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Speakers too detailed? I can hear so many flaws! Studio Monitors
Old 23rd December 2010
  #1
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Speakers too detailed? I can hear so many flaws!

I've built some 3-way floor standing loudspeakers as a prototype of what i'm going to flush mount in my studio, but they are so detailed its kind of intimidating. I spent a long time designing them and tuning them to be super accurate and cold, but i fear i've gotten what i've wished for!

I'm listening to some of my favorite records and i can hear all sorts of phase problems, eqing, and not to mention tape hiss is as clear as day. I even heard someone walking around during a track when i cranked it -_- They are clear as day, don't get me wrong, they sound great, but I can hear all the tool marks in recordings!

I can't imagine mixing on these things, I'm not sure I could ever be happy with my own mixes if I hear so many 'flaws' in my favorite records. I think i might have to build a tube pre just to warm these things up.

Anyone else have this experience?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #2
Sound sliek you should sell the design

On topic, I had some KH O 300s for almost 2 years and couldnt get used to mixing on them! I overproduced everything and spent ages trying to fix every little thing i heard wrong... not fun, and in the end my tracks sounded... well lifeles and dead... just didnt gel with me. I got some Dynaudio MB6A s after and am getting much better results since then... also a lot happier in the studio
Flat is good, but over anylitical will kill so much vibe... i never got over it...hope it helps
Old 23rd December 2010
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by spice house View Post

Anyone else have this experience?
Welcome to what its like mixing on a pair of Duntech or Dunlavy's.heh

Actually i have a pair of the smaller Dunlavy's that i've been using for this very purpose for years. I like having a "magnifying glass" type of speaker for mixing purposes especially for hearing distortion build up, phase smearing and built up reverb tails that you can't hear on normal studio monitors. But i also have the regular stuff around as well to balance them off and for louder playbacks.

One thing i did notice the mixes translate to mastering much better and to different playback systems when you have this balance of clinical and musical monitoring. Lets just say there are no more surprises at the end.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #4
^+1

I call this the "Dunlavy Effect". When I bought my SC-IVAs I demo'd in a listening room, and I recall being dismayed that everything sounded kind of crappy, including a favorite Elvis Costello record I'd been listening to a lot at the time. As I turned to pop the CD out of the player, I heard the floor creak behind me, in the otherwise empty room! I spun around, then shrugged it off, then headed back, when I heard a cough, a chair creak, followed by throat clearing! I rewound the player, to discover these sounds clear as day in the mix.

I'd been listening to this record for years, but the CD reissue was relatively new, but that sound never showed up on my old mastering speakers (Tannoys). Now, having heard it I hear it on my crappy home speakers, but it went entirely unnoticed prior to the Duns.

I bought the speakers.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Davis View Post
^+1

I call this the "Dunlavy Effect". ....

I bought the speakers.
Me too. And a Cello amp. And later a mixture of III's and I's for a surround rig.

I've just dropped a pair of I's and a Bel Canto amp into my music room.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #6
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narcoman's Avatar
 

..... you oughta try Sp Acoustics SP1s with Crown monoblocks....... eek!
Old 23rd December 2010
  #7
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edwonbass's Avatar
 

Maybe I can send you some of my recordings so you can pick out all the extra stuff such as, airplanes, kids playing, dogs barking, wife nagging, dishwasher(not the same), crickets, and of course chair squeeking.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #8
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Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

drop the mid speakers and feel genelec ^^
Old 24th December 2010
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prahlad View Post
Sound sliek you should sell the design

On topic, I had some KH O 300s for almost 2 years and couldnt get used to mixing on them! I overproduced everything and spent ages trying to fix every little thing i heard wrong... not fun, and in the end my tracks sounded... well lifeles and dead... just didnt gel with me. I got some Dynaudio MB6A s after and am getting much better results since then... also a lot happier in the studio
Flat is good, but over anylitical will kill so much vibe... i never got over it...hope it helps
Excellent observation; and something I have not considered. Though you make a good point, I wonder how many who have K&H agree with you.
Old 24th December 2010
  #10
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807Recordings's Avatar
 

I don't buy into the whole too detailed. I think its like an F1 Race car. First you get in and are just shocked by the bumps the handling and how **** your old tires and suspension was.

Take time learn it and you end up making better music.
Just don't be a gear nerd where its all about extremely clean or over extended subtle sounds.


I use B&W Natillus 800 before, then Wilson Grand Slams when available, etc and it only helped my mixes. But I do electronic music with buzzy old synths and drum machines :D
Old 24th December 2010
  #11
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I'm glad I'm not the only one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 807Recordings View Post
I don't buy into the whole too detailed. I think its like an F1 Race car. First you get in and are just shocked by the bumps the handling and how **** your old tires and suspension was.

Take time learn it and you end up making better music.
Just don't be a gear nerd where its all about extremely clean or over extended subtle sounds.


I use B&W Natillus 800 before, then Wilson Grand Slams when available, etc and it only helped my mixes. But I do electronic music with buzzy old synths and drum machines :D
Yes I can see why the nautiluses would help! I have not heard the 800 model, but i have hear others in the series, and I would not call them overly detailed, but instead are warm and wonderful to listen to for extended periods of time.

I think you are right on with the f1 analogy. I mean it's a better tool! taking the time to learn them is essential. But taking that first drive certainly is a wow-wee experience, huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prahlad
Sound sliek you should sell the design

On topic, I had some KH O 300s for almost 2 years and couldnt get used to mixing on them! I overproduced everything and spent ages trying to fix every little thing i heard wrong... not fun, and in the end my tracks sounded... well lifeles and dead... just didnt gel with me. I got some Dynaudio MB6A s after and am getting much better results since then... also a lot happier in the studio
Flat is good, but over anylitical will kill so much vibe... i never got over it...hope it helps


This is what I was afraid of, I'm obsessive enough as it is! -and yes i do plan to sell them



"The magnifying glass effect" is right on. I almost used that analogy in my op. Right now I think the coldness of the speaker plus this effect makes them a bit much for extended listening. They need to move from 'overly intense hallucination' to 'enjoyable vivid detail' A little more B&W for me please!

Right now they are being driven by only a solid state amplifier, so I'll try adding a grounded grid pre with some telefunken nos toobs That should add the 'vive'. And if that doesn't work I'll build a tube amp as well. No way i'm changing the design too much awesomeness!
Old 24th December 2010
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
..... you oughta try Sp Acoustics SP1s with Crown monoblocks....... eek!
Yeah, would you mind warning me the next time I'm going to turn the pages of Resolution to see you grinning up at me?!
Old 24th December 2010
  #13
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807Recordings's Avatar
 

Ya the nati's are not as nice as the latest generation which is even more detailed. I think the Wilsons where perhaps a bit more detailed. Hard to say.

My only point was it takes time to get used to working with very high end details. At first you learn and get over extended into cleaning stuff but over time you get more articulate in the kraft.

F1 car is not the best analogy but I think maybe its not too far a stretch to go.

On the other hand I had (forget name) of speakers in for review that had ribbon and ceramic drivers. WOW the details where pretty insane. Actually they where odd and I could never fully put my finger on it but something in the high end bugged me. .......
Got them measured and they where just a bit too much energy in the high end. Next gen came in and it was slightly tamed and everything was just fine then. I am guessing you did the measurements on them in room or tried maybe taming them a db or so?
Old 24th December 2010
  #14
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807Recordings's Avatar
 

P.S. I might add if I can sort it out I am highly leaning toward the B&W 800D new series for my studio. The diamond tweeter really was a step forward over the previous generation IMHO, or for what its worth.
Old 24th December 2010
  #15
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prahlad View Post
Sound sliek you should sell the design

On topic, I had some KH O 300s for almost 2 years and couldnt get used to mixing on them! I overproduced everything and spent ages trying to fix every little thing i heard wrong... not fun, and in the end my tracks sounded... well lifeles and dead... just didnt gel with me. I got some Dynaudio MB6A s after and am getting much better results since then... also a lot happier in the studio
Flat is good, but over anylitical will kill so much vibe... i never got over it...hope it helps
My experience is the exact opposite. The precision and detail is exactly what I like about mixing on the KH O300s. Accurate and revealing. They aren't the only reference I use while mixing, but I absolutely want to know exactly what is going on in the mix and the O300s tell me. thumbsup
Old 24th December 2010
  #16
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heybub419's Avatar
I'd say you're lucky; this kind of detailed monitor can really help your mixes. Listen on them alot...get used to how they sound on your favorite tracks as compared to what you were using before.
Old 24th December 2010
  #17
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spice house View Post

[...]

They are clear as day, don't get me wrong, they sound great, but I can hear all the tool marks in recordings!

[...]

I can't imagine mixing on these things, I'm not sure I could ever be happy with my own mixes if I hear so many 'flaws' in my favorite records.

[...]

Anyone else have this experience?
Actually, this is kinda the point of good monitors -- to have a representation that is brutally honest.

The passengers in a car might like "rose colored glass" to watch the scenery go by, but the DRIVER needs to clearly see what's really there.
.
Old 24th December 2010
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Actually, this is kinda the point of good monitors -- to have a representation that is brutally honest.
For mastering, yes. For mixing, sometimes you can get caught up in the minutia to much. Might come down to ones ability to see the forest through the trees.
Old 24th December 2010
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Not for nothin' guys, but "detailed"?

You hear sounds on some speakers that you do not hear on other good speakers?

Do you think that some speakers play certain sounds from a recording that other good speakers just leave out? That's not really how speakers work.
Old 24th December 2010
  #20
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Aisle 6's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
For mixing, sometimes you can get caught up in the minutia to much. Might come down to ones ability to see the forest through the trees.
This is where mixing experience comes into play. If you are able to hear ALL the detail and then be experienced enough to know what is going to assist the recording, warts and all, or need correction. Then you are not distracted unnecessarily. Sometimes you want the hiss, the foot stomp on the piano pedal, the cough, the slightly elevated noise floor and then sometimes not. What I do want is hear everything and be able to make that choice myself.
Old 25th December 2010
  #21
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post

That's not really how speakers work.
Well, no it's not.
...But human hearing works even more strangely than do speakers!

And then there is also the separate issue of LISTENING (an art often poorly understood).

For instance, here's a video of a world-renowned percussionist teaching musicians how to LISTEN.
(But be prepared to have your mind blown, because she has been
profoundly DEAF since age 12):

.
Old 25th December 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
Reading this I can't help but wonder if part of the issue here is overly dead listening rooms?

Of course a CR that isn't overly dead, but has a RFZ is no small task (like building a whole room to the level of a loudspeaker). After years of building speakers this is the direction I'm headed in.
Old 25th December 2010
  #23
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

When I began using high $ convertors I can hear a lot of stuff I don't want to, its made me be more serious about my playing and the timing of the band as well.
Old 25th December 2010
  #24
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
Not for nothin' guys, but "detailed"?

You hear sounds on some speakers that you do not hear on other good speakers?

Do you think that some speakers play certain sounds from a recording that other good speakers just leave out? That's not really how speakers work.
I disagree. Some speakers are definitely more transparent and revealing than others. Although every monitor speaker manufacturer claims that offer a flat "transparent" frequency response, they lie. All speakers sound different, which means that aren't all flat and transparent. It means that they either drop certain frequencies, or boost certain frequences. And the inherent phasiness of attempting to move air in a resonant box by accelerating cardboard membranes via electromagnets impulses ... means that the signal we ultimately hear is very different from the original signal representation coming from the D/A ...

Some sounds are definately obscured, and maybe you will be able to hear them after you know what to look for, but they will be muddy and ill-defined.

My current monitoring chain is fairly modest - just a Benchmark DAC-1 into a Labb Gruppen power amp (outside the room to keep acoustic transformer hum removed) powering a pair of Dynaudio BM6 passives. My mix room is a custom designed concrete bunker trapezoid with bass trapping and treatment - so the acoustic noise floor is extremely low. Anything noisy is removed from the room or turned off for critical listening.

The first thing I noticed with this setup is that I could hear very human flaws and noises in the reference CD's that I considered to be sonic perfection. It also makes my highly critical of all my gear - the noise floor and defects are so obvious now. Maybe this isn't a good thing for me ... although I find it very liberating to hear the imperfections in other people's work that I admire.

Monitors are like windows. It's amazing how we can tolerate dirty windows, or distorted glass. But once you experience clean, ripple-free glass - given the choice - you really don't want to see the world through anything else.

Having said that - and carrying on the analogy - often in art we don't actually want to see naked real life. Sometimes it's far better to diffuse and distort reality. Having better monitors allows us to see/hear what images/sounds need to be altered, and which sounds are better left transparent.

I can see only positives from having high quality monitors. But I wouldn't want to use them for hifi listening at home. There is a place for both types of listening experience. Sometimes the truth is too much to handle.
Old 25th December 2010
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
Not for nothin' guys, but "detailed"?

You hear sounds on some speakers that you do not hear on other good speakers?

Do you think that some speakers play certain sounds from a recording that other good speakers just leave out? That's not really how speakers work.
You hear more on high fidelity monitors because they respond faster and more accurately to electrical signals. also they respond better to lower strength signals (the quiet stuff on records). Its more accurate to say all speakers RECEIVE the same signal and respond to as much as they can, as fast as they can. If speakers could respond to it all, we would only need one driver, and everyone would use it. A speaker is really just a horribly inefficient piece of mass vibrating best it can to response to extremely weak electrical signals. some vibrate closer in accuracy to the input signal, but we are a long long way from perfection
Old 25th December 2010
  #26
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by editronmaximon View Post
Not for nothin' guys, but "detailed"?

You hear sounds on some speakers that you do not hear on other good speakers?

Do you think that some speakers play certain sounds from a recording that other good speakers just leave out? That's not really how speakers work.
I'm assuming you're kidding.

- c
Old 25th December 2010
  #27
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fzit0's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Well, no it's not.
...But human hearing works even more strangely than do speakers!

And then there is also the separate issue of LISTENING (an art often poorly understood).

For instance, here's a video of a world-renowned percussionist teaching musicians how to LISTEN.
(But be prepared to have your mind blown, because she has been
profoundly DEAF since age 12):

.
that video is awesome
Old 25th December 2010
  #28
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fzit0 View Post

that video is awesome
Well, it re-booted MY brain, I know bloody well!
.

.
Old 26th December 2010
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Well, it re-booted MY brain, I know bloody well!
.

.
one of my favorite teds...
+1 to that and every other ted lecture
Old 26th December 2010
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
I'm assuming you're kidding.

- c
What about?
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