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High End In Small Room Studio Monitors
Old 12th February 2018
  #1
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High End In Small Room

Hey Guys,

Just moved flats and obviously claimed the spare bedroom upon arrival

Not looking to go full out, but I will treat the room reasonably.

Here are the dimensions of the room in question:

3.93 meter / 12.8 feet deep
2.90 meter / 9.5 feet wide
2.63 meter / 8.66 feet high

I am looking for a speaker that fits the small size of the room.
A Subwoofer is not an option.

For reference, I adore the sound of the Neumann KH120's that are sitting in at the moment. Honestly, I would keep them but you know how it is.

I write, produce and mix "EDM."

Budget is 4000 Euros / 4900 USD, keeping in mind that the KH120's will be sold.

I have scouted out a couple options on my own, however I would like some unbiased recommendations from the gang, with the size of the room in mind.

Cheers and have a great rest of your week.
Old 12th February 2018
  #2
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I adore the sound of the Neumann kh120's that are sitting in at the moment.

Then why look for something else?

Honestly, I would keep them but you know how it is.

Umm, no, I really do not know how it is. How is it?

I am surprised to hear someone who "adores" their monitors, wanting to look for something else.

Alas, the Focal Twins are a good bet at a little under $4k. There is a pair in the classifieds that is a good buy:

Focal Twin6 Be - Red

The Amphion Two15s are worth looking into, as are the ATC SCM12s. I am sure others will have worthy suggestions, but I am serious with my inquiry above.

Cheers.
Old 12th February 2018
  #3
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I’m guessing it’s a coy way of stating he wants more low end.

To the OP, keep in mind, in a room like that, depending on what the barriers are, you will have low end problems that need to be dealt with.

That said, if you like the kh120, get the kh300. It fits you’re budget, it’s a familiar sound and will give you the extension you are looking for.
Old 12th February 2018
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nnajar View Post
I’m guessing it’s a coy way of stating he wants more low end.

To the OP, keep in mind, in a room like that, depending on what the barriers are, you will have low end problems that need to be dealt with.

That said, if you like the kh120, get the kh300. It fits you’re budget, it’s a familiar sound and will give you the extension you are looking for.
Hey nnajar,

thanks a lot for your reply. In general, yes they struggled with the low end, in my old, decently treated room. I am aware of the issues that smaller rooms can cause, so much so that I assumed that the KH310 (I am assuming that is what you meant by KH300) would be a bit too large?

Cheers



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
I adore the sound of the Neumann kh120's that are sitting in at the moment.

Then why look for something else?

Honestly, I would keep them but you know how it is.

Umm, no, I really do not know how it is. How is it?

I am surprised to hear someone who "adores" their monitors, wanting to look for something else.

Alas, the Focal Twins are a good bet at a little under $4k. There is a pair in the classifieds that is a good buy:

Focal Twin6 Be - Red

The Amphion Two15s are worth looking into, as are the ATC SCM12s. I am sure others will have worthy suggestions, but I am serious with my inquiry above.

Cheers.
Hey there,

Although I quite like those speakers, I have no idea how they will perform in the new room, compared to other, newer options. It has been years since I was on the market for nearfields in this price range and, naturally, am interested in whats around these days. Interesting that you would recommend the Focal Twin6's in such a small room.

Thanks Jeff!

Last edited by Ham; 12th February 2018 at 09:04 PM..
Old 12th February 2018
  #5
007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
Although I quite like those speakers, I have no idea how they will perform in the new room, compared to other, newer options. It has been years since I was on the market for nearfields in this price range and, naturally, am interested in whats around these days.
But wait, your post suggests that you moved into a smaller room, one which honestly seems a perfect fit for those KH120s. You haven't even tried them in this new room (or have you?) and you're already exploring other options, after the statement that you adore them.

Quote:
Interesting that you would recommend the Focal Twin6's in such a small room.
Because your wording is rather confusing, it was too easy to assume you are inquiring about more low end for EDM. Perhaps there is something that is not being said in your posts, dunno, how did you get on with mixing in this genre in the bigger room you used to have, and what has changed other than room dimensions that you think you need something else now?

What are you looking for exactly?
Old 12th February 2018
  #6
I have a small high end room, well not extravagant but a good designed room. I use genelec 1030 and have a pair of focam csm65 aswell. I would keep the kh120 if you know them and like them. And just get another pair if you want some more lowend when you're producing. The focal line the twins and csm have really good tight lowend which would probably go good with edm. Still be sure to treat the room and demo a few speakers. Twins, maybe o300.
Old 12th February 2018
  #7
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Your room is a bit bigger than mine, and I feel the Twins are a perfect fit in here. Whatever direction you want to go, make sure you audition the monitors first, in your space. That is the only real way to know if your choice is correct.

Cheers.
Old 12th February 2018
  #8
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
I have a small high end room, well not extravagant but a good designed room. I use genelec 1030 and have a pair of focam csm65 aswell. I would keep the kh120 if you know them and like them. And just get another pair if you want some more lowend when you're producing. The focal line the twins and csm have really good tight lowend which would probably go good with edm. Still be sure to treat the room and demo a few speakers. Twins, maybe o300.
Hey there crille_mannen

Thanks for your reply.

I will simply have this discussion with the acoustician when he comes by.

On a side note I would love to see your similarly-sized room, should you have photos, via PM.

cheers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 007 View Post
But wait, your post suggests that you moved into a smaller room, one which honestly seems a perfect fit for those KH120s. You haven't even tried them in this new room (or have you?) and you're already exploring other options, after the statement that you adore them.



Because your wording is rather confusing, it was too easy to assume you are inquiring about more low end for EDM. Perhaps there is something that is not being said in your posts, dunno, how did you get on with mixing in this genre in the bigger room you used to have, and what has changed other than room dimensions that you think you need something else now?

What are you looking for exactly?
Hey there 007,

I have indeed moved into a smaller room, which is in a rented, residential flat. With respect to this, there are certain things that I will not be doing to the new space, even if it would result in better working conditions. I wanted to convey that I will not be working in a mastering-level space, but at the same time, not in a college dorm room. My old space was in a "proper" studio, with all the bells and whistles, including two other sets of speakers and impressive acoustic properties.

I am quite excited to try working from home again, and am wondering if any other Gearslutz members with similarly-sized rooms (see my initial post for dimensions), who might have also enjoyed monitors with the properties of the KH120, had recommendations for possible monitoring options at my new budget (4 times the price of the KH120).

I have not been paying attention to the loudspeaker market for quite a while, so I am quite sure that there are many interesting options for my scenario and would quite appreciate some first-hand reviews from people in a similar scenario.

Regards

Last edited by Ham; 12th February 2018 at 10:51 PM..
Old 12th February 2018
  #9
I'll attach a pic here. I have a large qrd diffusor on the back wall aswell. It is somewhat similar in size of yours
Attached Thumbnails
High End In Small Room-img_20170122_022016_222.jpg  
Old 12th February 2018
  #10
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Ham's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
I'll attach a pic here. I have a large qrd diffusor on the back wall aswell. It is somewhat similar in size of yours

Seems Crille-Mannen got the message. A small room, but he made the best of it within reason, while accounting for its given limitations. Exactly what I will be doing here, minus the Pultecs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Your room is a bit bigger than mine, and I feel the Twins are a perfect fit in here. Whatever direction you want to go, make sure you audition the monitors first, in your space. That is the only real way to know if your choice is correct.

Cheers.
Hey Jeff,

Interesting, I once made the mistake, in my early twenties, of putting larger speakers in an unsympathetic room and have been weary ever since. As my new space won't be perfect either, I am rather reluctant to make the same mistake.

Thanks again and I would love to see your small room setup, either in this thread or via PM.

Last edited by Ham; 12th February 2018 at 11:15 PM..
Old 12th February 2018
  #11
Gear Nut
 

My room is smaller than yours but heavily treated and I have KH 0300’s in it they sound great so would recommend either the KH310’s or sticking wth what you have
Old 12th February 2018
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
Seems Crille-Mannen got the message. A small room, but he made the best of it within reason, while accounting for its given limitations. Exactly what I will be doing here, minus the Pultecs.

.
Thanks! The room cost me about 1500euro plus the design fee. It is just as good as a small room can get. Small sweetspot but boy it is sweet ha!


A personal reference is that i don't like big speakers for mixing, Twins might be cool but maybe also check the Solo6be. But speakers are so personal so be sure to demo them. Bigger isn't always better even when you compare the same series of speakers. I find the 1031 for instance way worse then the 1030, not how they sound but how they translate in the real world.

Good luck!
Old 13th February 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrhstudio View Post
My room is smaller than yours but heavily treated and I have KH 0300’s in it they sound great so would recommend either the KH310’s or sticking wth what you have
Hey Mrhstudio

Thanks for joining in.
It would be awesome to see your small room setup, in this thread or via PM. Cheers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
Thanks! The room cost me about 1500euro plus the design fee. It is just as good as a small room can get. Small sweetspot but boy it is sweet ha!


A personal reference is that i don't like big speakers for mixing, Twins might be cool but maybe also check the Solo6be. But speakers are so personal so be sure to demo them. Bigger isn't always better even when you compare the same series of speakers. I find the 1031 for instance way worse then the 1030, not how they sound but how they translate in the real world.

Good luck!
Hey Crille_Mannen,

Thanks for your post and also for the pricing, as now I know more or less what I can expect. Was it also done by a certified acoustician?
I too prefer working on smaller speakers, however I have always had large ones patched in as well, when I needed to work on the stereo image or clean up low end with precision. Unfortunately/Fortunately now, I am no longer working out of that place and wanted to do my best, acoustically and monitor choice wise, to feel comfortable.
Old 13th February 2018
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
Hey Mrhstudio

Thanks for joining in.
It would be awesome to see your small room setup, in this thread or via PM. Cheers.




Hey Crille_Mannen,

Thanks for your post and also for the pricing, as now I know more or less what I can expect. Was it also done by a certified acoustician?
I too prefer working on smaller speakers, however I have always had large ones patched in as well, when I needed to work on the stereo image or clean up low end with precision. Unfortunately/Fortunately now, I am no longer working out of that place and wanted to do my best, acoustically and monitor choice wise, to feel comfortable.

It was designed by claes olsson @ eora.se. He has done czech phil studio and allot of other high end studios in Sweden. He's great!

From a producing and tracking standpoint large speakers are great but for mixing not so much! Each of their own ofc!
Old 13th February 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
Hey Jeff,

Interesting, I once made the mistake, in my early twenties, of putting larger speakers in an unsympathetic room and have been weary ever since. As my new space won't be perfect either, I am rather reluctant to make the same mistake.

Thanks again and I would love to see your small room setup, either in this thread or via PM.
First off, sorry - my room is slightly bigger; I misread your dimensions. Your ceiling is 1/2 ft higher; my room is 12.6 x 11. 138.6 sq. ft, compared to 121.6, so a bit of a diff, but not much.

Large 72x30 desk right in the middle (side to side), 1 ft. from the front wall. Focals are on the desk (2nd tier), sitting on custom wood boxes filled with sand. Room is treated (has been since day 1), and I just had Jeff Hedback do some analysis. His initial comment was, "wow - that looks really good for those dimensions", but of course, more work was to be done, and I am waiting on acoustic panels from GIK and Radiators from Primeacoustic, as per his recommendations.

I hear you about the mistake of putting larger speakers in an unsympathetic room. Which is why you have to try diff monitors in your current space. You never know what might tickle your fancy.

Cheers.
Old 13th February 2018
  #16
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
I'll attach a pic here. I have a large qrd diffusor on the back wall aswell. It is somewhat similar in size of yours
What brand is the ceiling mounted treatment?
Old 13th February 2018
  #17
I had KH300s in a room approximately that size until 2006. They worked great. The KH310 are the successors of those.
Old 13th February 2018
  #18
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Amphion One15?
Old 13th February 2018
  #19
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
I had KH300s in a room approximately that size until 2006. They worked great. The KH310 are the successors of those.
When I originally bought these small Kh120's, I liked the KH310 as well, maybe now, in my new room, with only one speaker available, the KH310 could give me everything I like about my 120's, with a bit more bass. I remember the stereo imaging being rather different on the 310. I will naturally demo the KH310.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuXx View Post
Amphion One15?
I am really interested in these, and was wondering if they would be recommended by anyone here.
In these conditions, I really enjoyed them, but the room, as you can see, is perfect and the sub frequencies were likely coming from the ATC's. Are these One15 or One-18?

Is the required amplifier loud, is there a fan involved somewhere, or any buzzing whatsoever? I personally have little experience with hi-fi and passive setups in general. A machine room is not an option for me.

Interesting however, how everyone I know with these smaller/mid sized amphion's are always running a setup with multiple speakers.

Old 13th February 2018
  #20
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Amphions are more of like a modern version of NS10s (with not so great time domain due to them not being sealed), they are more like a reference speaker, while KH310 are much more capable, almost full range speakers. That's why you see Amphions paired with larger and better monitors as you mentioned. ATCs will tell you the truth, Amphions will give you an approximation of regular listener's playback. IMHO Amphions are far to expensive for what they offer and if you need a good monitor, KH310 is phenomenal. Also take a look at Genelecs coaxials or Event Opals, which are great speakers as well.

ATCs are great as well and I like all the models except SCM25s to be honest. But soffit mounted ATCs in a great room are basically the best tings there is in audio (besides some Genelec and Quested soffits).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
When I originally bought these small Kh120's, I liked the KH310 as well, maybe now, in my new room, with only one speaker available, the KH310 could give me everything I like about my 120's, with a bit more bass. I remember the stereo imaging being rather different on the 310. I will naturally demo the KH310.



I am really interested in these, and was wondering if they would be recommended by anyone here.
In these conditions, I really enjoyed them, but the room, as you can see, is perfect and the sub frequencies were likely coming from the ATC's. Are these One15 or One-18?

Is the required amplifier loud, is there a fan involved somewhere, or any buzzing whatsoever? I personally have little experience with hi-fi and passive setups in general. A machine room is not an option for me.

Interesting however, how everyone I know with these smaller/mid sized amphion's are always running a setup with multiple speakers.

Old 13th February 2018
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
Hey Mrhstudio

Thanks for joining in.
It would be awesome to see your small room setup, in this thread or via PM. Cheers.

There is some pictures on my Facebook Page

MrH Studio - Home | Facebook

The rectangle panels are the usual 4ft x 2ft to give you an idea of the size
Old 13th February 2018
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mabzmuzik View Post
What brand is the ceiling mounted treatment?
They are homemade. Took me about 3 days to finish 6 of them!
Old 13th February 2018
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
When I originally bought these small Kh120's, I liked the KH310 as well, maybe now, in my new room, with only one speaker available, the KH310 could give me everything I like about my 120's, with a bit more bass. I remember the stereo imaging being rather different on the 310. I will naturally demo the KH310.
Hello Ham,
I'd start with your kh120 when the acoustic treatment is done and see from there..
the 310 is a great loudspeaker, especially for its price, but I feel that your bass issue is more related to the acoustics of the room than the loudspeaker itself.

There will be dips and bumps no matter what kind of treatment you'll do to that room.. therefore I'll suggest to check these two loudspeaker after you tested the kh120:

ATC SCM12 with their P1 pro amp (or even another great pwr amp), or the actives ATC scm20 MK2.

or the new coaxial Genelec 8331 (the small ones), you'll be able to place them closer to you being coaxial, plus you get their GLM software which might help to further "correct" your room.

Monitors are a personal thing AND they are room dependent..
So I'd test them in your room when is finished.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Old 13th February 2018
  #24
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex View Post
Amphions are more of like a modern version of NS10s.
This was my thought exactly, however, on an unrelated side-note (over budget for me at the moment), I would be interested to see if this comparisson is still true with their larger models, such as the Two18's. I suspect that they would be incredible all-arounders. I must say that they are beautiful as well.

Care to clarify if there is any noise as the result of the amplifier?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrhstudio View Post
There is some pictures on my Facebook Page

MrH Studio - Home | Facebook

The rectangle panels are the usual 4ft x 2ft to give you an idea of the size
Awesome, thx for sharing Mrhstudio!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
They are homemade. Took me about 3 days to finish 6 of them!
They look well worth the work, if I could say so myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Hello Ham,
I'd start with your kh120 when the acoustic treatment is done and see from there..
the 310 is a great loudspeaker, especially for its price, but I feel that your bass issue is more related to the acoustics of the room than the loudspeaker itself.

There will be dips and bumps no matter what kind of treatment you'll do to that room.. therefore I'll suggest to check these two loudspeaker after you tested the kh120:

ATC SCM12 with their P1 pro amp (or even another great pwr amp), or the actives ATC scm20 MK2.

or the new coaxial Genelec 8331 (the small ones), you'll be able to place them closer to you being coaxial, plus you get their GLM software which might help to further "correct" your room.

Monitors are a personal thing AND they are room dependent..
So I'd test them in your room when is finished.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Grüezi Cheu,

I very much appreciate your thorough response and at this stage, I will move ahead with the room and KH120's for the time being, and judge later.

I know that the acoustician will design my space with my exact monitors in mind. Therefore, I wanted to check what was new on the market, as I am sure there have been many exciting loudspeaker developments for similar needs in the last few years that I am unaware of.

Warm regards
Old 13th February 2018
  #25
Yeah the 2d diffusors cost just like 20-30€ a piece, a quality factory made is probably x10. The qrd diffusors cost me 150€ a piece, i gave my local woodshop the measurements of each of the pieces so it was just for me to glue and nail it together. A quality hardwood QRD is about 6-800€ a piece. So instead of 1500€ in total a reasonable sum would be around 4-5000€. It was all pretty easy, but i had a carpenter help me out for 1 day with the more advanced structures
Old 13th February 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
Yeah the 2d diffusors cost just like 20-30€ a piece, a quality factory made is probably x10. The qrd diffusors cost me 150€ a piece, i gave my local woodshop the measurements of each of the pieces so it was just for me to glue and nail it together. A quality hardwood QRD is about 6-800€ a piece. So instead of 1500€ in total a reasonable sum would be around 4-5000€. It was all pretty easy, but i had a carpenter help me out for 1 day with the more advanced structures
Nice job on the diffusors! From what I have read, the consensus seems to be that small rooms do not benefit from diffusors. May I ask what difference you noticed when you had them installed? I have a small'ish room (15x17), and have often wondered if I would benefit from having a diffusor or two.
Old 13th February 2018
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
When I originally bought these small Kh120's, I liked the KH310 as well, maybe now, in my new room, with only one speaker available, the KH310 could give me everything I like about my 120's, with a bit more bass. I remember the stereo imaging being rather different on the 310. I will naturally demo the KH310.



I am really interested in these, and was wondering if they would be recommended by anyone here.
In these conditions, I really enjoyed them, but the room, as you can see, is perfect and the sub frequencies were likely coming from the ATC's. Are these One15 or One-18?

Is the required amplifier loud, is there a fan involved somewhere, or any buzzing whatsoever? I personally have little experience with hi-fi and passive setups in general. A machine room is not an option for me.

Interesting however, how everyone I know with these smaller/mid sized amphion's are always running a setup with multiple speakers.

Those are One18, Im almost certain due to their size and the scale to things in the image.

Try the One15 and the One18 next to each other, theyre not simply big woofer/little woofer.. Theyre VERY different to each other.
Old 13th February 2018
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod View Post
Nice job on the diffusors! From what I have read, the consensus seems to be that small rooms do not benefit from diffusors. May I ask what difference you noticed when you had them installed? I have a small'ish room (15x17), and have often wondered if I would benefit from having a diffusor or two.
The highend became crystal clear and very surgical. The acoustic architect is one of Swedens most revered so i trust him . What i've learned is that a small room shouldn't be overtreated. The only thing that is acousticly impossible is to get a perfect lowend in a small room. The reverberation is practically perfect down to 100hz in my room.

Christian Svedin Nya Kontrollrummet.pdf - Google Drive
Old 13th February 2018
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
The highend became crystal clear and very surgical. The acoustic architect is one of Swedens most revered so i trust him . What i've learned is that a small room shouldn't be overtreated. The only thing that is acousticly impossible is to get a perfect lowend in a small room. The reverberation is practically perfect down to 100hz in my room.

Christian Svedin Nya Kontrollrummet.pdf - Google Drive
This was very helpful, thanks!
Old 13th February 2018
  #30
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod View Post
Nice job on the diffusors! From what I have read, the consensus seems to be that small rooms do not benefit from diffusors. May I ask what difference you noticed when you had them installed? I have a small'ish room (15x17), and have often wondered if I would benefit from having a diffusor or two.
You took the words right out of my mouth, as I was about to ask that same question.
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