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another monitor thread, $4 to $9k Studio Monitors
Old 12th September 2011
  #1
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another monitor thread, $4 to $9k

Have around $9k to spend. I'm a bit of a monitor snob, used to Dunlavys/Cello in a treated room. Now I have to get used to a converted 12x15x8H den. Got a Real Traps room kit, but the room has four equipment racks, two drawer cases, 2 drum kits, ten guitars, a handful of amps, tape decks, monitors.... 10 pounds of it in a smaller bag.

so my available footprint is small. What I've listened to in the room so far as been very disappointing. I'm currently using small Dunlavys/Bel Canto and it is just not right.

The easy answer are the Barefoots, and I would have bought them a long time ago but the looming Trident HG-3 froze me from making a move... I wanted to hear them first. (Obviously, if I can save $4k and still be happy with the sound, that would be a good move.)

Walt suggested to me that I will never be satisfied with smaller speakers having gotten used to a better situation. But I see that a lot of fellows my age are working with smaller rigs in home situations and getting good results, so it must be possible. Maybe not in my price range, though.

So, if it was your $4k-$9k, what would -you- buy? Why is it better than anything else in it's class for this purpose?
Old 12th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
Id add Adam S3X to the list to. These are the monitors id get if I had the money (S3X-V's though) Have a look at this thread below I think theres guys who have compared / or have the barefoots also, there's lots of reading to be read.
ADAM New SX Series

Though in this price region many to test out and try
Old 12th September 2011
  #3
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The problem for me is that many of those reviewers were moving up, I'm moving down. Also mentioned by one reviewer was self-noise... I am used to zero. When I first hooked up the Duns to the Cello, I thought the amp was broken.

And the 3A seems to have been the reference for comparison, while a buddy of mine has always sworn that the 2.5 sounded better than the 3A. (And I wouldn't know...)

One plus that was mentioned was that the 'speakers' disappeared (with the 3x-h). That issue is a big one... I'm no longer used to listening to speakers, I'm used to listening to instruments. It is tough to go back, and I don't want to if I do not have to. (But I also have to work within the budget and footprint.)

I'm curious though, of course.
Old 12th September 2011
  #4
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Spending the money your spending though won't hurt to test as many as possible out.

PSI are suppose to be really nice.
Old 12th September 2011
  #5
K&H O300D is my recommendation. Crystal clear tops, tight and dry lows. Non fatigueing and great pan depth and width. And they go pretty low for such small montiors.

You should test them.
Old 12th September 2011
  #6
Gear Addict
 
always_ending's Avatar
 

BAREFOOT SOUND MICROMAIN27

They look to be my next monitor purchase, everything you need, in two speaker setup.

Good enough for Michael Brauer, Dave Weckl, & Butch Vig? Good enough for me.

The technology looks amazing on these, esp the subwoofer design.

Barefoot Sound MicroMain27 - Pair | VintageKing.com
Old 12th September 2011
  #7
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
Bill, I'm sorry for all the delays, but you might consider what Bob Olhsson said after he heard the HG3's for an extended period at AES, using several reference discs he brought:

"Most speakers are a pretty big letdown to me after the Duntech Sovereigns I use for mastering. What I heard hanging out with Harvey at the New York AES show listening to his speakers wasn't. They don't have the soggy bass that most ported speakers have and they deliver plenty of detail without sounding hyped.

As I've posted before, I think we're going to be hearing an awful lot about these speakers."


Now, having posted that (since Bob listens to Duntech Sovereigns daily), I'd give a serious listen to the Barefoots, the Gethains, the K&H's, the ATC's, and the Focals. I wouldn't suggest buying anything till I heard them all, using music I was very familiar with. Go to this year's AES Show in NY and let people know you're serious about this.
Old 12th September 2011
  #8
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TristanHackney's Avatar
 

Personally I'm in love with the Focal Twins. Spoke to SVC recently and they said Focal have a new range that are up there with the bearfoots but for a lot less. I think they were the SM9's.....

That said, I can't really fault the Focal Twins apart from the fact I dislike carrying them around with me... and they are french.....!!! :P
Old 12th September 2011
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey Gerst View Post
Bill, I'm sorry for all the delays, ....
Harvey,

I've not ruled out the HG-3s, I'm trying to do my due diligence. It is unlikely that I will go to AES this year... retirement is when the Rock'N'Roll GirlFriend gets repaid for the time she gave up, know what I mean? So I am going to have to do the best I can to figure it out from here, make a decision, and live with it, whatever it is.

Everybody hems and haws around the Gethains in my pricerange, while praising the models just out of my reach. ATC is a consideration, and perhaps the Adam, though I wasn't so knocked out by the S3A that had everyone by the short curlies a few years ago. Unless someone else brings up a contender, my short list is still HG-3 and MM27. But I want to keep my ears open, know what I mean?

Oh, and I tried getting a reasonable sense of what speakers do at AES, and it is just not possible. Maybe it is me, but I need to live with as product in my environment for a while. The noise at AES, even after hours, is unacceptable, the acoustics abysmal.
Old 12th September 2011
  #10
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
I'm not a big fan of the Adams; we had a set here for awhile and the top end was a little too peaky for my taste. The Focal SM-9's make a lot of sense to me (from a design standpoint), but I haven't heard them, so I can't comment beyond that.

In all honesty, I haven't really listened to the Barefoots, except for about 30 second at an AES show a few years ago. I heard the K&H 0300's at another AES show and I liked them, except for the damn built-in limiter kicking in from time to time.

Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of most near-field monitor designs, so I was delighted when I was offered the opportunity to design a set of near-field speakers I could live with.

I've always been a believer in trading down, not up. That means you build the best product you can first, then use what you've learned from that exercise to incorporate those new features into lower cost products.

But, as a studio owner first, and a (retired) speaker designer second, I'm trying to be as honest as I can be and tell you some of the speaker designs I find to be notable.

I hope you have an opportunity to hear the HG3's before you make a final selection, but the other manufacturers I mentioned make very good speakers. (Geez, I'm starting to sound like Kris Kringle, from "Miracle on 34th Street.")
Old 12th September 2011
  #11
Gear Addict
 

I'll preface this by admitting I have little experience with hi-end studio monitors, but I'm completely blown away by my new Spiral Groove Sonics Animas. What you said about hearing instruments, and not speakers, has been the most consistent comment from all trained musicians that have listened to them in my studio. I *feel* the vibrations, and I don't mean bass, in a pure, revealing way that seems to be both pleasing and accurate. They may be small, but the illusion they create is quite huge.
Old 12th September 2011
  #12
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey Gerst View Post
I heard the K&H 0300's at another AES show and I liked them, except for the damn built-in limiter kicking in from time to time.
I heard them at an AES show as well... enough so I had a them delivered to my old studio... where I tried them on a couple of mixes [probably around 4]. What came out of my room was "not good". Other monitors had passed the test with flying colors [I think there is a video somewhere of me spending a day with the Focal SM-8's]... but the 0300's didn't come close. The 0200's actually came a whole lot closer than the 0300's did. I found the high end was exaggerated on the monitors and that the bass response was all over the place... the monitors made it very difficult to get an arrangement on the low end of the spectrum... and VERY difficult to get a clear and defined arrangement to the lower mids. I also found things like "guitar to vocal" balances were a bit of a moving target as well... where in a couple of mixes the balance I heard in the control room translated outside of the control room... while on another mix [at least one that I remember] it did not translate [and I know it translated in the room on the K&H monitors].

My old room wasn't "treated"... ya know like "treatment" you get out of a box... it was "designed" [like by a person who designs recording studio control rooms] and built according to the specifications of the designer. The bass traps were things you hung on the walls... they were part of the walls, ported ceiling to more trapping... diaphragmatic resonators, quadratic and random diffusion... expansion/compression ceiling... non-parallel yet symmetrical walls... the whole 9 yards. I mention this so some genius doesn't say "it was your room dood"... because it most definitely was not the room that caused the issue... it was the monitors.

I too am excited to try out Harvey's new monitors... in the meanwhile I'm getting some good sounds with the Twin 6's w/sub system they have here... its not my favorite... but the work leaving the building is pretty close to right and at the end of the day... that's all that matters.

Peace
Old 13th September 2011
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
I heard them at an AES show as well... enough so I had a them delivered to my old studio... where I tried them on a couple of mixes [probably around 4]. What came out of my room was "not good". Other monitors had passed the test with flying colors [I think there is a video somewhere of me spending a day with the Focal SM-8's]... but the 0300's didn't come close. The 0200's actually came a whole lot closer than the 0300's did. I found the high end was exaggerated on the monitors and that the bass response was all over the place... the monitors made it very difficult to get an arrangement on the low end of the spectrum... and VERY difficult to get a clear and defined arrangement to the lower mids. I also found things like "guitar to vocal" balances were a bit of a moving target as well... where in a couple of mixes the balance I heard in the control room translated outside of the control room... while on another mix [at least one that I remember] it did not translate [and I know it translated in the room on the K&H monitors].

My old room wasn't "treated"... ya know like "treatment" you get out of a box... it was "designed" [like by a person who designs recording studio control rooms] and built according to the specifications of the designer. The bass traps were things you hung on the walls... they were part of the walls, ported ceiling to more trapping... diaphragmatic resonators, quadratic and random diffusion... expansion/compression ceiling... non-parallel yet symmetrical walls... the whole 9 yards. I mention this so some genius doesn't say "it was your room dood"... because it most definitely was not the room that caused the issue... it was the monitors.

I too am excited to try out Harvey's new monitors... in the meanwhile I'm getting some good sounds with the Twin 6's w/sub system they have here... its not my favorite... but the work leaving the building is pretty close to right and at the end of the day... that's all that matters.

Peace
Jesus, after that you just HAVE to let me know what were your overall favourite speakers in "that" room. Thanks.
Old 13th September 2011
  #14
Gear Nut
 

I was in pretty much the exact same situation with the same budget, and finally pulled the trigger on the new Quested V2108. They go loud, they go low, and when i demoed a pair it was the fastest I'd ever pulled a mix together.

The bonus is I ended up coming in at the lower end of my budget, which has freed up the cash to possibly get another set of monitors to compliment them. Maybe the AE 22's?

mB
Old 13th September 2011
  #15
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YOHAMI's Avatar
 

Focal Twins
Old 13th September 2011
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Simple: ATC SCM25
Old 13th September 2011
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Harbeth Monitor 30's with a nice amp. I am going to buy a pair of them with a Plinius SA-103 poweramp. I had these guys next to ATC, PSI, JBL LSR28P, and my Dynaudio MA-1's. The Harbeths are amazing, wiped all of the others out of my control room. You can not only hear, but also feel and touch every instrument in your mix. They sound like a pair of high-end headphones in a 3D sound-image.
I always tend to cranck up my MA-1's to be able to hear everything. The Harbeths just stay at low level. There is no need to put them louder. They are true musical instruments. They sing. Makes live as an audio-engineer a lot easier!
Old 13th September 2011
  #18
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nielsb View Post
Harbeth Monitor 30's with a nice amp. I am going to buy a pair of them with a Plinius SA-103 poweramp. I had these guys next to ATC, PSI, JBL LSR28P, and my Dynaudio MA-1's. The Harbeths are amazing, wiped all of the others out of my control room. You can not only hear, but also feel and touch every instrument in your mix. They sound like a pair of high-end headphones in a 3D sound-image.
I always tend to cranck up my MA-1's to be able to hear everything. The Harbeths just stay at low level. There is no need to put them louder. They are true musical instruments. They sing. Makes live as an audio-engineer a lot easier!
The Harbeth Monitor 30s are very nice.

I have had a pair of the active version for quite a few years (though I think they only do the Passover now) - accurate and trustworthy.
Old 13th September 2011
  #19
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cheu78's Avatar
If I were you I'll definitely get a listen to the new Focal SM9..
As other ppl suggested they could be the right thing..
But there's only one judge.. You (actually 2.. Your ears) heh

Just my 0.02$,

Ciao

Cheu
Old 13th September 2011
  #20
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
I heard the O300's at an AES show as well... enough so I had a them delivered to my old studio... where I tried them on a couple of mixes [probably around 4]. What came out of my room was "not good".

I too am excited to try out Harvey's new monitors.

Peace
I didn't try the K&H O300's in the studio, so my recommendation was heavily based on popularity here.

I forgot to mention the Harbeth monitors as a possibility, since I've never heard them (as is true with most of my other monitor recommendations in this thread).
Old 13th September 2011
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CEB View Post
I've been curious about the Harbeths myself for a few years now. How's the low extension (without a sub)? I often do a lot of hip-hop projects, so it's critical I get it right between the 30-100 hz region.
The M30's won't give you hip hop bottom-end. I use my MA-1's for that. I guess you need the 40.1's for low extension.
Old 13th September 2011
  #22
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ddageek's Avatar
 

Thoughts
The Hg3
Quested
PMC
Barefoot
Westlake
Harbeth

I do like the Focals, but the twins need a sub unless you use them as headphones
Dunlevey and Cello to any studio monitor is going to be an interesting transition, I would also look at some thing like B&W and other highend consumer speakers.
Dunlevy and
Old 13th September 2011
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
Thoughts
The Hg3
Quested
PMC
Barefoot
Westlake
Harbeth

I do like the Focals, but the twins need a sub unless you use them as headphones
Dunlevey and Cello to any studio monitor is going to be an interesting transition, I would also look at some thing like B&W and other highend consumer speakers.
Dunlevy and
Quested V2108 are strong considerations in my view these speakers have glorious mid range accuracy, deep bottom octave clarity, linear but smooth and dry top end. I have these at my studio and they are mind blowing. Unreal speakers..
Old 18th September 2011
  #24
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Duke's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
so my available footprint is small.
How small is "small", in this case? Could you use narrow-footprint floorstanders?
Old 18th September 2011
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke View Post
How small is "small", in this case? Could you use narrow-footprint floorstanders?
I would love to do that and I know of at least one new set of mastering speakers that are still in the design stage which may eventually be a big deal. More of what is crushing me is the small room size... 12x15 feet. And the amount of stuff I'm cramming into that small space. I'm going to (at least start out) set up like so many of the low enders... a desk too close to a wall, with too much stuff around it.

I might eventually be able to divest myself of more stuff and push back further into the room, I hope. But likely never far enough to properly image floor standing monitors.

This will just be my writing room, I have no aspirations of anything more grand. But I am used to good sound and within my limitations I want to do what I can to still have good sound in this wretched space.
Old 18th September 2011
  #26
.

Is your room too small for Dynaudio M1s?

Have you ever tried them in your space?

You can get them new for $3k, and perhaps less used.

I swear it's worth a shot. But they're not tiny.

I mixed on them for years, and LOVED them.

Also, the Linkwitz Plutos are not bulky, but they are tall and thin:
PLUTO photos

Wood Artistry does them for $3k:
http://www.linkwitzlab.com/Wood%20Ar...%20LL-home.htm

Recently, I've been happy with the Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Signature Monitors, as well. About $3,600, new.
They have phenomenal highs (SEAS Excel tweeter), and crystal clear bass - really, really nice speakers.
They might even be better with a sub. Haven't tried this yet.

...My Linbrooks are black:
http://www.tyleracoustics.com/Images.../mon_wn_lg.jpg

SEAS Excel tweeter:
http://www.seas.no/index.php?option=...d=55&Itemid=79

The Linkwitz Orions are obviously too big for your space. They're also roughly $9k.

.
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