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Upgrade from Focal SM9's
Old 26th October 2018
  #1
Gear Maniac
Upgrade from Focal SM9's

Hi!

I've had the pleasure to work on focal sm9's for the past 6 months, coming from twins and Adam A7 (originals) before that.
I've always been able to create killer mixes on the A7's because of how they present the center image. I sold them when I had a chance to get the SM9s after I demo'd them, especially because of the 2/3way mode switch option.

I must admit that the SM9's helped me step up my low freq game A LOT, but i'm still missing the mids that my old monitors had.
I'm looking to upgrade to monitors around January, in the same price ballpark with a similar vibe and precision but with clearer mids. The more forward the mids, the better imo.

I'm working in a small to medium sized treated room.

Any suggestions!?
Old 26th October 2018
  #2
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Why didn't you add a pair of subs(or 1 unit alone) to those Adams in the first place or upgrade to their larger versions since it worked so well for you?
Old 26th October 2018
  #3
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Jantex's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiPiatra View Post
Why didn't you add a pair of subs(or 1 unit alone) to those Adams in the first place or upgrade to their larger versions since it worked so well for you?
Absolutely agree with this post. Adams are way more midforward and since this suited tou better, you should just add a sub and integrate it.
Old 26th October 2018
  #4
Gear Head
Strauss NF-3's
Old 26th October 2018
  #5
Gear Maniac
I had the adam a7’s paired with the Sub8, but I love the power that comes from the sm9s.
Old 26th October 2018
  #6
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonro View Post
I had the adam a7’s paired with the Sub8, but I love the power that comes from the sm9s.
I agree with the others.. or maybe you should test bigger/better adam loudspeakers (since you like them)..?

I'm not an adam fan, I'd go with anything ATC's (and mids are fantastic on any atc).. on a lower budget with the neumann kh420.
Apparently the new genelec 8341 or the 8351 are also stellar (never seriously a/b'd them, so can't really comment).

test them in your room, it's the only way..
what you hear is a combination of those 2 things: loudspeaker + room (the room plays an important role).



Cheu
Old 26th October 2018
  #7
Gear Maniac
Ive read good things about ATC, not many complaints. I’m going to see if I can test some models, thanks!
I’ve worked in a recording studio where they had the bigger adam s3x-h’s and didn’t really like them too much.
How about the barefoot MM27s? The only complaints I can find is that people dont seem to like the top end on them.
Old 26th October 2018
  #8
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonro View Post
Ive read good things about ATC, not many complaints. I’m going to see if I can test some models, thanks! How about the barefoot MM27s?
I'm not a fan of barefoot either, but that doesn't mean they're not good or that don't work for other people. They simply don't suit me.
Interplay with the room makes a huge difference, no matter what brand you put in.
I also found atc's to be less problematic regarding rooms (in general terms), because of the design of their loudspeakers.. but that doesn't mean that brand xy doesn't sound great in YOUR room.

I do like atc's a lot, I know I can mix faster and without any surprise on them.. they translate great on other systems and they tell me the truth, without being fatiguing.. I can spot mistakes, or issues easily. That's why I like them.
No matter which room I'm in the world, I know what I'm listening and on what I should "focus on" or correct/change. This is priceless for ME.

(on the side I do like the company ethics, building everything in house, very high quality stuff).

they don't use marketing BS, their measurements are very much correct and don't use gimmicks. I appreciate that a lot.

I own and use the scm25, but I have used: scm20, scm50, scm100, scm110 and a custom version of the scm200.



Cheu

Last edited by cheu78; 26th October 2018 at 01:19 PM..
Old 26th October 2018
  #9
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Marando's Avatar
PSI A21M V4

In my opinion a better monitor than the SM9, but I don’t like the SM9 so that’s easy for me to say. The mids on the PSI are amazing, the stereo image is stellar, as is the phantom centre, which I love for vocals. It goes low enough to my taste (in my room) to be able to work without a sub, but I can imagine some people will want a sub though.

Full disclaimer: I don’t own a pair, but had them on trial and I absolutely consider buying them, after doing some more trials with other monitors that are on my shortlist.
Old 26th October 2018
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Hi jasonro !

How much do you exactly mean by "same price ballpark" ? In Europe the SM9 are slightly above 3k but I don't know their price in other parts of the world.

Although you did not like the Adam S3XH you could consider the new S3V and S3H. Their mids have been praised in multiple reviews. In the 3k price bracket the Neumann KH420, Genelec 8260 and Eve Audio SC3010 have good value for money (better than SM9 in my opinion). Their frequency response is extended in the lows and very flat (more than SM9 apparently) but they may not sound really midforward to you. I have the Eve Audio SC3010 and they just sound "neutral", not midforward or scooped.

Maybe it was actually the lack of low end of the Adam A7 that made the midrange more apparent.

The barefoot MM27 may be interesting since they have a powerfull but tight low end and can emulate the frequency responses of more midforward speakers (NS10 and Auratone). They are much more expensive than the other speakers though, in Europe at least.
Old 26th October 2018
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Double post
Old 26th October 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonro View Post
Ive read good things about ATC, not many complaints. I’m going to see if I can test some models, thanks!
ATC is the "game over" kind of speakers, so make sure you'll test the models that you can afford. Consider yourself warned!
Old 26th October 2018
  #13
Gear Nut
 

I’m really enjoying the MM27s right now.
I came from Focal Shape 65s, which some have said are similar to Adam A7x (don’t know that for fact as I’ve never tested both side by side, it’s just what I’ve read online)

I don’t feel like the Barefoots are as Low Mid forward as the shapes were. But the true mid higher mid seems to be there just as much in my room at least. I agree that speakers should be tested in your room, just because the BFs work great for me doesn’t mean they will be perfect for your room as well. I don’t have a problem with the highs on them, like some do, In fact I find the highs to be very correct and by that I mean if it sounds too bright or harsh than the mix is actually too bright and harsh. I’ve had the BFs for almost 3 months now and the translation on them to other systems is better than anything I’ve ever worked with.
See if you can try a few different brands out. A lot of seem to think ATC is the king of Mid forward so that may be a good option as well. I have not personally heard any ATCs in my room so I can’t really compare.
Old 29th October 2018
  #14
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I have Barefoot MM27 gen 2's which I like best so far, previously had Adam S3X. Don't like ATC's unless they are at least ATC50's, but start liking them much more at ATC 150's. Have heard Focal SM9's, Amphion's, New Adam S3H, and prefer the Barefoots too all of these still...
Old 29th October 2018
  #15
AB3
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Really loving the Adam S3H even right out of the box, without the break-in period.
Old 29th October 2018
  #16
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AlexK's Avatar
 

Some Adams (not all) have the mid-forward character but I find most of them have pokey-out top end which really annoys me after a while, and many suffer from port bloom as well.

IMO SM9s have more mid-transparency than MM27s but I'll admit to having never done a side-by-side comparison. I struggled with SM9s somewhat to be honest - fatiguing HF and I also found the low end a little slow/undefined. The more time I've spent on them the less I liked them despite fairly good first initial impressions

I'm an ATC fan and mine go everywhere with me (20s) and I'd pick them any day over anything other than another (bigger) ATC or Guzauski-Swists (ProAc 100s can also work). If you want window-rattling bass you'll want 45s or bigger. SCM20s with a sub can be fabulous if you do it properly but many aren't keen on subs because they haven't heard them set up properly...
Old 29th October 2018
  #17
Love my GoldenEar Aon 2's. Super clear mids with only .79% THD at 100 db. Pretty good for a tiny speaker. These also use folded ribbon tweeters. $800 per pair.
GoldenEar Technology | A Passion For Sonic Perfection
Old 29th October 2018
  #18
Love my GoldenEar Aon 2's. Super clear mids with only .79% THD at 100 db. Pretty good for a tiny speaker. These also use folded ribbon tweeters. $800 per pair.
GoldenEar Technology | A Passion For Sonic Perfection
Old 29th October 2018
  #19
Have you tried simply adjusting the eq on the back? Turn the mids up a little, or pull back some lows, and see if that gives you more of what you’re looking for.
Old 29th October 2018
  #20
quested V3110
Old 30th October 2018
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeatless View Post
Have you tried simply adjusting the eq on the back? Turn the mids up a little, or pull back some lows, and see if that gives you more of what you’re looking for.
Or give Sonarworks a demo.
Old 30th October 2018
  #22
Gear Nut
 
Bichop's Avatar
Quested v2108?
Old 1st November 2018
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
Osse_87's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Love my GoldenEar Aon 2's. Super clear mids with only .79% THD at 100 db. Pretty good for a tiny speaker. These also use folded ribbon tweeters. $800 per pair.
GoldenEar Technology | A Passion For Sonic Perfection
How do they compare to the Emotiva b1? I bought them from your recommendation in another thread and could not be happier for the price/size. Top notch tip

Seems I have a pair of aon3 locally close to my home, have you heard them compared to the aon2? Seem harder to find here.

Last edited by Osse_87; 1st November 2018 at 03:45 AM..
Old 1st November 2018
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonro View Post
Ive read good things about ATC, not many complaints. I’m going to see if I can test some models, thanks!
I’ve worked in a recording studio where they had the bigger adam s3x-h’s and didn’t really like them too much.
How about the barefoot MM27s? The only complaints I can find is that people dont seem to like the top end on them.
I never really liked the S3X-H, one of my best buds has the S3X-V with a sub12 and having worked with him on those I feel like they were cooler, but the SM9 when I first heard it almost 5 years ago, I had been blown away and it had been on my short list of speakers to get, but more amazing speakers have come out since then in a similar price category.

If you want resolution, but more mid range detail, check out Unity Audio The Boulder MK2. Unity has that mid forward and brightness to it that I think your looking for, but obviously try before you buy. They just reveled the MK3, but I haven't heard those. They go down to 30 Hz with out a sub and have increadable detail and clarity.
They are brighter than Psi, which in your price range the only speaker that makes sense is the A21, which is way to small if you're coming from an SM9.

I don't know where you live so YMMV, but I'd say you should check out the KS Digital A300, they cost less than the SM9, but offer way more detail IMHO.

An ATC SCM 50 or larger would also be a great upgrade, but costs you more than twice the price and honestly aren't the right speaker for everyone.

Cheers!
Old 1st November 2018
  #25
Lives for gear
HEDD type 20 i have been happy with them.
Old 1st November 2018
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osse_87 View Post
How do they compare to the Emotiva b1? I bought them from your recommendation in another thread and could not be happier for the price/size. Top notch tip

Seems I have a pair of aon3 locally close to my home, have you heard them compared to the aon2? Seem harder to find here.
Go check them out. The Aon 2's are about B1 sized but heavier. The low end is extended. The top end is similar but sound more open stock compared to the B1's. The mids are where the Aon's shine. Amazing detail and resolution only a .79% THD speaker can do.

Aon 3's are out of stock around here.
Old 2nd November 2018
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
Osse_87's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Go check them out. The Aon 2's are about B1 sized but heavier. The low end is extended. The top end is similar but sound more open stock compared to the B1's. The mids are where the Aon's shine. Amazing detail and resolution only a .79% THD speaker can do.

Aon 3's are out of stock around here.
Thanks! I went there to check them out, could have been many reasons but they did not give me many reasons to qualify them as a studio monitor in their environment, they gave me a feeling of being fatigueing and sounded processed. I can get them for trial to try them at my home tho, maybe they will work better in the same place/circumstance where my b1's are just awesome.
Old 2nd November 2018
  #28
Just spent 2 months working with ATC25's and loved them, just sold my SM9's and ordered SCM50's. For me Focals are aggressive in the mid-high high register, amazing speakers but personally prefer ATC
Good luck!
Old 2nd November 2018
  #29
7+1
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7+1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pgsmusic View Post
Just spent 2 months working with ATC25's and loved them, just sold my SM9's and ordered SCM50's. For me Focals are aggressive in the mid-high high register, amazing speakers but personally prefer ATC
Good luck!
ATC 45s ..

Just do it
Old 2nd November 2018
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Why not keep the SM9 and add a pair of the Adams you like. There may not be a single speaker that has everything you want.
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