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8 inch or 5 inch monitors in a small room? Studio Monitors
Old 28th February 2012
Gear Head

Thread Starter
8 inch or 5 inch monitors in a small room?

Hi everyone,

I posted about this earlier but the thread got buried, I tried to rename it but can't figure out how to do that. So, mods, if you want to delete that post go ahead (it's the Equator D5 vs Prodipe Pro 8 thread).

Anyway: I'm looking to buy my first pair of monitors and am trying to decide between two pairs just at my budget ($350), both of which I've read great reviews about. To simplify my question so it can be answered without specific knowledge of the monitor brands: is it worth getting bigger monitors with more accurate low end if it's going to be on a small desk in a small room, or should I get small nearfields even if they have less (and less accurate) low end? I hear the Equators are great, but it sounds like the Prodipes are as good with better bass.

I'm just trying to decide whether or not there will be much difference in a small untreated room. If it's worth getting the speakers with more bass because either way the room won't sound great... let me know!

Thank you in advance (and I apologize for the duplicate post).
Old 28th February 2012
Gear maniac

I use the BX5a's in a maybe 15x15 room and they are plenty, save for the low ends, that's what you'll lose with smaller monitors unless you have a sub
Old 28th February 2012
Lives for gear
NeoHippy's Avatar

depends on which music you are producing!!

do you use them for tracking/mixing/mastering???

i produce eletonic dance music..and i use 5,25" monitors(neumann kh120a)..

and they are perfectly fine..

if i listen to my tracks on huge, well adjusted PA's or bigger monitors , everything is all right with the bass!!

i have a rather small room...but still...

its up to you...if you know your monitor and know how it can use nearly every monitor!!

hope that helped
Old 28th February 2012
Gear Head

Thread Starter
Thanks for asking, I should have clarified. I'm producing mostly rock music, and occasional singer/songwriter stuff- basically anything I can get my hands on, but probably nothing electronic.

Since I'm doing my own production all the way up, nothing in a studio, I'll be tracking, mixing and mastering on these, but mostly mixing with some mastering. I'm hoping to raise funds for my more serious projects to get them mastered by someone else, though I can't guarantee that especially as a lot of the work I'm doing right now is for free or cheap for people who want decent recordings, so I can hone my skills as a recording and mix engineer.

Thanks for your post!
Old 28th February 2012
My observation is that going with higher sized monitors you make some trade-off. The bigger the monitor gets, the less near-field characteristics it has. Whereas most bigger monitors work fine with lower loudness levels, that is, they retain their detail and response throughout the frequencies, some problems creep in. What I heard in my life, in most cases, whas that bigger monitors in smaller rooms had problems with stereo imaging. That's why with smallers room I settled with 7" speakers, even though the bass response is not as good as those an inch or two bigger.

It would be best if you could audition these monitors in your particular space (as each room is different) and make your choice by your ears, and not by opinions.
Old 28th February 2012
Lives for gear
Small speakers will have less problems because they create less frequencies, but both will have lots of issues in an untreated room.
Old 28th February 2012
Lives for gear
jimbridgman's Avatar
I have 2 sets of monitors in my studio. My room is about 18X30 so I have a set of "mid-fields" that are JBL LSR32s and are a 3 way speaker with a 12" woofer, I use that to check my low, low end, and the whole spectrum on.

For my main monitors, I have a set of Audix 1As and I love them, I also mostly do Rock style music, and some Jazz, fusion, metal, etc. The Audix monitors have a 6.5 inch and they are plenty, now I have my room tuned, and treated. I will say that the first day in my room without treatment I had very little bass from these, but once my treaments were up, it all came through great.

My point is, that you can get a great sound from a 5" set of speakers, but by adding even a small amount of treatment, will help tremendously.

Old 29th February 2012
Lives for gear
3rd Degree's Avatar

I am no expert but between the 3 pairs of monitors I have had (all 5-6.5 in woofers) and being in other rooms with similar, or bigger woofers, I would say go on the small side. I wish my BM5a's had more bass, sure, but they are pretty good other wise. I use a sub to reference my bass, not when mixing.

There are a few easy tricks to get a good idea about bass for mixing as well. Bass builds up so move around the room. I know in one corner of my room, if the bass sounds right there, it will sound right. I also know if I turn my LF eq on my mixer to a certain level, the bass will sound right. I use those two as a quick reference and it's right most of the time, takes about 3 seconds to check.
Old 1st March 2012
Gear Head

Thread Starter
Hey everyone,

Thanks for all your replies. Based on the comments here, and what I found on thread (which conveniently mentions the Prodipes- that's how I found it), I think I'm gonna go with the Equators. 5" should be fine for now given the amount of detail these monitors supposedly offer, and I don't think I can guarantee they will be placed more than 3 feet away from my ears for a while... so it's likely that the benefits of the bigger woofer would be nulled anyway. I'm also pretty swayed by the idea that absent treatment, with a bigger woofer you end up just hearing the bass reflections off the wall behind you, not from the speakers, because of how we hear bass from speakers at close range.

Worst case, if they really are weak in the bass (which I doubt I'll be able to tell absent room treatment anyway...) I can always send them back... Equator's got a 60 day no questions asked return policy. Pretty cool.

Thanks again!
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