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Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8
Old 5th July 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Monitor question: used Neumann KH310 vs used Adam S3XV vs Dynaudio LYD48 vs KRK V8

Hi,
Please read only the bold text if you don't want to read my long thread

I would like to upgrade my speakers. What I'm looking for is the best possible near/midfield monitoring solution at the £1500-£2200 price range (What I'm after is great mid-range clarity/well controlled bass/great transient response/great group delay response...)

A bit of background info about my studio:
I'm working in a reasonably well treated room writing/producing/recording/mixing 70% my own projects and 30% for customers. The size of my room is 22m2 = 4m wide x 5.5m long x 3.3m high. This room size is not going to define my choice though as I'm going to move soon (all my sound treatment panels and bass traps will be reinstalled at the new place). I don't know yet the exact size of my new room but I'm aiming for something roughly similar, it's not going to be smaller than 20m2.
For the last 6 years I have been using KRK VXT6 speakers. They're set at a listening distance of 1.2meter. I'm using Sonarworks 4 for room EQ correction. I'm reasonably happy with the results I get with my VXT6's but obviously they lack below 50Hz - to cover the bass region I'm using Sennheiser HD800 headphones -. During mixing I hardly ever go above 78db SPL, usually I'm between 60-68 db SPL.

Sadly I made a big mistake recently: I've listened to some higher end monitor speakers in some studio gear shop. It feels like there is no return to my VXT's, the love is over, I need to upgrade .

I tried to listen to as many speakers as I could + also I read as many reviews and opinions as possible so I think I've done my homework properly . After my listening sessions I narrowed down my choices to 4 speakers. These are all around the £2000-£2200 upper limit of my budget:

1. Used Neumann KH310. I've heard these speakers in a shop and I think they're phenomenal.

2. Used Adam S3X-V. I've only heard the horizontal version (S3X-H) of these in a studio and for me they were very impressive at the time, though a bit too much "in your face" kind of way. I'm a bit hesitant about these though as probably it would need a bit bigger room.

3. New Dynaudio LYD48 + used Avantone Mixcubes. Sadly I've never heard these Dynaudios but all the positive reviews, they made me very curious. I've heard and already worked on Mixcubes, I loved them and the LYD48 with the mixcubes would cost me the same as the used neumann 310s.

4. New KRK V8 series 4 (or perhaps V6 series 4) with used KRK 12s 2nd gen. subwoofer + used Avantone Mixcubes.
I know that these are only 2 way speakers but I've heard these new KRK's in a shop and even though they sound very different than the Neumann's I liked them a lot. They also sounded very different to my VXT's, in my opinion they're a huge step up from my recent VXT's. + As a bonus this would be the cheapest option.

I also listened to a pair of Focal Twin 6 Be in an untreated room. Based on what I've heard and also considering the price I felt like it's not for me. I've seen all the great reviews on these speakers so I do understand that most probably it was the fault of the room and not the speakers. I can imagine that these Focals are great in a well treated studio. Anyway I know it's pretty stupid of me but I prefer speakers that take less space horizontally so... I dropped this option, I'm not going to buy these ones.

Based on reviews and user reports I also considered the Hedd Type 20 (though I've never heard them). Sadly buying it new is nearly £1000 over my budget and I've never seen any popping up used.

I would appreciate any advise, especially I would like to hear from someone who already mixed on both the Neumann KH310 and the Dynaudio LYD48.

Thanks for your help .
Old 7th July 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
My opinion doesn’t come from a head equipped with your ears, so there isn’t much of a point in offering it. All of your solutions are workable and capable of quality results and engineer happiness.

There is one thing of value I can offer. I have very good hearing regarding the human voice. Let me quote you to you. “...KH310. I’ve heard these speakers in a shop and I think they’re phenomenal.”
That, I think, is your heart speaking, and expressing the itch you most want to scratch. So buy them. There is no guarantee regarding these choices, but don’t overthink your way into some other purchase if these Neumanns are like the girl you should have asked to the prom.
Old 8th July 2019
  #3
Gear Head
 

KH 310 .You can't go wrong with them.
Old 8th July 2019
  #4
Gear Addict
 
ManMulcahy's Avatar
Monitors are always a leap of faith unless you can somehow break in and audition multiple pairs in your space but, I thoroughly enjoy my LYD48’s. Lots of detail and much more midrange information than other two-way speakers I’ve used. This is my second pair of Dynaudio speakers and I use the 9s sub. Really couldn’t be happier for the money spent...

Last edited by ManMulcahy; 8th July 2019 at 03:24 AM.. Reason: Words
Old 8th July 2019
  #5
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zephonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozonepaul View Post
Based on reviews and user reports I also considered the Hedd Type 20 (though I've never heard them). Sadly buying it new is nearly £1000 over my budget and I've never seen any popping up used.
How about the HEDD Type 07? Or does it have to be 3-ways?

I came from KRK to the HEDD Type 05 and they have elevated my game.
Old 8th July 2019
  #6
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Marando's Avatar
I’m a big Dynaudio fan (studio and hifi), but from your list I would seriously suggest the Neumann KH310’s. Being sealed, they basically automatically have the best timing in the bass compared to the other speakers you mentioned. Also, the 310’s most likely will work better in your size room than the bigger Adams, while they will provide you with at least the same details in the lows, you can even hear below 30Hz on them thanks to their gentle roll-off (more gentle than bass reflex solutions). Compared to smaller 2-way monitors with a sub, the KH310 most likely destroy them again in the lows when it comes to timing/agility/tightness.

I do know 2-way monitors that most people would not need a sub with, like the RCF Mytho 8 (which is in your budget and are stunningly good, just not famous), but they are not on your list so I won’t bother you with them any further.
Old 8th July 2019
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Just get what you like and have heard. KRK or Neumann. That's a very, very low volume for mixing given the equal loudness contour of the human ear so I have no idea what you would like as you're listening at far below reference levels and you are you. Price doesn't matter that much either beyond the cheapest stuff. I find the Yamaha HS8 better for professional use than most of the monitors you listed. Buy the ones you like the sound of that work well for you. Only your ears are your ears.

For me personally, I'd actually go with the cheapest option here. Get the bigger KRK V8 S4 and lose some midrange detail and definition in exchange for bass extension but they are still perfectly usable. KRK V6 S4 is more detailed but again they roll off below 50hz just like your VXT 6. I like them both more than the other brands listed for professional use and they are a huge improvement over the VXTs and prior V series, especially the Kevlar tweeter.

I'm not a fan of the Dyns at all. They do not extend very far for three way monitors among other things.

The Adam monitors that aren't cheaped out sound great but I find them rather hi-fi sounding too. I dislike the tweeters. Hedd are supposedly less hi-fi sounding and harsh.

I did not like mixing on the Neumann KH 310 at all. They sound very good, flat, and quick but are boring, soft, compressed, and I do not find them very revealing of certain distortions. It sounded good but I hated trying to mix music on it. Real world translation sucks on them. Neumanns are monitors for spoken word recordings and coffee shop NPR music to me. Give me Yamahas or KRKs any day. Neumanns, I find rather poor for for dialing in dynamics and nailing the levels. All of this is despite it being tight and flat. The Neumann monitors all sound smoothed out and way overpriced for what you actually get to me. Sennheiser's impressive looking charts and graphs are just that: charts and graphs.

The Avantones are awful. Don't get a knockoff; just buy a real Auratone 5C and any amp.
Old 8th July 2019
  #8
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Marando's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctambulant View Post
Just get what you like and have heard. KRK or Neumann. That's a very, very low volume for mixing given the equal loudness contour of the human ear so I have no idea what you would like as you're listening at far below reference levels and you are you. Price doesn't matter that much either beyond the cheapest stuff. I find the Yamaha HS8 better for professional use than most of the monitors you listed. Buy the ones you like the sound of that work well for you. Only your ears are your ears.

For me personally, I'd actually go with the cheapest option here. Get the bigger KRK V8 S4 and lose some midrange detail and definition in exchange for bass extension but they are still perfectly usable. KRK V6 S4 is more detailed but again they roll off below 50hz just like your VXT 6. I like them both more than the other brands listed for professional use and they are a huge improvement over the VXTs and prior V series, especially the Kevlar tweeter.

I'm not a fan of the Dyns at all. They do not extend very far for three way monitors among other things.

The Adam monitors that aren't cheaped out sound great but I find them rather hi-fi sounding too. I dislike the tweeters. Hedd are supposedly less hi-fi sounding and harsh.

I did not like mixing on the Neumann KH 310 at all. They sound very good, flat, and quick but are boring, soft, compressed, and I do not find them very revealing of certain distortions. It sounded good but I hated trying to mix music on it. Real world translation sucks on them. Neumanns are monitors for spoken word recordings and coffee shop NPR music to me. Give me Yamahas or KRKs any day. Neumanns, I find rather poor for for dialing in dynamics and nailing the levels. All of this is despite it being tight and flat. The Neumann monitors all sound smoothed out and way overpriced for what you actually get to me. Sennheiser's impressive looking charts and graphs are just that: charts and graphs.

The Avantones are awful. Don't get a knockoff; just buy a real Auratone 5C and any amp.
The experience people have with the KH310’s varies greatly, I agree. You for instance don’t like to mix on them, I know some more people with the same opinion. But I also know a bunch of people who find them fantastic for mixing and they really create fantastic mixes with them. So it’s a taste thing I guess, and I figure the rest of the monitoring chain and the room acoustics come into play a great deal too.

I personally dislike the Yamaha HS8, they are pretty big and really don’t extend so great in the lows, much less than their size would suggest. They start to roll-off way before 40Hz for sure. But it’s not just that, the whole representation sounds pretty basic to me. But again, my opinion is just one of the many opinions there are and a lot of people love them, I know that and I fully respect other people their opinion.

Since I’ve had the opportunity to test some monitors in different rooms and with different equipment, I’ve come to realise that it’s basically impossible to let other people tell you what a good monitor is, because we all don’t know how it will behave in your room with your equipment and we also don’t know what you are most comfortable with. In a certain room I hated for example the Event Opal, while in some other rooms, they really shined and where mighty impressive in detail, imaging, speed, dynamics, you name it. Same with the Hedd Type 20. There was one room where I hated it and preferred a set of KRK V6 mk2, even though you would expect that’s almost impossible.

I could suggest some other monitors for the thread starter, but I want to respect his question and he already made a shortlist. Also, I don’t want to change this in a thread where at page 2, a gazillion other monitors have been suggested, that doesn’t help either I guess.

So from the 4 in his list, I would personally rank it as the KH310 highest, followed by the Adam. The other two models I have very little experience with, so I can’t comment on those.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for all the informative responses. It is surprising how different opinions are on the subject of monitor speaker quality.
Anyway, at the end I bought a pair of used Neumann KH310. I'm doing all the measurements of my room at the moment, I'm playing around with the positioning of the speakers and the ideal positioning of room treatment panels etc.
I'll work on this new setup for a while and than I'm going to sum up my experiences in a mini review.
Thanks again for your help!
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