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Mid / high end monitors that do well in less perfect rooms? Studio Monitors
Old 9th April 2016
  #1
Mid / high end monitors that do well in less perfect rooms?

Hey All,

After a long run with my BM6s I've decided it's time to step up to something new. As good as they are, I'm looking for something a little gentler and fun to write on (I find them a touch clinical and sharp), and crucially, something that is full range but able to work well in less ideal acoustic environments such as the bedroom studios I'm likely to be working from for the next few years.

Right now, my two leading options are the Event Opals, and a Genelec 8330 system with a 7350 sub, partly because I haven't demo'd anything else yet. I tried the Opals today, and I have to say I was really impressed by their reproduction - not only did they match my subjective preferences with regard to the nice, gentle tonal balance, the quality of sound was incredible (even placed two feet apart against a wall in the tiny demo room). Having said that, I fear with those 8 inch woofers, the wonderful sound is going to be wasted or even problematic in most small rooms, even with the included acoustic correction kit and the supposedly useful tone controls on the front.

In comparison, the Genelecs (I'm going here on the 8040s my housemate has, which I'm fairly well acquainted with) have a sound which perhaps veers a little further back into the clinical territory I'm trying to escape, and while they are undoubtedly excellent speakers in a technical sense I've always felt personally that they have a habit of making things sound sugary and finished long before they actually are. In fairness though, they are certainly a quality speaker and offer plenty of detail, and even though I preferred the Opals I have no doubt it would be fun to write on the Gens too. Where they really stand out though, and this is a big deal for me, is that the GLM system is supposed to be absolutely fantastic for getting a little more out of less desirable rooms, and if you combine that with being able to switch out the sub and just work on two 5" drivers (my room is well treated so mids are not a problem), I suspect they will achieve more of their potential than the Events. I know there's no substitute for a good room, but I've heard a lot of people saying they were really able to make big improvements even in the smallest rooms, which certainly sounds promising.


To summarise, the Opals may just be my favourite monitor I've ever heard, but I fear my environment will stop me getting much of their full potential, while it seems the Genelec's would deal with this problem much better, but I'm not quite so sure about the way they sound in the first place. I'm in a tight spot! Ha.

My main question: has anybody had experience using the Opals in this kind of space? If StudioEQ and the onboard controls are going to be enough to get the most out of them in most spaces, I'd love to have a pair for their subjective qualities, but if I'm going to get better objective translation from the 8330s, that's not to be ignored. But also, I'd love to hear from anybody with small room stories of any speakers in this price range. I'm particularly interested in the KH310s, and the Quested S6R & sub, but these will be harder for me to find and demo. I'd be doubly keen to hear peoples opinions on all of these speakers from a composing / producing perspective if possible.

Thanks so much!
Old 9th April 2016
  #2
I struggled with many monitors here (Proac 100, Geithain RL906, Dynaudio BM15A, B&W 805), none of them were bad, but Eve Audio SC307 blew them all away in every regard. If it's possible to demo a pair, I will highly recommend trying them (or higher model if you can afford that), most fun monitors I've ever had, but very revealing at the same time. Joy to work with, and they translate perfectly. My room is 20m2, but with very low angled ceiling.
Old 9th April 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Amphion One15s are less sensitive to acoustics than many monitors and translate extremely well for me. Way better than BM6s for sure. Much prefer them to KH310's too. I've tried many different speakers and finally feel like I'm in control of my mixes with the Amphions, and I'm working much quicker on them too.

Be careful of monitors that sound impressive but have problems with translation.

KMR and Funky Junk in London are worth a visit if you want to hear a good range of proper monitors. Probably worth a day trip from Guildford. KMR will also lend you some to tryout.

Last edited by explorer; 9th April 2016 at 09:11 PM..
Old 9th April 2016
  #4
Monitors are very room dependent. Because no monitor is entirely flat and every untreated room has different issues. The only way to find out what will work in your room is to demo a few pairs of likely candidates. Choose the one that you find you can get your mixes to a translatable state the most quickly. I did another thread about this somewhere...
Old 9th April 2016
  #5
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

The ME-Geithain K-series monitors do work well in untreated rooms because the Cardioid design minimises bass radiation from the rear.

But the design is not cheap and the RL944K are the cheapest in the K-series.

THIS is what Audiovisjon thought about them (links to post in the High End Nearfield thread).
Old 10th April 2016
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Since you are basically going to be moving from bedroom to bedroom setup over the next few years . . . keep whatever speakers you ALREADY KNOW WELL as that is a big part of the battle. Standardize your reference tracks so when you go to a new bedroom and setup you know the reference material inside and out and how to use it, thus knowing what needs to be addressed in the new location. Now learn how to get the most out of small room acoustics, gear/mix positioning, and especially speaker positioning (plenty of threads here to help with that). You will still be at the mercy of the room and specifically the interaction of the room/room construction/mix position/speaker position/speaker-monitoring chain, but with good references and speakers you already know the process of learning what you have to deal with and compensate for at the new location is much easier.

Remember that experienced engineers can take their reference tracks to any studio / space and know how to address what they hear in short order to get workable product. It's a process that can be learned.
Old 10th April 2016
  #7
Thanks everybody! I'm feeling pretty sure about the Events, but I appreciate the recommendations, will probably try to hit up funkyjunk before I pull the trigger, as they have the Questeds and the Neumanns, as well as those Eves. I think the Geithains are a little out of my price range! But thanks for the recommendation, they look great.
Old 10th April 2016
  #8
Gear Addict
 
MrChick's Avatar
 

You must to check the Kii three too.
Old 11th April 2016
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

No speaker is going to compensate for bad room acoustics. However, i would be picking stuff that works well for very close monitoring because that way you have a higher ratio of how much speaker to room you are hearing. ..and some nice headphones!
Old 11th April 2016
  #10
Hi-end monitors in crappy rooms usually mean that you get a high-end 200Hz-20KHz and cruddy 20-200Hz.

Fighting room acoustics usually pays off. Obviously I'd recommend a mix of digital and physical treatments to get the best out of your monitoring chain.
Old 11th April 2016
  #11
Dot
Lives for gear
 
Dot's Avatar
MCorbet, the Genelec system is going to keep you in that clinical detailed sound you're getting from the Dynaudio BM6s.

While you're talking to Funky Junk, ask them about APS Aeons. 30Hz-30kHz. 150W woofer amp, 70W tweeter amp. Compare those specs with the Opals.

- APS Audio Pro Solutions

i'm using a pair of Aeon's in a small 9'X12' room, and they sound excellent. And they have a more musical and full sound. Much more gentle than the Dynaudios. Really fun and musical speakers to work on and listen to music. And you will in absolutely no way hunger for a sub with the Aeons.

I love Dynaudio monitors, and have used them for years. I also use more clinical monitors, like the Lipinski L-70's for more detailed evaluation work. Admittedly, it's a much more cerebral experience.

But for hanging out and producing music that I can relax with and really feel more in my body, the Aeons are great. Like sitting in a big comfy sofa. And from the info and experiences you supplied, I'm confident they'll give you exactly what you're looking for.
Old 12th April 2016
  #12
It's great to hear so many suggestions from everybody, it's really appreciated! I put the deposit down for the Opals today, I had another good listen to them vs the Genelecs and a few others and was just really in love with what they were about. But I have 30 days to exchange them if I don't like them, so if my mixes aren't translating or if I'm not enjoying them, I'll definitely look into some of these alternatives. The Eves, the APS and Amphions in particular all sound like great candidates. I may still head into town and check them out.

I'll let you know how I get on with the Events though!
Old 12th April 2016
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
sharkboy's Avatar
I went from BM6As to Amphion Two18s in a small (converted bedroom) environment. I could have gotten by with smaller Amphions, but still extremely happy and I feel like I won't need to upgrade. My original intent was to keep the BM6As as other reference monitors, but the Amphions tell me what I need to know. I do have a treated room, but it seems to me that the Amphions are less hyper sensitive to the environment than other speakers.
Old 14th April 2016
  #14
Here for the gear
Genelec 8330 SAM

The Genelec 8330 SAM monitors are rarely mentioned and reading your post I felt compelled to give you my two cents as I'm very happy with them. After using their room correction I can't imagine of going back to a non-dsp system.

Just some context; I have a largish untreated room and used to use Genelec 8020s, then ATC SCM 10-2A (active) and now the 8330s. The ATC SCM10-2 were great (and expensive!), but can't be compared to the 8330s in an untreated room. The SAM Gennies play in a different league due to their DSP, and if you are without a professionally treated room, they are better than most other non dsp speakers I've heard. Once their room correction is engaged, the imaging is excellent, the bass is tight and the treble frequencies sound natural, everything opens up but without sounding aggressive. You can also tailor the final curve to change the tonality more to you preference.
As such, the 8330s don't really have a characteristic when it comes to their tonality, they are a chameleon that adapts to their surrounding and plays audio with surgical precision. They can't be compared to the Genelec 80XX series, they are a different beast

They like a good clean digital AES/EBU signal, I use m2 tech hiface 2 with AES converter. A good interface is very important especially with these as they are very revealing.
Old 14th April 2016
  #15
Gear Nut
 
tommyboy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by explorer View Post
Amphion One15s are less sensitive to acoustics than many monitors and translate extremely well for me. Way better than BM6s for sure. Much prefer them to KH310's too. I've tried many different speakers and finally feel like I'm in control of my mixes with the Amphions, and I'm working much quicker on them too.

Be careful of monitors that sound impressive but have problems with translation.

KMR and Funky Junk in London are worth a visit if you want to hear a good range of proper monitors. Probably worth a day trip from Guildford. KMR will also lend you some to tryout.

Thanks so much for this info! Just checked the Funky Junk website and to my delight, they offer gear exchange!
I could be tempted to exchange my immaculate Nord Lead 4 R for some extra monitors
Old 14th April 2016
  #16
Lives for gear
I use event opals in a non-ideal room, placed close to the wall out of necessity. Putting 4" thick clouds on the ceiling (a hazard in itself, as the ceilings are only 7') and treatment at the side first reflection points helped enormously with clarity. In general the Opals work very well and are a huge step up from the smaller low-end monitors I've used in the past. The main issue I have is getting a clear read on the lower bass frequencies-- I often walk around the room to check how they sound at various spots. Unfortunately I need to place them on my desk- they would sound better if they were on stands a foot or so behind the desk. Perhaps the sweet spot for a smaller monitor would be a little closer.
Old 15th April 2016
  #17
Gear Maniac
Amphion One18+Sonarworks Reference 3 here...Works wonders!
Old 15th April 2016
  #18
I take my Focal CMS-50 around to different places to work, namely other studios, apartments...bedrooms, seems to work out in all of those places for me anyway. I like their size/performance ratio. I do great work on them. Took me about 2 years of auditioning monitors to find my preference. I'm glad I have them because more and more of my work is on location now.
Old 16th April 2016
  #19
Opals need a great room to be worth it. They are also very hard to place. To be honest i cannot remember being in an untreated room, but i hesr the amphion one15 is great in them
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