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Yamaha HS5, Avantone Mixcubes, Focal Alpha 50 or Neuman KH120 for 2nd Reference Monit Studio Monitors
Old 11th September 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Yamaha HS5, Avantone Mixcubes, Focal Alpha 50 or Neuman KH120 for 2nd Reference

The monitors I use now are Dynaudio BM5a’s (mk1) with a KRK 10” sub (almost always turned off). It’s a mostly untreated room - 13' x 13’9”. I want a second set of monitors that can I focus more on the mids with. I’m tempted by NS10’s but I’d rather be using something powered. I know the BM5a’s really well but theyre a little flattering in this regard, though very low fatigue. I've had them for about 11 years. I record and mix black and death metal.

The only ones I’ve heard were the Alpha 50’s, briefly in Guitar Center. Sounded good but the place was so chaotic that I couldnt really tell. I used Auratones a few times years ago and thought they were ok.

I wouldnt mind spending less rather than more (I dont always feel that way haha).

What do you think would make for the best mid-microscope?

Last edited by Impurifier; 13th September 2018 at 03:05 PM..
Old 11th September 2018
  #2
Gear Addict
 

You already have a decent stereo 2-way, why purchase another? Sure the Yamahas are affordable, but so are the Mixcubes. If you want the NS10 sound, you can purchase the new CLA10s from Avantone; they're recreations of the NS10, but are powered and Avantone sells replacement woofers for them, so you can easily replace some parts if you ever have problems, which can't be said for original NS10s.

If mixing (especially mid-band) is your priority with this purchase, I'd strongly recommend a single Mixcube. 2-way, or 3 ways (with your sub) have a crossover point that can remove detail or add artifacts to the sound. The Mixcubes are one driver, no cross over, and mid centric. They really help with gauging clarity in your mix, making sure your mids and even low mids are clearly defined. If you can hear the sharp punch of a kick drum on the Mixcubes, you'll hear it on every other system.

A single mixcube is best, imho, because it really allows you to focus on the mono mix, and mono elements in the song. As you may know, there are still many mono systems today (pa systems, grocery music, clubs, tons of smartphones), so making sure the important aspects of your song don't disappear when you flip to mono are important, or that the song doesn't sound completely different when you hit go mono. I say go with the Mixcubes.
Old 11th September 2018
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile View Post
You already have a decent stereo 2-way, why purchase another?
for perspective. for the same reasons someone would use ns10's as a 2nd monitor.



Quote:
Sure the Yamahas are affordable, but so are the Mixcubes. If you want the NS10 sound, you can purchase the new CLA10s from Avantone; they're recreations of the NS10, but are powered
CLA10's are passive.



Quote:
A single mixcube is best, imho, because it really allows you to focus on the mono mix, and mono elements in the song.
oh yeah? how long have you had them for?


i usually start every mix in one speaker mono. but for metal i think eventually it needs to go stereo, the simple reality is that the existence of a powerful guitar on each side necessitates stereo once the mix basics like phase between instruments etc is worked out.
Old 12th September 2018
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impurifier View Post

oh yeah? how long have you had them for?

i usually start every mix in one speaker mono. but for metal i think eventually it needs to go stereo, the simple reality is that the existence of a powerful guitar on each side necessitates stereo once the mix basics like phase between instruments etc is worked out.
I don't think he's suggesting to always mix in mono
In the case where the OP has 2 main speakers and is looking for a 2nd reference option it's common and encouraged to use a mono mid range speaker for critical balance information and making sure the bass guitar and kick don't disappear when the lows disappear.

see: Mixing with Your Mind - Michael Paul Stavrou
also if i'm not mistaken it's also referenced in
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio - Mike Senior

It's an option and it helps many, and I'm sure your method also works for many.
(re: Starting mono and going stereo)
Old 13th September 2018
  #5
Gear Nut
 

thank for your thoughts!

i had the opportunity yesterday to hear the HS5, Alpha 50 and KH120's side by side. Very interesting! So now I have a VERY clear idea of what these each sound

They didnt have the Mixcubes in the store so my question now is specifically, how do the HS5's and Mixcubes compare sonically? For instance, are the Mixcubes as harsh as the HS5's? (Not that I necessarily mind that). I havent been able to get a clear picture of the Mixcubes' tone from reading about them at all. FWIW, the HS5's sounded exactly like I was expecting them to.

The Neumann's were pretty great too, very flat frequency respose though not really fast in that way. I could definitely see getting great sounding mixes on them.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Well, what do they sound like compratively. Do tell???
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
noah330's Avatar
I have the KH-120s and love them. I don't have the sub but am not missing it. I guess that's about what kind of music you're doing.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Nut
 
zukan's Avatar
 

I also use the Neumann KH120a but as my main nearfields. I also, as Venvile has eloquently advised, use my Mixcube for mono referencing. Great combo.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the replies! I've had the Mixcubes for a few weeks now and love them. I actually like listening to music on them too. Reminds me of how normal speakers used to sound when I was a kid :D

When I got the Mixcubes I picked up a Drawmer CMC2 monitor controller to help navigate, that thing is GREAT too!
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Anyone own a Mixtower?

I just ordered one. I like the ability to switch between three-way and orginal mix cube.

I’ll follow-up once I get it installed.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Mixtower has arrived and been unboxed.

I hope to have it installed today.


Very excited to hear this thing!
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guyacier View Post
Mixtower has arrived and been unboxed.

I hope to have it installed today.


Very excited to hear this thing!
WOW! I hope you enjoy it. I considered getting the Mix Tower as well, but wasn't a big fan of the form factor, and I already own a Mixcube. I decided to go with the Abbeys instead. Haven't purchased them yet, but I've yet to read a bad review about them.
Old 6 days ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 

I ran theMix Tower for about 30 minutes with various EDM and industrial tracks.

I’m going to do a few mixdowns through it and see how it translates.

My first impressions:

Extremely accurate.

Very pleasing to listen to.

That two-way hype you always seem to get in mid-level speakers? Not there. This is 3-way.

It’s sounded balanced. Clear.

I immediately heard snares and mid-range synths that were too much.

The question is: does it translate across systems?

If it does, the Mix Tower is a magic speaker.

I ran Genelec 8030s then 8040s. I had the JBLs everyone gushed over. I had NS10s, Tannoys .... probably forgetting a couple.

Nothing has sounded as balanced as these
Old 6 days ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guyacier View Post
I ran theMix Tower for about 30 minutes with various EDM and industrial tracks.

I’m going to do a few mixdowns through it and see how it translates.

My first impressions:

Extremely accurate.

Very pleasing to listen to.

That two-way hype you always seem to get in mid-level speakers? Not there. This is 3-way.

It’s sounded balanced. Clear.

I immediately heard snares and mid-range synths that were too much.

The question is: does it translate across systems?

If it does, the Mix Tower is a magic speaker.

I ran Genelec 8030s then 8040s. I had the JBLs everyone gushed over. I had NS10s, Tannoys .... probably forgetting a couple.

Nothing has sounded as balanced as these
WOW! That's quite the first impression. Looking forward to hearing more feedback as you spend some more time with them.

Avantone hasn't made a bad monitor yet, it seems. I just find them way too tall, and prefer the compactness of the Abbeys, although they're still pretty big/deep.
Old 5 days ago
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Spent a 5-6 hours with the Mix Tower last night.

Going between mixcube mode and mix tower mode is night and day.

Mixcube mode is killer. It’s basically every consumer range speaker system. Mix Tower mode is a gorgeous 3-way speaker.

I love ‘em.

Total keeper.

I mixed throught the Tower and then referenced through my QSC PA and then through my Monitor Audio Gold series.

Translated oh so nice. Damn!!!
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