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Best monitors in a 3500euro budget? Studio Monitors
Old 10th January 2016
  #1
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Monitors in a 3500euro budget

1.Small location(12sqm-130sqft), but I might change it in the near future;
2.For scoring video, mainly orchestral, but also electronic subgenres; will not record vocals or live instruments, only in very rare occasions;
3.Connected via RME fireface UCX;
4.Main monitors and only monitors, so need something very trustworthy, easy to mix and master, also for tracking, that translates well to other audio systems;
5.Can't test them. I'm located in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, no music shops that host high-end monitors nearby.
6.So far I'm considering Amphion one 15(and the Amphion Amp100), but perhaps there are better options in a 3500euro budget. Please leave your opinion!

Thank you in advance!

,Andrei
Old 10th January 2016
  #2
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sd-cd's Avatar
 

Unity Audio The Rock MKII
Old 10th January 2016
  #3
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Wow! Amazing looking monitors, even though I don't add extra-points for that feature. Very interesting, I'm searching for more details on this beauties.

Thank you kindly for the suggestion!
Old 10th January 2016
  #4
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lectric's Avatar
Amphion One15 It is one of the flavors of the moment...
Old 10th January 2016
  #5
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I used the jbl lsr 28p's for a long time with great results
well under 3500 used if you can find them
Old 10th January 2016
  #6
Gear Nut
I was gonna say, what about these Unity Audio things which keep appearing with various luminaries in banners at the top of the Gearsl.. page ? I get the feeling they are kinda very good. Always trusted Unity Audio. And Mr Leckie, apart from needing a new indicator for his Merc, seems to like 'em too. Or perhaps I am suffering illusions with John Leckie in them.

Peace.

(c) 2016 Claud
Old 10th January 2016
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lectric View Post
Amphion One15 It is one of the flavors of the moment...
Question is...does the flavour go away after a few days? Everyone seems to love them, so far, judging on the huge section dedicated here.

Quote:
I used the jbl lsr 28p's for a long time with great results
well under 3500 used if you can find them.
I'd preffer something more up-to-date, to be honest. Thank you for the suggestion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by claud View Post
I was gonna say, what about these Unity Audio things which keep appearing with various luminaries in banners at the top of the Gearsl.. page ? I get the feeling they are kinda very good. Always trusted Unity Audio. And Mr Leckie, apart from needing a new indicator for his Merc, seems to like 'em too. Or perhaps I am suffering illusions with John Leckie in them.

Peace.

(c) 2016 Claud
It's interesting to notice of how ignored they seem to be on gearslutz. I tried to find more on this. The ones that try it seem impressed, yet it's pretty unpopular over the internet, for some yet unknown reason. Did find this song, apparently mixed on Rocks MII:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBVL519dMfs

according to:
http://repforums.prosoundweb.com/ind...,prev.html#new
Old 10th January 2016
  #8
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thepoison606's Avatar
For that price i would go for the Neumann KH310.. Or you could check out Smart Audio II.1a, it's a small german company worth checkin out! One of the best near/mid monitors i have heard so far.
Old 10th January 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepoison606 View Post
For that price i would go for the Neumann KH310.. Or you could check out Smart Audio II.1a, it's a small german company worth checkin out! One of the best near/mid monitors i have heard so far.
Not sure if the KH310s fit well in a small room...I could change the location in the near future, but not sure on this, so I should be able to accommodate well a pair of monitors in this 12sqm room I have available for my studio.

I couldn't find much about this company(smart-audio) and their products. They have a website, everything in German, no English, don't know how much their products cost, who sells them, nothing, as for reviews, inexistent.
Old 10th January 2016
  #10
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thepoison606's Avatar
You could be right, for 12sqm they may be too big but i think worth a listen anyway?

Could be difficult to find some Smart Audios in the us (are you there?), but you should contact them via email. I'm sure they know some studios which use them, if you are lucky somewhere near to your place
Old 10th January 2016
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepoison606 View Post
You could be right, for 12sqm they may be too big but i think worth a listen anyway?

Could be difficult to find some Smart Audios in the us (are you there?), but you should contact them via email. I'm sure they know some studios which use them, if you are lucky somewhere near to your place
No, I'm located in Romania, Transylvania, but I doubt they have providers here selling their products. Most high-end monitor brands are absent in Romania, because it's a small market. I specified all this in the beginning of the thread.
I will contact them via e-mail and see what details they can offer me over Smart Audio II.1a monitors.

Thanks for your suggestions!
Old 10th January 2016
  #12
Gear Maniac
If you can't test them it's a hit or miss. I would recommend the usual suspects. ATC, Quested, Amphion, KH, PSI, etc.

If you ask PSI nicely, maybe they will send you a pair of A17 to test.

Good luck.
Old 11th January 2016
  #13
Gear Nut
 

May i sugest a trip to Vienna? There must be more than one dealer for higher end speakers that you could demo.
At least you heard the speakers if you can't demo in your room.
Old 11th January 2016
  #14
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cheu78's Avatar
I'd also suggest a trip to test out 2-3 candidates, it might cost you some money/time, but will be a better buy than the suggestions on the web from people that don't have (for obvious reasons) YOUR ears and taste..and agree with jibber, who said that is hit or miss..

For that type of work I'd also consider the usual suspects like the neumann 310, or the ATC's (scm25 are out of your budget, unless you're very lucky finding somebody who really need to sell a pair and you could have an higher budget, but there are great 2way monitors that will suit from ATC, like the scm20asl).

I found the ATC's to translate perfecly outside the studio and on different systems..for some reasons they just work very well.
The neumann have a bigger lowend, that IMHO is not always "true" and they tend to always sound a little bit "too good/kinda sweet".. but I'm splitting hairs and is my personal opinion, the 310 are great monitors for the price.
Also as said the room plays a huge role on how the monitors will perform.

Any of these will be great monitors that will hold their value regardless of the flavour of the month.

I hope this helps somehow,



Cheu
Old 11th January 2016
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jibber View Post
If you can't test them it's a hit or miss. I would recommend the usual suspects. ATC, Quested, Amphion, KH, PSI, etc.

If you ask PSI nicely, maybe they will send you a pair of A17 to test.

Good luck.
PSI A17 looks very interesting. Definitely considering the brand and the model, not to mention that I haven't heard of anything made in Switzerland that is not beautifully crafted. Thank you kindly for the suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post
May i sugest a trip to Vienna? There must be more than one dealer for higher end speakers that you could demo.
At least you heard the speakers if you can't demo in your room.
Unless somewhere in Vienna there is a perfectly clone of my current location it's not worth it, to be honest. Will try to ask manufacturers to let me test out some of their monitors in my location, this seems to be the best idea. Thanks for the comment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
I'd also suggest a trip to test out 2-3 candidates, it might cost you some money/time, but will be a better buy than the suggestions on the web from people that don't have (for obvious reasons) YOUR ears and taste..and agree with jibber, who said that is hit or miss.
I'll try test some of the products in my location, cause they have to fit in my acoustics, not in a store acoustics. Hopefully, will be able to convince at least 2-3 manufacturers to agree on this.
From Neumann I was considering KH120A in the beginning, but decided to increase the budget for something better. Not sure for their 310 either, according to reviewers. ATC, both models, scm25 and scm20asl are above my budget, and as great as they might be, have to pass them for now.
Thank you so much for your opinion and suggestions!
Old 11th January 2016
  #16
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Oskari J.'s Avatar
 

If you are thinking of mastering the Amphion One18 is a better choice than One15. But then you will have to get a cheaper amp to fit the budget. You can always upgrade amps later.
Old 11th January 2016
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oskari J. View Post
If you are thinking of mastering the Amphion One18 is a better choice than One15. But then you will have to get a cheaper amp to fit the budget. You can always upgrade amps later.
Thanks for the suggestion, mate! Thinking at the same thing. I sent a message to Anssi regarding this, what would his recommendation be for my location(12sqm room, with posibility to change it in the near future). He very kindly approached me on GS suggesting me to test products exclusively in my location, for acoustic reasons. Awesome guy! Also, not sure what amp I should aim for, if I stick to Amphions.
Old 11th January 2016
  #18
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Oskari J.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiPiatra View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, mate! Thinking at the same thing. I sent a message to Anssi regarding this, what would his recommendation be for my location(12sqm room, with posibility to change it in the near future). He very kindly approached me on GS suggesting me to test products exclusively in my location, for acoustic reasons. Awesome guy! Also, not sure what amp I should aim for, if I stick to Amphions.
Glad to help. Yes, it's agreat company to deal with.

Some people in the amphion thread are suggesting, if i remember correctly, adcom 545 or something like that (modified), as a cheap but good option
Old 11th January 2016
  #19
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiPiatra View Post
I'll try test some of the products in my location, cause they have to fit in my acoustics, not in a store acoustics. Hopefully, will be able to convince at least 2-3 manufacturers to agree on this.
From Neumann I was considering KH120A in the beginning, but decided to increase the budget for something better. Not sure for their 310 either, according to reviewers. ATC, both models, scm25 and scm20asl are above my budget, and as great as they might be, have to pass them for now.
Thank you so much for your opinion and suggestions!
Of course if you could test them in your place is always the best solution.

The 310 are really good monitors, even if I prefer the ATC's.. surprisingly enough I'm not a big fan of the psi.. (even if I'm in Switzerland and the company seems very good). Maybe check the pmc offerings as well.

I had focal before the atc's (I own the scm25), of course they're in another price class and it's not a fair comparison, although they were good monitors, the atc are simply on another level imho..

Good luck with your search,



Cheu
Old 11th January 2016
  #20
Gear Head
 

I really enjoy my Focal Twin 6 BE, bougth then about a year ago, and never looked back, still very happy with them !
Old 11th January 2016
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oskari J. View Post
Glad to help. Yes, it's agreat company to deal with.

Some people in the amphion thread are suggesting, if i remember correctly, adcom 545 or something like that (modified), as a cheap but good option

Good to know, but I'm rather inclined to go with Amphion amp, for safety reasons. Will see about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Of course if you could test them in your place is always the best solution.

The 310 are really good monitors, even if I prefer the ATC's.. surprisingly enough I'm not a big fan of the psi.. (even if I'm in Switzerland and the company seems very good). Maybe check the pmc offerings as well.

I had focal before the atc's (I own the scm25), of course they're in another price class and it's not a fair comparison, although they were good monitors, the atc are simply on another level imho..
What don't you like on PSIs, if I may ask? Very interesting. From what I've read about the scm25 I think they are trully wonderful. Very happy for you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubleshooter View Post
I really enjoy my Focal Twin 6 BE, bougth then about a year ago, and never looked back, still very happy with them !
Have heard they might have a certain coloration that some don't like it, also, a bit too warm and fuzzy, so you're more prone to listening than mixing? Would you agree?
Old 11th January 2016
  #22
Gear Head
 

I use them mainly for mixing, i find them to be very good at instrument placement and definition, easy to dial in EQ on in your mix, being able to hear the details of the amount of reverb/delay added to not overdo something . I can't say that I think they have a certain coloration, but I believe that the tweeter sound could be a hit or miss pending your own ear, I would not recommend them without you listen to a pair, but then again I would not recommend you buy any monitors without proper listning. I can admit that you can listen to music on them if it is a good mix, but they will reveal a not so good mix easy.

There are a lot of options, so best is to find a store with as many monitors as possible and go through each of them, happy hunting !
Old 12th January 2016
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiPiatra View Post
Question is...does the flavour go away after a few days? Everyone seems to love them, so far, judging on the huge section dedicated here.



I'd preffer something more up-to-date, to be honest. Thank you for the suggestion!


I have had them for 3 weeks now, they are getting solid use in the studio for mixing. We track loud so they are no good for that though. Im a fan, they have great low end for their size but really make you work on the mids.
Old 12th January 2016
  #24
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiPiatra View Post
What don't you like on PSIs, if I may ask? Very interesting.
Well, I'm not sure it's a matter of taste.. but when I tested a pair (2way with an 8" woofer) was not impressed at all..the old K&H O300 that was in that postprod studio crushed them easily.. they feeled kinda scooped in the mids.. not very revealing.

Also have heard a full 5.1 setup (even if it was used in a stereo only, which if I'm not mistaken consisted in their d'appolito configured speaker 2 1/2 way plus the "subwoofer").. Again I was not really impressed.. but could be a matter of taste and integration with the room..

The company feel solid and serious, and several other people seems to be very happy with them, so as with everything else take these comments with a grain of salt.

Maybe they fit perfectly your place and taste..



Cheu
Old 12th January 2016
  #25
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Well, I'm not sure it's a matter of taste.. but when I tested a pair (2way with an 8" woofer) was not impressed at all..the old K&H O300 that was in that postprod studio crushed them easily.. they feeled kinda scooped in the mids.. not very revealing.

Also have heard a full 5.1 setup (even if it was used in a stereo only, which if I'm not mistaken consisted in their d'appolito configured speaker 2 1/2 way plus the "subwoofer").. Again I was not really impressed.. but could be a matter of taste and integration with the room..

The company feel solid and serious, and several other people seems to be very happy with them, so as with everything else take these comments with a grain of salt.

Maybe they fit perfectly your place and taste..



Cheu
I only had Adam AX7 before switching to PSI monitors (A17, A25 + subs), and i really can't put together your impressions with the PSI monitors. It just doesn't fit such a description and these monitors (IMHO). "Not very revealing" is something i've never heard used together in one sentence with PSI Audio.

Adam AX7 are nice and detailed monitors that are very revealing. The A17 make them sound like a joke IMO (worlds apart).
Old 12th January 2016
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubleshooter View Post
I use them mainly for mixing, i find them to be very good at instrument placement and definition, easy to dial in EQ on in your mix, being able to hear the details of the amount of reverb/delay added to not overdo something . I can't say that I think they have a certain coloration, but I believe that the tweeter sound could be a hit or miss pending your own ear, I would not recommend them without you listen to a pair, but then again I would not recommend you buy any monitors without proper listning. I can admit that you can listen to music on them if it is a good mix, but they will reveal a not so good mix easy.

There are a lot of options, so best is to find a store with as many monitors as possible and go through each of them, happy hunting !
Exactly! Must listen them before anything else! Will ask Focals to let me test a pair of their Twins in my location, as Anssi well suggested me. Thank you for the reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gt_jumper View Post
I have had them for 3 weeks now, they are getting solid use in the studio for mixing. We track loud so they are no good for that though. Im a fan, they have great low end for their size but really make you work on the mids.
Highly considering the Amphions. I can't track too loud, my small studio is in a flat and have to be polite with my neighbours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
I was not really impressed.. but could be a matter of taste and integration with the room..

The company feel solid and serious, and several other people seems to be very happy with them, so as with everything else take these comments with a grain of salt.

Maybe they fit perfectly your place and taste..
Will try to demo a pair of PSI A17 in my location. I'm definitely considering this monitors, hopefully I'll be able to test them.
Old 12th January 2016
  #27
Gear Head
 

+1 for the Smart Audios.

I listened to Adam, PSI, Klein&Hummel, Genelec, KRK and more in this price range and chose the Smart Audios (with the Klein&Hummel O300 a close second).

But it really is a matter of taste, room acoustics and habit what you prefer, so the more you can test, the better!

There are, like Smart Audio, some small companies who make quality stuff worth checking out:

kirsch-audio
SKY-AUDIO | VERDADE PASSIVER HIGH-END STUDIOMONITORE
— STRAUSS-ELEKTROAKUSTIK.COM
Old 12th January 2016
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiocity View Post
+1 for the Smart Audios.

There are, like Smart Audio, some small companies who make quality stuff worth checking out:

kirsch-audio
SKY-AUDIO | VERDADE PASSIVER HIGH-END STUDIOMONITORE
— STRAUSS-ELEKTROAKUSTIK.COM
I'm very intrigued by the advertising methods of this companies, that don't even bother translating in English their websites, except for kirsch-audio.
Will check their offers and see if I can demo some of their stuff in my location.

Thanks for getting this manufacturers out of their closet!
Old 12th January 2016
  #29
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Arksun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Well, I'm not sure it's a matter of taste.. but when I tested a pair (2way with an 8" woofer) was not impressed at all..the old K&H O300 that was in that postprod studio crushed them easily.. they feeled kinda scooped in the mids.. not very revealing.
Total opposite experience for me, I'd rate the 2-way PSI A21M above the K&H 0300. All PSI are very revealing, possibly even too revealing for some with the polite non-fatiguing yet analytical approach. Totally transparent crossover with excellent mid-range and killer transient punch.
Old 12th January 2016
  #30
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jibber View Post
I only had Adam AX7 before switching to PSI monitors (A17, A25 + subs), and i really can't put together your impressions with the PSI monitors. It just doesn't fit such a description and these monitors (IMHO). "Not very revealing" is something i've never heard used together in one sentence with PSI Audio.

Adam AX7 are nice and detailed monitors that are very revealing. The A17 make them sound like a joke IMO (worlds apart).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arksun View Post
Total opposite experience for me, I'd rate the 2-way PSI A21M above the K&H 0300. All PSI are very revealing, possibly even too revealing for some with the polite non-fatiguing yet analytical approach. Totally transparent crossover with excellent mid-range and killer transient punch.

I really don't know if it was a bad piece or they really didn't fit those rooms..
I'm wondering myself, because everybody on the forum seems to have other experiences than the ones I had, plus the company seems to strive for quality and I absolutely support this kind of attitude (plus they're swiss)..

I really don't want to put down the swiss fellas and their products, I just didn't have a positive experience..I'd really love to say the opposite..
I might actually call them and have a pair sent to my studio just to test them again.. (I probably won't buy them, I'm really happy with the scm25's).
Jibber where are you located? I might pass by your place and give them another listen..(if it's fine with you).

Or maybe they're not simply for me..but I know what I heard, I'm not sure it is a matter of "taste" only..

Please don't take these words as an attack to the PSI products..It's not meant to put them down.

just my 0.02$,



Cheu
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