Best monitors for Electronic Music - Mackie HR824 Mk2 vs Dynaudio BM6A's vs Adam AX7
Old 10th May 2010
  #1
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Best monitors for Electronic Music - Mackie HR824 Mk2 vs Dynaudio BM6A's vs Adam AX7

Hi there! This is my first post, I've gone through endless threads looking for answers, but haven't found answers to all my questions

My budget is around $3000 AU ($2,600 US) for monitors and an audio interface. I mainly produce electronic music (DnB, Psytrance & Chillout) and don't do much recording yet. I will be working on a Mac using Ableton Live 8, Reason 4, and either Pro Tools or Logic (don't mind which I use). The room which I will be working in is 3.7m x 4m (12ft x 13ft).

So far I have nailed it down to three choices...

Monitors:
- Mackie HR824 MK2
- Adam A7X
- Dynaudio BM6A MK2

I have listened to the Adam A7's (not A7X) and the Mackie HR824 MK2's. The Adams had the most revealing and clean highs of anything in this price range (to my ears) and the Mackies had a good all around sound (maybe the bass was a little too loud). Working with Electronic Music I'd prefer something with a more pronounced low end than the original Adam A7's (although I listened to these in a large room).

Many stores here in Adelaide seem to be pushing KRK VXT 8's, but I am not a fan of these (the bass appeared too pronounced in some frequencies and the highs slightly muted). Unfortunately I cannot sample all monitors in the same location or take them home to test here in Adelaide. Also it can be hard to find many of the common monitors found in the US.


As for the Audio Interfaces:

- Roland Cakewalk UA 25-EX
- Apogee Duet

The Cakewalk I can get for $350 AU, and the Apogee $500-$700 AU. I'd prefer audio quality over more inputs/outputs.

Any help/recommendations would be greatly appreciated
Old 11th May 2010
  #2
Zhe
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Very interested in this thread as i'm in an extremely similar position.

Also my first post in Australia and making Electronic music (albeit Techno-ish stuff on Windows XP with Reason 4 if that actually makes a difference.) and i'm also looking for decent studio monitors (although I really don't know much about monitors).

I already asked on one other forum and they've suggested that I look into KRK Rokit RP-8's, I don't know if that helps. I'm looking at the monitors in the OP though since availability in Australia is kind of an issue.
Old 11th May 2010
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The only monitor on your list I've found translated near-perfectly to the outer limits, was the A7. If you require that bottom octave, I'd consider getting a sub or 2 (with all the hassles than can entail). I would say though, that the low end is more than workable, and in a small to mid sized room, the A7s, Focal Solo 6s, TB2SA's or B&W 805's would be the only loudspeakers I'd even think of - with a well known brand attached that is. Maybe just me though
Old 11th May 2010
  #4
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hey,

so, i own Dynaudios BM6A MKII's and i could not be more happy with them. I tested them against Adam A7X, the VXT6 from KRK and the Mackie HR824mk2. In my honest opinion, the Adam's were a little too harsh on the highs, the Mackies just sounded dull and the VXT's were pretty good, still, the sound coming of them seemed a little too 'hi-fi'. I was between Adam and Dynaudio in the end, but im happy i chose the Dyns. They just translate cristal clear, have a nice low end, wich i think is more than enough for electronic music, since, that's what i do too - Techno, Prog House and Electro. I think a Sub acctually brings you more harm than good in a untreated room, the lows just go all over the place.

That said, as for the interface, i would definitely point you in the Duet's direction, i have one, and for that price, this little unit sounds amazing.

Anyway, like i said, that's just my opinion, i hope i helped.

All the best,

Alex

PS: In case you are wondering how mix mixes and productons sound, you can check it out on stein - Tracks - SoundCloud
Old 11th May 2010
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Dynaudio here.
Old 11th May 2010
  #6
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A7's all the way. I have a pair and love them. They show front to back information (which is super critical for electronic music and layering tons of synths, etc) in the mix better than any speaker in its price range. My mixes just bump more coming off the A7's...
Old 12th May 2010
  #7
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Dyns all the way!

KRKs, Yamaha, M-Audio, Alesis M1 etc pretty much similar quality sold by mass market music shops in every town - just a different sound at a project studio budget - depends on what you want to / like to hear in a mix + or minus a hundred or 2 hundred bucks.

I'm about to jump onboard and upgrade my monitors after years of the original well built Rocket 5 which I bought at a budget and without much of knowledge in the area of monitoring. They sounded good at the time for the price. Now I'm after a larger sound and much better fidelity.

Have recently bought an i7 and relearning Protools 8, tiny budget MBox 2 mini and M8 Soundcraft mixer - Rocket 5s soon to be replaced or as a second pair.

Reading forums gave me a general idea of pros/cons of all monitors - I was interested in the new Fostex PM series after reading, and after listening for a few minutes their harshness hurt my ears!
So instead of spending too much time reading dribble in forums, I just drove to Bris from the Sunny Coast and checked out a number of good stores which at least had something that resembled a listening area - Musiclab in Brisvegas have the BEST room (without bias) I've had the pleasure of critical listening - but they only stock a fairly limited range with Dynaudio being the best they have (May 11 / 2010). They also stock Genelecs sometimes.

I was originally going to spend between $1 - $2k for a 'good' pair, but after A/B-ing the new Rockets, VXT's, HS50 & 80, and the HR824 Mk2 etc at several different stores (not all in one) with my fav music, I was initially impressed with how good the HR824s were among this bunch. Much more open and transparent, balanced with an apparently honest full range and at $2600/pr - up there in price. Almost as if the speakers ''disappear'' and all you hear is dimensional sound and not the speakers themselves.

AHH, but my listening journey gets better! Musiclab had the Dyns which I had never heard before - pricey and seemingly out of reach in the high-end market.
For me they created an incredible 3D image, transparency, crisp highs, and smoothness and honesty at every audible frequency - now these BLEW me away! I was no longer listening to the 'speakers' - they disappeared! Just the sound was present.
After about 1/2hr of comparing the Dyns, the shortfalls of the Yamis, M-Audio, Rockets etc were quickly revealed. Admittedly I was listening to the huge & natural sounding BM12s' (8" @ $3400) but they were an excellent indication of the smaller range BM6a which I'm now keen on ($2500). Yes, the Mackies are good, but for me the Dyns are in the next league and also at the same price!!
The Mackies have a great bottom end, but possibly exaggerated next to the truth of the Dyns.

Trust your ears, don't bother too much about specs and hype, have a good listen to different program material, and also listen to monitors which are slightly better than your budget - your ears will thank you after hours of listening each day in the studio.
Don't want cheap crap that causes listening fatigue and needs to be loud to hopefully hear everything - tinnitus is no fun!!

I'm now leaning towards the BM6a's (at $500 above my max), and they'll last for years and sound awesome. Apparently the Gens are a bit harsh at the top end and are more pricey.
Didn't have a chance to listen to the A7s or Event Opals, but music mag and online reviews/comparisons do help a bit.

Hope you find a good pair.

Last edited by oldmate; 12th May 2010 at 06:37 AM.. Reason: missing info
Old 12th May 2010
  #8
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They are all good, but for what you want I would probably go with the Mackies. I own Dynaudios and I think they are more revealing than the mackies, but I think the low end is extremely important and you won't hear it as well with the adams or dyns. That said, if you get a sub, it's a different story.
Old 12th May 2010
  #9
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It all boils down to personal preference really, but my vote is for the A7Xs.

I've had the Adams for a month and I returned them so I could get the A7Xs which come out next month.

The new model has a wider frequency response along with more power and tighter lows.
Old 12th May 2010
  #10
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Get a sub for low end, don't depend on monitors for low end.
Old 12th May 2010
  #11
adl
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A7 with the Adam Sub10 here for doing Techouse. Very nice combination. thumbsup
Old 12th May 2010
  #12
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I'd add Focals to that list, they work great with electronic music and aren't fatiguing (which is important, since you'll probably monitor electronic music pretty loud) to the ears like the Adams can be.

Got a pair of CMS65's myself, they are more or less perfect for my house and techno productions. No need for a sub either, they can produce tons of bass when needed.
Old 27th May 2011
  #13
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isma's Avatar
 

The winner

Old 27th May 2011
  #14
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isma's Avatar
 

And you have the option to add the kh810 sub...
Old 27th May 2011
  #15
Old 27th May 2012
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noobist View Post
Monitors:
- Mackie HR824 MK2
- Adam A7X
- Dynaudio BM6A MK2
Wakening an old thread maybe; just had to toss in a few cent here. I just bought the ADAM A7x. They beat my Genelec 8030 by a mile in an A/B comparasion. Especially in the bass register where I have allways seen that my Genelecs didn't make me able to mix good bass. It was just too hard to use the Genelecs well in my semi-treated studio.
I must say I haven\t A/B/c'ed the monitors you listed and I don't know too much about the Mackie's and the DynA. Just wanted to tell you how pleased I am with the A7x. Also planning to get the dedicated ADAM sub on tuesday. And I'm using the Presonus Monitor station for switchbox.
Old 5 Days Ago
  #17
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Thread Starter
It's the OP here...
It's a number of years on now! The studio has grown and so has my passion for music...

In case anyone bumps into this thread looking for the same answer.... I ended up buying the Mackie HR824 MK2s and an Apogee Duet. The Mackies have treated me well, they have a full bodied clear sound, although I find them more difficult to mix on than I imagined. Part of it is my room being still untreated, but I've had them in many places over the last 4.5 years and they always seem to misrepresent certain volumes. Almost like the sound is slightly compressed. Mixes just don't seem to translate as I would imagine.

But...

I finally got to try the Dynaudio BM5As (not the 6As yet)... And I believe I made the wrong choice! The Mackies are great it the low end although I still think they have too much bass. Their stereo image is nothing like the Dynaudio BM5As and I imagine the BM6As are just as good, if not better. I am now seriously considering selling the Mackies and replacing them with Dynadio BM6As.

The Apogee Duet on the other hand I cannot recommend. It is true that the sound quality is excellent; clear and transparent both on the input and outputs (trying out a MOTU Ultralite Mk3 there was a noticeable loss is clarity) but after a couple of years the mic pre-amps stopped working when the phantom power is turned on. I've also had countless bugs due to poor driver support. Audio constantly dropping out, clicks and pops even while my CPU use was around 5%. Apogee do not have the reputation they once had for excellent drivers. It seems that when they released the Duet 2 they couldn't care less about the customers who bought Duet 1. I was in that boat and although their support team tried to help I released after several emails they got it mixed up and thought I owned a Duet 2! When I reminded them it was actually the Duet 1 they stopped replying to my emails...

I've now bought a Universal Audio Apollo Quad (I'm travelling at the moment and it's sitting at home waiting for me!). I can't wait to get everything setup with more Ins & Outs

Old 4 Days Ago
  #18
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Can't say I'm an expert here, I just recently started investing in monitors for mixing EDM, I've been listening to artists of this kind of music since about 2000, so maybe 14 years, and I want to get involved in mixing it etc.

I listed to the Adam A7X's with a Sub8, and I felt that they really lacked the sound I wanted. I also got Mackie HR624mk2's, and felt like their bass response was limited. I got the HR824mk2's (I couldn't demo anything, had to buy/return it to test). They are much crisper on the highs in my opinion than the 624's, maybe due to the tweeter having a 100w amp, vs 40w for the same size tweeter on the 624's. I am currently connecting them via unbalanced RCA as I didn't have a preamp with balanced outputs. I feel the HR824mk2's need very little adjustment to sound sharper, about 2db's on the higher frequencies (1k, 4k, 8k, 16k on the Media Monkey equalizer playing FLAC files). I just ordered a Denon Professional preamp, which has XLR outputs, so that may make the 2db difference once my wires come (this Friday). We'll see. But definitely for electronic music you need sharp highs. The Adam's were spot on with the highs, but weak sounding at best for the lows. As I mentioned, I've been listening to this music for many years, and know how it sounds over a wide range of systems I've played it on. So I can definitely say Mackies are on the softer side (as of yet, unbalanced RCA).

I haven't been able to demo any other speakers, as they aren't available in Minneapolis MN USA where I live.

Hope this helps.
Old 4 Days Ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surbitone View Post
The only monitor on your list I've found translated near-perfectly to the outer limits, was the A7. If you require that bottom octave, I'd consider getting a sub or 2 (with all the hassles than can entail). I would say though, that the low end is more than workable, and in a small to mid sized room, the A7s, Focal Solo 6s, TB2SA's or B&W 805's would be the only loudspeakers I'd even think of - with a well known brand attached that is. Maybe just me though
Would you not think of the Nuemann KH120? They may only be 5" woofers, but they have been reviewed to have a tighter and more accurate bass response than many of the larger competitors, including the Adam A7X. Adding a sub to it, would obviously be the right choice for bass heavy electronica, especially if you're anticipating your tracks being played in nightclubs.
Old 20 Hours Ago
  #20
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Thread Starter
It seems that monitors in that price range have come a long way since 2010 when I purchased my Mackie HR824 MK2s. They were about $2400 AU when I bought them, but now you can find a pair for $1200 AU (second hand, or 1800 new).

After doing some more research it seems you can now have the better option of the Neumann KH120 or the sE Munro Egg 150. I have not heard either, but Sound on Sound magazine raves about both of these monitors. I am especially fond of the sE Munro Egg 150 for their looks

Now I'm planning on selling the Mackies for a pair of these! In truth many engineers quite like the sound of the Mackies and find them easy to mix on. Myself not so much, but it depends on the individual and their taste. The Mackies can now be bought for only $1200 AU second hand. Not sure what the Neumanns go for, but the Munro Eggs are about $2700 AU ($2500 US) new or $2000 AU second hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zigziglar View Post
Would you not think of the Nuemann KH120? They may only be 5" woofers, but they have been reviewed to have a tighter and more accurate bass response than many of the larger competitors, including the Adam A7X. Adding a sub to it, would obviously be the right choice for bass heavy electronica, especially if you're anticipating your tracks being played in nightclubs.
Old 20 Hours Ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noobist View Post
It seems that monitors in that price range have come a long way since 2010 when I purchased my Mackie HR824 MK2s. They were about $2400 AU when I bought them, but now you can find a pair for $1200 AU (second hand, or 1800 new).

After doing some more research it seems you can now have the better option of the Neumann KH120 or the sE Munro Egg 150. I have not heard either, but Sound on Sound magazine raves about both of these monitors. I am especially fond of the sE Munro Egg 150 for their looks

Now I'm planning on selling the Mackies for a pair of these! In truth many engineers quite like the sound of the Mackies and find them easy to mix on. Myself not so much, but it depends on the individual and their taste. The Mackies can now be bought for only $1200 AU second hand. Not sure what the Neumanns go for, but the Munro Eggs are about $2700 AU ($2500 US) new or $2000 AU second hand.
They have indeed come a long way! I'll add a few other monitors for you to consider:

Genelec 8030B - Small like the KH120, but arguably better. Sonic qualities of the 8040, with a little less volume. Still very tight and clear bass despite driver size. They are kind of egg-like too

Focal CMS65 - Probably the only monitor worthy of the Focal name in the CMS range. The smaller models just wont cut it for bass or flatness. These are perhaps a little less "honest" than the Genelecs, but worthy of a listen.

Focal Solo 6 BE - I'd be auditioning these if I were you. You can find them on sale in your price range from time to time. These remind me of Adam A7X, but with Genelec highs, which are very revealing, but in no way harsh or strident. I feel I've painted a bit of a picture of the KH120 being a better choice, but I'd say both are great options and you may like these more.

Cheers
Old 18 Hours Ago
  #22
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szmola's Avatar
 

Dynaudio BM6a.
But try to find MK1 version because they have Mosfet amp and sound better and I heard that MK2 have digital chip for amp.
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