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Best nearfields for low-volume monitoring in small/subpar rooms? Studio Monitors
Old 23rd February 2015
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Best nearfields for low-volume monitoring in small/subpar rooms?

Hi all. I'm in the market for some monitors. I'm not a professional engineer, and I have no clients to impress. This is for my own project. I need a pair of monitors purely for mixing and mastering, no audiophile pleasure-listening. I work on electronic music + vocals.

Based on my research thus far, I've gathered I need to be looking for the following:

1. Sealed cabinet design, no ports
2. 5"-7" woofer, definitely no larger than 8"
3. Doesn't require monitoring at high volume to be useable
4. EQ/room controls

I also understand that I'll have to do quite a bit of my mixing, especially regarding the low end, on headphones. But obviously, I need a pair of revealing, neutral monitors to check my stereo imaging and balance out what I get from headphones.

So, what sub-$10k pair of active monitors would you use if you weren't in an ideal space and/or moved around a lot? I see a lot of manufacturers are advertising their monitors as being feasible tools in a variety of spaces, have any of them actually pulled it off?
Old 24th February 2015
  #2
Amphion are looking very nice. Although i havent used them, I'm only going off what others say.

Products | Amphion
Old 24th February 2015
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

If you're not going loud then you shouldn't need correction/eq (point 4).

If you're not after "audiophile pleasure-listening" then I'd say ns10's, they're popular for a reason.

If you've got 10k to throw around, probably mm27's.
Old 24th February 2015
  #4
Unity Audio's The Boulder fit's your bill. I have the Rock monitors and love 'em.
Old 24th February 2015
  #5
Old 24th February 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Just take your mixing headphones from room to room since that is the sound you will be used to and it will give you consistancy. People forget that the sound that you hear is the INTERACTION between the speakers, the room, and positioning. Just because you lower the volume, it does not eliminate this fact. While you may be controling one variable with moving the same set of speakers from room to room you will not be controlling the other variables and thus not end up with predictable results. If you were moving speakers from one extensive acoustically treated control room to another the effects would be much less but from the sound of your post you are just moving from bedroom to bedroom. Since that is the case as another poster put it, you might as well just use a pair of NS10's (or any other speaker you know very well) if you want to attempt it with speakers. Just don't expect consistant results.

Use the money you have to treat your main space and use speakers for mixing there. Then get to know how your headphones are different from your main space.

My speaker tip to you is research picking up a used pair of JBL LSR 28P's for under $1k. Spend some money on treating your mixing space. You will find inexpensive "Do it Yourself" treatment projects in the Acoustics section here to stretch your budget since it sounds like you will be treating a bedroom or basement. Take at least half a day with a buddy to properly position your speakers and mix position within that room (research LEDR testing). Spend some of the rest of your budget on the front end for the vocal part of your EDM tracks. Keep the majority of that $10k in your pocket.
Old 24th February 2015
  #7
Treat your room and then try out some monitors. This stuff is subjective.
Old 24th February 2015
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Tool View Post
Hi all. I'm in the market for some monitors. I'm not a professional engineer, and I have no clients to impress. This is for my own project. I need a pair of monitors purely for mixing and mastering, no audiophile pleasure-listening. I work on electronic music + vocals.

Based on my research thus far, I've gathered I need to be looking for the following:

1. Sealed cabinet design, no ports
2. 5"-7" woofer, definitely no larger than 8"
3. Doesn't require monitoring at high volume to be useable
4. EQ/room controls

I also understand that I'll have to do quite a bit of my mixing, especially regarding the low end, on headphones. But obviously, I need a pair of revealing, neutral monitors to check my stereo imaging and balance out what I get from headphones.

So, what sub-$10k pair of active monitors would you use if you weren't in an ideal space and/or moved around a lot? I see a lot of manufacturers are advertising their monitors as being feasible tools in a variety of spaces, have any of them actually pulled it off?
Hello

sealed cabinet design in 5"/7", I do not know of any model.
sealed cabinet design in 8", the KH 310.
There is not numerous models in 8" sealed cabinet.
Old 24th February 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Definitely check out the Amphions....they are SO great.
Old 24th February 2015
  #10
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
if you move around a lot and need reasonably compact with great sound try:
Actives - Barefoot MM45's.can be portable,fantastic for anything electronic/deep bass.great depth,imaging.they have switchable eq curve settings on the back.rock solid build quality.
Passives w/amp - Amphion one15,two15,one18,two18.[passive radiator but really good in small-ish or not so great rooms or near walls].very flat freq response but nicely detailed/great stereo imaging and nice wide sweetspot.the two amps[100 and 500] are good clear/neutral sounding amps.

different approaches but two of the very best I've heard right there.
obviously let your ears decide and demo as many products as you can.
Old 24th February 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Gringo Starr's Avatar
 

Who sells Amphions in the US?
Old 24th February 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Zen Pro Audio
Old 25th February 2015
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
if you move around a lot and need reasonably compact with great sound try:
Actives - Barefoot MM45's.can be portable,fantastic for anything electronic/deep bass.great depth,imaging.they have switchable eq curve settings on the back.rock solid build quality.
Passives w/amp - Amphion one15,two15,one18,two18.[passive radiator but really good in small-ish or not so great rooms or near walls].very flat freq response but nicely detailed/great stereo imaging and nice wide sweetspot.the two amps[100 and 500] are good clear/neutral sounding amps.

different approaches but two of the very best I've heard right there.
obviously let your ears decide and demo as many products as you can.
If you want a list of contenders I'd add the cardoid Geithains to this (not the smallest one which I didn't find accurate at all under 100hz) and the PSIs
Old 25th February 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
jimmyboy7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
if you move around a lot and need reasonably compact with great sound try:
Actives - Barefoot MM45's.can be portable,fantastic for anything electronic/deep bass.great depth,imaging.they have switchable eq curve settings on the back.rock solid build quality.
Passives w/amp - Amphion one15,two15,one18,two18.[passive radiator but really good in small-ish or not so great rooms or near walls].very flat freq response but nicely detailed/great stereo imaging and nice wide sweetspot.the two amps[100 and 500] are good clear/neutral sounding amps.

different approaches but two of the very best I've heard right there.
obviously let your ears decide and demo as many products as you can.
I own the MM 35's and they are incredible!!! Either of these would do, just to give you some perspective...I used Tannoy speakers for 16 years, then when I found the MM 35's I got em' and sold the Tannoy's. You can't go wrong with Barefoot.
Old 25th February 2015
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultraburner View Post
If you've got 10k to throw around, probably mm27's.
I have been looking at the Barefoot's, starting at the MM35 and smaller, but they would swallow my budget whole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Moe View Post
Unity Audio's The Boulder fit's your bill. I have the Rock monitors and love 'em.
Looked into these, and based on reviews like SoS's, I think these require a primo acoustic space.
@ Bassmankr : Any room I'm in will be treated as much as circumstances allow, no worries. As I said, I know headphones are going to be my primary mixing tools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
if you move around a lot and need reasonably compact with great sound try:
Actives - Barefoot MM45's.can be portable,fantastic for anything electronic/deep bass.great depth,imaging.they have switchable eq curve settings on the back.rock solid build quality.
Passives w/amp - Amphion one15,two15,one18,two18.[passive radiator but really good in small-ish or not so great rooms or near walls].very flat freq response but nicely detailed/great stereo imaging and nice wide sweetspot.the two amps[100 and 500] are good clear/neutral sounding amps.
After reading some of the giant monitor thread, and the Amphion thread, I find them highly intriguing. A pair of One15's, Two15's, or One18's sit comfortably in my budget, amp included. They really sound ideal. Just not sure what size to go with; play it safe with the One15's, or push it with the Two15's or One18's? I'll probably contact Anssi and others about that. As I said, I just need something that can still do its job at lower volumes.

Bass reproduction isn't HUGE deal since I'll be on headphones for that, but it would be nice to have a monitor that could manage it all, that way I still have no need for a new pair even if I get into a larger space.

Last edited by Cool Tool; 25th February 2015 at 02:04 AM.. Reason: Format mistake
Old 25th February 2015
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Anssi is a gentleman and Amphion have the best customer service of any company I've ever dealt with.

I'm sure he'll give you a recommendation that will work for your room.

(BTW I came from Barefoot MM27's/MM27 Gen2's and the Amphion's are a totally different animal...but much better for small rooms and lower volumes in my opinion, and the translation is scary good. Plus they just sound like music should to me. If you told me you wanted to blast hip hop clients heads off, well then I would say get the Barefoots...)
Old 25th February 2015
  #17
Lives for gear
I agree completely. An expensive pair of monitors in an acoustically poor room is not money well spent.

Bass traps first, then sound absorption. Even a home studio can be "OK" acoustically when properly treated. And then your choice of monitors will make a difference. Until then, you might just as well buy some low end monitors, because the room will greatly affect your monitoring anyway.



Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Treat your room and then try out some monitors. This stuff is subjective.
Old 25th February 2015
  #18
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
"I'm not sure I want the band in my room" was my first thought after hearing the Genelec 8240's set up and tuned with their software.
Yes...always better to improve the listening space...but if you can't these speakers are a solution you should try. If you're on the road and presented with crappy misshapen hotel rooms or temporary studios. The software's ability to get correct placement opened my eyes to the damage caused to the hf by being off a centimeter..you can see it on the screen ! The best 3D image I have ever heard.

Genelec 8240A - A precise bi-amplified DSP monitoring system
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