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Time for monitor upgrade
Old 5th January 2015
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Time for monitor upgrade

Hey everyone,

I’m currently monitoring using KRK Series 2 V6’s which have served me well (and to their credit, worked flawlessly without every needing any repairs or anything) for 9 years now. However, it’s time for an upgrade for a few reasons:

1 – It could just be me, but I find myself with ear fatigue after working on these
2 – I want to get to the next level of mixing abilities and have my mixes translate much better
3 – I want something that can get a fair bit lower since I’m working on some more electronic stuff lately and I need to bass more clearly, and the sub bass altogether
4 – I want to make eq’ing and other mixing choices with absolute confidence

After working with these for so long, I’m ready for a major upgrade – something I can be confident in my mixes with. I want to

My short-list includes:
Quest V2108. Only concern hear is do they go low enough. I like the price tag compared to the others on this list. Supposed to be very non-fatiguing, too, which is nice.
Genelec 9260. These are kind of my fantasy monitors right now, but they might be overkill – they are humongous. But I still want them.
Focal SM9 - what's not to like about these
Barefoot – either the 27’s or the 35’s
PMC TwoTwo.8 or PMC TwoTwo.6. Probably would need a sub either way

I should mention that my space is not huge. I’m just working in a home studio. I work on a variety of styles including, pop, rock, and country. And if I can avoid it, I'd rather not have to get a sub. I'll be keeping the KRK's around for a second pair.

Any thoughts? Anything you think I should add to the shortlist? Anything I should cross off it because it’s too much for my space?

Thanks for your input
Old 5th January 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
I recently bought the V2108's and im very impressed with, the midrange is wonderful and mixes translate extremly well. Cannot comment on the others though!
As for the Sub bass they have plenty and the overall volume is very loud, the image just gets bigger the more you push it
Old 6th January 2015
  #3
So first my personal issues with a couple of your choices.

I like to listen to genelecs... a lot. i owned a pair for quite a while and i never walked away with a mix that i was completely happy with. the top end tends to make me darken things a bit to much.

I have the focal solo6 so i'm familiar with the focal "sound". again, a very fun monitor to listen to. results were mixed on them. much more accurate than the genelecs IMHO.

then I bought some Lipinski 707's. my mix world has changed. not fatiguing. very accurate. you will need a sub if you want that last octave. so far i've been ok without one and the mixes have been translating in mastering.

auditioned the PMC's twotwo8's. they felt a little wobbly on the low end for my taste, but thats been the case with most ported speakers i've worked on...

it's sorta like buying a high def TV. they all are gonna look great but one is going to display the image in a way that you prefer over the others. it's a very personal choice, mine just happened to be the lipinski's

so there! now i've gone and thrown more mud in the water happy listening!
Old 6th January 2015
  #4
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Soothing Sound's Avatar
2 notes:

Some Quested speakers take like 30 mins to warm up. I've read somewhere that a subtle hum noise can be listened at some angles, not sure if this affects the whole range tho.

The Genelec 8260 have a room calibration system, think if you really need to pay for that feature.
Old 6th January 2015
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Have you ensured that the acoustics of your room aren't causing you most of your troubles? A year ago I upgraded my monitors to Focal Twins and, while they are an improvement, they weren't the cure-all that I was convinced they would be. Amazing equipment can only sound so good in a bad environment. I'm pulling the trigger on an ASC Attack Wall in a few months to help this problem.
Old 8th January 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soothing Sound View Post
2 notes:

Some Quested speakers take like 30 mins to warm up. I've read somewhere that a subtle hum noise can be listened at some angles, not sure if this affects the whole range tho.

The Genelec 8260 have a room calibration system, think if you really need to pay for that feature.
V2108's are ready within 30 secs
Old 8th January 2015
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicmacd View Post
V2108's are ready within 30 secs
haha, I figured. 30 minutes sounded crazy.

How do you find the bass on them? Specs show them indicate a flat (+/- 2 dB down to 40 Hz)? Do you find yourself wanting a sub with them?

Thanks
Old 8th January 2015
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggsmack View Post
Have you ensured that the acoustics of your room aren't causing you most of your troubles? A year ago I upgraded my monitors to Focal Twins and, while they are an improvement, they weren't the cure-all that I was convinced they would be. Amazing equipment can only sound so good in a bad environment. I'm pulling the trigger on an ASC Attack Wall in a few months to help this problem.
Yes, I have no question that this is part of the greater solution. I'm not so much trying to solve a problem, though. There's no specific problem, I just want to upgrade my setup across the board. I currently use some good thick bass traps in the room, although there's no doubt I should be doing more - for example I should have some overhead dampening which I don't currently have.

Thanks! And very cool about the ASC Attack Wall stuff. I checked out the pricing on their site but do you feel like overall it's a pretty cost effective solution?
Old 8th January 2015
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soothing Sound View Post
2 notes:

Some Quested speakers take like 30 mins to warm up. I've read somewhere that a subtle hum noise can be listened at some angles, not sure if this affects the whole range tho.

The Genelec 8260 have a room calibration system, think if you really need to pay for that feature.
I think that room calibration thing sounds awesome and I've yet to hear anything to the contrary. I could definitely use that. Especially since my setup tends to change/evolve, change rooms, change houses, etc!

I'm also seeing the Genelec 8351 which is smaller and substantially cheaper. I'd like to check those out to. They might be more appropriate for a smaller space. Although I have to admit the 8260 look damn impressive!
Old 8th January 2015
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicmacd View Post
I recently bought the V2108's and im very impressed with, the midrange is wonderful and mixes translate extremly well. Cannot comment on the others though!
As for the Sub bass they have plenty and the overall volume is very loud, the image just gets bigger the more you push it
Thanks for your thoughts on the V2108's!
Old 8th January 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcballs View Post
haha, I figured. 30 minutes sounded crazy.

How do you find the bass on them? Specs show them indicate a flat (+/- 2 dB down to 40 Hz)? Do you find yourself wanting a sub with them?

Thanks
The bass is plenty but i will probably get the subs if i can afford them. I make d&b and dub and couldn't be happier with them. The detail was incredible, you know when your gear sounds different!
Old 9th January 2015
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcballs View Post
Yes, I have no question that this is part of the greater solution. I'm not so much trying to solve a problem, though. There's no specific problem, I just want to upgrade my setup across the board. I currently use some good thick bass traps in the room, although there's no doubt I should be doing more - for example I should have some overhead dampening which I don't currently have.

Thanks! And very cool about the ASC Attack Wall stuff. I checked out the pricing on their site but do you feel like overall it's a pretty cost effective solution?
as someone who owns an attack wall, i can say without a shred of doubt that its the best money i ever spent. it will make any pair of monitors sound the way they "should," and you wont believe the image + tight/deep bass response, even from a smaller cabinet!
Old 9th January 2015
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stringbean01 View Post
as someone who owns an attack wall, i can say without a shred of doubt that its the best money i ever spent. it will make any pair of monitors sound the way they "should," and you wont believe the image + tight/deep bass response, even from a smaller cabinet!
Very cool! I like good value. What's your (attack wall) setup like? i.e just the front, or around the sides and back, too?
Old 9th January 2015
  #14
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Dirtycircuit's Avatar
Go the focals I love them, only thing is I have been mixing on dynaudio bm6a and bm15a so I am so used to them they are too familiar to leave, I suppose an alternative could be some bm15a probably to powerful for your room but nice detailed bottom end, I do Dance Music so they are perfect...
Old 9th January 2015
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcballs View Post
Yes, I have no question that this is part of the greater solution. I'm not so much trying to solve a problem, though. There's no specific problem, I just want to upgrade my setup across the board. I currently use some good thick bass traps in the room, although there's no doubt I should be doing more - for example I should have some overhead dampening which I don't currently have.

Thanks! And very cool about the ASC Attack Wall stuff. I checked out the pricing on their site but do you feel like overall it's a pretty cost effective solution?
After I've spent a lot of money on good monitors, gear, and acoustic treatment, I can tell you from first hand experience that the upgraded monitors and gear don't get you very far if you're in an environment that you can't trust.

I've spent a lot of money buying the fiberglass panels that everyone else buys for their home studios and using REW to find the best placement for everything and figure out what I need for the room. The result is an OK-sounding room with a lot of low frequency issues. I recently bought two used 16" tube traps from someone off craigslist and they've already done a surprisingly noticeable job in tightening up the low-end in the room in a way that the panels just weren't doing.

Shelling out the dough is tough for ASC stuff, so you may want to do as I do and just do a search for it on Craigslist, gearslutz, and eBay every now and again to try to get their studio traps or tube traps used at a discount. It's bittersweet- they're so good that no one ever sells them, but they're so boutique that when they do sell them they don't cost much. You can typically buy their stuff at 40-50% of what they cost new.

Even if you don't get ASC stuff, invest in your environment first!
Old 9th January 2015
  #16
Gear Addict
 

12 StudioTraps + 2 monitor stands with Pelonis 4288s. i have 13 more traps that i keep around the room which i set up as a vocal fort or use in the live room. sometimes in the rear behind the mix position but i dont notice much difference. if the room had less wall treatment i probably would.

my setup is a bit unconventional. because the 4288 is a tall cabinet, the tweeter is at a comfortable standing height on top of the monitor stand. i got a height adjustable desk and work standing a lot. its fun. especially standing right between the speakers... its like headphones that you can feel in your chest

its one of the best images ive ever heard. rivals some of the best rooms out there. its a truly amazing product, its a shame not nearly enough people have heard these! id recommend anyone spend the money on an attack wall before buying 4 fancy pieces of outboard.



Old 10th January 2015
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stringbean01 View Post
12 StudioTraps + 2 monitor stands with Pelonis 4288s. i have 13 more traps that i keep around the room which i set up as a vocal fort or use in the live room. sometimes in the rear behind the mix position but i dont notice much difference. if the room had less wall treatment i probably would.

my setup is a bit unconventional. because the 4288 is a tall cabinet, the tweeter is at a comfortable standing height on top of the monitor stand. i got a height adjustable desk and work standing a lot. its fun. especially standing right between the speakers... its like headphones that you can feel in your chest

its one of the best images ive ever heard. rivals some of the best rooms out there. its a truly amazing product, its a shame not nearly enough people have heard these! id recommend anyone spend the money on an attack wall before buying 4 fancy pieces of outboard.




Wow, that looks great! And more importantly, probably sounds amazing. I need to hook that up for sure. I definitely hear what you're saying about doing this sort of thing before dropping cash on expensive outboard. I bought a few high end outboard pieces most of which I really don't need. And I bought them before even getting my basic bass traps. Right now I'm realizing that I need to make the most of what I have and better my ability to make critical decisions and be able to trust what I hear!
Old 10th January 2015
  #18
Gear Addict
 

stringbean01 - also cool about the Pelonis monitors... seem like a pretty good setup.
Old 10th January 2015
  #19
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I would strongly suggest adding the PSI Audio brand to your list of stuff to check out. We are constantly amazed at what these guys have accomplished in the realm of detailed and analytical sound that also delivers the musical side of things...

War
Old 23rd January 2015
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
I would strongly suggest adding the PSI Audio brand to your list of stuff to check out. We are constantly amazed at what these guys have accomplished in the realm of detailed and analytical sound that also delivers the musical side of things...

War
Thanks, War... been looking into those now, too.
Old 23rd January 2015
  #21
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcballs View Post
Hey everyone,

I’m currently monitoring using KRK Series 2 V6’s which have served me well (and to their credit, worked flawlessly without every needing any repairs or anything) for 9 years now. However, it’s time for an upgrade for a few reasons:

1 – It could just be me, but I find myself with ear fatigue after working on these
2 – I want to get to the next level of mixing abilities and have my mixes translate much better
3 – I want something that can get a fair bit lower since I’m working on some more electronic stuff lately and I need to bass more clearly, and the sub bass altogether
4 – I want to make eq’ing and other mixing choices with absolute confidence

After working with these for so long, I’m ready for a major upgrade – something I can be confident in my mixes with. I want to

My short-list includes:
Quest V2108. Only concern hear is do they go low enough. I like the price tag compared to the others on this list. Supposed to be very non-fatiguing, too, which is nice.
Genelec 9260. These are kind of my fantasy monitors right now, but they might be overkill – they are humongous. But I still want them.
Focal SM9 - what's not to like about these
Barefoot – either the 27’s or the 35’s
PMC TwoTwo.8 or PMC TwoTwo.6. Probably would need a sub either way

I should mention that my space is not huge. I’m just working in a home studio. I work on a variety of styles including, pop, rock, and country. And if I can avoid it, I'd rather not have to get a sub. I'll be keeping the KRK's around for a second pair.

Any thoughts? Anything you think I should add to the shortlist? Anything I should cross off it because it’s too much for my space?

Thanks for your input
Hi There!
Since you want a major upgrade and your room is not huge I suggest the following:

ATC SCM25a or the new SCM45a just announced at NAMM2015.. (I own the scm25 and they're great...translate very well and they fit my small room.. maybe even the new 45 will).
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/namm...mm-2015-a.html

they're not cheap, but imho they're fantastic monitors..worth every penny!

The Neumann KH310 are also great monitors.

These are the 3 monitors I'd try to demo IN YOUR ROOM if I was in your situation. Room play a very important role.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Old 23rd January 2015
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
I would strongly suggest adding the PSI Audio brand to your list of stuff to check out. We are constantly amazed at what these guys have accomplished in the realm of detailed and analytical sound that also delivers the musical side of things...

War
I second the PSI recommendation. My room's not perfect but they give me less trouble than the Genelecs they replaced. Mixes are sounding just as good - if not better - with less work.
Old 24th January 2015
  #23
Event Opal are great speakers, so easy to mix on and translate beatifully. Cheap too!
Old 24th January 2015
  #24
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Hi There!
Since you want a major upgrade and your room is not huge I suggest the following:

ATC SCM25a or the new SCM45a just announced at NAMM2015.. (I own the scm25 and they're great...translate very well and they fit my small room.. maybe even the new 45 will).
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/namm...mm-2015-a.html

they're not cheap, but imho they're fantastic monitors..worth every penny!

The Neumann KH310 are also great monitors.

These are the 3 monitors I'd try to demo IN YOUR ROOM if I was in your situation. Room play a very important role.

I hope this helps,



Cheu

Although I've read nothing but good about the ATC's... their low frequency doesn't go down that far, surprisingly even on the new SMC45a.... -6dB at 42 Hz. Kind of surprising given the configuration and size. Thoughts?
Old 25th January 2015
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Check out the Amphions ... I've been through a ton of monitors over the past few years and nothing has worked as well as the Amphions have for me.
Old 25th January 2015
  #26
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcballs View Post
Although I've read nothing but good about the ATC's... their low frequency doesn't go down that far, surprisingly even on the new SMC45a.... -6dB at 42 Hz. Kind of surprising given the configuration and size. Thoughts?
As said I have the 25's.. I do some blues, pop-rock, and jazz and my main thing is reggae.. quite bass heavy.. I have no problems with the 25.. WITHOUT subs.

There's 2 important things to consider though..

1. My room is small but it's professionally measured and treated, with 6 tuned bass traps, broadband absorbers, diffusers and acoustics curtains.. it sounds pretty nice..I'm surprised since the small spaces are really though. (I've heard most atc's in different rooms around the world..Henry Hirsch's custom scm200 in NY, some 110 in Croatia, scm50's in Italy..etc.. the room is important..very).

2. The bass that the ATC's put out is somewhat different (in their nature) than the lowend offered by other manufacturers.. ATC's try to have the less possible distortion (also in the lows)..
So in the mid/highs this translate into incredible detail and depth and in the lows this appers as a very tight lowend. But what you're listening is truthful, also from a balance point of view..always.

Other speakers reach lower frequencies with some compromises/tricks.. everything in audio has compromises.

So in the end is quite personal as everything in audio.. but having traveled a lot and having worked in different rooms I can tell you that I always try to find (when possible) a room that has atc's.. why? Because they tell me the truth.. or let's put it this way.. there's less of a guess work later in the process being mixing (when tracking) or during mastering after mixing. No surprises..

My best advice is to try them in your room, but please have the room measured and treated first.. concentrate to the overall balance and what the monitor tells you about that mix and master.. don't get impressed by more lowend.. if you want more lowend to impress clients, get a (cheap) sub.. the 25's are a great mix tool IME.

Of course if you have the space (and the $) the 100's are fantastic.. I can't even put the 50's in my small room. I never heard the new 45's yet, but I'm sure they're great.
what the bigger scm offers (beside some more lows and SPL) is more depth/space and accuracy..

One thing that "shocked" me at first was that I was able to tell which albums were tracked on tape and which not.. this is quite clear with atc's, less so with other manufacturers.

If I was in your situation and have the $, try some atc's.. if cash is tight the new Neumann kh310 are very nice too.. but a different "sound"..a bit more "polite" and due to the infinite baffle more apparent lowend.

But hey..this is my opinion..

P.S.: last septmeber I was tracking four songs in London (at snap studios) with Omar Hakim (just check on wikipedia if you don't remember the name).. we tracked 4 songs on tape and they have big mains and scm25's (and ns10) there.. was a very busy afternoon..
Omar was amazed by the 25's.. I think he got a pair of 50's for his personal studio in the end.. heh

he probably have listened his drums through more monitors than me and you together..and he choose the atc's.. food for thought.

I hope this helps,



Cheu

Last edited by cheu78; 25th January 2015 at 11:47 AM..
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