Studio Monitors: What do you look for?
maje_h
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#1
16th August 2010
Old 16th August 2010
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Studio Monitors: What do you look for?

So the title says it all. A brief or descriptive post on what you look for as far as studio monitors. This is just for fun. Lets talk about our favorite brands of monitors

My number 1: Frequency response and driver size. Anything around the 56-hz-20khz sounds ideal. 4" drivers at least, even though you won't get anything as low as 56hz on 4 inches.

Next is look: Honestly, there are some monitors that really catch my eyeballs. A prime example would be those Krk that millions of gear heads just love. When I watch youtube videos, you see them in just about a lot of studios, both home, and professional!

So how about you guys?
mrc
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16th August 2010
Old 16th August 2010
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mrc
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you forgot to mention the most important factor: budget. another thing to consider is room treatment. no monitor will sound even decent in un untreated room. and never buy monitors from their technical specifications, try and listen as many as you can.
some may like the krk's, i never did. at least the cheap series. you may wnat to check the hs80's.
maje_h
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16th August 2010
Old 16th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrc View Post
you forgot to mention the most important factor: budget. another thing to consider is room treatment. no monitor will sound even decent in un untreated room.
some may like the krk's, i never did. at least the cheap series. you may wnat to check the hs80's.
If your talking about the Yamaha Hs80, they have a very bright high-end. I listened to a pair of the HS series at best buy and I was very impressed by how bright they were. As far as driver size, I forgot to mention desktop space. I wouldn't have enough room to fit 8" drivers on my desktop.
#4
17th August 2010
Old 17th August 2010
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I just like 4311 powered by McIntosh and don't ever wanna hear anything else, except maybe 604.
#5
17th August 2010
Old 17th August 2010
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Biggest raves have been about Focals. They seem to be well balanced overall with a lot of mid detail (that's where most musical info is).
maje_h
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17th August 2010
Old 17th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phas3d View Post
Biggest raves have been about Focals. They seem to be well balanced overall with a lot of mid detail (that's where most musical info is).
I've had little idea of what these speakers looked like, went and did a google check and this is what I found: Focal Professional Studio Monitors.

Haha I love their quote! "Listen to your music, not your speakers!"
#7
17th August 2010
Old 17th August 2010
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For desktop size I always recommend PMC DB1-S+. 5.5" driver + 1" tweeter, sounds like an 8" driver easily. Uses very advanced cabinet design to go much lower than could normally be achieved with that size driver.

Extremely accurate, which is why you see them in some of the world's top studios. Unlike many brands, PMC don't do different 'ranges'. They just do different sizes and colours. So rather than picking the best speaker for your budget, you just pick the best sized speaker for your room.
maje_h
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17th August 2010
Old 17th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
For desktop size I always recommend PMC DB1-S+. 5.5" driver + 1" tweeter, sounds like an 8" driver easily. Uses very advanced cabinet design to go much lower than could normally be achieved with that size driver.

Extremely accurate, which is why you see them in some of the world's top studios. Unlike many brands, PMC don't do different 'ranges'. They just do different sizes and colours. So rather than picking the best speaker for your budget, you just pick the best sized speaker for your room.
"Sounds like an 8" driver". I like that. You rarely come across monitors that are small, yet they handle the lower sub freqeuencies very well. I will definitely look into these.
#9
17th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maje_h View Post
"Sounds like an 8" driver". I like that. You rarely come across monitors that are small, yet they handle the lower sub freqeuencies very well. I will definitely look into these.
PMC Ltd
#10
17th August 2010
Old 17th August 2010
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like the post says

I look for a big size and a big sound...and very important is the transient response so I prefer the lighter cone materials for the woofer and tweeter like composites, aluminums, titaniums and fabrics. The lighter and stronger the woofer the better the transient response same with tweetrs. Frequency response is important...I like full range systems that produce low bass and high treble. I need to hear the lowest fundamentals up to the brightest sounds through a pair. I like 6" but prefer 8" woofer or larger. I once had a pair of 70's JBL monitors with the 12" white cone woofer but they compressed too much meaning they had a slow reacting time in the transients prolly due to the heavy paper cones. I now use 8" monitors, a 2nd 6" pair and a 3rd 4" pair. The 8"s are for critical mixing while the smaller 6" and 4" ones are for reference.
#11
17th August 2010
Old 17th August 2010
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I listen first and foremost for the voicing... are they mid forward? Bass heavy? Hyped at 10k? If the monitor's sound (and they all have a sound, any implication to the contrary is sheer folly) is not along the lines of how I want music to sound, I will fight them when I mix on them. Needless to say, fighting your monitors is a bad scene, not advised.

Second, I listen for vibe. Do they help me to hear the story of the music? Or are they just inundating me with details and information that, while perhaps technically accurate, do nothing to convey the spirit of the song, such that I will end up crafting a sonically pleasing mix that does not reach into the listener's heart and tug at something?

If, and only if, I get past those two hurdles will I begin to consider more technical aspects of their performance. Are they 'portable', in other words do mixes made on them translate to other systems and environments? Is the imaging respectable? Are they the right size for the room they'll be in? How far do I need to be from them, and how loud do they need to be played, in order to hear them 'speak'?

For better or worse, I tend to like older designs, and I'm also a big fan of single drivers and acoustic suspension systems. The new stuff, it mostly seems to favor hyped high end extension as a means to reveal increased detail, and ports always exaggerate the frequency they're tuned to. I just need to feel the music, I can mix on damn near anything as long as it lets me feel the music.

Simplify, simplify.


Gregory Scott - ubk
#12
17th August 2010
Old 17th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maje_h View Post
If your talking about the Yamaha Hs80, they have a very bright high-end. I listened to a pair of the HS series at best buy and I was very impressed by how bright they were. As far as driver size, I forgot to mention desktop space. I wouldn't have enough room to fit 8" drivers on my desktop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phas3d View Post
Biggest raves have been about Focals. They seem to be well balanced overall with a lot of mid detail (that's where most musical info is).
I used the HS80's for a few years. I have Focal Twins now.

The HS80's are too bright in my opinion for mixing. Once you get the mix right, you will listen everywhere else to a dull mix because you pulled back the highs while listening to the HS80's. They are overall decent monitors.

The Focal's I've heard (Solo's and Twins) are good for most rooms in terms of zooming the mids forward a little so when you mix you tuck the mids into a nice place. When I listen to mixes outside of my room, I love the way it translates because every frequency seems to sit in the proper place.


To answer your original question, when looking for monitors, treat it like buying shoes. Everyone's feet are different, just as everyone's ears. Specs won't matter as much once you find YOUR comfortable fit. Good luck
#13
17th August 2010
Old 17th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maje_h View Post
"Sounds like an 8" driver". I like that.
Yep, sounds good, but it simply isn't true. you can easily hear the 5".
maje_h
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#14
18th August 2010
Old 18th August 2010
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All of these recommendations are very good! I have not heard of brands like the ones you guys have presented!
#15
29th August 2010
Old 29th August 2010
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i like small, single diver type.
mid sounding monitors for a lot of listening.
must have something flat and well balanced.
and some larger and can push some air.
and i like to kick back with some big and loud.

i have a couple different JBL's, Yamaha's, klipsch's, a couple different Electro Voice's, and most recently some Focals.

i have yet to find any headphones i liked: (~
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