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Monitor Upgrade from M-Audio BX5a Studio Monitors
Old 14th April 2019
Here for the gear

Monitor Upgrade from M-Audio BX5a

I've had the M-Audio BX5as since ~2011, so I've learned them pretty well and they've served their purpose through several rooms and plenty of releases. I've recently started treating my newest room (a few early reflection points tamped, started filling the corners with rockwool, etc) and have definitely had some improvements there. Room dimensions are unfortunately fairly small at 92sqft, but at least there is a vaulted ceiling and the room isn't a square

I just came across a really good price locally for a pair of JBL 306P MkII which certainly look tempting. My question is, are these a worthy upgrade or would it be more of a sidegrade from the BX5a monitors? If it wasn't for the price they're listed at I probably wouldn't be considering them, but it has got me thinking what the next logical upgrade for me would be. The BX5a's are pretty decent for casual listening but they certainly have their weak points I have to work around.

tl;dr upgrade to JBL 306P MkII from M-Audio BX5a or just save my money for something higher end?
Old 14th April 2019
No matter the price, i think JBL blows m-audio studio monitors out of the water. Ive been using JBL's for over 15 years in my studio and when its time to upgrade, ill be buying another set of JBL's (or Focals )
Old 16th April 2019
Lives for gear
To be 100% honest with you... I also had the BX5a mkii's.... almost literally anything will be an upgrade... especially something newer, with a bigger cone, from a respectable brand like JBL.

No offense to MAudio, but those were more of a marketing play than a quality play. They sell well in Guitar Center, b/c those who don't know what they're looking for get impressed with professionally mixed usic being played back on them b/c they emphasis certain frequencies and get pretty loud for the cost. But when you know what you're looking for, they're subpar for mixing purposes.

So yeah, if you see a good deal on JBL's i'd just research the reviews on it and if it has good reviews across the board then pull the trigger.

I also recommend the Presonus Eris8's. They are a great cost, and normally I'm not a huge Presonus hardware fan but... man... I gotta tell you, I haven't had to do a single post-mix tweak after using these. I mix on them... go to the car... listen on the phone... and it still sounds how I intended it to. I never ever got that from the BX5a's. I had tons and tons of back/forth between my studio and car until I got the mix right. Once I added a sub to the Eris8's, the bass also comes out perfect. Before the sub, the bass would be fine but I couldn't hear the lower registers as well, so I'd make musical adjustments based on that. But from a levels standpoint, they are above average in my opinion. I don't feel a need to upgrade to an expensive pair any time soon.
Old 16th April 2019
The 306 p mk ii are a lovely pair of monitors. I use them and the sonic quality is great! You cant go wrong with them.
Old 16th April 2019
Lives for gear
esldude's Avatar

I had the BX5a's and lost them to capacitor failure. Replaced with JBL 305's. Upgrade isn't an adequate description of the improvement. The 306's would be just as good if not more so than the 305. You'll find out what it is a monitor is really supposed to do.
Old 4 weeks ago
Agree with 306s.
I owned the 308s and they were outstanding.
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