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Upgrade time: 6-8k honest monitors. What to choose? Studio Monitors
Old 15th February 2016
  #1
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stonerbox's Avatar
 

Upgrade time: 6-8k honest monitors. What to choose?

I'm looking to upgrade my home studio with a pair of great and honest speakers. Monitors that lasts.

Good mid range, decent open lows and not hyped artificial highs. I record and mix heavy dynamic rock, modern minimalistic industrial and electronic music but also acoustic and pop. Pretty broad. I do not have the luxury of listening to the monitors before I buy them due to my location, so this will be sort of a gamble but I believe that if you pay good money you will get a good product.


The room is small (3.90x4x2.80m with a single sloped ceiling) and is semi-treated, could always use more bass traps but that will definitely change in the future and we will also eventually move somewhere down the line.

What I am looking for is a pair of active speakers and these are the ones I have stumbled upon so far.

ATC25 - Honesty.

KM310 - Decent price, decent monitors but not so punchy and too hi-fi-sounding?

Feel free to recommend me additional monitors that I can check out/read up on.

All the best, Stonerbox

Last edited by stonerbox; 15th February 2016 at 02:13 PM..
Old 15th February 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonerbox View Post
I'm looking to upgrade my home studio with a pair of great, and honest speakers. Monitors that lasts.

Good mid range, decent open lows and not hyped artificial highs. I record and mix heavy dynamic rock, modern minimalistic industrial and electronic music but also acoustic and pop. Pretty broad. I do not have the luxury of listening to the monitors before I buy them due to my location, so this will be sort of a gamble, but I believe that if you pay good money you will get a good product.


The room is small (3.90x4x2.80m with a single sloped ceiling) and is semi-treated, could always use more bass traps, but that will definitely change in the future and we will also eventually move somewhere down the line.

What I am looking for is a pair of active speakers and these are the ones I have stumbled upon so far.

ATC25 - Honesty.

KM310 - Decent price, decent monitors but not so punchy and too hi-fi-sounding?

Feel free to recommend me additional monitors that I can check out/read up on.

All the best, Stonerbox
Hej hej Stonerbox,

I'd go ATC.
I own a pair of act scm25, my small control room is professionally treated (about the same size as yours, maybe a little bit bigger). They're great speakers.
I'd have loved to go with the scm100 (or a bigger model, but my room is too small) and the scm25 are really good imho).

Kh310 are great speakers and are priced very well, but imho the atc's are better.

the room plays a big role in the interaction between you and the monitors, so a monitor could perform differently depending on the room. take time to position the monitors.

That said I have to say that with the atc's there's no guessing..very easy to work on and there's no learning curve.. they translate very well in other systems, no surprises when you check the mixes elsewhere.. those are all big pluses for me.

This is my experience with them, there are other companies offering nice products in that price range..after all is a matter of knowing the monitors/room and personal taste.. and of course I'd at least try to travel to test the contenders in other places before buying. (even if ideally would be best test them in your place for the reasons explained above, I'm sure most distributors might be willing to do that with a downpayment).

Just my 0.02$,

hej då,


Cheu
Old 15th February 2016
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
stonerbox's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Hej hej Stonerbox,

I'd go ATC.
I own a pair of act scm25, my small control room is professionally treated (about the same size as yours, maybe a little bit bigger). They're great speakers.
I'd have loved to go with the scm100 (or a bigger model, but my room is too small) and the scm25 are really good imho).

Kh310 are great speakers and are priced very well, but imho the atc's are better.

the room plays a big role in the interaction between you and the monitors, so a monitor could perform differently depending on the room. take time to position the monitors.

That said I have to say that with the atc's there's no guessing..very easy to work on and there's no learning curve.. they translate very well in other systems, no surprises when you check the mixes elsewhere.. those are all big pluses for me.

This is my experience with them, there are other companies offering nice products in that price range..after all is a matter of knowing the monitors/room and personal taste.. and of course I'd at least try to travel to test the contenders in other places before buying. (even if ideally would be best test them in your place for the reasons explained above, I'm sure most distributors might be willing to do that with a downpayment).

Just my 0.02$,

hej då,


Cheu
Thanks for the Input Cheu78. The Act's are far superior to the KM's as I expect. However I'm still open for alternatives since there should be a lot more of them in this price range, right?

Come on people chime in!
Old 15th February 2016
  #4
I would consider the Focal Trio 6BE, remarkable speakers,
Old 15th February 2016
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Robin Walsh's Avatar
 

Amphion One18's + Amp500 + Amphion Cables.

I know they're not active, but really worth considering. I also mix a really wide range of music (from the The Voice SA to gentle acoustic music to orchestral to rock, etc..) and have had the best results of my life.

Cheers,
Robin
Old 15th February 2016
  #6
Gear Nut
 

I love my ATC 25's, I have a small room as well.
No looking back or 2nd thoughts, the chapter about monitoring is done for me.

Now back to making music

Cheers
Old 15th February 2016
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
stonerbox's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Walsh View Post
Amphion One18's + Amp500 + Amphion Cables.

I know they're not active, but really worth considering. I also mix a really wide range of music (from the The Voice SA to gentle acoustic music to orchestral to rock, etc..) and have had the best results of my life.

Cheers,
Robin
I try to stay out of the hype, they are probably great, great speakers but something tells me to stay away from them, why? I do not know and I could be very wrong to think/feel so. Plus I really just want a pair of active ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasparecording View Post
I love my ATC 25's, I have a small room as well.
No looking back or 2nd thoughts, the chapter about monitoring is done for me.

Now back to making music

Cheers
How critical is positioning these away from back walls?
Old 15th February 2016
  #8
Lives for gear
 
NetworkAudio's Avatar
Atc 25 is a very safe purchase. I would, however, have a look at kii three for about another 2k. Room interaction is remarkable!
Old 15th February 2016
  #9
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonerbox View Post
How critical is positioning these away from back walls?
An honest answer is: depends on the room and how treated is. (And how react to the loudspeaker).

Sometimes moving them back is a very good thing to do, sometimes not..with a small room like yours (and mine too) it's difficult to have a huge sweetspot on the low registers..
As said my room is professionally measured/tuned, I have 6 huge basstraps tuned to specific problematic frequencies (4 different freqs), plus some broadband absorbers and diffusers..
It really depends from how YOUR room is made and shaped, and how many doors/windows you have.. these might help with standing waves.. but it really depends on so many factors.. there's not really a rule of thumb imho.. even if it's a usual advice to not put them close to the wall.. in some cases might just the right thing to do..
Treat your room as much as you can and move the speakers around..

Good luck,

hej då,



Cheu
Old 16th February 2016
  #10
Amphion two15, two18, one18

Focal trio6 be

ATC scm 20/25

Unity audio- super rock/ Boulder/ pebble plus bam bam

Psi a21m/ a25m

Pmc two two 8s or aml 2 new or used


Above your budget but not by much

Geithain 944k
Kii three
Genelec 8260/ new 8351

Hope these help
Old 16th February 2016
  #11
Gear Nut
 

How critical is positioning these away from back walls?[/QUOTE]

I think this is a question nobody can answer in general about any monitor.

Room treatment and positioning are important factors on how you will perceive sound in your room.
The key is to experiment and find the sweetspot that YOU are comfortable with in YOUR room.
Make sure to take care of direct early reflections from walls and ceiling.
BASS TRAPS!
I have my speakers on heavy duty stands filled with sand....and these are on rollable "carts" to allow me to play with placement.
In my room, the closer i get to the wall, the more low end frequencies, so "dial" in to the point where well known records sound like YOU like to hear them.
Old 16th February 2016
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonerbox View Post
Thanks for the Input Cheu78. The Act's are far superior to the KM's as I expect. However I'm still open for alternatives since there should be a lot more of them in this price range, right?

Come on people chime in!
The atc is the double price of KH in europe .
I hope than the atc are better than the KH.
Old 16th February 2016
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Check out some PMCs in that price range - they're really natural sounding!

-Brian
Old 16th February 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseUTB View Post
Amphion two18, one18

Focal trio6 be

ATC scm 20/25

Pmc two two 8s/ two two 6 or aml 2 new or used


Above your budget but not by much

Geithain 944k
Kii three
Old 16th February 2016
  #15
I personally have SCM20MKII's but I have used the 25's in the past, and they are what made me fall in love with ATC monitors. I dont think you would be disapointed at all by them. KH310s dont even come close. Only monitors I've tried that have come close are the amphions.
Old 17th February 2016
  #16
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseUTB View Post
Amphion two15, two18, one18

Focal trio6 be

ATC scm 20/25

Unity audio- super rock/ Boulder/ pebble plus bam bam

Psi a21m/ a25m

Pmc two two 8s or aml 2 new or used


Above your budget but not by much

Geithain 944k
Kii three
Genelec 8260/ new 8351

Hope these help
I have the PSI Audio A17Ms and A25Ms with two subs in a room that is 4-5 meters wide and 10 meters in length. If i position the A25 (even without the subs) so they are facing the 4-5 meter width portion of the room, the bass is simply horrible at the back wall (albeit, it's a living room with no other treatment except for carpets and acoustic curtains, but there is a couch at said back wall).

The A25 need a lot of space behind your listening position. I would go as far as saying even the A21 might be too much for a room of the size OP has mentioned.

I would try them, but probably lean towards A17.
Old 17th February 2016
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Channel time's Avatar
Tyler acoustics are also a good option to consider,
You can by direct which is good cost wise, plus you can choose the veneer type if you want. And he is super friendly.
Maybe consider the MM5X's for your size room?
Tyler Acoustics
Old 17th February 2016
  #18
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sd-cd's Avatar
 

Try Unity Audio The Super Rocks or The Boulders.
Old 18th February 2016
  #19
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ddageek's Avatar
 

Take the time to listen to ATC and Quested you won't regret!
Old 18th February 2016
  #20
For an "honest" representation of your mix you can't do much better than a pair of Meyer HD-1's.

I got mine last year and find I can really get my head around a mix much more quickly. They might be a bit out of your budget new, but sometimes you see used ones for under $8k around here.
Old 18th February 2016
  #21
Gear Head
 

Adam SX series? I have the SX3H which I adore. Some port noise but only if you're zeroing in on 85-120ish Hz.
Old 18th February 2016
  #22
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The new s3x don't have the port noise, I thought? Also, the older ones can be sent in to get the fix.
Old 18th February 2016
  #23
Since the room is small, you might be better off with 2 less expensive 2.1 setups and a pair of mixcubes.

I can't make an intelligent assessment of your room without seeing it, but many times, having a few lower-end monitoring options will beat out a single big-name system.

I had a similar issue: small room and low ceilings. After countless headaches and moving everything around and treating and re-treating the room...

I realized that my 8" genelecs were the issue. I moved to smaller genelecs with a sub... a pair of mixcubes... etc. Difference in my mixes/time spent mixing were huge.

just something to chew on.
Old 18th February 2016
  #25
ECM
Gear Addict
Along with the ones listed already try test out Adam S3X/S4X, still being picked over ATC/Barefoot by most in testing and in stores.

Eve Audio SC407/408 worth testing too, if you prefer something more round and less cynical/detailed to Adam.

But like above, test in your room, pick 3/4 to test (ATC/Adam/Barefoot/Quested or something else is as good selection as any to pick from) and see what fits you more personally.
Old 18th February 2016
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECM View Post
Along with the ones listed already try test out Adam S3X/S4X, still being picked over ATC/Barefoot by most in testing and in stores.
May I ask where you're getting your data?

dB
Old 18th February 2016
  #27
ECM
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
May I ask where you're getting your data?

dB
In-store work/set-up & marketing (s3x-h is actually still the best selling midfield in many stores across Europe) does it make it the best? far from it, just a personal preference by engineers and marketing mostly, but quality does sell.
Old 18th February 2016
  #28
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Bryce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ECM View Post
In-store work/set-up & marketing (s3x-h is actually still the best selling midfield in many stores across Europe)
Again, where are your numbers coming from?

As someone who is very interested in market data like this, it is important to me to know where someone making quantitative statements about sales gets their numbers.

Do you have actual sales numbers for ADAM, ATC, Barefoot and other midfields in many stores across Europe? If so, I'd love to know where you got them, as well as what stores are in the group that provided the info.

Thanks!

dB
Old 18th February 2016
  #29
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Not that I can contribute actual sales data, but Adams are markedly cheaper in Europe than they are stateside, making them less expensive than comparable barefoots/atc's, which could account for some of the increased sales volume (if it is indeed true).
Old 18th February 2016
  #30
ECM
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaws View Post
Not that I can contribute actual sales data, but Adams are markedly cheaper in Europe than they are stateside, making them less expensive than comparable barefoots/atc's, which could account for some of the increased sales volume (if it is indeed true).
Yes, but its also a target and mass manufacturing thing, amount of products produced and sold, the difference between those brands is quite large, as the marketing/sales targets are catered different to the mass.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
Again, where are your numbers coming from?

As someone who is very interested in market data like this, it is important to me to know where someone making quantitative statements about sales gets their numbers.

Do you have actual sales numbers for ADAM, ATC, Barefoot and other midfields in many stores across Europe? If so, I'd love to know where you got them, as well as what stores are in the group that provided the info.

Thanks!

dB
No problem, send me a message.
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