saying u got to buy expensive monitors to get a professional mix lol.. I done heard shitty mixes with the best equipment and i done heard some of the best mixes with cheap krk and etc...u can buy a pair of 5000 dollar monitors and get a shitty mix .. Monitors dont mix for u .. With that said get the krks they sound good u just have to learn them like any other monitors i done worked in high end studios and i still do ..but i know dudes at home with m boxes mixing the shit out of records (fact)
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12th November 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feevision View Post
Wow it amazes me how u can ask a simple question on gear slutz like whats the best monitors for around 500? And people start saying u got to buy expensive monitors to get a professional mix lol.. I done heard shitty mixes with the best equipment and i done heard some of the best mixes with cheap krk and etc...u can buy a pair of 5000 dollar monitors and get a shitty mix .. Monitors dont mix for u .. With that said get the krks they sound good u just have to learn them like any other monitors i done worked in high end studios and i still do ..but i know dudes at home with m boxes mixing the shit out of records (fact)
Of course you can learn the KRK's (just like any monitors) and get a decent mix with them but why not buy something way better in the same price range if that's possible?
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13th November 2013
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Equator d5s. Compact, extremely detailed and accurate. Not a huge amount of low end, but fantastic detail in the midrange.
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Hmm, let's see, we've got the Yamahas, the Events, the JBLs, the Rokits (and somebody shitting on the Rokits) and now *finally* the D5s in the mix. In other words, exactly the same as every single other "monitors under $500" (or $300 or $400) threas on GS.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainchild View Post
Hmm, let's see, we've got the Yamahas, the Events, the JBLs, the Rokits (and somebody shitting on the Rokits) and now *finally* the D5s in the mix. In other words, exactly the same as every single other "monitors under $500" (or $300 or $400) threas on GS.
yeah, but this has electrolytes....
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13th November 2013
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dude, don't let people's bitching about rockit 5s get to you...

they were my first set...they were and are just fine....like any other set of monitors, if you get used to them, you can do some very good work on them...

2 things you'll find people saying about them are that they have some midrange wackiness (which is true) and they "sound too good" to be proper studio monitors which is complete nonsense....yes, they tend to sound a little better/more hyped than other monitors but that, in no way means that they're useless...quite the contrary
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13th November 2013
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There is no "best" this or that. Method of use is the biggest factor in the use of any gear. Does it have to be expensive? No. But it does have to be used correctly. Monitors are no different. My guess is, those who are ragging on krk's listened to them in a less than ideal environment. Are they the best? No. But way better than what many has years ago.

The Krk's will do just fine (or anything in that price range really). The key to getting the best out of any speaker is to research acoustics. Most listening environments these days are a small to mediums size box(the worst imaginable), standing wave hell. Taming the room is 100 times more important than money spent on monitors.

One will get far better results with krk's in an acoustically sound room than a pair of Barefoots in a room with no forethought of monitor setup.

Said all that to say this, be not afraid to purchase cheaper monitors at the local GC. They'll do you just fine if you do your homework.

Hope this helps.
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