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Barefoot MM12 vs MM26
Old 12th August 2016
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Barefoot MM12 vs MM26

Gang - I've used MM27 Gen2's for a while. I like and trust them but also find the mids a little harsh -- they've finally enabled me to dump my NS10M's. Prior for many years I used Tannoy's. I'm considering the MM26's but before I make the leap I also want to consider the MM12's.

Everyone selling and using the MM26's (long-time, trustworthy folk) that I've been able to track down seem to be very happy with them -- but it seems they sound quite different from the MM12's which some have described as smoother in addition to having extended response and imaging.

Would love to hear from anyone who has spent time in front of either the MM12 or MM26!
Old 13th August 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Bump

Im curious about this as well.
Old 14th August 2016
  #3
You can actually contact Barefoot via email and they will give you their take on the differences between the models.

I've spoken with Thomas and he told me that the main difference was headroom. In this case meaning the MM12, as a nearfield (which they can be used as) has essentially limitless headroom due to the powerful amps and the design.

What that means in practice is things sound more like they would sound if the performers were right in the room with you. If you don't have a room for that, or 25k to spend on it then it's really not a reasonable purchase.

Thomas also said the the MM26 came about originally as a center channel for surround setups. I think that specific design with the dual mid-range drivers allows for clearer mids. But I don't remember any statements he had on the quality of the mids on the 26 vs the 27.

I have spent time with the 27s and the 35s. I'm wondering how you're having issues with the mids being what you describe as "harsh" when you can simply use the meme control to dial back the mids. It's pretty useful if that's your thing. I haven't found the mids harsh at all on any Barefoot speakers. But rooms differ and people differ and what one considers "harsh" differs.

For me I can't come to any firm conclusion about the sound of a speaker system until I've spent time working with them in a room that isn't adding trouble to the system. That's a big ask for most people.
Old 14th August 2016
  #4
Gear Addict
 

hey liz - thanks for the thoughts.

i have talked to Thomas about the differences as well and heard the center channel story.

i should qualify my statement about the mids being harsh a bit. i don't mean to say they sound bad -- if i had to choose a different word, i would say barefoots just sound more processed -- almost like a digital multiband limiter and this has an effect i most relate to in the mids. perhaps it has to do with the crazy digital processes happening within the speakers themselves.

while i agree that it's hard to make judgements about a set of speakers apart from a given room, i have found most well designed purpose-built control rooms have minimal personalities and do allow a particular speaker's qualities to come through.

my reference point for the MM27's sounding "harsh" came from comparisons with the ATC SCM200 ASL's from my previous studio (SF SOUNDWORKS).

on a topic related to your post -- the headroom issue makes sense -- my experience with the mondo ATC's seems to back it up.

i also love 100W tube guitar amps for a similar reason (unless i'm just looking for that more saturated crunch of a smaller amp!

-tE
Old 15th August 2016
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyespinoza View Post
Gang - I've used MM27 Gen2's for a while.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyespinoza
MINT in box. Original owner. Less than 10 hours of use!
??
Old 15th August 2016
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
??
I've had multiple pairs for multiple control rooms -- sf soundworks.

If you went to the SSL or Gearslutz parties during AES in San Francisco in the mid 2000's you may have visited.



-tE
Old 15th August 2016
  #7
Gear Head
 

I haven't heard the MM26 but have owned the MM12 for over two years. If avoiding harshness is one of your main desiderata, the 12's are exceptional in this area. They don't sound at all like yer regular dynamic monitor, which in my experience sound drab and artificial compared to some more exotic driver technologies such as ribbons and armatures. The MM12 doesn't have any of the dynamic driver colourations that I instantly hear every time I encounter regular monitors. Their ability at capturing the timbres of real instruments is unmatched in my experience. Try a string quartet through these and marvel! But they also kick butt on dance and rock material like nothing I've ever heard. They truly are a universal monitor: expensive, sure, but worth every penny if you want true musical realism rather than the typical monitor version of it.

My caveat is that they make music sound so riveting that actually using them for "work" seems beside the point.
Old 15th August 2016
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Who is John Galt?



Thanks much for the confirmation.

If the material is harsh -- do you find the MM12's revealing or do they smooth out the harshness?

I used K&H three way O300D's years ago and it took me a while to learn the top end because I enjoyed how they handled harsh top end so I never knew when I was pushing too hard. (Of course that was when Inwas mostly mixing vs my new place which is mostly mastering.)
Old 15th August 2016
  #9
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

"Weight: 135 lbs each (61 kg)"

135 lbs each?
Old 15th August 2016
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
"Weight: 135 lbs each (61 kg)"

135 lbs each?
120 lbs with no handles.

And honestly, at $22k, I'd hope it weighs that much. Big magnets = weight. Lots of drivers = weight. Rigid/strong cabinets = weight. (I'd say amps too but I bet they're a minor part of the weight.) There are two 12" subwoofers, after all.

ATC 110ASL are 160.6 lbs. 150ASL are 165 lbs. Same general price range actives.
Old 15th August 2016
  #11
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Ok, so these aren't monitors that one drags around from studio to studio. lol
Old 16th August 2016
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyespinoza View Post
Who is John Galt?



Thanks much for the confirmation.

If the material is harsh -- do you find the MM12's revealing or do they smooth out the harshness?

I used K&H three way O300D's years ago and it took me a while to learn the top end because I enjoyed how they handled harsh top end so I never knew when I was pushing too hard. (Of course that was when Inwas mostly mixing vs my new place which is mostly mastering.)
They are extraordinarily revealing but not in that "Hey! Look at me! I'm revealing" manner so typical of the regular monitor brigade. In fact, the most minute sonic gradations are so obvious you don't have to listen out for them; they're just THERE, clear and unequivocal.

I'd go so far as to say that every vocal and instrumental recording through the MM12 sounds different to an extent I've never encountered before. They all have a distinct "flavour" whereas other monitors sound homogenized and abstract by comparison.

However, I'm sure the MM26 shares this trait at a much reduced price. Even the MM45 should have similar capabilities. Where the MM12 stands out is its amazingly lifelike weight and scale. They sound massive.

Last edited by John Galt; 16th August 2016 at 05:54 AM.. Reason: bad syntax!
Old 16th August 2016
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyespinoza View Post
If the material is harsh -- do you find the MM12's revealing or do they smooth out the harshness?
I didn't precisely answer this one in my previous post, but yes, the MM12 shows all the harshness but in the purtiest way imaginable. You can plainly hear all the distortion but it sounds much less hard and metallic than most other "revealing"monitors. You may think it over-smooth at first (when I first heard them I though they were softening the sound) but the more you listen the more "real" it sounds compared to the competition. Everything else I've tried against them sounds obviously artificial by comparison. And this becomes more and more apparent the longer you use them. Every time I listen to familiar material I'm surprised by the broader perspective they offer. It's a constant odyssey of sonic discovery.

Note once again that the MM26 (with identical tweeter and mid drivers) probably does exactly the same thing.
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